Then, with an abrupt start of surprise, the two men straightened themselves. Directly in front of them, leaning lightly against the brass-rail which guarded the entrance to the Board Room, stood Lord Plowden. A certain sense of confusion, unwelcome but inevitable, visibly enveloped this chance meeting.
"It isn't a wire-rope," said Robert from the hearthrug, without stirring, "it's a brass-rail." "Yes, it is a wire-rope, because I can make it bend," Ralph retorted, bumping down on the thing. "Anyhow, it's going to be a wire-rope." Maisie simply stuck several fingers into her mouth, shifted to one side, and smiled at her father in a style of heavenly and mischievous flirtatiousness.