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Would he laugh, would he cry, would I ever see him again? I took the precaution of letting him know what was at stake and, lo, he said all the right stuff. As Graham, in Kingsley Amis’s Take A Girl Like You, finds out. veining his cheeks and chins with tomato sauce.’ He still tries to get his way with her, but no use. For the poor heroine of Bilgewater, the charming coming-of-age novel by Jane Gardam, every romantic opportunity ends in disappointment.