duced conviviality. We drank farewell to civilization
with an air of finality, while Wilmot performed on an
upright piano, the tone of which was meretriciously
agreeable, like the flavour of the champagne. He
played, mostly by ear, familiar passages from Tosca
and Boheme^ musical comedy extracts, and sentimen-
tal ballads. We all became confidential and almost
emotional. I felt that at last I was really getting on
good terms with Leake; every glass of wine made us
dislike one another a little less. Thus the proceedings
continued until after midnight, while Wilmot became
more and more attached to a certain popular song.
We sang the chorus over and over again:
Moon, moori) see-reen-ly shy-ning,
Don't go home too soo-oon;
You've such—charm about you
That we—can't get—on with-outyou.
Da-da-da> de-dum . . . etc.
The atmosphere of the room had become tropical, for
we had all been smoking like chimneys. But Wilmot
couldn't tear himself away from that piano, and while
he caressed the keys with lingering affection, the wine-
merchant's wife received I don't know how many
francs and we all wrote our names in her album.
From the number of shaky signatures in it I judged
that she must have made a handsome profit out of
Out in the white moonlight, Leake and I meandered
along an empty street, accompanied by our tipsy
shadows. At the door of my billet we shook hands
"sholemnly", and I assured him that he could always
rely on me to "blurry well do my damndest for him".
He vanished heavily, and I spent several minutes
prodding at the key-hole of the greengrocer's shop*