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  • 绝世高手在都市txt全集下载
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Of his feeling about London he did not speak to any one because he could not put it into words. There was something mysterious in the very soul of the feeling. He could tell himself that it was partly because London was a middle-aged man's[Pg 237] town. Paris was for youth, he said, and New York too and Berlin perhaps, but London did not love you until you were a little tired and had known trouble and sorrow and lost your self-esteem. Then the grey-smoked stone, the grey of pigeon's wings and the red-misted sky and the faint dusty green of the trees settled about your heart and calmed you. Now when the past is something to you at last, and the scorn of the past that you had in your youth is over, London admits you into her comradeship. "There is no place," he said to himself, "where one can live in such tranquillity. She is like a woman who was once your mistress, whom you meet again after many years and with whom at last, now that passion is gone, you can have kind, loving friendship. Against the grey-white stone and the dim smoke-stained sky the night colours come and go, life flashes and fades, sounds rise and fall, and kindliness of heart is there at the end." He found now that he could watch everything with a passionate interest. Marylebone High Street might not be the most beautiful street in London, but it had the charm of a small country town where, closing your eyes you could believe that only a mile away there was the country road, the fir-wood, the high, wind-swept down. As people down the street stopped for their morning gossip and the dogs recognized their accustomed friends and the little bell of the tiny Post Office jangled its bell, London rolled back like a thick mist on to a distant horizon and its noise receded into a thin and distant whisper of the wind among the trees. Watching from his window he came to know faces and bodies and horses, he grew part of a community small enough to want his company, but not narrow enough to limit his horizon.

"That you gave, you mean," Millie snorted. "Yes, I daresay he likes nothing better than ordering the best dinners possible at other people's expense. He's quite ready, I'm sure, to go on doing that to the end of his time."

There was something in the air of Cladgate with its brass bands, its over-dressed women, its bridge and its dancing.

"Well, I suppose I do think it's something of that sort," he answered. "It hasn't any meaning for me otherwise. It feels like a fight and a fight about something real."

Well, and why shouldn't it? How easy for motors to meet trainsthat is, if you have a motor. But motors are expensive these days, and then there is the petroland the chauffeur must cost something. . . . But that's all right if you can drive yourselfdrive yourself. . . . She pulled herself up. Where was she? Oh, in Victoria's sitting-room. How hot the room was! And the beginning of October. How hot and how empty! Then as though something cut her just beneath the heart, she started. She put her hand to her forehead. Her head was aching horribly. She would go home. She knew that Victoria would not mind.

"Oh, no," said Henry fervently, "I don't, I assure you."

All Victoria desired was to be loved, and by as many people as possible. Within a week the whole of visiting Cladgate adored her. It adored her so much that it was willing to eat her food, sit in her car, allow itself to be taken to the theatre free of expense, and make little suggestions about possible gifts that would be gratefully received.

Even the Pomeranian was transfixed. Henry felt it his duty to speak and he would have spoken had he not been staring at the girl as though his eyes would never be able to leave her face again. It was plain enough that it was she who had been slapped a moment ago. There was a red mark on her cheek and there were tears in her eyes.

"You and Henry are young. I see now that it's only the young who matter any more. If you take the present state of the world from the point of view of the middle-aged or old, it's all utterly hopeless. We may as well make a bonfire of London and go up in the sparks. There's nothing to be said. It's as bad as it can be. There simply isn't time for even the young middle-aged to set things right. But for the young, for every one under thirty it's grand. There's a new city to be built, all the pieces of the old one lying around to teach you lessonsthe greatest time to be born into in the world's history.

[Pg 128]

Panton St., July 21, '20.

Millie had then the curious sensation of having passed through, not very long ago, the scene that was now coming. She saw Ellen's thin body, the faded, grey, old-fashioned dress, the sharply cut, pale face with the indignant, protesting eyes; she saw Bunny's sudden turn towards the door, his face hardening as he realized his old and unrelenting enemy, then the quick half-turn that he made towards Millie as though he needed her protection. That touched her, but again strangely she was for a moment outside this, a spectator of the sun-drenched room, of the silly pictures on the wall, of the desk with the litter of papers that even now she was still mechanically handling. Outside it and beyond it, so that she was able to say to herself, "And now Ellen will move to that far window, she'll brush that chair with her skirt, and now she'll say: 'Good-morning, Mr. Baxter. I won't apologize for interrupting because I've wanted this chance '"


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2023-05-31 00:44:16 [泸州市网友]


2023-05-31 00:44:16 [中卫市网友]

They were to lunch with Peter in Marylebone. Millie had some commission to execute for Victoria and told Henry that she would meet him in Peter's room.

2023-05-31 00:44:16 [乌兰察布市网友]

"Same thing, isn't it?" said Baxter. "I should hate it."

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2023-05-31 00:44:16 [通辽市网友]

Westcott was surprised at Campbell, who was a comfortable man, eager to be liked by every one, afraid therefore to risk controversy lest some one should be displeased, practised in saying the thing that his neighbour wished to hear.

2023-05-31 00:44:16 [安顺市网友]

They shook hands.

2023-05-31 00:44:16 [台湾网友]

Henry produced a red-bound exercise book. It was nearly filled with his childish and sprawling hand. There were also many blots, and even some farcical drawings in the margin.

2023-05-31 00:44:16 [吴忠市网友]

"For the upper classes," said Mr. Johnson, "the consequences will be truly terrible. In Petrograd to-day Dukes and Duchesses are acting as scavengers in the streets. What else can we expect? I heard from a man in the Club yesterday, whose son was in the Archangel forces that it is Lenin's intention to move to London and to make it the centre of his world rule. I leave it to you to imagine, Lady Bell-Hall, how safe any of us will be when we are in the power of Chinese and Mongols."

2023-05-31 00:44:16 [图木舒克市网友]

So far Mr. Bennett and a Victory cannot exactly be claimed for Millie in this encounter. She was furious. She was miserable. Was she so conceited? She'd ask Henry. She did ask the little doctor, who told her"No. Only a little self-confident." He was her only friend and support in these days.