His interest was centred almost entirely in the "shoppy" parcel, which by its shape might be "soldiers"; but he knew the rules of the game, and disregarding the large, ostentatious brown-papered thing, he went magnificently for the two small incoherent bundles.
He opened them. A flat green table-centre with a red pattern of roses, a thick table-napkin ring worked in yellow worsted, these were revealed.
"Oh!" he cried, "just what I wanted." (Father always said that on his birthday.)
"Is it?" said Mary and Helen.
"Mine's the ring," said Mary. "It's dirty rather, but it would have got dirty, anyway, afterwards." She watched anxiously to see whether he preferred Helen's.
He watched them nervously, lest he should be expected to kiss them. He wiped his mouth with his han
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Hugh Walpole has, unfortunately, dropped off the modern literary radar screen, and that's a shame, because few writers have been able to hang words together so powerfully or evocatively as he.
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