AND 16 OTHER STORIES - online book

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them. He wore a dim glass breastpin, which he called a " morphylitic diamond "—-whatever that may mean — and said only two of them had ever been found —-the Emperor of China had the other one.
Afterward, in London, it was a pleasure to me to see this fantastic vagabond come marching into the lobby of the hotel in his grand-ducal way, for he always had some new imaginary grandeur to develop — there was nothing stale about him but his clothes. If he ad­dressed me when strangers were about, he always raised his voice a little and called me " Sir Richard," or " General," or " Your Lordship "—and when people began to stare and look deferential, he would fall to in­quiring in a casual way why I disappointed the Duke of Argyll the night before; and then remind me of our engagement at the Duke of Westminster's for the fol­lowing day. I think that for the time being these things were realities to him. He once came and invited me to go with him and spend the evening with the Earl of Warwick at his town house. I said I had received no formal invitation. He said that that was of no con­sequence, the Earl had no formalities for him or his friends. I asked if I could go just as I was. He said no, that would hardly do; evening dress was requisite at night in any gentleman's house. He said he would wait while I dressed, and then we would go to his apartments and I could take a bottle of champagne and a cigar while he dressed. I was very willing to see how this enterprise would turn out, so I dressed, and we started to his lodgings. He said if I didn't mind we would walk. So we tramped some four miles through the mud and fog, and finally found his u apartments " ; they consisted of a single room over a barber's shop in a back street. Two chairs, a small table, an ancient valise, a wash-basin and pitcher (both on the floor in a corner), an unmade bed, a fragment