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'"Roast beef, roast pork, mutton pie, or hash?" Ah, I thought so! When we last met-for we have met three or four times, if I am not mistaken--we were more familiar with those words than good Mrs Barclay's hospitable inquiry. Have you been much around since we sat at that boarding-house mahogany in New York?' The beautiful head was raised, the brilliant face was turned to the speaker, the dark eyes were fixed upon his face, and the girl answered, with good-humoured ease,-- 'Yes, I have travelled a good deal since we met at New York last year.' 'Ah, so have I!' said the thin, dark, restless young man opposite her, who had spoken first. The company had been only a few minutes seated at the Sunday dinner of Mrs Barclay's private hotel, situate in Peter's Row, hard by the Cathedral of St Paul's, London. 'I have been,' continued the lank, dark-faced man, speaking with assurance and rapidity, 'all over the States, all over Canada, in Spain and Algiers, since. I am going to India and China; and then I am going--' He paused. She smiled. 'Where?' 'Into a gas retort, to get cremated.' 'How horrible!' cried white-haired Mrs Barclay, from the head of the table. 'How dreadful!' cried the other ladies, four in number. The girl laughed. 'Alive?' she asked. 'Alive, of course! There is no fun in going anywhere when one is dead.' 'Do you speak from experience?' she asked. 'No--observation. Look at all the mutton-headed, numskull, leaden-blooded, dead dolts you find crawling through life everywhere you go, and particularly in England; you don't mean to say they have any fun, do you?' The girl laughed again, a low soft laugh, that fell upon the ear like a message of comfort. 'Pray, sir,' said a solid-looking man at the foot of the table, 'is your knowledge of England so large that you are able to describe the character of the people in such flattering terms?' 'I have been about a good deal in England; altogether a couple of years. But, my dear sir, you are not to judge by time alone; you must take into account the capacity of the observer as well. Now I am very quick at observing.' 'So I perceive,' said the other, at which there was a faint titter. The dark man did not heed the interruption, beyond smiling a good-humoured welcome to the slight repartee, and went on. 'I am a cosmopolite.

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