Touch her with his hand

Nobody Knows pp.27. “The young man began to laugh nervously. ‘It’s warm,’ he said. He wanted to touch her with his hand. ‘I’m not very bold,’ he thought. Just to touch the folds of the soiled gingham dress would, he decided, be an exquisite pleasure. She began to quibble. ‘You think you’re better than I am. Don’t tell me, I guess I know,’ she said drawing closer to him.

A flood of words burst from George Willard. He remembered the look that had lurked in the girl’s eyes when they had met on the streets and thought of the note she had written. Doubt left him. The whispered tales concerning her that had gone about town gave him confidence. He became wholly the male, bold and aggressive. In his heart there was no sympathy for her. ‘Ah, come on, it’ll be all right. There won’t be anyone know anything. How can they know?’ he urged.”

*

“Doubt left him.” We’ve seen Parcival’s fright become doubt; and Wing (who eased young men’s doubts, and let them dream) be beset by doubts; and now we see George lose doubt and gain confidence.

The soiled gingham dress, which it would be an exquisite pleasure to touch, like the rough hands he finds delightfully small, desire having blinded him to such flaws?

“You think you’re better than I am” This somewhat recalls Dr. Parcival of the previous chapter enjoining Willard to be a “superior being.”


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