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The man stopped his clock. Hpolkadot price geckoe said, "I'd like to know who's going to pay my fare."

"Mr. Edward Gilder wishes to sesolana coin live charte you, Miss Turner," she said,with no appreciation of anything dynamic in the announcement."Shall I show him in?""Oh, certainly," Mary answered, with an admirable pretense ofindifference, while Burke glared at Demarest, and the DistrictAttorney appeared ill at ease.

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"He shouldn't have come," Demarest muttered, getting to his feet,in reply to the puzzled glance of the Inspector.Then, while Mary sat quietly in her chair at the desk, and thetwo men stood watching doubtfully the door, the maid appeared,stood aside, and said simply, "Mr. Gilder."There entered the erect, heavy figure of the man whom Mary hadhated through the years. He stopped abruptly just within theroom, gave a glance at the two men, then his eyes went to Mary,sitting at her desk, with her face lifted inquiringly. He didnot pause to take in the beauty of that face, only its strength.He stared at her silently for a moment. Then he spoke in hisoritund voice, a little tremulous from anxiety."Are you the woman?" he said. There was something simple andprimitive, something of dignity beyond the usual conventions, inhis direct address.And there was the same primitive simplicity in the answer.

Between the two strong natures there was no subterfuge, nosuggestion of polite evasions, of tergiversation, only the pleaof truth to truth. Mary's acknowledgment was as plain as his ownquestion."I am the woman. What do you want?" ... Thus two honest folk hadmet face to face."All true philosophers should keep their eyes open. Even if we have never seen a white crow, we should never stop looking for it. And one day, even a skeptic like me could be obliged to accept a phenomenon I did not believe in before. If I did not keep this possibility open I would be dogmatic, and not a true philosopher."

Alberto and Sophie remained seated on the bench without saying anything. The pigeons craned their necks and cooed, now and then being startled by a bicycle or a sudden movement."I have to go home and prepare for the party," said Sophie at last."But before we part, I'll show you a white crow. It is nearer than we think, you see."Alberto got up and led the way back into the bookstore. This time they walked past all the books on supernatural phenomena and stopped by a flimsy shelf at the very back of the store. Above the shelf hung a very small card. PHILOSOPHY, it read.

Alberto pointed down at a particular book, and Sophie gasped as she read the title: Sophie's World."Would you like me to buy it for you?"

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"I don't know if I dare."Shortly afterward, however, she was on her way home with the book in one hand and a little bag of things for the garden party in the other.The Garden Party

... a white crowHilde sat on the bed, transfixed. She felt her arms and her hands tremble, as they gripped the heavy ring binder.It was almost eleven o'clock. She had been reading for over two hours. From time to time she had raised her eyes from the text and laughed aloud, but she had also turned over on her side and gasped. It was a good thing she was alone in the house.And what she had been through these last two hours! It started with Sophie trying to attract the major's attention on the way home from the cabin in the woods. She had finally climbed a tree and been rescued by Morten Goose, who had arrived like a guardian angel from Lebanon.

Although it was a long, long time ago, Hilde had never forgotten how her father had read The Wonderful Adventures of Nils to her. For many years after that, she and her father had had a secret language together that was connected with the book. Now he had dragged the old goose out again.Then Sophie had her first experience as a lone customer in a cafe. Hilde had been especially taken with what Alberto said about Sartre and existentialism. He had almost managed to convert her--although he had done that many times before in the ring binder too.

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Once, about a year ago, Hilde had bought a book on astrology. Another time she had come home with a set of tarot cards. Next time it was a book on spiritualism. Each time, her father had lectured her about "superstition" and her "critical faculty," but he had waited until now for the final blow. His counterattack was deadly accurate. Clearly, his daughter would not be allowed to grow up without a thorough warning against that kind of thing. To be absolutely sure, he had waved to her from a TV screen in a radio store. He could have saved himself the trouble ...What she wondered about most of all was Sophie. Sophie--who are you? Where do you come from? Why have you come into my life?

Finally Sophie had been given a book about herself. Was it the same book that Hilde now had in her hands? This was only a ring binder. But even so--how could one find a book about oneself in a book about oneself? What would happen if Sophie began to read that book?What was going to happen now? What could happen now? There were only a few pages left in her ring binder.Sophie met her mother on the bus on her way home from town. Oh, no! What would her mother say when she saw the book in Sophie's hand?Sophie tried to put it in the bag with all the streamers and balloons she had bought for the party but she didn't quite make it."Hi, Sophie! We caught the same bus! How nice!""Hi, Mom!"

"You bought a book?""No, not exactly."

"Sophie's World ... how curious."Sophie knew she didn't have the slightest chance of lying to her mother.

"I got it from Alberto.""Yes, I'm sure you did. As I said, I'm looking forward to meeting this man. May I see?"

"Would you mind very much waiting till we get home, at least. It is my book, Mom.""Of course it's your book. I just want to take a peek at the first page, okay? ... 'Sophie Amundsen was on her way home from school. She had walked the first part of the way with Joanna. They had been discussing robots . . .'""Does it really say that?""Yes, it does, Sophie. It's written by someone called Albert Knag. He must be a newcomer. What's your Al-berto's name, by the way?"

"Knox.""It'll probably turn out that this extraordinary person has written a whole book about you, Sophie. It's called using a pseudonym."

"It's not him, Mom. Why don't you just give up. You don't understand anything anyway.""No, I don't suppose I do. The garden party is tomorrow, then everything will be all right again."

"Albert Knag lives in a completely different reality. That's why this book is a white crow.""You really must stop all this! Wasn't it a white rabbit?"

"You stop it!"That was as far as they got before they reached their stop at the end of Clover Close. They ran straight into a demonstration."My God!" exclaimed Helene Amundsen, "I really thought we would be spared street politics in this neighborhood."There were no more than about ten or twelve people. Their banners read:

THE MAJOR IS AT HANDYES TO YUMMY MIDSUMMER EATS

MORE POWER TO THE UNSophie almost felt sorry for her mother.

"Never mind," she said."But it was a peculiar demonstration, Sophie. Quite absurd, really."

Both Sides of the Table

Perspectives of a 2x entrepreneur turned VC at @UpfrontVC#

Mark Suster

Written by

2x entrepreneur. Sold both companies (last to salesforce.com). Turned VC looking to invest in passionate entrepreneurs 〞 I*m on Twitter at @msuster

Both Sides of the Table

Perspectives of a 2x entrepreneur turned VC at @UpfrontVC, the largest and most active early-stage fund in Southern California. Snapchat: msuster

Mark Suster

Written by

2x entrepreneur. Sold both companies (last to salesforce.com). Turned VC looking to invest in passionate entrepreneurs 〞 I*m on Twitter at @msuster

Both Sides of the Table

Perspectives of a 2x entrepreneur turned VC at @UpfrontVC, the largest and most active early-stage fund in Southern California. Snapchat: msuster