'Yes, I should like you to, if you have nothing particular to do.'
Marian informed Mrs Yule that the visitors would have supper, and then went to the study. Mr Quarmby was smoking a pipe; Mr Hinks, who on grounds of economy had long since given up tobacco, sat with his hands in his trouser pockets, and his long, thin legs tucked beneath the chair; both rose and greeted Marian with more than ordinary warmth.
'Will you allow me five or six more puffs?' asked Mr Quarmby, laying one hand on his ample stomach and elevating his pipe as if it were a glass of beaded liquor. 'I shall then have done.'
'As many more as you like,' Marian replied.
The easiest chair was placed for her, Mr Hinks hastening to perform this courtesy, and her father apprised her of the topic they were discussing.
'What's your view, Marian? Is there anything to be said for the establishment of a literary academy in England?'
Mr Quarmby beamed benevolently upon her, and Mr Hinks, his scraggy neck at full length, awaited her reply with a look of the most respectful attention.
'I really think we have quite enough literary quarrelling as it is,' the girl replied, casting down her eyes and smiling.
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