"How-dy?" he said.
I confess that at the moment I was covered with confusion. I who was a teacher of English, and flattered myself that I wrote and spoke it fluently did not understand. Immediately, however, it flashed across my mind that the word was a species of salutation. (Which I finally discovered to be the case.) I bowed again and thanked him, hazarding the reply that my health was excellent, and an inquiry as to the state of Madame's. He rubbed his hands still more nervously, and answered me in the slow and deliberate mariner I had observed at the Louvre.
"Thank ye," he said, "she's doin' tol'able well, is mother--as well as common. And she's a-en-joyin' herself, too. I wish we was all"--
But there he checked himself and glanced hastily about him.
Then he began again:--
"Esmeraldy," he said,--"Esmeraldy thinks a heap on you. She takes a sight of