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The Pupil - Henry James

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The Pupil


The poor young man hesitated and procrastinated:  it cost him such
an effort to broach the subject of terms, to speak of money to a
person who spoke only of feelings and, as it were, of the
aristocracy.  Yet he was unwilling to take leave, treating his
engagement as settled, without some more conventional glance in
that direction than he could find an opening for in the manner of
the large affable lady who sat there drawing a pair of soiled gants
de Suede through a fat jewelled hand and, at once pressing and
gliding, repeated over and over everything but the thing he would
have liked to hear.  He would have liked to hear the figure of his
salary; but just as he was nervously about to sound that note the
little boy came back - the little boy Mrs. Moreen had sent out of
the room to fetch her fan.  He came back without the fan, only with
the casual observation that he couldn't find it.  As he dropped
this cynical confession he looked straight and hard at the
candidate for the honour of taking his education in hand.  This
personage reflected somewhat grimly that the thing he should have
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