"Load of rubbish," Kingsley agreed.
A cast-iron something was rolling around on the kitchen floor when we came down the next day for breakfast. The swinging door flew open and out stormed our waitress.
"Bom dia," Eppridge said cheerfully. She was in no mood for his, or anyone else's, good mornings, and without further amenities we ordered. Then she spun on her heels and charged back into the kitchen, her young body quivering in anticipation of the fray. The cook was ready for her. A wooden spoon came hurtling through the door.
"Ah, restful, peaceful Faial," said Kingsley, yawning.
After a long wait, the girl barreled back out of the kitchen with our regular order of juice, coffee and toast. She had forgotten our eggs. She slammed everything down, pushed it across the table wordlessly, then caromed off a chair on her way back to the kitchen.
I sipped the juice. Something hard and slightly salty floated against my lips. It was a wristwatch. Eppridge's, I discovered, as his long, hairy fingers delved in to retrieve it. He smiled as he shook off the flecks of orange pulp and studied the timepiece, pushing buttons.
"Sixty-one degrees," he reported. "Just testing the built-in thermometer."
"That's swell, Bill," I said, amazed and repulsed.
"I thought I might take the temperature of the ocean today," he said.
"How about my coffee?" I said, offering him my cup. "Please. I don't want to burn my tongue."