"But I shall interfere," said his wife. "I can't see Rafella wrecking her happiness, and not say a word."


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She had honestly intended to go home soon after dinner was over, but Mrs. Roy refused to "hear of such a thing."

“An amazingly clever performance, but very horrible.”

“When I was down below,” explained Jack, “it struck me what a commotion there would be

"I don't," he assured her; "and may I say that I hope you won't either?"

"I can see this, Lady Hetherington, and I shall mention it once for all. You have never treated that gentleman, Mr. Joyce, as he ought to be treated. He is a gentleman, in mind and thought and education, and he comes here and does for poor dear stupid West what West is totally unable to do himself, and yet is most anxious to have the credit of. The position which Mr. Joyce holds is a most delicate one, one which he fills most delicately, but one which any man with a less acute sense of honour and right might use to his own advantage, and to bring ridicule on his employer. Don't fancy I'm hard on dear old West in saying this; if he's your husband he's my brother, and you can't be more jealous of his name than I am. But it's best to be plainspoken about the matter now, it may save some serious difficulties hereafter. And how do you treat this gentleman? Until I spoke to you some months since you ignored his presence; although he was domesticated in your house you scarcely knew his personal appearance. Since then you bow, and give him an occasional word, but you're not half so polite to him as you are to the quadrille-bandsman when he is in much request, or to the Bond Street librarian when stalls for some particular performance are scarce. I am different; I am sick to death of 'us' and our 'set,' and our insipid fade ways, and our frightful conventionality and awful dulness! Our men are even more odious than our women, and that's saying a good deal; their conversation varies between insolence and inanity, and as they dare not talk the first to me, they're compelled to fall back on the second. When I meet this gentleman, I find him perfectly well-bred, perfectly at his ease, with a modest assurance which is totally different from the billiard-table swagger of the men of the day; perfectly respectful, full of talk on interesting topics, never for an instant pressing himself unduly forward, or forgetting that he is what he is--a gentleman! I find a charm in his society; I acknowledge it; I have never sought to disguise it. The fact that he saved my life at the hazard of his own does not tend to depreciate him in my eyes. And then, because I like him and have the honesty to say so, I am bid to 'think of' my relations, and 'have regard for decency!' A little too much, upon my word!"

"Take 'em out, Felix," Hartford said. "Two personnel carriers, a .50-caliber m.g.-mounted jeep fore and aft. You and the colonel take the rear jeep; I'll lead. Have the men unbag their weapons the instant we're outside. Any questions?"

"Sir," said he, "I ask your pardon, but you went out with an innocent and harmless countenance, and you come in with a complexion fierce beyond description."

Mr. Forte to entertain Mrs. Coventry and her daughter and one or two lingering visitors in the faded, old-fashioned drawing-room.

to hold the political aspirations of the Ruthenians in check, has given them a free hand in the government of the province, they have vastly greater freedom and they have made less progress.




In Europe to-day the great problem to which statesmen are giving their thought and attention is not how to hold the masses of the people down but how to lift them up; to make them more efficient in their labour and give them a more intelligent share and interest in the life of the community and state of which they are


But here a terrible development seemed likely to occur. Mrs. Van Tromp, with a slight and supercilious inclination of her head, was about to step out, as the elevator-boy flung the door open with a bang.



“Yes, sir, for safety like, I suppose, in case he should spoil one—and sure enough, so he did do. Us had signed one——”


Paula Piacentelli wore the short skirt, knee-hose and short-sleeved blouse of Pioneer green that was the Class B uniform for females inside the Barracks. She looked, Hartford thought, remarkably delectable; and he again congratulated his friend on his luck in getting her. He returned his attention to the Status Board, which Paula was conning. Two red lights flickered on above the ground-floor diagram of the Barracks, indicating that the two men of the picket had entered the Hot Gut. A moment later these lights blinked off, and two lighted over the diagram of the Wet Gut. Piacentelli and Bond were swimming now, towing their weapons in ballooning plastic sleeves. Sterile, on their way out into a filthy world, these two men were the outpost that would protect through the night their hundreds of brothers and sisters sleeping safe in utero. Freud, thou shouldst have lived this hour! Hartford mused.

. . .