The Forsyte Saga

By John Galsworthy; Geoffrey Harvey | Go to book overview
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concentrated look, Jolyon saw that which moved him to the thought: 'That chap could never forget anything--nor ever give himself away. He's pathetic!'


WHEN young Val left the presence of the last generation he was thinking: 'This is jolly dull! Uncle Soames does take the bun. I wonder what this filly's like?' He anticipated no pleasure from her society; and suddenly he saw her standing there looking at him. Why, she was pretty! What luck!

'I'm afraid you don't know me,' he said. 'My name's Val Dartie--I'm once removed, second cousin, something like that, you know. My mother's name was Forsyte.'

Holly, whose slim brown hand remained in his because she was too shy to withdraw it, said:

'I don't know any of my relations. Are there many?'

'Tons. They're awful--most of them. At least, I don't know-- some of them. One's relations always are, aren't they?''I expect they think one awful too,' said Holly.

'I don't know why they should. No one could think you awful, of course.'

Holly looked at him--the wistful candour in those grey eyes gave young Val a sudden feeling that he must protect her.

'I mean there are people and people,' he added astutely. 'Your dad looks awfully decent, for instance.'

'Oh yes!' said Holly fervently; 'he is.'

A flush mounted in Val's cheeks--that scene in the Pandemonium promenade--the dark man with the pink carnation developing into his own father! 'But you know what the Forsytes are,' he said almost viciously. 'Oh! I forgot; you don't.''What are they?'

'Oh! fearfully careful; not sportsmen a bit. Look at Uncle Soames!'

'I'd like to,' said Holly.

Val resisted a desire to run his arm through hers. 'Oh no,' he said, 'let's go out. You'll see him quite soon enough. What's your brother like?'


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