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Most Women Are Dull and Stupid

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I cannot account for the sudden, dire change in her today,

Upon picking up the letter, not even reading it. <And her aunt

Is a vulgar, cruel, poison toadstool of a woman.> I had her man

Drive us back to Lightcliffe, sent Eugenie with the sad news

And had her collect my night things and bring them back.


But I know, whatever it is, it's very bad. When an Englishwoman

Refuses a cup of tea, well, it's. That's. It simply doesn't. I take

My own cup, try to collect my thoughts. I ask, "Do you want

To talk about Mrs. Ainsworth?" Through her still drizzling tears

She says, "She was... kind." "You must have been very close."


"Why do you say that?" "Because you're so upset." "No!

Not close like we are, if that's what you're thinking." Something

Is there I can't decipher, so I sit back in my chair, sip tea, wait.

Finally, she says, "It's death. Anything to do with death terrifies

Me..." And yes, thought I, but I remembered the Ann of ten years


Ago, both of whose parents had passed in such a short time,

Yet the girl had run down the Lightcliffe road, run after me,

Calling me and inviting me to tea. This feels... different. People

Suffer differently, but external pain presents with less power

Than internal torment, and that is what it looks like to me.