o immense fires in the hall. I had left it early in the afternoon, before the lamps were lit, tired of being indoors; the change was most agreeable from the damp, misty atmosphere without.
I betook myself to the smoking-room, and, being a lover of the beverage, ordered tea, with the addition of buttered toast. Delighted with the big glowing fire in the room, and believing myself to be alone, I threw myself back luxuriously into a big, saddle-bag chair.
As it ran back with the impetus of my descent into it, it jammed into one behind, and from this immediately arose a very indignant face which looked into mine as I turned round. It was a dark, foreign-looking face, the red face of a man who wore a black moustache and a little imperial, and whose bloodshot brown eyes simply glared through a pair of gold-rimmed pince-nez. There was something very strange about these eyes.
"I really beg your pardon," I said. "I didn't know you were there!"
The fierce expression of the bloodshot