The Zeppelin's Passenger HTML version

Chapter 11
Sir Henry stepped back from the scales and eyed the fish which they had been weighing,
"You see that, Mills? You see that, Jimmy?" he pointed out. "Six and three-quarter
pounds! I was right almost to an ounce. He's a fine fellow!"
"A very extraordinary fish, sir," the butler observed. "Will you allow me to take your
oilskins? Dinner was served nearly an hour ago."
Sir Henry slipped off his dripping overalls and handed them over.
"That's all right," he replied. "Listen. Don't say a word about my arrival to your mistress
at present. I have some writing to do. Bring me a glass of sherry at once, or mix a cocktail
if you can do so without being missed, and take Jimmy away and give him some whisky
and soda."
"But what about your own dinner, sir?"
"I'll have a tray in the gun room," his master decided, "say in twenty minutes' time. And,
Mills, who did you say were dining?"
"Two of the young officers from the Depot, sir - Mr. Harrison and Mr. Sinclair - and Mr.
Hamar Lessingham."
"Lessingham, eh? Sir Henry repeated, as he seated himself before his writing-table.
"Mills," he added, in a confidential whisper, "what port did you serve?"
The butler's expression was one of conscious rectitude.
"Not the vintage, sir," he announced with emphasis. "Some very excellent wood port,
which we procured for shooting luncheons. The young gentlemen like it."
"You're a jewel, Mills," his master declared. "Now you understand - an aperitif for me
now, some whisky for Jimmy in your room, and not a word about my being here. Good
night, Jimmy. Sorry we were too late for the mackerel, but we had some grand sport, all
the same. You'll have a day or two's rest ashore now."
"Aye, aye, sir!" Dumble replied. "We got in just in time. There's something more than a
squall coming up nor'ards."
Sir Henry listened for a moment. The French windows shook, the rain beat against the
panes, and a dull booming of wind was clearly audible from outside.
"We timed that excellently," he agreed. "Come up and have a chat to-morrow, Jimmy, if
your wife will spare you."
"I'll be round before eleven, sir," the fisherman promised, with a grin.