, at the moment when the baron first perceived him, comfortably seated upon the top of the large tobacco-jar on the table, nursing his left leg.
The baron's somewhat abrupt inquiry did not appear to irritate him; on the contrary, he seemed rather amused than otherwise.
"You don't ask prettily, old gentleman," he replied; "but I don't mind telling you, for all that. I'm King Christmas."
"Eh?" said the baron.
"Ah!" said the goblin. Of course, you have guessed he was a goblin?
"And pray what's your business here?" said the baron.
"Don't be crusty with a fellow," replied the goblin. "I merely looked in to wish you the compliments of the season. Talking of crust, by the way, what sort of a tap is it you're drinking?" So saying, he took up a flask of the baron's very best and poured out about half a glass. Having held the glass first on one side and then on the other, winked at it twice, sniffed it, and gone through the remainder of the pantomime in which connoisseurs indul