Page:The Voyage Out.djvu/235

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233
THE VOYAGE OUT

did not stop until she had slammed her bedroom door behind them.

"Well, what did you think of it?" she demanded, panting slightly.

All the disgust and horror which Rachel had been accumulating burst forth beyond her control.

"I thought it the most loathsome exhibition I'd ever seen!" she broke out. "How can they—how dare they—what do they mean by it—Mr. Bax, hospital nurses, old men, prostitutes, disgusting——"

She hit off the points she remembered as fast as she could, but she was too indignant to stop to analyse her feelings. Mrs. Flushing watched her with keen gusto as she stood ejaculating with emphatic movements of her head and hands in the middle of the room.

"Go on, go on, do go on," she laughed, clapping her hands. "It's delightful to hear you!"

"But why do you go?" Rachel demanded.

"I've been every Sunday of my life ever since I can remember," Mrs. Flushing chuckled, as though that were a reason by itself.

Rachel turned abruptly to the window. She did not know now what it was that had put her into such a passion; the sight of Terence in the hall had confused her thoughts, leaving her merely indignant. She looked straight at their own villa, halfway up the side of the mountain. The most familiar view seen framed through glass has a certain unfamiliar distinction, and she grew calm as she gazed. Then she remembered that she was in the presence of some one she did not know well, and she turned and looked at Mrs. Flushing. Mrs. Flushing was still sitting on the edge of the bed, looking up, with her lips parted, so that her strong white teeth showed in two rows.

"Tell me," she said, "which d'you like best, Mr. Hewet or Mr. Hirst?"

"Mr. Hewet," Rachel replied, but her voice did not sound natural.

"Which is the one who reads Greek in church?" Mrs. Flushing demanded.

It might have been either of them, and while Mrs. Flushing