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By Vincent O'Sullivan; Aubrey Beardsley

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Sample text

And in he went, with Rupert at his heels, leaving the fat clerk at gaze. " Above all, h e was listening to an appalling variety of apologetic lies. To the average man who said: "We didn 't know when on earth you were coming back from Europe, my dear fellow; how did you like it over there? " h e could answer with a grave face; but the women were different. One particular afternoon he was at a reception, when he heard a lady near him remark in clear accents to her friend : " You can't think how we missed that dear Mr.

And this struck Ruper t as so grotesque that he apparently laughed. this social intercourse, Amid however, he avoided sedulously a meeting with Mrs. Annice; he had 30 A BOOK OF BARGAINS. decided not to see her for a while. Indeed, it was not till an evening late in February, after dinner, that he took a cab to her house near \Vashington Square. H e found her at home, and had n ot waited a minute before she came in to the room. wonderfully She was a tall woman, and handsome by gaslight; but she had that tiresome habit, which many women have, of talking intensely-in italics, as it were : a habit found generally in women ill brought up-women without control of their feelings, or command of the expression of them.

When he was kept for a day m It was the house by a cold that he wrote his little comedy, H er L adyskiP's Dinner-a comedy which, at one time, we were all so forward to praise. And on the night upon which his cab was overturned in the Sixth Avenue, New York, and he was badly cut about the head, did he not recognize in the drunken prostitute who cursed him, the erewhile brilliant Mrs. Annice? Did he not forget his pain in the exquisite knowledge that her curses were of no avail, and flout her jeeringly, brutally ?

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