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The Game - Jack London

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Many patterns of carpet lay rolled out before them on the floor--two
of Brussels showed the beginning of their quest, and its ending in
that direction; while a score of ingrains lured their eyes and
prolonged the debate between desire pocket-book.  The head of the
department did them the honor of waiting upon them himself--or did
Joe the honor, as she well knew, for she had noted the open-mouthed
awe of the elevator boy who brought them up.  Nor had she been blind
to the marked respect shown Joe by the urchins and groups of young
fellows on corners, when she walked with him in their own
neighborhood down at the west end of the town.

But the head of the department was called away to the telephone, and
in her mind the splendid promise of the carpets and the irk of the
pocket-book were thrust aside by a greater doubt and anxiety.

"But I don't see what you find to like in it, Joe," she said softly,
the note of insistence in her words betraying recent and
unsatisfactory discussion.

For a fleeting moment a shadow darkened his boyish face, to be
replaced by the glow of tenderness.  He was only a boy, as she was
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