Books > Old Books > Decent Fellows (1930)


Page 226

CHAPTER XVI

strings broken, and they served frequent double faults. But they sprawled and chattered about the court with great enthusiasm and laughed at each other when they hit the ball into the next field. Every now and then they straightened their faces and exclaimed, " Come on, let's be serious." And all the while they showed off their London frocks in a variety of elegant postures. When the county were on the court, the neighbourhood sat together and pretended not to watch them.
" How do you like Peter Ockley, Joan ?" said Maureen. Denis and Peter were playing a good-humoured double with two of the county. Joan thought for a moment. " He's got nice manners, I think."
" Denis is very fond of him, isn't he ?" said Maureen.
" I don't know. I believe so. What do you think of him ? "
" He gave me a very good tea at Eton," said Maureen.
" Is that all ? Do you like him better than Denis ?"
" What an extraordinary question. Of course I don't. I haven't known him so long, for one thing. Denis is much better looking." She bounced her racket on her toes. " Don't you think so, Joan ?"
" Good gracious, yes," said,Joan. " I think Peter is rather like a girl-except when he eats. His hair is too long."
" And he's so old for his age. He's not like a boy at all."
" And he's so lackadaisical ; he never seems to want to do anything."
" I know. Denis has more spunk."
" Wherever did you get that word from? Spunk ?"
" A friend of Denis's, who is coming to stay, used it. Spunk or guts. He said they were the same."
" Are you and Denis still friends ?" said Joan suddenly.
" Of course we are."
" Only mother is always suggesting that Denis should take Peter over to see you, and Denis ... but I don't know."'
" And Denis what? "
" Nothing. Anyhow, there hasn't been much time lately."
" I see," said Maureen, banging her racket more quickly.

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