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Unformatted text preview: ey're not likely to cross our path."
"We haven't got any guilty secrets!"
"Perhaps Air. Waring has," said Mrs.
Rice with a twinkle.
Harold laughed, throwing his head back.
"Not a secret in the world. My life's an
And it flashed across his mind :
"What fools people are who leave the
straight path. A clear conscience -- that's
all one needs in life. With that you can
face the world and tell everyone who interferes
with you to go to the devil!"
213 He felt suddenly very much alive-very strong--very much master of his
Harold Waring, like many other Englishmen,
was a bad linguist. His French was
halting and decidedly British in intonation.
Of German and Italian he knew nothing.
Up to now, these linguistic disabilities
had not worried him. In most hotels on
the Continent, he had always found, everyone
spoke English, so why worry ?
But in this out-of-the-way spot, where
the native language was a form of Slovak
and even the concierge only spoke German
it was sometimes galling to Harold when
one of his two women friends acted as
interpreter for him. Mrs. Rice, who was
fond of languages, could even speak a
Harold determined that he would set
about learning German. He decided to
buy some text books and spend a couple
of hours each morning in mastering the
language. The morning was fine and after writing
some letters, Harold looked at his watch
FR1;and saw there was still time for an hour's
stroll before lunch. He went down towards
the lake and then turned aside into the
pine woods. He had walked there for perhaps
five minutes when he heard an unmistakable
sound. Somewhere not far
away a woman was sobbing her heart out.
Harold paused a minute, then he went
in the direction of the sound. The woman
was Elsie Clayton and was she sitting on
a fallen tree with her face buried in her
hands and her shoulders quivering with
the violence of her grief.
Harold hesitated a minute, then he came
up to her. He said gently:
"Mrs. Clayton -- Elsie ?"
She started violently and looked up at
him. Harold sat down beside her.
He said with real sympathy :
"Is there anything I can do? Anything
at all r9
She shook her head.
"No--no--you're very kind. But there's nothing any one can do for me."
Harold said rather diffidently:
"Is it to do with -- your husband ?"
She nodded. Then she wiped her eyes
and took out her powder compact, strugLOH15
gling to regain command of herself. She
said in a quavering voice:
"I didn't want Mother to worry. She's
so upset when she sees me unhappy. So
I came out here to have a good cry. It's
silly, I know. Crying doesn't help. But —
sometimes — one just feels that life is
"I'm terribly sorry."
She threw him a grateful glance. Then
she said hurriedly:
"It's my own fault, of course. I married
Philip of my own free will. It—it's
turned out badly, I've only myself to
"It's very plucky of you to put it like
that." Elsie shook her head.
"No, I'm not plucky. I'm not brave...
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