Istanbul Hints

A Terribly Strange Bed part 6

Written on 11/04/2019   By   in General

Just
as the ex-brave ended his oration in very lachrymose tones, the coffee came in,
ready poured out in two cups. My attentive friend handed me one of the cups
with a bow. I was parched with thirst, and drank it off at a draft. Almost
instantly afterward I was seized with a fit of giddiness, and felt more
completely intoxicated than ever.

The
room whirled round and round furiously; the old soldier seemed to be regularly
bobbing up and down before me like the piston of a steam- engine. I was half
deafened by a violent singing in my ears; a feeling of utter bewilderment,
helplessness, idiocy, overcame me. I rose from my chair, holding on by the
table to keep my balance; and stammered out that I felt dreadfully unwell—so unwell
that I did not know how I was to get home.

“My
dear friend,” answered the old soldier—and even his voice seemed to be bobbing
up and down as he spoke—“my dear friend, it would be madness to go home in your
state; you .would be sure to lose your money; you might be robbed and murdered
with the greatest ease. 1 am going to sleep here: do you sleep here, too—they
make up capital beds in this house—take one; sleep off the effects of the wine,
and go home safely with your winnings to-morrow—to-morrow, in broad daylight.”

Handkerchief full of money

I
had but two ideas left: one, that I must never let go hold of my handkerchief
full of money; the other, that I must lie down somewhere immediately, and fall
off into a comfortable sleep. So I agreed to the proposal about the bed, and
took the offered arm of the old soldier, carrying my money with my disengaged
hand. Preceded by the crou-ier, we passed along some passages and up a flight
of stairs into the edroom which I was to occupy. The ex-brave shook me warmly
by the hand, proposed that we should breakfast together, and then, followed by
the croupier, left me for the night.

I
ran to the wash-hand stand; drank some of the water in my jug; poured the rest
out, and plunged my face into it; then sat down in a chair and tried to compose
myself. I soon felt better. The change for my lungs, from the fetid atmosphere
of the gambling-house to the cool air of the apartment I now occupied, the
almost equally refreshing change for my eyes, from the glaring gaslights of the
“salon” to the dim, quiet flicker of one bedroom-candle, aided wonderfully the
restorative effects of cold water.

 

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