Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/274

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reason in our midst—all jolly and diverting, but nothing approaching a story short or long.

My own and Herbert’s efforts to draw him out into something sustained brought only—“Don’t know any yarns” and “Never had anything happen to me”—followed at last by—“The only time I was ever in a tight place was when I was sketching in Perugia; then I jumped through the window and took most of the sash with me.”

“Let’s have it!” we all cried in one breath. No one was so lively and entertaining once we got him started.

“That’s all there is to it. They had locked the door on me—three of them—and when the back of the chair gave out—I was swinging it around my head—I made a break for out-of-doors.”

“Oh!—go on—go on, Louis!” came the chorus.

“No, I’d rather listen to you men. I haven’t been tattooed in the South Seas, nor half murdered rounding Cape Horn. I’m just a plain painter, and my experience is limited, and my three Perugian villains were just three dirty Italians, one of whom was the landlord who had charged me five prices for my meal, and