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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 239

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always invited also ; but they only heightened the bizarre effect of the others. Sometimes there was a Turkish night, sometimes there was a Greek night, and alternately the table seemed to nicker with turbans and to be surrounded with fez caps like a border of scarlet poppies. As few of the Greeks, and not one of the Turks, were able to speak a single word of English, it might be supposed that conversation would not flourish. On the contrary, I have rarely known it busier, and for this reason : half the remarks made had to be committed to an interpreter, who first under-stood them wrongly, then had them explained to him, and finally passed tliem on to the person to whom they were addressed. Thus one platitude about the weather did duty for several, and the loaves and fishes of small talk which each guest brought with him, by this happy arrangement were multiplied threefold. As for the interpreters, they cannot be praised too highly. They were seated at the sides and the two ends of the table, like croupiers at Monte Carlo, and whenever an observation was hazarded or placed, so to speak, on the cloth, they raked it in, making it sound as they did so, and adroitly transferred it to the person to whom it was addressed. Meanwhile various letters had reached me which warned me that my time in Cyprus was fast drawing to a close. I was expected, at the beginning of March, by some friends who had a villa near 236 IN" AN ENCHANTED ISLAND

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