ing her partner鈥檚 side and going boldly to the sofa corner. 鈥淩agbags, bundles of pretence,鈥?she thought, as she confronted the women. They glanced up with cunning eyes. They looked small and cringing. She rushed on, sweeping them aside…. Who
had made them so small and cheated, and for all their smiles so angry? What was it they wanted? What was it women wanted that always 鏉窞妗戞嬁鎸夋懇濂藉幓澶?made
them so angry?
鈥淲ould you mind if I smoked?鈥?she asked in a clear gay tone, cutting herself from Mrs. Corrie with a wrench as she faced her glittering frightened eyes.
鈥淥f course not, my dear lady鈥擨 don鈥檛 mind, if you don鈥檛,鈥?she said, tweaking affectionately at Miriam鈥檚 skirt. 鈥淎in鈥檛 she a gay dog, M茅lie, ain鈥檛 she a gay dog!鈥?
鈥淚t鈥檚 a pleasure to see you smoke,鈥?murmured Mr. Corrie 鏉窞419鍚屽煄 fervently, 鈥測ou鈥檙e the first woman I鈥檝e seen smoke con 鏉窞妗戞嬁鐧捐姳鍧?amore.鈥?
Contemplating the little screwed-up appreciative smile on the features of her partner, bunched to the lighting of his own cigarette, Miriam discharged a double stream of smoke violently through her nostrils鈥攂reaking out at last a public defiance of the freemasonry of women. 鈥淚 suppose I鈥檓 a new woman鈥擨鈥檝e said I am now, anyhow,鈥?she reflected, wondering in the background of
her 鏉窞榫欏嚖璁哄潧vip determination how she would
reconcile the r?le with her work as a children鈥檚 governess. 鈥淚鈥檓 not in their crowd, anyhow; I despise their silly secret,鈥?she pursued, feeling out ahead towards some lonely solution of her difficulty that seemed to come shapelessly towards her, but surely鈥攖he happy weariness of conquest gave her a sense of some unknown strength in her.
For the rest of the evening the group 鏉窞妗戞嬁涓€鏉￠緳鏈嶅姟 in the sofa-corner presented her a frontage 鏉窞419 of fawning and flattery.
Coming down with the children to lunch the next day, Miriam found the room dark and chill in the bright midday. It was as if it were empty. But if it had been empty it would have been beautiful in the still light and tranquil. There was a dark cruel tide in the room, she sought in vain for a foothold. A loud busy voice was talking from Mr. Corrie鈥檚 place at the head of 鏉窞妗戞嬁鎸夋懇鍝噷濂?the table. Mr. Staple-Craven, busy with cold words to 鏉窞涓濊浼氭墍骞插槢鐨?hide the truth. He paused as the nursery trio came in and settled at the table and then shouted softly and suddenly at Mrs. Corrie, 鈥淲hat鈥檚 Corrie having?鈥?
鈥淏iscuits,鈥?chirped Mrs. Corrie eagerly, 鈥渂iscuits
and sally in the study.鈥?She sat forward, gathering herself to disperse the gloom. But Mrs. Craven鈥檚 deep voice drowned her unspoken gaieties ..鏈夎皝鐭ラ亾鏉窞鐨勭偖缇?. ah鈥攈e鈥檚 not gone away, thought Miriam 鏉窞娲楁荡涓績鍏ㄥ浠锋牸 rapidly, he鈥檚 in the house….
鈥淏est thing for biliousness,鈥?gonged Mrs. Craven, and Mr. Craven busily resumed.
鈥淚t鈥檚 only the fisherman who knows anything, anything whatever about the silver stream. Necessarily. Necessarily. It is the鈥攖he concentration, the鈥攖he absorption of the passion that enables him to see. Er, the fisherman, the poet-tantamount; exchangeable terms. Fishing is, indeed one 鏉窞鎸夋懇濂藉幓澶?might say鈥斺€斺€?
The men of the party were devouring their 鏉窞鏈夊摢浜涢珮妗ｆ按鐤椾紤闂蹭細鎵€food with the