Wednesday, May 16, 2007
(Given the news a few months back about premium coffee beans that pass through the digestive system of a small animal...I found this appropriate!)
'Killick,' said Stephen, 'what's amiss? Have you see the ghost in the bread-room? Are you sick? Show me your tongue.'
When Killick had withdrawn his tongue, a flannelly object of inordinate length, he said, paler still, 'Is there a ghost in the bread-room, sir? Oh, oh, and I was there in the middle watch. Oh, sir, I might a seen it.'
'There is always a ghost in the bread-room. Light along that pot, will you now?'
'I dursn't, sir, begging your pardon. There's worse news than the ghost, even. Them wicked old rats got at the coffee, sir, and I doubt there's another pot in the barky.'
'Preserved Killick, pass me that pot, or you will join the ghost in the bread-room, and howl for ever more.'
With extreme unwillingness Killick put the pot on the very edge of the table, muttering, 'Oh, I'll cop it: oh, I'll cop it.'
Jack walked in, poured himself a cup as he bade Stephen good morning...[discusses the ship's situation]...'The coffee has a damned odd taste.'
'This I attribute to the excrement of rats. Rats have eaten our entire stock; and I take the present brew to be a mixture of the scrapings at the bottom of the sack.'
'I thought it had a familiar tang,' said Jack. 'Killick, you may tell Mr. Seymour, with my compliments, that you are to have a boat. And if you don't find at least a stone of beans among the squadron, you need not come back. It is no use trying Nereide; she don't drink any.'
When the pot had been jealously divided down to its ultimate dregs, dregs that might have been called dubious had there been the least doubt of their nature, they went on deck.
(The Mauritius Command, Patrick O'Brian)
Addendum: The madness continues. Elephant-filtered coffee. What a fascinating modern age we live in.