Page:The Wheel of Time, Collaboration, Owen Wingrave (New York, Harper & Brothers, 1893).djvu/181

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173
OWEN WINGRAVE

disgust rolled over him. He talked about the 'immeasurable misery' of wars, and asked me why nations don't tear to pieces the governments, the rulers that go in for them. He hates poor old Bonaparte worst of all."

"Well, poor old Bonaparte was a brute. He was a frightful ruffian," Mr. Coyle unexpectedly declared. "But I suppose you didn't admit that."

"Oh, I dare say he was objectionable, and I'm very glad we laid him on his back. But the point I made to Wingrave was that his own behavior would excite no end of remark." Young Lechmere hesitated an instant, then he added: "I told him he must be prepared for the worst."

"Of course he asked you what you meant by the 'worst,'" said Spencer Coyle.

"Yes, he asked me that; and do you know what I said? I said people would say that his conscientious scruples and his wave of disgust are only a pretext. Then he asked, 'A pretext for what?'"

"Ah, he rather had you there!" Mr. Coyle