|• Main||• Contacts|
They walked side by side for a time.
"In that laboratory one gets to disregard these passions," began Capes.
"Men are curious animals, with a trick of falling in love readily
with girls about your age. One has to train one's self not to. I've
accustomed myself to think of you--as if you were like every other
girl who works at the schools--as something quite outside these
possibilities. If only out of loyalty to co-education one has to do
that. Apart from everything else, this meeting of ours is a breach of a
"Rules are for every day," said Ann Veronica. "This is not every day.
This is something above all rules."
"Not for you?"
"No. No; I'm going to stick to the rules.... It's odd, but nothing
but cliche seems to meet this case. You've placed me in a very
exceptional position, Miss Stanley." The note of his own voice
exasperated him. "Oh, damn!" he said.
She made no answer, and for a time he debated some problems with
"No!" he said aloud at last.
"The plain common-sense of the case," he said, "is that we can't
possibly be lovers in the ordinary sense. That, I think, is manifest.
You know, I've done no work at all this afternoon. I've been smoking
cigarettes in the preparation-room and thinking this out. We can't be
lovers in the ordinary sense, but we can be great and intimate friends."
"We are," said Ann Veronica.
"You've interested me enormously...."
He paused with a sense of ineptitude. "I want to be your friend," he
said. "I said that at the Zoo, and I mean it. Let us be friends--as near
and close as friends can be."
Ann Veronica gave him a pallid profile.
"What is the good of pretending?" she said.
"We don't pretend."
"We do. Love is one thing and friendship quite another. Because I'm
younger than you.... I've got imagination.... I know what I am
talking about. Mr. Capes, do you think... do you think I don't know
the meaning of love?"
Page 4 from 4: Back 1 2 3