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Thanx !

1. What does 'in the dark of the moon' mean? (--he sould figure up exactly what effect next year's Canada wheat crop woul have on potatoes planted in the dark of the moon.)

2. What does 'straw sailor' mean? (--and she had left the chaplet there, and walked back to the house swinging her straw sailor in her hands.)

3. What does 'skies drifting' mean? (In them there were no considerations of Mediterranen cruises, of soporofic Southern skies drifting in the Vesuvian Bay.)

4. What does 'loafed along' mean? (Sopay, with disgust in his heart, loafed along, twice unsuccessful.)

5. What does 'rule opens' mean? (He arouse, joint by joint, as a carpenter's rule opens, and beat the dust from his clothes.)
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Hi Vermont,

1. What does 'in the dark of the moon' mean? (--he sould figure up exactly what effect next year's Canada wheat crop woul have on potatoes planted in the dark of the moon.)I'd say it means 'at night'. The usual expression is 'in the dark'. More poetically, you might say 'by the light of the moon'.

2. What does 'straw sailor' mean? (--and she had left the chaplet there, and walked back to the house swinging her straw sailor in her hands.) 'A sailor hat' is a hat similar to that worn by a sailor. Made from straw, in this case.

3. What does 'skies drifting' mean? (In them there were no considerations of Mediterranen cruises, of soporofic Southern skies drifting in the Vesuvian Bay.) 'To drift' means to move slowly, in a current. Clouds drift in the sky. However, because 'cruises' refers to ships, I'd say the reference here is to the idea of a ship drifting along in the Vesuvian Bay.

4. What does 'loafed along' mean? (Sopay, with disgust in his heart, loafed along, twice unsuccessful.) 'To loaf' means 'to be lazy'. 'To loaf along' is to move lazily along.

5. What does 'rule opens' mean? (He arouse, joint by joint, as a carpenter's rule opens, and beat the dust from his clothes.) A carpenter's rule is a long ruler that folds several times so that it will fit in the carpenter's pocket.

Best wishes, Clive
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...What does 'in the dark of the moon' mean? (--he sould figure up exactly what effect next year's Canada wheat crop woul have on potatoes planted in the dark of the moon.)...
I have a dim recollection that 'in the dark of the moon' is to 'in the light of the moon' = as 'new moon' is to 'full moon'.

I once read that those with thinning hair should get their hair cut during a particular phase of the moon, to encourage growth. (Unfortunately I can't remember which phase it was.)

MrP
3-- perhaps the reflection of the clouds on the surface of the water?
I don't see much reason for puzzling over ' skies drifting in the Vesuvian Bay'. When there are clouds in the sky, it doesn't matter whether the viewer is stationary or in motion, whether the viewer is cruising on a boat in the Vesuvian Bay or sitting on the front porch of a house in Philadelphia--the Earth is always rotating, and clouds are always in motion. 'In the Bay' or 'over the Bay' would carry different emphases of perspectives,perhaps, but nothing that should cause confusion.

The dialogue here reminds me of, I think, a Zen story:

Two monks are conversing. One monk says to the other, "Look at the flag moving in the wind." The other monk says, "It's not the flag that's moving in the wind, it's the wind that's moving the flag." Back and forth they argue: "It's the flag." "It's the wind." " It's the flag." "It's the wind." The abbot is standing near, watching and listening. The two monks turn to him. And the abbot - in uninflected tones, of course- says, "It's not the flag that's moving. It's not the wind that's moving. It's the Mind that's moving."

(I hope my memory didn't goof up that story.)

...Not to want the last word in the thread.

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...Not to want the last word in the thread.

Of course not, Dave.