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Title: A Clergyman's Daughter Author: George Orwell * A Project Gutenberg of Australia e oo! * e oo! "o#: $%$$$&&#t't (anguage: )nglish Date first *oste+: ,anuary %$$% Date most recently u*+ate+: ,anuary %$$% This ete't was *ro+uce+ by Don (ainson +lainson-sym*atico#ca Project Gutenberg of Australia e oo!s are create+ from *rinte+ e+itions which are in the *ublic +omain in Australia. unless a co*yright notice is inclu+e+# /e +o "OT !ee* any e oo!s in com*liance with a *articular *a*er e+ition# Co*yright laws are changing all o0er the worl+# e sure to chec! the co*yright laws for your country before +ownloa+ing or re+istributing this file# This e oo! is ma+e a0ailable at no cost an+ with almost no restrictions whatsoe0er# 1ou may co*y it. gi0e it away or re2use it un+er the terms of the Project Gutenberg of Australia (icense which may be 0iewe+ online at htt*:33gutenberg#net#au3licence#html To contact Project Gutenberg of Australia go to htt*:33gutenberg#net#au 22222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222 Title: A Clergyman's Daughter Author: George Orwell

C4APT)5 & & As the alarm cloc! on the chest of +rawers e'*lo+e+ li!e a horri+

little bomb of bell metal. Dorothy. wrenche+ from the +e*ths of some com*le'. troubling +ream. awo!e with a start an+ lay on her bac! loo!ing into the +ar!ness in e'treme e'haustion# The alarm cloc! continue+ its nagging. feminine clamour. which woul+ go on for fi0e minutes or thereabouts if you +i+ not sto* it# Dorothy was aching from hea+ to foot. an+ an insi+ious an+ contem*tible self2*ity. which usually sei6e+ u*on her when it was time to get u* in the morning. cause+ her to bury her hea+ un+er the be+clothes an+ try to shut the hateful noise out of her ears# 7he struggle+ against her fatigue. howe0er. an+. accor+ing to her custom. e'horte+ herself shar*ly in the secon+ *erson *lural# Come on. Dorothy. u* you get8 "o snoo6ing. *lease8 Pro0erbs 0i. 9# Then she remembere+ that if the noise went on any longer it woul+ wa!e her father. an+ with a hurrie+ mo0ement she boun+e+ out of be+. sei6e+ the cloc! from the chest of +rawers. an+ turne+ off the alarm# :t was !e*t on the chest of +rawers *recisely in or+er that she shoul+ ha0e to get out of be+ to silence it# 7till in +ar!ness. she !nelt +own at her be+si+e an+ re*eate+ the (or+'s Prayer. but rather +istracte+ly. her feet being trouble+ by the col+# :t was just half *ast fi0e. an+ col+ish for an August morning# Dorothy ;her name was Dorothy 4are. an+ she was the only chil+ of the 5e0eren+ Charles 4are. 5ector of 7t Athelstan's. <ny*e 4ill. 7uffol!= *ut on her age+ flannelette +ressing2gown an+ felt her way +ownstairs# There was a chill morning smell of +ust. +am* *laster. an+ the frie+ +abs from yester+ay's su**er. an+ from either si+e of the *assage on the secon+ floor she coul+ hear the anti*honal snoring of her father an+ of )llen. the mai+ of all wor!# /ith care22for the !itchen table ha+ a nasty tric! of reaching out of the +ar!ness an+ banging you on the hi*2bone22Dorothy felt her way into the !itchen. lighte+ the can+le on the mantel*iece. an+. still aching with fatigue. !nelt +own an+ ra!e+ the ashes out of the range# The !itchen fire was a 'beast' to light# The chimney was croo!e+ an+ therefore *er*etually half cho!e+. an+ the fire. before it woul+ light. e'*ecte+ to be +ose+ with a cu*ful of !erosene. li!e a +run!ar+'s morning ni* of gin# 4a0ing set the !ettle to boil for her father's sha0ing2water. Dorothy went u*stairs an+ turne+ on her bath# )llen was still snoring. with hea0y youthful snores# 7he was a goo+ har+2wor!ing ser0ant once she was awa!e. but she was one of those girls whom the De0il an+ all his angels cannot get out of be+ before se0en in the morning# Dorothy fille+ the bath as slowly as *ossible22the s*lashing always wo!e her father if she turne+ on the ta* too fast22an+ stoo+ for a moment regar+ing the *ale. una**eti6ing *ool of water# 4er bo+y ha+ gone goose2flesh all o0er# 7he +eteste+ col+ baths> it was for

that 0ery reason that she ma+e it a rule to ta!e all her baths col+ from A*ril to "o0ember# Putting a tentati0e han+ into the water22 an+ it was horribly col+22she +ro0e herself forwar+ with her usual e'hortations# Come on. Dorothy8 :n you go8 "o fun!ing. *lease8 Then she ste**e+ resolutely into the bath. sat +own an+ let the icy gir+le of water sli+e u* her bo+y an+ immerse her all e'ce*t her hair. which she ha+ twiste+ u* behin+ her hea+# The ne't moment she came to the surface gas*ing an+ wriggling. an+ ha+ no sooner got her breath bac! than she remembere+ her 'memo list'. which she ha+ brought +own in her +ressing2gown *oc!et an+ inten+e+ to rea+# 7he reache+ out for it. an+. leaning o0er the si+e of the bath. waist +ee* in icy water. rea+ through the 'memo list' by the light of the can+le on the chair# :t ran: ? oc# 4#C# @rs T babyA @ust 0isit# 5)A<BA7T# acon# @C7T as! father money# ;P=

As! )llen what stuff !itchen father's tonic " # to as! about stuff for curtains at 7ole*i*e's# Disiting call on @rs P cutting from Daily @ angelica tea goo+ for rheumatism @rs ('s corn*laster# &% oc# 5ehearsal Charles :# " # to or+er &3% lb glue & *ot aluminium *aint# D:"")5 ;crosse+ out= (C"C4)O" # # # A Ta!e roun+ Parish @ag " # @rs B owes E3F+# G#E$ *m @others' C tea +on't forget % &3% yar+s casement cloth# Blowers for church " # & tin rasso# 7CPP)5# 7cramble+ eggs# Ty*e Bather's sermon what about new ribbon ty*ewriterA " # to for! between *eas bin+wee+ awful# Dorothy got out of her bath. an+ as she +rie+ herself with a towel har+ly bigger than a table na*!in22they coul+ ne0er affor+ +ecent2 si6e+ towels at the 5ectory22her hair came un*inne+ an+ fell +own

o0er her collar2bones in two hea0y stran+s# :t was thic!. fine. e'cee+ingly *ale hair. an+ it was *erha*s as well that her father ha+ forbi++en her to bob it. for it was her only *ositi0e beauty# Bor the rest. she was a girl of mi++le height. rather thin. but strong an+ sha*ely. an+ her face was her wea! *oint# :t was a thin. blon+e. unremar!able !in+ of face. with *ale eyes an+ a nose just a sha+e too long> if you loo!e+ closely you coul+ see crow's feet roun+ the eyes. an+ the mouth. when it was in re*ose. loo!e+ tire+# "ot +efinitely a s*insterish face as yet. but it certainly woul+ be so in a few years' time# "e0ertheless. strangers commonly too! her to be se0eral years younger than her real age ;she was not Huite twenty2eight= because of the e'*ression of almost chil+ish earnestness in her eyes# 4er left forearm was s*otte+ with tiny re+ mar!s li!e insect bites# Dorothy *ut on her night+ress again an+ cleane+ her teeth22*lain water. of course> better not to use tooth*aste before 4#C# After all. either you are fasting or you aren't# The 5#C#s are Huite right there22an+. e0en as she +i+ so. su++enly faltere+ an+ sto**e+# 7he *ut her toothbrush +own# A +ea+ly *ang. an actual *hysical *ang. ha+ gone through her 0iscera# 7he ha+ remembere+. with the ugly shoc! with which one remembers something +isagreeable for the first time in the morning. the bill at Cargill's. the butcher's. which ha+ been owing for se0en months# That +rea+ful bill22it might be nineteen *oun+s or e0en twenty. an+ there was har+ly the remotest ho*e of *aying it22was one of the chief torments of her life# At all hours of the night or +ay it was waiting just roun+ the corner of her consciousness. rea+y to s*ring u*on her an+ agoni6e her> an+ with it came the memory of a score of lesser bills. mounting u* to a figure of which she +are+ not e0en thin!# Almost in0oluntarily she began to *ray. 'Please Go+. let not Cargill sen+ in his bill again to+ay8' but the ne't moment she +eci+e+ that this *rayer was worl+ly an+ blas*hemous. an+ she as!e+ forgi0eness for it# Then she *ut on her +ressing2 gown an+ ran +own to the !itchen in ho*es of *utting the bill out of min+# The fire ha+ gone out. as usual# Dorothy relai+ it. +irtying her han+s with coal2+ust. +ose+ it afresh with !erosene an+ hung about an'iously until the !ettle boile+# Bather e'*ecte+ his sha0ing2 water to be rea+y at a Huarter *ast si'# ,ust se0en minutes late. Dorothy too! the can u*stairs an+ !noc!e+ at her father's +oor# 'Come in. come in8' sai+ a muffle+. irritable 0oice# The room. hea0ily curtaine+. was stuffy. with a masculine smell# The 5ector ha+ lighte+ the can+le on his be+2table. an+ was lying on his si+e. loo!ing at his gol+ watch. which he ha+ just +rawn from beneath his *illow# 4is hair was as white an+ thic! as

thistle+own# One +ar! bright eye glance+ irritably o0er his shoul+er at Dorothy# 'Goo+ morning. father#' ': +o wish. Dorothy.' sai+ the 5ector in+istinctly22his 0oice always soun+e+ muffle+ an+ senile until he *ut his false teeth in22 'you woul+ ma!e some effort to get )llen out of be+ in the mornings# Or else be a little more *unctual yourself#' ':'m so sorry. Bather# The !itchen fire !e*t going out#' 'Dery well8 Put it +own on the +ressing2table# Put it +own an+ +raw those curtains#' :t was +aylight now. but a +ull. clou+e+ morning# Dorothy hastene+ u* to her room an+ +resse+ herself with the lightning s*ee+ which she foun+ necessary si' mornings out of se0en# There was only a tiny sHuare of mirror in the room. an+ e0en that she +i+ not use# 7he sim*ly hung her gol+ cross about her nec!22*lain gol+ cross> no crucifi'es. *lease822twiste+ her hair into a !not behin+. stuc! a number of hair*ins rather s!etchily into it. an+ threw her clothes ;grey jersey. threa+bare :rish twee+ coat an+ s!irt. stoc!ings not Huite matching the coat an+ s!irt. an+ much2worn brown shoes= on to herself in the s*ace of about three minutes# 7he ha+ got to '+o out' the +ining2room an+ her father's stu+y before church. besi+es saying her *rayers in *re*aration for 4oly Communion. which too! her not less than twenty minutes# /hen she wheele+ her bicycle out of the front gate the morning was still o0ercast. an+ the grass so++en with hea0y +ew# Through the mist that wreathe+ the hillsi+e 7t Athelstan's Church loome+ +imly. li!e a lea+en s*hin'. its single bell tolling funereally boom8 boom8 boom8 Only one of the bells was now in acti0e use> the other se0en ha+ been unswung from their cage an+ ha+ lain silent these three years *ast. slowly s*lintering the floor of the belfry beneath their weight# :n the +istance. from the mists below. you coul+ hear the offensi0e clatter of the bell in the 5#C# church22a nasty. chea*. tinny little thing which the 5ector of 7t Athelstan's use+ to com*are with a muffin2bell# Dorothy mounte+ her bicycle an+ ro+e swiftly u* the hill. leaning o0er her han+lebars# The bri+ge of her thin nose was *in! in the morning col+# A re+shan! whistle+ o0erhea+. in0isible against the clou+e+ s!y# )arly in the morning my song shall rise to Thee8 Dorothy *ro**e+ her bicycle against the lychgate. an+. fin+ing her han+s still grey with coal2+ust. !nelt +own an+ scrubbe+ them clean in the long wet grass between the gra0es# Then the bell sto**e+ ringing. an+ she jum*e+ u* an+ hastene+ into church. just as Proggett. the se'ton. in ragge+ cassoc! an+ 0ast labourer's boots.

was clum*ing u* the aisle to ta!e his *lace at the si+e altar# The church was 0ery col+. with a scent of can+le2wa' an+ ancient +ust# :t was a large church. much too large for its congregation. an+ ruinous an+ more than half em*ty# The three narrow islan+s of *ews stretche+ barely half2way +own the na0e. an+ beyon+ them were great wastes of bare stone floor in which a few worn inscri*tions mar!e+ the sites of ancient gra0es# The roof o0er the chancel was sagging 0isibly> besi+e the Church )'*enses bo' two fragments of ri++le+ beam e'*laine+ mutely that this was +ue to that mortal foe of Christen+om. the +eath2watch beetle# The light filtere+. *ale2 coloure+. through win+ows of anaemic glass# Through the o*en south +oor you coul+ see a ragge+ cy*ress an+ the boughs of a lime2tree. greyish in the sunless air an+ swaying faintly# As usual. there was only one other communicant22ol+ @iss @ayfill. of The Grange# The atten+ance at 4oly Communion was so ba+ that the 5ector coul+ not e0en get any boys to ser0e him. e'ce*t on 7un+ay mornings. when the boys li!e+ showing off in front of the congregation in their cassoc!s an+ sur*lices# Dorothy went into the *ew behin+ @iss @ayfill. an+. in *enance for some sin of yester+ay. *ushe+ away the hassoc! an+ !nelt on the bare stones# The ser0ice was beginning# The 5ector. in cassoc! an+ short linen sur*lice. was reciting the *rayers in a swift *ractise+ 0oice. clear enough now that his teeth were in. an+ curiously ungenial# :n his fasti+ious. age+ face. *ale as a sil0er coin. there was an e'*ression of aloofness. almost of contem*t# 'This is a 0ali+ sacrament.' he seeme+ to be saying. 'an+ it is my +uty to a+minister it to you# ut remember that : am only your *riest. not your frien+# As a human being : +isli!e you an+ +es*ise you#' Proggett. the se'ton. a man of forty with curly grey hair an+ a re+. harasse+ face. stoo+ *atiently by. uncom*rehen+ing but re0erent. fi++ling with the little communion bell which was lost in his huge re+ han+s# Dorothy *resse+ her fingers against her eyes# 7he ha+ not yet succee+e+ in concentrating her thoughts22in+ee+. the memory of Cargill's bill was still worrying her intermittently# The *rayers. which she !new by heart. were flowing through her hea+ unhee+e+# 7he raise+ her eyes for a moment. an+ they began imme+iately to stray# Birst u*war+s. to the hea+less roof2angels on whose nec!s you coul+ still see the sawcuts of the Puritan sol+iers. then bac! again. to @iss @ayfill's blac!. Huasi2*or!2*ie hat an+ tremulous jet ear2rings# @iss @ayfill wore a long musty blac! o0ercoat. with a little collar of greasy2loo!ing astra!han. which ha+ been the same e0er since Dorothy coul+ remember# :t was of some 0ery *eculiar stuff. li!e watere+ sil! but coarser. with ri0ulets of blac! *i*ing wan+ering all o0er it in no +isco0erable *attern# :t might e0en ha0e been that legen+ary an+ *ro0erbial substance. blac! bomba6ine# @iss @ayfill was 0ery ol+. so ol+ that no one

remembere+ her as anything but an ol+ woman# A faint scent ra+iate+ from her22an ethereal scent. analysable as eau2+e2Cologne. mothballs. an+ a sub2fla0our of gin# Dorothy +rew a long glass2hea+e+ *in from the la*el of her coat. an+ furti0ely. un+er co0er of @iss @ayfill's bac!. *resse+ the *oint against her forearm# 4er flesh tingle+ a**rehensi0ely# 7he ma+e it a rule. whene0er she caught herself not atten+ing to her *rayers. to *ric! her arm har+ enough to ma!e bloo+ come# :t was her chosen form of self2+isci*line. her guar+ against irre0erence an+ sacrilegious thoughts# /ith the *in *oise+ in rea+iness she manage+ for se0eral moments to *ray more collecte+ly# 4er father ha+ turne+ one +ar! eye +isa**ro0ingly u*on @iss @ayfill. who was crossing herself at inter0als. a *ractice he +isli!e+# A starling chattere+ outsi+e# /ith a shoc! Dorothy +isco0ere+ that she was loo!ing 0aingloriously at the *leats of her father's sur*lice. which she herself ha+ sewn two years ago# 7he set her teeth an+ +ro0e the *in an eighth of an inch into her arm# They were !neeling again# :t was the General Confession# Dorothy recalle+ her eyes22wan+ering. alas8 yet again. this time to the staine+2glass win+ow on her right. +esigne+ by 7ir /ar+e Too!e. A#5#A#. in &IJ& an+ re*resenting 7t Athelstan's welcome at the gate of hea0en by Gabriel an+ a legion of angels all remar!ably li!e one another an+ the Prince Consort22an+ *resse+ the *in*oint against a +ifferent *art of her arm# 7he began to me+itate conscientiously u*on the meaning of each *hrase of the *rayer. an+ so brought her min+ bac! to a more attenti0e state# ut e0en so she was all but oblige+ to use the *in again when Proggett tin!le+ the bell in the mi++le of 'Therefore with Angels an+ Archangels'22being 0isite+. as always. by a +rea+ful tem*tation to begin laughing at that *assage# :t was because of a story her father ha+ tol+ her once. of how when he was a little boy. an+ ser0ing the *riest at the altar. the communion bell ha+ a screw2on cla**er. which ha+ come loose> an+ so the *riest ha+ sai+: 'Therefore with Angels an+ Archangels. an+ with all the com*any of 4ea0en. we lau+ an+ magnify Thy glorious name> e0ermore *raising Thee. an+ saying. 7crew it u*. you little fat2hea+. screw it u*8' As the 5ector finishe+ the consecration @iss @ayfill began to struggle to her feet with e'treme +ifficulty an+ slowness. li!e some +isjointe+ woo+en creature *ic!ing itself u* by sections. an+ +isengaging at each mo0ement a *owerful whiff of mothballs# There was an e'traor+inary crea!ing soun+22from her stays. *resumably. but it was a noise as of bones grating against one another# 1ou coul+ ha0e imagine+ that there was only a +ry s!eleton insi+e that blac! o0ercoat#

