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to those young ladies, and resume our interrupted conversation.”

Sir Richmond considered something mulish in the doctor’s averted face.

“I find Miss Grammont an extremely interesting—and stimulating human being.


The doctor sighed, stood up and found himself delivering one of the sentences he had engendered during his solitary meditations in his room before dinner. He surprised himself by the plainness of his speech. “Let me be frank,” he said, regarding Sir Richmond squarely. “Considering the general situation of things and your position, I do not care very greatly for the part of an accessory to what may easily develop, as you know very well, into a very serious—flirtation. An absurd, mischievous, irrelevant flirtation. You may not like the word. You may pretend it is a conversation, an ordinary intellectual conversation. That is not the word. Simply that is not the word. You people eye one another.... Flirtation. I give the affair its proper name. That is all. Merely that. When I think—— But we will not discuss it now.... Good night.... Forgive me if I put before you, rather bluntly, my particular point of view.”

Sir Richmond found himself alone. With his eyebrows raised.