Interested in Language
Can anybody tell me what retort means in the text below?
All the same, there she was. In bronze. Permanent. What could be more so? And Science. . . . To Miss Snell, who could not have been relied upon to distinguish a mole from a molecule or a dish-pan from a diatom, this linking of her up with Science was peculiarly refreshing. A pair of scales and, tucked under the left arm as emblem of abstruse preoccupations, a further piece of apparatus that Fanshawe said was a ‘retort’. . . .
Delightful . . .! And, beyond that, mysterious. Her personality had been extended in ‘hard’ measurable space. There were two of her instead of one. A relationship existed, between her and her counterpart, that she could never quite define. It was as if, out there upon the viaduct, this second self were something into which she might at any moment be projected; as if she were already in a manner joined or fused with it. About her pride
and rather childish glee hovered, occasionally, another, satellite emotion that was dimly baleful or unhappy, an emotion of—yes, just queerness. Now and then it was puzzling, almost worrying.
Not There, John Metcalfe, 194?
Thank you very much.
Not a Teacher