Page:HG Wells--secret places of the heart.djvu/191

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Miss Grammont surveyed the landscape. “I suppose,” she said, “poor father is rather like an unbroken mule in business affairs. So many of our big business men in America are. He’ll lash out at you.”

“I don’t mind if only he lashes out openly in the sight of all men.”

She considered and turned on Sir Richmond gravely.

“Tell me what you want to do to him. You find out so many things for me that I seem to have been thinking about in a sort of almost invisible half-conscious way. I’ve been suspecting for a long time that Civilization wasn’t much good unless it got people like my father under some sort of control. But controlling father—as distinguished from managing him!” She reviewed some private and amusing memories. “He is a most intractable man.”

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They had gone on to talk of her father and of the types of men who controlled international business. She had had plentiful opportunities for observation in their homes and her own. Gunter Lake, the big banker, she knew particularly well, because, it seemed, she had been engaged or was engaged to marry him. “All these people,” she said, “are pushing things about, affecting mil-