|• Main||• Contacts|
preparation-room. He sat down on the sill of the open window, folded his
arms, and stared straight before him for a long time over the wilderness
of tiles and chimney-pots into a sky that was blue and empty. He was not
addicted to monologue, and the only audible comment he permitted himself
at first upon a universe that was evidently anything but satisfactory to
him that afternoon, was one compact and entirely unassigned "Damn!"
The word must have had some gratifying quality, because he repeated
it. Then he stood up and repeated it again. "The fool I have been!" he
cried; and now speech was coming to him. He tried this sentence with
expletives. "Ass!" he went on, still warming. "Muck-headed moral ass! I
ought to have done anything.
"I ought to have done anything!
"What's a man for?
He doubled up his fist, and seemed to contemplate thrusting it through
the window. He turned his back on that temptation. Then suddenly he
seized a new preparation bottle that stood upon his table and contained
the better part of a week's work--a displayed dissection of a snail,
beautifully done--and hurled it across the room, to smash resoundingly
upon the cemented floor under the bookcase; then, without either haste
or pause, he swept his arm along a shelf of re-agents and sent them to
mingle with the debris on the floor. They fell in a diapason of smashes.
"H'm!" he said, regarding the wreckage with a calmer visage. "Silly!" he
remarked after a pause. "One hardly knows--all the time."
He put his hands in his pockets, his mouth puckered to a whistle, and he
went to the door of the outer preparation-room and stood there, looking,
save for the faintest intensification of his natural ruddiness, the
embodiment of blond serenity.
"Gellett," he called, "just come and clear up a mess, will you? I've
smashed some things."
There was one serious flaw in Ann Veronica's arrangements for
self-rehabilitation, and that was Ramage. He hung over her--he and his
loan to her and his connection with her and that terrible evening--a
vague, disconcerting possibility of annoyance and exposure. She could
not see any relief from this anxiety except repayment, and repayment
seemed impossible. The raising of twenty-five pounds was a task
altogether beyond her powers. Her birthday was four months away, and
that, at its extremist point, might give her another five pounds.
Page 3 from 8: Back 1 2  4 5 6 7 8 Forward