I am convinced pompier expresses her in some subtle way—absurd word! I look back at her, I criticise her, I anathematise her, I hate her!
What is she hurrying for? We can't escape her—always we stop and let her overtake us with her elbowing gait, and tight skirt shortened to show her great splay feet—ugh!
My brain is void, all is dark within; the flowers are faded, the music stilled; the lovely illusive little being has flown, and yet she pounds along untiringly.
Is she a feminine presentment of the wandering Jew, a living embodiment of the ghoul-like spirit that haunts the city and murders fancy?
What business had she, I ask, to come and thrust her white-handled umbrella into the delicate net work of my nerves and untune their harmony?
Does she realise what she has done? She has trampled a rare little mind-being unto death, destroyed a precious literary gem. Aye, one that, for aught I know, might have worked a revolution in modern thought; added a new human document to the archives of man; been the keystone to psychic investigations; solved problems that lurk in the depths of our natures and tantalise us with elusive gleams of truth; heralded in, perchance, the new era; when such simple problems as Home Rule, Bimetallism, or the Woman Question will be mere themes for schoolboard compositions—who can tell?
Well, it was not my fault. No one regrets it more,—no one—but what could I do?
Blame her, woman of the great feet and dominating gait, and waving umbrella-handle!—blame her! I can only regret it—regret it!