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"I wanted to ask you about the swimming."
"Oh. Ah," he said. Then he opened the door. "Do come in."
I went in.
"Seager? Oh, yes. Someone mentioned your name. From the States, aren't you? Mitchigan? A good club, I believe."
"We were national champions last year."
"Really? Just what did you want to know?"
"When do you start training?"
"Oh, I'll let you know. I'll send you a note round the week before we begin. Will that do?"
It was the Oxford manner again. He was effortlessly making my enthusiasm seem not only comic but childishly comic. However, it is just as well to be candid. I was after their records, and I didn't know then that he was Oxford's best sprinter. "I'd like to start now," I said, "I'm not in very good shape."
"I daresay you could use the Baths. Cost you a bob a time until we start meeting."