|• Main||• Contacts|
was a neat, efficient-looking room, with a writing-table placed with a
business-like regard to the window, and a bookcase surmounted by a
pig's skull, a dissected frog in a sealed bottle, and a pile of
shiny, black-covered note-books. In the corner of the room were two
hockey-sticks and a tennis-racket, and upon the walls Ann Veronica,
by means of autotypes, had indicated her proclivities in art. But Miss
Stanley took no notice of these things. She walked straight across to
the wardrobe and opened it. There, hanging among Ann Veronica's more
normal clothing, was a skimpy dress of red canvas, trimmed with cheap
and tawdry braid, and short--it could hardly reach below the knee. On
the same peg and evidently belonging to it was a black velvet Zouave
jacket. And then! a garment that was conceivably a secondary skirt.
Miss Stanley hesitated, and took first one and then another of the
constituents of this costume off its peg and surveyed it.
The third item she took with a trembling hand by its waistbelt. As she
raised it, its lower portion fell apart into two baggy crimson masses.
"TROUSERS!" she whispered.
Her eyes travelled about the room as if in appeal to the very chairs.
Tucked under the writing-table a pair of yellow and gold Turkish
slippers of a highly meretricious quality caught her eye. She walked
over to them still carrying the trousers in her hands, and stooped to
examine them. They were ingenious disguises of gilt paper destructively
gummed, it would seem, to Ann Veronicas' best dancing-slippers.
Then she reverted to the trousers.
"How CAN I tell him?" whispered Miss Stanley.
Ann Veronica carried a light but business-like walking-stick. She walked
with an easy quickness down the Avenue and through the proletarian
portion of Morningside Park, and crossing these fields came into a
pretty overhung lane that led toward Caddington and the Downs. And
then her pace slackened. She tucked her stick under her arm and re-read
"Let me think," said Ann Veronica. "I wish this hadn't turned up to-day
of all days."
She found it difficult to begin thinking, and indeed she was anything
but clear what it was she had to think about. Practically it was most
of the chief interests in life that she proposed to settle in this
pedestrian meditation. Primarily it was her own problem, and in
particular the answer she had to give to Mr. Manning's letter, but in
order to get data for that she found that she, having a logical and
Page 5 from 7: Back 1 2 3 4  6 7 Forward