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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

facilities was a patent spirit-lamp for boiling the
water; and this lamp was apt to misbehave itself
and produce an unpleasing smell. Had we been
alone I should have been willing enough to set it
alight, and the whole business would have been quite
companionable and cosy. But now, with those im-
peccably dressed people in their corners, I felt
nothing except discomfort and disapproval when niy
aunt became busy with her basket. I totally dis-
sociated myself from her preparations, while she
muddled about with the lamp, which for some time
refused to function and then flared up with sudden
explosive ardour.

"I was quite afraid it was going to be tiresome/3
she remarked, screening it with the Pall Mall Gazette
and looking across at me with a srnile. But the
expected reponse was absent. I glowered contemp-
tuously at the apparatus which she had placed on the
floor. She then began measuring out the tea. In the
meantime I was conscious that our fellow-travellers
were exchanging scandalized glances, and their
haughtiness intensified itself with every phase of the
capricious conduct of the lamp,

"There now! It's gone out again!" exclaimed
Aunt Evelyn, who had become slightly flustered,
since she had observed that she was getting herself
into bad odour with the other passengers.

By dint of striking several more matches and much
twiddling of the wick she got the conflagration well
under way again, although she had some difficulty
in shielding it against a dangerous draught caused by
the gentleman, who had let down his window with
expostulating asperity.

As for me, I considered that Aunt Evelyn was
making a regular exhibition of herself, and when her