As for you, sir, who also laugh, let some man come and strike you in the face whilst you are enjoying that marvellous-looking dish, and we shall soon see how much of the savage there is in you. There, I might go on for ever, but what is the good? Civilization is only savagery silver-gilt. A vainglory is it, and like a northern light, comes but to fade and leave the sky more dark.

Beside it lay a most marvellous-looking bow, whose exaggerated curvature seemed to indicate rather that it was intended for shooting arrows from than for bringing tone out of violin strings. With solemn carefulness the Baron took the instrument out of its case and handed it to my master, who received it with equal solemnity.

Francis staggered back and gripped at the mantelpiece. His eyes were filled with horror. Very slowly, and with the air of one engaged upon some interesting task, Oliver Hilditch had removed the blood-stained sheath of cotton wool from around the thin blade of a marvellous-looking stiletto, on which was also a long stain of encrusted blood.

What strange ideas were those coming into his head? Why should she think of twisting her hair round a man's throat? It must be the port mounting to his brain, he decided he was not given to speculating in this way about women. What would she eat next? And why did it interest him what she ate or did not eat? The maitre d'hotel again appeared with a dish of marvellous-looking nectarines.