Afa Negus Meshisha's and Bedjerand Comfou's lots happened to be at the foot of the mountain; they themselves undertook the cultivation, occasionally visited their fields, and sent once or twice a week all their male and female servants to pull out the weeds under the superintendence of their wives.
They thought in such case that "discretion was the better part of valour," especially as they felt no alarm as to the safety of the ship, having perfect confidence that their father would look after them if there was any danger; but Mrs Major Negus, on the contrary, was firmly convinced that the Nancy Bell was going to the bottom.
Both the Khedive and the British Government wished a termination to be put to the troubles that had for some time prevailed in the border lands of Abyssinia and the Eastern Soudan, and it was hoped that Gordon's reputation and energy would facilitate the removal of all difficulties with King John, who, after the death of Theodore, had succeeded in obtaining the coveted title of "Negus."
I did so, and then stooped down to kiss Miss Matty, and see if she really were chilled. She caught at my hand, and gave it a hard squeeze but unconsciously, I think for in a minute or two she spoke to us quite in her usual voice, and smiled our uneasiness away, although she patiently submitted to the prescriptions we enforced of a warm bed and a glass of weak negus.
We all know how the ghost of mortar passes into our sandwich, stirs our negus, goes up to bed with us, ascends the pale bedroom chimney, and prevents the smoke from following.
In a few minutes Philip was sitting wrapped up in a sheet and blanket before the almost red-hot stove of the log-hut, y-clept an hotel, while Mr Job Judson was administering a stiffer tumbler of rum-and-water than Philip had ever before tasted, probably, though it appeared to him no stronger than weak negus.
'Well, sir, he returned, in his slow way, 'it's more than I am accustomed to; but I can't deny myself the pleasure of your conversation. It seems but yesterday that I had the honour of attending you in the measles. You came through them charmingly, sir! I acknowledged this compliment, and ordered the negus, which was soon produced. 'Quite an uncommon dissipation! said Mr.
"Rather hard upon the poor dear children," laughingly remarked a lady, who overheard him: "why, surely you wouldn't deny them, their share of the enjoyment of God's good creatures?" "God's good creatures, madam! Are the wine and negus God's good creatures?"
Mr Meldrum, knowing the condition of matters between the lovers, did not have the heart to separate the two, even temporarily; and so Frank had the supreme and unexpected felicity of accompanying Kate in the first trip the jolly-boat took across the bay to Betsy Cove Mrs Major Negus and Maurice, Mr Meldrum and Florry, Mr Adams and Captain Dinks, of course, besides six of the seamen, being their fellow-passengers.
There were more dances, and there were forfeits, and more dances, and there was cake, and there was negus, and there was a great piece of Cold Roast, and there was a great piece of Cold Boiled, and there were mince-pies, and plenty of beer. But the great effect of the evening came after the Roast and Boiled, when the fiddler struck up "Sir Roger de Coverley."