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ty. Dangle, with sticking-plaster and a black eye, felt the absurdity of the pose of the Wounded Knight, and abandoned it after the faintest efforts. Recriminations never, perhaps, held the foreground of the talk, but they played like summer lightn north face gilet ing on the edge of the conversation. And deep in the hearts of all was a galling sense of the ridiculous. Jessie, they thought, was most to blame. Apparently, too, the worst, which would have made the whole business tragic, was not happening. Here was a young woman –young woman do I say? a mere girl!–had chosen to leave a comfortable home in Surbiton, and all the delights of a refined and intellectual circle, and had rushed off, trailing us after her, posing har north face sale d, mutually jealous, and now tired and weather-worn, to flick us off at last, mere mud from her wheel, into this detestable village beer-house on a Saturday night! And she had done it, not for Love and Passion, which are serious excuses one may recognise even if one must reprobate, but just for a Freak, just for a fantastic Idea ; for nothing, in fact, but the outraging of Common Sense. Yet withal, such was our restraint, that we talked of her still as one much misguided, as one who burthened us with anxiety, as a lamb astray, and Mrs. Milton having eaten, continued to show the finest feelings on the matter.
She sat, I may mention, in the cushioned basket-chair, the only comfortable chair in the room, and we sat on incredibly hard, horsehair things having antimacassars tied to their backs by means of lemon-coloured bows. It was different from those dear old talks at Surbiton, somehow. She sat facing the window, which was op North Face Sale UK en (the night was so tranquil and warm), and the dim light- -for we did not use the lamp–suited her admirably. She talked in a voice that told you she was tired, and she seemed inclined to state a case against herself in the matter of “A Soul Untrammelled.” It was such an evening as might live in a sympathetic memoir, but it was a little dull while it lasted.
“I feel,” she said, “that I am to blame. I have Developed. That first book of mine–I do not go back upon a word of it, mind, but it has been misunderstood, misapplied.”
“It has,” said Widgery, trying to look so deeply sympathetic as to be visible in the dark. “Deliberately misunderstood.”
“Don’t say that,” said the lady. “Not deliberately. I try and think that critics are honest. After their lights. I was not thinking of critics. But she–I mean–” She paused, an interrogation.
“It is possible,” said Dangle, scrutinising his sticking-plaster.
“I write a book and state a case. I want people to THINK as I recommend, not to DO as I recommend. It is just Teaching. Only I ma ke it into a story. I want to Teach new Ideas, new Lessons, to promulgate Ideas. Then when the Ideas have been spread abroad–Things will come about. Only now it is madness to fly in the face of the established order. Bernard Shaw, you know, has explained that with regard to Socialism. We all know that to earn all you consume is right, and that living on invested capital is wrong. Only we cannot begin while we a north face outlet re so few. It is Those Others.”
“Precisely,” said Widgery. “It is Those Others. They must begin first.”
“And meanwhile you go on banking–”
“If I didn’t, some one else would.”
“And I live on Mr. Milton’s Lotion while I try to gain a footing in Literature.”
“TRY!” said Phipps. “You HAVE done so.” And, “That’s different,” said Dangle, at the same time.
“You are so kind to me. But in this matter. Of course Georgina Griffiths in my book lived alone in a flat in Paris and went to life classes and had men visitors, but then she was over twenty-one.”
“Jessica is only seventeen, and girlish for that,” said Dangle.
“It alters everything. That child! It is different with a woman. And Georgina Griffiths never flaunted her freedom– on a bicycle, in country places. In this country. Where every one is so particular. Fancy, SLEEPING aw north face ay from home. It’s dreadful– If it gets about it spells ruin for her.”
“Ruin,” said Widgery.
“No man would marry a girl like that,” said Phipps.
“It must be hushed up,” said Dangle.
“It always seems to me that life is made up of individuals, of individual cases. We must weigh each person against his or her circumstances. General rules don’t apply–”
“I often feel the force of that,” said Widgery. “Those are my rules. Of course my books–”
“It’s different, altogether different,” said Dangle. “A novel deals with typical cases.”
“And life is not typical,” said Widgery, with immense profundity.
