The supper of brimstone
It is sad to say, but the pleasure that our damsel in distress of her own soft clothing was quite spoilt by the words the strange creature uttered, while handing it to her, at arm's length.

Just imagine ! While he had been away, our shipwrecked, heroine had not deigned even to taste is smoky concoction. Really ... such ill manners on her part !

It was little use for Liliana to try to excuse her behaviour or to repeat that she really had no desire to smoke at all: she was sorry. However, her host only persisted, brushing aside her polite refusals.

- Truly, I am not used to such things, she told him.

- What a story ! Why are you so set against smoking ? Everyone in your country smokes, for sure ?

- Well, it's true that there are a lot of convinced smokers in my own country across the seas, but I am not one of them.

- How can you say you never smoke ? Came is testy rejoinder. Watch out, you little savage : on this island Science is king ! You shouldn't joke about such things. Do I have to remind you that all life depends on the fire from within. That's why we say quite correctly, there's no smoke without fire.

- I think we have a similar saying, she stammered in confusion.

- In response to this first proverb, there is a scientific riposte, "No fire without smoke". If that is the case, how can anyone keep his smoky levels going, unless, they, by hook or by crook keep on smoking ?

- All living creatures, even the lowest of the low, the statistical underclass, find it necessary to imbibe their murky potions, even though it may be in a rather substandard sort of boiling beverage. The wraiths of the Great Oven are the only ones who can dispense with this necessity of keeping up there calories, and they no longer exhale any smoke. This only serves to underline that man is by nature and by necessity, a smoker: without this he would cease to exist.

His Excellency went on to explain to her that there was only one way really to smoke: on should inhale of course, and not let the smoke escape through the nostrils as do as babies who have not yet learned to feed themselves .

The islander then brought to the damsel?s lips a sort of crystal globe: the brimstone supper. From the smooth surface it was impossible to detect any orifice, so it was difficult to imagine how any preparation whatsoever could have been placed inside. But what use was such an object to Liliana, or its contents, when the hunger and thirst that tormented her was not a longing for smoke, as the creature supposed. What she well and truly hungered and thirsted for was honest to goodness food and drink.

The light-headed creature, obviously to encourage her to follow, had already fastened her mouth to the rounded crystal surface and sucked in. Instantly, with the first mouthful, the sphere became murky with smoke as if the preparation within had flamed up at this suction, and a blood-red vapour filtered through its porous surface.
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French into English