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A bestseller when it was first published, The Children is a comic, bittersweet novel about the misadventures of a bachelor and a band of precocious children. The seven Wheater children, stepbrothers and stepsisters grown weary of being shuttled from parent to parent are eager for their parents' latest reconciliation to last. A chance meeting between the children and the solitary 46-year old Martin Boyne leads to a series of unforgettable encounters.
and intelligent, and it seemed certain that Terry would learn more, and be more usefully occupied, in his care than in Miss Scope’s. Boyne’s embarrassment proceeded not only from the sense of his unfitness to choose a tutor for anybody, but from the absurdity of having to do so with the pupil’s parents on the spot. Mr. Ormerod, however, seemed neither surprised nor disturbed. He had seen Terry, and was sure he was an awfully good little chap; his only hesitation was as to the salary. Boyne, who
up her shoulders in a burst of sobs. “There—now, Wrenny, you just look at that. I wish I had my lawyers here! That’s the way those Wheater people treat my child—” Lady Wrench stood in the garden door and pointed with a denunciatory arm toward her weeping infant. Over her shoulder appeared the fair hair and puzzled eyes of a very tall young man with a sickly cast of countenance, a wide tremulous mouth and a bald forehead. “Oh, Lord, my dear,” he said. VIII LADY WRENCH had snatched up her
and after Mr. Dobree had been for a week at Cortina she said one day to Boyne: “But I’ve seen nothing lately of the little Wheaters. What’s become of them?” He assured her that they were all right, but had probably been too shy to present themselves at the châlet since Mr. Dobree’s arrival; to which Mrs. Sellars replied, with the faintest hint of tartness, that she had never had occasion to suspect the little Wheaters of being shy, and that, furthermore, Mr. Dobree did not happen to be staying
the little tufted wings at the heels. For the moment his imagination was imprisoned in a circle close about them. XXI THAT EVENING, when the children, weary but still jubilant, had been dropped at the Pension Rosenglüh, and Boyne had joined Mrs. Sellars for a late dinner at the châlet, the first thing that struck him was that his sapphire had reappeared on her hand. He wondered afterward how it was that he, in general so unobservant of such details, had noticed that she had resumed the modest
and it was said that there were educational advantages. If the sea was too strong for him she could find a house somewhere inland. But they must be near a town on account of the children’s education, and yet not in it because of the demoralising influences, and the lack of good air. In a few days she was going down to look about her at Dinard . . . Boyne knew, she supposed, that she had begun divorce proceedings? Of course she ought to have done it long ago—but in that milieu one’s moral sense