At this point she had perceived that she was drifting from her subject.
“I must read him when I come out. But I see very clearly that as things are a daughter is necessarily dependent on her father and bound while she is in that position to live harmoniously with his ideals.”
“Bit starchy,” said Ann Veronica, and altered the key abruptly. Her concluding paragraph was, on the whole, perhaps, hardly starchy enough.
“Really, daddy, I am sorry for all I have done to put you out. May I come home and try to be a better daughter to you?
Her aunt came to meet her outside Canongate, and, being a little confused between what was official and what was merely a rebellious slight upon our national justice, found herself involved in a triumphal procession to the Vindicator Vegetarian Restaurant, and was specifically and personally cheered by a small, shabby crowd outside that rendezvous. They decided quite audibly, “She’s an Old Dear, anyhow. Voting wouldn’t do no ’arm to ’er.” She was on the very verge of a vegetarian meal before she recovered her head again. Obeying some fine instinct, she had come to the prison in a dark veil, but she had pushed this up to kiss Ann Veronica and never drawn it down again. Eggs were procured for her, and she sat out the subsequent emotions and eloquence with the dignity becoming an injured lady of good family. The quiet encounter and home-coming Ann Veronica and she had contemplated was entirely disorganized by this misadventure; there were no adequate explanations, and after they had settled things at Ann Veronica’s lodgings, they reached home in the early afternoon estranged and depressed, with headaches and the trumpet voice of the indomitable Kitty Brett still ringing in their ears.
“Dreadful women, my dear!” said Miss Stanley. “And some of them quite pretty and well dressed. No need to do such things. We must never let your father know we went. Why ever did you let me get into that wagonette?”
“I thought we had to,” said Ann Veronica, who had also been a little under the compulsion of the marshals of the occasion. “It was very tiring.”
“We will have some tea in the drawing-room as soon as ever we can—and I will take my things off. I don’t think I shall ever care for this bonnet again. We’ll have some buttered toast. Your poor cheeks are quite sunken and hollow....”
When Ann Veronica found herself in her father’s study that evening it seemed to her for a moment as though all the events of the past six months had been a dream. The big gray spaces of London, the shop-lit, greasy, shining streets, had become very remote; the biological laboratory with its work and emotions, the meetings and discussions, the rides in hansoms with Ramage, were like things in a book read and closed.