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Smith, Jones and Brown
Jones I met a little later under embarrassing circumstances,
for he was engaged in trying to bribe a bedroom-steward to swop our cabins. He stood in a doorway of mine with a suitcase in one hand and two five-dollar bills in the other.
He was saying, 'He hasn't been down yet. He won't make a fuss. He's not that kind of a chap.
Even if he notices the difference.'
He spoke as if he knew me.
"But Mr Jones…" the steward began to argue.
Jones was a small man very tidily dressed in a pale gray suit  with a double-breasted waistcoat which somehow looked out of place away from elevators, office-crowds, the clatter of typewriters –
it was the only one of its kind on our scrubby cargoship peddling the sullen sea.
He never changed it, I noticed later, not even on the night of the ship's concert,
and I began to wonder whether perhaps his suitcases contained no other clothes at all.  I thought if him as someone who, having packed in a hurry, had brought the wrong uniform, for he certainly did not mean to be conspicuous.
With the little black moustache and the dark Pekinese eyes I would have taken him for a Frenchman – perhaps someone on the Bourse
 – and it was quite a surprise to me when I learnt that his mane was Jones.
'Major Jones,' he replied to the steward with a note of reproof.
I was almost as embarrassed as he was. On a cargoship steamer there are few passengers and it is uncomfortable to nourish a resentment.
The steward with he hands folded said to him righteously.
'There's really nothing I can do, sir. The cabin was reserved for this gentleman, for Mr Brown.
' Smith, Jones and Brown – the situation was improbable. I had a half-right to my drab mane, but had he?
 I smiled at his predicament, but Jones's sense of humour, as I was to find, was  of simpler order.
 He looked at me with grave attention and said,
'This is really your cabin, sir?'
'I have an idea it is.'
'Someone told me it was unoccupied.' He shifted slightly so that his back was turned to my too obvious cabin-trunk standing just inside.
The bills had disappeared perhaps up his sleeve, for I had seen no movement towards his pocket.
'Have they given you a bad cabin?' I asked.
'Oh, it's only that I prefer the starboard side.'
'Yes, so do I, on this particular run. One can leave the porthole open,'
and as though to emphasize the truth of what I said the boat began a slow roll as it moved further into the open sea.
'Time for a pink gin,' Jones said promptly,
and we went upstairs together to find the small saloon and a black steward who took the first opportunity as he added water to my gin to whisper in my ear,
 'I'm a British subject, sir.' I noticed that he made no such claim to Jones.
С Джонсом я познакомился …при не совсем приятных обстоятельствах
Он старался подкупить стюарда
Обменять наши места
Он не будет скандалить
Отбивался от него стюард
Носил очень приличный светло-серый костюм с двубортной жилеткой
Казался не совсем уместным
Перестук пишущих машинок
 Над  нашем захудалом грузовом судне, ковылявшем по хмурому океану
Кто хватает впопыхах
Джонсу, видимо, совершенно не хотелось, чтобы на него глазели
Я причислис его к тем
С укоризной в голосе
Таить на кого-нибудь  обиду просто неудобно
Прижав руки к груди
Казус, в который он попал, вызвал у меня улыбку
Как я убедился впоследствии
Он внимательно, серьезно пригляделся ко мне
Полагаю, то так
Он чуть переменил положение
 Уж не в рукав ли?
Я предпочитаю с правого борта
Особенно в этот рейс
Словно для того чтобы подчеркнуть правоту моих слов
Пароход начал медленно крениться
Без всяких обиняков заявил Джонс
Который, при первой же возможности