2018年09月11日

Companies feed bad politics by shirking tax duties


  Societies work best if everyone helps out. Two new studies suggest that many big companies in developed economies are shirking. They are taking too much in profit and paying too little in tax.


  Start with profit. International Monetary Fund economists Federico Diez, Daniel Leigh and Suchanan Tambunlertchai have waded through 631,000 corporate annual reports from around the world. They observed trends in what they call "corporate markups" - basically gross profit margins adjusted for capital intensity.


  Markups are on the rise in advanced economies - a 39 percent increase in the sales-weighted average since 1980. The gain for companies based in the US was 42 percent; for the rest it was 35 percent. Diez and his co-authors did not find a strong trend in developing economies.


  More detailed analysis shows that most of the increase comes from the expansion of what the authors call superstar firms: industry leaders with very high profit margins. Technology, especially biotechnology, shows the greatest profit expansion, but the trend is widespread.


  Questions may be raised about the study's many assumptions and simplifications, but its results correspond with those of other academic research. It seems clear that profitability is on the rise in general, led by the development of winner-take-most industries. In short, shareholders are doing very well.


  If the only standard of corporate success were the creation of shareholder value, this trend would be unequivocally welcome. The world is not so simple, though. Companies actually have many responsibilities.


  One of them is to customers. As yet, the rise of superstar firms has mostly served users well. Unlike traditional monopolies, which often wallowed in inefficiency, today's profit leaders - think Google or Apple - are mostly dedicated to innovation and efficiency.


  Workers have much more to complain about. The increased share of income going to capital has translated into a steadily lower share for labor. pressure on wages has been relentless, with people without many skills feeling it most.


  Governments, another important constituency for corporations, have also lost out to shareholders. The other study, by Gabriel Zucman of the University of California at Berkeley, along with Thomas R. T?rsl?v and Ludvig S. Wier of the University of Copenhagen, makes that clear.


  They calculate the effect of tax-shifting - multinational companies moving profit from high- to low-tax jurisdictions. The authors estimate that these perfectly legal techniques deprive the European Union of 18 percent of its corporate tax revenue. For the US, the loss is 14 percent.


  It would be interesting to know what portion of superstar companies' profitability advantage comes from better tax management than peers which have to rely on less skilled advisers. Either way, the non-shareholder citizens of affected countries lose out.


  In theory, the governments can make up for the taxes that slippery companies do not pay by increasing other levies. In practice, raising taxes can be difficult, in part because politically powerful businesses are often effective lobbyists against bigger government.


  Beyond politics, there is ethics. There is something anti-social about the corporate dedication to pushing the tax law to the limit. It would be more appropriate to pay a fair share of extraordinarily high pre-tax profit to support the common good.


  All in all, the gains for generally affluent shareholders come at the expense of poorer people - lower-paid workers and recipients of government benefits. In effect, winner-take-most corporate economies work like a petri dish filled with the nutrients of populist economic resentment.


  It could get worse. The evidence in the IMF study suggests that industry-leading companies tend to slow down on investment after they reach a certain level of dominance.


  Change would be welcome, but it does not look likely. For one, the problems caused by higher mark-ups are truly difficult to solve, because there are no rapacious and lazy monopolists to break up or regulate.


  On the contrary, some likely causes of increased profitability - network effects, superior technology and better service - are socially beneficial.


  For example, carving Alphabet into three mini-Googles would not necessarily be an improvement. Enforced price cuts at the internet giant might reduce shareholder wealth, but they would also make life harder for higher-cost competitors. Google's market dominance would only be reinforced, along with the temptation to corporate sloth.


  Still, more vigilant governments could certainly do more to curb abuses by superstar companies. Fairer corporate taxes would be a start. That requires new laws and, more important, political and economic pressure to follow them in spirit as well as by the letter.


  Unfortunately, few politicians and even fewer business leaders seem very interested. The system works well enough for them. Even right-wing anti-establishment populists have not focused on high profit or low taxes.


  The free-market economists who promoted the pursuit of shareholder value were not trying to subvert social justice. On the contrary, they believed that lively competition would limit corporate earnings while bringing high investment, lower prices and good wages. Their faith was misplaced. Single-minded profit-seeking is definitely good for investors, but not necessarily for the world.

