Then he shut up. It’s no go, North thought. He can’t say what he wants to say; he’s afraid. They’re all afraid; afraid of being laughed at; afraid of giving themselves away. He’s afraid too, he thought, looking at the young man with a fine forehead and a weak chin who was gesticulating too emphatically. We’re all afraid of each other, he thought; afraid of what? Of criticism; of laughter; of people who think differently … He’s afraid of me because I’m a farmer (and he saw again his round face; high cheek-bones and small brown eyes). And I’m afraid of him because he’s clever. He looked at the big forehead, from which the hair was already receding. That’s what separates us; fear, he thought.
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