Dorothy remaine+ on her feet a moment longer# @iss @ayfill was cree*ing towar+s the altar with slow. tottering ste*s# 7he coul+ barely wal!. but she too! bitter offence if you offere+ to hel* her# :n her ancient. bloo+less face her mouth was sur*risingly large. loose. an+ wet# The un+erli*. *en+ulous with age. slobbere+ forwar+. e'*osing a stri* of gum an+ a row of false teeth as yellow as the !eys of an ol+ *iano# On the u**er li* was a fringe of +ar!. +ewy moustache# :t was not an a**eti6ing mouth> not the !in+ of mouth that you woul+ li!e to see +rin!ing out of your cu*# 7u++enly. s*ontaneously. as though the De0il himself ha+ *ut it there. the *rayer sli**e+ from Dorothy' easts of )nglan+'s li*s: O Go+. let me not ha0e to ta!e the chalice after @iss @ayfill8 The ne't moment. in self2horror. she gras*e+ the meaning of what she ha+ sai+. an+ wishe+ that she ha+ bitten her tongue in two rather than utter that +ea+ly blas*hemy u*on the altar ste*s# 7he +rew the *in again from her la*el an+ +ro0e it into her arm so har+ that it was all she coul+ +o to su**ress a cry of *ain# Then she ste**e+ to the altar an+ !nelt +own mee!ly on @iss @ayfill's left. so as to ma!e Huite sure of ta!ing the chalice after her# <neeling. with hea+ bent an+ han+s clas*e+ against her !nees. she set herself swiftly to *ray for forgi0eness before her father shoul+ reach her with the wafer# ut the current of her thoughts ha+ been bro!en# 7u++enly it was Huite useless attem*ting to *ray> her li*s mo0e+. but there was neither heart nor meaning in her *rayers# 7he coul+ hear Proggett's boots shuffling an+ her father' easts of )nglan+'s clear low 0oice murmuring 'Ta!e an+ eat'. she coul+ see the worn stri* of re+ car*et beneath her !nees. she coul+ smell +ust an+ eau2+e2Cologne an+ mothballs> but of the o+y an+ loo+ of Christ. of the *ur*ose for which she ha+ come here. she was as though +e*ri0e+ of the *ower to thin!# A +ea+ly blan!ness ha+ +escen+e+ u*on her min+# :t seeme+ to her that actually she COC(D not *ray# 7he struggle+. collecte+ her thoughts. uttere+ mechanically the o*ening *hrases of a *rayer> but they were useless. meaningless22nothing but the +ea+ shells of wor+s# 4er father was hol+ing the wafer before her in his sha*ely. age+ han+# 4e hel+ it between finger an+ thumb. fasti+iously. somehow +istastefully. as though it ha+ been a s*oon of me+icine# 4is eye was u*on @iss @ayfill. who was +oubling herself u* li!e a geometri+ cater*illar. with many crea!ings an+ crossing herself so elaborately that one might ha0e imagine+ that she was s!etching a series of brai+ frogs on the front of her coat# Bor se0eral secon+s Dorothy hesitate+ an+ +i+ not ta!e the wafer# 7he +are+ not ta!e it# etter. far better to ste* +own from the altar than to acce*t the sacrament with such chaos in her heart8 Then it ha**ene+ that she glance+ si+elong. through the o*en south +oor# A momentary s*ear of sunlight ha+ *ierce+ the clou+s# :t struc! +ownwar+s through the lea0es of the limes. an+ a s*ray of

lea0es in the +oorway gleame+ with a transient. matchless green. greener than ja+e or emeral+ or Atlantic waters# :t was as though some jewel of unimaginable s*len+our ha+ flashe+ for an instant. filling the +oorway with green light. an+ then fa+e+# A floo+ of joy ran through Dorothy' easts of )nglan+'s heart# The flash of li0ing colour ha+ brought bac! to her. by a *rocess +ee*er than reason. her *eace of min+. her lo0e of Go+. her *ower to worshi*# 7omehow. because of the greenness of the lea0es. it was again *ossible to *ray# O all ye green things u*on the earth. *raise ye the (or+8 7he began to *ray. ar+ently. joyfully. than!fully# The wafer melte+ u*on her tongue# 7he too! the chalice from her father. an+ taste+ with re*ulsion. e0en with an a++e+ joy in this small act of self2 abasement. the wet im*rint of @iss @ayfill's li*s on its sil0er rim#

% 7t Athelstan's Church stoo+ at the highest *oint of <ny*e 4ill. an+ if you chose to climb the tower you coul+ see ten miles or so across the surroun+ing country# "ot that there was anything worth loo!ing at22only the low. barely un+ulating )ast Anglian lan+sca*e. intolerably +ull in summer. but re+eeme+ in winter by the recurring *atterns of the elms. na!e+ an+ fansha*e+ against lea+en s!ies# :mme+iately below you lay the town. with the 4igh 7treet running east an+ west an+ +i0i+ing uneHually# The southern section of the town was the ancient. agricultural. an+ res*ectable section# On the northern si+e were the buil+ings of the lifil2Gor+on sugar2 beet refinery. an+ all roun+ an+ lea+ing u* to them were higgle+y2 *iggle+ly rows of 0ile yellow bric! cottages. mostly inhabite+ by the em*loyees of the factory# The factory em*loyees. who ma+e u* more than half of the town's two thousan+ inhabitants. were newcomers. townfol!. an+ go+less almost to a man# The two *i0ots. or foci. about which the social life of the town mo0e+ were <ny*e 4ill Conser0ati0e Club ;fully license+=. from whose bow win+ow. any time after the bar was o*en. the large. rosy2 gille+ faces of the town's elite were to be seen ga6ing li!e chubby gol+fish from an aHuarium *ane> an+ 1e Ol+e Tea 7ho**e. a little farther +own the 4igh 7treet. the *rinci*al ren+e60ous of the <ny*e 4ill la+ies# "ot to be *resent at 1e Ol+e Tea 7ho**e between ten an+ ele0en e0ery morning. to +rin! your 'morning coffee' an+ s*en+ your half2hour or so in that agreeable twitter of u**er2mi++le2 class 0oices ;'@y +ear. he ha+ ":") s*a+es to the ace2Hueen an+ he went one no trum*. if you *lease# /hat. my +ear. you +on't mean to say you're *aying for my coffee AGA:"A Oh. but my +ear. it is sim*ly TOO sweet of you8 "ow tomorrow : shall 7:@P(1 :"7:7T u*on

*aying for yours# An+ just (OO< at +ear little Toto sitting u* an+ loo!ing such a C()D)5 little man with his little blac! nose wiggling. an+ he woul+. woul+ he. the +arling +uc!. he woul+. he woul+. an+ his mother woul+ gi0e him a lum* of sugar. she woul+. she woul+# T4)5). Toto8'=. was to be +efinitely out of <ny*e 4ill society# The 5ector in his aci+ way nic!name+ these la+ies 'the coffee briga+e'# Close to the colony of sham2*icturesHue 0illas inhabite+ by the coffee briga+e. but cut off from them by its larger groun+s. was The Grange. @iss @ayfill's house# :t was a curious. machicolate+. imitation castle of +ar! re+ bric!22 somebo+y's Bolly. built about &I?$22an+ fortunately almost hi++en among +ense shrubberies# The 5ectory stoo+ half way u* the hill. with its face to the church an+ its bac! to the 4igh 7treet# :t was a house of the wrong age. incon0eniently large. an+ face+ with chronically *eeling yellow *laster# 7ome earlier 5ector ha+ a++e+. at one si+e. a large greenhouse which Dorothy use+ as a wor!room. but which was constantly out of re*air# The front gar+en was cho!e+ with ragge+ fir2trees an+ a great s*rea+ing ash which sha+owe+ the front rooms an+ ma+e it im*ossible to grow any flowers# There was a large 0egetable gar+en at the bac!# Proggett +i+ the hea0y +igging of the gar+en in the s*ring an+ autumn. an+ Dorothy +i+ the sowing. *lanting. an+ wee+ing in such s*are time as she coul+ comman+> in s*ite of which the 0egetable gar+en was usually an im*enetrable jungle of wee+s# Dorothy jum*e+ off her bicycle at the front gate. u*on which some officious *erson ha+ stuc! a *oster inscribe+ 'Dote for lifil2 Gor+on an+ 4igher /ages8' ;There was a by2election going on. an+ @r lifil2Gor+on was stan+ing in the Conser0ati0e interest#= As Dorothy o*ene+ the front +oor she saw two letters lying on the worn coconut mat# One was from the 5ural Dean. an+ the other was a nasty. thin2loo!ing letter from Cat!in K Palm. her father's clerical tailors# :t was a bill un+oubte+ly# The 5ector ha+ followe+ his usual *ractice of collecting the letters that intereste+ him an+ lea0ing the others# Dorothy was just ben+ing +own to *ic! u* the letters. when she saw. with a horri+ shoc! of +ismay. an unstam*e+ en0elo*e stic!ing to the letter fla*# :t was a bill22for certain it was a bill8 @oreo0er. as soon as she set eyes on it she '!new' that it was that horrible bill from Cargill's. the butcher's# A sin!ing feeling *asse+ through her entrails# Bor a moment she actually began to *ray that it might not be Cargill's bill22that it might only be the bill for three an+ nine from 7ole*i*e's. the +ra*er's. or the bill from the :nternational or the ba!er's or the +airy22anything e'ce*t Cargill's bill8 Then. mastering her *anic. she too! the en0elo*e from the letter2fla* an+ tore it o*en with a con0ulsi0e mo0ement#

'To account ren+ere+: (%& ?7# 9+#' This was written in the innocuous han+writing of @r Cargill's accountant# ut un+erneath. in thic!. accusing2loo!ing letters. was a++e+ an+ hea0ily un+erline+: '7h+# li!e to bring to your notice that this bill has been owing a D)51 (O"G T:@)# The )A5(:)7T PO77: () settlement will oblige. 7# Cargill#' Dorothy ha+ turne+ a sha+e *aler. an+ was conscious of not wanting any brea!fast# 7he thrust the bill into her *oc!et an+ went into the +ining2room# :t was a smallish. +ar! room. ba+ly in nee+ of re*a*ering. an+. li!e e0ery other room in the 5ectory. it ha+ the air of ha0ing been furnishe+ from the swee*ings of an antiHue sho*# The furniture was 'goo+'. but battere+ beyon+ re*air. an+ the chairs were so worm2eaten that you coul+ only sit on them in safety if you !new their in+i0i+ual foibles# There were ol+. +ar!. +eface+ steel engra0ings hanging on the walls. one of them22an engra0ing of Dan Dyc!'s *ortrait of Charles :22*robably of some 0alue if it ha+ not been ruine+ by +am*# The 5ector was stan+ing before the em*ty grate. warming himself at an imaginary fire an+ rea+ing a letter that came from a long blue en0elo*e# 4e was still wearing his cassoc! of blac! watere+ sil!. which set off to *erfection his thic! white hair an+ his *ale. fine. none too amiable face# As Dorothy came in he lai+ the letter asi+e. +rew out his gol+ watch an+ scrutini6e+ it significantly# ':'m afrai+ :'m a bit late. Bather#' '1es. Dorothy. you are A :T (AT).' sai+ the 5ector. re*eating her wor+s with +elicate but mar!e+ em*hasis# '1ou are twel0e minutes late. to be e'act# Don't you thin!. Dorothy. that when : ha0e to get u* at a Huarter *ast si' to celebrate 4oly Communion. an+ come home e'cee+ingly tire+ an+ hungry. it woul+ be better if you coul+ manage to come to brea!fast without being A :T (AT)A' :t was clear that the 5ector was in what Dorothy calle+. eu*hemistically. his 'uncomfortable moo+'# 4e ha+ one of those weary. culti0ate+ 0oices which are ne0er +efinitely angry an+ ne0er anywhere near goo+ humour22one of those 0oices which seem all the while to be saying. ': really CA""OT see what you are ma!ing all this fuss about8' The im*ression he ga0e was of suffering *er*etually from other *eo*le's stu*i+ity an+ tiresomeness# ':'m so sorry. Bather8 : sim*ly ha+ to go an+ as! after @rs Tawney#' ;@rs Tawney was the '@rs T' of the 'memo list'#= '4er baby was born last night. an+ you !now she *romise+ me she'+ come an+ be churche+ after it was born# ut of course she won't if she thin!s we aren't ta!ing any interest in her# 1ou !now what these women are22they seem so to hate being churche+# They'll ne0er come

unless : coa' them into it#' The 5ector +i+ not actually grunt. but he uttere+ a small +issatisfie+ soun+ as he mo0e+ towar+s the brea!fast table# :t was inten+e+ to mean. first. that it was @rs Tawney's +uty to come an+ be churche+ without Dorothy's coa'ing> secon+ly. that Dorothy ha+ no business to waste her time 0isiting all the riffraff of the town. es*ecially before brea!fast# @rs Tawney was a labourer's wife an+ li0e+ in *artibus infi+elium. north of the 4igh 7treet# The 5ector lai+ his han+ on the bac! of his chair. an+. without s*ea!ing. cast Dorothy a glance which meant: 'Are we rea+y "O/A Or are there to be any @O5) +elaysA' ': thin! e0erything's here. Bather.' sai+ Dorothy# 'Perha*s if you'+ just say grace22' ' ene+ictus bene+icat.' sai+ the 5ector. lifting the worn sil0er co0erlet off the brea!fast +ish# The sil0er co0erlet. li!e the sil0er2gilt marmala+e s*oon. was a family heirloom> the !ni0es an+ for!s. an+ most of the croc!ery. came from /oolworths# ' acon again. : see.' the 5ector a++e+. eyeing the three minute rashers that lay curle+ u* on sHuares of frie+ brea+# ':t's all we'0e got in the house. :'m afrai+.' Dorothy sai+# The 5ector *ic!e+ u* his for! between finger an+ thumb. an+ with a 0ery +elicate mo0ement. as though *laying at s*illi!ins. turne+ one of the rashers o0er# ': !now. of course.' he sai+. 'that bacon for brea!fast is an )nglish institution almost as ol+ as *arliamentary go0ernment# ut still. +on't you thin! we might OCCA7:O"A((1 ha0e a change. DorothyA' ' acon's so chea* now.' sai+ Dorothy regretfully# ':t seems a sin not to buy it# This was only fi0e*ence a *oun+. an+ : saw some Huite +ecent2loo!ing bacon as low as three*ence#' 'Ah. Danish. : su**oseA /hat a 0ariety of Danish in0asions we ha0e ha+ in this country8 Birst with fire an+ swor+. an+ now with their abominable chea* bacon# /hich has been res*onsible for the more +eaths. : won+erA' Beeling a little better after this witticism. the 5ector settle+ himself in his chair an+ ma+e a fairly goo+ brea!fast off the +es*ise+ bacon. while Dorothy ;she was not ha0ing any bacon this morning22a *enance she ha+ set herself yester+ay for saying 'Damn' an+ i+ling for half an hour after lunch= me+itate+ u*on a goo+ con0ersational o*ening#

There was an uns*ea!ably hateful job in front of her22a +eman+ for money# At the 0ery best of times getting money out of her father was ne't +oor to im*ossible. an+ it was ob0ious that this morning he was going to be e0en more '+ifficult' than usual# 'Difficult' was another of her eu*hemisms# 4e's ha+ ba+ news. : su**ose. she thought +es*on+ently. loo!ing at the blue en0elo*e# Probably no one who ha+ e0er s*o!en to the 5ector for as long as ten minutes woul+ ha0e +enie+ that he was a '+ifficult' !in+ of man# The secret of his almost unfailing ill humour really lay in the fact that he was an anachronism# 4e ought ne0er to ha0e been born into the mo+ern worl+> its whole atmos*here +isguste+ an+ infuriate+ him# A cou*le of centuries earlier. a ha**y *luralist writing *oems or collecting fossils while curates at G$ *oun+s a year a+ministere+ his *arishes. he woul+ ha0e been *erfectly at home# )0en now. if he ha+ been a richer man. he might ha0e console+ himself by shutting the twentieth century out of his consciousness# ut to li0e in *ast ages is 0ery e'*ensi0e> you can't +o it on less than two thousan+ a year# The 5ector. tethere+ by his *o0erty to the age of (enin an+ the Daily @ail. was !e*t in a state of chronic e'as*eration which it was only natural that he shoul+ wor! off on the *erson nearest to him22usually. that is. on Dorothy# 4e ha+ been born in &I?&. the younger son of the younger son of a baronet. an+ ha+ gone into the Church for the outmo+e+ reason that the Church is the tra+itional *rofession for younger sons# 4is first cure ha+ been in a large. slummy *arish in )ast (on+on22a nasty. hooliganish *lace it ha+ been. an+ he loo!e+ bac! on it with loathing# )0en in those +ays the lower class ;as he ma+e a *oint of calling them= were getting +eci+e+ly out of han+# :t was a little better when he was curate2in2charge at some remote *lace in <ent ;Dorothy ha+ been born in <ent=. where the +ecently +own2 tro++en 0illagers still touche+ their hats to '*arson'# ut by that time he ha+ marrie+. an+ his marriage ha+ been +iabolically unha**y> moreo0er. because clergymen must not Huarrel with their wi0es. its unha**iness ha+ been secret an+ therefore ten times worse# 4e ha+ come to <ny*e 4ill in &9$I. age+ thirty2se0en an+ with a tem*er incurably soure+22a tem*er which ha+ en+e+ by alienating e0ery man. woman. an+ chil+ in the *arish# :t was not that he was a ba+ *riest. merely A7 a *riest# :n his *urely clerical +uties he was scru*ulously correct22*erha*s a little too correct for a (ow Church )ast Anglian *arish# 4e con+ucte+ his ser0ices with *erfect taste. *reache+ a+mirable sermons. an+ got u* at uncomfortable hours of the morning to celebrate 4oly Communion e0ery /e+nes+ay an+ Bri+ay# ut that a clergyman has any +uties outsi+e the four walls of the church was a thing that ha+ ne0er seriously occurre+ to him# Cnable to affor+ a curate. he left the +irty wor! of the *arish entirely to his wife. an+ after her +eath ;she +ie+ in &9%&= to Dorothy# Peo*le use+ to

