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for example, get a degree, and make yourself good value. Or become a
thorough-going typist and stenographer and secretarial expert."
"But I can't do that."
"You see, if I do go home my father objects to the College, and as for
"Don't go home."
"Yes, but you forget; how am I to live?"
"Easily. Easily.... Borrow.... From me."
"I couldn't do that," said Ann Veronica, sharply.
"I see no reason why you shouldn't."
"As one friend to another. Men are always doing it, and if you set up to
be a man--"
"No, it's absolutely out of the question, Mr. Ramage." And Ann
Veronica's face was hot.
Ramage pursed his rather loose lips and shrugged his shoulders, with
his eyes fixed steadily upon her. "Well anyhow--I don't see the force of
your objection, you know. That's my advice to you. Here I am. Consider
you've got resources deposited with me. Perhaps at the first blush--it
strikes you as odd. People are brought up to be so shy about money. As
though it was indelicate--it's just a sort of shyness. But here I am to
draw upon. Here I am as an alternative either to nasty work--or going
"It's very kind of you--" began Ann Veronica.
"Not a bit. Just a friendly polite suggestion. I don't suggest any
philanthropy. I shall charge you five per cent., you know, fair and
Ann Veronica opened her lips quickly and did not speak. But the five per
cent. certainly did seem to improve the aspect of Ramage's suggestion.
"Well, anyhow, consider it open." He dabbed with his paper-weight again,
and spoke in an entirely indifferent tone. "And now tell me, please, how
you eloped from Morningside Park. How did you get your luggage out of
the house? Wasn't it--wasn't it rather in some respects--rather a lark?
It's one of my regrets for my lost youth. I never ran away from anywhere
with anybody anywhen. And now--I suppose I should be considered too
old. I don't feel it.... Didn't you feel rather EVENTFUL--in the
train--coming up to Waterloo?"
Before Christmas Ann Veronica had gone to Ramage again and accepted this
offer she had at first declined.
Many little things had contributed to that decision. The chief influence
was her awakening sense of the need of money. She had been forced to buy
herself that pair of boots and a walking-skirt, and the pearl necklace
at the pawnbrokers' had yielded very disappointingly. And, also, she
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