Duke of D.: “Well, it was like this. We'd had a long day on the moor and had dinner early, and about half-past nine we began to feel like turning in.
Moorland or moor is a type of habitat found in upland areas, characterised by low growing vegetation on acidic soils, and heavy fog. Moorland nowadays generally means uncultivated hill land (such as Dartmoor in South West England), but the Old English mōr also refers to low-lying wetlands (such as Sedgemoor, also SW England).
My sister and Mrs. Pettigrew-Robinson toddled on up, and we were havin' a last peg in the billiard-room when Fleming—that's my man—came in with the letters.
There are two different types of billiard tables. One has its pockets in the sides and corners of the table, the other, peg billiards, has its pockets on the playing surface itself. On the playfield are normally placed three pegs, also called skittles, with a horizontal wire through the peg which prevents it from falling completely down the hole. There are two white pegs, one either side of the 100 hole, and one black peg in front of the '200' hole. If a white peg is knocked over then the player's break is ended and all score acquired during that break is discarded. Knocking down the black peg ends the player's break and all points are lost. In the case that a white and a black peg are both knocked over, then only the first peg to be knocked over is used. All shots are played from one end of the table so access to all sides of the table is not necessary (which is ideal for a small room).
They come rather any old time in the evening, you know, we being two and a half miles from the village. No—I wasn't in the billiard-room at the time—I was lockin' up the gun-room. The letter was from an old friend of mind I hadn't seen for years—Tom Freeborn—used to know him at the House——”
The Coroner: “Whose house?”
Duke of D.: “Oh, Christ Church, Oxford. He wrote to say he'd seen the announcement of my sister's engagement in Egypt.”
Christ Church (Latin: Ædes Christi, the temple (æděs) or house (ædēs) of Christ, and thus sometimes known as The House), is one of the largest constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. As well as being a college, Christ Church is also the cathedral church of the diocese of Oxford, namely Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. Like its sister college, Trinity College, Cambridge, it was traditionally considered the most aristocratic of the Oxford colleges. The Coroner: “In Egypt?”
Duke of D.: “I mean, he was in Egypt—Tom Freeborn, you see—that's why he hadn't written before. He engineers. He went out there after the war was over, you see, and, bein' somewhere up near the sources of the Nile, he doesn't get the papers regularly.
European explorers of Africa made many expeditions to try to find the source of the Nile (which is actually two rivers.) The source of the White Nile is Lake Victoria, Uganda and of the Blue Nile, Lake Tana, Ethiopia.