Searching his face with those eyes so like little black bees sipping honey from all the flowers that grew, Mrs. Tallents Smallpeace said:
"Why don't you get your wife to take an interest in our work?"
To Stephen this question was naturally both unexpected and annoying, one's wife being the last person he wished to interest in other people's movements. He kept his head.
"Ah well!" he said, "we haven't all got a talent for that sort of thing."
The voice of Mr. Purcey travelled suddenly across the room.
"Do tell me! How do you go to work to worm things out of them?"
Mrs. Tallents Smallpeace, prone to laughter, bubbled.
"Oh, that is such a delicious expression, Mr. Purcey! I almost think we ought to use it in our Report. Thank you!"