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She followed Oxford Street into Holborn, and then she inquired for
Chancery Lane. There she sought and at last found 107A, one of those
heterogeneous piles of offices which occupy the eastern side of the
lane. She studied the painted names of firms and persons and enterprises
on the wall, and discovered that the Women's Bond of Freedom occupied
several contiguous suites on the first floor. She went up-stairs and
hesitated between four doors with ground-glass panes, each of which
professed "The Women's Bond of Freedom" in neat black letters. She
opened one and found herself in a large untidy room set with chairs that
were a little disarranged as if by an overnight meeting. On the walls
were notice-boards bearing clusters of newspaper slips, three or four
big posters of monster meetings, one of which Ann Veronica had attended
with Miss Miniver, and a series of announcements in purple copying-ink,
and in one corner was a pile of banners. There was no one at all in this
room, but through the half-open door of one of the small apartments
that gave upon it she had a glimpse of two very young girls sitting at a
littered table and writing briskly.
She walked across to this apartment and, opening the door a little
wider, discovered a press section of the movement at work.
"I want to inquire," said Ann Veronica.
"Next door," said a spectacled young person of seventeen or eighteen,
with an impatient indication of the direction.
In the adjacent apartment Ann Veronica found a middle-aged woman with
a tired face under the tired hat she wore, sitting at a desk opening
letters while a dusky, untidy girl of eight-or nine-and-twenty hammered
industriously at a typewriter. The tired woman looked up in inquiring
silence at Ann Veronica's diffident entry.
"I want to know more about this movement," said Ann Veronica.
"Are you with us?" said the tired woman.
"I don't know," said Ann Veronica; "I think I am. I want very much to do
something for women. But I want to know what you are doing."
The tired woman sat still for a moment. "You haven't come here to make a
lot of difficulties?" she asked.
"No," said Ann Veronica, "but I want to know."
The tired woman shut her eyes tightly for a moment, and then looked with
them at Ann Veronica. "What can you do?" she asked.
"Are you prepared to do things for us? Distribute bills? Write letters?
Interrupt meetings? Canvass at elections? Face dangers?"
"If I am satisfied--"
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