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Oh! you were quite happy. You seemed to get on quite well with your hostess. Who was that dark-complexioned lady next to you, with some truly wonderful diamonds?

He raised his eyebrows, and then they met in a frown. He found her words in bad taste, which was not usual with Claudia.

Really, I will come back assoon as I can, and I shall be grateful if the Paton Diary will keep my memory green.... I hear there is a wonderful Giorgione here. You remember those two we saw here last year....

Ive warned him repeatedly, he said at length, and Ive watched it coming. But Gilbert is not an easy man to prescribe for. He is eaten up with ambition, he is so keen on the game that he takes no heed of warnings, mine or Natures. That man has worked like a horse for the last five years; in fact, he has worked incessantly ever since his boyhood, when his father urged him to win scholarships for the glory of the Currey family.... The father has only been half a success; he had driving power but no judgment, and he was unpopular at the Bar. He took up politics, but he was too vehement and dogmatic for his party. He concentrated his ambition on Gilbert, and Gilbert is very like himvery. With Gilbert, what I call the game is the very marrow of his bones. You might as well ask him to change his body as change his manner of life. He had a very good[234] constitution, and I hoped it would stand the strain.... But its gone to pieces very badly of late. Outside people will say suddenly, but hes been undermined for some time. If his memory is going ... God help him and Claudia!

We dont see much of one another nowadays, do we? she said, looking at him through the smoke.

Yes, I think I am going to be very happy. Somehow you have always understood. I have never had to tell you things. You see, nobody ever wanted me very much, and II wanted somebody to want me and to rely on me and care for my companionship. It is so wonderful to think that our interests are one, that what interests me interests him, that I can tell him my good news and bad news and be always sure that I dont bore him. Ive always had to bottle up things. Ive had one or two girl friends, but it isnt the same. And even then they get engaged and married and you fall in the background. But when Ive got a husband of my own it will be different, wont it?

I dont think the two women see much of one another. Gilbert was a little nettled. Claudia told me herself that she hardly knew her mother at all in her young days. She was left entirely to her governesses. She can hardly have imbibed anyany idea from her mother.

Claudia, we were just talking of you. You are late, child. Let me introduce to you an old friend, Mr. Mavrocopoulos.

Littleton wondered at the blank look on her face as she replied rather mechanically:

He knows something about everything, exclaimed Pat. Hes a walking index and encyclop?dia, a Whos Who and a Dictionary of National Biography all combined.

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2021-06-13 13:08:40 [庆阳市网友]

2021-06-13 13:08:40 [江西网友]

2021-06-13 13:08:40 [山西网友]

Well, I dont dislike dancing, only I cant afford the time. If I go to a dance I always stay too late. And I certainly should if I danced with your sister.

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2021-06-13 13:08:40 [广西网友]

I suppose youve been planning it for some time, he sneered. It was a nice thing to have to explain to my[220] father and mother. My mother! who has never been in a music-hall in her life.

2021-06-13 13:08:40 [哈尔滨市网友]

Oh! Littleton did some quick thinking. He had wondered once or twice if she were particularly interested in Colin, but as she had not thought of accompanying them, he deduced that the answer was in the negative. Then we should be a foursome on our own. Have you anything very special to keep you in London?

2021-06-13 13:08:40 [金华市网友]

2021-06-13 13:08:40 [南投市网友]

Well, what if she did? Why do you always sneer at me. And its your portrait I want to paint. What do I care for her commission, even if it is a lucrative one. Parchment and diamondsugh! Tell me, when will you come again to the studio?

2021-06-13 13:08:40 [达州市网友]

Claudia took him quite seriously, for happiness, just as sorrow, may temporarily obscure a sense of humour. I forbid you to say such things of yourself, she said, with an engaging air of motherliness. Youre awfully cleverawfully clever. Why, you are one of the best-read[60] and best-informed men in London. Suddenly she realized how often she had turned to him for information or advice. And she could never remember an occasion on which he had failed her, or an opinion that her critical faculty on reflection deemed unsound.