The Princess Elopes (Chapter VII, page 1 of 11)


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"The one fault I have to find with European life is the poor quality of
tobacco used."

It was eight o'clock, Thursday night, the night of the dinner at
Müller's. I was dressing when Max entered, with a miserable cheroot
between his teeth.

"They say," he went on, "that in Russia they drink the finest tea in
the world, simply because it is brought overland and not by sea.
Unfortunately, tobacco--we Americans recognize no leaf as tobacco
unless it comes from Cuba--has to cross the sea, and is, in some
unaccountable manner, weakened in the transit. There are worse cigars
in Germany than in France, and I wouldn't have believed it possible, if
I had not gone to the trouble of proving it. Fine country! For a week
I've been trying to smoke the German quality of the weed, as a
preventive, but I see I must give it up on account of my throat. My
boy, I have news for you,"--tossing the cheroot into the grate.

"Fire away," said I, struggling with a collar.

"I have a box of Havanas over at the custom house that I forgot to bail
out."

"No!" said I joyfully. A Havana, and one of Scharfenstein's!

"I've an idea that they would go well with the dinner. So, if you
don't mind, I'll trot over and get 'em."

"Be sure and get around to Müller, at half-past eight, then," said I.

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