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of disgust and horror.
Already she had sent him twenty pounds, and never written to explain to
him why it was she had not sent it back sharply directly he returned
it. She ought to have written at once and told him exactly what had
happened. Now if she sent fifteen pounds the suggestion that she had
spent a five-pound note in the meanwhile would be irresistible. No! That
was impossible. She would have just to keep the fifteen pounds until she
could make it twenty. That might happen on her birthday--in August.
She turned about, and was persecuted by visions, half memories,
half dreams, of Ramage. He became ugly and monstrous, dunning her,
threatening her, assailing her.
"Confound sex from first to last!" said Ann Veronica. "Why can't we
propagate by sexless spores, as the ferns do? We restrict each other, we
badger each other, friendship is poisoned and buried under it!... I
MUST pay off that forty pounds. I MUST."
For a time there seemed no comfort for her even in Capes. She was to see
Capes to-morrow, but now, in this state of misery she had achieved, she
felt assured he would turn his back upon her, take no notice of her at
all. And if he didn't, what was the good of seeing him?
"I wish he was a woman," she said, "then I could make him my friend. I
want him as my friend. I want to talk to him and go about with him. Just
go about with him."
She was silent for a time, with her nose on the pillow, and that brought
her to: "What's the good of pretending?
"I love him," she said aloud to the dim forms of her room, and repeated
it, and went on to imagine herself doing acts of tragically dog-like
devotion to the biologist, who, for the purposes of the drama, remained
entirely unconscious of and indifferent to her proceedings.
At last some anodyne formed itself from these exercises,
and, with eyelashes wet with such feeble tears as only
three-o'clock-in-the-morning pathos can distil, she fell asleep.
Pursuant to some altogether private calculations she did not go up to
the Imperial College until after mid-day, and she found the laboratory
deserted, even as she desired. She went to the table under the end
window at which she had been accustomed to work, and found it swept and
garnished with full bottles of re-agents. Everything was very neat; it
had evidently been straightened up and kept for her. She put down the
sketch-books and apparatus she had brought with her, pulled out her
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