THE symposium of the preceding evening had been a little too much
for my nerves. I had a wretched headache, and was desperately drowsy.
Instead of going out therefore to spend the evening as I had proposed, it
occurred to me that I could not do a wiser thing than just eat a mouthful
of supper and go immediately to bed.
A light supper of course. I am exceedingly fond of Welsh rabbit. More than
a pound at once, however, may not at all times be advisable. Still, there
can be no material objection to two. And really between two and three,
there is merely a single unit of difference. I ventured, perhaps, upon
four. My wife will have it five; -- but, clearly, she has confounded two
very distinct affairs. The abstract number, five, I am willing to admit;
but, concretely, it has reference to bottles of Brown Stout, without
which, in the way of condiment, Welsh rabbit is to be eschewed.
Having thus concluded a frugal meal, and donned my night-cap, with the
serene hope of enjoying it till noon the next day, I placed my head upon
the pillow, and, through the aid of a capital conscience, fell into a
profound slumber forthwith.
But when were the hopes of humanity fulfilled? I could not have completed
my third snore when there came a furious ringing at the street-door bell,
and then an impatient thumping at the knocker, which awakened me at once.
In a minute afterward, and while I was still rubbing my eyes, my wife
thrust in my face a note, from my old friend, Doctor Ponnonner. It ran
"Come to me, by all means, my dear good friend, as soon as you
receive this. Come and help us to rejoice. At last, by long persevering
diplomacy, I have gained the assent of the Directors of the City Museum,
to my examination of the Mummy -- you know the one I mean. I have
permission to unswathe it and open it, if desirable. A few friends only
will be present -- you, of course. The Mummy is now at my house, and we
shall begin to unroll it at eleven to-night.