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The Roman Road

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Pages: 78

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/4/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Gwendoline Keats

Excerpt from book: laughed with, saw that the merriment was not ill-natured and took it smiling. A sudden notion blunted the edge of Mrs. Groot's mirth. She might yet live to make Wantage master of Groot. It was the second time that day the idea had crossed her mind and she relapsed into seriousness. "When I am dead," she thought, "what does it matter if people do say ill-natured things? They can't hurt me. I sha'n't hear them." Raising her eyes she looked at her son with unusual interest. His face was neither intelligent or well-bred, but it was not a stupid or an unpleasant face: she could even imagine some women being attracted by it. A glance at the figure corrected her estimate of the man. It was as hopelessly bad a figure as his father's had been before him,—sloping shoulders, big hips, knees bent inwards. "Only an adventuress or a good woman would marry a man with that figure," was her mental exclamation. Wantage, quite unaware that he was being weighed in the balance and found wanting, nowinterposed. "Mother," he said, "there are some patterns in the smoking-room which Roland had down from his tailor this morning. Shall I fetch them?" She did not want to hurt his feelings, still could not but realise that his hopes were foredoomed to disappointment. "Yes, fetch them," she answered and watched him with languid interest depart on his errand. The man was devoid of magnetism and his cause suffered in proportion. Mrs. Groot lamented this singular lack of personal charm in her son. She would have found it much easier to fight for him had he been more capable of inspiring affection: but she had felt neither affection for or interest in Wantage from the day he was short-coated and proved for the first time that no amount of dressing would make him presentable. "I shall always love Roland...  

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