He halted and faced her. “Look here, I think I’ll leave you here. I think I’ll go for a bit of a walk.”
Pretty hard, sometimes, not to—
At The Precincts the increasing habit of seeing the other side of things was confined, in its increasing exemplifications of how impossible he was to get on with, to the furiously exciting incidents of public affairs; but the result was the same; the result was that, just as, on opening his door on return home at night, he had that chill and rather eerie feeling of stepping into an empty house, so, on entering the office of a morning, he came to have again that sensation that it was a deserted habitation into which he was stepping; no welcome here; no welcome there. He began to look forward with a new desire for the escape and detachment of the bicycle ride; he began to approach its termination at either end with a sense of apprehension, gradually of dismay.
They were as unexpected, the conflicts of opinion, in the office as they were at home. The subject would come up, he would enter it according to his ideas and without foreseeing trouble, and suddenly he would find himself in acute opposition and giving acute offence because he was in acute opposition.
The Suffragettes! The day when Mr. Fortune received through the post letters upon which militancy had squirted its oppression and its determination in black and viscid form through the aperture of the letter box. “And you’re sticking up for them!” declared Mr. Fortune in a very great passion. “You’re deliberately sticking up for them. You—pah!—pouff!—paff! I have got the abominable stuff all over my fingers.”
Sabre displayed the “wrinkled-up nut” of his Puzzlehead boyhood. “I’m not sticking up for them. I detest their methods as much as you do. I think they’re monstrous and indefensible. All I said was that, things being as they are, you can’t help seeing that their horrible ways are bringing the vote a jolly sight nearer than it’s ever been before. Millions of people who never would have thought about woman suffrage are thinking about it now. These women are advertising it as it never could be advertised by calmly talking about it, and you can’t get anything nowadays except by shouting and smashing and abusing and advertising. I only wish you could. No one listens to reason. It’s got to be what they call a whirlwind campaign or go without. That’s not sticking up for them. It’s simply recognising a rotten state of affairs.”
“And I say to you,” returned Mr. Fortune, scrubbing furiously at his fingers with a duster, “and I say to you what I seem to be perpetually forced to say to you, that your ideas are becoming more and more repugnant to me. There’s not a solitary subject comes up between us but you adopt in it what I desire to call a stubborn and contumacious attitude towards me. Whoof!” He blew a cyclonic