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“South Africa,” she said. “I strongly incline to South Africa.”
“South Africa’s quite a large place,” he said.
“But South Africa is right?”
“You’re warm,” said Hoopdriver, “anyhow,” and the while his imagination was eagerly exploring this new province.
“South Africa IS right?” she insisted.
He turned over again and nodded, smiling reassuringly into her eyes.
“What made me think of South Africa was that novel of Olive Schreiner’s, you know–The Story of an African Fa nike air max 1 sale rm.’ Gregory Rose is so like you.”
“I never read ‘The Story of an African Farm,'” said Hoopdriver. “I must. What’s he like?”
“You must read the book. But it’s a wonderful place, with its mixture of races, and its brand-new civilisation jostling the old savagery. Were nike air max 1 ebay you near Khama?”
“He was a long way off from our place,” said Mr. Hoopdriver. “We had a little ostrich farm, you know–Just a few hundred of ’em, out Johannesburg way.”
“On the Karroo–was it called?”
“That’s the term. Some of it was freehold though. Luckily. We got along very well in the old d air max 1 ays.–But there’s no ostriches on that farm now.” He had a diamond mine in his head, just at the moment, but he stopped and left a little to the girl’s imagination. Besides which it had occurred to him with a kind of shock that he was lying.
“What became of the ostri nike air max 1 red ches?”
“We sold ’em off, when we parted with the farm. Do you mind if I have another cigarette? That was when I was quite a little chap, you know, that we had this ostrich farm.”
“Did you have Blacks and Boers about you?”
“Lots,” said Mr. Hoopdriver, striking a match on his instep and beginning to feel hot at the new responsibility he had brought upon himself.
“How interesting! Do you know, I’ve never been out of England except to Paris and Mentone and Switzerland.”
“One gets tired of travelling (puff) after a bit, of course.”
“You must tell me about your farm in South Afr cheap air max 1 ica. It always stimulates my imagination to think of these places. I can fancy all the tall ostriches being driven out by a black herd–to graze, I suppose. How do ostriches feed?”
“Well,” said Hoopdriver. “That’s rather various. They have their fanci nike air max 1 premium es, you know. There’s fruit, of course, and that kind of thing. And chicken food, and so forth. You have to use judgment.”
“Did you ever see a lion?” “They weren’t very common in our district,” said Hoopdriver, quite modestly. “But I’ve seen them, of course. Once or twice.”
“Fancy seeing a lion! Weren’t you frightened?”
Mr. Hoopdriver was now thoroughly sorry he had accepted that offer of South Africa. He puffed his cigarette and regarded the Solent languidly as he settled the fate on that lion in his mind. “I scarcely had time,” he said. “It all happened in a minute.”
“Go on,” she said.
“I was going nike air max 1 black across the inner paddock where the fatted ostriches were.”
“Did you EAT ostriches, then? I did not know–”
“Eat them!–often. Very nice they ARE too, properly stuffed. Well, we–I, rather–was going across this paddock, an nike air max 1 grey d I saw something standing up in the moonlight and looking at me.” Mr. Hoopdriver was in a hot perspiration now. His invention seemed to have gone limp. “Luckily I had my father’s gun with me. I was scared, though, I can tell you. (Puff.) I just aimed at the end that I thought was the head. And let fly. (Puff.) And over it went, you know.”
“AS dead. It was one of the luckiest shots I ever fired. And I wasn’t much over nine at the time, neither.”
“_I_ should have screamed and run away.”
“There’s some things you can’t run away from,” said Mr. Hoopdriver. “To run would have been Death.”
“I don’t think I ever met a lion-killer before,” she remarked, evidently with a heightened opinion of him.
There was a pause. She seemed meditating further questions. Mr. Hoopdriver drew his watch hastily. “I say,” said Mr. Hoopdri nike air max 1 ver, showing it to her, “don’t you think we ought to be getting on?”
His face was flushed, his ears bright red. She ascribed his confusion to modesty. He rose with a lion added to the burthens of his conscience, and held out his hand to assist her. They walked down into Cosham again, resumed their machines, and went on at a leisurely pace along the northern shore of the big harbour. But Mr. Hoopdriver was no longer happy. This horrible, this fulsome lie, stuck in his memory. Why HAD he done it? She did not ask for any more South African stories, happily–at least until Porchester was reached–but talked instead of Living One’s Own Life, and how custom hung on people like chains. She talked wonderfully, and set Hoopdriver’s mind fermenting. By the Castle, Mr nike air max 1 leopard . Hoopdriver caught several crabs in little shore pools. At Fareham they stopped for a second tea, and left the place towards the hour of sunset, under such invigorating circumstances as you shall in due course hear.
Chapter 30
And now to tell of those energetic chevaliers, Widgery, Dangle, and Phipps, and of that distressed beauty, ‘Thomas Plantagenet,’ well known in society, so the paragraphs said, as Mrs. Milton. We left them at Midhurst station, if I remember rightly, waiting, in a state of fine emotion, for the Chichester train. It was clearly understood by the entire Rescue Party that Mrs. Milton was bearing up bravely against almost overwhelming grief. The three gentlemen outdid one another in sympathetic expedients; they watched her gravely almost tenderly. The substantial Widgery tugged at his moustache, and looked his unspeakable feelings at her with those dog-like, brown eyes of his; the slender Dangle tugged at HIS moustache, and did what he could with unsympathetic grey ones. Phipps, unhappily, had no moustache t o run any risks with, so he folded his arms and talked in a brave, indifferent, bearing-up tone about the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway, just to cheer the poor woman up a little. And even Mrs. Milton really felt that exalted melancholy to the very bottom of her heart, and tried to show it in a dozen little, delicate, feminine ways.
“There is nothing to do until we get to Chichester,” said Dangle. “N cheap nike air max 1 othing.”
“Nothing,” said Widgery, and aside in her ear: “You really ate scarcely anything, you know.”
“Their trains are always late,” said Phipps, with his fingers along the edge of his collar. Dangle, you must understand, was a sub-editor and reviewer, and his pride was to be Thomas Plantagenet’s intellectual companion. Widgery, the big man, was manager of a bank and a mighty golfer, and his conception of his relations to her never came into his mind without those charming oldlines, “Douglas, Douglas, tender and true,” falling hard upon its heels. His name was Douglas-Douglas Widgery. And Phipps, Phipps was a medical student still, and he felt that he laid his heart at her feet, the heart of a man of the world. She was kind to them all in her way, and insisted on their being friends together, in spite of a disposition t nike air max 1 sale o reciprocal criticism they displayed. Dangle thought Widgery a Philistine, appreciating but coarsely the merits of “A Soul Untrammelled,” and Widgery thought Dangle lacked, humanity–would talk insincerely to say a clever thing. Both Dangle and Widgery thought Phipps a bit of a cub, and Phipps thought both Dangle and Widgery a couple of Thundering Bounders. ③

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