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"Gabriel and I have our own ideas, we know exactly what we want. The glib fluency of the shopmen takes my breath away."

Mrs. Rysam urged their expert knowledge. Whatever her private opinion of the house, its size or position, she fell in easily with Margaret's enthusiasm.

"You must not risk making any mistake. Messrs. Rye & Gilgat or Maturin's, that place in Albemarle Street, they all have experts who have the periods at their fingers' ends. You've only got to tell them the year, and they'll set to work and get you chintzes and brocades and everything suitable from a coal scuttle to a cabinet.…"

Margaret, however, although over-tired, was not to be persuaded to put herself and her little house unreservedly into any one's hands. She was not capable of effort, only of resistance. Tea at Rumpelmayer's was an interregnum and not a rest. More clothes became a nightmare, she begged to be taken home, was alarmed when Mrs. Rysam offered to go on alone, and begged her to desist. When the car took them back to Queen Anne's Gate, Gabriel had already left after a most satisfactory interview with her father. Edgar B., seeing his daughter's exhaustion and pallor, had the grace not to insist on explaining the word "satisfactory." He insisted instead that she should rest, sleep till dinner-time. The inexhaustible stepmother heard that