"The Green Man!" He gasped in horror, as breath returned to him "-it can't be!"
"I heard," the whisky exporter joined him. "You said he was dead."
"We all heard," the young woman concurred "-but how can you know?"
Way shook his head, pale as death. He stumbled forward, causing the guests and footman to make to stop him from falling. But the rich man did not fall. Taking a pull at himself, he strightened up, crossing to the window, looking out at the snow.
"The Green Man is dead", Way at last announced. "No-one has heard of him for months. Almost a year. He is dead. How, I don't know, but he is dead. This is a joke played by one of my guests."
"If it's a joke," the whisky man observed, "why is no-one laughing?"