At the sight of the young woman, the Savage started, recoiled, turned pale.
It is worthy of note that, in spite of his m–––’s senility and the extreme repulsiveness of her appearance, the Savage frequently goes to see her and appears to be much attached to her–an interesting example of the way in which early conditioning can be made to modify and even run counter to natural impulses (in this case, the impulse to recoil from an unpleasant object).
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a low-recoil rifle
Most Americans recoil at the thought of government using torture.