Home / News
16. CHAPTER XVI (continued)
"A friend of ours did think that it is insufficiently reinsured," said Margaret.
Now Leonard had his clue.
He must praise the Porphyrion. "You can tell your friend," he said, "that he's quite wrong."
The young man coloured a little. In his circle to be wrong was fatal. The Miss Schlegels did not mind being wrong. They were genuinely glad that they had been misinformed. To them nothing was fatal but evil.
"Wrong, so to speak," he added.
"How 'so to speak'?"
"I mean I wouldn't say he's right altogether."
But this was a blunder. "Then he is right partly," said the elder woman, quick as lightning.
Leonard replied that every one was right partly, if it came to that.
"Mr. Bast, I don't understand business, and I dare say my questions are stupid, but can you tell me what makes a concern 'right' or 'wrong'?"
Leonard sat back with a sigh.
"Our friend, who is also a business man, was so positive. He said before Christmas--"
"And advised you to clear out of it," concluded Helen. "But I don't see why he should know better than you do. "
Leonard rubbed his hands. He was tempted to say that he knew nothing about the thing at all. But a commercial training was too strong for him. Nor could he say it was a bad thing, for this would be giving it away; nor yet that it was good, for this would be giving it away equally. He attempted to suggest that it was something between the two, with vast possibilities in either direction, but broke down under the gaze of four sincere eyes. And yet he scarcely distinguished between the two sisters. One was more beautiful and more lively, but "the Miss Schlegels" still remained a composite Indian god, whose waving arms and contradictory speeches were the product of a single mind.
This is page 137 of 343. [Mark this Page]
Mark any page to add this title to Your Bookshelf. (0 / 10 books on shelf)
Buy a copy of Howards End at Amazon.com
Customize text appearance:
(c) 2003-2012 LiteraturePage.com and Michael Moncur.
For information about public domain texts appearing here, read the copyright information and disclaimer.