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report, and was advanced to the rank of major. But of this

2023-12-04 02:07:38 source:Lawless netauthor: problem click:520Second-rate

'No one else would offer terms as good.'

report, and was advanced to the rank of major. But of this

Well, it was seventy-five pounds in hand. The cheque came as soon as it was requested, and Reardon's face brightened for the moment. Blessed money! root of all good, until the world invent some saner economy.

report, and was advanced to the rank of major. But of this

'How much do you owe your mother?' he inquired, without looking at Amy.

report, and was advanced to the rank of major. But of this

'Six pounds,' she answered coldly.

'And five to Carter; and rent, twelve pounds ten. We shall have a matter of fifty pounds to go on with.'

The prudent course was so obvious that he marvelled at Amy's failing to suggest it. For people in their circumstances to be paying a rent of fifty pounds when a home could be found for half the money was recklessness; there would be no difficulty in letting the flat for this last year of their lease, and the cost of removal would be trifling. The mental relief of such a change might enable him to front with courage a problem in any case very difficult, and, as things were, desperate. Three months ago, in a moment of profoundest misery, he had proposed this step; courage failed him to speak of it again, Amy's look and voice were too vivid in his memory. Was she not capable of such a sacrifice for his sake? Did she prefer to let him bear all the responsibility of whatever might result from a futile struggle to keep up appearances?

Between him and her there was no longer perfect confidence. Her silence meant reproach, and--whatever might have been the case before--there was no doubt that she now discussed him with her mother, possibly with other people. It was not likely that she concealed his own opinion of the book he had just finished; all their acquaintances would be prepared to greet its publication with private scoffing or with mournful shaking of the head. His feeling towards Amy entered upon a new phase. The stability of his love was a source of pain; condemning himself, he felt at the same time that he was wronged. A coldness which was far from representing the truth began to affect his manner and speech, and Amy did not seem to notice it, at all events she made no kind of protest. They no longer talked of the old subjects, but of those mean concerns of material life which formerly they had agreed to dismiss as quickly as possible. Their relations to each other-- not long ago an inexhaustible topic--would not bear spoken comment; both were too conscious of the danger-signal when they looked that way.

In the time of waiting for the publishers' offer, and now again when he was asking himself how he should use the respite granted him, Reardon spent his days at the British Museum. He could not read to much purpose, but it was better to sit here among strangers than seem to be idling under Amy's glance. Sick of imaginative writing, he turned to the studies which had always been most congenial, and tried to shape out a paper or two like those he had formerly disposed of to editors. Among his unused material lay a mass of notes he had made in a reading of Diogenes Laertius, and it seemed to him now that he might make something salable out of these anecdotes of the philosophers. In a happier mood he could have written delightfully on such a subject--not learnedly, but in the strain of a modern man whose humour and sensibility find free play among the classic ghosts; even now he was able to recover something of the light touch which had given value to his published essays.

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