Love Among The Chickens (Chapter 3, page 2 of 8)


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Chapter 3

I entered the compartment, and stood at the door, looking out in the faint hope of thwarting an invasion of fellow-travellers. Then I withdrew my head suddenly and sat down. An elderly gentleman, accompanied by a pretty girl, was coming towards me. It was not this type of fellow traveller whom I had hoped to keep out. I had noticed the girl at the booking office. She had waited by the side of the queue while the elderly gentleman struggled gamely for the tickets, and I had had plenty of opportunity of observing her appearance. I had debated with myself whether her hair should rightly be described as brown or golden. I had finally decided on brown. Once only had I met her eyes, and then only for an instant. They might be blue. They might be grey. I could not be certain. Life is full of these problems.

"This seems to be tolerably empty, my dear Phyllis," said the elderly gentleman, coming to the door of the compartment and looking in. "You're sure you don't object to a smoking-carriage?"

"Oh no, father. Not a bit."

"Then I think . . ." said the elderly gentleman, getting in.

The inflection of his voice suggested the Irishman. It was not a brogue. There were no strange words. But the general effect was Irish.

"That's good," he said, settling himself and pulling out a cigar case.

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