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ANN VERONICA TALKS TO HER FATHER-1-2
ANN VERONICA TALKS TO HER FATHER-3-4
ANN VERONICA TALKS TO HER FATHER-5-6
ANN VERONICA TALKS TO HER FATHER-7
ANN VERONICA GATHERS POINTS OF VIEW-1-2
ANN VERONICA GATHERS POINTS OF VIEW-3
THE MORNING OF THE CRISIS-1-2
THE MORNING OF THE CRISIS-3-4-5
THE MORNING OF THE CRISIS-6-7
THE CRISIS-1-2-3-4
THE FLIGHT TO LONDON-1-2-3
THE FLIGHT TO LONDON-4-5-6
EXPOSTULATIONS-1-2-3-4
EXPOSTULATIONS-5-6
IDEALS AND A REALITY-1-2
IDEALS AND A REALITY-3-4
IDEALS AND A REALITY-5-6-7
BIOLOGY-1-2
BIOLOGY-3-4-5-6
BIOLOGY-7-8-9
DISCORDS-1
DISCORDS-2-3-4
DISCORDS-5-6-8-9
THE SUFFRAGETTES-1-2-3
THE SUFFRAGETTES-4-5
THOUGHTS IN PRISON-1-2-3-4-5-6
ANN VERONICA PUTS THINGS IN ORDER-1-2-3-4-5-6-7
THE SAPPHIRE RING-1-2-3-4
THE SAPPHIRE RING-5-6
THE COLLAPSE OF THE PENITENT-1-2-3
THE COLLAPSE OF THE PENITENT-4-5-6
THE LAST DAYS AT HOME-1-2-3
IN THE MOUNTAINS-1-2-3-4
IN THE MOUNTAINS-5-6-7-8-9-10-11
IN PERSPECTIVE-1-2-3

CHAPTER THE FOURTEENTH 

 

THE COLLAPSE OF THE PENITENT 

 

 

Part 1 

 

 

Spring had held back that year until the dawn of May, and then spring 

and summer came with a rush together. Two days after this conversation 

between Manning and Ann Veronica, Capes came into the laboratory at 

lunch-time and found her alone there standing by the open window, and 

not even pretending to be doing anything. 

 

He came in with his hands in his trousers pockets and a general air 

of depression in his bearing. He was engaged in detesting Manning and 

himself in almost equal measure. His face brightened at the sight of 

her, and he came toward her. 

 

"What are you doing?" he asked. 

 

"Nothing," said Ann Veronica, and stared over her shoulder out of the 

window. 

 

"So am I.... Lassitude?" 

 

"I suppose so." 

 

"_I_ can't work." 

 

"Nor I," said Ann Veronica. 

 

Pause. 

 

"It's the spring," he said. "It's the warming up of the year, the coming 

of the light mornings, the way in which everything begins to run about 

and begin new things. Work becomes distasteful; one thinks of holidays. 

This year--I've got it badly. I want to get away. I've never wanted to 

get away so much." 

 

"Where do you go?" 

 

"Oh!--Alps." 

 

"Climbing?" 

 

"Yes." 

 

"That's rather a fine sort of holiday!" 

 

He made no answer for three or four seconds. 

 

"Yes," he said, "I want to get away. I feel at moments as though I could 

bolt for it.... Silly, isn't it? Undisciplined." 

 

He went to the window and fidgeted with the blind, looking out to where 

the tree-tops of Regent's Park showed distantly over the houses. He 

turned round toward her and found her looking at him and standing very 

still. 

 

"It's the stir of spring," he said. 

 

"I believe it is." 

 

She glanced out of the window, and the distant trees were a froth of 

hard spring green and almond blossom. She formed a wild resolution, 

and, lest she should waver from it, she set about at once to realize it. 

"I've broken off my engagement," she said, in a matter-of-fact tone, and 

found her heart thumping in her neck. He moved slightly, and she 

went on, with a slight catching of her breath: "It's a bother and 

disturbance, but you see--" She had to go through with it now, because 

she could think of nothing but her preconceived words. Her voice was 

weak and flat. 

 

"I've fallen in love." 

 

He never helped her by a sound. 

 

"I--I didn't love the man I was engaged to," she said. She met his eyes 

for a moment, and could not interpret their expression. They struck her 


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