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When I arrived that afternoon both the Rector and
his wife were attending some parochial function in the
village. So Stephen took me up to the schoolroom,
where we had our tea and he jawed to me about
horses and hunting to his heart's content. He ended
by asserting that he'd "sooner cheer a pack of
Pomeranians after a weasel from a bath-chair than
waste his life making money in a blinking office".


A TENOR bell in Hoadley Church tower was
making its ultimate appeal to those who were
still on their way to morning service. While Stephen
and I hurried hatless across the sloping cricket-field
which divided the Rectory garden from the church-
yard I sniffed the quiet wintry-smelling air and won-
dered how long Mr. Colwood's sermon would last. I
had never been to his church before; there was a sug-
gestion of embarrassment in the idea of seeing him in
a long white surplice—almost as if one were taking an
unfair advantage of him. Also, since I hadn't been
to church with Aunt Evelyn for Heaven knew how
long, I felt a bit of an outsider as I followed Stephen
up the aisle to the Rectory pew where his matronly
mother was awaiting us with the solemnly cheerful
face of one who never mumbled the responses but
made them as though she meant every word. Stephen,
too, had the serene sobriety of an habitual public-
worshipper. No likelihood of his standing up at one
of those awkward places when everyone kneels down
when you don't expect them to.

As the service proceeded I glanced furtively around
me at the prudent Sunday-like faces of the congrega-