The Hill of Humour
the stars? Can you see the humour of the sunsets?' How often I have laughed myself to sleep over a violet sunset."
"Quite so," said Mr. Barker, with an intelligent embarrassment.
"Let me tell you another story. How often it happens that the M.P.'s for Essex are less punctual than one would suppose. The least punctual Essex M.P., perhaps, was James Wilson, who said, in the very act of plucking a poppy—"
Lambert suddenly faced round and struck his stick into the ground in a defiant attitude. "Auberon," he said, "chuck it. I won't stand it. It's all bosh."
Both men stared at him, for there was something very explosive about the words, as if they had been corked up painfully for a long time.
"You have," began Quin, "no—"
"I don't care a curse," said Lambert, violently, "whether I have 'a delicate sense of humour' or not. I won't stand it. It's all a confounded fraud. There's no joke in those infernal tales at all. You know there isn't as well as I do."
"Well," replied Quin, slowly, "it is true that I, with my rather gradual mental processes, did