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43. CHAPTER XLIII (continued)
It was Foinet with whom Philip first came in contact. He was already in the studio when Philip arrived. He went round from easel to easel, with Mrs. Otter, the massiere, by his side to interpret his remarks for the benefit of those who could not understand French. Fanny Price, sitting next to Philip, was working feverishly. Her face was sallow with nervousness, and every now and then she stopped to wipe her hands on her blouse; for they were hot with anxiety. Suddenly she turned to Philip with an anxious look, which she tried to hide by a sullen frown.
"D'you think it's good?" she asked, nodding at her drawing.
Philip got up and looked at it. He was astounded; he felt she must have no eye at all; the thing was hopelessly out of drawing.
"I wish I could draw half as well myself," he answered.
"You can't expect to, you've only just come. It's a bit too much to expect that you should draw as well as I do. I've been here two years."
Fanny Price puzzled Philip. Her conceit was stupendous. Philip had already discovered that everyone in the studio cordially disliked her; and it was no wonder, for she seemed to go out of her way to wound people.
"I complained to Mrs. Otter about Foinet," she said now. "The last two weeks he hasn't looked at my drawings. He spends about half an hour on Mrs. Otter because she's the massiere. After all I pay as much as anybody else, and I suppose my money's as good as theirs. I don't see why I shouldn't get as much attention as anybody else."
She took up her charcoal again, but in a moment put it down with a groan.
"I can't do any more now. I'm so frightfully nervous."
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