e wished to deprecate a pledge, and s

Guardipee Seay sunshine at orchidasia.com
Thu Aug 20 17:04:41 UTC 2009

E her shy, now, a bit--whether he took a great interest in the
improvement of the position of women. The question appeared to strike
the young man as abrupt and irrelevant, to come down on him from a
height with which he was not accustomed to hold intercourse. He was used
to quick operations, however, and he had only a moment of bright
blankness before replying: "Oh, there is nothing I wouldn't do for the
ladies; just give me a chance and you'll see." Olive was silent a
moment. "What I mean is--is your sympathy a sympathy with our sex, or a
particular interest in Miss Tarrant?" "Well, sympathy is just
sympathy--that's all I can say. It takes in Miss Verena and it takes in
all others--except the lady-correspondents," the young man added, with a
jocosity which, as he perceived even at the moment, was lost on Verena's
friend. He was not more successful when he went on: "It takes in even
you, Miss Chancellor!" Olive rose to her feet, hesitating; she wanted to
go away, and yet she couldn't bear to leave Verena to be exploited, as
she felt that she would be after her departure, that indeed she had
already been, by those offensive young men. She had a strange sense,
too, that her friend had neglected her for the last half-hour, had not
been occupied with her, had placed a barrier between them--a barrier of
broad male backs, of laughter that verged upon coarseness, of glancing
smiles directed across the room, directed to Olive, which seemed rather
to disconnect her with what was going forward on that side than to
invite her to take part in it. If Verena recognised that Miss Chancellor
was not in report, as her father said, when jocose young men ruled the
scene, the discovery implied no great penetration; but the poor girl
might have reflected further that to see it taken for granted that she
was unadapted for such company could scarcely be more agreeable to Olive
than to be dragged into it. This young lady's worst apprehensions were
now justified by Mrs. Tarrant's crying to her that she must not go, as
Mr. Burrage and Mr. Gracie were trying to p
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