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"Yes. Last week."
She glanced at him, and it was suddenly apparent for one instant of
illumination that this ring upon her finger was the crowning blunder
of her life. It was apparent, and then it faded into the quality of an
"Odd!" he remarked, rather surprisingly, after a little interval.
There was a brief pause, a crowded pause, between them.
She sat very still, and his eyes rested on that ornament for a moment,
and then travelled slowly to her wrist and the soft lines of her
"I suppose I ought to congratulate you," he said. Their eyes met, and
his expressed perplexity and curiosity. "The fact is--I don't know
why--this takes me by surprise. Somehow I haven't connected the idea
with you. You seemed complete--without that."
"Did I?" she said.
"I don't know why. But this is like--like walking round a house that
looks square and complete and finding an unexpected long wing running
She looked up at him, and found he was watching her closely. For some
seconds of voluminous thinking they looked at the ring between them,
and neither spoke. Then Capes shifted his eyes to her microscope and
the little trays of unmounted sections beside it. "How is that carmine
working?" he asked, with a forced interest.
"Better," said Ann Veronica, with an unreal alacrity. "But it still
misses the nucleolus."
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