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CHAPTER THE TWELFTH
ANN VERONICA PUTS THINGS IN ORDER
Ann Veronica made a strenuous attempt to carry out her good resolutions.
She meditated long and carefully upon her letter to her father before
she wrote it, and gravely and deliberately again before she despatched
"MY DEAR FATHER," she wrote,--"I have been thinking hard about
everything since I was sent to this prison. All these experiences have
taught me a great deal about life and realities. I see that compromise
is more necessary to life than I ignorantly supposed it to be, and I
have been trying to get Lord Morley's book on that subject, but it does
not appear to be available in the prison library, and the chaplain seems
to regard him as an undesirable writer."
At this point she had perceived that she was drifting from her subject.
"I must read him when I come out. But I see very clearly that as things
are a daughter is necessarily dependent on her father and bound while
she is in that position to live harmoniously with his ideals."
"Bit starchy," said Ann Veronica, and altered the key abruptly. Her
concluding paragraph was, on the whole, perhaps, hardly starchy enough.
"Really, daddy, I am sorry for all I have done to put you out. May I
come home and try to be a better daughter to you?
Her aunt came to meet her outside Canongate, and, being a little
confused between what was official and what was merely a rebellious
slight upon our national justice, found herself involved in a triumphal
procession to the Vindicator Vegetarian Restaurant, and was specifically
and personally cheered by a small, shabby crowd outside that rendezvous.
They decided quite audibly, "She's an Old Dear, anyhow. Voting wouldn't
do no 'arm to 'er." She was on the very verge of a vegetarian meal
before she recovered her head again. Obeying some fine instinct, she had
come to the prison in a dark veil, but she had pushed this up to kiss
Ann Veronica and never drawn it down again. Eggs were procured for her,
and she sat out the subsequent emotions and eloquence with the dignity
becoming an injured lady of good family. The quiet encounter and
home-coming Ann Veronica and she had contemplated was entirely
disorganized by this misadventure; there were no adequate explanations,
and after they had settled things at Ann Veronica's lodgings, they
reached home in the early afternoon estranged and depressed, with
headaches and the trumpet voice of the indomitable Kitty Brett still
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