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Most Women Are Dull and Stupid

Chapter Text

When her servant passed on the fruit basket, and

Nestled in it a note, I felt weak, but took it up

To my library. Was the fruit her way of softening

The blow? "Oh, Adam, we're getting tossed out

Of Eden, but hey ho! Here's an apple!" <And one

Small part of me is listening now, to later record

How I shook off my irrational dread and boldly

Tore open the letter.> Both eager and terrified,


I read: "My love, I find it impossible to make up

My own mind. I promised you an answer, and

I'm at your mercy. I have written the words

'Yes' and 'No' on slips of paper, and put them in

A purse. If you still think it better to decide today,

The paper you draw out first must be the answer.

Whatever the event, I shall always remain

Your faithful and affectionate Ann Walker."


I drew out 'No' then 'Yes' hardly believing

That she would choose such a-- That she would

Think I would-- That--

                                    I balled up the letter and

Set off for Crow Nest, got there in twenty-five

Minutes. The moment she entered her sitting room,

I started yelling quietly. "What am I supposed to do

With this? Do you think I want my future happiness

Decided by fate, by which bit of paper comes out


First? Like a raffle ticket?" "No..." "I'm taking it

As a no," I snapped, tossing the purse aside.

"It... isn't a no..." she whispered. "Well, it isn't

A yes! Will you accept him?" "I don't want to,

But..." "But? What!" "If I did, it would be out of

Duty." "Duty to who? Mrs. Ainsworth?" And that,

With her abject tears, her sobbing out of control,

Is how the wretched thing came tumbling out.