for all they took in

TomPullings

Senior Member
Georgian
At last Demelza got within speaking distance of her friends, but they were separated from her by a handcart and a group of women sitting on the handcart, and she did not see how she could get nearer. Neither Andrew nor Verity saw her, for their gaze was towards the parley at the doors of the warehouse, although it might never have been happening for all they took in.

Good day, this is from Winston Graham, Demelza.
I dont get here the last sentence, can someone explain me it.
Thanks a lot for your help.
 
  • Juhasz

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Let's look at it backwards.

    "took in" - to take in is an expression with a bunch of different meanings, but here it means to understand, to comprehend, to recognize, something like that.

    "for all they took in" - this one is also a bit tricky, because "for all they ___" can have rather different meanings, as well. Here, the all is used almost ironically, meaning that all they understood was practically nothing. It's the same usage as in the expressions, "for all I know, he could be the King of Sweden," or, "for all I care, you can take a long walk off a short pier" - that is, the speaker doesn't know anything and doesn't care at all, respectively.

    "it might never have been happening for all they took in" - all they took in (of the scene) was practically nothing, thus it was as if the thing weren't even happening.

    So, Andrew and Verity were looking at the parley (a conference between opposing sides in a dispute), but they couldn't take much of it in (they couldn't understand what was happening, either because it was far away, they couldn't hear the discussion, the topic made no sense to them, etc.), and given how little they understood the parley, it was as if it didn't even happen.
     

    TomPullings

    Senior Member
    Georgian
    Good day, mister Juhasz your explanation is exactly right, because they are parted lovers, and now have very exciting conversation.
    Thanks a lot for such detailed explanation.
     
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