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might do or might not do. He--In fact, he--he locked me in my room.
Her breath left her for a moment.
"I SAY!" said Mr. Ramage.
"I wanted to go to an art-student ball of which he disapproved."
"And why shouldn't you?"
"I felt that sort of thing couldn't go on. So I packed up and came to
London next day."
"To a friend?"
"I say, you know, you have some pluck. You did it on your own?"
Ann Veronica smiled. "Quite on my own," she said.
"It's magnificent!" He leaned back and regarded her with his head a
little on one side. "By Jove!" he said, "there is something direct about
you. I wonder if I should have locked you up if I'd been your father.
Luckily I'm not. And you started out forthwith to fight the world and be
a citizen on your own basis?" He came forward again and folded his hands
under him on his desk.
"How has the world taken it?" he asked. "If I was the world I think I
should have put down a crimson carpet, and asked you to say what you
wanted, and generally walk over me. But the world didn't do that."
"It presented a large impenetrable back, and went on thinking about
"It offered from fifteen to two-and-twenty shillings a week--for
"The world has no sense of what is due to youth and courage. It never
"Yes," said Ann Veronica. "But the thing is, I want a job."
"Exactly! And so you came along to me. And you see, I don't turn my
back, and I am looking at you and thinking about you from top to toe."
"And what do you think I ought to do?"
"Exactly!" He lifted a paper-weight and dabbed it gently down again.
"What ought you to do?"
"I've hunted up all sorts of things."
"The point to note is that fundamentally you don't want particularly to
"I don't understand."
"You want to be free and so forth, yes. But you don't particularly
want to do the job that sets you free--for its own sake. I mean that it
doesn't interest you in itself."
"I suppose not."
"That's one of our differences. We men are like children. We can get
absorbed in play, in games, in the business we do. That's really why
we do them sometimes rather well and get on. But women--women as a rule
don't throw themselves into things like that. As a matter of fact it
isn't their affair. And as a natural consequence, they don't do so well,
and they don't get on--and so the world doesn't pay them. They don't
catch on to discursive interests, you see, because they are more
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