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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

    size: 186MB


    Software instructions

      I saw Mrs Fyson this afternoon, she said, beginning gently.Dear Lord Inverbroom,I am obliged for your favour just to hand, and regret I was out. I should be obliged if you would kindly fulfil the engagement you entered into with me, and put me up for election as agreed. I do not in the least fear the result of the election, and so trust you may be in error about it.

      This seemed a very proper speech to Mrs Keeling. It was delivered in clear, pleasant tones, with the appearance of respect, and she could not make out why Alice gave one of her queer, crooked smiles, or why she said,Mrs Keelings party that night, which sat down very punctually at half-past seven, and would disperse at half-past ten, was of the only-a-few-friends nature. Julia Fyson, Alices bosom friend, whom she had begun to dislike very cordially, was there, with her father and mother, the former, small and depressed, the latter, large and full-blooded and of a thoroughly poisonous nature. The four Keelings were there, and the extremely ladylike young woman whom Hugh had lately led to the altar. She was a shade too lady-like,{134} if anything, and never forgot to separate her little finger from the others when she was holding a cup or glass. They were ten in all, Mr Silverdale and Dr Inglis completing the number. As was usual at the table of that generous housekeeper Mrs Keeling, there were vast quantities of nitrogenous food provided in many courses, and it was not till nine that the dining-room door was opened, on the run, by Mr Silverdale to let the ladies leave the room. He made a suitable remark to each as she passed him, and Julia Fyson and Alice, with waists and arms interlaced, stopped to talk to him as they went out. Precisely at that moment, while they were all in the Gothic hall together, the boy covered with buttons opened the front door and admitted Norah Propert. The door into the dining-room was still being held wide by Silverdale, as the interlaced young ladies answered his humorous laments over the setting of the sun now that the ladies were leaving, and through it Keeling standing at the head of the table saw Norah there. She had had but one moment for thought as the front-door was opened to her, but the light from the hall streamed full on to the step and she judged it better to come in than, having been already seen, retreat again. Without looking up she walked across to the library door while still Mrs Fyson stared, and let herself in. She heard the dining-room door opposite close again while she fumbled for the switch of{135} the electric light; she heard indistinguishable murmurs from the hall. Only one caught her ear intelligibly when Mrs Keeling said, Oh, Mr Keelings typewriter. She is cataloguing his books.

      CHAPTER VBut as the fire began to die down, the invigorating prospect of next day lost its quality, and there began to stir in her mind a vague disquiet. Hitherto it had really been enough for her that Mr Silverdale existed; to put him on a pedestal and adore in company with other reverential worshippers had satisfied her, and the inspiration had resulted in many useful activities. But to-night she began to wish that there had not been{113} so many other worshippers, towards whom he exhibited the same benignant and affectionate aspect. There was Julia Fyson, for instance: he would walk between them with an arm for each, and a pressure of the hand for Julia as well as herself. In moments of expansion she and Julia had confided to each other their adoration and its rewards; they had sung their hymns of praise together, and had bewailed to each other the rare moments when he seemed to be cold and distant with them, each administering comfort to the other, and being secretly rather pleased. But now Alice felt that any story of his coldness to Julia would give her more than a little pleasure. She would like him to be always cold to Julia. She wanted him herself. And at that moment the truth struck her: she was in love with him. Till then, she had not known it: till then, perhaps, there had been nothing definite and personal to know. But now, as the fire died down, she was aware of nothing else, and her heart starved and cried out. She had admired and adored before; those were self-supporting emotions. But this cried out for its due sustenance.


      It was nearly a month since the Sunday afternoon when he had held conference with the two Properts here. He had gone back to his office on the following Monday morning, feeling that he had shown a human side to Norah. She had done the same to him: she had talked to Mr{116} Keeling; not to sir; there was some kind of communication between them other than orders from an employer to an employed, and obedience, swift and deft from the employed to the employer. When he arrived at the office, punctual to nine oclock, with a large post awaiting his perusal, he had found she had not yet come, and had prepared a little friendly speech to her on the lines of Mr Keeling. She arrived not five minutes afterwards, and he had consciously enjoyed the sound of her steps running along the passage, from the lift. But when she entered she had no trace of the previous afternoon.How pleased the herald angels will be! he answered.


      Indeed, and who was that? asked Mrs Keeling.


      Keeling felt a keen and secret enjoyment over this. He knew quite well what she must have seen, namely the fact that he was a yearly subscriber of 10, as set forth on the subscription board. He had no temptation whatever to tell her who was the anonymous donor of the new wing. She would hear that to-morrow, and in{238} the meantime would continue to consider him the donor of 10 a year. He liked that: he did not want any curtailment of it.