I listened, not understanding.
“Good Lord!” said I, still only half awake. “What an infernal shindy!”
When Captain Gerilleau received instructions to take his new gunboat, the
Benjamin Constant, to Badama on the Batemo arm of the Guaramadema
and there assist the inhabitants against a plague of ants, he suspected
the authorities of mockery.
Here are some of the secrets of taxidermy. They were told me by the taxidermist in a mood of elation. He told me them in the time between the first glass of whisky and the fourth, when a man is no longer cautious and yet not drunk. We sat in his den together; his library it was, his sitting and his eating-room-separated by a bead curtain, so far as the sense of sight went, from the noisome den where he plied his trade.
I set this story down, not expecting it will be believed, but, if
possible, to prepare a way of escape for the next victim. He, perhaps, may
profit by my misfortune. My own case, I know, is hopeless, and I am now in
some measure prepared to meet my fate.
My friend, Mr. Ledbetter, is a round-faced little man, whose natural mildness of eye is gigantically exaggerated when you catch the beam through his glasses, and whose deep, deliberate voice irritates irritable people. A certain elaborate clearness of enunciation has come with him to his present vicarage from his scholastic days, an elaborate clearness of enunciation and a certain nervous determination to be firm and correct upon all issues, important and unimportant alike.
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