巫妖王之怒下载

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巫妖王之怒下载

巫妖王之怒下载

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  • 巫妖王之怒下载
  • 巫妖王之怒下载
  • 巫妖王之怒下载
  • 巫妖王之怒下载

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"You're beautiful," she said. "I like all that bright colour. Purple suits you and you wear clothes well, too, which hardly any English girls do. It's clever, that little bit of white there. . . . Nice shoes you have . . . lovely hair. I wonder . . ."

Then, as the minutes swung past, he was aware that he should be doing something more than merely looking at the old letters and complimenting them on their age and pretty pathos. He should be arranging them. Yes, arranging them, but how? He began helplessly to pick them up, look at them and lay them on the table again. Many of them had no dates at all, many were signed only with Christian names, some were not signed at all. And how was he to decide on the important ones? How did he know that he would not pass, through ignorance and inexperience, some signature of world-significance? The letters began to look at him with less approval, even with a certain cynical malevolence. They all looked the same with their faded yellow paper and their confusing handwriting. He had many of them on the table, unbound from their red tape, lying loosely about him and yet the box seemed as full as ever. And there were many more boxes! . . . Suddenly, from the very bowels of the house, a gong sounded.

She pushed the book away and looked at him.

"We'll have it then," said Millie. "After all, it's your house, isn't it?"

"You want to marrysome woman who'll look after you."

The war had very nearly made him a man, and had not the authorities discovered, after his first wound in 1915, that he was quite hopeless in command of other men but not at all a fool at intelligence he would have been a man complete by this time. The war smartened him a little but not very much, and the moment he was free he slipped back into his old ways and his old customs with a sigh of relief.

He woke to Mary Cass's urgent call on the telephone.

Soon he was absorbed even as his sister Millicent, at that same moment in the Cromwell Road, was absorbed in a very different collection of letters, on this her second Platt morning. The library with its thousands of books enfolded Henry as though now it approved of him and might love him did he stay reverently in its midst caring for the old things and the old peoplethe old things that pass, the old people who seem to die but do not. At first every letter thrilled him. The merest note:

"I'm contemptible!" Millie cried, "losing my temper with Ellen like a fishwife, then distrusting Bunny. I'm worthless." She wanted to run after Ellen and beg her pardon but pride restrained her. Instead she was cross with Victoria all the morning.

Concerning his friendship with Westcott a word must be said. About a year ago at the house of a friend of Philip's he had been introduced to a thick-set saturnine man who had been sitting by himself in a corner and appearing entirely bored with the evening's proceedings. His host had thrown Henry at this unattractive guest's head as though he would say: "I dare not offer up any of my more important guests to this Cerberus of a fellow, but here's a young ass who doesn't matter and I don't care whether his feelings are hurt or no." Henry himself was at this time cultivating a supercilious air in public, partly from shyness and partly because he did not wish to reveal how deeply pleased he was at being invited to parties. He liked at once Westcott's broad shoulders, close-cropped hair and nonchalant attitude. The first ten minutes of their conversation was not a success, and then Henry discovered that Westcott had, in the days of his youth, actually known, spoken to, had tea with the God of his, Henry's, idolatry, Henry Galleon. Westcott was perhaps touched by young Henry's ingenuous delight, his eager questions, his complete forgetfulness of himself and his surroundings at this piece of information. He in his turn launched out and talked of the London of fifteen years ago and of the heroes of that time, a time that the war had made historic, curious, picturesque, a time that was already older than crinolines, almost as romantic as the Regency. Their host left them together for the remainder of the evening, feeling that he had most skilfully killed two dull birds with one stone. They departed together, walked from Hyde Park Corner together and[Pg 38] by the time that they parted were already friends. That friendship had held firm throughout the succeeding year. As a friendship it was good for both of them. Westcott was very lonely and too proud to go out and draw men in. Henry needed just such an influence as Westcott's, the influence of a man who had known life at its hardest and bitterest, who had come through betrayal, disappointed ambition, poverty and loneliness without losing his courage and belief in life, a man whose heart was still warm towards his fellowmen although he kept it guarded now lest he should too easily be again betrayed.

"Very well then," said Millie, cold with anger. "If you feel you must go, you must. I'm sorry but you must act as you feel."

"What about Cadell and Constable?" asked Spencer, sniffing.

"Shyness is a very difficult thing," said Henry. "I've suffered from it all my lifepartly because I'm conceited and partly because I'm not conceited enough."