say. s*itefully an+ untruly. that he woul+ ha0e let Dorothy *reach his sermons for him if it ha+ been *ossible# The 'lower classes' ha+ gras*e+ from the first what was his attitu+e towar+s them. an+ if he ha+ been a rich man they woul+ *robably ha0e lic!e+ his boots. accor+ing to their custom> as it was. they merely hate+ him# "ot that he care+ whether they hate+ him or not. for he was largely unaware of their e'istence# ut e0en with the u**er classes he ha+ got on no better# /ith the County he ha+ Huarrelle+ one by one. an+ as for the *etty gentry of the town. as the gran+son of a baronet he +es*ise+ them. an+ was at no *ains to hi+e it# :n twenty2three years he ha+ succee+e+ in re+ucing the congregation of 7t Athelstan's from si' hun+re+ to something un+er two hun+re+# This was not solely +ue to *ersonal reasons# :t was also because the ol+2fashione+ 4igh Anglicanism to which the 5ector obstinately clung was of a !in+ to annoy all *arties in the *arish about eHually# "owa+ays. a clergyman who wants to !ee* his congregation has only two courses o*en to him# )ither it must be Anglo2 Catholicism *ure an+ sim*le22or rather. *ure an+ not sim*le> or he must be +aringly mo+ern an+ broa+2min+e+ an+ *reach comforting sermons *ro0ing that there is no 4ell an+ all goo+ religions are the same# The 5ector +i+ neither# On the one han+. he ha+ the +ee*est contem*t for the Anglo2Catholic mo0ement# :t ha+ *asse+ o0er his hea+. lea0ing him absolutely untouche+> '5oman Be0er' was his name for it# On the other han+. he was too 'high' for the ol+er members of his congregation# Brom time to time he scare+ them almost out of their wits by the use of the fatal wor+ 'Catholic'. not only in its sanctifie+ *lace in the Cree+s. but also from the *ul*it# "aturally the congregation +win+le+ year by year. an+ it was the est Peo*le who were the first to go# (or+ Poc!thorne of Poc!thorne Court. who owne+ a fifth of the county. @r (ea0is. the retire+ leather merchant. 7ir )+war+ 4uson of Crabtree 4all. an+ such of the *etty gentry as owne+ motor2cars. ha+ all +eserte+ 7t Athelstan's# @ost of them +ro0e o0er on 7un+ay mornings to @illborough. fi0e miles away# @illborough was a town of fi0e thousan+ inhabitants. an+ you ha+ your choice of two churches. 7t )+mun+'s an+ 7t /e+e!in+'s# 7t )+mun+'s was @o+ernist22te't from la!e's ',erusalem' bla6one+ o0er the altar. an+ communion wine out of liHueur glasses22an+ 7t /e+e!in+'s was Anglo2Catholic an+ in a state of *er*etual guerrilla warfare with the isho*# ut @r Cameron. the secretary of the <ny*e 4ill Conser0ati0e Club. was a 5oman Catholic con0ert. an+ his chil+ren were in the thic! of the 5oman Catholic literary mo0ement# They were sai+ to ha0e a *arrot which they were teaching to say ')'tra ecclesiam nulla salus'# :n effect. no one of any stan+ing remaine+ true to 7t Athelstan's. e'ce*t @iss @ayfill. of The Grange# @ost of @iss @ayfill's money was beHueathe+ to the Church22so she sai+> meanwhile. she ha+ ne0er been !nown to *ut more than si'*ence in the collection bag. an+ she seeme+ li!ely to go on li0ing for e0er#

The first ten minutes of brea!fast *asse+ in com*lete silence# Dorothy was trying to summon u* courage to s*ea!22ob0iously she ha+ got to start 7O@) !in+ of con0ersation before raising the money2 Huestion22but her father was not an easy man with whom to ma!e small tal!# At times he woul+ fall into such +ee* fits of abstraction that you coul+ har+ly get him to listen to you> at other times he was all too attenti0e. listene+ carefully to what you sai+ an+ then *ointe+ out. rather wearily. that it was not worth saying# Polite *latitu+es22the weather. an+ so forth22 generally mo0e+ him to sarcasm# "e0ertheless. Dorothy +eci+e+ to try the weather first# ':t's a funny !in+ of +ay. isn't itA' she sai+22aware. e0en as she ma+e it. of the inanity of this remar!# '/4AT is funnyA' inHuire+ the 5ector# '/ell. : mean. it was so col+ an+ misty this morning. an+ now the sun's come out an+ it's turne+ Huite fine#' ':7 there anything *articularly funny about thatA' That was no goo+. ob0iously# 4e @C7T ha0e ha+ ba+ news. she thought# 7he trie+ again# ': +o wish you'+ come out an+ ha0e a loo! at the things in the bac! gar+en some time. Bather# The runner beans are +oing so s*len+i+ly8 The *o+s are going to be o0er a foot long# :'m going to !ee* all the best of them for the 4ar0est Besti0al. of course# : thought it woul+ loo! so nice if we +ecorate+ the *ul*it with festoons of runner beans an+ a few tomatoes hanging in among them#' This was a fau' *as# The 5ector loo!e+ u* from his *late with an e'*ression of *rofoun+ +istaste# '@y +ear Dorothy.' he sai+ shar*ly. ':7 it necessary to begin worrying me about the 4ar0est Besti0al alrea+yA' ':'m sorry. Bather8' sai+ Dorothy. +isconcerte+# ': +i+n't mean to worry you# : just thought22' 'Do you su**ose'. *rocee+e+ the 5ector. 'it is any *leasure to me to ha0e to *reach my sermon among festoons of runner beansA : am not a greengrocer# :t Huite *uts me off my brea!fast to thin! of it# /hen is the wretche+ thing +ue to ha**enA' ':t's 7e*tember the si'teenth. Bather#' 'That's nearly a month hence# Bor 4ea0en's sa!e let me forget it a little longer8 : su**ose we must ha0e this ri+iculous business

once a year to tic!le the 0anity of e0ery amateur gar+ener in the *arish# ut +on't let's thin! of it more than is absolutely necessary#' The 5ector ha+. as Dorothy ought to ha0e remembere+. a *erfect abhorrence of 4ar0est Besti0als# 4e ha+ e0en lost a 0aluable *arishioner22a @r Toagis. a surly retire+ mar!et gar+ener22through his +isli!e. as he sai+. of seeing his church +resse+ u* to imitate a coster's stall# @r Toagis. anima naturaliter "onconformistica. ha+ been !e*t 'Church' solely by the *ri0ilege. at 4ar0est Besti0al time. of +ecorating the si+e altar with a sort of 7tonehenge com*ose+ of gigantic 0egetable marrows# The *re0ious summer he ha+ succee+e+ in growing a *erfect le0iathan of a *um*!in. a fiery re+ thing so enormous that it too! two men to lift it# This monstrous object ha+ been *lace+ in the chancel. where it +warfe+ the altar an+ too! all the colour out of the east win+ow# :n no matter what *art of the church you were stan+ing. the *um*!in. as the saying goes. hit you in the eye# @r Toagis was in ra*tures# 4e hung about the church at all hours. unable to tear himself away from his a+ore+ *um*!in. an+ e0en bringing relays of frien+s in to a+mire it# Brom the e'*ression of his face you woul+ ha0e thought that he was Huoting /or+sworth on /estminster ri+ge: )arth has not any thing to show more fair: Dull woul+ he be of soul who coul+ *ass by A sight so touching in its majesty8 Dorothy e0en ha+ ho*es. after this. of getting him to come to 4oly Communion# ut when the 5ector saw the *um*!in he was seriously angry. an+ or+ere+ 'that re0olting thing' to be remo0e+ at once# @r Toagis ha+ instantly 'gone cha*el'. an+ he an+ his heirs were lost to the Church for e0er# Dorothy +eci+e+ to ma!e one final attem*t at con0ersation# '/e're getting on with the costumes for Charles :.' she sai+# ;The Church 7chool chil+ren were rehearsing a *lay entitle+ Charles : in ai+ of the organ fun+#= ' ut : +o wish we'+ chosen something a bit easier# The armour is a +rea+ful job to ma!e. an+ :'m afrai+ the jac!boots are going to be worse# : thin! ne't time we must really ha0e a 5oman or Gree! *lay# 7omething where they only ha0e to wear togas#' This elicite+ only another mute+ grunt from the 5ector# 7chool *lays. *ageants. ba6aars. jumble sales. an+ concerts in ai+ of were not Huite so ba+ in his eyes as 4ar0est Besti0als. but he +i+ not *reten+ to be intereste+ in them# They were necessary e0ils. he use+ to say# At this moment )llen. the mai+ser0ant. *ushe+ o*en

the +oor an+ came gauchely into the room with one large. scaly han+ hol+ing her sac!ing a*ron against her belly# 7he was a tall. roun+2shoul+ere+ girl with mouse2coloure+ hair. a *lainti0e 0oice. an+ a ba+ com*le'ion. an+ she suffere+ chronically from ec6ema# 4er eyes flitte+ a**rehensi0ely towar+s the 5ector. but she a++resse+ herself to Dorothy. for she was too much afrai+ of the 5ector to s*ea! to him +irectly# 'Please. @iss22' she began# '1es. )llenA' 'Please. @iss.' went on )llen *lainti0ely. '@r Porter's in the !itchen. an+ he says. *lease coul+ the 5ector come roun+ an+ ba*ti6e @rs Porter's babyA ecause they +on't thin! as it's going to li0e the +ay out. an+ it ain't been ba*ti6e+ yet. @iss#' Dorothy stoo+ u*# '7it +own.' sai+ the 5ector *rom*tly. with his mouth full# '/hat +o they thin! is the matter with the babyA' sai+ Dorothy# '/ell. @iss. it's turning Huite blac!# An+ it's ha+ +iarrhoea something cruel#' The 5ector em*tie+ his mouth with an effort# '@ust : ha0e these +isgusting +etails while : am eating my brea!fastA' he e'claime+# 4e turne+ on )llen: '7en+ Porter about his business an+ tell him :'ll be roun+ at his house at twel0e o'cloc!# : really cannot thin! why it is that the lower classes always seem to choose mealtimes to come *estering one.' he a++e+. casting another irritate+ glance at Dorothy as she sat +own# @r Porter was a labouring man22a bric!layer. to be e'act# The 5ector's 0iews on ba*tism were entirely soun+# :f it ha+ been urgently necessary he woul+ ha0e wal!e+ twenty miles through snow to ba*ti6e a +ying baby# ut he +i+ not li!e to see Dorothy *ro*osing to lea0e the brea!fast table at the call of a common bric!layer# There was no further con0ersation +uring brea!fast# Dorothy's heart was sin!ing lower an+ lower# The +eman+ for money ha+ got to be ma+e. an+ yet it was *erfectly ob0ious that it was fore+oome+ to failure# 4is brea!fast finishe+. the 5ector got u* from the table an+ began to fill his *i*e from the tobacco2jar on the mantel*iece# Dorothy uttere+ a short *rayer for courage. an+ then *inche+ herself# Go on. Dorothy8 Out with it8 "o fun!ing. *lease8 /ith an effort she mastere+ her 0oice an+ sai+: 'Bather22'

'/hat is itA' sai+ the 5ector. *ausing with the match in his han+# 'Bather. :'0e something : want to as! you# 7omething im*ortant#' The e'*ression of the 5ector's face change+# 4e ha+ +i0ine+ instantly what she was going to say> an+. curiously enough. he now loo!e+ less irritable than before# A stony calm ha+ settle+ u*on his face# 4e loo!e+ li!e a rather e'ce*tionally aloof an+ unhel*ful s*hin'# '"ow. my +ear Dorothy. : !now 0ery well what you are going to say# : su**ose you are going to as! me for money again# :s that itA' '1es. Bather# ecause22'

'/ell. : may as well sa0e you the trouble# : ha0e no money at all22 absolutely no money at all until ne't Huarter# 1ou ha0e ha+ your allowance. an+ : can't gi0e you a half*enny more# :t's Huite useless to come worrying me now#' ' ut. Bather22' Dorothy's heart san! yet lower# /hat was worst of all when she came to him for money was the terrible. unhel*ful calmness of his attitu+e# 4e was ne0er so unmo0e+ as when you were remin+ing him that he was u* to his eyes in +ebt# A**arently he coul+ not un+erstan+ that tra+esmen occasionally want to be *ai+. an+ that no house can be !e*t going without an a+eHuate su**ly of money# 4e allowe+ Dorothy eighteen *oun+s a month for all the househol+ e'*enses. inclu+ing )llen's wages. an+ at the same time he was '+ainty' about his foo+ an+ instantly +etecte+ any falling off in its Huality# The result was. of course. that the househol+ was *erennially in +ebt# ut the 5ector *ai+ not the smallest attention to his +ebts22in+ee+. he was har+ly e0en aware of them# /hen he lost money o0er an in0estment. he was +ee*ly agitate+> but as for a +ebt to a mere tra+esman22well. it was the !in+ of thing that he sim*ly coul+ not bother his hea+ about# A *eaceful *lume of smo!e floate+ u*war+s from the 5ector's *i*e# 4e was ga6ing with a me+itati0e eye at the steel engra0ing of Charles : an+ ha+ *robably forgotten alrea+y about Dorothy's +eman+ for money# 7eeing him so unconcerne+. a *ang of +es*eration went through Dorothy. an+ her courage came bac! to her# 7he sai+ more shar*ly than before: 'Bather. *lease listen to me8 : @C7T ha0e some money soon8 : sim*ly @C7T8 /e can't go on as we're +oing# /e owe money to nearly e0ery tra+esman in the town# :t's got so that some mornings : can har+ly bear to go +own the street an+ thin! of all the bills

that are owing# Do you !now that we owe Cargill nearly twenty2two *oun+sA' '/hat of itA' sai+ the 5ector between *uffs of smo!e# ' ut the bill's been mounting u* for o0er se0en months8 4e's sent it in o0er an+ o0er again# /e @C7T *ay it8 :t's so unfair to him to !ee* him waiting for his money li!e that8' '"onsense. my +ear chil+8 These *eo*le e'*ect to be !e*t waiting for their money# They li!e it# :t brings them more in the en+# Goo+ness !nows how much : owe to Cat!in K Palm22: shoul+ har+ly care to inHuire# They are +unning me by e0ery *ost# ut you +on't hear @) com*laining. +o youA' ' ut. Bather. : can't loo! at it as you +o. : can't8 :t's so +rea+ful to be always in +ebt8 )0en if it isn't actually wrong. it's so 4AT)BC(# :t ma!es me so ashame+8 /hen : go into Cargill's sho* to or+er the joint. he s*ea!s to me so shortly an+ ma!es me wait after the other customers. all because our bill's mounting u* the whole time# An+ yet : +aren't sto* or+ering from him# : belie0e he'+ run us in if : +i+#' The 5ector frowne+# '/hat8 Do you mean to say the fellow has been im*ertinent to youA' ': +i+n't say he'+ been im*ertinent. Bather# him if he's angry when his bill's not *ai+#' ut you can't blame

': most certainly can blame him8 :t is sim*ly abominable how these *eo*le ta!e it u*on themsel0es to beha0e nowa+ays22abominable8 ut there you are. you see# That is the !in+ of thing that we are e'*ose+ to in this +elightful century# That is +emocracy22 P5OG5)77. as they are *lease+ to call it# Don't or+er from the fellow again# Tell him at once that you are ta!ing your account elsewhere# That's the only way to treat these *eo*le#' ' ut. Bather. that +oesn't settle anything# 5eally an+ truly. +on't you thin! we ought to *ay himA 7urely we can get hol+ of the money somehowA Coul+n't you sell out some shares. or somethingA' '@y +ear chil+. +on't tal! to me about selling out shares8 : ha0e just ha+ the most +isagreeable news from my bro!er# 4e tells me that my 7umatra Tin shares ha0e +ro**e+ from se0en an+ four*ence to si' an+ a *enny# :t means a loss of nearly si'ty *oun+s# : am telling him to sell out at once before they +ro* any further#' 'Then if you sell out you'll ha0e some rea+y money. won't youA Don't you thin! it woul+ be better to get out of +ebt once an+ for allA'

'"onsense. nonsense.' sai+ the 5ector more calmly. *utting his *i*e bac! in his mouth# '1ou !now nothing whate0er about these matters# : shall ha0e to rein0est at once in something more ho*eful22it's the only way of getting my money bac!#' /ith one thumb in the belt of his cassoc! he frowne+ abstracte+ly at the steel engra0ing# 4is bro!er ha+ a+0ise+ Cnite+ Celanese# 4ere22in 7umatra Tin. Cnite+ Celanese. an+ numberless other remote an+ +imly imagine+ com*anies22was the central cause of the 5ector's money troubles# 4e was an in0eterate gambler# "ot. of course. that he thought of it as gambling> it was merely a lifelong search for a 'goo+ in0estment'# On coming of age he ha+ inherite+ four thousan+ *oun+s. which ha+ gra+ually +win+le+. than!s to his 'in0estments'. to about twel0e hun+re+# /hat was worse. e0ery year he manage+ to scra*e together. out of his miserable income. another fifty *oun+s which 0anishe+ by the same roa+# :t is a curious fact that the lure of a 'goo+ in0estment' seems to haunt clergymen more *ersistently than any other class of man# Perha*s it is the mo+ern eHui0alent of the +emons in female sha*e who use+ to haunt the anchorites of the Dar! Ages# ': shall buy fi0e hun+re+ Cnite+ Celanese.' sai+ the 5ector finally# Dorothy began to gi0e u* ho*e# 4er father was now thin!ing of his 'in0estments' ;she new nothing whate0er about these 'in0estments'. e'ce*t that they went wrong with *henomenal regularity=. an+ in another moment the Huestion of the sho*2+ebts woul+ ha0e sli**e+ entirely out of his min+# 7he ma+e a final effort# 'Bather. let's get this settle+. *lease# Do you thin! you'll be able to let me ha0e some e'tra money fairly soonA "ot this moment. *erha*s22but in the ne't month or twoA' '"o. my +ear. : +on't# About Christmas time. *ossibly22it's 0ery unli!ely e0en then# ut for the *resent. certainly not# : ha0en't a half*enny : can s*are#' ' ut. Bather. it's so horrible to feel we can't *ay our +ebts8 :t +isgraces us so8 (ast time @r /elwyn2Boster was here' ;@r /elwyn2 Boster was the 5ural Dean= '@rs /elwyn2Boster was going all roun+ the town as!ing e0eryone the most *ersonal Huestions about us22 as!ing how we s*ent our time. an+ how much money we ha+. an+ how many tons of coal we use+ in a year. an+ e0erything# 7he's always trying to *ry into our affairs# 7u**ose she foun+ out that we were ba+ly in +ebt8' '7urely it is our own businessA : fail entirely to see what it has to +o with @rs /elwyn2Boster or anyone else#'

