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What authentically happened was that we had a hell
of a good lunch and Tom Philipson told some devilish
good stories, and The Mister was enchanted, and
Kegworthy enjoyed every minute of it, and both of
them imbibed large quantities of Madeira, Moselle,
port wine and brandy, and became very red in the
face in consequence. This made me feel uneasy,
especially as they seemed quite likely to sit there all
the afternoon; the fact remained that at half-past
three Kegworthy was lighting his second large cigar
and Tom Philipson was pressing him to try some
remarkable old Jamaica rum, though neither he nor
the now semi-intoxicated Mister needed any e "press-
ing" at all. I felt a bit hazy in the head myself,

Our host, however, was a man who knew how to
handle an inconclusive situation. His manner stiffened
perceptibly when Kegworthy showed signs of becom-
ing argumentative about Irish politics and also ad-
dressed him as "old bean". Daylight was diminishing
through the tall windows and Tom Philipson strolled
across to observe that the bad weather had abated,
adding that our drive back to Limerick was a long
one. This hint would have been lost on my com-
panions, so I clinched it by asking for our motor. In
the entrance hall, which bristled with the horned
heads of sporting trophies, The Mister gazed won-
deringly around him while he was being invested with
his overcoat. "Mother of God, it must have been a
grand spectacle, Tom, when you were pursuing the
wild antelope across the prairie with your gun," he
remarked, putting up a gloved hand to stroke the
nose of a colossal elk. We then said grateful good-
byes to the elk's owner, and our homeward journey
was begun.

I say "begun", because it wasn't merely a matter of