Chapter 13: How Miss Bartlett's Boiler Was So Tiresome
"No, I don't think so, mother; Cecil's all right."
"Perhaps he's tired."
Lucy compromised: perhaps Cecil was a little tired.
"Because otherwise"--she pulled out her bonnet-pins with gathering
displeasure--"because otherwise I cannot account for him."
"I do think Mrs. Butterworth is rather tiresome, if you mean
"Cecil has told you to think so. You were devoted to her as a
little girl, and nothing will describe her goodness to you
through the typhoid fever. No--it is just the same thing
"Let me just put your bonnet away, may I?"
"Surely he could answer her civilly for one half-hour?"
"Cecil has a very high standard for people," faltered Lucy,
seeing trouble ahead. "It's part of his ideals--it is really that
that makes him sometimes seem--"
"Oh, rubbish! If high ideals make a young man rude, the sooner he
gets rid of them the better," said Mrs. Honeychurch, handing her
"Now, mother! I've seen you cross with Mrs. Butterworth yourself!"
"Not in that way. At times I could wring her neck. But not in
that way. No. It is the same with Cecil all over."
"By-the-by--I never told you. I had a letter from Charlotte while
I was away in London."
This attempt to divert the conversation was too puerile, and Mrs.
Honeychurch resented it.
"Since Cecil came back from London, nothing appears to please
him. Whenever I speak he winces;--I see him, Lucy; it is useless
to contradict me. No doubt I am neither artistic nor literary nor
intellectual nor musical, but I cannot help the drawing-room
furniture; your father bought it and we must put up with it, will
Cecil kindly remember."