'Ah, but I'm boring you with these old stories,' said her uncle, wagging his head. He was hurt, she felt.
‘No, no, no!’ she said, feeling uncomfortable. He was off again but out of good manners this time, she felt. Pain must outbalance pleasure by two parts to one, she thought; in all social relations. Or am I the exception, the peculiar person? she continued, for the others seemed happy enough. Yes, she thought, looking straight ahead of her, and feeling again the stretched skin round her lips and eyes tight from the tiredness of sitting up late with a woman in childbirth, I’m the exception; hard, cold, in a groove already, merely a doctor.
Getting out of grooves is damned unpleasant, she thought, before the chill of death has set in, like bending frozen boots … She bent her head to listen. To smile, to bend, to make believe you’re amused when you’re bored, how painful it is, she thought. All ways, every way’s painful, she thought; staring at the Indian in the pink turban.