‘How I wish I had held my tongue,’ thought Sophie. She looked anxiously at Stephen as he sat there, bent and staring into the red cavern under the log. ‘Poor dear thing,’ she thought, ‘how very much he is in need of darning — how very much he needs someone to look after him. He really is not fit to wander about the world along; it is so hard to unworldly people. How could she have been so cruel? It was like hitting a child. A child. How little learning does for a man — he knows almost nothing: he had but to say “Pray be so good as to marry me” last summer and she would have cried “Oh yes, if you please”. I told him so. Not that she would ever have made him happy, the . . .’ Bitch was the word that struggled to make itself heard; but it struggled in vain.
HMS Surprise – Patrick O’Brian