"Three great truths came home to me during this stretch of my life, all hard to describe and equally important. Emma and I were sitting under the chestnut trees, making conversation in the way both children and adults do. She asked me about my parents. I said my father was dead; I didn't ever remember seeing him. What about my mother? I thought for a moment and then I said in a sentimental voice: "She went away and left me. . . She died, too." Emma was impressed and sympathetic and I loathed myself. It was the first time I had lied deliberately and consciously, and the first time I was aware of falsity and the great power of sentimentality -- although I didn't know the word. My mother was not dead. She was in a sanatorium, in another prolonged 'nervous breakdown.' I didn't know then, and still don't, whether it was from shame I lied or from a hideous craving for sympathy, playing up my sad romantic plight. But the feeling of self-distaste, whatever it came from, was only too real. I jumped up, to get away from my monstrous self that I could not keep from lying."