In "The Song of Flying Fish" by G. K. Chesterton, the author was describing a house, saying:

Father Brown looked rather earnestly at the house, which was high and narrow, and carried rows of striped sun-blinds of gay but already faded colours. The chinks or crannies that gave glimpses of the interior looked all the darker; indeed, they looked almost black in contrast with the facade thus golden in the morning light.

Does "gay" here mean "dark"? I saw this makes more sense in this context, but I found it as "colorful" in thesaurus.com: https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/gay?s=t

And what would make it "golden" in the morning light?

1 Answer 1


"Gay" here means brightly-coloured, as the original meaning of "gay". The blinds were once bright but now are faded.

The facade is what looks golden, and it is in contrast to the view through the window, of the "chinks and crannies" (which are hollow places, perhaps open boxes), which is part of the inside of the house that (from the outside) looks dark.

The image is of a house which is lit brightly in the sunlight on the outside, but which appears to be dark and gloomy and faded on the inside.

  • 1
    The morning light makes it golden, because the sun, just after sunrise in the morning is orange or yellow.
    – James K
    Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 16:27
  • 2
    The chinks and crannies are probably gaps in the blinds, places where the slats don't overlap properly. Through these, Father Brown can see through the window and into the house -- or he could, if the rest of the blinds didn't leave the inside of the house so dark. Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 16:33

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