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"Clare dear, don't"

He saw at once that she was happy to-night. The fright was not in her eyes. When she spoke there was only a slight hint of the Danish accent which, on days when she was disturbed, was very strong.

She looked him over as she always did before speaking to him.

Henry did not feel very cheerful; this was not a happy prelude to a month at Duncombe Hall, and the weather had been during the last few weeks more than even England's reputation could tolerate.

Duncombe took the book and went back with it to his desk. There followed a lengthy pause, while Henry stood in front of his table staring at the window.

"Well, you see, it's like this. I've got my regular work I'll have to be getting back to it if this isn't going on. I was put on to this until it was finished, but if it isn't going to be finished, then I'd like to know you see"

"You can't? What the devil do you mean?"

"You know that I can't. She's down in the country."

"Oh, I can't!" she whispered. "I'm so hungry, but I can'tI'm going to be sick."

She went into her bedroom, drew down the blinds, lay down on her bed, closing her eyes. How weak and silly she was to come home just for a headache, to give up her morning's work without an effort because she felt a little ill! Think of all the girls in the shops and the typists and the girl secretaries and the omnibus girls and all the others, they can't go home just because they have a headachejust because . . .

He felt the girl's fear and that suddenly stiffened his own courage. It was almost ludicrous then when the door opened and revealed the stout Mrs. Tenssen, clothed now in light orange and with her an old man.

[Pg 317]