2021-04-18 10:27:46

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ENGLISH

Of course. I credit you with so much sense.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.

CHAPTER IIFaithfully yours,

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Your brother has often been very useful to me in my collecting, he said, with a hint of{93} employer still lingering in his attitude towards him.

It was clear to each of them that the same{137} situation, that of Norah having been seen entering the house alone after dinner, and going to his private room, was in the mind of each of them. Norah, for her part, had a secret blush for the fact that she considered the incident at all, but her reply had revealed that she did, for she remembered that her brother had alluded to the question of her coming up here alone. But Keeling saw no absurdity in, so to speak, regularizing the situation, and his solution commended itself to him more than hers.

Then he began dictating to her something about linoleums. But Ive not done with him yet. The dear man! Ill plague his life out for him if youll only help me.Odd as it may appear, there were limits to Mrs Keelings tact, or to state the matter in other terms, none to her curiosity. For a little while she resisted the incoming tide; but when Alice had informed her brightly for the third time that their train started at 11.29 next morning, she felt so strongly that a mother was her daughters proper confidante, that her tact retreated rapidly towards vanishing point.

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She pointed, and then bending down found in{236} the centre of one the bud from which the blossom would expand.

It is not too much to say that the room was of the nature of a temple, for here a very essential and withdrawn part of himself passed hours of praise and worship. Born in the humblest circumstances, he had, from the days when he slept on a piece of sacking below the counter in his fathers most unprofitable shop, devoted all the push, all the activity of his energies to the grappling of business problems and the pursuit of money-making. To many this becomes by the period of{33} middle age a passion not less incurable than drug drinking, and not less ruinous than that to the nobler appetites of life. But Keeling had never allowed it thus to usurp and swamp him; he always had guarded his secret garden, fencing it impenetrably off from the clatter of the till. Here, though undeveloped and sundered from the rest of his life, grew the rose of romance, namely the sense of beauty in books; here shone for him the light which never was on sea or land, which inspires every artists dream. He was not in any degree creative, he had not the desire any more than the skill to write or to draw when he lost himself in reverie over the printed page or the illustrations in his sumptuous editions. But the sense of wonder and admiration which is the oil in the artists lamp burned steadily for him, and lit with a never-flickering flame the hours he passed among his books. Above all, when he was here he lost completely a certain sense of loneliness which was his constant companion.A pink lustre clock of horrible aspect suddenly chimed six, and he jumped up.

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Apr-18 10:27:46