EVERY night in the year, four of us sat in the small parlour of the George at Debenham - the undertaker, and the landlord, and Fettes, and myself.
Fettes was far through his third tumbler, stupidly fuddled, now nodding over, now staring mazily around him; but at the last word he seemed to awaken, and repeated the name
Fettes became instantly sober; his eyes awoke, his voice became clear, loud, and steady, his language forcible and earnest.
Fettes walked steadily to the spot, and we, who were hanging behind, beheld the two men meet, as one of them had phrased it, face to face.
He stared for the swiftest of seconds at the man before him, glanced behind him with a sort of scare, and then in a startled whisper, 'Fettes!' he said, 'You!'
We must do something for you, Fettes. I fear you are out at elbows; but we must see to that for auld lang syne, as once we sang at suppers.'
But his tribulation was not yet entirely at an end, for even as he was passing Fettes clutched him by the arm and these words came in a whisper, and yet painfully distinct,
Next day the servant found the fine gold spectacles broken on the threshold, and that very night we were all standing breathless by the bar- room window, and Fettes at our side, sober, pale, and resolute in look.
Fettes!' said the landlord, coming first into possession of his customary senses.
Fettes turned toward us; he looked us each in succession in the face.
In his young days Fettes studied medicine in the schools of Edinburgh.
Fettes, for instance, had often remarked to himself upon the singular freshness of the bodies.