' ut she'+ re*eat it all o0er the *lace22an+ she'+ e'aggerate it too8 1ou !now what @rs /elwyn2Boster is# :n e0ery *arish she goes to she tries to fin+ out something +isgraceful about the clergyman. an+ then she re*eats e0ery wor+ of it to the isho*# : +on't want to be uncharitable about her. but really she22' 5eali6ing that she D:D want to be uncharitable. Dorothy was silent# '7he is a +etestable woman.' sai+ the 5ector e0enly# '/hat of itA /ho e0er hear+ of a 5ural Dean's wife who wasn't +etestableA' ' ut. Bather. : +on't seem to be able to get you to see how serious things are8 /e'0e sim*ly nothing to li0e on for the ne't month# : +on't e0en !now where the meat's coming from for to+ay's +inner#' '(uncheon. Dorothy. luncheon8' sai+ the 5ector with a touch of irritation# ': +o wish you woul+ +ro* that abominable lower2class habit of calling the mi++ay meal D:"")58' 'Bor luncheon. then# /here are we to get the meat fromA : +aren't as! Cargill for another joint#' 'Go to the other butcher22what's his nameA 7alter22an+ ta!e no notice of Cargill# 4e !nows he'll be *ai+ sooner or later# Goo+ gracious. : +on't !now what all this fuss is about8 Doesn't e0eryone owe money to his tra+esmenA : +istinctly remember'22the 5ector straightene+ his shoul+ers a little. an+. *utting his *i*e bac! into his mouth. loo!e+ into the +istance> his 0oice became reminiscent an+ *erce*tibly more agreeable22': +istinctly remember that when : was u* at O'for+. my father ha+ still not *ai+ some of his own O'for+ bills of thirty years earlier# Tom' ;Tom was the 5ector's cousin. the aronet= 'owe+ se0en thousan+ before he came into his money# 4e tol+ me so himself#' At that. Dorothy's last ho*e 0anishe+# /hen her father began to tal! about his cousin Tom. an+ about things that ha+ ha**ene+ 'when : was u* at O'for+'. there was nothing more to be +one with him# :t meant that he ha+ sli**e+ into an imaginary gol+en *ast in which such 0ulgar things as butchers' bills sim*ly +i+ not e'ist# There were long *erio+s together when he seeme+ actually to forget that he was only a *o0erty2stric!en country 5ector22that he was not a young man of family with estates an+ re0ersions at his bac!# The aristocratic. the e'*ensi0e attitu+e was the one that in all circumstances came the most naturally to him# An+ of course while he li0e+. not uncomfortably. in the worl+ of his imagination. it was Dorothy who ha+ to fight the tra+esmen an+ ma!e a leg of mutton last from 7un+ay to /e+nes+ay# ut she !new the com*lete uselessness of arguing with him any longer# :t woul+ only en+ in ma!ing him angry# 7he got u* from the table an+ began to *ile the brea!fast things on to the tray#

'1ou're absolutely certain you can't let me ha0e any money. BatherA' she sai+ for the last time. at the +oor> with the tray in her arms# The 5ector. ga6ing into the mi++le +istance. ami+ comfortable wreaths of smo!e. +i+ not hear her# 4e was thin!ing. *erha*s. of his gol+en O'for+ +ays# Dorothy went out of the room +istresse+ almost to the *oint of tears# The miserable Huestion of the +ebts was once more shel0e+. as it ha+ been shel0e+ a thousan+ times before. with no *ros*ect of final solution#

E On her el+erly bicycle with the bas!etwor! carrier on the han+le2 bars. Dorothy free2wheele+ +own the hill. +oing mental arithmetic with three *oun+s nineteen an+ four*ence22her entire stoc! of money until ne't Huarter2+ay# 7he ha+ been through the list of things that were nee+e+ in the !itchen# ut in+ee+. was there anything that was "OT nee+e+ in the !itchenA Tea. coffee. soa*. matches. can+les. sugar. lentils. firewoo+. so+a. lam* oil. boot *olish. margarine. ba!ing *ow+er22 there seeme+ to be *ractically nothing that they were not running short of# An+ at e0ery moment some fresh item that she ha+ forgotten *o**e+ u* an+ +ismaye+ her# The laun+ry bill. for e'am*le. an+ the fact that the coal was running short. an+ the Huestion of the fish for Bri+ay# The 5ector was '+ifficult' about fish# 5oughly s*ea!ing. he woul+ only eat the more e'*ensi0e !in+s> co+. whiting. s*rats. s!ate. herrings. an+ !i**ers he refuse+# @eanwhile. she ha+ got to settle about the meat for to+ay's +inner22 luncheon# ;Dorothy was careful to obey her father an+ call it (C"C4)O". when she remembere+ it# On the other han+. you coul+ not in honesty call the e0ening meal anything but 'su**er'> so there was no such meal as '+inner' at the 5ectory#= etter ma!e an omelette for luncheon to+ay. Dorothy +eci+e+# 7he +are+ not go to Cargill again# Though. of course. if they ha+ an omelette for luncheon an+ then scramble+ eggs for su**er. her father woul+ *robably be sarcastic about it# (ast time they ha+ eggs twice in one +ay. he ha+ inHuire+ col+ly. '4a0e you starte+ a chic!en farm. DorothyA' An+ *erha*s tomorrow she woul+ get two *oun+s of sausages at the :nternational. an+ that sta0e+ off the meat2 Huestion for one +ay more# Thirty2nine further +ays. with only three *oun+s nineteen an+

four*ence to *ro0i+e for them. loome+ u* in Dorothy's imagination. sen+ing through her a wa0e of self2*ity which she chec!e+ almost instantly# "ow then. Dorothy8 "o sni0elling. *lease8 :t all comes right somehow if you trust in Go+# @atthew 0i. %J# The (or+ will *ro0i+e# /ill 4eA Dorothy remo0e+ her right han+ from the han+le2bars an+ felt for the glass2hea+e+ *in. but the blas*hemous thought fa+e+# At this moment she became aware of the gloomy re+ face of Proggett. who was hailing her res*ectfully but urgently from the si+e of the roa+# Dorothy sto**e+ an+ got off her bicycle# ' eg *ar+on. @iss.' sai+ Proggett# ': been wanting to s*ea! to you. @iss22PA5T:C'(A5#' Dorothy sighe+ inwar+ly# /hen Proggett wante+ to s*ea! to you PA5T:C'(A5. you coul+ be *erfectly certain what was coming> it was some *iece of alarming news about the con+ition of the church# Proggett was a *essimistic. conscientious man. an+ 0ery loyal churchman. after his fashion# Too +im of intellect to ha0e any +efinite religious beliefs. he showe+ his *iety by an intense solicitu+e about the state of the church buil+ings# 4e ha+ +eci+e+ long ago that the Church of Christ meant the actual walls. roof. an+ tower of 7t Athelstan's. <ny*e 4ill. an+ he woul+ *o!e roun+ the church at all hours of the +ay. gloomily noting a crac!e+ stone here. a worm2eaten beam there22an+ afterwar+s. of course. coming to harass Dorothy with +eman+s for re*airs which woul+ cost im*ossible sums of money# '/hat is it. ProggettA' sai+ Dorothy# '/ell. @iss. it's they 22'22here a *eculiar. im*erfect soun+. not a wor+ e'actly. but the ghost of a wor+. all but forme+ itself on Proggett's li*s# :t seeme+ to begin with a # Proggett was one of those men who are for e0er on the 0erge of swearing. but who always reca*ture the oath as it is esca*ing between their teeth# ':t's they )((7. @iss.' he sai+. getting ri+ of the soun+ with an effort# 'They bells u* in the church tower# They're a2s*lintering through that there belfry floor in a way as it ma!es you fair shu++er to loo! at 'em# /e'll ha0e 'em +own ato* of us before we !now where we are# : was u* the belfry 'smorning. an+ : tell you : come +own faster'n : went u*. when : saw how that there floor's a2 busting un+erneath 'em#' Proggett came to com*lain about the con+ition of the bells not less than once a fortnight# :t was now three years that they ha+ been lying on the floor of the belfry. because the cost of either reswinging or remo0ing them was estimate+ at twenty2fi0e *oun+s. which might as well ha0e been twenty2fi0e thousan+ for all the chance there was of *aying for it# They were really almost as

+angerous as Proggett ma+e out# :t was Huite certain that. if not this year or ne't year. at any rate at some time in the near future. they woul+ fall through the belfry floor into the church *orch# An+. as Proggett was fon+ of *ointing out. it woul+ *robably ha**en on a 7un+ay morning just as the congregation were coming into church# Dorothy sighe+ again# Those wretche+ bells were ne0er out of min+ for long> there were times when the thought of their falling e0en got into her +reams# There was always some trouble or other at the church# :f it was not the belfry. then it was the roof or the walls> or it was a bro!en *ew which the car*enter wante+ ten shillings to men+> or it was se0en hymn2boo!s nee+e+ at one an+ si'*ence each. or the flue of the sto0e cho!e+ u*22an+ the swee*'s fee was half a crown22or a smashe+ win+ow2*ane or the choir2boys' cassoc!s in rags# There was ne0er enough money for anything# The new organ which the rector ha+ insiste+ on buying fi0e years earlier22the ol+ one. he sai+. remin+e+ him of a cow with the asthma22was a bur+en un+er which the Church )'*enses fun+ ha+ been staggering e0er since# ': +on't !now /4AT we can +o.' sai+ Dorothy finally> ': really +on't# /e'0e sim*ly no money at all# An+ e0en if we +o ma!e anything out of the school2chil+ren's *lay. it's all got to go to the organ fun+# The organ *eo*le are really getting Huite nasty about their bill# 4a0e you s*o!en to my fatherA' '1es. @iss# 4e +on't ma!e nothing of it# L elfry's hel+ u* fi0e hun+re+ years.L he says> Lwe can trust it to hol+ u* a few years longer#L' This was Huite accor+ing to *rece+ent# The fact that the church was 0isibly colla*sing o0er his hea+ ma+e no im*ression on the 5ector> he sim*ly ignore+ it. as he ignore+ anything else that he +i+ not wish to be worrie+ about# '/ell. : +on't !now /4AT we can +o.' Dorothy re*eate+# 'Of course there's the jumble sale coming off the wee! after ne't# :'m counting on @iss @ayfill to gi0e us something really ":C) for the jumble sale# : !now she coul+ affor+ to# 7he's got such lots of furniture an+ things that she ne0er uses# : was in her house the other +ay. an+ : saw a most beautiful (owestoft china tea ser0ice which was *ut away in a cu*boar+. an+ she tol+ me it ha+n't been use+ for o0er twenty years# ,ust su**ose she ga0e us that tea ser0ice8 :t woul+ fetch *oun+s an+ *oun+s# /e must just *ray that the jumble sale will be a success. Proggett# Pray that it'll bring us fi0e *oun+s at least# :'m sure we shall get the money somehow if we really an+ truly *ray for it#' '1es. @iss.' sai+ Proggett res*ectfully. an+ shifte+ his ga6e to

the far +istance# At this moment a horn hoote+ an+ a 0ast. gleaming blue car came 0ery slowly +own the roa+. ma!ing for the 4igh 7treet# Out of one win+ow @r lifil2Gor+on. the Pro*rietor of the sugar2beet refinery. was thrusting a slee! blac! hea+ which went remar!ably ill with his suit of san+y2coloure+ 4arris twee+# As he *asse+. instea+ of ignoring Dorothy as usual. he flashe+ u*on her a smile so warm that it was almost amorous# /ith him were his el+est son 5al*h22or. as he an+ the rest of the family *ronounce+ it. /al*h22an e*icene youth of twenty. gi0en to the writing of sub2)liot 0ers libre *oems. an+ (or+ Poc!thorne's two +aughters# They were all smiling. e0en (or+ Poc!thorne's +aughters# Dorothy was astonishe+. for it was se0eral years since any of these *eo*le ha+ +eigne+ to recogni6e her in the street# '@r lifil2Gor+on is 0ery frien+ly this morning.' she sai+# 'Aye. @iss# :'ll be boun+ he is# :t's the election coming on ne't wee!. that's what 'tis# All honey an+ butter they are till they'0e ma+e sure as you'll 0ote for them> an+ then they'0e forgot your 0ery face the +ay afterwar+s#' 'Oh. the election8' sai+ Dorothy 0aguely# 7o remote were such things as *arliamentary elections from the +aily roun+ of *arish wor! that she was 0irtually unaware of them22har+ly. in+ee+. e0en !nowing the +ifference between (iberal an+ Conser0ati0e or 7ocialist an+ Communist# '/ell. Proggett.' she sai+. imme+iately forgetting the election in fa0our of something more im*ortant. ':'ll s*ea! to Bather an+ tell him how serious it is about the bells# : thin! *erha*s the best thing we can +o will be to get u* a s*ecial subscri*tion. just for the bells alone# There's no !nowing. we might ma!e fi0e *oun+s# /e might e0en ma!e ten *oun+s8 Don't you thin! if : went to @iss @ayfill an+ as!e+ her to start the subscri*tion with fi0e *oun+s. she might gi0e it to usA' '1ou ta!e my wor+. @iss. an+ +on't you let @iss @ayfill hear nothing about it# :t'+ scare the life out of her# :f she thought as that tower wasn't safe. we'+ ne0er get her insi+e that church again#' 'Oh +ear8 : su**ose not#' '"o. @iss# /e shan't get nothing out of 4)5> the ol+22' A ghostly floate+ once more across Proggett's li*s# 4is min+ a little more at rest now that he ha+ +eli0ere+ his fortnightly re*ort u*on the bells. he touche+ his ca* an+ +e*arte+. while Dorothy ro+e on into the 4igh 7treet. with the twin *roblems of the sho*2+ebts an+ the Church )'*enses *ursuing one another through her

min+ li!e the twin refrains of a 0illanelle# The still watery sun. now *laying hi+e2an+2see!. A*ril2wise. among woolly islets of clou+. sent an obliHue beam +own the 4igh 7treet. gil+ing the house2fronts of the northern si+e# :t was one of those slee*y. ol+2fashione+ streets that loo! so i+eally *eaceful on a casual 0isit an+ so 0ery +ifferent when you li0e in them an+ ha0e an enemy or a cre+itor behin+ e0ery win+ow# The only +efinitely offensi0e buil+ings were 1e Ol+e Tea 7ho**e ;*laster front with sham beams naile+ on to it. bottle2glass win+ows an+ re0olting curly roof li!e that of a Chinese joss2house=. an+ the new. Doric2 *illare+ *ost office# After about two hun+re+ yar+s the 4igh 7treet for!e+. forming a tiny mar!et2*lace. a+orne+ with a *um*. now +efunct. an+ a worm2eaten *air of stoc!s# On either si+e of the *um* stoo+ the Dog an+ ottle. the *rinci*al inn of the town. an+ the <ny*e 4ill Conser0ati0e Club# At the en+. comman+ing the street. stoo+ Cargill's +rea+e+ sho*# Dorothy came roun+ the corner to a terrific +in of cheering. mingle+ with the strains of '5ule ritannia' *laye+ on the trombone# The normally slee*y street was blac! with *eo*le. an+ more *eo*le were hurrying from all the si+estreets# )0i+ently a sort of trium*hal *rocession was ta!ing *lace# 5ight across the street. from the roof of the Dog an+ ottle to the roof of the Conser0ati0e Club. hung a line with innumerable blue streamers. an+ in the mi++le a 0ast banner inscribe+ ' lifil2Gor+on an+ the )m*ire8' Towar+s this. between the lanes of *eo*le. the lifil2 Gor+on car was mo0ing at a foot2*ace. with @r lifil2Gor+on smiling richly. first to one si+e. then to the other# :n front of the car marche+ a +etachment of the uffaloes. hea+e+ by an earnest2loo!ing little man *laying the trombone. an+ carrying among them another banner inscribe+: /ho'll sa0e ritain from the 5e+sA (:B:(2GO5DO" /ho'll *ut the eer bac! into your PotA (:B:(2GO5DO" lifil2Gor+on for e0er8 Brom the win+ow of the Conser0ati0e Club floate+ an enormous Cnion ,ac!. abo0e which si' scarlet faces were beaming enthusiastically# Dorothy wheele+ her bicycle slowly +own the street. too much agitate+ by the *ros*ect of *assing Cargill's sho* ;she ha+ got to

*ass. it. to get to 7ole*i*e's= to ta!e much notice of the *rocession# The lifil2Gor+on car ha+ halte+ for a moment outsi+e 1e Ol+e Tea 7ho**e# Borwar+. the coffee briga+e8 4alf the la+ies of the town seeme+ to be hurrying forth. with la*+ogs or sho**ing bas!ets on their arms. to cluster about the car li!e acchantes about the car of the 0ine2go+# After all. an election is *ractically the only time when you get a chance of e'changing smiles with the County# There were eager feminine cries of 'Goo+ luc!. @r lifil2Gor+on8 D)A5 @r lifil2Gor+on8 /e DO ho*e you'll get in. @r lifil2Gor+on8' @r lifil2Gor+on's largesse of smiles was unceasing. but carefully gra+e+# To the *o*ulace he ga0e a +iffuse+. general smile. not resting on in+i0i+uals> to the coffee la+ies an+ the si' scarlet *atriots of the Conser0ati0e Club he ga0e one smile each> to the most fa0oure+ of all. young /al*h ga0e an occasional wa0e of the han+ an+ a sHuea!y 'Cheewio8' Dorothy's heart tightene+# 7he ha+ seen that @r Cargill. li!e the rest of the sho*!ee*ers. was stan+ing on his +oorste*# 4e was a tall. e0il2loo!ing man. in blue2stri*e+ a*ron. with a lean. scra*e+ face as *ur*le as one of his own joints of meat that ha+ lain a little too long in the win+ow# 7o fascinate+ were Dorothy's eyes by that ominous figure that she +i+ not loo! where she was going. an+ bum*e+ into a 0ery large. stout man who was ste**ing off the *a0ement bac!war+s# The stout man turne+ roun+# 'Goo+ 4ea0ens8 :t's Dorothy8' he e'claime+# '/hy. @r /arburton8 4ow e'traor+inary8 Do you !now. : ha+ a feeling : was going to meet you to+ay#' ' y the *ric!ing of your thumbs. : *resumeA' sai+ @r /arburton. beaming all o0er a large. *in!. @icawberish face# 'An+ how are youA ut by ,o0e8' he a++e+. '/hat nee+ is there to as!A 1ou loo! more bewitching than e0er#' 4e *inche+ Dorothy's bare elbow22she ha+ change+. after brea!fast. into a slee0eless gingham froc!# Dorothy ste**e+ hurrie+ly bac!war+s to get out of his reach22she hate+ being *inche+ or otherwise 'maule+ about'22an+ sai+ rather se0erely: 'P()A7) +on't *inch my elbow# : +on't li!e it#' '@y +ear Dorothy. who coul+ resist an elbow li!e yoursA :t's the sort of elbow one *inches automatically# A refle' action. if you un+erstan+ me#' '/hen +i+ you get bac! to <ny*e 4illA' sai+ Dorothy. who ha+ *ut her bicycle between @r /arburton an+ herself# :t's o0er two months since :'0e seen you#'

