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Marigold Ramsay was just twenty-one, and an uncommonly pretty girl, though unconsciously so. Men turned to glance a second time at her as she passed. Though a typical London business girl who carried her leather dispatch-case on weekdays, she bore an air of distinction which was unusual in one of her class. Her clear, deep blue eyes, her open countenance, her grace of carriage, her slim suppleness, and the smallness of her hands and feet, all combined to create about her an air of well-bred elegance which was enhanced by a natural grace and charm. There was nothing loud about her, either in her speech or in her dress. She spoke softly, and she wore a plain coat and skirt of navy gaberdine, and a neat little velvet toque which suited her admirably. She was, indeed, as beautiful as she was elegant, and as intelligent as she was charming. Many a young man about Lombard Street—where Marigold was employed in the head office of a great joint-stock bank—gazed upon her with admiration as she went to and fro from business, but with only one of them, the man at her side, had she ever become on terms of friendship. Though Gerald Durrant had spoken no word of love, the pair had almost unconsciously become fast friends. He was a tall, good-looking young fellow, with well-brushed hair and a small moustache carefully trimmed, in whose rather deep-set eyes was an expression of kindly good-fellowship. Erect and athletic, his clear-cut features were typical of the honest, clean-minded young Englishman who, though well-born, was compelled, like Marigold, to earn his living in the City.

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