The Painted Veil Chapter 19

As soon as she could next morning she rang Townsend up at his office:

‘Yes, what is it?’

‘I want to see you.’

‘My dear, I’m awfully busy. I’m a working man.’

‘It’s very important. Can I come down to the office?’

‘Oh, no, I wouldn’t do that if I were you.’

‘Well, come here then.’

‘I can’t possibly get away. What about this afternoon? And don’t you think it would be better if I didn’t come to your house?’

‘I must see you at once.’

There was a pause and she was afraid that she had been cut off.

‘Are you there?’ she asked anxiously.

‘Yes, I was thinking. Has anything happened?’

‘I can’t tell you over the telephone.’

There was another silence before he spoke again.

‘Well, look here, I can manager to see you for ten minutes at one if that’ll do. You’d better go to Ku-Chou’s and I’ll come along as soon as I can.’

‘The curio shop?’ she asked in dismay.

‘Well, we can’t meet in the lounge at the Hong-Kong Hotel very well,’ he answered.

She noticed a trace of irritation in his voice.

‘Very well. I’ll go to Ku-Chou’s.’