': got bac! the +ay before yester+ay# ut this is only a flying 0isit# :'m off again tomorrow# :'m ta!ing the !i+s to rittany# The A7TA5D7. you !now#' @r /arburton *ronounce+ the wor+ A7TA5D7. at which Dorothy loo!e+ away in +iscomfort. with a touch of nai0e *ri+e# 4e an+ his 'bastar+s' ;he ha+ three of them= were one of the chief scan+als of <ny*e 4ill# 4e was a man of in+e*en+ent income. calling himself a *ainter22he *ro+uce+ about half a +o6en me+iocre lan+sca*es e0ery year22an+ he ha+ come to <ny*e 4ill two years earlier an+ bought one of the new 0illas behin+ the 5ectory# There he li0e+. or rather staye+ *erio+ically. in o*en concubinage with a woman whom he calle+ his house!ee*er# Bour months ago this woman22she was a foreigner. a 7*aniar+ it was sai+22ha+ create+ a fresh an+ worse scan+al by abru*tly +eserting him. an+ his three chil+ren were now *ar!e+ with some long2suffering relati0e in (on+on# :n a**earance he was a fine. im*osing2loo!ing man. though entirely bal+ ;he was at great *ains to conceal this=. an+ he carrie+ himself with such a ra!ish air as to gi0e the im*ression that his fairly si6eable belly was merely a !in+ of anne'e to his chest# 4is age was forty2eight. an+ he owne+ to forty2four# Peo*le in the town sai+ that he was a '*ro*er ol+ rascal'> young girls were afrai+ of him. not without reason# @r /arburton ha+ lai+ his han+ *seu+o2*aternally on Dorothy's shoul+er an+ was she*her+ing her through the crow+. tal!ing all the while almost without a *ause# The lifil2Gor+on car. ha0ing roun+e+ the *um*. was now wen+ing its way bac!. still accom*anie+ by its trou*e of mi++le2age+ acchantes# @r /arburton. his attention caught. *ause+ to scrutini6e it# '/hat is the meaning of these +isgusting anticsA' he as!e+# 'Oh. they're22what is it they call itA22electioneering# Trying to get us to 0ote for them. : su**ose#' 'Trying to get us to 0ote for them8 Goo+ Go+8' murmure+ @r /arburton. as he eye+ the trium*hal cortege# 4e raise+ the large. sil0er2hea+e+ cane that he always carrie+. an+ *ointe+. rather e'*ressi0ely. first at one figure in the *rocession an+ then at another# '(oo! at it8 ,ust loo! at it8 (oo! at those fawning hags. an+ that half2witte+ oaf grinning at us li!e a mon!ey that sees a bag of nuts# Di+ you e0er see such a +isgusting s*ectacleA' 'Do be careful8' Dorothy murmure+# '7omebo+y's sure to hear you#' 'Goo+8' sai+ @r /arburton. imme+iately raising his 0oice# 'An+ to thin! that low2born houn+ actually has the im*ertinence to thin! that he's *leasing us with the sight of his false teeth8 An+ that

suit he's wearing is an offence in itself# :s there a 7ocialist can+i+ateA :f so. : shall certainly 0ote for him#' 7e0eral *eo*le on the *a0ement turne+ an+ stare+# Dorothy saw little @r Twiss. the ironmonger. a wea6ene+. leather2coloure+ ol+ man. *eering with 0eile+ male0olence roun+ the corner of the rush bas!ets that hung in his +oorway# 4e ha+ caught the wor+ 7ocialist. an+ was mentally registering @r /arburton as a 7ocialist an+ Dorothy as the frien+ of 7ocialists# ': really @C7T be getting on.' sai+ Dorothy hastily. feeling that she ha+ better esca*e before @r /arburton sai+ something e0en more tactless# ':'0e got e0er such a lot of sho**ing to +o# :'ll say goo+2bye for the *resent. then#' 'Oh. no. you won't8' sai+ @r /arburton cheerfully# '"ot a bit of it8 :'ll come with you#' As she wheele+ her bicycle +own the street he marche+ at her si+e. still tal!ing. with his large chest well forwar+ an+ his stic! tuc!e+ un+er his arm# 4e was a +ifficult man to sha!e off. an+ though Dorothy counte+ him as a frien+. she +i+ sometimes wish. he being the town scan+al an+ she the 5ector's +aughter. that he woul+ not always choose the most *ublic *laces to tal! to her in# At this moment. howe0er. she was rather grateful for his com*any. which ma+e it a**reciably easier to *ass Cargill's sho*22for Cargill was still on his +oorste* an+ was regar+ing her with a si+elong. meaning ga6e# ':t was a bit of luc! my meeting you this morning.' @r /arburton went on# ':n fact. : was loo!ing for you# /ho +o you thin! :'0e got coming to +inner with me tonightA ewley225onal+ ewley# 1ou'0e hear+ of him. of courseA' '5onal+ ewleyA "o. : +on't thin! so# /ho is heA' '/hy. +ash it8 5onal+ ewley. the no0elist# Author of Bish*ools an+ Concubines# 7urely you'0e rea+ Bish*ools an+ ConcubinesA' '"o. :'m afrai+ : ha0en't# :n fact. :'+ ne0er e0en hear+ of it#' '@y +ear Dorothy8 1ou 4AD) been neglecting yourself# 1ou certainly ought to rea+ Bish*ools an+ Concubines# :t's hot stuff. : assure you22real high2class *ornogra*hy# ,ust the !in+ of thing you nee+ to ta!e the taste of the Girl Gui+es out of your mouth#' ': +o wish you woul+n't say such things8' sai+ Dorothy. loo!ing away uncomfortably. an+ then imme+iately loo!ing bac! again because she ha+ all but caught Cargill's eye# '/here +oes this @r ewley li0eA' she a++e+# '"ot here. surely. +oes heA'

'"o# 4e's coming o0er from :*swich for +inner. an+ *erha*s to stay the night# That's why : was loo!ing for you# : thought you might li!e to meet him# 4ow about your coming to +inner tonightA' ': can't *ossibly come to +inner.' sai+ Dorothy# ':'0e got Bather's su**er to see to. an+ thousan+s of other things# : shan't be free till eight o'cloc! or after#' '/ell. come along after +inner. then# :'+ li!e you to !now ewley# 4e's an interesting fellow220ery au fait with all the loomsbury scan+al. an+ all that# 1ou'll enjoy meeting him# :t'll +o you goo+ to esca*e from the church hen2coo* for a few hours#' Dorothy hesitate+# 7he was tem*te+# To tell the truth. she enjoye+ her occasional 0isits to @r /arburton's house e'tremely# ut of course they were D)51 occasional22once in three or four months at the oftenest> it so ob0iously D:D"'T DO to associate too freely with such a man# An+ e0en when she +i+ go to his house she was careful to ma!e sure beforehan+ that there was going to be at least one other 0isitor# Two years earlier. when @r /arburton ha+ first come to <ny*e 4ill ;at that time he was *osing as a wi+ower with two chil+ren> a little later. howe0er. the house!ee*er su++enly ga0e birth to a thir+ chil+ in the mi++le of the night=. Dorothy ha+ met him at a tea2*arty an+ afterwar+s calle+ on him# @r /arburton ha+ gi0en her a +elightful tea. tal!e+ amusingly about boo!s. an+ then. imme+iately after tea. sat +own besi+e her on the sofa an+ begun ma!ing lo0e to her. 0iolently. outrageously. e0en brutally# :t was *ractically an assault# Dorothy was horrifie+ almost out of her wits. though not too horrifie+ to resist# 7he esca*e+ from him an+ too! refuge on the other si+e of the sofa. white. sha!ing. an+ almost in tears# @r /arburton. on the other han+. was Huite unashame+ an+ e0en seeme+ rather amuse+# 'Oh. how coul+ you. how coul+ youA' she sobbe+# ' ut it a**ears that : coul+n't.' sai+ @r /arburton# 'Oh. but how coul+ you be such a bruteA' 'Oh. T4ATA )asily. my chil+. easily# 1ou will un+erstan+ that when you get to my age#' :n s*ite of this ba+ beginning. a sort of frien+shi* ha+ grown u* between the two. e0en to the e'tent of Dorothy being 'tal!e+ about' in conne'ion with @r /arburton# :t +i+ not ta!e much to get you 'tal!e+ about' in <ny*e 4ill# 7he only saw him at long inter0als an+ too! the greatest care ne0er to be alone with him. but e0en so

he foun+ o**ortunities of ma!ing casual lo0e to her# ut it was +one in a gentlemanly fashion> the *re0ious +isagreeable inci+ent was not re*eate+# Afterwar+s. when he was forgi0en. @r /arburton ha+ e'*laine+ that he 'always trie+ it on' with e0ery *resentable woman he met# 'Don't you get rather a lot of snubsA' Dorothy coul+ not hel* as!ing him# 'Oh. certainly# !now#' ut : get Huite a number of successes as well. you

Peo*le won+ere+ sometimes how such a girl as Dorothy coul+ consort. e0en occasionally. with such a man as @r /arburton> but the hol+ that he ha+ o0er her was the hol+ that the blas*hemer an+ e0il2 li0er always has o0er the *ious# :t is a fact22you ha0e only to loo! about you to 0erify it22that the *ious an+ the immoral +rift naturally together# The best brothel2scenes in literature ha0e been written. without e'ce*tion. by *ious belie0ers or *ious unbelie0ers# An+ of course Dorothy. born into the twentieth century. ma+e a *oint of listening to @r /arburton's blas*hemies as calmly as *ossible> it is fatal to flatter the wic!e+ by letting them see that you are shoc!e+ by them# esi+es. she was genuinely fon+ of him# 4e tease+ her an+ +istresse+ her. an+ yet she got from him. without being fully aware of it. a s*ecies of sym*athy an+ un+erstan+ing which she coul+ not get elsewhere# Bor all his 0ices he was +istinctly li!eable. an+ the sho++y brilliance of his con0ersation22Oscar /il+e se0en times watere+22which she was too ine'*erience+ to see through. fascinate+ while it shoc!e+ her# Perha*s. too. in this instance. the *ros*ect of meeting the celebrate+ @r ewley ha+ its effect u*on her> though certainly Bish*on+s an+ Concubines soun+e+ li!e the !in+ of boo! that she either +i+n't rea+ or else set herself hea0y *enances for rea+ing# :n (on+on. no +oubt. one woul+ har+ly cross the roa+ to see fifty no0elists> but these things a**eare+ +ifferently in *laces li!e <ny*e 4ill# 'Are you 7C5) @r ewley is comingA' she sai+# 'Muite sure# An+ his wife's coming as well. : belie0e# Bull cha*eronage# "o TarHuin an+ (ucrece business this e0ening#' 'All right.' sai+ Dorothy finally> 'than!s 0ery much# :'ll come roun+22about half *ast eight. : e'*ect#' 'Goo+# :f you can manage to come while it is still +aylight. so much the better# 5emember that @rs 7em*rill is my ne't2+oor neighbour# /e can count on her to be on the Hui 0i0e any time after sun+own#'

@rs 7em*rill was the town scan+almonger22the most eminent. that is. of the town's many scan+almongers# 4a0ing got what he wante+ ;he was constantly *estering Dorothy to come to his house more often=. @r /arburton sai+ au re0oir an+ left Dorothy to +o the remain+er of her sho**ing# :n the semi2gloom of 7ole*i*e's sho*. she was just mo0ing away from the counter with her two an+ a half yar+s of casement cloth. when she was aware of a low. mournful 0oice at her ear# :t was @rs 7em*rill# 7he was a slen+er woman of forty. with a lan!. sallow. +istinguishe+ face. which. with her glossy +ar! hair an+ air of settle+ melancholy. ga0e her something the a**earance of a Dan Dyc! *ortrait# )ntrenche+ behin+ a *ile of cretonnes near the win+ow. she ha+ been watching Dorothy's con0ersation with @r /arburton# /hene0er you were +oing something that you +i+ not *articularly want @rs 7em*rill to see you +oing. you coul+ trust her to be somewhere in the neighbourhoo+# 7he seeme+ to ha0e the *ower of materiali6ing li!e an Arabian jinneeyeh at any *lace where she was not wante+# "o in+iscretion. howe0er small. esca*e+ her 0igilance# @r /arburton use+ to say that she was li!e the four beasts of the A*ocaly*se22'They are full of eyes. you remember. an+ they rest not night nor +ay#' 'Dorothy D)A5)7T.' murmure+ @rs 7em*rill in the sorrowful. affectionate 0oice of someone brea!ing a *iece of ba+ news as gently as *ossible# ':'0e been so /A"T:"G to s*ea! to you# :'0e something sim*ly D5)ADBC( to tell you22something that will really 4O55:B1 you8' '/hat is itA' sai+ Dorothy resigne+ly. well !nowing what was coming22for @rs 7em*rill ha+ only one subject of con0ersation# They mo0e+ out of the sho* an+ began to wal! +own the street. Dorothy wheeling her bicycle. @rs 7em*rill mincing at her si+e with a +elicate bir+li!e ste* an+ bringing her mouth closer an+ closer to Dorothy's ear as her remar!s grew more an+ more intimate# 'Do you ha**en to ha0e notice+.' she began. 'that girl who sits at the en+ of the *ew nearest the organ in churchA A rather P5)TT1 girl. with re+ hair# :'0e no i+ea what her name is.' a++e+ @rs 7em*rill. who !new the surname an+ all the Christian names of e0ery man. woman. an+ chil+ in <ny*e 4ill# '@olly Breeman.' sai+ Dorothy# '7he's the niece of Breeman the greengrocer#' 'Oh. @olly BreemanA :s T4AT her nameA :'+ often won+ere+# /ell22' The +elicate re+ mouth came closer. the mournful 0oice san! to a shoc!e+ whis*er# @rs 7em*rill began to *our forth a stream of

*urulent libel in0ol0ing @olly Breeman an+ si' young men who wor!e+ at the sugar2beet refinery# After a few moments the story became so outrageous that Dorothy. who ha+ turne+ 0ery *in!. hurrie+ly with+rew her ear from @rs 7em*rill's whis*ering li*s# 7he sto**e+ her bicycle# ': won't listen to such things8' she sai+ abru*tly# ': <"O/ that isn't true about @olly Breeman# :t CA"'T be true8 7he's such a nice Huiet girl22she was one of my 0ery best Girl Gui+es. an+ she's always been so goo+ about hel*ing with the church ba6aars an+ e0erything# :'m *erfectly certain she woul+n't +o such things as you're saying#' ' ut. Dorothy D)A5)7T8 /hen. as : tol+ you. : actually saw with my own eyes # # #' ': +on't care8 :t's not fair to say such things about *eo*le# )0en if they were true it woul+n't be right to re*eat them# There's Huite enough e0il in the worl+ without going about loo!ing for it#' '(OO<:"G for it8' sighe+ @rs 7em*rill# ' ut. my +ear Dorothy. as though one e0er wante+ or "))D)D to loo!8 The trouble is that one can't 4)(P seeing all the +rea+ful wic!e+ness that goes on in this town#' @rs 7em*rill was always genuinely astonishe+ if you accuse+ her of (OO<:"G for subjects for scan+al# "othing. she woul+ *rotest. *aine+ her more than the s*ectacle of human wic!e+ness> but it was constantly force+ u*on her unwilling eyes. an+ only a stern sense of +uty im*elle+ her to ma!e it *ublic# Dorothy's remar!s. so far from silencing her. merely set her tal!ing about the general corru*tion of <ny*e 4ill. of which @olly Breeman's misbeha0iour was only one e'am*le# An+ so from @olly Breeman an+ her si' young men she *rocee+e+ to Dr Gaythorne. the town me+ical officer. who ha+ got two of the nurses at the Cottage 4os*ital with chil+. an+ then to @rs Corn. the Town Cler!'s wife. foun+ lying in a fiel+ +ea+ +run! on eau2+e2Cologne. an+ then to the curate at 7t /e+e!in+'s in @illborough. who ha+ in0ol0e+ himself in a gra0e scan+al with a choirboy> an+ so it went on. one thing lea+ing to another# Bor there was har+ly a soul in the town or the surroun+ing country about whom @rs 7em*rill coul+ not +isclose some festering secret if you listene+ to her long enough# :t was noticeable that her stories were not only +irty an+ libellous. but they ha+ nearly always some monstrous tinge of *er0ersion about them# Com*are+ with the or+inary scan+almongers of a country town. she was Breu+ to occaccio# Brom hearing her tal! you woul+ ha0e gathere+ the im*ression that <ny*e 4ill with its thousan+ inhabitants hel+ more of the refinements of e0il than

