'However you regard me, you will do what I think fit. I shall not argue with you. If I choose to take lodgings in Whitechapel, there you will come and live.'
He met Amy's full look, and was conscious of that in it which corresponded to his own brutality. She had become suddenly a much older woman; her cheeks were tight drawn into thinness, her lips were bloodlessly hard, there was an unknown furrow along her forehead, and she glared like the animal that defends itself with tooth and claw.
Could Amy's voice sound like that? Great Heaven! With just such accent he had heard a wrangling woman retort upon her husband at the street corner. Is there then no essential difference between a woman of this world and one of that? Does the same nature lie beneath such unlike surfaces?
He had but to do one thing: to seize her by the arm, drag her up from the chair, dash her back again with all his force--there, the transformation would be complete, they would stand towards each other on the natural footing. With an added curse perhaps-- Instead of that, he choked, struggled for breath, and shed tears.
Amy turned scornfully away from him. Blows and a curse would have overawed her, at all events for the moment; she would have felt: 'Yes, he is a man, and I have put my destiny into his hands.' His tears moved her to a feeling cruelly exultant; they were the sign of her superiority. It was she who should have wept, and never in her life had she been further from such display of weakness.
This could not be the end, however, and she had no wish to terminate the scene. They stood for a minute without regarding each other, then Reardon faced to her.
'You refuse to live with me, then?'
'Yes, if this is the kind of life you offer me.'
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