2021-04-18 11:10:57

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ENGLISH Alice seemed inclined to prefer her pomegranates to muffins, and had to be personally conducted from her work, and told she was naughty by Mr Silverdale, who sat on the hearthrug with woollen stockings and very muddy boots protruding from{102} below his cassock, for he had had a game of football with his boys club before his afternoon preaching. He had only just had time to put on his cassock and snatch up his shepherds crook when the game was over, and ran to church, getting there in the nick of time. But he had kicked two goals at his football, and talked to twice that number of penitent souls afterwards in the vestry, so, as he delightedly exclaimed, he had had excellent sport. And he poked the fire with his shepherds crook.He looked at her, and saw that her face seemed flushed. That, no doubt, was owing to the heat of the room where she had been working. He pushed a ledger and a pile of typewritten sheets towards her.

Dont remind me of that affair over my book-plate, he said. You are putting me into an odious position. It isnt generous of you.She had her hands full of the sheets, and he walked with her as far as the door of the very small room where the typewriting was to be done, and opened it for her. It was built out under the tiles, and was excessively hot and stuffy on this warm September morning.

He showed her the way to the drawing-room, where his wife and Alice were standing by the fire.I am right, she said. And I think your plan was wrong.Whod have thought it, do you ask? he said. Why, I thought it; I knew it all along, I may say.

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No, thats all, he said. Ive told you not to be a damned fool, and I meant it. The wisest thing you can do is to take my advice.They had come near to the end of the ridge where the steep descent on to the road began. Fifty yards in front, at present unnoticed by him, was the tussock out of which the bird had risen, and even as they paused, she looking at Bracebridge, and he at her, that carolling and jubilation began again. At once she put down her shielding hand, and laid it on his sleeve, as if he could not hear.Very likely, my dear; you are wonderful at reading character. All the same the people who dont give a thought to food are just those who do go hungry, so we may both of us be right. Is that a spot of rain or a fly? I felt something on the back of my glove.

No: only the wind and the song of a skylark.No, I must turn too, he said. Maynt I walk with you?

Certainly Mamma has no call to be so rude to you, when you do so much for her, she said.Alice Keeling had arrived at that stage of convalescence after her influenza when there is dawn on the wreck, and it seems faintly possible that the world will again eventually prove to contain more than temperature thermometers and beef-tea. She was going to leave Bracebridge with her mother next day for the projected fortnight at Brighton, and had tottered up and down the gravel path round the garden this morning for half an hour to accustom herself to air and locomotion again. While she was out, she had heard the telephone bell ring inside the house, a sound that always suggested to her nowadays an entrancing possibility, and this was confirmed when Parkinson came out to tell her that Mr Silverdale would like to speak to her. At that she ceased to totter: her feet positively twinkled on their way to the little round black ear of the machine. And the entrancing possibility was confirmed. Might Mr Silverdale drop in for the cup that cheered that afternoon? And was she better? And would she promise not to be naughty and get ill again? Indeed, she was vastly better on the moment, and said down the telephone in a voice still slightly hoarse, Im not naughty: me dood,{199} in the baby-dialect much affected by her and Mr Silverdale.Please promise me at once not to suggest this to him, she added.

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I shall be delighted to, he said. Have you{171} got a seconder? Ah, I think that is not necessary when the President proposes a candidate. I will certainly put down your name when I go into Bracebridge next.And did she see you? asked Alice, with a sort of idiotic eagerness. All the time there was ringing in her head, like a peal of baritone bells through{221} the quackings of the telephone, the lovely words, My dear little Helper! Bless you, my dear little Helper.

He had made an engagement with her brother that he should come up one Sunday afternoon some fortnight after Miss Propert had entered his employment, to spend a couple of hours among the herbage of the secret garden. The young man had come into his room just before midday closing time on Saturday, with the weekly returns of the lending library that had just been added to the book department, when a sudden idea struck Keeling.My dear Miss Alice, I wish you could have been with me. There was such an atmosphere of terror in that room when I went in, that I felt half stifled: the place was thick with the fear of death. I fought against it, it was given me to overcome it, and ten minutes later that disreputable old sinner who lay dying there had such{57} a smile of peace and rapture on his face that I cannot but believe that he saw the angels standing round him.He rose.

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Apr-18 11:10:57