I think you will find that his story will be believed, whatever I say; and in any case, if he is going to stay on here, I shall have to go away. ‘Wait a minute, though. He was yellow and coarse of hair; flea-bitten, too; and even as he smiled at Ruth and wagged his stumpy tail, he was forced to turn savagely upon one of these disturbers who had no sense of the fitness of things. Austin, or any man of similar dimensions, would have found wholly impossible. ‘A man who is false, who steals papers, who has a plot to take another’s name, who lies to the Mother Abbess and to me, and above all this—’ her voice near to breaking ‘—one who is French. It did not cheer or fortify him with false courage and recklessness; it simply enveloped him in a mist of unreality. “Think of what Lady Palsworthy will say! Think of what”—So-and-so —“will say! What are we to tell people? “Besides, what am I to tell your father?” At first it had not been at all clear to Ann Veronica that she would refuse to return home; she had had some dream of a capitulation that should leave her an enlarged and defined freedom, but as her aunt put this aspect and that of her flight to her, as she wandered illogically and inconsistently from one urgent consideration to another, as she mingled assurances and aspects and emotions, it became clearer and clearer to the girl that there could be little or no change in the position of things if she returned. I wonder what men would say if we threw the mask aside—if we really told them what WE thought of them, really showed them what WE were.
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