I REMEMBER laughing at the phrase, "accept the situation," which she seemed to repeat with a gravity too intense. I said to her something like:
"It's hardly as much as that. I mean, that I must claim the liberty of a free American citizen to think what I please about your co-religionists. And I suppose that Florence must have liberty to think what she pleases and to say what politeness allows her to say."
"She had better," Leonora answered, "not say one single word against my people or my faith."
It struck me, at the time, that there was an unusual, an almost threatening, hardness in her voice. It was almost as if she were trying to convey to Florence, through me, that she would seriously harm my wife if Florence went to something that was an extreme. Yes, I remember thinking at the time that it was almost as if Leonora were saying, through me, to Florence:
"You may outrage me as you will; you may take all that I personally possess, but do not you dare to say one single thing in view of the situation that that will set up--against the faith that makes me become the doormat for your feet."
But obviously, as I saw it, that could not be her meaning. Good people, be they ever so diverse in