Page:HG Wells--secret places of the heart.djvu/145

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Neither Dr. Martineau nor the father of the family found the imaginative reconstruction of the Stonehenge rituals quite so exciting as the two principals. The father of the family endured some further particulars with manifest impatience, no longer able, now that Sir Richmond was encouraging the girl, to keep her in check with the slightly derisive smile proper to her sex. Then he proclaimed in a fine loud tenor, “All this is very imaginative, I’m afraid.” And to his family, “Time we were pressing on. Turps, we must go-o. Come, Phœbe!”

As he led his little flock towards the exit his voice came floating back. “Talking wanton nonsense.... Any professional archæologist would laugh, simply laugh....”

He passed out of the world.

With a faint intimation of dismay Dr. Martineau realized that the two talkative ladies were not to be removed in the family automobile with the rest of the party. Sir Richmond and the younger lady went on very cheerfully to the population, agriculture, housing and general scenery of the surrounding Downland during the later Stone Age. The shorter, less attractive lady, whose accent was distinctly American, came now and stood at the doctor’s elbow. She seemed moved to play the part of chorus to the two upon the stone.