Then suddenly, unintentionally, being himself most surprised and shocked of any in the room, Phipps yawned. The failing was infectious, and the gathering having, as you can easily understand, talked itself weary, dispersed on trivial cheap north face jackets pretences. But not to sleep immediately. Directly Dangle was alone he began, with infinite disgust, to scrutinise his darkling eye, for he was a neat-minded little man in spite of his energy. The whole business–so near a capture–was horribly vexatious. Phipps sat on his bed for some time examining, with equal disgust, a collar he would have thought incredible for Sunday twenty-four hours before. Mrs. Milton fell a-musing on the mortality of even big, fat men with dog-like eyes, and Widgery was unhappy because he had been so cross to her at the station, and because so far he did not feel that he had scored over Dangle. Also he was angry with Dangle. And all four of them, being souls living very much upon the appearances of things, had a painful, mental middle distance of Botley derisive and suspicious, and a remoter back Cheap North Face Sale ground of London humorous, and Surbiton speculative. Were they really, after all, behaving absurdly?
Chapter 32
As Mr. Dangle bad witnessed, the fugitives had been left by him by the side of the road about two miles from Botley. Before Mr. Dangle’s appearance, Mr. Hoopdriver had been learning with great interest that mere roadside flowers had names,–star-flowers, wind-stars, St. John’s wort, willow herb, lords and ladies, bachelor’s buttons,–most curious names, some of them. “The flowers are all different in South Africa, y’know,” he was explaining with a happy fluke of his imagination to account for his ignorance. Then suddenly, heralded by clattering sounds and a gride of wheels, Dangle had flared and thundered across the tranquillity of the summer evening; Dangle, swaying and gesticulating behind a corybantic black h north face arctic parka orse, had hailed Jessie by her name, had backed towards the hedge for no ostensible reason, and vanished to the accomplishment of the Fate that had been written down for him from the very beginning of things. Jessie and Hoopdriver had scarcely time to stand up and seize their machines, before this tumultuous, this swift and wonderful passing of Dangle was achieved. He went from side to side of the road,–worse even than the riding forth of Mr. Hoopdriver it was, –and vanished round the corner.
“He knew my name,” said Jessie. “Yes–it was Mr. Dangle.”
“That was our bicycles did that,” said Mr. Hoopdriver simultaneously, and speaking with a certain complacent concern. “I hope he won’t get hurt.”
“That was Mr. Dangle,” repeated Jessie, and Mr. Hoopdriver heard this time, with a violent start. His eyebrows went up spasmodica north face fleece lly.
“What! someone you know?”
“He was looking for me,” said Jessie. “I could see. He began to call to me before the horse shied. My stepmother has sent him.”
Mr. Hoopdriver wished he had returned the bicycle after all, for his ideas were still a little hazy about Bechamel and Mrs. Milton. Honesty IS the best policy–often, he thought. He turned his head this way and that. He became active. “After us, eigh? Then he’ll come back. He’s gon north face size chart e down that hill, and he won’t be able to pull up for a bit, I’m certain.”
Jessie, he saw, had wheeled her machine into the road and was mounting. Still staring at the corner that had swallowed up Dangle, Hoopdriver followed suit. And so, just as the sun was setting, they began another flight together,–riding now towards Bishops Waltham, with Mr. Hoopdriver in the post of north face of the eiger danger–the rear–ever and again looking over his shoulder and swerving dangerously as he did so. Occasionally Jessie had to slacken her pace. He breathed heavily, and hated himself because his mouth fell open, After nearly an hour’s hard riding, they found themselves uncaught at Winchester. Not a trace of Dangle nor any other danger was visible as they rode into the dusky, yellow-lit street. Though the bats had been fluttering behind thehedges and the evening star was bright while they were still two miles from Winchester, Mr. Hoopdriver pointed out the dangers of sto north face sale pping in such an obvious abiding-place, and gently but firmly insisted upon replenishing the lamps and riding on towards Salisbury. From Winchester, roads branch in every direction, and to turn abruptly westward was clearly the way to throw off the chase. A North Face Sale s Hoopdriver saw the moon rising broad and yellow through the twilight, he thought he should revive the effect of that ride out of Bognor; but somehow, albeit the moon and all the atmospheric effects were the same, the emotions were different. They rode in absolute silence, and slowly after they had cleared the outskirts of Winchester. Both of them were now nearly tired out,–the level was tedious, and even a little hill a burden; and so it came about that in the hamlet of Wallenstock they were beguiled to stop and ask for accommodation in an exceptionally

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