Friday, 8 February 2013

An elderly and debauched eagle

He sat glittering-eyed, like an elderly and debauched eagle, imbibing heroic quantities of champagne without visible effect, and occasionally making unnerving pronouncements. Over the consommé he was heard describing, in graphic detail, how a Cheyenne Indian squaw who evidently doted on him had taught him the preparation of soup from buffalo blood, which was highly recommended for its rejuvenative powers; again, the arrival of fried whitebait stirred a reminiscence of a royal banquet in Madagascar at which the behaviour of the female guests had been unconventional to a degree, and might, he hinted, have been copied with advantage by present company, Mrs Keppel in particular.

Mr American, pp.191-2, Pan Books, paperback edition 1982.

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