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The Heart's Country

Mary Heaton Vorse

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I make-believe to myself that he walked all over town after me and got in my way and annoyed me until I said, ‘I will be very glad, Arthur, if you would cease these undesired attentions.’ How could he cease anything he had never begun, for it wasn’t at all like that it happened. I should feel so much happier if I only could have hurt him, too.”

This experience, so phantasmal and yet so poignant, led to the Zinias’ premature death. Conscience invaded Ellen now that disillusion had done its blighting work. There came a day when she could no longer keep to herself her deviation from the precise morals demanded by the Zinias.

It was after a walk toward evening up the mountain, full of pregnant silences, that she confessed:—

“You would despise me, if you really knew [Pg 41] me. I’m not the kind of a girl we are trying to be.”