A book of bargains by Vincent O'Sullivan; Aubrey Beardsley

By Vincent O'Sullivan; Aubrey Beardsley

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BARGAIN OF RUPERT ORANGE. 31 I was quite delighted when I heard of it, and my husband too. " There was a tone of too much hypocrisy about all this, and Rupert made full allowance for it. H e chatted in h is easy way abou t his good fort une, and recited some details. " I suppose there is not the slightest possibility of a flaw in the will ? " says Mrs. Ann ice, regarding him keenly. The lines round her mouth had become hard, but she kept on smiling : she had some tra its like Macbeth's wife. Orange la ug hed his bright, merry laugh which so few could resist.

T om-Tommy," she called; "you'd better come down and put this loafer out! " A great hulking man came down the sta irs, and gazed for an insta nt at Rupert-standing under the gas-jet, with the woman plucking the studs from his shirt. For an instant the man stood, feeling sick and in a sweat; and then, by a great effort, he a pproached Orange, and seized him by the collar. " H ere, out you go ! " he said. " W e don't want none of your sort around here ! " The man dragged Orange to the street door, and gave the wretch such a powerful shove, that he fell on the pavement, and rolled into the g utter.

He raised his hand, and when she shrank away- s6 A BOOK OF B AR{yA I NS. "Are you afraid of me? " he said, not coarsely, but quietly, even gently, like a man talking in his sleep. Then they went on together , till they came to a dilapida ted house close by the nver. They entered, and turned into a dirty room lit by a flaring jet of gas. "N ow, dear ; let's have some mon ey," says the woman, " and I'll get you a nice drink. " Still no answer from Orange : only tha t same vacant smile, which was beginnin g to be horrible .

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