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I had said nothing about the matter. One would think I had agreed to
her going. I suppose this is what she learns in her infernal London
colleges. I suppose this is the sort of damned rubbish--"
"Oh! Ssh, Peter!" cried Miss Stanley.
He stopped abruptly. In the pause a door could be heard opening and
closing on the landing up-stairs. Then light footsteps became audible,
descending the staircase with a certain deliberation and a faint rustle
"Tell her," said Mr. Stanley, with an imperious gesture, "to come in
Miss Stanley emerged from the study and stood watching Ann Veronica
The girl was flushed with excitement, bright-eyed, and braced for a
struggle; her aunt had never seen her looking so fine or so pretty.
Her fancy dress, save for the green-gray stockings, the pseudo-Turkish
slippers, and baggy silk trousered ends natural to a Corsair's bride,
was hidden in a large black-silk-hooded opera-cloak. Beneath the hood
it was evident that her rebellious hair was bound up with red silk, and
fastened by some device in her ears (unless she had them pierced, which
was too dreadful a thing to suppose!) were long brass filigree earrings.
"I'm just off, aunt," said Ann Veronica.
"Your father is in the study and wishes to speak to you."
Ann Veronica hesitated, and then stood in the open doorway and regarded
her father's stern presence. She spoke with an entirely false note of
cheerful off-handedness. "I'm just in time to say good-bye before I go,
father. I'm going up to London with the Widgetts to that ball."
"Now look here, Ann Veronica," said Mr. Stanley, "just a moment. You are
NOT going to that ball!"
Ann Veronica tried a less genial, more dignified note.
"I thought we had discussed that, father."
"You are not going to that ball! You are not going out of this house in
Ann Veronica tried yet more earnestly to treat him, as she would treat
any man, with an insistence upon her due of masculine respect. "You
see," she said, very gently, "I AM going. I am sorry to seem to disobey
you, but I am. I wish"--she found she had embarked on a bad sentence--"I
wish we needn't have quarrelled."
She stopped abruptly, and turned about toward the front door. In a
moment he was beside her. "I don't think you can have heard me, Vee,"
he said, with intensely controlled fury. "I said you were"--he
shouted--"NOT TO GO!"
She made, and overdid, an immense effort to be a princess. She tossed
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