Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/51

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Brierley nodded assent, loosened his under coat of corduroy, searched in an inside pocket for a pipe, and drew his chair nearer, his knees to the blaze.

“I don’t blame them,” he shivered; “mighty sensible bait-diggers. The only two fools on the beach were Peter and I; we’ve been on a sand spit for five hours in a hole I dug at daylight, and it was all we could do to keep each other warm—wasn’t it, old boy?” (Peter, coiled up at his feet, cocked an ear in confirmation.) “Where’s Marc, Le Blanc, and the others—upstairs?”

“Not yet,” replied Herbert. “Marc expects to turn up, so he wired High-Muck, but I’ll believe it when he gets here. Another case of Romeo and Juliet, so Louis says. Le Blanc promises to turn up after dinner. Louis, you are nearest—get a fresh glass and move that decanter this way,—Brierley is as cold as a frog.”

“No—stay where you are, Louis,” cried the hunter. “I’ll wait until I get something to eat—hot soup is what I want, not cognac. I say, High-Muck, when are we going to have dinner? I’m concave from my chin to my waistband; haven’t had a crumb since I tumbled out of bed this morning in the pitch dark.”