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CHAPTER THE FIFTH
THE FLIGHT TO LONDON
Ann Veronica had an impression that she did not sleep at all that night,
and at any rate she got through an immense amount of feverish feeling
What was she going to do?
One main idea possessed her: she must get away from home, she must
assert herself at once or perish. "Very well," she would say, "then I
must go." To remain, she felt, was to concede everything. And she would
have to go to-morrow. It was clear it must be to-morrow. If she delayed
a day she would delay two days, if she delayed two days she would delay
a week, and after a week things would be adjusted to submission forever.
"I'll go," she vowed to the night, "or I'll die!" She made plans and
estimated means and resources. These and her general preparations had
perhaps a certain disproportion. She had a gold watch, a very good gold
watch that had been her mother's, a pearl necklace that was also pretty
good, some unpretending rings, some silver bangles and a few other such
inferior trinkets, three pounds thirteen shillings unspent of her
dress and book allowance and a few good salable books. So equipped, she
proposed to set up a separate establishment in the world.
And then she would find work.
For most of a long and fluctuating night she was fairly confident that
she would find work; she knew herself to be strong, intelligent, and
capable by the standards of most of the girls she knew. She was not
quite clear how she should find it, but she felt she would. Then
she would write and tell her father what she had done, and put their
relationship on a new footing.
That was how she projected it, and in general terms it seemed plausible
and possible. But in between these wider phases of comparative
confidence were gaps of disconcerting doubt, when the universe was
presented as making sinister and threatening faces at her, defying her
to defy, preparing a humiliating and shameful overthrow. "I don't care,"
said Ann Veronica to the darkness; "I'll fight it."
She tried to plan her proceedings in detail. The only difficulties that
presented themselves clearly to her were the difficulties of getting
away from Morningside Park, and not the difficulties at the other end
of the journey. These were so outside her experience that she found it
possible to thrust them almost out of sight by saying they would be "all
right" in confident tones to herself. But still she knew they were not
right, and at times they became a horrible obsession as of something
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