>it would be no great difficulty. He had long ago washed his hands of the entire business of Miss Piles and her sting, long ago let slip the face and the eyes and the golden neck and the charming bow legs and the curves of the arms of Miss Piles, who had accosted him so unpleasantly, and there were merely a few scraps of that feeling left, a few scraps, which could with a little effort be swept out. And what better place for such a sundering, he thought, than here on the island where there were finally no women, literally zero women among the population? For all they had ever tried to do was to mock him, he said to himself, to meticulously take him to pieces, and to acquaint him in various ways with his own ill-adaptedness. To weaken him, in order to justify their own weakness. It was time for him at last to put this aside, to let it go, and to welcome into his soul an entirely new feeling—the cold, firm, strong, slightly-unhinged feeling of being a soldier. They had merely to give him the chance to do it. He was ready. They had merely to give him the chance.