'The maiden from Birmingham, wasn't it?' said Jasper, again exploding.
'Yes, it was. Well, I can't be quite sure. But in many respects that girl was my ideal; she really was.'
'As you once or twice told me at the time.'
'I really believe she would rank above Miss Embleton--at all events from my point of view. And that's everything, you know. It's the effect a woman produces on one that has to be considered.'
'The next should be a paragon,' said Jasper.
Whelpdale again looked about the room, but added nothing, and fell into a long silence.
When left to himself Jasper walked about a little, then sat down at his writing-table, for he felt easier in mind, and fancied that he might still do a couple of hours' work before going to bed. He did in fact write half-a-dozen lines, but with the effort came back his former mood. Very soon the pen dropped, and he was once more in the throes of anxious mental debate.
He sat till after midnight, and when he went to his bedroom it was with a lingering step, which proved him still a prey to indecision.
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