Page:In the Roar of the Sea.djvu/51

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43
IN THE ROAR OF THE SEA.

have you seen where I put the key? Bless my soul! where did I have it last? Never mind; I will break open the caddy."

"Please, Mr. Menaida, do not do that for us. We can very well wait till the key is found."

"Oh! I don't know when that will be. I shall have forgotten about it if I do not find the key at once, or break open the caddy. But, if you prefer it, I have some cherry-brandy, or I would give you some milk-punch."

"No—no, indeed, Mr. Menaida."

"But Jamie—I am sure he looks tired. A little cherry-brandy to draw the threads in him together. And suffer me, though not a doctor, to recommend it to you. Bless my soul! my fingers are all over arsenical soap. If I don't have some cherry-brandy myself I shall have the arsenic get into my system. I hope you have no cuts or scratches on your hand. I forgot the arsenic when I shook hands with you. Now, look here, Jump, bring in the saffron cake, and I will cut them each a good hunch. It will do you good, on my word it will. I have not spared either figs or saffron, and then—I will help you, as I love you. Come and see my birds. That is a cormorant—a splendid fellow—looks as if run out of metal, all his plumage, you know, and in the attitude as if swallowing a fish. Do you see?—the morsel is going down his throat. And—how much luggage have you! Jump! show the young lady where she can put away her gowns and all that sort of thing. Oh, not come yet? All right—a lady and her dresses are not long parted. They will be here soon. Now, then. What will you have?—some cold beef—and cider? Upon my soul!—you must excuse me. I was just wiring that kittiwake. Excuse me—I shall be ready in a moment. In the meantime there are books—Rollin's 'Ancient History,' a very reliable book. No—upon my word, my mind is distracted. I cannot get that kittiwake right without a glass of port. I have some good port. Oliver guarantees it—from Portugal, you know. He is there—first-rate business, and will make his fortune, which is more than his father ever did."

Mr. Menaida went to a closet, and produced a bottle.

"Come here, Jamie. I know what is good for you."

"No—please, Mr. Menaida, do not. He has not