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The Comb-Over


Major Ames replaced his hat rather hastily, after a swift manoeuvre with regard to his hair which Mrs Evans did not accurately follow. The fact was (though he believed the fact not to be generally known) that the top of Major Ames’ head was entirely destitute of hair, and that the smooth crop which covered it was the produce of the side of his head – just above the ear – grown long, and brushed across the cranium so as to adorn it with seemingly local wealth and sleekness. The rough and unexpected removal of his hat by the bough of the mulberry tree had caused a considerable portion of it to fall back nearly to the shoulder of the side on which it naturally grew, and his hasty manoeuvre with his gathered tresses was designed to replace them. Necessarily he put back his hat again quickly, in the manner of a boy capturing a butterfly.

– p. 59

Mrs. Ames, by E. F. Benson, Bloomsbury ©1912