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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 64 pages of information about If.

ARCHIE BEAL

O, all right.  Then I don’t know what she meant.

JOHN BEAL

Archie!  You don’t really think she’d come here?  You don’t really think it, do you?

ARCHIE BEAL

Well, it’s the sort of thing that that sort of girl might do, but of course I can’t say . . .

JOHN BEAL

Good Lord, Archie!  That would be awful.

ARCHIE BEAL

But why?

JOHN BEAL

Why?  But what would I do?  Where would she go?  Where would her chaperon go?  The chaperon would be some elderly lady.  Why, it would kill her.

ARCHIE BEAL

Well, if it did you’ve never met her, so you needn’t go into mourning for an elderly lady that you don’t know; not yet, anyway.

JOHN BEAL

No, of course not.  You’re laughing at me, Archie.  But for the moment I took you seriously.  Of course, she won’t come.  One can go into a thing closely without doing it absolutely literally.  But, good Lord, wouldn’t it be an awful situation if she did.

ARCHIE BEAL

O, I don’t know.

JOHN BEAL

All alone with me here?  No, impossible.  And the country isn’t civilised.

Archie Beal.

Women aren’t civilised.

JOHN BEAL

Women aren’t . . .?  Good Lord, Archie, what an awful remark.  What do you mean?

ARCHIE BEAL

We’re tame, they’re wild.  We like all the dull things and the quiet things, they like all the romantic things and the dangerous things.

JOHN BEAL

Why, Archie, it’s just the other way about.

ARCHIE BEAL

O, yes; we do all the romantic things, and all the dangerous things.  But why?

JOHN BEAL

Why?  Because we like them, I suppose. 
I can’t think of any other reason.

ARCHIE BEAL

I hate danger.  Don’t you?

JOHN BEAL

Er—­well, yes, I suppose I do, really.

ARCHIE BEAL

Of course you do.  We all do.  It’s the women that put us up to it.  She’s putting you up to this.  And the more she puts you up to the more likely is Hussein to get it in his fat neck.

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