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Capes, unable to escape from his image and the idea of his presence in
She let her mind run into dreams of that cloud paradise of an altered
world in which the Goopes and Minivers, the Fabians and reforming people
believed. Across that world was written in letters of light, "Endowment
of Motherhood." Suppose in some complex yet conceivable way women were
endowed, were no longer economically and socially dependent on men. "If
one was free," she said, "one could go to him.... This vile hovering
to catch a man's eye!... One could go to him and tell him one loved
him. I want to love him. A little love from him would be enough. It
would hurt no one. It would not burden him with any obligation."
She groaned aloud and bowed her forehead to her knees. She floundered
deep. She wanted to kiss his feet. His feet would have the firm texture
of his hands.
Then suddenly her spirit rose in revolt. "I will not have this slavery,"
she said. "I will not have this slavery."
She shook her fist ceilingward. "Do you hear!" she said "whatever you
are, wherever you are! I will not be slave to the thought of any man,
slave to the customs of any time. Confound this slavery of sex! I am a
man! I will get this under if I am killed in doing it!"
She scowled into the cold blacknesses about her.
"Manning," she said, and contemplated a figure of inaggressive
persistence. "No!" Her thoughts had turned in a new direction.
"It doesn't matter," she said, after a long interval, "if they are
absurd. They mean something. They mean everything that women can
mean--except submission. The vote is only the beginning, the necessary
beginning. If we do not begin--"
She had come to a resolution. Abruptly she got out of bed, smoothed
her sheet and straightened her pillow and lay down, and fell almost
The next morning was as dark and foggy as if it was mid-November instead
of early March. Ann Veronica woke rather later than usual, and lay awake
for some minutes before she remembered a certain resolution she
had taken in the small hours. Then instantly she got out of bed and
proceeded to dress.
She did not start for the Imperial College. She spent the morning up
to ten in writing a series of unsuccessful letters to Ramage, which she
tore up unfinished; and finally she desisted and put on her jacket and
went out into the lamp-lit obscurity and slimy streets. She turned a
resolute face southward.
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