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    “Mother, I cannot hear you say such ridiculous things about Claudia. You do not know her. You might as well say that the children of murderers will all grow up murderers.”
    She broke off a fragrant red rose and buried her face in it. It filled her nostrils with the sweetness and fragrance of life. It meant beauty, youth, happiness! Those things were for Pat, not for her. Then the rose recalled her last meeting with Frank and the little dinner-table. He was not finding youth and beauty with Maria Jacobs, he was finding what apparently he had always wanted—money. Well, he had made no wound in her heart, it had been mere physical attraction.


    1.Then she looked at the man in the chair beside hers, and as her preoccupation had made him drop his guard, she read clearly the very personal admiration in his eyes. For a moment they remained looking at one another, love in the man’s eyes, a hopeless bewilderment and weariness in Claudia’s.
    2.The small dining-room of Frank’s studio-flat had that cosy, friendly air that only a small room can achieve. That there was little more space than was occupied by the table laid for four only seemed to increase the pleasantness of the apartment, which was lit by four red candles in old pewter candlesticks on the table. Their red shades confined the circle of light to the white tablecloth, and allowed the rest of the room to appear pleasantly soft and vague. An enormous bowl of red roses filled the centre of the table, and some of their broken petals were scattered over the cloth, while an Eastern scarf of some filmy material shading from orange to blood-red was loosely disposed with an air of artistic negligence around the centre bowl.
    3.But here Gilbert put his foot down. His mother must be made to see that he knew quite well what he was about, that he had not run haphazard into this engagement. Not on any account would he let her see that curious mixture of surprise and annoyance at the back of his mind when he thought of the proposal scene. He had an undefined feeling that he had been hurried[51] into it, though how he had been hurried, by whom or by what, he did not seek to explain even to himself. To Gilbert’s cast of mind vague feelings were best ignored as symptoms of a weak and illogical brain, much the same as vague symptoms may denote an illness of the body. Still the feeling was there, behind many stacks of docketed and pigeonholed pieces of information. Yet he had almost made up his mind to propose to Claudia—oh! yes—only—that particular night?
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