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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 43

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of primitive shops, like fragments of mediasval Italy ; and above, protruded on quaint supports over the road, were sleepy Oriental windows, blinded with wooden lattice-work. Presently my guide plunged into one of the arched interiors, which seemed a sort of cross between a grocer's shop and a drinking-bar ; and having spoken a word or two to a woman hidden in the background, he led me out into a wide, echoing passage and up a flight of bare stone stairs at the end of it. These brought us to a stone-paved, capacious land-ing, in the middle of which stood a table, with a white cloth and some plates on it. Here my guide begged me to sit down and wait, and engaged, as he hurried off, that some breakfast should at once be sent to me. It came duly, brought by a sallow Greek ; and whilst I was finishing it my guide again showed himself; and coining up to me with an air of en-gaging apology, put into my hand a packet of dirty letters. After a moment's puzzled inspection I realised what these were. They were testimonials to his character, from stewards of yachts and from men-of-war's officers, for whom, I gathered, he had often acted as interpreter. He also told me a fact which gave me more interest in him—that he had, at one time of his life, been servant to Colonel Valentine Baker. I asked him his name. He an-swered in a word of two syllables, which I mentally spelt S, k, ô, t, i, with a circumflex accent written large over the ô. I was, therefore, amused when a 40 IN AN ENCHANTED ISLAND

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