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   Chapter 42 No.42

The Regent By Arnold Bennett Characters: 1217

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:04

One hour later, in the double-bedded chamber at the Majestic, as his wife lay in bed and he was methodically folding up a creased white tie and inspecting his chin in the mirror, he felt that he was touching [275] again, after an immeasurable interval, the rock-bottom of reality. Nellie, even when he could only see her face-and that in a mirror!-was the most real phenomenon in his existence, and she possessed the strange faculty of dispelling all unreality round about her.

"Well," he said, "how did you get on in the box?"

"Oh!" she replied, "I got on very well with the Woldo woman. She's one of

our sort. But I'm not so set up with your Elsie April."

"Dash this collar!"

Nellie continued:

"And I can tell you another thing, I don't envy Mr. Rollo Wrissell."

"What's Wrissell got to do with it?"

"She means to marry him."

"Elsie April means to marry Wrissell?"

"He was in and out of the box all night. It was as plain as a pikestaff."

"What's amiss with my Elsie April?" Edward Henry demanded.

"She's a thought too pleasant for my taste," answered Nellie.

Astonishing, how pleasantness is regarded with suspicion in the Five Towns, even by women who can at a pinch be angels!

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