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‘You’re tellin’ me she’s in the family way?’

‘Don’t put it like that, man.’

‘How do you expect me to put it? You bloody fool you, how did you manage it? Where? On the ferry or in the train? . . . All right, all right.’ He thrust John George’s raised arm aside. ‘But I mean just what I say, for you’ve seen her for an hour or so a week, so you’ve told me, when you’ve taken her around Newcastle making a tour of ancient buildings. From the Central Station into Jesmond Dene, there doesn’t seem to be one you’ve missed, so that’s why I ask you onlinecasinosvizzera.com

They were standing on a piece of open land. A building was being erected to one side of it while at the other old houses were being knocked down. There was a thin drizzle of rain falling, the whole scene was dismal and it matched John George’s dejected appearance. His thin shoulders were hunched, his head hung down, his gaze was directed towards the leather bag in his hand but without seeing it. He mumbled now, ‘It’s all right. Don’t worry, I’ll manage. I’m sorry I asked you; you’ll want everything you can lay hands on to get the yard, I know.’

‘It isn’t that. You can have the two pounds, but what good’s that going to do you in this fix, I ask you. It’s a drop in the ocean and what’ll happen when she tells her folks?’

John George raised his eyes and looked up into the grey sky. ‘God! . . I just don’t know. He’ll be for murdering her. He’s an awful man from what I can gather. I want to get her out of there afore he finds out.’

‘How far is she?’

‘Over . . . over three months.’

‘Well, it won’t be long then will it afore he twigs something?’

Rory shook his head, then put his hand into his back pocket, pulled out a small bag and extracted from it two sovereigns, and as he did so his teeth ground tightly together. This was putting him in a fix, he’d had just five pounds left to make a start the night, and it could be a big night, now he was left with only three.

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