Something Fresh

served luncheon to those desiring it. Lack of sleep had reduced Baxter to a condition where the presence and chatter of the house party were insupportable. It was his purpose to lunch at the Emsworth Arms and take a nap in an armchair afterward.

He had relied on having the room to himself, for Market Blandings did not lunch to a great extent; but to his annoyance and disappointment the room was already occupied by a man in brown tweeds.

Occupied is the correct word, for at first sight this man seemed to fill the room. Never since almost forgotten days when he used to frequent circuses and side shows, had Baxter seen a fellow human being so extraordinarily obese. He was a man about fifty years old, gray-haired, of a mauve complexion, and his general appearance suggested joviality.

To Baxter's chagrin, this person engaged him in conversation directly he took his seat at the table. There

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