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This Paris Conference was really the most considerable event that had come his way since the war period, though it was far from being world-shattering, and he surmised that Bingay had taken him along chiefly because the Balkan angle might crop up.So far it hadn't, and Charles wished it would, as a wrestler hopes for a chance to display a hold in which he has long specialized.He was still thinking about a good dinner when the car turned into the parking area of what was apparently a large and popular roadside restaurant. Fuessli, as they walked their way amongst innumerable cars towards an entrance festooned with life-belts. and besides, of course, we don't have places like this, even in peacetime.' 'Maybe you would have,' said Mr. Fuessli returned to the subject of Gerald's 'initiation'. Fuessli was giggling and he knew it was at himself.Fuessli, 'if there was a demand for them.' (He had always found this principle valid in the hardware business.) 'That's very possible,' Charles agreed. 'And where will you go when you first take him to dinner? 'Oh, do make it SEVENTEEN—not eighteen or nineteen —when you take him to Michelet's,' she pleaded.
It was a Sunday, and the Fuesslis could think of nothing better to do than drive a hundred miles to nowhere in particular along roads crowded with other Americans doing the same thing. Oh yes, I do, indeed.' (Which was true enough, though this 'sea-food' set Charles thinking that he also enjoyed 'land-food', if such a term could be used to describe a really delicious entrecte, or perhaps the poulet saut amricain, which was, he supposed, the nearest approach to a national dish.) 'Then I can promise you something worth waiting for,' continued Mr. It soon became clear to Charles that 'waiting for' had been no idle phrase; for the place was crowded, the restaurateur did not greet them, no table had been reserved, and there were twenty or thirty patrons standing in line for the next one available. Over coffee, which they drank in a hurry because the line in the lobby was still long, Charles was anxious to dispel any impression that he had not thoroughly enjoyed himself. 'Better to learn them, then you don't pick them up wrong.' Charles did not intend to be either didactic or crushing, but he thought he might have sounded a little of both and it disconcerted him. ' 'Oh, I'd say when he's at Cambridge—maybe eighteen or nineteen.' Charles added, lest he should seem to be taking the whole thing far too seriously: 'I'm already looking forward to it—a grand excuse to give myself what Lord Curzon once called a beano.' They did not understand the allusion, so he had to explain that 'beano' was a sound if somewhat proletarian English word meaning 'a good time' (derived from 'beanfeast'), but that Lord Curzon, a man of unproletarian perspectives, had assumed from its appearance that the word was Italian, and had therefore pronounced it 'bay-ah-no'. ' 'I would, yes—French cooking for me, any time—even the best London clubs aren't famous for their...' He realized that this was dangerous ground; the Fuesslis might think he was dissatisfied with their own table, which he certainly wasn't—after England in wartime it was wonderful.He was a good sleeper, not because he had nothing to worry about, but because as a rule he had worked hard enough to be tired and conscientiously enough to be untroubled by conscience; lately, though, he had begun to feel sometimes TOO tired. His hair had turned austerely iron-grey, but without thinning, and since he was something of a gourmet his trim figure offered a special tribute to character and temperament.But there need not be much more of it, he consoled himself; he would soon be on pension, and with each recent year ambition had withdrawn less reluctantly from the probably unscalable cliffs and had begun to settle for the long comfortable valley just round the corner. Most people liked him, including those who would have been astonished if he had ever achieved any sensational success; he never had, so in a sort of way they could like him all the more.On the night that Charles arrived at their house it was doubtless excusable that Gerald should be allowed to stay up past his usual bedtime, but it seemed strange to Charles to have to sit at the dinner table not only with his own youngster but with the Fuesslis' daughter Louise, aged three. He noted meanwhile that there was even a special children's dinner at half-price —which Gerald and Louise both ate with relish. Festive but good.' 'Was that where your father took you?He ascribed it to the kindness of his hosts and the natural good manners of both children that such an extraordinary situation passed without untoward incident. The sea-food, incidentally, proved to be excellent, and the Californian wine that Mr. ' 'Oh no, I don't think Michelet's was in existence then.
Charles thought it possible that if the Balkan angle did crop up he might even, in a minor professional way and entirely without headlines, distinguish himself.