The Club of Queer Trades
"Who on earth are you?" he gasped, trembling violently.
"I am Major Brown," said that individual, who was always cool in the hour of action.
The old man gaped helplessly like some monstrous fish. At last he stammered wildly, "Come down--come down here!"
"At your service," said the Major, and alighted at a bound on the grass beside him, without disarranging his silk hat.
The old man turned his broad back and set off at a sort of waddling run towards the house, followed with swift steps by the Major. His guide led him through the back passages of a gloomy, but gorgeously appointed house, until they reached the door of the front room. Then the old man turned with a face of apoplectic terror dimly showing in the twilight.
"For heaven's sake," he said, "don't mention jackals."
Then he threw open the door, releasing a burst of red lamplight, and ran downstairs with a clatter.
The Major stepped into a rich, glowing room, full of red copper, and peacock