7o+om. Gomorrah. an+ uenos Aires *ut together# :n+ee+. when you reflecte+ u*on the li0es le+ by the inhabitants of this latter2+ay City of the Plain22from the manager of the local ban! sHuan+ering his clients' money on the chil+ren of his secon+ an+ bigamous marriage. to the barmai+ of the Dog an+ ottle ser0ing +rin!s in the ta*room +resse+ only in high2heele+ satin sli**ers. an+ from ol+ @iss Channon. the music2teacher. with her secret gin bottle an+ her anonymous letters. to @aggie /hite. the ba!er's +aughter. who ha+ borne three chil+ren to her own brother22when you consi+ere+ these *eo*le. all. young an+ ol+. rich an+ *oor. sun!en in monstrous an+ abylonian 0ices. you won+ere+ that fire +i+ not come +own from 4ea0en an+ consume the town forthwith# ut if you listene+ just a little longer. the catalogue of obscenities became first monstrous an+ then unbearably +ull# Bor in a town in which )D)51O") is either a bigamist. a *e+erast. or a +rug2ta!er. the worst scan+al loses its sting# :n fact. @rs 7em*rill was something worse than a slan+erer> she was a bore# As to the e'tent to which her stories were belie0e+. it 0arie+# At times the wor+ woul+ go roun+ that she was a foul2mouthe+ ol+ cat an+ e0erything she sai+ was a *ac! of lies> at other times one of her accusations woul+ ta!e effect on some unfortunate *erson. who woul+ nee+ months or e0en years to li0e it +own# 7he ha+ certainly been instrumental in brea!ing off not less than half a +o6en engagements an+ starting innumerable Huarrels between husban+s an+ wi0es# All this while Dorothy ha+ been ma!ing aborti0e efforts to sha!e @rs 7em*rill off# 7he ha+ e+ge+ her way gra+ually across the street until she was wheeling her bicycle along the right2han+ !erb> but @rs 7em*rill ha+ followe+. whis*ering without cease# :t was not until they reache+ the en+ of the 4igh 7treet that Dorothy summone+ u* enough firmness to esca*e# 7he halte+ an+ *ut her right foot on the *e+al of her bicycle# ': really can't sto* a moment longer.' she sai+# ':'0e got a thousan+ things to +o. an+ :'m late alrea+y#' 'Oh. but. Dorothy +ear8 :'0e something else : sim*ly @C7T tell you22something most :@PO5TA"T8' ':'m sorry22:'m in such a terrible hurry# Another time. *erha*s#' ':t's about that D5)ADBC( @r /arburton.' sai+ @rs 7em*rill hastily. lest Dorothy shoul+ esca*e without hearing it# '4e's just come bac! from (on+on. an+ +o you !now22: most PA5T:CC(A5(1 wante+ to tell you this22+o you !now. he actually22' ut here Dorothy saw that she must ma!e off instantly. at no matter what cost# 7he coul+ imagine nothing more uncomfortable than to

ha0e to +iscuss @r /arburton with @rs 7em*rill# 7he mounte+ her bicycle. an+ with only a 0ery brief '7orry22: really CA"'T sto*8' began to ri+e hurrie+ly away# ': wante+ to tell you22he's ta!en u* with a new woman8' @rs 7em*rill crie+ after her. e0en forgetting to whis*er in her eagerness to *ass on this juicy titbit# ut Dorothy ro+e swiftly roun+ the corner. not loo!ing bac!. an+ *reten+ing not to ha0e hear+# An unwise thing to +o. for it +i+ not *ay to cut @rs 7em*rill too short# Any unwillingness to listen to her scan+als was ta!en as a sign of +e*ra0ity. an+ le+ to fresh an+ worse scan+als being *ublishe+ about yourself the moment you ha+ left her# As Dorothy ro+e homewar+s she ha+ uncharitable thoughts about @rs 7em*rill. for which she +uly *inche+ herself# Also. there was another. rather +isturbing i+ea which ha+ not occurre+ to her till this moment22that @rs 7em*rill woul+ certainly learn of her 0isit to @r /arburton's house this e0ening. an+ woul+ *robably ha0e magnifie+ it into something scan+alous by tomorrow# The thought sent a 0ague *remonition of e0il through Dorothy's min+ as she jum*e+ off her bicycle at the 5ectory gate. where 7illy ,ac!. the town i+iot. a thir+2gra+e moron with a triangular scarlet face li!e a strawberry. was loitering. 0acantly flogging the gate*ost with a ha6el switch#

G :t was a little after ele0en# The +ay. which. li!e some o0erri*e but ho*eful wi+ow *laying at se0enteen. ha+ been *utting on unseasonable A*ril airs. ha+ now remembere+ that it was August an+ settle+ +own to be boiling hot# Dorothy ro+e into the hamlet of Bennelwic!. a mile out of <ny*e 4ill# 7he ha+ +eli0ere+ @rs (ewin's corn2*laster. an+ was +ro**ing in to gi0e ol+ @rs Pither that cutting from the Daily @ail about angelica tea for rheumatism# The sun. burning in the clou+less s!y. scorche+ her bac! through her gingham froc!. an+ the +usty roa+ Hui0ere+ in the heat. an+ the hot. flat mea+ows. o0er which e0en at this time of year numberless lar!s chirru*e+ tiresomely. were so green that it hurt your eyes to loo! at them# :t was the !in+ of +ay that is calle+ 'glorious' by *eo*le who +on't ha0e to wor!# Dorothy leane+ her bicycle against the gate of the Pithers' cottage. an+ too! her han+!erchief out of her bag an+ wi*e+ her

han+s. which were sweating from the han+le2bars# :n the harsh sunlight her face loo!e+ *inche+ an+ colourless# 7he loo!e+ her age. an+ something o0er. at that hour of the morning# Throughout her +ay22an+ in general it was a se0enteen2hour +ay22she ha+ regular. alternating *erio+s of tire+ness an+ energy> the mi++le of the morning. when she was +oing the first instalment of the +ay's '0isiting'. was one of the tire+ *erio+s# 'Disiting'. because of the +istances she ha+ to bicycle from house to house. too! u* nearly half of Dorothy's +ay# )0ery +ay of her life. e'ce*t on 7un+ays. she ma+e from half a +o6en to a +o6en 0isits at *arishioners' cottages# 7he *enetrate+ into cram*e+ interiors an+ sat on lum*y. +ust2+iffusing chairs gossi*ing with o0erwor!e+. blowsy housewi0es> she s*ent hurrie+ half2hours gi0ing a han+ with the men+ing an+ the ironing. an+ rea+ cha*ters from the Gos*els. an+ rea+juste+ ban+ages on 'ba+ legs'. an+ con+ole+ with sufferers from morning2sic!ness> she *laye+ ri+e2a2coc!2horse with sour2smelling chil+ren who grime+ the bosom of her +ress with their stic!y little fingers> she ga0e a+0ice about ailing as*i+istras. an+ suggeste+ names for babies. an+ +ran! 'nice cu*s of tea' innumerable22for the wor!ing women always wante+ her to ha0e a 'nice cu* of tea'. out of the tea*ot en+lessly stewing# @uch of it was *rofoun+ly +iscouraging wor!# Bew. 0ery few. of the women seeme+ to ha0e e0en a conce*tion of the Christian life that she was trying to hel* them to lea+# 7ome of them were shy an+ sus*icious. stoo+ on the +efensi0e. an+ ma+e e'cuses when urge+ to come to 4oly Communion> some shamme+ *iety for the sa!e of the tiny sums they coul+ whee+le out of the church alms bo'> those who welcome+ her coming were for the most *art the tal!ati0e ones. who wante+ an au+ience for com*laints about the 'goings on' of their husban+s. or for en+less mortuary tales ;'An+ he ha+ to ha0e glass chubes let into his 0eins.' etc#. etc#= about the re0olting +iseases their relati0es ha+ +ie+ of# Muite half the women on her list. Dorothy !new. were at heart atheistical in a 0ague unreasoning way# 7he came u* against it all +ay long22that 0ague. blan! +isbelief so common in illiterate *eo*le. against which all argument is *owerless# Do what she woul+. she coul+ ne0er raise the number of regular communicants to more than a +o6en or thereabouts# /omen woul+ *romise to communicate. !ee* their *romise for a month or two. an+ then fall away# /ith the younger women it was es*ecially ho*eless# They woul+ not e0en join the local branches of the church leagues that were run for their benefit22Dorothy was honorary secretary of three such leagues. besi+es being ca*tain of the Girl Gui+es# The an+ of 4o*e an+ the Com*anionshi* of @arriage languishe+ almost memberless. an+ the @others' Cnion only !e*t going because gossi* an+ unlimite+ strong tea ma+e the wee!ly sewing2*arties acce*table# 1es. it was +iscouraging wor!> so +iscouraging that at times it woul+ ha0e seeme+ altogether futile if she ha+ not !nown the sense of futility

for what it is22the subtlest wea*on of the De0il# Dorothy !noc!e+ at the Pithers' ba+ly fitting +oor. from beneath which a melancholy smell of boile+ cabbage an+ +ish2water was oo6ing# Brom long e'*erience she !new an+ coul+ taste in a+0ance the in+i0i+ual smell of e0ery cottage on her roun+s# 7ome of their smells were *eculiar in the e'treme# Bor instance. there was the salty. feral smell that haunte+ the cottage of ol+ @r Tombs. an age+ retire+ boo!seller who lay in be+ all +ay in a +ar!ene+ room. with his long. +usty nose an+ *ebble s*ectacles *rotru+ing from what a**eare+ to be a fur rug of 0ast si6e an+ richness# ut if you *ut your han+ on the fur rug it +isintegrate+. burst an+ fle+ in all +irections# :t was com*ose+ entirely of cats22twenty2 four cats. to be e'act# @r Tombs 'foun+ they !e*t him warm'. he use+ to e'*lain# :n nearly all the cottages there was a basic smell of ol+ o0ercoats an+ +ish2water u*on which the other. in+i0i+ual smells were su*erim*ose+> the cess*ool smell. the cabbage smell. the smell of chil+ren. the strong. bacon2li!e ree! of cor+uroys im*regnate+ with the sweat of a +eca+e# @rs Pither o*ene+ the +oor. which in0ariably stuc! to the jamb. an+ then. when you wrenche+ it o*en. shoo! the whole cottage# 7he was a large. stoo*ing. grey woman with wis*y grey hair. a sac!ing a*ron. an+ shuffling car*et sli**ers# '/hy. if it isn't @iss Dorothy8' she e'claime+ in a +reary. lifeless but not unaffectionate 0oice# 7he too! Dorothy between her large. gnarle+ han+s. whose !nuc!les were as shiny as s!inne+ onions from age an+ ceaseless washing u*. an+ ga0e her a wet !iss# Then she +rew her into the unclean interior of the cottage# 'Pither's away at wor!. @iss.' she announce+ as they got insi+e# 'C* to Dr Gaythorne's he is. a2+igging o0er the +octor's flower2 be+s for him#' @r Pither was a jobbing gar+ener# 4e an+ his wife. both of them o0er se0enty. were one of the few genuinely *ious cou*les on Dorothy's 0isiting list# @rs Pither le+ a +reary. wormli!e life of shuffling to an+ fro. with a *er*etual cric! in her nec! because the +oor lintels were too low for her. between the well. the sin!. the fire*lace. an+ the tiny *lot of !itchen gar+en# The !itchen was +ecently ti+y. but o**ressi0ely hot. e0il2smelling an+ saturate+ with ancient +ust# At the en+ o**osite the fire*lace @rs Pither ha+ ma+e a !in+ of *rie2+ieu out of a greasy rag mat lai+ in front of a tiny. +efunct harmonium. on to* of which were an oleogra*he+ crucifi'ion. '/atch an+ Pray' +one in bea+wor!. an+ a *hotogra*h of @r an+ @rs Pither on their we++ing +ay in &II%#

'Poor Pither8' went on @rs Pither in her +e*ressing 0oice. 'him a2 +igging at his age. with his rheumatism T4AT ba+8 Ain't it cruel har+. @issA An+ he's ha+ a !in+ of a *ain between his legs. @iss. as he can't seem to account for22terrible ba+ he's been with it. these last few mornings# Ain't it bitter har+. @iss. the li0es us *oor wor!ing fol!s has to lea+A' ':t's a shame.' sai+ Dorothy# ' ut : ho*e you'0e been !ee*ing a little better yourself. @rs PitherA' 'Ah. @iss. there's nothing +on't ma!e @) better# : ain't a case for curing. not in T4:7 worl+. : ain't# : shan't ne0er get no better. not in this wic!e+ worl+ +own here#' 'Oh. you mustn't say that. @rs Pither8 : ho*e we shall ha0e you with us for a long time yet#' 'Ah. @iss. you +on't !now how *oorly :'0e been this last wee!8 :'0e ha+ the rheumatism a2coming an+ a2going all +own the bac!s of my *oor ol+ legs. till there's some mornings when : +on't feel as : can't wal! so far as to *ull a han+ful of onions in the gar+en# Ah. @iss. it's a weary worl+ we li0es in. ain't it. @issA A weary. sinful worl+#' ' ut of course we must ne0er forget. @rs Pither. that there's a better worl+ coming# This life is only a time of trial22just to strengthen us an+ teach us to be *atient. so that we'll be rea+y for 4ea0en when the time comes#' At this a su++en an+ remar!able change came o0er @rs Pither# :t was *ro+uce+ by the wor+ '4ea0en'# @rs Pither ha+ only two subjects of con0ersation> one of them was the joys of 4ea0en. an+ the other the miseries of her *resent state# Dorothy's remar! seeme+ to act u*on her li!e a charm# 4er +ull grey eye was not ca*able of brightening. but her 0oice Huic!ene+ with an almost joyful enthusiasm# 'Ah. @iss. there you sai+ it8 That's a true wor+. @iss8 That's what Pither an+ me !ee*s a2saying to oursel0es# An+ that's just the one thing as !ee*s us a2going22just the thought of 4ea0en an+ the long. long rest we'll ha0e there# /hate0er we'0e suffere+. we gets it all bac! in 4ea0en. +on't we. @issA )0ery little bit of suffering. you gets it bac! a hun+re+fol+ an+ a thousan+fol+# That :7 true. ain't it. @issA There's rest for us all in 4ea0en22rest an+ *eace an+ no more rheumatism nor +igging nor coo!ing nor laun+ering nor nothing# 1ou DO belie0e that. +on't you. @iss DorothyA' 'Of course.' sai+ Dorothy#

'Ah. @iss. if you !new how it comforts us22just the thoughts of 4ea0en8 Pither he says to me. when he comes home tire+ of a night an+ our rheumatism's ba+. L"e0er you min+. my +ear.L he says. Lwe ain't far off 4ea0en now.L he says# L4ea0en was ma+e for the li!es of us.L he says> Ljust for *oor wor!ing fol!s li!e us. that ha0e been sober an+ go+ly an+ !e*t our Communions regular#L That's the best way. ain't it. @iss Dorothy22*oor in this life an+ rich in the ne'tA "ot li!e some of them rich fol!s as all their motorcars an+ their beautiful houses won't sa0e from the worm that +ieth not an+ the fire that's not Huenche+# 7uch a beautiful te't. that is# Do you thin! you coul+ say a little *rayer with me. @iss DorothyA : been loo!ing forwar+ all the morning to a little *rayer# @rs Pither was always rea+y for a 'little *rayer' at any hour of the night or +ay# :t was her eHui0alent to a 'nice cu* of tea'# They !nelt +own on the rag mat an+ sai+ the (or+'s Prayer an+ the Collect for the wee!> an+ then Dorothy. at @rs Pither's reHuest. rea+ the *arable of Di0es an+ (a6arus. @rs Pither coming in from time to time with 'Amen8 That's a true wor+. ain't it. @iss DorothyA LAn+ he was carrie+ by angels into Abraham's bosom#L eautiful8 Oh. : +o call that just too beautiful8 Amen. @iss Dorothy22Amen8' Dorothy ga0e @rs Pither the cutting from the Daily @ail about angelica tea for rheumatism. an+ then. fin+ing that @rs Pither ha+ been too '*oorly' to +raw the +ay's su**ly of water. she +rew three buc!etfuls for her from the well# :t was a 0ery +ee* well. with such a low *ara*et that @rs Pither's final +oom woul+ almost certainly be to fall into it an+ get +rowne+. an+ it ha+ not e0en a winch22you ha+ to haul the buc!et u* han+ o0er han+# An+ then they sat +own for a few minutes. an+ @rs Pither tal!e+ some more about 4ea0en# :t was e'traor+inary how constantly 4ea0en reigne+ in her thoughts> an+ more e'traor+inary yet was the actuality. the 0i0i+ness with which she coul+ see it# The gol+en streets an+ the gates of orient *earl were as real to her as though they ha+ been actually before her eyes# An+ her 0ision e'ten+e+ to the most concrete. the most earthly +etails# The softness of the be+s u* there8 The +eliciousness of the foo+8 The lo0ely sil! clothes that you woul+ *ut on clean e0ery morning8 The surcease from e0erlasting to e0erlasting from wor! of any +escri*tion8 :n almost e0ery moment of her life the 0ision of 4ea0en su**orte+ an+ console+ her. an+ her abject com*laints about the li0es of '*oor wor!ing fol!s' were curiously tem*ere+ by a satisfaction in the thought that. after all. it is '*oor wor!ing fol!s' who are the *rinci*al inhabitants of 4ea0en# :t was a sort of bargain that she ha+ struc!. setting her lifetime of +reary labour against an eternity of bliss# 4er faith was almost TOO great. if that is *ossible# Bor it was a curious fact. but the certitu+e with which @rs Pither loo!e+ forwar+ to 4ea0en22as to some !in+ of glorifie+

home for incurables22affecte+ Dorothy with strange uneasiness# Dorothy *re*are+ to +e*art. while @rs Pither than!e+ her. rather too effusi0ely. for her 0isit. win+ing u*. as usual. with fresh com*laints about her rheumatism# ':'ll be sure an+ ta!e the angelica tea.' she conclu+e+. 'an+ than! you !in+ly for telling me of it. @iss# "ot as : +on't e'*ect as it'll +o me much goo+# Ah. @iss. if you !new how cruel ba+ my rheumatism's been this last wee!8 All +own the bac!s of my legs. it is. li!e a regular shooting re+2hot *o!er. an+ : +on't seem to be able to get at them to rub them *ro*erly# /oul+ it be as!ing too much of you. @iss. to gi0e me a bit of a rub2+own before you goA : got a bottle of )lliman's un+er the sin!#' Cnseen by @rs Pither. Dorothy ga0e herself a se0ere *inch# 7he ha+ been e'*ecting this. an+22she ha+ +one it so many times before22she really +i+ "OT enjoy rubbing @rs Pither +own# 7he e'horte+ herself angrily# Come on. Dorothy8 "o sniffishness. *lease8 ,ohn 'iii. &G# 'Of course : will. @rs Pither8' she sai+ instantly# They went u* the narrow. ric!ety staircase. in which you ha+ to ben+ almost +ouble at one *lace to a0oi+ the o0erhanging ceiling# The be+room was lighte+ by a tiny sHuare of win+ow that was jamme+ in its soc!et by the cree*er outsi+e. an+ ha+ not been o*ene+ in twenty years# There was an enormous +ouble be+ that almost fille+ the room. with sheets *erennially +am* an+ a floc! mattress as full of hills an+ 0alleys as a contour ma* of 7wit6erlan+# /ith many groans the ol+ woman cre*t on to the be+ an+ lai+ herself face +own# The room ree!e+ of urine an+ *aregoric# Dorothy too! the bottle of )lliman's embrocation an+ carefully anointe+ @rs Pither's large. grey20eine+. flacci+ legs# Outsi+e. in the swimming heat. she mounte+ her bicycle an+ began to ri+e swiftly homewar+s# The sun burne+ in her face. but the air now seeme+ sweet an+ fresh# 7he was ha**y. ha**y8 7he was always e'tra0agantly ha**y when her morning's '0isiting' was o0er> an+. curiously enough. she was not aware of the reason for this# :n orlase the +airy2farmer's mea+ow the re+ cows were gra6ing. !nee2 +ee* in shining seas of grass# The scent of cows. li!e a +istillation of 0anilla an+ fresh hay. floate+ into Dorothy's nostrils# Though she ha+ still a morning's wor! in front of her she coul+ not resist the tem*tation to loiter for a moment. stea+ying her bicycle with one han+ against the gate of orlase's mea+ow. while a cow. with moist shell2*in! nose. scratche+ its chin u*on the gate*ost an+ +reamily regar+e+ her# Dorothy caught sight of a wil+ rose. flowerless of course. growing beyon+ the he+ge. an+ climbe+ o0er the gate with the intention of +isco0ering whether it were not sweetbriar# 7he !nelt +own among

