Beyond the City (Chapter 1, page 1 of 5)


 
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Chapter 1

"If you please, mum," said the voice of a domestic from somewhere round
the angle of the door, "number three is moving in."

Two little old ladies, who were sitting at either side of a table,
sprang to their feet with ejaculations of interest, and rushed to the
window of the sitting-room.

"Take care, Monica dear," said one, shrouding herself in the lace
curtain; "don't let them see us.

"No, no, Bertha. We must not give them reason to say that their
neighbors are inquisitive. But I think that we are safe if we stand like
this."

The open window looked out upon a sloping lawn, well trimmed and
pleasant, with fuzzy rosebushes and a star-shaped bed of sweet-william.
It was bounded by a low wooden fence, which screened it off from a
broad, modern, new metaled road. At the other side of this road were
three large detached deep-bodied villas with peaky eaves and small
wooden balconies, each standing in its own little square of grass and
of flowers. All three were equally new, but numbers one and two were
curtained and sedate, with a human, sociable look to them; while number
three, with yawning door and unkempt garden, had apparently only just
received its furniture and made itself ready for its occupants. A
four-wheeler had driven up to the gate, and it was at this that the old
ladies, peeping out bird-like from behind their curtains, directed an
eager and questioning gaze.

 
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