The soup came in. He sipped it, bending forward as far as he could, his napkin tucked in over his shirt-front like a bib. He got the bouquet of that sherry to a T--his sense of smell was very keen to- night; rare old stuff it was--more than a year since he had tasted it--but no one drank sherry nowadays, hadn't the constitution for it! The fish came up, and went down; and with the sweetbread he took his second glass of champagne. Always the best, that second glass--the stomach well warmed, and the palate not yet dulled. Umm! So that fellow thought he had him beaten, did he? And he said suddenly:
"The fur coat in the wardrobe, I've no use for it. You can take it away to-night."
With tempered gratitude the valet answered:
"Thank you, sir; much obliged, I'm sure." So the old buffer had found out there was moth in it!
"No, sir; not at all, sir--that is, no more than reason."
"Afraid I have. Very sorry--can't help it. You'll find that, when you get like me."
"Yes, sir; I've always admired your pluck, sir.
"Um! Very good of you to say so."