y until we commenced to move forward in files.
"You live here, don't you?" he said as soon as Maria (not black) had served us with soup, and when I assented his next remark made me hopeful.
"And you know all the people round here, I suppose?"
"Nearly everyone I should think within five miles of the village."
"I've been here a fortnight and this is the first time I have been out--not out-of-doors, of course--I mean meeting people."
At that moment my neighbour upon the left commenced a bombardment which interrupted us but, when a pause came at last, the wee lieutenant broke it in a low and solemn voice.
"I suppose you couldn't tell me why a deaf man can't tickle nine children?"
So suddenly had matters come to a head that I sat staring, and the wee lieutenant, misunderstanding my interest, grew red.
"I'm not mad, really and truly, but that thing is positively getting on my brain. I'm not very keen on riddles and so forth, but I happened to hear someone ask
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