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   Chapter 16 16

A Room with a View By E. M. Forster Characters: 1654

Updated: 2017-11-28 00:07


She thought she had gone mad.

"Here-hand me the book."

She heard her voice saying: "It isn't worth reading-it's too silly to read-I never saw such rubbish-it oughtn't to be allowed to be printed."

He took the book from her.

"'Leonora,'" he read, "'sat pensive and alone. Before her lay the rich champaign of Tuscany, dotted over with many a smiling village. The season was spring.'"

Miss Lavish knew, somehow, and had printed the past in draggled prose, for Cecil to read and for George to hear.

"'A golden haze,'" he read. He read: "'Afar off the towers of Florence, while the bank on which she sat was carpeted with violets. All unobserved Antonio stole up behind her-'"

Lest Cecil should see her face she turned to George and saw his face.

He read: "'There came from his lips no wordy protestation su

ch as formal lovers use. No eloquence was his, nor did he suffer from the lack of it. He simply enfolded her in his manly arms.'"

"This isn't the passage I wanted," he informed them, "there is another much funnier, further on." He turned over the leaves.

"Should we go in to tea?" said Lucy, whose voice remained steady.

She led the way up the garden, Cecil following her, George last. She thought a disaster was averted. But when they entered the shrubbery it came. The book, as if it had not worked mischief enough, had been forgotten, and Cecil must go back for it; and George, who loved passionately, must blunder against her in the narrow path.

"No-" she gasped, and, for the second time, was kissed by him.

As if no more was possible, he slipped back; Cecil rejoined her; they reached the upper lawn alone.

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