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wanted to borrow that money. It did seem in so many ways exactly what
Ramage said it was--the sensible thing to do. There it was--to be
borrowed. It would put the whole adventure on a broader and better
footing; it seemed, indeed, almost the only possible way in which she
might emerge from her rebellion with anything like success. If only for
the sake of her argument with her home, she wanted success. And why,
after all, should she not borrow money from Ramage?
It was so true what he said; middle-class people WERE ridiculously
squeamish about money. Why should they be?
She and Ramage were friends, very good friends. If she was in a position
to help him she would help him; only it happened to be the other way
round. He was in a position to help her. What was the objection?
She found it impossible to look her own diffidence in the face. So she
went to Ramage and came to the point almost at once.
"Can you spare me forty pounds?" she said.
Mr. Ramage controlled his expression and thought very quickly.
"Agreed," he said, "certainly," and drew a checkbook toward him.
"It's best," he said, "to make it a good round sum.
"I won't give you a check though--Yes, I will. I'll give you an
uncrossed check, and then you can get it at the bank here, quite close
by.... You'd better not have all the money on you; you had better
open a small account in the post-office and draw it out a fiver at a
time. That won't involve references, as a bank account would--and all
that sort of thing. The money will last longer, and--it won't bother
He stood up rather close to her and looked into her eyes. He seemed to
be trying to understand something very perplexing and elusive. "It's
jolly," he said, "to feel you have come to me. It's a sort of guarantee
of confidence. Last time--you made me feel snubbed."
He hesitated, and went off at a tangent. "There's no end of things I'd
like to talk over with you. It's just upon my lunch-time. Come and have
lunch with me."
Ann Veronica fenced for a moment. "I don't want to take up your time."
"We won't go to any of these City places. They're just all men, and no
one is safe from scandal. But I know a little place where we'll get a
little quiet talk."
Ann Veronica for some indefinable reason did not want to lunch with him,
a reason indeed so indefinable that she dismissed it, and Ramage went
through the outer office with her, alert and attentive, to the vivid
interest of the three clerks. The three clerks fought for the only
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