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postal department waited to receive a receipt for them. This she scribbled, after comparing the numbers attached to the seals with those inscribed on the boy’s receipt-book.
For some reason Hilda had not followed her, and she was alone and had tumbled the contents of the first bag on to her desk when the managing director of Punsonby’s made nike air max 1 premium a surprising appearance at the glass-panelled door of her office.
He was a large, stout and important-looking man, bald and bearded. He enjoyed an episcopal manner, and had a trick of pulling back his head when he asked questions, as though he desired to evade the full force of the answer.
He stood in the doorway and beckoned her out, and she went without any premonition of what was in store for her.
“Ah, Miss Cresswell,” he said. “I–ah–am sorry I did not see yo cheap air max 1 u before you had taken off your coat and hat. Will you come to my office?”
“Certainly, Mr. White,” said the girl, wondering what had happened.
He led the way with his majestic stride, dangling a pair of pince-nez by their cord, as a fastidious person might carry a mouse by its tail, and ushered her into his rosewood-panelled office.
“Sit down, sit down, Miss Cresswell,” he said, and seating himself at his desk he put the tips of his fingers together and looked up to the ceiling for inspiration. “I am afraid, Miss Cresswell,” he said, “that I have–ah–an unpleasant task.”
“An unpleasant task, Mr. White?” she said, with a sinking feeling inside her.
He nodded.
“I have to tell you that Punsonby’s no longer require your services.”
She rose to her feet, looking down at him open-mouthed with wonder and consternation.
“Not require my services?” she said slowly. “Do you mean that air max 1 I am discharged?”
He nodded again.
“In lieu of a month’s notice I will give you a cheque for a month’s salary, plus the unexpired portion of this week’s salary.”
“But why am I being discharged? Why? Why?”
Mr. White, who had opened his eyes for a moment to watch the effect of his lightning stroke, closed them again.
“It is not the practice of Punsonby’s to give any reason for dispensing with the services of its employees,” he said oracularly, “it is sufficient that I should tell you that hitherto you have given every satisfaction, but for reasons which I am not prepared to discuss we must dispense with your services.”
Her head was in a whirl. She could not grasp what had happened. For five years she had worked in the happiest circumstances in this great store, where everybody had been kind to her and where her tasks had been congenial. She had never thought of going elsewhere. She regarded herself, as did all the better-class nike air max 1 red employees, as a fixture.
“Do I understand,” she asked, “that I am to leave–at once?”
Mr. White nodded. He pushed the cheque across the table and she took it up and folded it mechanically.
“And you are not going to tell me why?”
Mr. White shook his head.
“Punsonby’s do nothing without a good reason,” he said solemnly, feeling that whatever happened he must make a good case for Punsonby’s, and that whoever was to blame for this unhappy incident it was not an august firm which paid its fourteen per cent. with monotonous regularity. “We lack–ah–definite knowledge to proceed any further in this matter than–in fact, than we have proceede nike air max 1 d. Definite knowledge” (the girl was all the more bewildered by his cumbersome diplomacy) “definite knowledge was promised but has not–in fact, has not come to hand. It is all very unpleasant–very unpleasant,” and he shook his head.
She bowed and turning, walked quickly from the room, passed to the lobby where her coat was hung, put on her hat and left Punsonby’s for ever.
It was when she had r eached the street that, with a shock, she remembered Beale’s words and she stood stock-still, pinching her lip thoughtfully. Had he known? Why had he come that morning, hours before he was ordinarily visible–if the common gossip of Krooman Mansions be worthy of credence?–and then as though to cap the amazing events of the morning she saw him. He was standing on the corner of the street, leaning on his cane, smo cheap nike air max 1 king a long cigarette through a much longer holder, and he seemed wholly absorbed in watching a linesman, perched high above the street, repairing a telegraph wire.
She made a step toward him, but stopped. He was so evidently engrossed in the acrobatics of the honest workman in mid-air that he could not have seen her and she nike air max 1 ebay turned swiftly and walked the other way.
She had not reached the end of the block before he was at her side.
“You are going home early, Miss Cresswell,” he smiled.
She turned to him.
“Do you know why?” she asked.
“I don’t know why–unless—-”
“Unless what?”
“Unless you have been discharged,” he said coolly.
Her brows knit.
“What do you know about my discharge?” she asked.
“Such things are possible,” said Mr. Beale.
“Did you know I was going to be discharged?” she asked again.
He nodded.
“I didn’t exa nike air max 1 black ctly know you would be discharged this morning, but I had an idea you would be discharged at some time or o nike air max 1 ther. That is why I came with my offer.”
“Which, of course, I won’t accept,” she snapped.
“Which, of course, you have accepted,” he said quietly. “Believe me, I know nothing more than that Punsonby’s have been prevailed upon to discharge you. What reason induced them to take that step, honestly I don’t know.”
“But why did you think so?”
He was grave of a sudden.
“I just thought so,” he s nike air max 1 grey aid. “I am not going to be mysterious with you and I can only tell you that I had reasons to believe that some such step would be taken.”
She shrugged her shoulders wearily.
“It is quite mysterious enough,” she said. “Do you seriously want me to work for you?”
He nodded.
“You didn’t tell me your city address.”
“That is why I came bac nike air max 1 leopard k,” he said.
“Then you knew I was coming out?”
“I knew you would come out some time in the day.”
She stared at him.
“Do you mean to tell me that you would have waited all day to give me your address?”
He laughed.
“I only mean this,” he replied, “that I should have waited all day.”
It was a helpless laugh which echoed his.
“My address is 342 Lothbury,” he went on, “342. You may begin work this afternoon and—-” He hesitated.
“And?” she repeated nike air max 1 sale .
“And I think it would be wise if you didn’t tell your friend, the doctor, that I am employing you.”
He was examining his finger-nails attentively as he spoke, and he did not meet her eye.
“There are many reasons,” he went on. “In the first place, I have blotted my copy-book, as they say, in Krooman Mansions, and it might not rebound to your credit.”
“You should have thought of that before you asked me to come to you,” she said.
“I thought of it a great deal,” he replied calmly.
There was much in what he said, as the girl recognized. She blamed herself for her hasty promise, but somehow the events of the previous night had placed him on a different footing, had given him a certain indefinable position to which the inebri cheap air max 1 ate Mr. Beale had not aspired.
“I am afraid I am rather bewildered by all the mystery of it,” she said, “and I don’t think I will come to the office to-day. To-morrow morning, at what hour?”
“Ten o’clock,” he said, “I will be there to explain your duties. Your salary will be L5 a

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