A MODERN LOVE STORY
By H. G. Wells
CONTENTSCHAP. I. Ann Veronica talks to her father II. Ann Veronica Gathers points of view III. The morning of the crisis IV. The crisis V. The flight to London VI. EXPOSTULATIONS VII. Ideals and A reality VIII. Biology IX. Discords X. The suffragettes XI. Thoughts in prison XII. Ann Veronica puts things in order XIII. The sapphire ring XIV. The collapse of the penitent XV. The last days at home XVI. In the mountains XVII. In perspective
“The art of ignoring
is one of the accomplishments of every
well-bred girl, so carefully instilled that at last she can even
ignore her own thoughts and her own knowledge.”
CHAPTER THE FIRST
ANN VERONICA TALKS TO HER FATHER
One Wednesday afternoon in late September, Ann Veronica Stanley came down from London in a state of solemn excitement and quite resolved to have things out with her father that very evening. She had trembled on the verge of such a resolution before, but this time quite definitely she made it. A crisis had been reached, and she was almost glad it had been reached. She made up her mind in the train home that it should be a decisive crisis. It is for that reason that this novel begins with her there, and neither earlier nor later, for it is the history of this crisis and its consequences that this novel has to tell.
She had a compartment to herself in the train from London to Morningside Park, and she sat with both her feet on the seat in an attitude that would certainly have distressed her mother to see, and horrified her grandmother beyond measure; she sat with her knees up to her chin and her hands clasped before them, and she was so lost in thought that she discovered with a start, from a lettered lamp, that she was at Morningside Park, and thought she was moving out of the station, whereas she was only moving in. “Lord!” she said. She jumped up at once, caught up a leather clutch containing notebooks, a fat text-book, and a chocolate-and-yellow-covered pamphlet, and leaped neatly from the carriage, only to discover that the train was slowing down and that she had to traverse the full length of the platform past it again as the result of her precipitation. “Sold again,” she remarked. “Idiot!” She raged inwardly while she walked along with that air of self-contained serenity that is proper to a young lady of nearly two-and-twenty under the eye of the world.