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that would have overwhelmed any normally feminine girl with shame and
horror now became uppermost again. Before her was a great Gothic portal.
Through that she had to go.
Past her shot the little old lady in the bonnet, running incredibly
fast, but otherwise still alertly respectable, and she was making a
strange threatening sound as she ran, such as one would use in driving
ducks out of a garden--"B-r-r-r-r-r--!" and pawing with black-gloved
hands. The policemen were closing in from the sides to intervene. The
little old lady struck like a projectile upon the resounding chest
of the foremost of these, and then Ann Veronica had got past and was
ascending the steps.
Then most horribly she was clasped about the waist from behind and
lifted from the ground.
At that a new element poured into her excitement, an element of wild
disgust and terror. She had never experienced anything so disagreeable
in her life as the sense of being held helplessly off her feet. She
screamed involuntarily--she had never in her life screamed before--and
then she began to wriggle and fight like a frightened animal against the
men who were holding her.
The affair passed at one leap from a spree to a nightmare of violence
and disgust. Her hair got loose, her hat came over one eye, and she had
no arm free to replace it. She felt she must suffocate if these men did
not put her down, and for a time they would not put her down. Then with
an indescribable relief her feet were on the pavement, and she was
being urged along by two policemen, who were gripping her wrists in an
irresistible expert manner. She was writhing to get her hands loose
and found herself gasping with passionate violence, "It's
damnable!--damnable!" to the manifest disgust of the fatherly policeman
on her right.
Then they had released her arms and were trying to push her away.
"You be off, missie," said the fatherly policeman. "This ain't no place
He pushed her a dozen yards along the greasy pavement with flat,
well-trained hands that there seemed to be no opposing. Before her
stretched blank spaces, dotted with running people coming toward her,
and below them railings and a statue. She almost submitted to this
ending of her adventure. But at the word "home" she turned again.
"I won't go home," she said; "I won't!" and she evaded the clutch of the
fatherly policeman and tried to thrust herself past him in the direction
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