the tall wee+s beneath the he+ge# :t was 0ery hot +own there. close to the groun+# The humming of many unseen insects soun+e+ in her ears. an+ the hot summery fume from the tangle+ swathes of 0egetation flowe+ u* an+ en0elo*e+ her# "ear by. tall stal!s of fennel were growing. with trailing fron+s of foliage li!e the tails of sea2green horses# Dorothy *ulle+ a fron+ of the fennel against her face an+ breathe+ in the strong sweet scent# :ts richness o0erwhelme+ her. almost +i66ie+ her for a moment# 7he +ran! it in. filling her lungs with it# (o0ely. lo0ely scent22scent of summer +ays. scent of chil+hoo+ joys. scent of s*ice2+renche+ islan+s in the warm foam of Oriental seas8 4er heart swelle+ with su++en joy# :t was that mystical joy in the beauty of the earth an+ the 0ery nature of things that she recogni6e+. *erha*s mista!enly. as the lo0e of Go+# As she !nelt there in the heat. the sweet o+our an+ the +rowsy hum of insects. it seeme+ to her that she coul+ momentarily hear the mighty anthem of *raise that the earth an+ all create+ things sen+ u* e0erlastingly to their ma!er# All 0egetation. lea0es. flowers. grass. shining. 0ibrating. crying out in their joy# (ar!s also chanting. choirs of lar!s in0isible. +ri**ing music from the s!y# All the riches of summer. the warmth of the earth. the song of bir+s. the fume of cows. the +roning of countless bees. mingling an+ ascen+ing li!e the smo!e of e0er2burning altars# Therefore with Angels an+ Archangels8 7he began to *ray. an+ for a moment she *raye+ ar+ently. blissfully. forgetting herself in the joy of her worshi*# Then. less than a minute later. she +isco0ere+ that she was !issing the fron+ of the fennel that was still against her face# 7he chec!e+ herself instantly. an+ +rew bac!# /hat was she +oingA /as it Go+ that she was worshi**ing. or was it only the earthA The joy ebbe+ out of her heart. to be succee+e+ by the col+. uncomfortable feeling that she ha+ been betraye+ into a half2*agan ecstasy# 7he a+monishe+ herself# "one of T4AT. Dorothy8 "o "ature2worshi*. *lease8 4er father ha+ warne+ her against "ature2 worshi*# 7he ha+ hear+ him *reach more than one sermon against it> it was. he sai+. mere *antheism. an+. what seeme+ to offen+ him e0en more. a +isgusting mo+ern fa+# Dorothy too! a thorn of the wil+ rose. an+ *ric!e+ her arm three times. to remin+ herself of the Three Persons of the Trinity. before climbing o0er the gate an+ remounting her bicycle# A blac!. 0ery +usty sho0el hat was a**roaching roun+ the corner of the he+ge# :t was Bather @cGuire. the 5oman Catholic *riest. also bicycling his roun+s# 4e was a 0ery large. rotun+ man. so large that he +warfe+ the bicycle beneath him an+ seeme+ to be balance+ on to* of it li!e a golf2ball on a tee# 4is face was rosy. humorous. an+ a little sly#

Dorothy loo!e+ su++enly unha**y# 7he turne+ *in!. an+ her han+ mo0e+ instincti0ely to the neighbourhoo+ of the gol+ cross beneath her +ress# Bather @cGuire was ri+ing towar+s her with an untrouble+. faintly amuse+ air# 7he ma+e an en+ea0our to smile. an+ murmure+ unha**ily. 'Goo+ morning#' ut he ro+e on without a sign> his eyes swe*t easily o0er her face an+ then beyon+ her into 0acancy. with an a+mirable *retence of not ha0ing notice+ her e'istence# :t was the Cut Direct# Dorothy22by nature. alas8 uneHual to +eli0ering the Cut Direct22got on to her bicycle an+ ro+e away. struggling with the uncharitable thoughts which a meeting with Bather @cGuire ne0er faile+ to arouse in her# Bi0e or si' years earlier. when Bather @cGuire was hol+ing a funeral in 7t Athelstan's churchyar+ ;there was no 5oman Catholic cemetery at <ny*e 4ill=. there ha+ been some +is*ute with the 5ector about the *ro*riety of Bather @cGuire robing in the church. or not robing in the church. an+ the two *riests ha+ wrangle+ +isgracefully o0er the o*en gra0e# 7ince then they ha+ not been on s*ea!ing terms# :t was better so. the 5ector sai+# As to the other ministers of religion in <ny*e 4ill22@r /ar+ the Congregationalist minister. @r Boley the /esleyan *astor. an+ the braying bal+2hea+e+ el+er who con+ucte+ the orgies at )bene6er Cha*el22the 5ector calle+ them a *ac! of 0ulgar Dissenters an+ ha+ forbi++en Dorothy on *ain of his +is*leasure to ha0e anything to +o with them#

J :t was twel0e o'cloc!# :n the large. +ila*i+ate+ conser0atory. whose roof2*anes. from the action of time an+ +irt. were +im. green. an+ iri+escent li!e ol+ 5oman glass. they were ha0ing a hurrie+ an+ noisy rehearsal of Charles :# Dorothy was not actually ta!ing *art in the rehearsal. but was busy ma!ing costumes# 7he ma+e the costumes. or most of them. for all the *lays the schoolchil+ren acte+# The *ro+uction an+ stage management were in the han+s of Dictor 7tone22Dictor. Dorothy calle+ him22the Church schoolmaster# 4e was a small2bone+. e'citable. blac!2haire+ youth of twenty2se0en. +resse+ in +ar! sub2 clerical clothes. an+ at this moment he was gesturing fiercely with a roll of manuscri*t at si' +ense2loo!ing chil+ren# On a long bench against the wall four more chil+ren were alternately *ractising 'noises off' by clashing fire2irons together. an+ sHuabbling o0er a grimy little bag of 7*earmint ouncers. forty a *enny#

:t was horribly hot in the conser0atory. an+ there was a *owerful smell of glue an+ the sour sweat of chil+ren# Dorothy was !neeling on the floor. with her mouth full of *ins an+ a *air of shears in her han+. ra*i+ly slicing sheets of brown *a*er into long narrow stri*s# The glue2*ot was bubbling on an oil2sto0e besi+e her> behin+ her. on the ric!ety. in!2staine+ wor!2table. were a tangle of half2finishe+ costumes. more sheets of brown *a*er. her sewing2 machine. bun+les of tow. shar+s of +ry glue. woo+en swor+s. an+ o*en *ots of *aint# /ith half her min+ Dorothy was me+itating u*on the two *airs of se0enteenth2century jac!boots that ha+ got to be ma+e for Charles : an+ Oli0er Cromwell. an+ with the other half listening to the angry shouts of Dictor. who was wor!ing himself u* into a rage. as he in0ariably +i+ at rehearsals# 4e was a natural actor. an+ withal thoroughly bore+ by the +ru+gery of rehearsing half2witte+ chil+ren# 4e stro+e u* an+ +own. haranguing the chil+ren in a 0ehement slangy style. an+ e0ery now an+ then brea!ing off to lunge at one or other of them with a woo+en swor+ that he ha+ grabbe+ from the table# 'Put a bit of life into it. can't youA' he crie+. *ro++ing an o'2 face+ boy of ele0en in the belly# 'Don't +rone8 7ay it as if it meant something8 1ou loo! li!e a cor*se that's been burie+ an+ +ug u* again# /hat's the goo+ of gurgling it +own in your insi+e li!e thatA 7tan+ u* an+ shout at him# Ta!e off that secon+ mur+erer e'*ression8' 'Come here. Percy8' crie+ Dorothy through her *ins# 'Muic!8' 7he was ma!ing the armour22the worst job of the lot. e'ce*t those wretche+ jac!boots22out of glue an+ brown *a*er# Brom long *ractice Dorothy coul+ ma!e 0ery nearly anything out of glue an+ brown *a*er> she coul+ e0en ma!e a *assably goo+ *eriwig. with a brown *a*er s!ull2ca* an+ +ye+ tow for the hair# Ta!ing the year through. the amount of time she s*ent in struggling with glue. brown *a*er. butter muslin. an+ all the other *ara*hernalia of amateur theatricals was enormous# 7o chronic was the nee+ of money for all the church fun+s that har+ly a month e0er *asse+ when there was not a school *lay or a *ageant or an e'hibition of tableau' 0i0ants on han+22not to mention the ba6aars an+ jumble sales# As Percy22Percy ,owett. the blac!smith's son. a small curly2hea+e+ boy22got +own from the bench an+ stoo+ wriggling unha**ily before her. Dorothy sei6e+ a sheet of brown *a*er. measure+ it against him. sni**e+ out the nec!hole an+ armholes. +ra*e+ it roun+ his mi++le an+ ra*i+ly *inne+ it into the sha*e of a rough breast*late# There was a confuse+ +in of 0oices# D:CTO5: Come on. now. come on8 )nter Oli0er Cromwell22that's you8 "O. not li!e that8 Do you thin! Oli0er Cromwell woul+ come

slin!ing on li!e a +og that's just ha+ a hi+ingA 7tan+ u*# 7tic! your chest out# 7cowl# That's better# "ow go on. C5O@/)((: '4alt8 : hol+ a *istol in my han+8' Go on# A G:5(: Please. @iss. @other sai+ as : was to tell you. @iss22 DO5OT41: <ee* still. Percy8 Bor goo+ness' 7A<) !ee* still8 C5O@/)((: 'Alt8 : 'ol+ a *istol in my 'an+8 A 7@A(( G:5( O" T4) )"C4: @ister8 :'0e +ro**e+ my sweetie8 N7ni0ellingO :'0e +ro**e+ by swee2e2e2etie8 D:CTO5: "o. no. "O. Tommie8 "o. no. "O8 T4) G:5(: Please. @iss. @other sai+ as : was to tell you as she coul+n't ma!e my !nic!ers li!e she *romise+. @iss. because22 DO5OT41: 1ou'll ma!e me swallow a *in if you +o that again# C5O@/)((: 4alt8 : 4ol+ a *istol22 T4) 7@A(( G:5( Nin tearsO: @y swee2e2e2e2eetie8 Dorothy sei6e+ the glue2brush. an+ with fe0erish s*ee+ *aste+ stri*s of brown *a*er all o0er Percy's thora'. u* an+ +own. bac!war+s an+ forwar+s. one on to* of another. *ausing only when the *a*er stuc! to her fingers# :n fi0e minutes she ha+ ma+e a cuirass of glue an+ brown *a*er stout enough. when it was +ry. to ha0e +efie+ a real swor+2bla+e# Percy. 'loc!e+ u* in com*lete steel' an+ with the shar* *a*er e+ge cutting his chin. loo!e+ +own at himself with the miserable resigne+ e'*ression of a +og ha0ing its bath# Dorothy too! the shears. slit the breast*late u* one si+e. set it on en+ to +ry an+ starte+ imme+iately on another chil+# A fearful clatter bro!e out as the 'noises off' began *ractising the soun+ of *istol2shots an+ horses gallo*ing# Dorothy's fingers were getting stic!ier an+ stic!ier. but from time to time she washe+ some of the glue off them in a buc!et of hot water that was !e*t in rea+iness# :n twenty minutes she ha+ *artially com*lete+ three breast*lates# (ater on they woul+ ha0e to be finishe+ off. *ainte+ o0er with aluminium *aint an+ lace+ u* the si+es> an+ after that there was the job of ma!ing the thigh2 *ieces. an+. worst of all. the helmets to go with them# Dictor. gesticulating with his swor+ an+ shouting to o0ercome the +in of gallo*ing horses. was *ersonating in turn Oli0er Cromwell. Charles :. 5oun+hea+s. Ca0aliers. *easants. an+ Court la+ies# The chil+ren were now growing resti0e an+ beginning to yawn. whine. an+ e'change furti0e !ic!s an+ *inches# The breast*lates finishe+ for the moment. Dorothy swe*t some of the litter off the table. *ulle+ her

sewing2machine into *osition an+ set to wor! on a Ca0alier's green 0el0et +oublet22it was butter muslin Twin!e+ green. but it loo!e+ all right at a +istance# There was another ten minutes of fe0erish wor!# Dorothy bro!e her threa+. all but sai+ 'Damn8' chec!e+ herself an+ hurrie+ly re2 threa+e+ the nee+le# 7he was wor!ing against time# The *lay was now a fortnight +istant. an+ there was such a multitu+e of things yet to be ma+e22helmets. +oublets. swor+s. jac!boots ;those miserable jac!boots ha+ been haunting her li!e a nightmare for +ays *ast=. scabbar+s. ruffles. wigs. s*urs. scenery22that her heart san! when she thought of them# The chil+ren's *arents ne0er hel*e+ with the costumes for the school *lays> more e'actly. they always *romise+ to hel* an+ then bac!e+ out afterwar+s# Dorothy's hea+ was aching +iabolically. *artly from the heat of the conser0atory. *artly from the strain of simultaneously sewing an+ trying to 0isuali6e *atterns for brown *a*er jac!boots# Bor the moment she ha+ e0en forgotten the bill for twenty2one *oun+s se0en an+ nine*ence at Cargill's# 7he coul+ thin! of nothing sa0e that fearful mountain of unma+e clothes that lay ahea+ of her# :t was so throughout the +ay# One thing loome+ u* after another22whether it was the costumes for the school *lay or the colla*sing floor of the belfry. or the sho*2+ebts or the bin+wee+ in the *eas22an+ each in its turn so urgent an+ so harassing that it blotte+ all the others out of e'istence# Dictor threw +own his woo+en swor+. too! out his watch an+ loo!e+ at it# 'That'll +o8' he sai+ in the abru*t. ruthless tone from which he ne0er +e*arte+ when he was +ealing with chil+ren# '/e'll go on on Bri+ay# Clear out. the lot of you8 :'m sic! of the sight of you#' 4e watche+ the chil+ren out. an+ then. ha0ing forgotten their e'istence as soon as they were out of his sight. *ro+uce+ a *age of music from his *oc!et an+ began to fi+get u* an+ +own. coc!ing his eye at two forlorn *lants in the corner which traile+ their +ea+ brown ten+rils o0er the e+ges of their *ots# Dorothy was still ben+ing o0er her machine. stitching u* the seams of the green 0el0et +oublet# Dictor was a restless. intelligent little creature. an+ only ha**y when he was Huarrelling with somebo+y or something# 4is *ale. fine2feature+ face wore an e'*ression that a**eare+ to be +iscontent an+ was really boyish eagerness# Peo*le meeting him for the first time usually sai+ that he was wasting his talents in his obscure job as a 0illage schoolmaster> but the truth was that Dictor ha+ no 0ery mar!etable talents e'ce*t a slight gift for music an+ a much more *ronounce+ gift for +ealing with chil+ren# :neffectual in other ways. he was e'cellent with chil+ren> he ha+

the *ro*er. ruthless attitu+e towar+s them# ut of course. li!e e0eryone else. he +es*ise+ his own es*ecial talent# 4is interests were almost *urely ecclesiastical# 4e was what *eo*le call a C4C5C41 young man# :t ha+ always been his ambition to enter the Church. an+ he woul+ actually ha0e +one so if he ha+ *ossesse+ the !in+ of brain that is ca*able of learning Gree! an+ 4ebrew# Debarre+ from the *riesthoo+. he ha+ +rifte+ Huite naturally into his *osition as a Church schoolmaster an+ organist# :t !e*t him. so to s*ea!. within the Church *recincts# "ee+less to say. he was an Anglo2Catholic of the most truculent Church Times bree+22more clerical than the clerics. !nowle+geable about Church history. e'*ert on 0estments. an+ rea+y at any moment with a furious tira+e against @o+ernists. Protestants. scientists. olshe0ists. an+ atheists# ': was thin!ing.' sai+ Dorothy as she sto**e+ her machine an+ sni**e+ off the threa+. 'we might ma!e those helmets out of ol+ bowler hats. if we can get hol+ of enough of them# Cut the brims off. *ut on *a*er brims of the right sha*e an+ sil0er them o0er#' 'Oh (or+. why worry your hea+ about such thingsA' sai+ Dictor. who ha+ lost interest in the *lay the moment the rehearsal was o0er# ':t's those wretche+ jac!boots that are worrying me the most.' sai+ Dorothy. ta!ing the +oublet on to her !nee an+ loo!ing at it# 'Oh. bother the jac!boots8 (et's sto* thin!ing about the *lay for a moment# (oo! here.' sai+ Dictor. unrolling his *age of music. ': want you to s*ea! to your father for me# : wish you'+ as! him whether we can't ha0e a *rocession some time ne't month#' 'Another *rocessionA /hat forA' 'Oh. : +on't !now# 1ou can always fin+ an e'cuse for a *rocession# There's the "ati0ity of the #D#@# coming off on the eighth22that's goo+ enough for a *rocession. : shoul+ thin!# /e'll +o it in style# :'0e got hol+ of a s*len+i+ rousing hymn that they can all bellow. an+ *erha*s we coul+ borrow their blue banner with the Dirgin @ary on it from 7t /e+e!in+'s in @illborough# :f he'll say the wor+ :'ll start *ractising the choir at once#' '1ou !now he'll only say no.' sai+ Dorothy. threa+ing a nee+le to sew buttons on the +oublet# '4e +oesn't really a**ro0e of *rocessions# :t's much better not to as! him an+ ma!e him angry#' 'Oh. but +ash it all8' *roteste+ Dictor# ':t's sim*ly months since we'0e ha+ a *rocession# : ne0er saw such +ea+2ali0e ser0ices as we ha0e here# 1ou'+ thin! we were a a*tist cha*el or something. from the way we go on#'

