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III
WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO A
CERTAIN COLONY OF PENGUINS

LEMOIS, as was his custom, came in with the coffee. He serves it himself, and always with the same little ceremony, which, while apparently unimportant, marks that indefinable, mysterious line which he and his ancestry—innkeepers before him—have invariably maintained between those who wait and those who are waited upon. First, a small spider-legged mahogany table is wheeled up between the circle and the fire, on which Leà places a silver coffee-pot of Mignon’s best; then some tiny cups and saucers, and a sugar-dish of odd design—they said it belonged to Marie Antoinette—is laid beside them. Thereupon Lemois gravely seats himself and the rite begins, he talking all the time—one of us and yet aloof—much as would a neighbor across a fence who makes himself agreeable but who has not been given the run of your house.

To the group’s delight, however, he was as

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