|• Main||• Contacts|
perceived that his countenance was only composed by a great effort, his
features severely compressed. He was ruffled, and his ears were red,
no doubt from some adjacent controversy. He classified her as he seated
"Another young woman, I suppose," he said, "who knows better than her
Maker about her place in the world. Have you anything to ask me?"
Ann Veronica readjusted her mind hastily. Her back stiffened. She
produced from the depths of her pride the ugly investigatory note of
the modern district visitor. "Are you a special sort of clergyman," she
said, after a pause, and looking down her nose at him, "or do you go to
"Oh!" he said, profoundly.
He panted for a moment with unuttered replies, and then, with a scornful
gesture, got up and left the cell.
So that Ann Veronica was not able to get the expert advice she certainly
needed upon her spiritual state.
After a day or so she thought more steadily. She found herself in a
phase of violent reaction against the suffrage movement, a phase
greatly promoted by one of those unreasonable objections people of Ann
Veronica's temperament take at times--to the girl in the next cell to
her own. She was a large, resilient girl, with a foolish smile, a still
more foolish expression of earnestness, and a throaty contralto voice.
She was noisy and hilarious and enthusiastic, and her hair was always
abominably done. In the chapel she sang with an open-lunged gusto that
silenced Ann Veronica altogether, and in the exercising-yard slouched
round with carelessly dispersed feet. Ann Veronica decided that
"hoydenish ragger" was the only phrase to express her. She was always
breaking rules, whispering asides, intimating signals. She became at
times an embodiment for Ann Veronica of all that made the suffrage
movement defective and unsatisfying.
She was always initiating petty breaches of discipline. Her greatest
exploit was the howling before the mid-day meal. This was an imitation
of the noises made by the carnivora at the Zoological Gardens at
feeding-time; the idea was taken up by prisoner after prisoner until
the whole place was alive with barkings, yappings, roarings, pelican
chatterings, and feline yowlings, interspersed with shrieks of
hysterical laughter. To many in that crowded solitude it came as an
extraordinary relief. It was better even than the hymn-singing. But it
annoyed Ann Veronica.
Page 4 from 7: Back 1 2 3  5 6 7 Forward