Now, in this piece of waste ground, there was, at that time, an enclosure belonging to some wheelwright who contracted with the Post Office for the purchase of old, worn-out mail coaches; and my uncle, being very fond of coaches, old, young, or middle-aged, all at once took it into his head to step out of his road for no other purpose than to peep between the palings
at these mails--about a dozen of which he remembered to have seen, crowded together in a very forlorn and dismantled state, inside.
They swarmed up in front of Sherburn's palings
as thick as they could jam together, and you couldn't hear yourself think for the noise.
They soon reached a small hut, near which, enclosed within some high palings
, was the animal in question.
In front of us, at a distance of two hundred yards or so as well as I could calculate, rose a black mass, which gradually resolved itself, as my eyes became accustomed to the twilight, into a long, low, and ancient house, with a hedge of evergreens and a pitch-black paling
in front of it.
She was leaning over the paling
of split oak branches which formed the paling
of the avenue.
On my left was the wooden paling
that followed the curves of the winding creek, and beyond it rose the brown arches of the decoy for wild fowl, now falling to ruin for want of use.
I watched this engagement as I watched the others--with rapt interest and strong excitement, and with a shrink and a shudder for every blow that laid open a cheek or a forehead; and a conscious paling
of my face when I occasionally saw a wound of a yet more shocking nature inflicted.
Then quite a group of boys and girls -- playmates of Tom's and Joe's -- came by, and stood looking over the paling
fence and talking in reverent tones of how Tom did so-and-so the last time they saw him, and how Joe said this and that small trifle (pregnant with awful prophecy, as they could easily see now!) -- and each speaker pointed out the exact spot where the lost lads stood at the time, and then added something like "and I was a-standing just so -- just as I am now, and as if you was him -- I was as close as that -- and he smiled, just this way -- and then something seemed to go all over me, like -- awful, you know -- and I never thought what it meant, of course, but I can see now!"