Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/34

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have them drawn on the blackboard! It is because you do not see them as they are. You shut your eyes and ears to the real things of life; it is because you cannot understand that it is the soul of the chair that laughs and weeps. Monsieur Herbert will not think it funny. He understands these queer heads—and, let me tell you, they understand him. I have often caught them nodding and winking at each other when he says something that pleases them. He has himself seen things much more remarkable. That is the reason why he is the only one of all who enters this room worthy to sit in it.”

“You like Herbert, then?” I interrupted, knowing just what he would say.

“How absurd, my dear friend! You like a filet, and a gown on a woman—but you don’t like a man. You love him—when he is a man!—and Monsieur Herbert is all that. It is the English in him which counts. Since he was fourteen years of age he has been roaming around the world doing everything a man could to make his bread—and he a gentleman born, with his father’s house to go home to if he pleased. Yet he has been farm-hand, acrobat, hostler, sailor before the mast, newspaper reporter, next four years in Africa among