PASSING OF A SPORTSMAN
SOAMES, disappointed of his daughter, said: "I'll wait," and took his seat in the centre of the jadegreen settee, oblivious of Ting-a-ling before the fire, sleeping off the attentions of Amabel Nazing, who had found him "just too cunning." Grey and composed, with one knee over the other, and a line between his eyes, he thought of Elderson and the condition of the world, and of how there was always something. And the more he thought, the more he wondered why he had ever been such a flat as to go on to a Board which had anything to do with foreign contracts. All the old wisdom that in the nineteenth century had consolidated British wealth, all the Forsyte philosophy of attending to one's own business, and taking no risks, the close-fibred national individualism which refused to commit the country to chasing this wild goose or that, held within him silent demonstration. Britain was on the wrong tack politically to try and influence the Continent, and the P. P. R. S. on the wrong tack monetarily to insure business outside Britain. The special instinct of his breed yearned for resumption of the straight and private path. Never meddle with what you couldn't control! 'Old Mont' had said: 'Keep the ring!' Nothing of the sort: Mind one's own business! That was the real 'formula.' He became conscious of his calf--Ting-a-ling was sniffing at his trousers.
"Oh!" said Soames. "It's you!"
Placing his fore paws against the settee, Ting-a-ling licked the air.