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happened, a new set of guides and controls, a new set of obligations and
responsibilities and limitations, had replaced the old. "I want to be
a Person," said Ann Veronica to the downs and the open sky; "I will not
have this happen to me, whatever else may happen in its place."
Ann Veronica had three things very definitely settled by the time when,
a little after mid-day, she found herself perched up on a gate between a
bridle-path and a field that commanded the whole wide stretch of country
between Chalking and Waldersham. Firstly, she did not intend to marry at
all, and particularly she did not mean to marry Mr. Manning; secondly,
by some measure or other, she meant to go on with her studies, not at
the Tredgold Schools but at the Imperial College; and, thirdly, she was,
as an immediate and decisive act, a symbol of just exactly where she
stood, a declaration of free and adult initiative, going that night to
the Fadden Ball.
But the possible attitude of her father she had still to face. So far
she had the utmost difficulty in getting on to that vitally important
matter. The whole of that relationship persisted in remaining obscure.
What would happen when next morning she returned to Morningside Park?
He couldn't turn her out of doors. But what he could do or might do she
could not imagine. She was not afraid of violence, but she was afraid of
something mean, some secondary kind of force. Suppose he stopped all her
allowance, made it imperative that she should either stay ineffectually
resentful at home or earn a living for herself at once.... It
appeared highly probable to her that he would stop her allowance.
What can a girl do?
Somewhere at this point Ann Veronica's speculations were interrupted
and turned aside by the approach of a horse and rider. Mr. Ramage, that
iron-gray man of the world, appeared dressed in a bowler hat and a suit
of hard gray, astride of a black horse. He pulled rein at the sight of
her, saluted, and regarded her with his rather too protuberant eyes. The
girl's gaze met his in interested inquiry.
"You've got my view," he said, after a pensive second. "I always get off
here and lean over that rail for a bit. May I do so to-day?"
"It's your gate," she said, amiably; "you got it first. It's for you to
say if I may sit on it."
He slipped off the horse. "Let me introduce you to Caesar," he said;
and she patted Caesar's neck, and remarked how soft his nose was, and
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