Изображения страниц



ing, as we were all sitting at tea in our dining-room, which opened to the garden, we saw coming down the path a tall, distinguished-looking officer. We wondered who it could be. To our surprise, instead of calling the servant he walked straight into the room, sans céremonie. I thought he was some official come on important business from General Storks. Walking up to the head of the table, and making a low bow to our superintendent, he “hoped we were all well, and was glad to see us again,” and not till then did we recognise our former plague and interpreter, Monsieur Papafée.

He then informed us that he was doing very well in the camp, and had come to fetch his wife and child, thinking Madame Papafée would turn a penny up there cooking for the officers. His

appearance altogether was really so striking and elegant that we asked one another was it possible he had ever stood behind our chairs in white shirt sleeves and




apron, or that we had ever asked him for a plate ?

The next day one of us, returning from the hospital, saw a lady and gentleman walking arm-in-arm on the quay, followed by a servant carrying a child. On approaching them it proved to be Monsieur and Madame Papafée, whom we imagined he had ordered to deck herself for the occasion in one of the beautiful dresses he had once alluded to, as proving his devoted affection to the poor little woman. He made a polite bow as the lady passed. They went to the

but not long afterwards, when walking in Pera, one of us was suddenly accosted by Papafée, who said he had left his situation at Sebastopol because, although it was very nice to be well paid, it was anything but agreeable to have a cannon ball coming into one's tent at all hours of the day or night; and a shell having burst in close proximity to his abode he had forthwith packed up and departed,


[blocks in formation]

agreeing no doubt with the old proverb, which says that in this world “good people

are scarce."

He was anxious to return to the "Home," but, fortunately, we did not need his services, for after his departure to the camp a friend had kindly recommended us a young

Greek lad as servant. His name was Georgie. He was a great improvement upon Papafée, though not quite so talented as that remarkable individual. This, however, was amply compensated for, by his obedience and extreme anxiety to give us satisfaction. A Greek boy's dress is striking; the full loose trousers, gathered in at the knee, the striped pink cotton shirt, Tartar scarf round the waist, deep blue jacket, crimson fez, white stockings and polished shoes, is altogether very picturesque. Georgie's language was a mixture of Greek, Turkish, Italian, French, and a few words of English. His eagerness to understand what we said was most amus

[blocks in formation]

ing. If we asked for anything he stood looking at us very earnestly—his black eyes wide open and his finger in his mouth as if they would help him to understand our meaning. Sometimes he would shake his head and say,

“ No understandie, missie; Georgie no speak much English !" But if happy enough to catch the meaning, his eyes would sparkle and he would dart off like an arrow to execute his commission.

One of our party was anxious to copy some hymn tunes used in the little hospital church. We had no piano, but the wife of one of the civilian doctors kindly offered us the use of hers whenever we had time to walk to her house at Candalee. To accomplish this we had to climb some very steep hills, and as it was not safe to go alone the lady told Georgie to get ready to accompany her.

"Ah, bono mademoiselle,” said Georgie, “ very good, indeed !" with a look of intense delight, and off he ran.

[blocks in formation]

In half an hour he returned, dressed in full holiday attire.

“Ah, Georgie, how smart you look !" .
"Ah, mademoiselle, Georgie go with

you; very good, much pleasure, so Georgie make himself smart."

She set out, followed by her very amusing page, who united the respectful manners of an English servant with the simplicity and affection of a child.

The road to Candalee is for some distance along a narrow path, on each side of which are houses in a continuous line; it then winds up the hill, which is extremely steep, and without shade; the full glare of the sun, therefore, falls upon one.

At last they reached the summit of the hill and descended into a ravine. Georgie's delight seemed to increase till, as we passed a vineyard full of beautiful grapes, in he rushed and began vigorously gathering the

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »