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The Career of Katherine Bush

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(1916)


Illustrated by Edmund Frederick


Dusk was coming on when Katherine Bush left the office of the Jew money lenders, Livingstone and Devereux, in Holles Street. Theirs was a modest establishment with no indication upon the wire blind of the only street window as to the trade practised by the two owners of the aristocratic names emblazoned upon the dingy transparency. But it was very well known all the same to numerous young bloods who often sought temporary relief within its doors.

Katherine Bush had been the shorthand typist there since she was nineteen. They paid her well, and she had the whole of Saturday to herself.

She sat clicking at her machine most of the day, behind a half-high glass screen, and when she lifted her head, she could see those who came to the desk beyond—she could hear their voices, and if she listened very carefully, she could distinguish the words they said. In the three years in which she had earned thirty shillings a week sitting there, she had become quite a connoisseur in male voices, and had made numerous deductions therefrom. "Liv" and "Dev," as Mr. Percival Livingstone and Mr. Benjamin Devereux, were called with undue familiarity by their subordinates, often wondered how Katherine Bush seemed to know exactly the suitable sort of letter to write to each client, without being told. She was certainly a most valuable young woman, and worth the rise the firm meant to offer her shortly.

She hardly ever spoke, and when she did raise her sullen greyish-green eyes with a question in them, you were wiser to answer it without too much palaver. The eyes were darkly heavily lashed and were compelling and disconcertingly steady, and set like Greek eyes under broad brows. Her cheeks were flat, and her nose straight, and her mouth was full and large and red.--Chapter 1


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