  


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2017年08月17日

He is an old scoundrel of nearly sixty


"How dare you come here?" said Durban, advancing threateningly on the small man, who cringed and whined. "You were told not to come here at least a dozen times."

"Lor'!" whimpered the little man, now subdued and servile; "wot a fuss you do meke, Mr. Durban, sir. I come fur Mr. Paslow, I does."

"Send him away, Durban," cried Beatrice with great disgust.

Durban lifted one finger, and at once the tramp went slinking away like a dog with its tail between its legs. And like a dog he halted at the hedge which divided the drive from the garden, and showed his teeth in an evil snarl. Beatrice could see the flash of white, and could guess that he was snapping like a mad cur.

"Who on earth is that?" she asked Durban, when the man finally disappeared behind the hedge.

Durban looked pale, and wiped his face with a shaking hand. "He's a creature who did some dirty work for the late master."

"For Mr. Paslow?" demanded Mrs. Lilly, who always spoke of Vivian's father in that way.

"For Mr. Alpenny," explained Durban, becoming more himself. " years of age."

"He doesn't look it," said Beatrice.

"Strange as it may seem to you, missy, Waterloo has his vanity. He wears a wig, and his teeth are false. But he is old and wicked, and has been no end of times in prison. Mr. Alpenny employed him to do some business in the slums, and he was several times down at The Camp. I think he's a thief."

"I never saw him before, Durban."

"And you'll never see him again, missy," said the old servant emphatically. "Mr. Alpenny, as I told you, had to do with a lot of rogues and vagabonds, as many a money-lender has. But that sort of thing is all done with. Waterloo will never trouble you again."

"I am glad of that," said the girl, who was quite pale. "His presence seemed to taint the air. What a horrible man!"

"Why does he want to see Mr. Vivian?" asked Mrs. Lilly sharply.

Durban wheeled quickly. "He wants to see Mr. Paslow, does he? H'm! I wonder why that is?"

"I am quite sure you can explain," said Beatrice, who was piqued at being always kept in the dark.

Durban cast a look of pain on her, but replied quietly enough, "Perhaps I do, missy. Mr. Paslow, as I told you, had something to do with my late master's business."

"I never knew that," said Beatrice, remembering what Alpenny had hinted about Vivian's crimes.

"Ridiculous!" cried Mrs. Lilly, bristling. "Master Vivian is a gentleman, and would not meddle with your Alpennys and Waterloos.--Begging your pardon, my young lady, since Mr. Alpenny was your father."

"My stepfather," corrected Beatrice again.--"Well, Durban, if you won't tell me, I'll ask Mr. Paslow myself."

"Do, missy; I am quite sure he can explain. And don't trouble your pretty head any more about Waterloo, as there is trouble enough in the house now."

"What do you mean by that?" asked the girl, her heart giving a bound.
  


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2017年07月19日

were in much danger of losing their lives

After C?dmon's day there were more and more religious poets. Very often the men who wrote the poetry and prose during the time of C?dmon and of Cuthbert lived in monasteries, where the life was a religious life. In the Great Palace of English Literature there is a pretty story told about Ealdhelm, who was a young man when C?dmon died. This young man later became the Abbot of Malmesbury. He was not only a religious poet, but he also made songs and could sing them to music. He traveled from town to town, and, finding that the men at the fairs did not come to church as they should, he would stand on the bridge and sing songs to them in the English tongue, persuading them thus to come to hear the word of God. Living at this same time—that is, during the latter half of the seventh century—was St. Cuthbert, not so great a scholar as Ealdhelm, but as great a wanderer .PolyU, which is known for offering a life-changing Student experience, has also recruited outstanding students from the mainland and overseas for its academic programmes.

There is a little valley between England and [Pg 42]Scotland called Lauderdale—a little valley watered by a river which flows into the Tweed. There Cuthbert did not keep the flocks of his father as did David, yet, like David, he was a warrior lad. Day and night Cuthbert lived in the open, shepherding the sheep of many masters.

