There once a coquette who had a suitor whom she couldn’t get rid of. He took her promises and avowals seriously, and would not leave. He even believed her hints. This annoyed her, because it got in the way of new temporary acquaintances, their presents, flattery, flowers, dinners and so forth.

Finally Yvonne insulted and lied to her suitor Bertrand, and gave him literally nothing-which was a minus compared to the nothing she was giving her other men friends. Still Bertrand would not cease his attentions, because he considered her behaviour normal and feminine, an excess of modesty. She even gave him a lecture, and for once in her life she told the truth. Unaccustomed as he was to the truth, expecting falsehood from a pretty woman, he took her words as turn-abouts, an continue to dance attendance.

Yvonne attempted to poison him by means of arsenic in cups of chocolate at her house, but he recovered and thought this a greater and more charming proof of her fear of losing her virginity with him, though she had already lost her virginity at the age of ten(…)

Patricia Highsmith, Little Tales of Misogyny.

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