Okay, it's you and W. Somerset Maugham in a head-to-head punctuation extravaganza! Let's see how you do!
What's missing from or wrong with each of the following sentences?
1) She admired the way in which amid the banter which was the staple of their conversation he insinuated every now and then a pretty, flattering speech.
2) She put away her fears, but for an instant unreasonably she regretted that her plans for the future were shattered.
3) Vaguely, as when you are studying a foreign language and read a page which at first you can make nothing of, till a word or a sentence gives you a clue; and on a sudden suspicion, as it were, of the sense flashes across your troubled wits, vaguely she gained an inkling into the workings of Walter's mind.
Bonus points if your answer to #3 is anything more than, "huh?"
I know it's unfair to give a quiz when each item is worth 33.3 points, but the problem is that I'm enjoying the book too much to keep stopping to mark the many, many pages on which I wish he'd added more commas. I mean, there are commas, but there are a lot of mid-sentence clauses that don't have them that end up bewildering me for a minute.
But the book is so enjoyable, so quickly paced and the characters so flawed but interesting, that I can't pause in the reading long enough to register complaints. Sorry folks! Excellent book.