Cheddar and Stilton cheese; potted char.



A glance from Hornblower to Brown sufficed to spread the table with the delicacies suitable for the occasion which Brown could select from the stores Barbara had sent on board- crock, not nearly rancid yet; strawberry jam; a heavily smoked ham; a smoked mutton ham from an Exmoor farm; Cheddar and Stilton cheese; potted char.








Brown had a brilliant idea, and squeezed some of the dwindling store of lemons for lemonade in order to disguise the flavour of the ship’s water;








he knew that Hornblower was quite incapable of drinking beer,






even small beer, at breakfast time.









° ap 2 ° Desperately Evening





“That is caviare,” she explained to him, “and this is vodka, the drink of the people, but I think that you will find that the two are admirably suited to each other.”


The Countess was right. The grey, unappetizing-looking stuff was perfectly delicious. Hornblower sipped cautiously at the vodka, and in his present highly strung condition hardly





noticed the first fierce bite of the liquor; but there was no doubt that vodka and caviare blended together exquisitely.

The buffet was covered with foods of all kinds. Countess Hornblower went a fair way of tackling them all.




There was a dish apparently of stewed mushrooms that was excellent; slices of smoked fish; an unidentifiable salad; some varieties of cheese; eggs both hot and cold; a sort of ragout of pork.
















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