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13. OUT OF SCHOOL (continued)
It was about five weeks from the beginning of term that the river of life at Harrow House became ruffled for the new assistant-master.
I want you to follow me very closely here. As far as the excusing of James's conduct is concerned, it is now or never. If I fail at this point to touch you, I have shot my bolt.
Let us marshal the facts.
In the first place it was a perfectly ripping morning.
Moreover he had received at breakfast a letter from the editor of a monthly magazine accepting a short story.
This had never happened to him before.
He was twenty-two.
And, just as he rounded the angle of the house, he came upon Violet, taking the air like himself.
Violet was one of the housemaids, a trim, energetic little person with round blue eyes and a friendly smile. She smiled at James now. James halted.
'Good morning, sir,' said Violet.
From my list of contributory causes I find that I have omitted one item--viz., that there did not appear to be anybody else about.
James looked meditatively at Violet. Violet looked smilingly at James. The morning was just as ripping as it had been a moment before. James was still twenty-two. And the editor's letter had not ceased to crackle in his breast-pocket.
Consequently James stooped, and--in a purely brotherly way--kissed Violet.
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