The Napoleon of Notting Hill
in London. Will you do me and my friends, with whom you have held some conversation, the honour of lunching with us at the adjoining restaurant?"
The man in the green uniform had turned a fiery colour of pleasure at the mere sound of his own language, and he accepted the invitation with that profusion of bows which so often shows, in the case of the Southern races, the falsehood of the notion that ceremony has nothing to do with feeling.
"Señor," he said, "your language is my own; but all my love for my people shall not lead me to deny to yours the possession of so chivalrous an entertainer. Let me say that the tongue is Spanish but the heart English." And he passed with the rest into Cicconani's.
"Now, perhaps," said Barker, over the fish and sherry, intensely polite, but burning with curiosity, "perhaps it would be rude of me to ask why you did that?"
"Did what, Señor?" asked the guest, who spoke English quite well, though in a manner indefinably American.
"Well," said the Englishman, in some confusion, "I mean tore a strip off a hoarding and . . . er . . . cut yourself . . . and . . ."
"To tell you that, Señor," answered the other,