All round the neighborhood he was known, far and wide, as "the admiral's coxswain." His name was Mazey. Sixty years had written their story of hard work at sea, and hard drinking on shore, on the veteran's grim and wrinkled face.
"I'll show you, my dear," said old Mazey, speaking in the high and hollow voice peculiar to the deaf.
Mazey says to you," remarked t he housekeeper, opening her door as the old sailor expressed his approval of Magdalen in these terms.
The door opened; the tails of Brutus and Cassius cheerfully thumped the floor; and old Mazey marched straight up to the right-hand side of his master's chair.
"God bless the Queen, your honor," said old Mazey, swallowing his port, as the dogs swallowed the made-dishes, at a gulp.
The after-dinner ceremony thus completed, old Mazey made his bow, and walked out of the room again.
The under-house-maids declared they were all behindhand and had not a minute to spare -- they suggested, not too civilly, that old Mazey had nothing on earth to do, and that he knew the house as well, or better, than he knew his A B C.
She found her way to old Mazey, not by the scanty directions given her, but by the sound of the veteran's cracked and quavering voice, singing in some distant seclusion a verse of the immortal sea-song -- "Tom Bowling." Just as she stopped among the rambling stone passages on the basement story of the house, uncertain which way to turn next, she heard the tuneless old voice in the distance, singing these lines:
There sat old Mazey, with his spectacles low on his nose, and his knotty old hands blundering over the rigging of his model ship.
"What, they won't show you over the house -- won't they?" said old Mazey. "I will, then!
Old Mazey found his hat at last, and they started on their exploring expedition, with the dogs after them.
"Put your back ag'in this wall," said old Mazey, pointing to the long wall -- pierced at irregular intervals with windows looking out over a courtyard and fish-pond -- which formed the right-hand side of the corridor, as Magdalen now stood.