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Unformatted text preview: than at any work in leather by Derome or Bauzonnet. We were thus a good deal occupied, perhaps, with each other; people came and went, while our heads were bent over a case of volumes under the window. When we DID leave, on the appeal of Mrs. Breton, we both--both I and Kate--Miss Breton, I mean-saw Allen--at least I saw him, and believed SHE did--absorbed in gazing at the Longepierre Theocritus. He held it rather near his face; the gas, which had been lit, fell on the shining Golden Fleeces of the cover, on his long thin hands and eager studious features. It would have been a pity to disturb him in his ecstasy. I looked at Miss Breton; we both smiled, and, of course, I presumed we smiled for the same reason. I happen to know, and unluckily did it happen, the very minute of the hour when we left Blocksby's. It was a quarter to four o'clock--a churchtower was chiming the three-quarters in the Strand, and I looked half mechanically at my own watch, which was five minutes fast. On Sunday I went down to Oxford, and happened to walk into Allen's rooms. He was lying on a sofa reading the "Spectator." After chatting a little, I said, "You took no notice of me, nor of the Bretons yesterday, Allen, at Blocksby's." "I didn't see you," he said; and as he was speaking there came a knock at the door. "Come in!" cried Allen, and a man entered who was a stranger to me. You would not have called him a gentleman perhaps. However, I admit that I am possibly no great judge of a gentleman. Allen looked up. "Hullo, Mr. Thomas," he said, "have you come up to see Mr. Mortby?" mentioning a well-known Oxford bibliophile. "Wharton," he went on, addressing me, "this is Mr. Thomas from Blocksby's." I bowed. Mr. Thomas seemed embarrassed. "Can I have a word alone with you, sir?" he murmured to Allen.
75 ANGLING SKETCHES "Certainly," answered Allen, looking rather surprised. "You'll excuse me a moment, Wharton," he said to me. "Stop and lunch, won't yo...
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