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pleased that Ann Veronica's heart smote her.
"I am very glad to hear you say it," he repeated, and refrained from
further inquiry. "I think we are growing sensible," he said. "I think
you are getting to understand me better."
He hesitated, and walked away from her toward the house. Her eyes
followed him. The curve of his shoulders, the very angle of his feet,
expressed relief at her apparent obedience. "Thank goodness!" said
that retreating aspect, "that's said and over. Vee's all right. There's
nothing happened at all!" She didn't mean, he concluded, to give him any
more trouble ever, and he was free to begin a fresh chromatic novel--he
had just finished the Blue Lagoon, which he thought very beautiful and
tender and absolutely irrelevant to Morningside Park--or work in peace
at his microtome without bothering about her in the least.
The immense disillusionment that awaited him! The devastating
disillusionment! She had a vague desire to run after him, to state her
case to him, to wring some understanding from him of what life was to
her. She felt a cheat and a sneak to his unsuspecting retreating back.
"But what can one do?" asked Ann Veronica.
She dressed carefully for dinner in a black dress that her father
liked, and that made her look serious and responsible. Dinner was quite
uneventful. Her father read a draft prospectus warily, and her aunt
dropped fragments of her projects for managing while the cook had a
holiday. After dinner Ann Veronica went into the drawing-room with Miss
Stanley, and her father went up to his den for his pipe and pensive
petrography. Later in the evening she heard him whistling, poor man!
She felt very restless and excited. She refused coffee, though she knew
that anyhow she was doomed to a sleepless night. She took up one of her
father's novels and put it down again, fretted up to her own room for
some work, sat on her bed and meditated upon the room that she was now
really abandoning forever, and returned at length with a stocking to
darn. Her aunt was making herself cuffs out of little slips of insertion
under the newly lit lamp.
Ann Veronica sat down in the other arm-chair and darned badly for a
minute or so. Then she looked at her aunt, and traced with a curious eye
the careful arrangement of her hair, her sharp nose, the little drooping
lines of mouth and chin and cheek.
Her thought spoke aloud. "Were you ever in love, aunt?" she asked.
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