With the now familiar feeling of walking on glass, Raymond remarked passively, “I only saw him that one moment, but I thought you kept him well in hand.”
I wonder that he chose to come out at all. Beside him, Raymond was dimly aware of the little iron gate swinging toward his arm and he put out his hand, mechanically, to stay it. He is not wanted and would not be missed. He is not Talldogs. He need not have come.
Avery said softly, “Don’t lie. Everyone knows girls are dying to talk punt-horses. I have a very good story about one particular river-pony and a slight misunderstanding with a Nonpareil. The pony was just a common farm teaser, you see.”
Jasper de Lacey was in the armchair, sitting it as if it were a throne, and he was watching me steadfastly as I watched him—for the instant I entered the room I took in all its large particulars as one takes them in a dream: my gaze did not leave my employer from the outset.
I chuffed, amused. "My dear Raymond, you know I do not remember monetary transactions."
"Well, not quite all," the sleepy Devil purred. "I am at the top: I have no one to envy. The other points—you could make a case for them."
"An imperfect devil, then," she sneered.
He looked away, his mouth twitching. "I know. A craftsman's integrity is a thing of the past."
Her hand flashed out, one finger yelling with the light of a golden ring. “No, let you be quiet,” she snapped impatiently, and turned at once upon the surgeon again. “Let me be level with you,” she said in the tone of one shoving her heel across a slug. “Do you or do you not wish to keep your precious Commander inside his precious skin?”
"It was not her womb which bore me, nor her breast which nursed me, but she has been ever a mother to me. And I love her," he turned from the casing, eyes smouldering and defiant in his face, "as ever Goddgofang or Badger or Bruin have loved her."
She dropped her hands soundlessly onto the arms of the chair and pushed herself upright, coming to her feet. She was not tall, but she looked down on him with a crushing height, almost as if she enjoyed herself. “On a scale of one to ten,” she murmured honeyily, “how much more will you hate me for this?”
Let it be quick. Merciful God, let it be quick.