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13. CHAPTER XIII (continued)
She shook her head. She really did not know what he had meant. She never felt quite certain; but now she was more than usually baffled. Was he concealing something from her? His manner had been odd; his deep absorption had impressed her; there was something in him that she had not fathomed, and the mystery of his nature laid more of a spell upon her than she liked. Moreover, she could not prevent herself from doing now what she had often blamed others of her sex for doing--from endowing her friend with a kind of heavenly fire, and passing her life before it for his sanction.
Under this process, the committee rather dwindled in importance; the Suffrage shrank; she vowed she would work harder at the Italian language; she thought she would take up the study of birds. But this program for a perfect life threatened to become so absurd that she very soon caught herself out in the evil habit, and was rehearsing her speech to the committee by the time the chestnut-colored bricks of Russell Square came in sight. Indeed, she never noticed them. She ran upstairs as usual, and was completely awakened to reality by the sight of Mrs. Seal, on the landing outside the office, inducing a very large dog to drink water out of a tumbler.
"Miss Markham has already arrived," Mrs. Seal remarked, with due solemnity, "and this is her dog."
"A very fine dog, too," said Mary, patting him on the head.
"Yes. A magnificent fellow, Mrs. Seal agreed. "A kind of St. Bernard, she tells me--so like Kit to have a St. Bernard. And you guard your mistress well, don't you, Sailor? You see that wicked men don't break into her larder when she's out at HER work--helping poor souls who have lost their way. . . . But we're late--we must begin!" and scattering the rest of the water indiscriminately over the floor, she hurried Mary into the committee-room.
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