The Place of Honeymoons (Chapter 9, page 2 of 10)


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Chapter 9

He saw it coming: before long he and that Italian would be at each other's
throats.

"Come in!" he called, in response to a sudden thunder on the door.

The door opened and a short, energetic old man, purple-visaged and
hawk-eyed, came in. "Why the devil don't you join the Trappist monks,
Abbott? If I wasn't tough I should have died of apoplexy on the second
landing."

"Good morning, Colonel!" Abbott laughed and rolled out the patent rocker
for his guest. "What's on your mind this morning? I can give you one
without ice."

"I'll take it neat, my boy. I'm not thirsty, I'm faint. These Italian
architects; they call three ladders flights of stairs! ... Ha! That's
Irish whisky, and jolly fine. Want you to come over and take tea this
afternoon. I'm going up presently to see the Harrigans. Thought I'd go
around and do the thing informally. Taken a fancy to the old chap. He's a
little bit of all right. I'm no older than he is, but look at the
difference! Whisky and soda, that's the racket. Not by the tubful; just an
ordinary half dozen a day, and a dem climate thrown in."

"Difference in training."

"Rot! It's the sized hat a man wears. I'd give fifty guineas to see the
old fellow in action. But, I say; recall the argument we had before you
went to Paris?"

"Yes."

"Well, I win. Saw him bang across the street this morning."

Abbott muttered something.

"What was that?"

"Nothing."

"Sounded like 'dem it' to me."

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