She looked about the drawing-room with an expression of minute scrutiny.
She was vexed to see that, in spite of so many years of vigilance, she had blundered twice within five minutes.
Cornelia Van Alstyne was full of it: Molly was there, and Gerty Farish ran in for a minute to tell us about it.
The precious minutes were flying, however; the big chestnuts pawed the ground and flecked their impatient sides with foam; the coachman seemed to be slowly petrifying on the box, and the groom on the doorstep; and still the lady did not come.
And now do sit down a minute, there’s a dear, and let’s have a nice quiet jaw together.
If Judy’d been here you’d have sat gossiping till all hours—and you can’t even give me five minutes!
"Look here, Lily: won’t you give me five minutes of your own accord?"
Oh, the slow cold drip of the minutes on her head!
But as the minutes passed the need of throwing herself on his comprehension became more urgent: she could not bear the weight of her misery alone.
The ringing of the door-bell a few minutes after five confirmed this supposition, and made Lily hastily resolve to write more legibly in future.
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Ten minutes later the two men passed out together between the gold-laced custodians of the threshold; but in the vestibule Stepney drew up with a last flare of reluctance.
Ten minutes later, in the high-perched bedroom of an hotel overlooking the Casino, he was tossing his effects into a couple of gaping portmanteaux, while the porter waited outside to transport them to the cab at the door.
She could never afterward recall how long the duel lasted, or what was the decisive stroke which finally, after a lapse of time recorded in minutes by the clock, in hours by the precipitate beat of her pulses, put her in possession of the letters; she knew only that the door had finally closed, and that she stood alone with the packet in her hand.
Five minutes’ talk sufficed to show that some alien influence had been at work, and that it had not so much subdued his resentment as weakened his will, so that he moved under it in a state of apathy, like a dangerous lunatic who has been drugged.
"Wait a minute—you’ve got to let me walk home with you," he said.
But she had not been ten minutes on her native shore before she realized that she had delayed too long to regain it.
She paused, and went on, dropping her glance from Lily’s: "He wouldn’t stay with her ten minutes if he KNEW——"
"You know I can coax the water to boil in five minutes," Selden continued, speaking as though she were a troubled child.
She found, however, on reaching home, that the hour was still early enough for her to sit down and rest a few minutes before putting her plan into execution.
These were the only traces of luxury, of that clinging to the minute observance of personal seemliness, which showed what her other renunciations must have cost.
Chance, or perhaps his own resolve, had kept them apart since his hasty withdrawal from Bellomont; but Miss Bart was an expert in making the most of the unexpected, and the distasteful incidents of the last few minutes—the revelation to Selden of precisely that part of her life which she most wished him to ignore—increased her longing for shelter, for escape from such humiliating contingencies.
"I knew it—the parlour-maid never dusts there!" she exclaimed, triumphantly displaying a minute spot on the handkerchief; then, reseating herself, she went on: "Molly thought Mrs. Dorset the best-dressed woman at the wedding.
Then he began again: "Miss Bart, listen—give me a minute.
"Wait a minute—don’t go yet; sit quiet and rest a little longer.
There are no more uses of "minuteness" in the book.