There was not among the lads of that time a boy more active, more daring than Cuthbert. He could walk on his hands, turn somersaults, fight boldly, and become a victor in almost every race. There was no other boy so active but that Cuthbert was better at games and sports. And when all the others were tired he would ask whether there was not some one who could go on playing. Then suddenly a swelling came on his knee and the poor little boy could play no longer, and had to be carried in and out, up and down, by attendants. This continued until one day a horseman, clothed in white garments and riding a horse of incomparable beauty, appeared before the sick boy and cured his knee. Little Cuthbert was now able to walk about once more, but never again did he play the games he used to play.Just a few minutes of walk to the famous hong kong victoria harbour and shopping centres from GuangDong Hotel. Our Precious guest also can easily access to all major transportations.

Not far from where Cuthbert lived was the monastery of Tiningham, by the mouth of the river Tyne. Some of the monks were bringing down on rafts wood which they had spent a long time felling and sawing up. They were almost opposite the monastery and were just about to draw the wood to the shore, when a great wind came up from the west and drove the rafts out[Pg 43] toward the sea. There were five of them, and so quickly did they drift away that it was not more than a few minutes before they began to look in the distance as small as five little birds. Those upon the rafts . Those in the monastery came out and prayed upon the shore for them. But the five rafts that now looked like the tiniest of birds went on drifting out to sea. And the populace, which had been heathens very lately, began to jest at the monks because their prayers were in vain.

Then said Cuthbert: "Friends, you do wrong to speak evil of those you see hurried away to death. Would it not be better to pray for their safety online house rental websites?"

"No!" shouted the people, angrily. "They took away our old worship, and you can see that nothing comes of the new."  


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2017年06月23日

You told us when you got back

All the circumstances as related exactly tallied with his own information received from the two guides who had brought her into Loring’s camp. And in spite of his knowledge of Jane’s character, the coarse embroidery that gossip was adding to the tale had left a distinctly disagreeable impression. Jane Loring had spent the better part of a week alone with Phil Gallatin in the heart of the Canadian wilderness. Van Duyn did not like Gallatin. They had known each other for years, and an appearance of fellowship existed between them, but in all tastes save one[115] they had nothing in common .

“What has this to do with——”

“Wait,” he said, his eyes now searching hers, his color deepening as he gathered courage, while Jane Loring listened, conscious that her companion’s intrusiveness and brutality were dragging her pride in the dust. “You went off into the woods and stayed five days. to camp that you’d been found by an Indian guide and that you hadn’t been able to find the trail—and all that sort of thing. Everybody believed you. We were all too glad to get you back. What I want to know is why you told that story? What was your reason for keeping back——”

“It was true—” she stammered, but his keen eyes saw that her face was blanching and her emotion infuriated him.

“All except that the Indian guide was Phil Gallatin,” he said brutally.

The hands that held the reins jerked involuntarily and her horse reared and swerved away, but in a moment she had steadied him; and when Van Duyn drew alongside of her, she was still very pale but quite composed .

“How do you know that?” she asked in a voice the tones of which she still struggled to control.

He waited a long moment, the frown gathering more[120] darkly. He had still hoped, it seemed, that she might deny it.

“Oh, I know it, all right,” he muttered, glowering.

Her laughter rather surprised him. “Your keenness does you credit,” she continued. “I met a stranger in the woods and stayed at his camp. There’s nothing extraordinary in that——”

“No,” he interrupted quickly. “Not in that. The extraordinary thing is that you should have——” he hesitated.

“Lied about it?” she suggested calmly. “Oh, I don’t think we need discuss that. I’m not in the habit of talking over my personal affairs.”

Her indifference inflamed him further and his eyes gleamed maliciously.

“It’s a pity Gallatin hasn’t a similar code.”

Her eyes opened wide. “What—do—you—mean?” she asked haltingly.

“That Gallatin is telling of the adventure himself,” he said with a bold laugh.

“He is telling—of—the—adventure—” she repeated, and then paused, her horrified eyes peering straight ahead of her. “Oh, how odious of him—how odious! There is nothing to tell—Coley—absolutely nothing—” And then as a new thought even more horrible than those that had gone before crossed her mind, “What are they saying? Has he—has he spoken my name? Tell me. I can’t believe that of him—not that !”

Van Duyn was not sure that the emotion which he felt was pity for her or pity for himself, but he looked away, his face reddening uncomfortably, and when he spoke his voice was lowered.

