equally well-known for his wealth and his
miserly habits, was addicted to taking a dram of whisky in the morning,
and another at mid-day—in Scotch phrase, his morning and meridian. His
business bringing him at all times into contact with people of
consideration, he felt that the practice, sure to
be detected by the odour of his breath, might seriously
injure his respectability. He therefore consulted with a kindred spirit,
who pledged himself to discover some effectual antidote to the spirituous
aroma. Meeting the banker one morning a few days afterwards, he accosted
"I’ve found out at last a grand cure
for the smell of whisky."
"I’m glad to hear that," quoth the
man of discount, "for the smell’s unco strong upon me just now, and I’m on
my way to the counting-house."
"But will ye gie me a half-mutchkin
o’ good Jamaica rum if I tell you?" After many demurrers and attempts to
beat down his friend’s demand to a gill, he consented to the proposal.
Away then they went to the nearest tavern, and the half-mutchkin of rum
was set on the table. The possessor of the invaluable secret, after first
liberally helping himself poured out a glassful, saying: