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Latterly he had suffered from strange irritations not easily to be ascribed to liver, misgivings, a sense of having definitely accepted a secondary edition of himself. An old acquaintance would have detected at once the change in his character, the marked leaning towards conservatism in politics and a certain reactionary tendency in his general ideas. He was becoming fixed in his views, and believed in a stable universe. His opinions, in fact, were as automatic as his Swedish exercises in the morning and his apple before breakfast. There was a slight compensatory increase in his sense of humour, and there was his approaching marriage to Lilian Payne, the gifted daughter of a wealthy town councillor.He fingered nervously with his watch, and then his eye rested for a second upon the other's head gear.
"What is it?" Fred asked.He smiled. "No, but I can put some there if you want it."
"Charlton's white set face as he pressed against the panes."--Page 124"Does that mean that you can mend people?" he enquired, at last.
"But you must admit," interpolated the Doctor, "that I might be deceiving you. I could easily do it, just to prove you in the wrong. I can assure you that nothing would suit my humour better at the present moment! Instead of which it is I who appear the fool. I never wanted to believe in the Clockwork man. I was angry with you for believing in him. Admit that it would be a just revenge on my part to hoax you."
The chief use of Deshima, as our friends found it, is to serve as a depository of Japanese wares, and particularly of the kinds for which Nagasaki is famous. Nagasaki vases and Nagasaki lacquer were in such quantities as to be absolutely bewildering, and for once they found the prices lower than at Yokohama. They made a few purchasestheir final transactions in Japanand then turned their attention to a stroll through the city."It is," answered the Doctor, "a sort of wine distilled from rice. Foreigners generally call it rice wine, but, more properly speaking, it is rice whiskey, as it partakes more of the nature of spirit than of wine. It is very strong, and will intoxicate if taken in any considerable quantity. The Japanese usually drink it hot, and take it from the little cups that you saw. The cups hold so small a quantity that a great many fillings are necessary to produce any unpleasant effect. The Japanese rarely drink to intoxication, and, on the whole, they are a very temperate people."
"I am a doctor," said Allingham, rather taken back, "a medical man. If you are hurt at all""Dead ahead, sir," replied the officer. "'Tis Fusiyama, sir."