Could anyone translate this into plain and simple English? I suppose some words are used in metaphorical sense, but their meaning eludes me.

Context: one woman is telling to the other some personal details about a guy who turns out to be a murderer. The other wasn't listening carefully at the beginning, but now:
"If she could scavenge a hasty bushel of bruised and mealy details from my conversational drop-fruit, she would present it later to her sister like a Christmas basket."

- hasty - meaning actually to scavenge in haste?
- bruised and mealy - painful and gross or juicy?
- drop-fruit - tidbits?
Or is it something else altogether?

Hello Anon,

"Hasty" here = put together in haste.

"Bruised and mealy" here = with the bruised spotted appearance of fruit that has been left for too long under the tree.

"Drop-fruit" here = a fruit that has fallen from a tree.


"She had not been paying attention; but now that her interest was awoken, she tried to recollect details of what I had already told her. She would piece together those details and tell them to her sister later, in a triumphant way."

The contrast is between the few details the woman will be able to present to her sister, and the much fuller story she might have presented, if she had been paying attention.

The metaphor links getting information to gathering apples.

- hasty - correct. The listener has missed the opportunity to learn all the information. Now she must quickly gather as many scraps of information as she can to pass on the story to someone who will want to know all the details. Getting a few details means she will be able to present the information as if she has all the inside knowledge.

- bruised and mealy - an apple falling from the tree gets bruised when it hits the ground, and gets mealy when then worms get in it. A bruised and mealy apple is definitely a second-rate fruit.

- drop-fruit - not a common current expression, but means windfall - the apples that blow off the trees and are left to rot unless someone scavenges them.
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