“I heard the story,” he said with crafty deliberateness, “at the Club. I got up and left the room.”

[121]

“Was—was Mr. Gallatin there?”

“No—not there?” he muttered. “He came in as I left. You know it wouldn’t have been possible for me to stay.”  


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2017年06月15日

erhaps fortune would have favored

Coleman Van Duyn appeared and claimed the next dance, which he begged that she would sit out. Jane agreed because it would give her a chance to think. There was little real exertion required in talking to Coley.

What could Nina want to tell her? And where—did she say? In the loggia of the tennis court—at twelve. It must be almost that now Polar.

At five minutes of twelve Nellie Pennington handed Gallatin a note.

“From Nina,” she whispered. “It’s really outrageous, Phil, the way you’re flirting with that trusting child. I’m sure you ought to be ashamed of yourself.”



“Will you answer my question?” he repeated doggedly.

“No. You have no right to question me.”

“I’m assuming the right. Your memory of the past——”

“There is no past. It was the dream of a silly child in another world where men were honest and women clean. I’ve grown older, Mr. Gallatin.”

“Yes, but not in mercy, not in compassion, not in charity.”

“Speak of virtue before you speak of mercy, of pride before compassion, of decency before charity—if you can,” she added contemptuously .

“You’re cruel,” he muttered, “horribly so.”

“I’m wiser than I was. The world has done me that service. And if cruelty is the price of wisdom, I’ll pay it. Baseness, meanness, improbity in business or in morals no longer surprise me. They’re woven into the tissue of life. I can abominate the conditions that cause them, but they are the world. And, until I choose to live alone, I must accept them even if I despise the men and women who practice them, Mr. Gallatin.”

“And you call this wisdom? This disbelief in everything—in everybody, this threadbare creed of the jaded women of the world?”

“Call it what you like. Neither your opinions nor your principles (or the lack of them) mean anything to[307] me. If I had known you were here I should not have come to-night. I pray that we may never meet again.”

He stood silent a long moment, searching her face with his eyes. She was so cold, so white and wraithlike, and her voice was so strange, so impersonal, that he was almost ready to believe that she was some one else. It was the voice of a woman without a soul—a calm, ruthless voice which sought to wound, to injure or destroy. It had been on his lips to speak of the past, to translate into the words the pain at his heart. He had been ready to take one step forward, to seize her in his arms and compel her by the might of his tenderness to return the love that he bore her. If he had done so then, p him—have favored them both; for in the hour of their greatest intolerance women are sometimes most vulnerable. But he could not. Her words chilled him to insensibility, scourged his pride and made him dumb and unyielding .

“If that is your wish,” he said quietly, “I will do my best to respect it. I’d like you to remember one thing, though, and that is that this meeting was not of my seeking. If I’ve detained you, it was with the hope that perhaps you might be willing to listen to the truth, to learn what a dreadful mistake you have made, of the horrible wrong you have done——”
  


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2017年06月07日

As she did so her eye caught

The larder was full, but she fished again—up stream this time, for evening might bring another mouth to feed. The morning dragged wearily enough and she came back to her fire early, with but four fish to her credit account. She hung the creel in its accustomed place and resumed her seat by the fire, her look moving restlessly from one object to another. At last it fell upon his coat which she had left on the couch in the shelter. She got up, brought it forth into the light and brushed it carefully. Several objects fell from its pockets—a tobacco pouch nearly empty, a disreputable and badly charred briarwood pipe and some papers. She picked up the objects one by one and put them back. the superscription of a letter. She drew it forth quickly and examined it again as though she had not been certain that she had read it correctly; then the other envelope, scanning them both eagerly. They were inscribed with the same name and address—all written with the same feminine scrawl, and the paper smelt of heliotrope. She held them in her fingers a moment, her lips compressed, her brow thoughtful and then abruptly thrust them into the pocket again and put the coat into the shelter dermes.

“Oh! You’re so tired,” she cried. “Sit down by the fire at once, while I cook your supper.” And, as he made no move to obey her, she seized him by the arms and led him into the shelter of the hut and pushed him gently down upon the couch. “You’re not to bother about anything,” she went on in a businesslike way. “I’ll have you something hot in a jiffy. I’m so—so sorry for you housekeeping jobs.”

