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to General Jupiter, there. He's got a corkscrew in the tail of his robe, or I'm mistaken.'
“Out came General Fortescue’s corkscrew. I was trembling once more with anxiety. The cork gave the genuine plop; the bottle was lowered; glug, glug, glug, came from its beneficent throat, and out flowed something tawny as a lion's mane. The general lifted it lazily to his lips, saluting his nose on the way.
“Fifteen! by Gyeove!' he cried. “Well, Admiral, this was worth waiting for! Take care how you decant that, Jacob-on peril of your life.
“My uncle was triumphant. He winked hard at me not to tell. Kate and I retired, she to change her dress, I to get mine well brushed, and my hands washed. By the time I returned to the dining-room, no one had any questions to ask. For Kate, the ladies had gone to the drawing-room before she was ready, and I believe she had some difficulty
in keeping my uncle's counsel. But she did.
- Need I say that was the happiest Christmas I ever spent ?”
“But how did you find the cellar, papa ? asked Effie.
“Where are your brains, Effie ? Don't you remember I told you that I had a dream ?
“Yes. But you don't mean to say the existence of that wine-cellar was revealed to you in a dream ? "
“ But I do, indeed. I had seen the winecellar built up just before we left for Madeira. It was my father's plan for securing the wine when the house was let. And
well it turned out for the wine, and me too. I had forgotten all about it. Everything had conspired to bring it to my memory, but had just failed of success.
I had fallen asleep under all the influences I told you of— influences from the region of
my childhood. They operated still when I was asleep, and, all other distracting influences being removed, at length roused in my sleeping brain the memory of what I had seen. In the morning I remembered not my dream only, but the event of which my dream was a reproduction. Still, I was under considerable doubt about the place, and in this I followed the dream only, as near as I could judge.
“The admiral kept his word, and interposed no difficulties between Kate and me. Not that, to tell the truth, I was ever very anxious about that rock ahead; but it was very possible that his fastidious honour or pride might have occasioned a considerable interference with our happiness for a time. As it turned out, he could not leave me Culverwood, and I regretted the fact as little as he did himself. His gratitude to me was, however, excessive, assuming occasionally ludicrous outbursts of thankfulness. I do not believe he could have been more grateful if I had saved his ship and its whole crew. For his hospitality was at stake. Kind old man!"
Here ended my father's story, with a light sigh, a gaze into the bright coals, a kiss of
my mother's hand which he held in his, and another glass of Burgundy.