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the same. As for this infatuation--it's like some obsession, some
magic thing laid upon you. It's not you--not a bit. It's a thing that's
happened to you. It is like some accident. I don't care. In a sense I
don't care. It makes no difference.... All the same, I wish I had
that fellow by the throat! Just the virile, unregenerate man in me
"I suppose I should let go if I had.
"You know," he went on, "this doesn't seem to me to end anything.
"I'm rather a persistent person. I'm the sort of dog, if you turn it out
of the room it lies down on the mat at the door. I'm not a lovesick
boy. I'm a man, and I know what I mean. It's a tremendous blow, of
course--but it doesn't kill me. And the situation it makes!--the
Thus Manning, egotistical, inconsecutive, unreal. And Ann Veronica
walked beside him, trying in vain to soften her heart to him by the
thought of how she had ill-used him, and all the time, as her feet and
mind grew weary together, rejoicing more and more that at the cost
of this one interminable walk she escaped the prospect of--what was
it?--"Ten thousand days, ten thousand nights" in his company. Whatever
happened she need never return to that possibility.
"For me," Manning went on, "this isn't final. In a sense it alters
nothing. I shall still wear your favor--even if it is a stolen and
forbidden favor--in my casque.... I shall still believe in you. Trust
He repeated several times that he would trust her, though it remained
obscure just exactly where the trust came in.
"Look here," he cried out of a silence, with a sudden flash of
understanding, "did you mean to throw me over when you came out with me
Ann Veronica hesitated, and with a startled mind realized the truth.
"No," she answered, reluctantly.
"Very well," said Manning. "Then I don't take this as final. That's all.
I've bored you or something.... You think you love this other man! No
doubt you do love him. Before you have lived--"
He became darkly prophetic. He thrust out a rhetorical hand.
"I will MAKE you love me! Until he has faded--faded into a memory..."
He saw her into the train at Waterloo, and stood, a tall, grave figure,
with hat upraised, as the carriage moved forward slowly and hid him.
Ann Veronica sat back with a sigh of relief. Manning might go on now
idealizing her as much as he liked. She was no longer a confederate in
that. He might go on as the devoted lover until he tired. She had done
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