SUB-UMBRA, OR SPORT AMONG THE SHE-NOODLES.
The merry month of May has always been famous for its propitious influence over the voluptuous
senses of the fairer sex.
I will tell you two or three little incidents which occurred to me in May, 1878, when I went to visit my
cousins in Sussex, or as I familiarly call them, the She-Noodles, for the sport they afforded me at various
My uncle's is a nice country residence, standing in large grounds of its own, and surrounded by small
fields of arable and pasture land, interspersed by numerous interesting copses, through which run
footpaths and shady walks, where you are not likely to meet anyone in a month. I shall not trouble my
readers with the name of the locality, or they may go pleasure hunting for themselves. Well, to go on,
these cousins consisted of Annie, Sophie, and Polly, beside their brother Frank, who, at nineteen, was
the eldest, the girls being, respectively, eighteen, sixteen, and fifteen. After dinner, the first day of my
arrival, paterfamilias and mamma both indulged in a snooze in their armchair, whilst us boys and girls (I
was the same age as Frank) took a stroll in the grounds. I attached myself more particularly to cousin
Annie, a finely developed blonde, with deep blue eyes, pouting red lips, and a full heaving bosom, which
to me looked like a perfect volcano of smothered desires. Frank was a very indolent fellow, who loved to
smoke his cigar, and expected his sisters, who adored him, to sit by his side, reading some of the novels
of the day, or tell him their love secrets, &c. This was by far too tame an amusement for me, and as I had
not been there for nearly three years, I requested Annie to show me the improvements in the grounds
before we went in to tea, saying to Frank, banteringly, "I suppose, old fellow, you're too, lazy, and would
prefer your sister taking me round?"
"I'm too comfortable; lazy is an ugly word, Walter, but the fact is, Soph is just reading a most interesting
book, and I can't leave it," he replied; "besides, sissie is quite as well, or better qualified than I am to
show off the grounds. I never notice anything."
"Come on, Annie," said I taking her hand; "Frank is in love."
"No, I'm sure he never thinks of a girl, except his sisters," was the reply.
We were now out of earshot, in a shady walk, so I went on a little more freely. "But, surely you, coz, are
in love, if he is not. I can tell it by your liquid eye and heaving bosom."
A scarlet flush shot over her features at my allusion to her finely moulded bosom, but it was evidently
pleasing, and far from offensive, to judge by her playfully spoken, "Oh! Walter, for shame, sir!"
We were a good distance away by this time, and a convenient seat stood near, so throwing my arms
around the blushing girl, I kissed her ruby lips, and drawing her with me, said, "Now, Annie, dear, I'm