The White Monkey, John Galsworthy
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John Galsworthy

The White Monkey

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316 printed pages
From preface: In naming this second part of The Forsyte Chronicles “A Modern Comedy” the word Comedy is stretched, perhaps as far as the word Saga was stretched to cover the first part. And yet, what but a comedic view can be taken, what but comedic significance gleaned, of so restive a period as that in which we have lived since the war? An Age which knows not what it wants, yet is intensely preoccupied with getting it, must evoke a smile, if rather a sad one.
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“No,” said Victorine, “I haven’t sent it yet. I wanted to see him first.” The young man at the counter was looking at her hard. He went again to the tube, then spoke.
“Will you wait a minute, please—Mr. Mont’s lady secretary is coming down.”
Victorine inclined her head towards her sinking heart. A lady secretary! She would never get there now! And there came on her the sudden dread of false pretences. But the thought of Tony standing at his corner, ballooned up to the eyes, as she had spied out more than once, fortified her desperation.
A girl’s voice said: “Miss Manuelli? Mr. Mont’s secretary, perhaps you could give me a message.”
A fresh-faced young woman’s eyes were travelling up and down her. Pinching her accent hard, she said: “Oh! I’m afraid I couldn’t do that.”
The travelling gaze stopped at her face. “If you’ll come with me, I’ll see if he can see you.”
Alone in a small waiting-room, Victorine sat without movement, till she saw a young man’s face poked through the doorway, and heard the words:
“Will you come in?”
“No retreat, no retreat
They must conquer or die
Who have no retreat!
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