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of that big portal. "Steady on!" he cried.
A diversion was created by the violent struggles of the little old
lady. She seemed to be endowed with superhuman strength. A knot of
three policemen in conflict with her staggered toward Ann Veronica's
attendants and distracted their attention. "I WILL be arrested! I WON'T
go home!" the little old lady was screaming over and over again. They
put her down, and she leaped at them; she smote a helmet to the ground.
"You'll have to take her!" shouted an inspector on horseback, and she
echoed his cry: "You'll have to take me!" They seized upon her and
lifted her, and she screamed. Ann Veronica became violently excited at
the sight. "You cowards!" said Ann Veronica, "put her down!" and tore
herself from a detaining hand and battered with her fists upon the big
red ear and blue shoulder of the policeman who held the little old lady.
So Ann Veronica also was arrested.
And then came the vile experience of being forced and borne along the
street to the police-station. Whatever anticipation Ann Veronica had
formed of this vanished in the reality. Presently she was going through
a swaying, noisy crowd, whose faces grinned and stared pitilessly in the
light of the electric standards. "Go it, miss!" cried one. "Kick aht at
'em!" though, indeed, she went now with Christian meekness, resenting
only the thrusting policemen's hands. Several people in the crowd seemed
to be fighting. Insulting cries became frequent and various, but for the
most part she could not understand what was said. "Who'll mind the baby
nar?" was one of the night's inspirations, and very frequent. A lean
young man in spectacles pursued her for some time, crying "Courage!
Courage!" Somebody threw a dab of mud at her, and some of it got down
her neck. Immeasurable disgust possessed her. She felt draggled and
insulted beyond redemption.
She could not hide her face. She attempted by a sheer act of will to
end the scene, to will herself out of it anywhere. She had a horrible
glimpse of the once nice little old lady being also borne stationward,
still faintly battling and very muddy--one lock of grayish hair
straggling over her neck, her face scared, white, but triumphant. Her
bonnet dropped off and was trampled into the gutter. A little Cockney
recovered it, and made ridiculous attempts to get to her and replace it.
"You must arrest me!" she gasped, breathlessly, insisting insanely on a
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