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Liza of Lambeth (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics) by W. Somerset Maugham

By W. Somerset Maugham

Down one of the drab slums of Lambeth, eighteen-year-old Liza is the darling of Vere road. vivid and bewitching, she has stumbled on an adoring if traditional beau in Tom. whilst she meets Jim Blakeston, a married guy new to the world, she is instantly magnetized through his attentions. however the streets are clever to their affair.

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Mr. 'Odges! ' She blushed to her hair, but in the darkness he could see nothing. 'Good night,' she said, and went out. She walked close along the sides of the houses like a thief, and the policeman as she passed him turned round and looked at her, wonderin g whether she was meditating some illegal deed. She breathed freely on coming into the open road, and seeing Jim skulking behind a tree, ra n up to him, and in the shadows they kissed again. 9 Thus began a time of love and joy. As soon as her work was over and she had finished tea, Liza would slip out and at some appointed spot meet Jim.

Lor'! ' And then she began telling Liza all about it--the blood and thunder, the shooting, the railway train, the murder, the bomb, the hero, the funny man--jumbling everything up in her excitement, repeating littl e scraps of dialogue--all wrong--gesticulating, getting excited and re d in the face at the recollection. Liza listened rather crossly, feeli ng bored at the detail into which Sally was going: the piece really didn't much interest her. 'One 'ud think yer'd never been to a theatre in your life before,' s he said.

I dunno 'im, but I kn ow where 'e lodges. ' She stretched out her hand to say good night. 'I'll come a wy with yer along the passage,' said Jim. ' 'Not it! You go on 'ome an' leave me,' she replied, and entering the passage, stood facing him with one of the iron pillars between them. 'Good night, old cock,' she said, stretching out her hand. ' 'Garn! ' She tried to get her hand away from his, but he held it firm, resting it on the top of the pillar. 'Leave go my 'and,' she said. He made no movement, but looked into h er eyes steadily, so that it made her uneasy.

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