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glaring, immense, and full of resolution, a stupendous monster of an
She shut her lips hard, her jaw hardened, and she set herself to
struggle with him. She wrenched her head away from his grip and got her
arm between his chest and hers. They began to wrestle fiercely. Each
became frightfully aware of the other as a plastic energetic body,
of the strong muscles of neck against cheek, of hands gripping
shoulder-blade and waist. "How dare you!" she panted, with her world
screaming and grimacing insult at her. "How dare you!"
They were both astonished at the other's strength. Perhaps Ramage was
the more astonished. Ann Veronica had been an ardent hockey player and
had had a course of jiu-jitsu in the High School. Her defence ceased
rapidly to be in any sense ladylike, and became vigorous and effective;
a strand of black hair that had escaped its hairpins came athwart
Ramage's eyes, and then the knuckles of a small but very hardly clinched
fist had thrust itself with extreme effectiveness and painfulness under
his jawbone and ear.
"Let go!" said Ann Veronica, through her teeth, strenuously inflicting
agony, and he cried out sharply and let go and receded a pace.
"NOW!" said Ann Veronica. "Why did you dare to do that?"
Each of them stared at the other, set in a universe that had changed its
system of values with kaleidoscopic completeness. She was flushed, and
her eyes were bright and angry; her breath came sobbing, and her hair
was all abroad in wandering strands of black. He too was flushed and
ruffled; one side of his collar had slipped from its stud and he held a
hand to the corner of his jaw.
"You vixen!" said Mr. Ramage, speaking the simplest first thought of his
"You had no right--" panted Ann Veronica.
"Why on earth," he asked, "did you hurt me like that?"
Ann Veronica did her best to think she had not deliberately attempted to
cause him pain. She ignored his question.
"I never dreamt!" she said.
"What on earth did you expect me to do, then?" he asked.
Interpretation came pouring down upon her almost blindingly; she
understood now the room, the waiter, the whole situation. She
understood. She leaped to a world of shabby knowledge, of furtive base
realizations. She wanted to cry out upon herself for the uttermost fool
"I thought you wanted to have a talk to me," she said.
"I wanted to make love to you.
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