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Keeping Watch - Night Watches, Part 2. by W. W. Jacobs
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NIGHT WATCHES

by W.W. Jacobs




KEEPING WATCH

"Human natur'!" said the night-watchman, gazing fixedly at a pretty
girl in a passing waterman's skiff. "Human natur'!"

He sighed, and, striking a match, applied it to his pipe and sat smoking
thoughtfully.

"The young fellow is pretending that his arm is at the back of her by
accident," he continued; "and she's pretending not to know that it's
there. When he's allowed to put it round 'er waist whenever he wishes,
he won't want to do it. She's artful enough to know that, and that's
why they are all so stand-offish until the thing is settled. She'll
move forward 'arf an inch presently, and 'arf a minute arterwards she'll
lean back agin without thinking. She's a nice-looking gal, and what she
can see in a tailor's dummy like that, I can't think."

He leaned back on his box and, folding his arms, emitted a cloud of
smoke.

"Human natur's a funny thing. I've seen a lot of it in my time, and if
I was to 'ave my life all over agin I expect I should be just as silly
as them two in the skiff. I've known the time when I would spend money