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bone. You square the G.V., and go home before you have to. That's my
advice. If you don't eat humble-pie now you may live to fare worse
later. _I_ can't help you a cent. Life's hard enough nowadays for an
unprotected male. Let alone a girl. You got to take the world as it is,
and the only possible trade for a girl that isn't sweated is to get hold
of a man and make him do it for her. It's no good flying out at that,
Vee; _I_ didn't arrange it. It's Providence. That's how things are;
that's the order of the world. Like appendicitis. It isn't pretty, but
we're made so. Rot, no doubt; but we can't alter it. You go home and
live on the G.V., and get some other man to live on as soon as possible.
It isn't sentiment but it's horse sense. All this Woman-who-Diddery--no
damn good. After all, old P.--Providence, I mean--HAS arranged it so
that men will keep you, more or less. He made the universe on those
lines. You've got to take what you can get."
That was the quintessence of her brother Roddy.
He played variations on this theme for the better part of an hour.
"You go home," he said, at parting; "you go home. It's all very fine and
all that, Vee, this freedom, but it isn't going to work. The world isn't
ready for girls to start out on their own yet; that's the plain fact of
the case. Babies and females have got to keep hold of somebody or go
under--anyhow, for the next few generations. You go home and wait a
century, Vee, and then try again. Then you may have a bit of a chance.
Now you haven't the ghost of one--not if you play the game fair."
It was remarkable to Ann Veronica how completely Mr. Manning, in his
entirely different dialect, indorsed her brother Roddy's view of things.
He came along, he said, just to call, with large, loud apologies,
radiantly kind and good. Miss Stanley, it was manifest, had given him
Ann Veronica's address. The kindly faced landlady had failed to catch
his name, and said he was a tall, handsome gentleman with a great black
mustache. Ann Veronica, with a sigh at the cost of hospitality, made a
hasty negotiation for an extra tea and for a fire in the ground-floor
apartment, and preened herself carefully for the interview. In the
little apartment, under the gas chandelier, his inches and his stoop
were certainly very effective. In the bad light he looked at once
military and sentimental and studious, like one of Ouida's guardsmen
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