category:Strategy chess


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    “Good gracious no! The idea!”
    As usual at this stage, when he had not seen his brother-in-law for a time, Mahony’s chief sensation on meeting John was one of discomfort. Without doubt, some great change was at work in John. Lean as a herring, yellow as a Chinaman, he had been for months past. But the change in his manner was even more striking. Gone was much of the high-handedness, the pompous arrogance it had once been so hard to stomach; gone the opulent wordiness of his pronunciamentos. He was now in point of becoming a morose and taciturn sort of fellow; prone, too, to fits of blankness in which, staring straight before him, he seemed to forget your very presence. So much at least was plain: John was not taking the universe by any means so much for granted, as of old.


    2.The shock of the encounter drove the semblance of a hearty greeting out of Mahony. But with this he had exhausted himself; Purdy and he could find no points of contact; and after a few halting remarks and awkward pauses, Purdy faced round to Tilly again and took up the broken thread of his yarn. And from now on, both there and at the high tea to which Mary presently led them, Mahony sat silent and constrained. For one thing, he disdained competition with Tilly in her open touting for Purdy’s notice. Again, as he looked and listened, he understood Mary’s discomfort and embarrassment. On the occasion of last seeing Purdy, they had both been giddy with excitement. Now the scales fell from his eyes. This, his former intimate and friend? This common, shoddy little man, already pot-bellied and bald? — whose language was that of the tap-room and the stable; who sat there bragging of the shady knowledge he had harvested in dark corners, blowing to impress the women; one of life’s failures and aware of it, and, just for this reason, cocksure, bitter, intolerant — a self-lover to the Nth degree. In the extravagant fables they were asked to swallow, he, Purdy, had seen the best of everything, the worst of everything, had always been in the thick of a fray and in at the finish.
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