tact and persistence
发表:2018-10-12 11:01阅读:13

On the way over, I followed my usual custom and considered the situation in detail. The lady in question was in society and the first thing to do was to try to get in touch with the little circle or clique in which she moved. This might have been difficult in any other city but London. But a man of appearance, culture and money, setting his stage right, can with  force an entry into any clique of London society.


The only thing I had to worry about was a setting of my stage. I was undecided about it. One often has to leave things to circumstances, being guided by any momentary points that may arise. My first task was to create an impression, something that would get people talking about me. I did not want to show any sensational parvenuism; London is not impressed by that.


Rather, I must become known for some eccentricity that would arouse legitimate curiosity. Your Britisher, the women included, are always interested in a man of travel, a hunter, a desultory globe-trotter; and nothing attracts the English mind so quickly as a well-bred eccentricity in manner or habit. The broad lines of my plan determined upon, I left the precise setting of the stage until the last minute.


I quartered myself at first at the Russel Square Hotel, in a few days transferring to the patrician Langham. I began by making tentative inquiries. I purchased all society papers which I read from cover to cover, and then carefully feeling my way put further questions that would locate the set in which my lady was a central figure. From acquaintances I made around the hotel, from the society reporters of newspapers, I began to get little scraps of information. Fortunately it was the season in London and everybody was coming into town. I soon knew who the Lady's intimates were and their favorite rendezvous. The next step was to become familiar with the personality of the lady and to gain some idea as to her habits, her likes and dislikes. I heard that the lady was in the habit of going horseback riding in Hyde Park. Every day I made it my business to take a two-hour canter along the bridle path. My patience was rewarded on the fifth morning, for I saw her galloping by with a party of friends.


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