The Beast in the Jungle

“Afraid?” He thought, as she repeated the word, that his question had made her, a little, change colour; so that, lest he should have touched on a truth, he explained very kindly, “You remember that that was what you asked me long ago-that first day at Weatherend.”

“Oh yes, and you told me you didn’t know-that I was to see for myself. We’ve said little about it since, even in so long a time.”

“Precisely,” Marcher interposed-“quite as if it were too delicate a matter for us to make free with. Quite as if we might find, on pressure, that I am afraid. For then,” he said, “we shouldn’t, should we? quite know what to do.”

Henry James, “The Beast in the Jungle”, in Major Stories and Essays (First Library of America College Edition, Fall 1999), 463

 

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