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CHAPTER III JULIA—continued
It was a cross between a hansom cab and a "growler," with the voice of the latter, and the dust of the Farnborough road, with the prospect of a three-mile drive to meet Julia and a three-mile drive back again, did not fill Bobby with joy—also the prospect of having to make explanations.

He had quite determined on that. After the arbour business it was impossible to go on with Julia; he had to break whatever bonds there existed between them, and he had to do the business before she got to the hotel. Then came the prospect of having to live with her in the hotel, even for a night. He questioned himself, asking himself were he a cad or not, had he trifled with Julia? As far as memory went, they had both trifled with one another. It was a sudden affair, and no actual promise had been made; he had not even said "I love you"—but he had kissed her. The legal mind would, no doubt, have construed that into a declaration[Pg 210] of affection, but Bobby's mind was not legal—anything but—and as for kissing a girl, if he had been condemned to marry all the girls he had kissed he would have been forced to live in Utah.

He had to wait half an hour for the train at Farnborough, and when it drew up out stepped Julia, hot, and dressed in green, dragging a hold-all and a bundle of magazines and newspapers.

"H'are you?" said Bobby, as they shook hands.

"Hot," said Julia.

"Isn't it?"

He carried the hold-all to the fly and a porter followed with a basket-work portmanteau. When the luggage was stowed in they got in and the fly moved off.

Julia was not in a passionate mood; no person is or ever has been after a journey on the London and Wessex and South Coast Railway—unless it is a mood of passion against the railway. She seemed, indeed, disgruntled and critical, and a tone of complaint in her voice cheered up Bobby.

"I know it's an awful old fly," said he, "but it's the best they had; the hotel motor-car is broken down or something."

"Why didn't you wire me that day," said She, "that you were going off so soon? I only got your wire from here next morning. You promised to meet me and you never turned up. I went to the Albany to see if you were in, and I saw Mr. Tozer. He said you had gone off with half a dozen people in a car——"

"Only four, not including me," cut in Bobby.

"Two ladies——"

"An old French lady and her daughter."

"Well, that's two ladies, isn't it?"

"I suppose so—you can't make it three. Then there was uncle; it's true he's a host in himself."

"How's he going on?"

"Splendidly."

"I'm very anxious to see him," said Julia. "It's so seldom one meets anyone really original in this life; most people are copies of others, and generally bad ones at that."

"That's so," said Bobby.

"How's the novel going on?" said Julia.

"Heavens!" said Bobby, "do you think I can add literary work to my other distractions? The novel is not going on, but the plot is."

"How d'you mean?"

"Uncle Simon. I've got the beginning and[Pg 212] middle of a novel in him, but I haven't got the end."

"You are going to put him in a book?"

"I wish to goodness I could, and close the covers on him. No, I'm going to weave him into a story—he's doing most of the weaving, but that's a detail. Look here, Julia——"

"Yes?"

"I've been thinking."

"Yes?"

"I've been thinking we have made a mistake."

"Who?"

"Well, we. I didn't write, I thought I'd wait till I saw y............
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