“It’s no sort of good, Ann Veronica, pretending one does believe when one doesn’t....
“And as for praying for faith—this sort of monologue is about as near as any one of my sort ever gets to prayer. Aren’t I asking—asking plainly now?...
“We’ve all been mixing our ideas, and we’ve got intellectual hot coppers—every blessed one of us....
“A confusion of motives—that’s what I am!...
“There is this absurd craving for Mr. Capes—the ‘Capes crave,’ they would call it in America. Why do I want him so badly? Why do I want him, and think about him, and fail to get away from him?
“It isn’t all of me.
“The first person you love, Ann Veronica, is yourself—get hold of that! The soul you have to save is Ann Veronica’s soul....”
She knelt upon the floor of her cell and clasped her hands, and remained for a long time in silence.
“Oh, God!” she said at last, “how I wish I had been taught to pray!”
She had some idea of putting these subtle and difficult issues to the chaplain when she was warned of his advent. But she had not reckoned with the etiquette of Canongate. She got up, as she had been told to do, at his appearance, and he amazed her by sitting down, according to custom, on her stool. He still wore his hat, to show that the days of miracles and Christ being civil to sinners are over forever. She perceived that his countenance was only composed by a great effort, his features severely compressed. He was ruffled, and his ears were red, no doubt from some adjacent controversy. He classified her as he seated himself.
“Another young woman, I suppose,” he said, “who knows better than her Maker about her place in the world. Have you anything to ask me?”
Ann Veronica readjusted her mind hastily. Her back stiffened. She produced from the depths of her pride the ugly investigatory note of the modern district visitor. “Are you a special sort of clergyman,” she said, after a pause, and looking down her nose at him, “or do you go to the Universities?”
“Oh!” he said, profoundly.
He panted for a moment with unuttered replies, and then, with a scornful gesture, got up and left the cell.
So that Ann Veronica was not able to get the expert advice she certainly needed upon her spiritual state.
After a day or so she thought more steadily. She found herself in a phase of violent reaction against the suffrage movement, a phase greatly promoted by one of those unreasonable objections people of Ann Veronica’s temperament take at times—to the girl in the next cell to her own. She was a large, resilient girl, with a foolish smile, a still more foolish expression of earnestness, and a throaty contralto voice. She was noisy and hilarious and enthusiastic, and her hair was always abominably