2021-04-17 01:37:34

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ENGLISH I must say I am surprised at your not seeing Miss Propert home, she said. After bringing her into my drawing-room and forcing me to be civil to her, you might have had the civility yourself to see her to her house.

I wish you would not call it dressings-up, Mamma, she said. You know perfectly well that they are vestments. They all signify something: they have a spiritual meaning.Keeling took the card which he found to concern the man of whom he had this moment been thinking. Lord Inverbroom was Lord Lieutenant of the County, who lived some six miles outside Bracebridge in a house famed for its library and pictures. Its owner had held office in the last Conservative Cabinet, and was now an indefatigable promoter of county interests. Keeling met him with tolerable frequency on various boards, and there was no one in the world for whom he entertained a profounder respect.

Well, Im glad to hear you speak like that, dear, she said, because the last time you mentioned Julias name was to tell me that you didnt want to hear it mentioned again. Mrs Fyson, too, I dare say she is a very well-meaning woman, though she does go about saying that all sorts of things are happening without any grounds except that she wants them to.{222}

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Alice flushed a little.

No, no, said Mr Silverdale hurriedly.

In consequence of the two men talking together she was left to Lady Inverbroom, but as she had taken the trouble to read the small paragraphs in a Society journal that day, she could give her little tit-bits of information about the movements of the King and the Royal Family, while with half an ear she continued to listen to her husband, so as to interrupt in case he tended to unsuitable topics again. But she was so dumbfoundered when, propos of book-plates (which sounded safe enough), she heard Lord Inverbroom say that he had a charming one lately made for him by a Miss Propert, that the apposite talk she was engaged in died on her lips.

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She turned in at the gate and went up the drive to the Gothic porch. He gave her more than that: he gave her his need of her. He had expressed that when he had said her catalogue work was a pure matter of business. What he meant and what she understood was that it was not.

You really must do nothing of the sort, she said. There are reasons against it: I cant tell you them.Never in all his years of successful business had he made so stupid an omission, an omission for which he would at once have dismissed any of his staff, telling him that a man who was capable of doing that was of no use to Keeling. And it was himself who had deserved dismissal. He could remember it all now: he had locked the cheque up again as it was necessary to send a certain order form with it, and that was inaccessible now that his secretary had gone. He would do it in the morning, but when morning came he had thought of nothing but the request he was going to make that Norah should do him a book-plate. That, that trivial trumpery affair, utterly drove out of his head this important business transaction. He was furious with himself for his carelessness: it was not only that he had lost a considerable sum of money, it was the loss of self-respect that worried him. He could hardly believe that he had shown himself so rotten a business man: he might as well have sold stale fish, according to the amiable hint of his mother-in-law as have done this. And at that unfortunate moment when he was savage with himself and all the world Norah Propert appeared. Instantly he looked at his watch to see if she was again late. But it had not yet struck nine, it was he himself who was before his time.Im afraid Ive been staying a very long time, sir, he said. I had no idea it was so late.

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Apr-17 01:37:34