“Yes, yes, excuse me for the question; I am but a stranger in these parts.”
“Why, Sir, the Commissioner
is the town officer appointed by law to sell poisons, as I hear druggists are licensed in London
to sell aconite and arsenic.”
“ Then get me a pint bottle of the poison called Bass
's Pale Ale.”
The waiter disappears; a moment afterwards he returns with pen and paper in his hand.
“You must be kind enough to write an order for the ale, and sign your name to it for record.”
“Sign my name for what?”
“For record; the Commissioner
is bound to enter the name and address of every person to whom he sells a bottle of beer.”
“Then I shall have a place in the archives of St. Johnsbury
for my sins?”
“The ale will certainly be posted against you,” he rejoins; saying which he pops out of doors.
Dinner is nearly done when he comes back, laden with a couple of pint bottles.
“ You've been long in coming, but your Commissioner
seems to be a liberal fellow.
We require a pint; he sends a quart.”