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(Code and Color Key)

Analysis Key

          Two men, members [#1] {of a religious order}, wanted to smoke [#2] 

[Adv. while *they were* [#3] walking {in the garden}.] | They agreed 

[DO of "agreed" that each would ask his superior (IO) {for permission}.] |

        The first one returned to find [#4]  the second one smoking [#5] and

complained indignantly: [DO of "complained" "I was refused (P)!"] |

        [DO of "inquired" "What (DO) did you ask?"] inquired the second

one. |

        "I asked [DO of "asked" if I could smoke [Adv. to "could smoke"

while *I was* [#3] meditating."]] |

        "Oh [Inj]," said the other, blowing his smoke [#6] reflectively, [DO of

"said" "I asked [DO of "asked" if I could meditate [Adv. to "could meditate"

while *I was* [#3 smoking!"]]] | [#7]

1. "Members" is an appositive to "men."
2. The infinitive "to smoke" functions as the direct object of "wanted."
3. This is a semi-reduced clause, so called because the subject and part of the finite verb phrase are ellipsed. There are three of them in this passage. Their subject is always understandable from the context of the sentence. They are called "semi-reduced" because full reduction eliminates the subordinate conjunction and results in a gerundive. Part of the ambiguity of this passage results from the ambiguous function of this semi-reduced clause. Does it modify "wanted," which would mean that they were in the garden? Or does it modify "to smoke," which might mean that they were elsewhere when they decided that they wanted (to smoke in the garden)?
4. The infinitive "to find" functions as an adverb (of result) to "returned."
5. KISS explains "one smoking" as a noun absolute that functions as the direct object of "to find." For more on this, see KISS Level 5.8 - Noun Absolutes.
6. "Smoke" is the direct object of the gerundive "blowing" which modifies "other."
7. The notation for this explanation leaves the "Oh" part of the quotation out of the DO clause. When a clause is split like this, KISS allows another explanation -- the "said the other, blowing his smoke reflectively" can be considered an interjection, thereby making the main S/V/C pattern "Oh, ... I asked if ...."