By James Gould Cozzens

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George Bull didn't resent the attitude, copied from her mother, for he guessed that Virginia was a longer thorn than he was when it came to pricking Mrs. Banning. "Got a bit of old Paul in her," he decided, remembering Mr. Banning's father. He liked her frail, still adolescent face; the cheeks a little hollowed; her sulky small mouth. Virginia Banning's blue eyes had a defiant gleam, as though she would like to tell everyone to go to hell. he could picture her best walking down to the post office, the wind tightening her skirt around a frank, limber stride; a short, fur-collared leather jacket buttoned across her practically breastless chest.

New Haven operator," remarked a new voice, remote, intensely articulate. " That was Torrington, May knew; and at once it turned back on her. "New Winton! " When she had obtained it from Mr. Snyder, she twitched the key for Torrington's attention. "This is the New Haven operator," protested the far-away voice. "I am holding this line for Torrington. " "My call, New Haven," May said. " The far-away voice sharpened officiously. "Kindly route through Danbury, New Winton. " "New York City," said a disinterested, new voice.

It was perfectly light still, a sunless, lucid light with no direct source. The sky was a hard northern blue; sun itself shone a bright, sad orange on the rest of the Cobble. Increasing cold could be guessed from an elusive, fragile clarity of air in the valley shadows. By contrast, the heat about her permeated May; it seemed to sink to her bones, pleasurably, the way cold painfully does. She hoped it would stay there, that she could absorb it and carry it home and keep it in the cold of the kitchen.

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