President, -- I can furnish the committee of inquiry into the conduct of the Lieutenant-General the Count of Morcerf in Epirus and in Macedonia with important particulars.
I am at the command of the committee, and even claim the honor of being heard.
To the committee the adventure was so extraordinary and curious, that the interest they had felt for the count's safety became now quite a secondary matter.
Madame,' said the president, `you have engaged to furnish the committee with some important particulars respecting the affair at Yanina, and you have stated that you were an eyewitness of the event.
Yes,' replied all the members of the committee of inquiry with a unanimous voice.
Slumkey's committee was addressing six small boys and one girl, whom he dignified, at every second sentence, with the imposing title of 'Men of Eatanswill,' whereat the six small boys aforesaid cheered prodigiously.
Snodgrass, and about half a dozen of the committee besides.
Brooke felt a remarkable change in his sensations while he still handled his eye-glass, trifled with documents before him, and exchanged remarks with his committee, as a man to whom the moment of summons was indifferent.
By the time it said, "The Baltic, now," the laugh which had been running through the audience became a general shout, and but for the sobering effects of party and that great public cause which the entanglement of things had identified with "Brooke of Tipton," the laugh might have caught his committee.
But it was not resolved unanimously that things would come right; on the contrary, the committee looked rather grim, and the political personage from Brassing was writing busily, as if he were brewing new devices.
It was not for him to anticipate what Professor Summerlee, who was the spokesman of the committee, had to say to them, but it was common rumor that their expedition had been crowned by extraordinary success.
Finally he described, amongst some merriment, the ingenious but highly dangerous aeronautic invention of Professor Challenger, and wound up a most memorable address by an account of the methods by which the committee did at last find their way back to civilization.
He admitted that the members of the committee were men of character.
I move, then, that, while Professor Summerlee be thanked for his interesting address, the whole matter shall be regarded as `non-proven,' and shall be referred back to a larger, and possibly more reliable Committee of Investigation.
I need not remind this audience that, though Professor Summerlee, as the head of the Committee of Investigation, has been put up to speak to-night, still it is I who am the real prime mover in this business, and that it is mainly to me that any successful result must be ascribed.