Page 32A stranger in a strange land
"No, really," I said, "You speak excellently."
"That's not true," he answered. "I know very well that, if I walked and talked in your London, everybody would know that I was a stranger. That is not enough for me. Here I am noble. I am a Boyar. The people know me, and they know I give the orders. But a stranger in a strange land is no one. Men do not know him, and they have no interest in what they do not know. I will be happy if I am like everyone else. I do not want people to stop if they see me, or think if they hear my words, 'Ha, ha! A stranger!'
I have been the one in control for so long that I want to stay that way. And I do not want someone else to be in control of me. You are the employee my friend Peter Hawkins, of Exeter, who has come to tell me all about my new estate in London. But also I hope that you will stay here with me for a while. I want to learn the English intonation while we are talking. And I want you to tell me when I make error, even the smallest mistake, in my speaking. I am sorry that I had to be away so long today. But I know that you will forgive me, because you know how many important things I have to do.
Of course I said I was happy to helphim. Then I asked if I might come into the library at any time. He answered, "Yes, certainly," and added this warning.
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