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„Streffy!“ she exclaimed as joyfully; and she was half-way downthe stairs when he ran up them followed by his luggage-ladenboatman.
„It’s all right, I suppose?–Ellie said I might come,“ heexplained in a cheap ghd air shrill cheerful voice; „and I’m to have my samegreen room with the parrot-panels, because its furniture isalready so frightfully stained with my hair-wash.“Susy was beaming on him with the deep sense of satisfactionwhich his presence always produced in his friends. There was noone in the world, they all agreed, half as ugly and untidy anddelightful as Streffy; no one who combined such outspokenselfishness with such imperturbable good humour; no one who knewso well how to make you believe he was being charming to youwhen it was you who were being charming to him.
In addition to these seductions, of which none estimated thevalue more accurately than their possessor, Strefford had forSusy another attraction of which he was probably unconscious.
It was that of being the one rooted and stable being among thefluid and shift ghd straighteners ing figures that composed her world. Susy hadalways lived among people so denationalized that those one tookfor Russians generally turned out to be American, and those onewas inclined to ascribe to New York proved to have originated inRome or Bucharest. These cosmopolitan people, who, in countriesnot their own, lived in houses as big as hotels, or in hotelswhere the guests were as international as the waiters, hadinter-married, inter-loved and inter-divorced each other overthe whole face of Europe, and according to every code thatattempts to regulate human ties. Strefford, too, had his homein this world, but only one of his homes. The other, the one hespoke of, and probably thought of, least often, was a great dullEnglish country-house in a northern county, where a life asmonotonous and self-contained as his own was cheque red anddispersed had gone on for generation after generation; and itwas the sense of that house, and of all it typified even to hisvagrancy and irreverence, which, coming out now and then in histalk, or in his attitude toward something or somebody, gave hima firmer outline and a steadier footing than the othermarionettes in the dance. Superficially so like them all, andso eager to outdo them in detachment and adaptability,ridiculing the prejudices he had shaken off, and the people towhom he belonged, he still kept, under his easy pliancy, theskeleton of old faiths and old fashions. „He talks everylanguage as well as the rest of us,“ Susy had once said of him,“but at least he talks one language better than the others“; andStrefford, told of the remark, had laughed, called her an idiot,and been pleased.
As he shambled up t Rare ghd he stairs with her, arm in arm, she wasthinking of this quality with a new appreciation of its value.
Even she and Lansing, in spite of their unmixed Americanism,their substantial background of old-fashioned cousinships in NewYork and Philadelphia, were as mentally detached, as universallyat home, as touts at an International Exhibition. If they wereusually recognized as Americans it was only because they spokeFrench so well, and because Nick was too fair to be „foreign,“and too sharp-featured to be English. But Charlie Strefford wasEnglish with all the strength of an inveterate habit; andsomething in Susy was slowly waking to a sense of the beauty ofhabit.
Lounging on the balcony, whither he had followed her withoutpausing to remove the stains of travel, Strefford showed himselfimmensely interested in the last chapter heap ghd hair straighteners uk of her history, greatlypleased at its having been enacted under his roof, and hugelyand flippantly amused at the firmness with which she refused tolet him see Nick till the latter’s daily task was over.
„Writing? Rot! What’s he writing? He’s breaking you in, mydear; that’s what he’s doing: establishing an alibi. What’llyou bet he’s just sitting there smoking and reading Le Rire?
Let’s go and see.“But Susy was firm. „He’s read me his first chapter cheap ghds : it’swonderful. It’s a philosophic romance–rather like Marius, youknow.““Oh, yes–I do!“ said Strefford, with a laugh that she thoughtidiotic.
She flushed up like a child. „You’re stupid, Streffy. Youforget that Nick and I don’t need alibis. We’ve got rid of allthat hyprocrisy by agreeing that each will give the other a handup when either of us wants a change. We’ve not m cheap ghd straighteners next day delivery arried to spyand lie, and nag each other; we’ve formed a partnership for ourmutual advantage.““I see; that’s capital. But how can you be sure that, when Nickwants a change, you’ll consider it for his advantage to haveone?“ cheap ghd wide plate straighteners It was the point that had always secretly tormented Susy; sheoften wondered if it equally tormented Nick.
„I hope I shall have enough common sense–“ she began.
„Oh, of course: common sense is what you’re both bound to baseyour argument on, whichever way you argue.“This flash of insight disconcerted her, and she said, a littleirritably: „What should you do t cheap ghd straighteners hen, if you married?–Hush,Streffy! I forbid you to shout like that–all the gondolas arestopping to look!““How can I help it?“ He rocked backward and forward in hischair. „‚If you marry,‘ she says: ‚Streffy, what have youdecided to do if you sud cheap ghd straighteners £50 denly become a raving maniac?'““I said no such thing. If your uncle and your cousin died,you’d marry to-morrow; you know you would.““Oh, now you’re talking business.“ He folded his long arms andleaned over the balcony, looking down at the dusky ripplesstreaked with fire. „In that case I should say: ‚Susan, mydear–Susan–now that by the merciful intervention of Providenceyou have become Countess of Altringham in the peerage of GreatBritain, and Baroness Dunsterville and d’Amblay i cheap ghd flat iron n the peeragesof Ireland and Scotland, I’ll thank you to remember that you area member of one of the most ancient houses in the UnitedKingdom–and not to get found out.'“Susy laughed. „We know what those warnings mean! I pity mynamesake.“He swung about and gave her a quick look out of his small uglytwinkling eyes. „Is there any other woman in the ghd outlet world namedSusan?““I hope so, if the name’s an essential. Even if Nick chucks me,don’t count on me to carry out that programme. I’ve seen it inpractice too often.““Oh, well: as far as I know, everybody’s in perfect health atAltringham.“ He fumbled in his pocket and drew out a cheap ghds fountainpen, a handkerchief over which it had leaked, and a packet ofdishevelled cigarettes. Lighting one, and restoring the otherobjects to his pocket, he continued calmly: „Tell me how didyou manage to smooth things over with the Gillows? Ursula wasrunning amuck when I was in Newport last Summer; it was justwhen people were beginning to say that you were going to marryNick. I was afraid she’d put a spoke in your leopard print ghds wheel; and I hearshe put a big cheque in your hand instead.“Susy was silent. From the first moment of Strefford’sappearance she had known that in the course of time he wouldput that question. He was as inquisitive as a monkey, and whenhe had made up his mind to find out anything it was useless totry to divert his attention. After a moment’s hesitation shesaid: „I flirted with Fred. It was a bore but he was verydecent.““He would be–poor Fred. And you got Ursula thoroughlyfrightened!““Well–enough. And then luckily that young Nerone Altineriturned up from Rome: he went over to New York to look for a jobas an engineer,

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