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But presently, as she sat on the one antimacassared red silk chair
and surveyed her hold-all and bag in that tidy, rather vacant, and
dehumanized apartment, with its empty wardrobe and desert toilet-table
and pictureless walls and stereotyped furnishings, a sudden blankness
came upon her as though she didn't matter, and had been thrust away into
this impersonal corner, she and her gear....
She decided to go out into the London afternoon again and get something
to eat in an Aerated Bread shop or some such place, and perhaps find a
cheap room for herself. Of course that was what she had to do; she had
to find a cheap room for herself and work!
This Room No. 47 was no more than a sort of railway compartment on the
way to that.
How does one get work?
She walked along the Strand and across Trafalgar Square, and by the
Haymarket to Piccadilly, and so through dignified squares and palatial
alleys to Oxford Street; and her mind was divided between a speculative
treatment of employment on the one hand, and breezes--zephyr breezes--of
the keenest appreciation for London, on the other. The jolly part of it
was that for the first time in her life so far as London was concerned,
she was not going anywhere in particular; for the first time in her life
it seemed to her she was taking London in.
She tried to think how people get work. Ought she to walk into some
of these places and tell them what she could do? She hesitated at the
window of a shipping-office in Cockspur Street and at the Army and
Navy Stores, but decided that perhaps there would be some special and
customary hour, and that it would be better for her to find this out
before she made her attempt. And, besides, she didn't just immediately
want to make her attempt.
She fell into a pleasant dream of positions and work. Behind every one
of these myriad fronts she passed there must be a career or careers. Her
ideas of women's employment and a modern woman's pose in life were based
largely on the figure of Vivie Warren in Mrs. Warren's Profession. She
had seen Mrs. Warren's Profession furtively with Hetty Widgett from the
gallery of a Stage Society performance one Monday afternoon. Most of
it had been incomprehensible to her, or comprehensible in a way that
checked further curiosity, but the figure of Vivien, hard, capable,
successful, and bullying, and ordering about a veritable Teddy in the
person of Frank Gardner, appealed to her. She saw herself in very much
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