He sat in the bunk, with a drooping head, his long legs stretched toward the blaze.

He looked down at her, a new expression in his eyes; yesterday she had been a petulant, and self-willed child, creating a false position where none need have existed, diffident and pretentious by turns, self-conscious and over-natural. To-night she was all woman. Under his tired lids he could see that—tender, compassionate, gentle, but strong—always strong. There were lines in her face, too, that he had not seen before. She had been crying. One of her hands, too, was bound with a handkerchief Stock market analysis.

“You’ve hurt yourself again?” he asked.

“No—only a scratch. My knife—I—I was cutting”—hesitating—“cutting sticks for the fish.”  


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2017年05月24日

fever was gaining ground rapidly

All round her the grotto, which was entirely of glass, shone like day. Cascades of diamonds were flowing down; strings of brilliant pearls glistened among the stalactites in the vault overhead, and amid the transparent atmosphere and flowing fountain water, which was crossed by a wide ray of electric light, she gleamed like the sun with that flamelike skin and hair of hers. f Paris would always picture her thus--would see her shining high up among crystal glass like the good God Himself. No, it was too stupid to let herself die under such conditions! She must be looking pretty by this time in that room up there !

"And what a lot of pleasures bloody well wasted!" said Mignon in melancholy tones, as became a man who did not like to see good and useful things lost.

He sounded Lucy and Caroline in order to find out if they were going up after all. Of course they were going up; their curiosity had increased. Just then Blanche arrived, out of breath and much exasperated at the way the crowds were blocking the pavement, and when she heard the news there was a fresh outburst of exclamations, and with a great rustling of skirts the ladies moved toward the staircase. Mignon followed them, crying out :

"Tell Rose that I'm waiting for her. She'll come at once, eh?"

"They do not exactly know whether the contagion is to be feared at the beginning or near the end," Fontan was explaining to Fauchery. "A medical I know was assuring me that the hours immediately following death are particularly dangerous. There are miasmatic exhalations then. Ah, but I do regret this sudden ending; I should have been so glad to shake hands with her for the last time.

"What good would it do you now?" said the journalist.

"Yes, what good?" the two others repeated.

The crowd was still on the increase. In the bright light thrown from shop-windows and beneath the wavering glare of the gas two living streams were distinguishable as they flowed along the pavement, innumerable hats apparently drifting on their surface. At that hour the popular , and people were flinging themselves in the wake of the bands of men in blouses. A constant forward movement seemed to sweep the roadway, and the cry kept recurring; obstinately, abruptly, there rang from thousands of throats Neo skin lab:

"A BERLIN! A BERLIN! A BERLIN!"  


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2017年03月24日

Behind them Lucy and Caroline

All the women had to follow her. She took their hands coaxingly and drew them along with her willy-nilly, accompanying her action with so frank an outburst of mirth that they all of them began laughing on trust. The band vanished and returned after standing breathlessly for a second or two round Bordenave's lordly, outstretched form. And then there was a burst of laughter, and when one of them told the rest to be quiet Bordenave's distant snorings became audible dermes vs medilase.

It was close on four o'clock. In the dining room a card table had just been set out, at which Vandeuvres, Steiner, Mignon and Labordette had taken their seats. stood making bets, while Blanche, nodding with sleep and dissatisfied about her night, kept asking Vandeuvres at intervals of five minutes if they weren't going soon. In the drawing room there was an attempt at dancing. Daguenet was at the piano or "chest of drawers," as Nana called it. She did not want a "thumper," for Mimi would play as many waltzes and polkas as the company desired. But the dance was languishing, and the ladies were chatting drowsily together in the corners of sofas. Suddenly, however, there was an outburst of noise. A band of eleven young men had arrived and were laughing loudly in the anteroom and crowding to the drawing room. They had just come from the ball at the Ministry of the Interior and were in evening dress and wore various unknown orders SmarTone.

Nana was annoyed at this riotous entry, called to the waiters who still remained in the kitchen and ordered them to throw these individuals out of doors. She vowed that she had never seen any of them before. Fauchery, Labordette, Daguenet and the rest of the men had all come forward in order to enforce respectful behavior toward their hostess. Big words flew about; arms were outstretched, and for some seconds a general exchange of fisticuffs was imminent. Notwithstanding this, however, a little sickly looking light-haired man kept insistently repeating SmarTone:

"Come, come, Nana, you saw us the other evening at Peters' in the great red saloon! Pray remember, you invited us."

