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CHAPTER 7: I FIND A FRIEND (continued)
His charming smile rebuked my impatience.
"We must first see whether they can do with you at all," said he. "I sincerely hope they can; but this is their time of year for tourists, though perhaps a little late. I'll tell you what I'll do. As a matter of fact, I'm going down there to-morrow, and I've got to telegraph to my place in any case to tell them when to meet me. I'll send the telegram first thing, and I'll make them send one back to say whether there's room in the cottage or not."
I thanked him warmly, but asked if the cottage was close to Kirby Hall, and whether this would not be giving a deal of trouble at the other end; whereupon he mischievously misunderstood me a second time, saying the cottage and the hall were not even in sight of each other, and I really had no intrusion to fear, as he was a lonely bachelor like myself, and would only be up there four or five days at the most. So I made my appreciation of his society plainer than ever to him; for indeed I had found a more refreshing pleasure in it already than I had hoped to derive from mortal man again; and we parted, at three o'clock in the morning, like old fast friends.
"Only don't expect too much, my dear Mr. Cole," were his last words to me. "My own place is as ancient and as tumble-down as most ruins that you pay to see over. And I'm never there myself because - I tell you frankly - I hate it like poison!"
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