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spur of the moment in the face of such conflicting values as he
had before him. With me behaving as if everything was infinitely
matter-of-fact, what could he do? And just then Heaven sent old
Manningtree--I didn't tell you before of the fortunate intervention of
Manningtree, did I? He was looking quite infernally distinguished, with
a wide crimson ribbon across him--what IS a wide crimson ribbon? Some
sort of knight, I suppose. He is a knight. 'Well, young man,' he said,
'we haven't seen you lately,' and something about 'Bateson & Co.'--he's
frightfully anti-Mendelian--having it all their own way. So I introduced
him to my father-in-law like a shot. I think that WAS decision. Yes, it
was Manningtree really secured your father. He--"
"Here they are!" said Ann Veronica as the bell sounded.
They received the guests in their pretty little hall with genuine
effusion. Miss Stanley threw aside a black cloak to reveal a discreet
and dignified arrangement of brown silk, and then embraced Ann Veronica
with warmth. "So very clear and cold," she said. "I feared we might
have a fog." The housemaid's presence acted as a useful restraint. Ann
Veronica passed from her aunt to her father, and put her arms about him
and kissed his cheek. "Dear old daddy!" she said, and was amazed to
find herself shedding tears. She veiled her emotion by taking off his
overcoat. "And this is Mr. Capes?" she heard her aunt saying.
All four people moved a little nervously into the drawing-room,
maintaining a sort of fluttered amiability of sound and movement.
Mr. Stanley professed a great solicitude to warm his hands. "Quite
unusually cold for the time of year," he said. "Everything very nice,
I am sure," Miss Stanley murmured to Capes as he steered her to a place
upon the little sofa before the fire. Also she made little pussy-like
sounds of a reassuring nature.
"And let's have a look at you, Vee!" said Mr. Stanley, standing up with
a sudden geniality and rubbing his hands together.
Ann Veronica, who knew her dress became her, dropped a curtsy to her
Happily they had no one else to wait for, and it heartened her mightily
to think that she had ordered the promptest possible service of the
dinner. Capes stood beside Miss Stanley, who was beaming unnaturally,
and Mr. Stanley, in his effort to seem at ease, took entire possession
of the hearthrug.
"You found the flat easily?" said Capes in the pause. "The numbers are a
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