3968. The gift of just the book seemed to her to be an insufficient gift, so she ended up buying an inexpensive copper cross. The cross, by it cheapness, was apparently supposed to satisfy her desire to be iconoclastic. It was like a drunk having just a little drink, instead of an entire bottle.
3969. Harriet hated both presents. She did not hate the presents a little bit, but she was irritated and annoyed in the extreme that her sister had started to push her strange ideas onto her. Here she was, at the moment when she had to say thank you to her sister about her gifts, and she was hardly able to speak. Here aggravation was expressed by her silence.
3970. Harriet resorted to talking in generalities about the difference between various crosses, and the number of explanations of the New Testament in print. She was unable to bring herself to thank her sister for her gifts. She knew that the instant she acted pleased it would be an invitation for her sister to launch into a lecture.