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|The Secret Adversary||Agatha Christie|
XXVIII And After
|Page 2 of 3||
"From all the things Tuppence didn't say!"
"There you have me beat," said Mr. Hersheimmer. But Jane only laughed.
In the meantime, the Young Adventurers were sitting bolt upright, very stiff and ill at ease, in a taxi which, with a singular lack of originality, was also returning to the Ritz via Regent's Park.
A terrible constraint seemed to have settled down between them. Without quite knowing what had happened, everything seemed changed. They were tongue-tied--paralysed. All the old camaraderie was gone.
Tuppence could think of nothing to say.
Tommy was equally afflicted.
They sat very straight and forbore to look at each other.
At last Tuppence made a desperate effort.
"Rather fun, wasn't it?"
"I like Julius," essayed Tuppence again.
Tommy was suddenly galvanized into life.
"You're not going to marry him, do you hear?" he said dictatorially. "I forbid it."
"Oh!" said Tuppence meekly.
"Absolutely, you understand."
"He doesn't want to marry me--he really only asked me out of kindness."
"That's not very likely," scoffed Tommy.
"It's quite true. He's head over ears in love with Jane. I expect he's proposing to her now."
"She'll do for him very nicely," said Tommy condescendingly.
"Don't you think she's the most lovely creature you've ever seen?"
"Oh, I dare say."
"But I suppose you prefer sterling worth," said Tuppence demurely.
"I--oh, dash it all, Tuppence, you know!"
"I like your uncle, Tommy," said Tuppence, hastily creating a diversion. "By the way, what are you going to do, accept Mr. Carter's offer of a Government job, or accept Julius's invitation and take a richly remunerated post in America on his ranch?"
"I shall stick to the old ship, I think, though it's awfully good of Hersheimmer. But I feel you'd be more at home in London."
"I don't see where I come in."
"I do," said Tommy positively.
Tuppence stole a glance at him sideways.
"There's the money, too," she observed thoughtfully.
"We're going to get a cheque each. Mr. Carter told me so."
"Did you ask how much?" inquired Tommy sarcastically.
"Yes," said Tuppence triumphantly. "But I shan't tell you."
"Tuppence, you are the limit!"
"It has been fun, hasn't it, Tommy? I do hope we shall have lots more adventures."
"You're insatiable, Tuppence. I've had quite enough adventures for the present."
"Well, shopping is almost as good," said Tuppence dreamily.
"Think of buying old furniture, and bright carpets, and futurist silk curtains, and a polished dining-table, and a divan with lots of cushions "
"Hold hard," said Tommy. "What's all this for?"
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