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

He’s stopped them, Miss Clement.  They’re all going to be thrown into the river.

MIRALDA

Have you?

JOHN BEAL

Well, yes.  I had to.  So it’s all right now.  They won’t do it any more.

MIRALDA

H’m.

JOHN BEAL

What, what is it?  I promise you that’s all right.  They won’t do that any more.

MIRALDA

H’m.  I’ve never known anyone that tried to govern a country or anything of that sort, but . . .

JOHN BEAL

Of course, I’m just doing what I can to put them right.. . .  I’d be very glad of your advice. . .  Of course, I’m only here in your name.

MIRALDA

What I mean is that I’d always thought that the one thing you shouldn’t do, if you don’t mind my saying so. . .

JOHN BEAL

No, certainly.

MIRALDA

Was to interfere in people’s religious beliefs.

JOHN BEAL

But, but I don’t think you quite understand.  The priests knife these people in the throat, boys and girls, and then acolytes lift them up and the blood runs down.  I’ve seen them.

MIRALDA

I think it’s best to leave religion to the priests.  They understand that kind of thing.

[John Beal opens his mouth in horror and looks at ArchieArchie returns the glance; there is very nearly a twinkle in ARCHIE’s eyes.]

MIRALDA

Let’s see Hussein.

JOHN BEAL

What do you think, Archie?

ARCHIE BEAL

Poor fellow.  We’d better send for him.

MIRALDA

Why do you say “poor fellow”?

ARCHIE BEAL

Oh, because he’s so much in debt.  It’s awful to be in debt.  I’d sooner almost anything happened to me than to owe a lot of money.

MIRALDA

Your remark didn’t sound very complimentary.

ARCHIE BEAL

O, I only meant that I’d hate to be in debt.  And I should hate owing money to you, Because . . .

MIRALDA

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