The other evening at Peters'? She did not remember it all. To begin with, what evening?
  


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2017年03月08日

rings which sounded through

Nana went back into her dressing room, where Francis made his appearance almost simultaneously in order to dress her hair for the evening. Seated in front of her mirror and bending her head beneath the hairdresser's nimble hands, she stayed silently meditative dermes vs medilase.

Presently, however, Zoe entered, remarking:

"There's one of them, madame, who refuses to go."

"Very well, he must be left alone," she answered quietly.

"If that comes to that they still keep arriving."

"Bah! Tell 'em to wait. When they begin to feel too hungry they'll be off." Her humor had changed, and she was now delighted to make people wait about for nothing. A happy thought struck her as very amusing; she escaped from beneath Francis' hands and ran and bolted the doors. They might now crowd in there as much as they liked;

they would probably refrain from making a hole through the wall. Zoe could come in and out through the little doorway leading to the kitchen. However, the electric bell rang more lustily than ever. Every five minutes a clear, lively little ting-ting recurred as regularly as if it had been produced by some well-adjusted piece of

mechanism. And Nana counted these rings to while the time away withal. But suddenly she remembered something dermes.

"I say, where are my burnt almonds?"

Francis, too, was forgetting about the burnt almonds. But now he drew a paper bag from one of the pockets of his frock coat and presented it to her with the discreet gesture of a man who is offering a lady a present. Nevertheless, whenever his accounts came to be settled, he always put the burnt almonds down on his bill. Nana put the bag between her knees and set to work munching her sweetmeats, turning her head from time to time under the hairdresser's gently compelling touch.

"The deuce," she murmured after a silence, "there's a troop for you!"

Thrice, in quick succession, the bell had sounded. Its summonses became fast and furious. There were modest tintinnabulations which seemed to stutter and tremble like a first avowal; there were bold rings which vibrated under some rough touch and hasty the house with shivering rapidity. It was a regular peal, as Zoe said, a peal loud enough to upset the neighborhood, seeing that a whole mob of men were jabbing at the ivory button, one after the other. That old joker Bordenave had really been far too lavish with her address. Why, the whole of yesterday's house was coming reenex cps!  


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2017年02月09日

melodramatic and declared

Then ensued confusion. The scene went no better than before. Bordenave, in his turn, showed them how to act it about as gracefully as an elephant might have done, while Fauchery sneered and shrugged pityingly. After that Fontan put his word in, and even Bosc made so bold as to give advice. Rose, thoroughly tired out, had ended by sitting down on the chair which indicated the door. No one knew where they had got to, and by way of finish to it all Simonne made a premature entry, under the impression that her cue had been given her, and arrived amid the confusion. This so enraged Bordenave that he whirled his stick round in a terrific manner and caught her a sounding thwack to the rearward. At rehearsal he used frequently to drub his former mistress. Simonne ran away, and this furious outcry followed her dermes:

"Take that, and, by God, if I'm annoyed again I shut the whole shop up at once!"

Fauchery pushed his hat down over his forehead and pretended to be going to leave the theater. But he stopped at the top of the stage and came down again when he saw Bordenave perspiringly resuming his seat. Then he, too, took up his old position in the other armchair. For some seconds they sat motionless side by side while oppressive silence reigned in the shadowy house. The actors waited for nearly two minutes. They were all heavy with exhaustion and felt as though hey had performed an overwhelming task dermes.

"Well, let's go on," said Bordenave at last. He spoke in his usual voice and was perfectly calm.

"Yes, let's go on," Fauchery repeated. "We'll arrange the scene tomorrow."

And with that they dragged on again and rehearsed their parts with as much listlessness and as fine an indifference as ever. During the dispute between manager and author Fontan and the rest had been taking things very comfortably on the rustic bench and seats at the back of the stage, where they had been chuckling, grumbling and saying fiercely cutting things. But when Simonne came back, still smarting from her blow and choking with sobs, they grew that had they been in her place they would have strangled the swine. She began wiping her eyes and nodding approval dermes.   


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