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put down the receiver. "God damn it," he muttered through clenched teeth.

Nellie came in without knocking, found him pacing back and forth in front of the window.

"Hello Nellie," he said without looking up; she stood still staring at him.

"Look here Georgy this cant go on."

"Why cant it?"

"I'm sick of always pretendin an deceivin."

"Nobody's found out anything, have they?"

"Oh of course not."

She went up to him and straightened his necktie. He kissed her gently on the mouth. She wore a frilled muslin dress of a reddish lilac color and had a blue sunshade in her hand.

"How's things Georgy?"

"Wonderful. D'you know, you people have brought me luck? I've got several good cases on hand now and I've made some very valuable connections."

"Little luck it's brought me. I haven't dared go to confession yet. The priest'll be thinkin I've turned heathen."

"How's Gus?"

"Oh full of his plans. . . . Might think he'd earned the money, he's gettin that cocky about it."

"Look Nellie how would it be if you left Gus and came and lived with me? You could get a divorce and we could get married. . . . Everything would be all right then."

"Like fun it would. . . . You dont mean it anyhow."

"But it's been worth it Nellie, honestly it has." He put his arms round her and kissed her hard still lips. She pushed him away.

"Anyways I aint comin here again. . . . Oh I was so happy comin up the stairs thinkin about seein you. . . . You're paid an the business is all finished."

He noticed that the little curls round her forehead were loose. A wisp of hair hung over one eyebrow.

"Nellie we mustn't part bitterly like this."

"Why not will ye tell me?"