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some sort of inventory. "Ye Gods!" she said at last. "WHAT a place!
"Stuffy isn't the word for it.
"I wonder what he takes me for?"
When presently she got down from the stile a certain note of internal
conflict, a touch of doubt, had gone from her warm-tinted face. She had
now the clear and tranquil expression of one whose mind is made up. Her
back had stiffened, and her hazel eyes looked steadfastly ahead.
As she approached the corner of the Avenue the blond, no-hatted man in
gray flannels appeared. There was a certain air of forced fortuity in
his manner. He saluted awkwardly. "Hello, Vee!" he said.
"Hello, Teddy!" she answered.
He hung vaguely for a moment as she passed.
But it was clear she was in no mood for Teddys. He realized that he was
committed to the path across the fields, an uninteresting walk at the
best of times.
"Oh, dammit!" he remarked, "dammit!" with great bitterness as he faced
Ann Veronica Stanley was twenty-one and a half years old. She had black
hair, fine eyebrows, and a clear complexion; and the forces that had
modelled her features had loved and lingered at their work and made them
subtle and fine. She was slender, and sometimes she seemed tall, and
walked and carried herself lightly and joyfully as one who commonly
and habitually feels well, and sometimes she stooped a little and
was preoccupied. Her lips came together with an expression between
contentment and the faintest shadow of a smile, her manner was one of
quiet reserve, and behind this mask she was wildly discontented and
eager for freedom and life.
She wanted to live. She was vehemently impatient--she did not clearly
know for what--to do, to be, to experience. And experience was slow in
coming. All the world about her seemed to be--how can one put it?--in
wrappers, like a house when people leave it in the summer. The blinds
were all drawn, the sunlight kept out, one could not tell what
colors these gray swathings hid. She wanted to know. And there was no
intimation whatever that the blinds would ever go up or the windows or
doors be opened, or the chandeliers, that seemed to promise such a blaze
of fire, unveiled and furnished and lit. Dim souls flitted about her,
not only speaking but it would seem even thinking in undertones....
During her school days, especially her earlier school days, the world
had been very explicit with her, telling her what to do, what not to do,
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