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Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 4,784 pages of information about Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works.
deep into his overcoat pockets.  Damn Crum!  He conceived the wild idea of running back and fending his father, taking him by the arm and walking about with him in front of Crum; but gave it up at once and pursued his way down Piccadilly.  A young woman planted herself before him.  “Not so angry, darling!” He shied, dodged her, and suddenly became quite cool.  If Crum ever said a word, he would jolly well punch his head, and there would be an end of it.  He walked a hundred yards or more, contented with that thought, then lost its comfort utterly.  It wasn’t simple like that!  He remembered how, at school, when some parent came down who did not pass the standard, it just clung to the fellow afterwards.  It was one of those things nothing could remove.  Why had his mother married his father, if he was a ‘bounder’?  It was bitterly unfair—­jolly low-down on a fellow to give him a ‘bounder’ for father.  The worst of it was that now Crum had spoken the word, he realised that he had long known subconsciously that his father was not ’the clean potato.’  It was the beastliest thing that had ever happened to him—­beastliest thing that had ever happened to any fellow!  And, down-hearted as he had never yet been, he came to Green Street, and let himself in with a smuggled latch-key.  In the dining-room his plover’s eggs were set invitingly, with some cut bread and butter, and a little whisky at the bottom of a decanter—­just enough, as Winifred had thought, for him to feel himself a man.  It made him sick to look at them, and he went upstairs.

Winifred heard him pass, and thought:  ’The dear boy’s in.  Thank goodness!  If he takes after his father I don’t know what I shall do!  But he won’t he’s like me.  Dear Val!’

CHAPTER III

SOAMES PREPARES TO TAKE STEPS

When Soames entered his sister’s little Louis Quinze drawing-room, with its small balcony, always flowered with hanging geraniums in the summer, and now with pots of Lilium Auratum, he was struck by the immutability of human affairs.  It looked just the same as on his first visit to the newly married Darties twenty-one years ago.  He had chosen the furniture himself, and so completely that no subsequent purchase had ever been able to change the room’s atmosphere.  Yes, he had founded his sister well, and she had wanted it.  Indeed, it said a great deal for Winifred that after all this time with Dartie she remained well-founded.  From the first Soames had nosed out Dartie’s nature from underneath the plausibility, savoir faire, and good looks which had dazzled Winifred, her mother, and even James, to the extent of permitting the fellow to marry his daughter without bringing anything but shares of no value into settlement.

Winifred, whom he noticed next to the furniture, was sitting at her Buhl bureau with a letter in her hand.  She rose and came towards him.  Tall as himself, strong in the cheekbones, well tailored, something in her face disturbed Soames.  She crumpled the letter in her hand, but seemed to change her mind and held it out to him.  He was her lawyer as well as her brother.

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