AT the end of August, when all this happened, Zьrich was as gay as this sullen city can be. The clear, glacier water of the lake was bright with sailing-boats and water skiers, the public beaches were thronged with golden bathers, and the glum Bahnhofplatz, and the Bahnhofstrasse that is the pride of the town, clattered with ruck-sacked Jugend who had business with the mountains. The healthy, well-ordered carnival atmosphere rasped on my raw nerves and filled my sick heart with mixed anguish. This was the Kurt's-eye view of life-Naturfreude, the simple existence of simple animals. He and I had shared such a life, and on the surface it had been good. But blond hair and clear eyes and sunburn are no thicker than the paint on a woman's face. They are just another kind of gloss. A trite reflection, of course, but I had now been let down both by the worldliness of Derek and by the homespun of Kurt, and I was prepared to lose confidence in every man. It wasn't that I had expected Kurt to marry me, or Derek. I had just expected them to be kind and to behave like that idiotic word "gentlemen"-to be gentle with me, as I, I thought, had been gentle with them. That, of course, had been the trouble. I had been too gentle, too accommodating. I had had the desire to please (and to take pleasure, but that had been secondary), and that had marked me as easy meat, expendable. Well, that was the end of that! From now on I would take and not give. The world had shown me its teeth. I would show mine. I had been wet behind the ears. Now I was dry. I stuck my chin out like a good little Canadian (well, a fairly good little Canadian!), and, having learned to take it, decided for a change to dish it out.
'When I was very young,' said Annie, 'quite a little child, my first associations with knowledge of any kind were inseparable from a patient friend and teacher - the friend of my dead father - who was always dear to me. I can remember nothing that I know, without remembering him. He stored my mind with its first treasures, and stamped his character upon them all. They never could have been, I think, as good as they have been to me, if I had taken them from any other hands.'
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