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JJ Connington EPK
As Philip Castleford came down the broad stairs, a faint burst of laughter reached him through the closed door of the drawing-room. At the sound of his wife's shrill titter rising above the bass of the two men's voices, he winced and gave vent to his spleen in an ejaculation, all the more vehement because it was uttered under his breath. " Damn those people ! " In that concise imprecation he included his wife, the two brothers of her first husband, and her companion, Constance Lindfield, He hesitated for a moment at the foot of the stair, trying to brace himself up to face that hostile group ; but his mental conflict was a pure make-believe, like a stage-fight with its foregone conclusion. In a weak attempt to keep up his self-respect, he pretended that he was considering whether to join the others or not, though all the while he knew that he could not force himself to enter the drawing-room that night. The Glencaple brothers' visits were never pleasant to him, but that night's dinner had been even worse than usual.
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