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portmanteau. Can you lend me some stuff?"
"You ARE a chap!" said Constance, and warmed only slowly from the idea
of dissuasion to the idea of help. But they did what they could for her.
They agreed to lend her their hold-all and a large, formless bag which
they called the communal trunk. And Teddy declared himself ready to go
to the ends of the earth for her, and carry her luggage all the way.
Hetty, looking out of the window--she always smoked her after-breakfast
cigarette at the window for the benefit of the less advanced section of
Morningside Park society--and trying not to raise objections, saw Miss
Stanley going down toward the shops.
"If you must go on with it," said Hetty, "now's your time." And Ann
Veronica at once went back with the hold-all, trying not to hurry
indecently but to keep up her dignified air of being a wronged person
doing the right thing at a smart trot, to pack. Teddy went round by the
garden backs and dropped the bag over the fence. All this was exciting
and entertaining. Her aunt returned before the packing was done, and
Ann Veronica lunched with an uneasy sense of bag and hold-all packed
up-stairs and inadequately hidden from chance intruders by the valance
of the bed. She went down, flushed and light-hearted, to the Widgetts'
after lunch to make some final arrangements and then, as soon as her
aunt had retired to lie down for her usual digestive hour, took the
risk of the servants having the enterprise to report her proceedings
and carried her bag and hold-all to the garden gate, whence Teddy, in
a state of ecstatic service, bore them to the railway station. Then she
went up-stairs again, dressed herself carefully for town, put on her
most businesslike-looking hat, and with a wave of emotion she found it
hard to control, walked down to catch the 3.17 up-train.
Teddy handed her into the second-class compartment her season-ticket
warranted, and declared she was "simply splendid." "If you want
anything," he said, "or get into any trouble, wire me. I'd come back
from the ends of the earth. I'd do anything, Vee. It's horrible to think
"You're an awful brick, Teddy!" she said.
"Who wouldn't be for you?"
The train began to move. "You're splendid!" said Teddy, with his hair
wild in the wind. "Good luck! Good luck!"
She waved from the window until the bend hid him.
She found herself alone in the train asking herself what she must do
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