"Women And Elephants Never Forget An Injury"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: The story, "Reginald on Besetting Sins," is part of Munro's sketches, Reginald. In this particular story he tells of a lady who becomes addicted to telling the truth, a habit which, according to Munro, is contrary to the nature of women. At first she tells only small truths, but later her habit becomes such that she will tell her age not only in years, but also in months. On one occasion she tells Miriam Klopstock exactly how the latter looked at a ball. Her friends, of course, attempt to dissuade her from this dangerous habit. She goes to her dressmaker and, while she is being fitted, dares to reproach Madame Draga for the fitting. When she leaves, she realizes that Madame Draga's temper will be reflected in the bill. Her ultimate downfall, however, occurs when she has the audacity to tell the cook she drinks.

. . . On a raw Wednesday morning, in a few ill-chosen words, she told the cook that she drank. She remembered the scene afterwards as vividly as though it had been painted in her mind by Abbey. The cook was a good cook, as cooks go; and as cooks go she went.
Miriam Klopstock came to lunch the next day. Women and elephants never forget an injury.