Page:Colymbia (1873).djvu/31

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25
THE ARCHIPELAGO ON THE EQUATOR.

bathers I had met with wore drawers, a fashion that does not yet prevail universally in England.

The Inspector greeted me with a hearty "Good morning!" hoped I had slept well, and both immediately divested themselves of their leafy covering and proceeded to array themselves in the loose dressing-gown-like garments that hung from the pegs.

The Inspector directed his attendant to set on the table some food similar to what I had partaken of the day before, and desired me to take my breakfast. On my asking him if he would not sit down and join me, he replied by a very curt negative and a gesture of what I thought contempt. So I concluded either that he had breakfasted, that he was a vegetarian, or that he, had some religious objections to eat with a person who might not be of the same creed as himself.

While I was engaged in despatching, with infinite relish, the very succulent viands placed before me, commenting on their excellence in a manner which I thought would be pleasing to my entertainer, but which only seemed to excite his disgust; he, with his countenance averted, in order, as I supposed, to avoid looking at me eating, told me that his attendant would presently conduct me to the house of the Instructor, under whose care I should be placed. This person, he informed me, would give me all the information I desired respecting the manners and customs of the people I had come among, and endeavour to make me fit for mingling with the society of the country, which, he added, I was evidently far from being at present.

I was rather nettled at this at first, and felt disposed to tell him that I was accustomed to good society in my own country and had no fear but that I should be