a rent in a cloud and st patricks eve

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER II. THE PASSENGERS ON THE STEAMBOAT. JHE table d'hote room was empty as the two Englishmen entered it at supper-time, and they took their places, moodily enough, at one end of a table laid for nigh thirty guests. " All gone to Lah- nech, Franz? "asked Calvert of the waiter. " Yes, Sir, but they'll be sorry for it, for there's thunder in the air, and we are sure to have a deluge before nightfall" " And the new arrivals, are they gone too ? " " No, Sir. They are up stairs. The old lady would seem to have forgotterj a box, or a desk, on board the steamer, and she has been in such a state about it that she couldn't think of supping ; and the young ones appear to sympathise in her anxieties, for they, too, said, ' Oh, we can't think of eating just now.'" " But of course, she needn't fuss herself. It will be detained at Mayence, and given up to her when she demands it." A very expressive shrug of the shoulders was the only answer Franz made, and Calvert added, " You don't quite agree with me, perhaps ? " " It is an almost daily event, the loss of luggage on those Rhine steamers ; so much so, that one is tempted to believe that stealing luggage is a regular livelihood here." Just at this moment the Englishwoman in question entered the room, and in French of a very home manufacture asked the waiter how she could manage, by means of the telegraph, to reclaim her missing property. A most involved and intricate game of cross purposes ensued ; for the waiter's knowledge of French was scarcely more extensive, and embarrassed, besides, by some specialities in accent, so that though she questioned and he replied, the discussion gave little hope of an intelligible solution. " May I venture to offer my services, Madam ? " said Calvert, rising and bowing pol...
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