I understood it now, understood a lot of things I had never understood before. And mostly I understood what a woman could mean to a man. Before, she had been a pair of eyes, and a shape, something to get excited about. Now she seemed something to lean on, and draw something from, that nothing else could give me. I thought of books I had read, about worship of the Earth, and how she was always called Mother, and none of it made much sense, but those big round breasts did, when I put my head on them, and they began to tremble, and I began to tremble.
A receptionist is a lazy dame that can’t do anything on earth, and wants to sit out front where everybody can watch her do it. She’s the one in the black silk dress, cut low in the neck and high in the legs, just inside the gate, in front of that little one-position switchboard, that she gets a right number out of now and then, mostly then. You know, the one that tells you to have a seat, Mr Doakes will see you in just a few minutes. Then she goes on showing her legs and polishing her nails. If she sleeps with Doakes she gets twenty bucks a week, if not she gets twelve. In other words, nothing personal about it and I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but by the looks of this card I’d say that was you.’‘It’s quite all right. I sleep fine.
Veda began it, but when she finished it, or whether she finished it, Mildred never quite knew. Little quivers went through her and they kept going through her the rest of the night, during the supper party, when Veda sat with the white scarf wound around her throat, during the brief half hour, while she undressed Veda, and put the costume away; in the dark, while she lay there alone, trying to sleep, not wanting to sleep.This was the climax of Mildred's life.