purple dromedaries love

purple dromedaries

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  • "'Tell me, Mr Riley,' said Stephen, 'is there ever an honest horse-coper in this town? Or at least one that merits Purgatory rather than Hell? I saw a yard called Wilkins Brothers with some animals in it, but they did not look quite wholesome to me.'

    "'Sure they are only purple dromedaries, sir.'

    "'Ah? They looked quite like horses to me...'

    "'I meant the Wilkins brothers, sir. I take it your honour is not in the penal line? ... Here in the colony by purple dromedaries we mean little small bungling pickpockets, jackeens that get transported for robbing the poor-box or a blind man's tray.'"
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Nutmeg of Consolation, 323

    March 9, 2008