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send him four five-pound notes. The rest she meant to keep for
her immediate necessities. A little relieved by this step toward
reinstatement, she went on to the Imperial College to forget her muddle
of problems for a time, if she could, in the presence of Capes.
For a time the biological laboratory was full of healing virtue. Her
sleepless night had left her languid but not stupefied, and for an hour
or so the work distracted her altogether from her troubles.
Then, after Capes had been through her work and had gone on, it came to
her that the fabric of this life of hers was doomed to almost immediate
collapse; that in a little while these studies would cease, and perhaps
she would never set eyes on him again. After that consolations fled.
The overnight nervous strain began to tell; she became inattentive
to the work before her, and it did not get on. She felt sleepy and
unusually irritable. She lunched at a creamery in Great Portland Street,
and as the day was full of wintry sunshine, spent the rest of the
lunch-hour in a drowsy gloom, which she imagined to be thought upon the
problems of her position, on a seat in Regent's Park. A girl of fifteen
or sixteen gave her a handbill that she regarded as a tract until she
saw "Votes for Women" at the top. That turned her mind to the more
generalized aspects of her perplexities again. She had never been so
disposed to agree that the position of women in the modern world is
Capes joined the students at tea, and displayed himself in an impish
mood that sometimes possessed him. He did not notice that Ann Veronica
was preoccupied and heavy-eyed. Miss Klegg raised the question of
women's suffrage, and he set himself to provoke a duel between her and
Miss Garvice. The youth with the hair brushed back and the spectacled
Scotchman joined in the fray for and against the women's vote.
Ever and again Capes appealed to Ann Veronica. He liked to draw her in,
and she did her best to talk. But she did not talk readily, and in
order to say something she plunged a little, and felt she plunged.
Capes scored back with an uncompromising vigor that was his way of
complimenting her intelligence. But this afternoon it discovered an
unusual vein of irritability in her. He had been reading Belfort Bax,
and declared himself a convert. He contrasted the lot of women in
general with the lot of men, presented men as patient, self-immolating
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