I had no fear of going to bed hungry that day; those times were over, God be praised! That was a thing of the past, an evil dream. Henceforth, Excelsior!
But, in the meanwhile, the green blanket was a trouble to me. Neither could I well make myself conspicuous by carrying such a thing about right under people's eyes. What would anyone think of me? And as I went on I tried to think of a place where I could have it kept till later on. It occurred to me that I might go into Semb's and get it wrapped up in paper; not only would it look better, but I need no longer be ashamed of carrying it.
I entered the shop, and stated my errand to one of the shop boys.
He looked first at the blanket, then at me. It struck me that he shrugged his shoulders to himself a little contemptuously as he took it; this annoyed me.
"Young man," I cried, "do be a little careful! There are two costly glass vases in that; the parcel has to go to Smyrna."
This had a famous effect. The fellow apologised with every movement he made for not having guessed that there was something out of the common in this blanket. When he had