THE TALE OF THE LOST LAND
CHAPTER 21: THE PILGRIMS
The next morning Sandy assembled the swine in the dining-room and
gave them their breakfast, waiting upon them personally and
manifesting in every way the deep reverence which the natives of
her island, ancient and modern, have always felt for rank, let its
outward casket and the mental and moral contents be what they may.
I could have eaten with the hogs if I had had birth approaching my
lofty official rank; but I hadn't, and so accepted the unavoidable
slight and made no complaint. Sandy and I had our breakfast at
the second table. The family were not at home. I said:
"How many are in the family, Sandy, and where do they keep themselves?"
"Which family, good my lord?"
"Why, this family; your own family."
"Sooth to say, I understand you not. I have no family."
"No family? Why, Sandy, isn't this your home?"
"Now how indeed might that be? I have no home."
"Well, then, whose house is this?"
"Ah, wit you well I would tell you an I knew myself."
"Come--you don't even know these people? Then who invited us here?"
"None invited us. We but came; that is all."
"Why, woman, this is a most extraordinary performance. The
effrontery of it is beyond admiration. We blandly march into
a man's house, and cram it full of the only really valuable nobility
the sun has yet discovered in the earth, and then it turns out
that we don't even know the man's name. How did you ever venture
to take this extravagant liberty? I supposed, of course, it was
your home. What will the man say?"