And yet you might glean that she is a confident person, which is an entirely false assumption, and anyone who knew her personally would know this right away without it even processing through the brain. Auriolwas not a confident person. Having always been a shy person, she lost her confidence aged ten when she…I cannot say. It is sufficient, I think, to say that she lost her confidence, and built it up over the next four years by slow perseverance, helped by the friends who agreed with her when she disapproved of those teenage temptations that so overpowered those who she thought were her friends. The bond of friendship held out between these three girls, and remains to this day.
Back to the confidence of this Auriol-girl, at fourteen she fought it ebbing away for a second time, and a different reason, and tried not to let that reason affect her behaviour and self-consciousness. Consequently, she was even more confident than she had been previously ever before.
She fought for presence of mind at all times, and though she was not a person who does anything on the spur of the moment, apart from put her hand up in French lessons, gradually she did not say stupid or unnecessary things, and her amused passivity was a special part of her.
She was a runner, who runs up and down the playing field in blazing hot weather or torrential rain and wind, following the ball when she is parched and wobbling with exhaustion, just for the sake of running, and enjoying it.
She takes pain and shock and sorrow in her stride, pondering with emotion candid but not self-absorbed.
She remembers what she wants to remember, and forgets what she wants to forget, and forgets also what she wants to remember. But she feels that if people are afflicted with curiosity regarding herself, they should find their answers for themselves, if they be sharp and interested enough with a sufficient attention span. If not, they are unworthy of the knowledge in any case.
She makes a fool of herself, and does not go red, partly because her skin does not go red, and partly because she knows that making a fool of herself is part of her nature and she has decided long ago not to be ashamed of it. So long as she does not make a fool of herself intentionally, that is okay. It is okay to be a fool, if herself a fool should be, and she figures that it is better everyone should know that she is a fool rather than she should bury it with her real self and act a part she does not believe in.
Her beliefs are close to her heart, and although she will alter some, and is willing to be debated with, as long as it is worth bothering about, she will always take what she feels is right, and condemn what she feels is immoral, and discard what she no longer feels for at all.
No person who gives her an order will see her obey it. It is done, if it is a just order, but it is never done to give satisfaction to the person who deals it. And it is always done when the person’s back is turned. This is a natural consequence of extreme obstinacy. Nags and reproaches have the opposite effect on Auriol, and she becomes a boulder in the face of a powerless authority.