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way and that.
"Why should one pretend?" she whispered. "Why should one pretend?
"Think of all the beauty in the world that is covered up and overlaid."
She glanced shyly at the mirror above her dressing-table, and then about
her at the furniture, as though it might penetrate to the thoughts that
peeped in her mind.
"I wonder," said Ann Veronica at last, "if I am beautiful? I wonder if I
shall ever shine like a light, like a translucent goddess?--
"I suppose girls and women have prayed for this, have come to this--In
Babylon, in Nineveh.
"Why shouldn't one face the facts of one's self?"
She stood up. She posed herself before her mirror and surveyed herself
with gravely thoughtful, gravely critical, and yet admiring eyes. "And,
after all, I am just one common person!"
She watched the throb of the arteries in the stem of her neck, and
put her hand at last gently and almost timidly to where her heart beat
beneath her breast.
The realization that she was in love flooded Ann Veronica's mind, and
altered the quality of all its topics.
She began to think persistently of Capes, and it seemed to her now that
for some weeks at least she must have been thinking persistently of
him unawares. She was surprised to find how stored her mind was with
impressions and memories of him, how vividly she remembered his gestures
and little things that he had said. It occurred to her that it was
absurd and wrong to be so continuously thinking of one engrossing topic,
and she made a strenuous effort to force her mind to other questions.
But it was extraordinary what seemingly irrelevant things could restore
her to the thought of Capes again. And when she went to sleep, then
always Capes became the novel and wonderful guest of her dreams.
For a time it really seemed all-sufficient to her that she should love.
That Capes should love her seemed beyond the compass of her imagination.
Indeed, she did not want to think of him as loving her. She wanted to
think of him as her beloved person, to be near him and watch him,
to have him going about, doing this and that, saying this and that,
unconscious of her, while she too remained unconscious of herself. To
think of him as loving her would make all that different. Then he would
turn his face to her, and she would have to think of herself in his
eyes. She would become defensive--what she did would be the thing that
mattered. He would require things of her, and she would be passionately
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