Chapter 14 : How Lucy Faced the External Situation Bravely
0f course Miss Bartlett accepted. And, equally of course, she
felt sure that she would prove a nuisance, and begged to be given
an inferior spare room--something with no view, anything. Her
love to Lucy. And, equally of course, George Emerson could come
to tennis on the Sunday week.
Lucy faced the situation bravely, though, like most of us, she
only faced the situation that encompassed her. She never gazed
inwards. If at times strange images rose from the depths, she put
them down to nerves. When Cecil brought the Emersons to Summer
Street, it had upset her nerves. Charlotte would burnish up past
foolishness, and this might upset her nerves. She was nervous at
night. When she talked to George--they met again almost
immediately at the Rectory--his voice moved her deeply, and she
wished to remain near him. How dreadful if she really wished to
remain near him! Of course, the wish was due to nerves, which
love to play such perverse tricks upon us. Once she had suffered
from "things that came out of nothing and meant she didn't
know what." Now Cecil had explained psychology to her one wet
afternoon, and all the troubles of youth in an unknown world
could be dismissed.
It is obvious enough for the reader to conclude, "She loves young
Emerson." A reader in Lucy's place would not find it obvious.
Life is easy to chronicle, but bewildering to practice, and we
welcome "nerves" or any other shibboleth that will cloak our
personal desire. She loved Cecil; George made her nervous; will
the reader explain to her that the phrases should have been
But the external situation--she will face that bravely.
The meeting at the Rectory had passed off well enough. Standing
between Mr. Beebe and Cecil, she had made a few temperate
allusions to Italy, and George had replied. She was anxious to
show that she was not shy, and was glad that he did not seem shy
"A nice fellow," said Mr. Beebe afterwards "He will work off his
crudities in time. I rather mistrust young men who slip into life
Lucy said, "He seems in better spirits. He laughs more."