"Thanks! We'll put it that way. Am I to understand that she didn't say that word?"
"Certainly not," said Lalage. "She couldn't if she tried. I should--I really think I should quite like her if she did."
I felt that this was as far as I was at all likely to get in bringing Lalage to a better frame of mind. Her attitude toward her governess was very far indeed from that enjoined in the Church Catechism, but I lacked the courage to tell her so. Nor do I think I should have effected much even if I had been as brave in rebuke as an archdeacon or a bishop. Besides, I felt that I had accomplished something. Lalage had committed herself to an approval of a hypothetical Miss Battersby. If a governess could be found in the world who would stamp about the floor and shriek that word, or if Miss Battersby would learn the habit of violent profanity, Lalage would quite like her. It was a definite concession. I had a mental vision of the changed Miss Battersby, a lady freckled from head to foot, m
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