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She knew, too, she must not hesitate. "Eight pounds," she plunged, and
added foolishly, "fifteen pounds will see me clear of everything." She
muttered some unlady-like comment upon herself under her breath and
engaged in secret additions.
Mr. Stanley determined to improve the occasion. He seemed to deliberate.
"Well," he said at last slowly, "I'll pay it. I'll pay it. But I do
hope, Vee, I do hope--this is the end of these adventures. I hope you
have learned your lesson now and come to see--come to realize--how
things are. People, nobody, can do as they like in this world.
Everywhere there are limitations."
"I know," said Ann Veronica (fifteen pounds!). "I have learned that. I
mean--I mean to do what I can." (Fifteen pounds. Fifteen from forty is
He hesitated. She could think of nothing more to say.
"Well," she achieved at last. "Here goes for the new life!"
"Here goes for the new life," he echoed and stood up. Father and
daughter regarded each other warily, each more than a little insecure
with the other. He made a movement toward her, and then recalled the
circumstances of their last conversation in that study. She saw his
purpose and his doubt hesitated also, and then went to him, took his
coat lapels, and kissed him on the cheek.
"Ah, Vee," he said, "that's better! and kissed her back rather clumsily.
"We're going to be sensible."
She disengaged herself from him and went out of the room with a grave,
preoccupied expression. (Fifteen pounds! And she wanted forty!)
It was, perhaps, the natural consequence of a long and tiring and
exciting day that Ann Veronica should pass a broken and distressful
night, a night in which the noble and self-subduing resolutions of
Canongate displayed themselves for the first time in an atmosphere of
almost lurid dismay. Her father's peculiar stiffness of soul presented
itself now as something altogether left out of the calculations upon
which her plans were based, and, in particular, she had not anticipated
the difficulty she would find in borrowing the forty pounds she needed
for Ramage. That had taken her by surprise, and her tired wits had
failed her. She was to have fifteen pounds, and no more. She knew that
to expect more now was like anticipating a gold-mine in the garden. The
chance had gone. It became suddenly glaringly apparent to her that it
was impossible to return fifteen pounds or any sum less than twenty
pounds to Ramage--absolutely impossible. She realized that with a pang
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