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?” “All in good time, my dear,” replied Fortinbras serenely. “I have no quack nostrums to hand over at a minute’s notice. Auguste?/p> got, who ass


?he summoned the waiter and addressed him in fluent French, marred by a Britannic accent: “Give me another glass of this obscene t

umed the sha


hough harmless beverage and satisfy the needs of Monsieur and Mademoiselle, and after that leave us in peace, and if any one seeks to pe

dow shape of

ame——?” He looked enquiringly at Martin and Martin looked enquiringly at Corinna. “I

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’m going to blow twenty pounds,” she replied. “I’ll have a kummel glacé.” “And I’

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ll have the same,” said Martin, “though I don’t in the least know what it is.” The wa

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iter retired. Corinna leaned across the table. “You’re thirty years of age and you’ve

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lived ten years in London and have never seen kummel served with crushed ice and straws?”

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“No,” replied Martin simply. “What is kummel?” She regarded him in wonderment. “Ha

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ve you ever heard of champagne?” “More often than I’ve tasted it,” said Martin. “Th

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is young man,” remarked Corinna, “has seen as much of life as a squirrel in a cage. That

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may not be very p

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olite, Martin—but

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you know it’s tr

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ue. Can you dance?

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” “No,” said Martin. “Have you ever fired off a gun?” “I was once in the Cambridge University Rifle Corps,” said Martin. “You used a rif

a malignant influence.

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as,” remarked Corinna,

le, not a gun,” cried Corinna. “Have you ever shot a bird?” “No,” sa

have something practical

id Martin. “Or caught a fish?” “No,” said Martin. “Can you play cr

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icket, golf, ride——?” “A bicycle,” said Martin. “That’s something


Yet she did not appear

, anyhow. What do you use it for?” “To go backwards and forwards to my work,” said Martin. “What do you do in the way of amusement?” “Nothing,” said Martin, with a sigh. “My good Fortinbras,” said Corinna, “you hav

e your work cut out for you.” The waiter brought the drinks, and after enquiring whether they needed all the electricity, turned out most of the lights. Martin always remembered the scene: the little

to be the young woman to to

low-ceilinged room with its grotesque decorations looming fantastic through the semi-darkness; the noises and warm smells rising from the narrow street; the eyes of the girl opposite raised somewhat mockingly to his, as straw i

n mouth she bent her head over the iced kummel; the burly figure and benevolent face of their queer companion who for five francs had offered to be the arbiter of his destiny, and leaned forward, elbow

lerate aggressive folly on the p

on table and chin in hand, serenely expectant to hear the inmost secrets of his life. He felt tongue-tied and shy and sucking too nervously at his straw choked himself with the strong liqueur. It was one thing to unburden himse

lf to Corinna, another to make coherent statement of his grievance to a stranger. “I am at your disposal, my dear Overshaw,” said the latter, kindly. “From personal observation and from your answers

art of a commonplace you

to Corinna’s enfilade of questions, I gather that you are not overwhelmed by any cataclysm of disaster, but rather that yours is the more negative tragedy of a starved soul—a poor, starved soul hungering for love and joy and

the fruitfulness of the earth and the bounty of spiritual things. Your difficulty now is: How to say to this man, ‘Give me bread for my soul.’ Am I not right?” A glimmer of irony in his smiling grey

ng man. Fortinbras himself had calle

eyes or an inflection of it in his persuasive voice would have destroyed the flattering effect of the little speech. Martin had never taken his soul into account. The diagnosis shed a new light on his state of being. The starva

tion of his soul was certainly the root of the trouble; an infinitely more dignified matter than mere discontent with one’s environment. “Yes,” said he. “You’re right. I’ve had no chance of devel

e an ‘s’ in the plural, in spite of the fact that

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