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Excerpt from Encounters; Stories It was not worth sitting down till she had finished, because he would be expected to take her plate away. Why was the only empty chair always beside Miss Emily? Last night in the lamplight he had almost begun to think he liked Miss Emily. She was the only lady present who had not beaten time with hand or foot or jerking head while they played "Toreador Song" on the gramophone. But here, pressed in upon her by the thick fumes of coffee and bacon, the doggy-smelling carpet, the tight, glazed noses of the family ready to split loudly from their skins... There was contamination in the very warm edge of her plate, as he took it from her with averted head and clattered it down among the others on the sideboard. "Bacon?" insinuated Mrs. Russel. "A little chilly, I'm afraid. I do hope there's plenty, but we early birds are sometimes inclined to be rather ravenous." She added: "There's an egg," but there was no invitation in her...

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