E. M. Forster: Howards End


She was looking at plans one day in the following spring--they had finally decided to go down into Sussex and build--when Mrs. Charles Wilcox was announced.

"Have you heard the news?" Dolly cried, as soon as she entered the room. Charles is so ang--I mean he is sure you know about it, or, rather, that you don't know."

"Why, Dolly!" said Margaret, placidly kissing her. "Here's a surprise! How are the boys and the baby?"

Boys and the baby were well, and in describing a great row that there had been at the Hilton Tennis Club, Dolly forgot her news. The wrong people had tried to get in. The rector, as representing the older inhabitants, had said--Charles had said--the tax-collector had said--Charles had regretted not saying--and she closed the description with, "But lucky you, with four courts of your own at Midhurst."

"It will be very jolly," replied Margaret.

"Are those the plans? Does it matter my seeing them?"

"Of course not."

"Charles has never seen the plans."

"They have only just arrived. Here is the ground floor--no, that's rather difficult. Try the elevation, We are to have a good many gables and a picturesque sky-line."

"What makes it smell so funny?" said Dolly, after a moment's inspection. She was incapable of understanding plans or maps.

"I suppose the paper."

"And WHICH way up is it?"

"Just the ordinary way up. That's the sky-line and the part that smells strongest is the sky."

"Well, ask me another. Margaret--oh--what was I going to say? How's Helen?"

"Quite well."

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