Free US/UK Kindle Classic
Gregory Jardine's face, however, was not framed to express enthusiasm. It was caustic, cold and delicate. His eyes were as clear and as hard as a sky of frosty morning, and his small, firm lips were hard. His chin and lower lip advanced slightly, so that when he smiled his teeth met edge to edge, and the little black moustache, to which he often gave an absent upward twist, lent an ironic quality to this chill, gay smile, at times almost Mephistophelian. He sat twisting the moustache now, leaning his head to listen, amidst the babel of voices, to Betty Jardine's chatter, and the thrills of infectious expectancy that passed over the audience like breezes over a corn-field left him unaffected. His observant, indifferent glance had in it something of the schoolboy's barbarian calm and something of the disabused impersonality of worldly experience.
"Takes the place," Miss Scrotton repeated, "of a child of her own? This little nobody, and an uninteresting nobody, too? Oh, she is a good girl, a very good girl; and she makes herself fairly useful in elementary ways; but how can you imagine that such a tie can satisfy maternal craving?"