|• Main||• Contacts|
For a time Ann Veronica's family had desisted from direct offers of a
free pardon; they were evidently waiting for her resources to come to
an end. Neither father, aunt, nor brothers made a sign, and then
one afternoon in early February her aunt came up in a state between
expostulation and dignified resentment, but obviously very anxious for
Ann Veronica's welfare. "I had a dream in the night," she said. "I saw
you in a sort of sloping, slippery place, holding on by your hands and
slipping. You seemed to me to be slipping and slipping, and your face
was white. It was really most vivid, most vivid! You seemed to be
slipping and just going to tumble and holding on. It made me wake up,
and there I lay thinking of you, spending your nights up here all alone,
and no one to look after you. I wondered what you could be doing and
what might be happening to you. I said to myself at once, 'Either this
is a coincidence or the caper sauce.' But I made sure it was you. I felt
I MUST do something anyhow, and up I came just as soon as I could to see
She had spoken rather rapidly. "I can't help saying it," she said, with
the quality of her voice altering, "but I do NOT think it is right for
an unprotected girl to be in London alone as you are."
"But I'm quite equal to taking care of myself, aunt."
"It must be most uncomfortable here. It is most uncomfortable for every
She spoke with a certain asperity. She felt that Ann Veronica had duped
her in that dream, and now that she had come up to London she might as
well speak her mind.
"No Christmas dinner," she said, "or anything nice! One doesn't even
know what you are doing."
"I'm going on working for my degree."
"Why couldn't you do that at home?"
"I'm working at the Imperial College. You see, aunt, it's the only
possible way for me to get a good degree in my subjects, and father
won't hear of it. There'd only be endless rows if I was at home. And how
could I come home--when he locks me in rooms and all that?"
"I do wish this wasn't going on," said Miss Stanley, after a pause. "I
do wish you and your father could come to some agreement."
Ann Veronica responded with conviction: "I wish so, too."
"Can't we arrange something? Can't we make a sort of treaty?"
"He wouldn't keep it. He would get very cross one evening and no one
would dare to remind him of it."
"How can you say such things?"
"But he would!"
"Still, it isn't your place to say so."
Page 1 from 8:  2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Forward