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Sir Galahad

( Originally Published Early 1900's )



BY W. HEATH ROBINSON

SMOKE RINGS

BY ANTHONY HOPE

JOHN (smoking). THOMAS (smoking). (JOHN speaks).

" Hullo ! here's a notice of Flossie Maurice's marriage." " What ? to Charlie Denton ? "

" Yes. They had a bishop, and an archdeacon, and everything handsome about them."

" It's been on some time, hasn't it ? "

" Oh, I don't know. They seem to have lots of presents."

" Did you send one ? "

" No, I've not seen her lately, and I never knew him." " No more did I—more than to nod to."

" She used to be rather pretty."

" Yes, in a way."

" Oh, I didn't mean she was a beauty."

" She knew how to make the most of herself."

" Yes ; wonder how Denton'll like it ! "

" He's an easy-going fellow, I hear."

" I hope he'll find it easy going."

" Well, I suppose she's a bit of a flirt."

" They used to say so at Scarborough."

" They said a good many things at Scarborough."

" Well, a good many things were true at Scarborough."

" Not a bad place, though ; was it, Jack ? "

" Not if you met the right girl on the front, old fellow." " Let's see—Flossie Maurice used to be there some-times, wasn't she ? "

" I think I remember seeing her once."

" Denton wasn't there, was he ? "

" No ; she didn't know Denton then."

" She always had lots of partners at the dances."

" Yes, Tommy—when she didn't prefer one for the whole evening."

" I'm not sure she wasn't right there, you know." " Pleasant, but dangerous, old fellow."

" The fact is, she took amazingly."

" Oh, there was a sort of go about her."

" Wasn't there ? By Jove ! I remember her one night—she was in pale blue, and looked-

" Gad, I remember that night, Tom ; I was there."

" Of course you were, old fellow. We had a drink together before we went away."

" Yes, I remember wanting a drink."

" So do I. The room was beastly hot."

" Beastly."

(Interval.)

" Well, just to show you how that girl went down, to my certain knowledge she had two offers that one evening." " Not really ? "

" Yes, and one of them a fellow who was well off, you know."

" How did you hear about it, Jack ? "

" Oh, somehow or other."

" Well, she did look ripping that night."

'C Didn't she ? I sat out a dance with her." What, in that old conservatory ? "

Why, do you know it ? "

Every time, old chap."

" Behind that palm ? "

" Rather. I sat out one with her there too."

(An interval of five minutes. They smoke. THOMAS resumes the conversation.)

" You know, if I'd stayed there long, I won't swear T shouldn't have made an ass of myself."

" Well, where a girl has eyes like that

" By Jove, Jack, what eyes she had ! "

" Nice hair, too ; jolly and soft."

" Hullo, old fellow ? "

" Looked silky, I mean, Tom."

" Oh—ah, yes. Pretty little hand too."

" Seemed like nothing when you held it shaking hands, I mean."

" And she used to look as if don't you know ? "

" I know—as if she'd come on purpose to meet you." " I suppose she did it to everybody ? "

" Looks like it, Tom, doesn't it ? "

(An interval, etc. Jo-NN resumes.)

" I was a young ass."

" Pass the weeds. What ? "

" Nothing."

" You know, Jack—hang the thing ! it won't light—I never saw her after that night."

" Neither did I. But then I had to go the next day."

I went the next day too ; I forget why." Well, there wasn't much to stay for." No, was there ? "

What's this fellow Denton like, Tom ? Oh, an overgrown, lopsided beggar." Shekels ? "

Piles."

That's why she took him, I suppose." Must be."

(A pause.)

" I don't mind saying, Jack, that I was a bit gone on that girl myself. Just that night, you know."

" I was beginning to guess it. We might have been rivals."

" What, you were--"

" Well, not far off."

" She did look so deuced--"

" Yes, didn't she ? "

" She entered so into all you said."

" Oh, she wasn't a fool by a long way."

" A sort of sympathy about her."

" I don't wonder at a fellow asking her, Jack." " I've known it done with less excuse, Tom."

(An interval, etc. THOMAS resumes.)

" Jack, old man, I did make a fool of myself that night." " What ? You don't mean to say you did ask her ? " " Yes, I did—just before that drink."

" Gad, now, so did I, half an hour before it."

" What did she say to you ? "

" Told me we should always be friends, hang her ! " " That's what she told me. I've never seen her since." " No more have I."

" I'd no notion you asked her."

" Well, I never thought you did till just now."

" I wanted that drink, Jack." " So did I, old man."

(An interval, etc. JOHN resumes.)

" Ever asked a girl since, Tom ? " " No, have you ? "

" No. Have a drink ?

" I don't mind if I do, Jack."

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