|• Main||• Contacts|
Ahead of them walked a gentleman whom it was evident they must at their
present pace very speedily overtake. It was Ramage, the occupant of the
big house at the end of the Avenue. He had recently made Mr. Stanley's
acquaintance in the train and shown him one or two trifling civilities.
He was an outside broker and the proprietor of a financial newspaper; he
had come up very rapidly in the last few years, and Mr. Stanley admired
and detested him in almost equal measure. It was intolerable to think
that he might overhear words and phrases. Mr. Stanley's pace slackened.
"You've no right to badger me like this, Veronica," he said. "I can't
see what possible benefit can come of discussing things that are
settled. If you want advice, your aunt is the person. However, if you
must air your opinions--"
"To-night, then, daddy!"
He made an angry but conceivably an assenting noise, and then Ramage
glanced back and stopped, saluted elaborately, and waited for them to
come up. He was a square-faced man of nearly fifty, with iron-gray hair
a mobile, clean-shaven mouth and rather protuberant black eyes that now
scrutinized Ann Veronica. He dressed rather after the fashion of the
West End than the City, and affected a cultured urbanity that somehow
disconcerted and always annoyed Ann Veronica's father extremely. He
did not play golf, but took his exercise on horseback, which was also
"Stuffy these trees make the Avenue," said Mr. Stanley as they drew
alongside, to account for his own ruffled and heated expression. "They
ought to have been lopped in the spring."
"There's plenty of time," said Ramage. "Is Miss Stanley coming up with
"I go second," she said, "and change at Wimbledon."
"We'll all go second," said Ramage, "if we may?"
Mr. Stanley wanted to object strongly, but as he could not immediately
think how to put it, he contented himself with a grunt, and the motion
was carried. "How's Mrs. Ramage?" he asked.
"Very much as usual," said Ramage. "She finds lying up so much very
irksome. But, you see, she HAS to lie up."
The topic of his invalid wife bored him, and he turned at once to Ann
Veronica. "And where are YOU going?" he said. "Are you going on again
this winter with that scientific work of yours? It's an instance of
heredity, I suppose." For a moment Mr. Stanley almost liked Ramage.
"You're a biologist, aren't you?"
He began to talk of his own impressions of biology as a commonplace
Page 2 from 6: Back 1  3 4 5 6 Forward