Captain Brassbound's Conversion HTML version

Midday. A roam in a Moorish castle. A divan seat runs round the dilapidated
adobe walls, which are partly painted, partly faced with white tiles patterned in
green and yellow. The ceiling is made up of little squares, painted in bright
colors, with gilded edges, and ornamented with gilt knobs. On the cement floor
are mattings, sheepskins, and leathern cushions with geometrical patterns on
them. There is a tiny Moorish table in the middle; and at it a huge saddle, with
saddle cloths of various colors, showing that the room is used by foreigners
accustomed to chairs. Anyone sitting at the table in this seat would have the chief
entrance, a large horseshoe arch, on his left, and another saddle seat between
him and the arch; whilst, if susceptible to draughts, he would probably catch cold
from a little Moorish door in the wall behind him to his right.
Two or three of Brassbound's men, overcome by the midday heat, sprawl supine
on the floor, with their reefer coats under their heads, their knees uplifted, and
their calves laid comfortably on the divan. Those who wear shirts have them
open at the throat for greater coolness. Some have jerseys. All wear boots and
belts, and have guns ready to their hands. One of them, lying with his head
against the second saddle seat, wears what was once a fashionable white
English yachting suit. He is evidently a pleasantly worthless young English
gentleman gone to the bad, but retaining sufficient self-respect to shave carefully
and brush his hair, which is wearing thin, and does not seem to have been
luxuriant even in its best days.
The silence is broken only by the snores of the young gentleman, whose mouth
has fallen open, until a few distant shots half waken him. He shuts his mouth
convulsively, and opens his eyes sleepily. A door is violently kicked outside; and
the voice of Drinkwater is heard raising urgent alarm.
DRINKWATER. Wot ow! Wike ap there, will yr. Wike ap. (He rushes in through
the horseshoe arch, hot and excited, and runs round, kicking the sleepers) Nah