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She opened them and saw his working face and anxious eyes.

"About Mrs. Roope," he reminded her. They were alone, the impeccable Stevens had gone for a hot-water bottle.

"What is it exactly? Tell me all over again. I am feeling rather stupid. I thought we had settled and finished with her?"

"She has reopened the matter, dragged me in." She remembered now, and the flush in his face was reflected in hers. "But it is only a question of money. I've got her terms."

"We must not give her money. Gabriel says…"

He would not let her speak, interrupting her hurriedly, continuing to speak without pause.

"The sum isn't impossible. As a matter of fact I can find it myself, or almost the whole amount. Then there's Lansdowne, he's really not half a bad fellow when you know him. And he's as rich as Crœsus, he would gladly lend it to me."

"No. Nonsense! Don't be absurd." She was thinking, he could see that she was thinking whilst she spoke.

"It's my affair as much as yours," he pleaded. "There is my practice to consider."

She almost smiled:

"Then you actually have a practice?"

"I'm going to have. Quite a big one too.