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hopes of women evolving into something higher.
He was unusually absurd and ready, and all the time it seemed to Ann
Veronica as a delightful possibility, as a thing not indeed to be
entertained seriously, but to be half furtively felt, that he was being
so agreeable because she had come back again. She returned home through
a world that was as roseate as it had been gray overnight.
But as she got out of the train at Morningside Park Station she had a
shock. She saw, twenty yards down the platform, the shiny hat and broad
back and inimitable swagger of Ramage. She dived at once behind the
cover of the lamp-room and affected serious trouble with her shoe-lace
until he was out of the station, and then she followed slowly and with
extreme discretion until the bifurcation of the Avenue from the field
way insured her escape. Ramage went up the Avenue, and she hurried
along the path with a beating heart and a disagreeable sense of unsolved
problems in her mind.
"That thing's going on," she told herself. "Everything goes on, confound
it! One doesn't change anything one has set going by making good
And then ahead of her she saw the radiant and welcoming figure of
Manning. He came as an agreeable diversion from an insoluble perplexity.
She smiled at the sight of him, and thereat his radiation increased.
"I missed the hour of your release," he said, "but I was at the
Vindicator Restaurant. You did not see me, I know. I was among the
common herd in the place below, but I took good care to see you."
"Of course you're converted?" she said.
"To the view that all those Splendid Women in the movement ought to have
votes. Rather! Who could help it?"
He towered up over her and smiled down at her in his fatherly way.
"To the view that all women ought to have votes whether they like it or
He shook his head, and his eyes and the mouth under the black mustache
wrinkled with his smile. And as he walked by her side they began a
wrangle that was none the less pleasant to Ann Veronica because it
served to banish a disagreeable preoccupation. It seemed to her in her
restored geniality that she liked Manning extremely. The brightness
Capes had diffused over the world glorified even his rival.
The steps by which Ann Veronica determined to engage herself to marry
Manning were never very clear to her. A medley of motives warred in her,
and it was certainly not one of the least of these that she knew herself
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