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320
TONO-BUNGAY

Who's got to forget all she ever knew and start again? Me! Who's got to trek from Chislehurst and be a great lady? Me! . . . You old Bother! Just when I was settling down and beginning to feel at home."

My uncle turned his goggles to her. "Ah! this time it is home, Susan. . . . We got there."


§7

It seems to me now but a step from the buying of Lady Grove to the beginning of Crest Hill, from the days when the former was a stupendous achievement to the days when it was too small and dark and inconvenient altogether for a great financier's use. For me that was a period of increasing detachment from our business and the great world of London, I saw it more and more in broken glimpses, and sometimes I was working in my little pavilion above Lady Grove for a fortnight together; even when I came up it was often solely for a meeting of the aeronautical society or for one of the learned societies or to consult literature or employ searchers or some such special business. For my uncle it was a period of stupendous inflation. Each time I met him I found him more confident, more comprehensive, more consciously a factor in great affairs. Soon he was no longer an associate of merely business men, he was big enough for the attentions of greater powers.

I grew used to discovering some item of personal news about him in my evening paper or to the sight of a full-page portrait of him in a sixpenny magazine. Usually the news was of some munificent act, some romantic piece of buying or giving, or some fresh rumour of reconstruction. He saved, you will