Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/130

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


“Now there’s a specimen white man for you! To have expressed my disgust of his methods in the way I would have liked to do—and I can be pretty ugly at times—would, under the circumstances, have been impossible, although there was no question in my mind of his cruelty nor of his sublime selfishness. The world was his oyster and he opened it at his leisure. He knew as well as I did what would become of the women when he was through with them—that they would either be sold into slavery or eaten—and he knew, too, how many of those poor devils of carriers would go to their death, for the mortality among them is fearful—and yet none of it ever made the slightest impression on him. Now I could excuse that sort of thing in Tippoo Tib, whom I knew very well. He was a slave-trader and the most cruel ruffian that was ever let loose on the natives; but this man was an Anglo-Saxon, a graduate of a university, speaking French and German fluently, with a good mother, and sisters, and friends; a man whom you could no doubt find to-night perfectly dressed and heartily welcomed in a London club, or in the foyer of some theatre in Paris, for his father has since died and he has come into his property. And