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the bridge seemed ripe and good in her eyes. A traffic of copious barges
slumbered over the face of the river-barges either altogether stagnant
or dreaming along in the wake of fussy tugs; and above circled, urbanely
voracious, the London seagulls. She had never been there before at that
hour, in that light, and it seemed to her as if she came to it all for
the first time. And this great mellow place, this London, now was hers,
to struggle with, to go where she pleased in, to overcome and live in.
"I am glad," she told herself, "I came."
She marked an hotel that seemed neither opulent nor odd in a little side
street opening on the Embankment, made up her mind with an effort, and,
returning by Hungerford Bridge to Waterloo, took a cab to this chosen
refuge with her two pieces of luggage. There was just a minute's
hesitation before they gave her a room.
The young lady in the bureau said she would inquire, and Ann Veronica,
while she affected to read the appeal on a hospital collecting-box upon
the bureau counter, had a disagreeable sense of being surveyed from
behind by a small, whiskered gentleman in a frock-coat, who came out of
the inner office and into the hall among a number of equally observant
green porters to look at her and her bags. But the survey was
satisfactory, and she found herself presently in Room No. 47,
straightening her hat and waiting for her luggage to appear.
"All right so far," she said to herself....
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