Following a recent late night, rather ill-advised and (so it would Transpire), ill-fated croquet wager, I found myself dispossessed of my snuffbox in a shrubbery. I was assured that though the hour was late, there was a local retailer that would serve as an ad hoc tobacconist â Messrs Londis & Co.
Once there, I discovered the establishment to be a garishly lit "super-market" and I expected that my friends were most amused at having directed me there. Nevertheless, my face had begun to twitch in a most distressing fashion and I was obliged by necessity to enter.
Having waited my turn in a queue (composed of manual labourers and drunkards who repeated the same peculiar words: âTen Elbee") I asked the girl behind the counter (dressed in a manner more appropriate to a scullery-maid than the proprietress of a mercantile) if I could see the selection of dry fine medicated snuffs. I sensed some level of antagonism had entered the woman's demeanour, and as the hour was late decided to simply ask for Gawith Hoggarth & Co. Camphor and Menthol Fine Kendal Brown. At this, the woman began to shout aggressive colloquialisms. Dumbfounded, I could think of nothing to defuse the situation save to repeat what I had heard from the soused lackeys previous to me: "Ten Elbee?". I was presented with a plastic wrapped silver package marked Lambert & Butler, which I later discovered contained poor quality cigarettes.
I shall not be so ready to use a service revolver in lieu of a mallet
again, let me assure you.