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A Poor Rule
A Poor Rule Stage 2
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A Poor Rule

In gilt letters on the ground glass of the door of room No. 962 were the words: Robbins & Hartley, Brokers. The clerks had gone. It was past five. And with the solid tramp of a drove of prize Percherons, scrubs-women were invading the cloud-capped twenty-story office building. A puff of red-hot air flavoured with lemon peelings, soft-coal smoke and train oil came in through the half-open windows. Robbins, fifty, soemthing of an overweight beau. And addicted to first nights and hotel palm-rooms, pretended to be envious of his partner's commuter's joys.

Going to be something doing in the humidity line tonight, he said. Your out-of-town chaps will be the people, with katydids and moonlight and long drinks and things out on the front porch.

Hartley, twenty-nine, serious, thin, good-looking, ner-vous, sighed and frowned a little.

Yes, said he, we always have cool nights in Floral-hurst, especially in the winter.

A man with an air of mystery came in the door and went up to Hartley. I've found where she lives, he announced in the portentous half-whisper that makesthe detective at work a marked being to his fellow men.

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