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Mrs. St. George looked out into Cardigan Square. The high, Georgian window framed a picture that was seen in winter and in spring, in autumn and in summer, and so familiar had it become to her that it seemed to possess no more than a casual significance.
But on this April day, in the year nineteen hundred and eighteen, Mrs. St. George saw the square like a face strange with sudden emotion, or a landscape sad with the young greenness of a wintry spring. Standing in the middle of the room she saw this strip framed by the window, the familiar details, the gradations of the vista, the wood-paved roadway touching the kerb of the flagged path, the black railings of the garden, the young green of sprouting lilacs and privets, the kind of blue-grey gloom hanging in the sooty shrubberies, the thin green of the London grass, the maculated trunks of the old plane-trees, the spread of their tops, the vague redness of the houses beyond, and above it all a square panel of sky. On this April day a south-west wind moved the branches of the plane-trees; sudden sunshine was followed by sudden shadow; the wet trees would glisten or grow black.


She uttered the word aloud, and it was a strange word for so cold and so self-contained a woman to utter. She had been standing there for quite five minutes, holding a letter that had changed the familiar sameness of her outlook upon this London square. She was a tall woman, handsome, fiftyish or more, with one of those firm white faces, and lips that close decisively over very regular teeth. Someone had once called her an Arctic Juno. Her wavy, fair hair had a fallacious softness. Her eyes were very blue.

In a corner, on the right of one of the windows, stood a big bureau, mahogany, capacious and solid. Clara St. George was a woman of affairs, and all her multifarious letters and papers were kept under perfect control. With a deliberate and yet sudden movement she approached her desk, placed her son's letter on the writing-pad, and glanced at a card upon which various telephone numbers were neatly recorded. The telephone was attached to the wall beside her desk. She rang up the exchange. There was something characteristic of her in the way in which she put out a hand and took down the receiver. The gesture was possessive.
Always and firmly she had grasped the desired object and uttered decisively the word "mine."

"Exchange--are you there? Give me 10097."

She waited. Her blue eyes looked out at the sudden sunlight in the tops of the plane-trees. She stood very still. Never yet had she allowed her body or her emotions to be hurried.

Her eyes grew more hard and attentive.

"Hallo--! Is that Sir Murray Hurder's? Yes. O, it is you, Sir Murray. Mrs. St. George speaking. I have just heard that they are sending my son out to the front. What? Yes, to France. It's disgraceful. They have passed him as fit. You have known him since he was ten--"

She paused and stood listening, lips pressed to a pale hardness.

"Shocked--? Naturally. It's abominable. What, nothing can be done? Yes, of course, I understand--This brutal business--"

More Reading:
Other Books by Warwick Deeping by ADB Publishing
(The Original) Doomsday (1932)
(The Original Kitty (1877) (This Book)
(The Original) Mr Gurney and Mr Slade (1944)
(The Original) Old Pybus (1928)
(The Original) Roper's Row (1929)
(The Original) Sorrell and Son (1925)
(The Original) The Road
(The Original) The Secret Sanctuary (1931)

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Used availability for Warwick Deeping's Kitty

Hardback Editions

June 1976 : USA Hardback

Title: Kitty
Author(s): Warwick Deeping
ISBN: 0-89968-020-8 / 978-0-89968-020-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Lightyear Pr
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA