SYLVIA TIETJENS, using merely the persuasion of her left knee edged her chestnut bay nearer to the bay mare of the shining General. She said:
"If I divorce Christopher, will you marry me?"
He exclaimed with the vehemence of a shocked hen:
"Good God, no!"
He shone everywhere except in such parts of his grey tweed suit as would have shown by shining that they bad been put on more than once. But his little white moustache, his cheeks, the bridge but not the tip of his nose, his reins, his Guards' tie, his boots, martingale, snaffle, curb, fingers, fingernails -- all these gave evidence of interminable rubbings. . . . By himself, by his man, by Lord Fittleworth's stable-hands, grooms. . . . Interminable rubbings and supervisions at the end of extended arms. Merely to look at him you would know that he was something like Lord Edward Campion, Lieutenant General retired, K.C.M.G. (military) M.P.V.C., M.C., D.S.O. . . . So he exclaimed: "Good God, no!" and using a little-finger touch on his snaffle-rein made his mare recoil from Sylvia Tietjens' chestnut. Annoyed at its mate's motion, the bad-tempered chestnut with the white forehead showed its teeth at the mare, danced a little and threw out some flakes of foam. Sylvia swayed a little backwards and forwards in her saddle, and smiled downwards into her husband's garden.
"You can't, you know," she said, "expect to put an idea out of my head just by flurrying the horses. . . ."
"A man," the General said between "Comeups" to his mare, "does not marry his . . ."
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Publication information: Book title: Parade's End. Contributors: Ford Madox Ford - Author. Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1950. Page number: 779.
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