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325
OUR PROGRESS

"That chalice, damn it! They're beginning to ask questions. It isn't Business, George."

"It's art," I protested, "and religion."

"That's all very well. But it's not a good ad' for us, George, to make a promise and not deliver the goods. . . . I'll have to write off your friend Ewart as a bad debt, that's what it comes to, and go to a decent firm." . . .

We sat outside on deck chairs in the verandah of the pavilion, smoked, drank whiskey, and the chalice disposed of, meditated. His temporary annoyance passed. It was an altogether splendid summer night, following a blazing, indolent day. Full moonlight brought out dimly the lines of the receding hills, one wave beyond another; far beyond were the pin-point lights of Leatherhead, and in the foreground the little stage from which I used to start upon my gliders gleamed like wet steel. The season must have been high June, for down in the woods that hid the lights of the Lady Grove windows, I remember the nightingales thrilled and gurgled. . . .

"We got here, George," said my uncle ending a long pause. "Didn't I say?"

"Say!—when?" I asked.

"In that hole in the To'nem Court Road, eh? It's been a Straight Square fight, and here we are!"

I nodded.

"'Member me telling you—Tono-Bungay? . . . Well. . . . I'd just that afternoon thought of it!"

"I've fancied at times——," I admitted.

"It's a great world, George, nowadays, with a fair chance for every one who lays hold of things. The career ouvert to the Talons—eh? Tono-Bungay. Think of it! It's a great world and a growing world,