To a dislike for real snakes had been added a maturer shrinking from those which existed only in his imagination. He could still recall his emotions on the occasion, scarcely three months before, when he had seen a long, green serpent which a majority of his contemporaries had assured him wasn't there. Squiffy read on:
"I'm going to cut it out!" "Great scheme!" "You don't think," asked Squiffy, with a touch of hopefulness, "that it could have been a real snake?" "Never heard of the management supplying them." "I thought it went under the bed." "Well, take a look." Squiffy shuddered. "Not me! I say, old top, you know, I simply can't sleep in this room now.
His book was The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and the particular story, which he selected for perusal was the one entitled, "The Speckled Band." He was not a great reader, but, when he read, he liked something with a bit of zip to it. Squiffy became absorbed. He had read the story before, but a long time back, and its complications were fresh to him.
"If I didn't say as much to Brooker," responds Captain Bingo, "I shut him up like a box by referrin' politely to glass houses, knowin' Brooker had been squiffy himself one night on guard, and by remindin' him that men who talk scandal of their superior officers under circumstances like the present are liable to be Court-Martialled and given beans.
Over the sill, with a graceful, leisurely movement, a green snake was crawling. As it crawled, it raised its head and peered from side to side, like a shortsighted man looking for his spectacles. It hesitated a moment on the edge of the sill, then wriggled to the floor and began to cross the room. Squiffy stared on.
The times I've had to let him think I was out all night, simply too squiffy to get home when in reality I was working for England " "And you really, truly mean it, Louis? Louis, it would break my heart right in two if I thought you were lying now." "I swear it, on my love for you. I can see, now, that I ought to have told the Pater all about it.
Then, with a sudden determination, he went into the bathroom. There was a crash of glass and a gurgling sound. Half an hour later the telephone in Archie's room rang. "I say, Archie, old top," said the voice of Squiffy. "Halloa, old bean! Is that you?" "I say, could you pop down here for a second? I'm rather upset." "Absolutely! Which room?" "Four-forty-one."
"I didn't get to bed till three and I don't know how I got there then. By George, I was squiffy." At last Philip asked desperately: "How does one get to know people in London?" Watson looked at him with surprise and with a slightly contemptuous amusement. "Oh, I don't know, one just knows them. If you go to dances you soon get to know as many people as you can do with."
I was wondering if you could give me a doss somewhere in yours." "Rather! I'm in five-forty-one. Just above. Trot along up. Here's the key. I'll tidy up a bit here, and join you in a minute." Squiffy put on a dressing-gown and disappeared. Archie looked under the bed. From the trousers the head of Peter popped up with its usual expression of amiable enquiry.
'Shouldn't wonder if he thought we got tight." "I never got squiffy but once that was in the holidays," said Stalky, reflectively; "an' it made me horrid sick. 'Pon my sacred Sam, though, it's enough to drive a man to drink, havin' an animal like Hoof for house-master."