ith his philippic monologue, extravagant in diction and gesture, but the core of it--why it was serene, grotesquely serene! "I am a success, I repeat: don't you believe me?" He lowered a purple-veined eyelid in a fat, Falstaffian leer.
"Take a good look at these rooms of mine-- best rooms in the Semiramis, in Calcutta, in India, hang it all--in the whole plurry empire!" He pointed at the gorgeous furniture and the silk hangings, "Viceroys by the score have occupied them--and the Prince of Wales--and four assorted Russian grand dukes--and three bloated Yankee plutocrats. And our little supper--look at the bottles and dishes--how much do you think it'll cost? I tell you--five hundred rupees-- without the tip! And," he laughed, "I haven't even got enough of the ready to tip the black-lacquered Eurasian majordomo who uncorked our sherry and, doubtless, swiped the first glass."
I made an instinctive gesture toward my pocket-book, but he stopped me with another laugh. "Don't make a silly ass of yourse