“Not at all,” was the grave reply.
“Apropos,” continued Captain Granville, who filled the president’s chair—“we ought to have toasted your brother’s gallant exploit—Gentlemen, fill your glasses—all full?— Then I will give you the health of Lieutenant Grantham of the squadron.”
The toast was responded to by all but Captain Molineux— His glass had been filled and raised, but its contents remained untasted.
The omission was too marked not to be noticed by more than one of the party, Henry Grantham, whose eye had been fixed upon Captain Molineux at the time, of course detected the slight—He sat for some minutes conversing with an unusual and evidently forced animation, then, excusing his early departure under the plea of an engagement with his brother, rose and quitted the mess room.
“What ha’ ye doon wi’ the oogly loot ye took chairge of, De Courcy?” inquired Captain Cranstoun, interrupting the short and meaning pause which had succeeded to Grantham’s departure.
“Why, I calculate Captain,” returned the lively aid-de-camp, imitating the nasal drawl and language which had called up so much mirth, even in presence of the General— “I calculate as how I have introduced Ensign Paul, Emilius, Theophilus, Arnoldi, of the United States Michigan Militia, into pretty considerable snug quarters—I have billeted him at the inn, in which he had scarcely set foot, when his first demand was for a glass of “gin sling,” wherewith to moisten his partick’lar damn’d hot, baked clay.”
“What a vulgar and uncouth animal,” observed St. Clair, a Captain of Engineers—“I am not at all surprised at Major Montgomerie’s disinclination to acknowledge him as a personal acquaintance.”
“It is to be hoped,” said De Courcy, “we shall not encounter many such during the approaching struggle, for, since we have been driven into this war, it will be a satisfaction to find ourselves opposed to an enemy rather more chivalrous than this specimen seems to promise.”
“Nay, nay, De Courcy,” remarked Captain Granville, “you must not judge of the American officers of the line by the standard of their backwoodsmen; as, for example, Major Montgomerie and the person just alluded to. Last winter,” he continued, “there was a continued interchange of hospitality between the two posts, and, had you been here to participate in them, you would have admitted that, among the officers of Detroit, there were many very superior men indeed.”
“Pleasant ball that last they gave,” said Lieutenant Villiers with a malicious laugh, and fixing his eyes on the Captain of Grenadiers.
“The deevil tak’ the ball,” impatiently retorted Cranstoun, who did not seem to relish the allusion; “doont talk aboot it noo, mon.”
“What was it, Villiers? do pray tell us. Something good, I am sure from Cranstoun’s manner,” eagerly asked the aid-de-camp, his curiosity excited by the general titter that followed the remark.