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by Hugh Walpole

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About thirty years ago there was at the top of the right-hand side of Orange Street, in Polchester, a large stone house. I say "was"; the shell of it is still there, and the people who now live in it are quite unaware, I suppose, that anything has happened to the inside of it, except that they are certainly assured that their furniture is vastly superior to the furniture of their predecessors. They have a gramophone, a pianola, and a lift to bring the plates from the kitchen into the dining-room, and a small motor garage at the back where the old pump used to be, and a very modern rock garden where once was the pond with the fountain that never worked. Let them cherish their satisfaction. No one grudges it to them. The Coles were, by modern standards, old-fashioned people, and the Stone House was an old-fashioned house.

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The end of it was that Jeremy received six strokes on the hand with a ruler. Mr. Cole was not good at this kind of thing, and twice he missed Jeremy's hand altogether, and looked very foolish. It was not an edifying scene. Jeremy left the room, his head high, his spirit obstinate; and his father remained, puzzled, distressed, at a loss, anxious to do what was right, but unable to touch his son at all.



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