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various facetious interrogations upon her, as, for example, where
the witness had acquired his prose style. She controlled herself, and
answered meekly, "No."
"Well, Ann Veronica Smith," the magistrate remarked when the case was
all before him, "you're a good-looking, strong, respectable gell, and
it's a pity you silly young wimmin can't find something better to do
with your exuberance. Two-and-twenty! I can't imagine what your parents
can be thinking about to let you get into these scrapes."
Ann Veronica's mind was filled with confused unutterable replies.
"You are persuaded to come and take part in these outrageous
proceedings--many of you, I am convinced, have no idea whatever of
their nature. I don't suppose you could tell me even the derivation of
suffrage if I asked you. No! not even the derivation! But the fashion's
been set and in it you must be."
The men at the reporter's table lifted their eyebrows, smiled faintly,
and leaned back to watch how she took her scolding. One with the
appearance of a bald little gnome yawned agonizingly. They had got all
this down already--they heard the substance of it now for the fourteenth
time. The stipendiary would have done it all very differently.
She found presently she was out of the dock and confronted with the
alternative of being bound over in one surety for the sum of forty
pounds--whatever that might mean or a month's imprisonment.
"Second class," said some one, but first and second were all alike to
her. She elected to go to prison.
At last, after a long rumbling journey in a stuffy windowless van, she
reached Canongate Prison--for Holloway had its quota already. It was bad
luck to go to Canongate.
Prison was beastly. Prison was bleak without spaciousness, and pervaded
by a faint, oppressive smell; and she had to wait two hours in the
sullenly defiant company of two unclean women thieves before a cell
could be assigned to her. Its dreariness, like the filthiness of the
police cell, was a discovery for her. She had imagined that prisons
were white-tiled places, reeking of lime-wash and immaculately
sanitary. Instead, they appeared to be at the hygienic level of tramps'
lodging-houses. She was bathed in turbid water that had already been
used. She was not allowed to bathe herself: another prisoner, with a
privileged manner, washed her. Conscientious objectors to that process
are not permitted, she found, in Canongate. Her hair was washed for her
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