“I had no idea that so many things were necessary to endorse a patent of nobility,” said Yeovil. “If there should be any miscarriage in the bestowal of the honour at least Pitherby will have absolved himself from any charge of contributory negligence.”
“Shall we say Wednesday, here, one o’clock, lunch first, and go down and look at the horse afterwards?” said Herlton, returning to the matter in hand.
Yeovil hesitated, then he nodded his head.
“There is no harm in going to look at the animal,” he said.
Mrs. Kerrick sat at a little teak-wood table in the verandah of a low-pitched teak-built house that stood on the steep slope of a brown hillside. Her youngest child, with the grave natural dignity of nine-year old girlhood, maintained a correct but observant silence, looking carefully yet unobtrusively after the wants of the one guest, and checking from time to time the incursions of ubiquitous ants that were obstinately disposed to treat the table-cloth as a foraging ground. The wayfaring visitor, who was experiencing a British blend of Eastern hospitality, was a French naturalist, travelling thus far afield in quest of feathered specimens to enrich the aviaries of a bird-collecting Balkan King. On the previous evening, while shrugging his shoulders and unloosing his vocabulary over the meagre accommodation afforded by the native rest-house, he had been enchanted by receiving an invitation to transfer his quarters to the house on the hillside, where he found not only a pleasant-voiced hostess and some drinkable wine, but three brown-skinned English youngsters who were able to give him a mass of intelligent first-hand information about the bird life of the region. And now, at the early morning breakfast, ere yet the sun was showing over the rim of the brown-baked hills, he was learning something of the life of the little community he had chanced