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She f cheap nike air max 1 lushed 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 married 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? “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, w nike air max 1 ebay hichever way you argue.”This flash of insight disconcerted her, and she said, a littleirritably: “What should you do then, 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 suddenly 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 air max 1 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 nike air max 1 premium and d’Amblay in 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 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 fountainpen, a handkerchief over which it had leaked, and a packet ofdishevelled cigarettes. Lighting one, and restoring the otherobjects nike air max 1 leopard to his pocket, he continued calmly: “Tell me how didyou cheap air max 1 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 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 joba nike air max 1 black s an engineer, and Ursula made Fred put him in their ironworks.” She paused again, and then added abruptly: “Streffy!
If you knew how I hate that kind of thing. I’d rather have Nickcome in now and tell nike air max 1 sale me frankly, as I know he would, that he’sgoing off with–“”With Coral Hicks?” Strefford suggested.
She laughed. “Poor Coral Hicks! What on earth made you thinkof the Hickses?””Because I caught a glimpse of them the other day at Capri.
They’re cruising about: they said they were coming in here.””What a nuisance! I do hope they won’t find us out. They wereawfully kind to Nick when he went to India with them, andthey’re so simple-minded that they would expect him to be gladto see them.”Strefford aimed his cigare nike air max 1 tte-end at a tourist on a puggaree whowas gazing up from his guidebook at the palace. “Ah,” hemurmured with satisfaction, seeing the shot take effect; then headded: “Coral Hicks is growing up rather pretty.””Oh, Streff–you’re dreaming! That lump of a girl withspectacles and thick ankles! Poor Mrs. Hicks used to say toNick: ‘When Mr. Hicks and I had Coral educated we presumedculture was in greater demand in Europe than it appears to be.'””Well, you’ll see: that girl’s education won’t interfere withher, once she’s started. So then: if Nick came in and told youhe was going off–“”I should be so thankful if it was with a fright like Coral!
But you know,” she added with a smile, “we’ve agreed that it’snot to happen for a year.”
Chapter 6
SUSY found Strefford, after his first burst of nonsense,unusually kind and responsive. The interest he showed in herfuture and Nick’s seemed to proceed not so much from hishabitual spirit of scientific curiosity as from simplefriendliness. He was privileged to see Nick’s first chapter, ofwhi nike air max 1 ch he formed so favourable an impression that he spokesternly to Susy on the importance of respecting her husband’sworking hours; and he even carried his general benevolence tothe length of showing a fatherly interest in Clarissa Vanderlyn.
He was always charming to children, but fitfully and warily,with an eye on his independence, and on the possibility of beingsuddenly bored by them; Susy had never seen him cheap air max 1 abandon theseprecautions so completely as he did with Clarissa.
“Poor little devil! Who looks after her when you and Nick areoff together? Do you mean to tell me Ellie sacked the governessand went away without having anyone to take her place?””I think she expected me to do it,” said Susy with a touch ofasperity. There were moments when her duty to Clarissa weighedon her somewhat heavily; whenever she went off alone with Nickshe was pursued by the vision of a little figure waving wistfulfarewells from the balcony.
“Ah, that’s like Ellie: you might have known she’d get anequivalent when she lent you all this. But I don’t believe shethought you’d be so conscientious about it.”Susy considered. “I don’t suppose she did; and perhaps Ishouldn’t have been, a year ago. But you see”–she hesitated–“Nick’s so awfully good: it nike air max 1 grey ‘s made me look; at a lot of thingsdifferently ….””Oh, hang Nick’s goodness! It’s happiness that’s done it, mydear. You’re just one of the people with whom it happens toagree.”Susy, leaning back, scrutinized between her lashes his crookedironic face.
“What is it that’s agreeing with you, Streffy? I’ve never seenyou so human. You must be getting an outrageous price for thevilla.”Strefford laughed and clapped his hand on his breast-pocket. “Ishould be an ass not to: I’ve got a wire here saying they musthave it for another month at any price.””What luck! I’m so glad. Who are they, by the way?”He drew himself up out of the long chair in which he wasdisjointedly lounging, and looked down at her with a smile.
“Another couple of love-sick idiots like you and Nick …. Isay, before I spend it all let’s go out and buy somet nike air max 1 red hingripping for Clarissa.”The days passed so quickly and radiantly that, but for herconcern for Clarissa, Susy would hardly have been conscious ofher hostess’s protracted absence. Mrs. Vanderlyn had said:
“Four weeks at the latest,” and the four weeks were over, andshe had neither arrived nor written to explain her non-appearance. She had, in fact, given no sign of life since herdeparture, save in the shape of a post-card which had reachedClarissa the day after the Lansings’ arrival, and in which Mrs.
Vanderlyn instructed her child to be awfully good, and not toforget to feed the mongoose. Susy noticed that this missive hadbeen posted in Milan.
She communicated her apprehensions to Strefford. “I don’t trustthat green-eyed nurse. She’s forever with the youngergondolier; and Clarissa’s so awfully sharp. I don’t see whyEllie hasn’t come: she was due last Monday.”Her companion laughed, and something in the sound of his laughsuggested that he probably knew as much of Ellie’s movements asshe did, if not more. The sense of disgust which the subjectalways roused in her made her look away quickly from histolerant smile. She would have given the world, at that moment,to have been free to tell Nick what she had learned on the nightof their arrival, and then to have gone away with him, no matterwhere. But there was Clarissa–!
To fortify herself against the temptation, she resolutely fixedher thoughts on her husband. Of Nick’s beatitude there

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