I, who looked upon begging as a delightful whimsicality, thumbed myself over into a true son of Mrs. Grundy, burdened with all her bourgeois morality. Only the harsh pangs of the belly-need could compel me to do so degraded and ignoble a thing as beg for food. And into my face I strove to throw all the wan wistfulness of famished and ingenuous youth unused to mendicancy.
"You are hungry, my poor boy," she said.
I had made her speak first.
I nodded my head and gulped.
"It is the first time I have ever ... asked," I faltered.