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

JOHN BEAL

But—­but you don’t mean you’d hurt
Hussein?  Not—­not badly, I mean.

ARCHIE BEAL

We’re under her orders, Johnny.  See what she says.

JOHN BEAL

You, you don’t really think she’ll come here?

ARCHIE BEAL

Of course I do, and the best thing too.  It’s her show; she ought to come.

JOHN BEAL

But, but you don’t understand.  She’s just a young girl, A girl like Miss Miralda couldn’t come out here over the pass and down these mountains, she’d never stand it, and as for the chaperon . . .  You’ve never met Miss Miralda.

ARCHIE BEAL

No, Johnny.  But the girl that was able to get you to go from Bromley to this place can look after herself.

JOHN BEAL

I don’t see what that’s got to do with it.  She was in trouble and I had to help her.

ARCHIE BEAL

Yes, and she’ll be in trouble all the way here from Blackheath, and everyone will have to help her.

JOHN BEAL

What beats me is how you can have the very faintest inkling of what she’s like without ever having seen her and without my having spoken of her to you for more than a minute.

ARCHIE BEAL

Well, Johnny, you’re not a romantic bird, you’re not a traveller by nature, barring your one trip to Eastbourne, and it was I that took you there.  And contrariwise, as they say in a book you’ve never read, you’re a levelheaded business man and a hardworking respectable stay-at-home.  You meet a girl in a train, and the next time I see you you’re in a place that isn’t marked on the map and telling it what gods it ought to worship and what gods it ought to have agnosticism about.  Well, I say some girl.

JOHN BEAL

Well, I must say you make the most extraordinary deductions, but it was awfully good of you to come, and I ought to be grateful; and I am, too, I’m awfully grateful; and I ought to let you talk all the rot you like.  Go ahead.  You shall say what you like and do what you like.  It isn’t many brothers that would do what you’ve done.

ARCHIE BEAL

O, that’s nothing.  I like this country.  I’m glad I came.  And if I can help you with Hussein, why all the better.

JOHN BEAL

It’s an awful country, Archie, but we’ve got to see this through.

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