Dictor chafe+ ceaselessly against the +ull correctness of the 5ector's ser0ices# 4is i+eal was what he calle+ 'the real Catholic worshi*'22meaning unlimite+ incense. gil+e+ images. an+ more 5oman 0estments# :n his ca*acity of organist he was for e0er *ressing for more *rocessions. more 0olu*tuous music. more elaborate chanting in the liturgy. so that it was a continuous *ull +e0il. *ull ba!er between him an+ the 5ector# An+ on this *oint Dorothy si+e+ with her father# 4a0ing been brought u* in the *eculiar. frigi+ 0ia me+ia of Anglicanism. she was by nature a0erse to an+ half2afrai+ of anything 'ritualistic'# ' ut +ash it all8' went on Dictor. 'a *rocession is such fun8 Down the aisle. out through the west +oor an+ bac! through the south +oor. with the choir carrying can+les behin+ an+ the oy 7couts in front with the banner# :t woul+ loo! fine#' 4e sang a sta0e in a thin but tuneful tenor: '4ail thee. Besti0al Day. blest +ay that art hallowe+ for e0er8' ':f : ha+ @1 way.' he a++e+. ':'+ ha0e a cou*le of boys swinging jolly goo+ censers of incense at the same time#' '1es. but you !now how much Bather +isli!es that !in+ of thing# )s*ecially when it's anything to +o with the Dirgin @ary# 4e says it's all 5oman Be0er an+ lea+s to *eo*le crossing themsel0es an+ genuflecting at the wrong times an+ goo+ness !nows what# 1ou remember what ha**ene+ at A+0ent#' The *re0ious year. on his own res*onsibility. Dictor ha+ chosen as one of the hymns for A+0ent. "umber FG%. with the refrain '4ail @ary. hail @ary. hail @ary full of grace8' This *iece of *o*ishness ha+ annoye+ the 5ector e'tremely# At the close of the first 0erse he ha+ *ointe+ly lai+ +own his hymn boo!. turne+ roun+ in his stall an+ stoo+ regar+ing the congregation with an air so stony that some of the choirboys faltere+ an+ almost bro!e +own# Afterwar+s he ha+ sai+ that to hear the rustics bawling ''Ail @ary8 'Ail @ary8' ma+e him thin! he was in the four2ale bar of the Dog an+ ottle# ' ut +ash it8' sai+ Dictor in his aggrie0e+ way. 'your father always *uts his foot +own when : try an+ get a bit of life into the ser0ice# 4e won't allow us incense. or +ecent music. or *ro*er 0estments. or anything# An+ what's the resultA /e can't get enough *eo*le to fill the church a Huarter full. e0en on )aster 7un+ay# 1ou loo! roun+ the church on 7un+ay morning. an+ it's nothing but the oy 7couts an+ the Girl Gui+es an+ a few ol+ women#' ': !now# :t's +rea+ful.' a+mitte+ Dorothy. sewing on her button# ':t +oesn't seem to ma!e any +ifference what we +o22we sim*ly CA"'T

get the *eo*le to come to church# 7till.' she a++e+. 'they +o come to us to be marrie+ an+ burie+# An+ : +on't thin! the congregation's actually gone +own this year# There were nearly two hun+re+ *eo*le at )aster Communion#' 'Two hun+re+8 :t ought to be two thousan+# That's the *o*ulation of this town# The fact is that three Huarters of the *eo*le in this *lace ne0er go near a church in their li0es# The Church has absolutely lost its hol+ o0er them# They +on't !now that it e'ists# An+ whyA That's what :'m getting at# /hyA' ': su**ose it's all this 7cience an+ Bree Thought an+ all that.' sai+ Dorothy rather sententiously. Huoting her father# This remar! +eflecte+ Dictor from what he ha+ been about to say# 4e ha+ been on the 0ery *oint of saying that 7t Athelstan's congregation ha+ +win+le+ because of the +ullness of the ser0ices> but the hate+ wor+s of 7cience an+ Bree Thought set him off in another an+ e0en more familiar channel# 'Of course it's this so2calle+ Bree Thought8' he e'claime+. imme+iately beginning to fi+get u* an+ +own again# ':t's these swine of atheists li!e ertran+ 5ussell an+ ,ulian 4u'ley an+ all that crow+# An+ what's ruine+ the Church is that instea+ of jolly well answering them an+ showing them u* for the fools an+ liars they are. we just sit tight an+ let them s*rea+ their beastly atheist *ro*agan+a where0er they choose# :t's all the fault of the bisho*s. of course#' ;(i!e e0ery Anglo2Catholic. Dictor ha+ an abysmal contem*t for bisho*s#= 'They're all @o+ernists an+ time2 ser0ers# y ,o0e8' he a++e+ more cheerfully. halting. '+i+ you see my letter in the Church Times last wee!A' '"o. :'m afrai+ : +i+n't.' sai+ Dorothy. hol+ing another button in *osition with her thumb# '/hat was it aboutA' 'Oh. @o+ernist bisho*s an+ all that# : got in a goo+ swi*e at ol+ arnes#' :t was 0ery rarely that a wee! *asse+ when Dictor +i+ not write a letter to the Church Times# 4e was in the thic! of e0ery contro0ersy an+ in the forefront of e0ery assault u*on @o+ernists an+ atheists# 4e ha+ twice been in combat with Dr @ajor. ha+ written letters of withering irony about Dean :nge an+ the isho* of irmingham. an+ ha+ not hesitate+ to attac! e0en the fien+ish 5ussell himself22but 5ussell. of course. ha+ not +are+ to re*ly# Dorothy. to tell the truth. 0ery sel+om rea+ the Church Times. an+ the 5ector grew angry if he so much as saw a co*y of it in the house# The wee!ly *a*er they too! in the 5ectory was the 4igh Churchman's Ga6ette22a fine ol+ 4igh Tory anachronism with a small an+ select circulation#

'That swine 5ussell8' sai+ Dictor reminiscently. with his han+s +ee* in his *oc!ets# '4ow he +oes ma!e my bloo+ boil8' ':sn't that the man who's such a cle0er mathematician. or somethingA' sai+ Dorothy. biting off her threa+# 'Oh. : +are say he's cle0er enough in his own line. of course.' a+mitte+ Dictor gru+gingly# ' ut what's that got to +o with itA ,ust because a man's cle0er at figures it +oesn't mean to say that22 well. anyway8 (et's come bac! to what : was saying# /hy is it that we can't get *eo*le to come to church in this *laceA :t's because our ser0ices are so +reary an+ go+less. that's what it is# Peo*le want worshi* that :7 worshi*22they want the real Catholic worshi* of the real Catholic Church we belong to# An+ they +on't get if from us# All they get is the ol+ Protestant mumbo2jumbo. an+ Protestantism's as +ea+ as a +oornail. an+ e0eryone !nows it#' 'That's not true8' sai+ Dorothy rather shar*ly as she *resse+ the thir+ button into *lace# '1ou !now we're not Protestants# Bather's always saying that the Church of )nglan+ is the Catholic Church22he's *reache+ : +on't !now how many sermons about the A*ostolic 7uccession# That's why (or+ Poc!thorne an+ the others won't come to church here# Only he won't join in the Anglo2 Catholic mo0ement because he thin!s they're too fon+ of ritualism for its own sa!e# An+ so +o :#' 'Oh. : +on't say your father isn't absolutely soun+ on +octrine22 absolutely soun+# ut if he thin!s we're the Catholic Church. why +oesn't he hol+ the ser0ice in a *ro*er Catholic wayA :t's a shame we can't ha0e incense OCCA7:O"A((1# An+ his i+eas about 0estments22 if you +on't min+ my saying it22are sim*ly awful# On )aster 7un+ay he was wearing a Gothic co*e with a mo+ern :talian lace alb# Dash it. it's li!e wearing a to* hat with brown boots#' '/ell. : +on't thin! 0estments are so im*ortant as you +o.' sai+ Dorothy# ': thin! it's the s*irit of the *riest that matters. not the clothes he wears#' 'That's the !in+ of thing a Primiti0e @etho+ist woul+ say8' e'claime+ Dictor +isguste+ly# 'Of course 0estments are im*ortant8 /here's the sense of worshi**ing at all if we can't ma!e a *ro*er job of itA "ow. if you want to see what real Catholic worshi* CA" be li!e. loo! at 7t /e+e!in+'s in @illborough8 y ,o0e. they +o things in style there8 :mages of the Dirgin. reser0ation of the 7acrament22e0erything# They'0e ha+ the <ensitites on to them three times. an+ they sim*ly +efy the isho*#' 'Oh. : hate the way they go on at 7t /e+e!in+'s8' sai+ Dorothy# 'They're absolutely s*i!y# 1ou can har+ly see what's ha**ening at

the altar. there are such clou+s of incense# : thin! *eo*le li!e that ought to turn 5oman Catholic an+ ha0e +one with it#' '@y +ear Dorothy. you ought to ha0e been a "onconformist# 1ou really ought# A Plymouth rother22or a Plymouth 7ister or whate0er it's calle+# : thin! your fa0ourite hymn must be "umber JF?. LO my Go+ : fear Thee. Thou art 0ery 4igh8L' '1ours is "umber %E&. L: nightly *itch my mo0ing tent a +ay's march nearer 5ome8L' retorte+ Dorothy. win+ing the threa+ roun+ the last button# The argument continue+ for se0eral minutes while Dorothy a+orne+ a Ca0alier's bea0er hat ;it was an ol+ blac! felt school hat of her own= with *lume an+ ribbons# 7he an+ Dictor were ne0er long together without being in0ol0e+ in an argument u*on the Huestion of 'ritualism'# :n Dorothy's o*inion Dictor was a !in+ to 'go o0er to 5ome' if not *re0ente+. an+ she was 0ery li!ely right# ut Dictor was not yet aware of his *robable +estiny# At *resent the fe0ers of the Anglo2Catholic mo0ement. with its ceaseless e'citing warfare on three fronts at once22Protestants to right of you. @o+ernists to the left of you. an+. unfortunately. 5oman Catholics to rear of you an+ always rea+y for a sly !ic! in the *ants22fille+ his mental hori6on# 7coring off Dr @ajor in the Church Times meant more to him than any of the serious business of life# ut for all his churchiness he ha+ not an atom of real *iety in his constitution# :t was essentially as a game that religious contro0ersy a**eale+ to him22the most absorbing game e0er in0ente+. because it goes on for e0er an+ because just a little cheating is allowe+# 'Than! goo+ness. that's +one8' sai+ Dorothy. twi++ling the Ca0alier's bea0er hat roun+ on her han+ an+ then *utting it +own# 'Oh +ear. what *iles of things there are still to +o. though8 : wish : coul+ get those wretche+ jac!boots off my min+# /hat's the time. DictorA' ':t's nearly fi0e to one#' 'Oh. goo+ gracious8 : must run# :'0e got three omelettes to ma!e# : +aren't trust them to )llen# An+. oh. Dictor8 4a0e you got anything you can gi0e us for the jumble saleA :f you ha+ an ol+ *air of trousers you coul+ gi0e us. that woul+ be best of all. because we can always sell trousers#' 'TrousersA "o# ut : tell you what : ha0e got. though# :'0e got a co*y of The Pilgrim's Progress an+ another of Bo'e's oo! of @artyrs that :'0e been wanting to get ri+ of for years# eastly Protestant trash8 An ol+ Dissenting aunt of mine ga0e them to me#22 Doesn't it ma!e you sic!. all this ca+ging for *enniesA "ow. if we only hel+ our ser0ices in a *ro*er Catholic way. so that we

coul+ get u* a *ro*er congregation. +on't you see. we shoul+n't nee+22' 'That'll be s*len+i+.' sai+ Dorothy# '/e always ha0e a stall for boo!s22we charge a *enny for each boo!. an+ nearly all of them get sol+# /e sim*ly @C7T ma!e that jumble sale a success. Dictor8 :'m counting on @iss @ayfill to gi0e us something really ":C)# /hat :'m s*ecially ho*ing is that she might gi0e us that beautiful ol+ (owestoft china tea ser0ice of hers. an+ we coul+ sell it for fi0e *oun+s at least# :'0e been ma!ing s*ecial *rayers all the morning that she'll gi0e it to us#' 'OhA' sai+ Dictor. less enthusiastically than usual# (i!e Proggett earlier in the morning. he was embarrasse+ by the wor+ '*rayer'# 4e was rea+y to tal! all +ay long about a *oint of ritual> but the mention of *ri0ate +e0otions struc! him as slightly in+ecent# 'Don't forget to as! your father about the *rocession.' he sai+. getting bac! to a more congenial to*ic# 'All right. :'ll as! him# ut you !now how it'll be# 4e'll only get annoye+ an+ say it's 5oman Be0er#' 'Oh. +amn 5oman Be0er8' sai+ Dictor. who. unli!e Dorothy. +i+ not set himself *enances for swearing# Dorothy hurrie+ to the !itchen. +isco0ere+ that there were only fi0e eggs to ma!e the omelettes for three *eo*le. an+ +eci+e+ to ma!e one large omelette an+ swell it out a bit with the col+ boile+ *otatoes left o0er from yester+ay# /ith a short *rayer for the success of the omelette ;for omelettes are so +rea+fully a*t to get bro!en when you ta!e them out of the *an=. she whi**e+ u* the eggs. while Dictor ma+e off +own the +ri0e. half wistfully an+ half sul!ily humming '4ail thee. Besti0al Day'. an+ *assing on his way a +isguste+2loo!ing manser0ant carrying the two han+leless chamber2 *ots which were @iss @ayfill's contribution to the jumble sale#

F :t was a little after ten o'cloc!# Darious things ha+ ha**ene+22 nothing. howe0er. of any *articular im*ortance> only the usual roun+ of *arish jobs that fille+ u* Dorothy's afternoon an+ e0ening# "ow. as she ha+ arrange+ earlier in the +ay. she was at @r /arburton's house. an+ was trying to hol+ her own in one of those mean+ering arguments in which he +elighte+ to entangle her# They were tal!ing22but in+ee+. @r /arburton ne0er faile+ to manoeu0re the con0ersation towar+s this subject22about the Huestion

of religious belief# '@y +ear Dorothy.' he was saying argumentati0ely. as he wal!e+ u* an+ +own with one han+ in his coat *oc!et an+ the other mani*ulating a ra6ilian cigar# '@y +ear Dorothy. you +on't seriously mean to tell me that at your age22twenty2se0en. : belie0e22an+ with your intelligence. you will retain your religious beliefs more or less in totoA' 'Of course : +o# 1ou !now : +o#' 'Oh. come. now8 The whole bag of tric!sA All that nonsense that you learne+ at your mother's !nee22surely you're not going to *reten+ to me that you still belie0e in itA ut of course you +on't8 1ou can't8 1ou're afrai+ to own u*. that's all it is# "o nee+ to worry about that here. you !now# The 5ural Dean's wife isn't listening. an+ P:P won't gi0e the show away#' ': +on't !now what you mean by Lall that "O"7)"7)L.' began Dorothy. sitting u* straighter in her chair. a little offen+e+# '/ell. let's ta!e an instance# 7omething *articularly har+ to swallow224ell. for instance# Do you belie0e in 4ellA /hen : say )(:)D). min+ you. :'m not as!ing whether you belie0e it in some mil! an+ water meta*horical way li!e these @o+ernist bisho*s young Dictor 7tone gets so e'cite+ about# : mean +o you belie0e in it literallyA Do you belie0e in 4ell as you belie0e in AustraliaA' '1es. of course : +o.' sai+ Dorothy. an+ she en+ea0oure+ to e'*lain to him that the e'istence of 4ell is much more real an+ *ermanent than the e'istence of Australia# '4m.' sai+ @r /arburton. unim*resse+# 'Dery soun+ in its way. of course# ut what always ma!es me so sus*icious of you religious *eo*le is that you're so +euce+ly col+2bloo+e+ about your beliefs# :t shows a 0ery *oor imagination. to say the least of it# 4ere am : an infi+el an+ blas*hemer an+ nec! +ee* in at least si' out of the 7e0en Dea+ly. an+ ob0iously +oome+ to eternal torment# There's no !nowing that in an hour's time : mayn't be roasting in the hottest *art of 4ell# An+ yet you can sit there tal!ing to me as calmly as though :'+ nothing the matter with me# "ow. if :'+ merely got cancer or le*rosy or some other bo+ily ailment. you'+ be Huite +istresse+ about it22at least. : li!e to flatter myself that you woul+# /hereas. when :'m going to si66le on the gri+ throughout eternity. you seem *ositi0ely unconcerne+ about it#' ': ne0er sai+ 1OC were going to 4ell.' sai+ Dorothy somewhat uncomfortably. an+ wishing that the con0ersation woul+ ta!e a +ifferent turn# Bor the truth was. though she was not going to tell him so. that the *oint @r /arburton ha+ raise+ was one with

which she herself ha+ ha+ certain +ifficulties# 7he +i+ in+ee+ belie0e in 4ell. but she ha+ ne0er been able to *ersua+e herself that anyone actually /)"T there# 7he belie0e+ that 4ell e'iste+. but that it was em*ty# Cncertain of the ortho+o'y of this belief. she *referre+ to !ee* it to herself# ':t's ne0er certain that A"1O") is going to 4ell.' she sai+ more firmly. feeling that here at least she was on sure groun+# '/hat8' sai+ @r /arburton. halting in moc! sur*rise# '7urely you +on't mean to say that there's ho*e for me yetA' 'Of course there is# :t's only those horri+ Pre+estination *eo*le who *reten+ that you go to 4ell whether you re*ent or not# 1ou +on't thin! the Church of )nglan+ are Cal0inists. +o youA' ': su**ose there's always the chance of getting off on a *lea of :n0incible :gnorance.' sai+ @r /arburton reflecti0ely> an+ then. more confi+ently: 'Do you !now. Dorothy. :'0e a sort of feeling that e0en now. after !nowing me two years. you'0e still half an i+ea you can ma!e a con0ert of me# A lost shee*22bran+ *luc!e+ from the burning. an+ all that# : belie0e you still ho*e against ho*e that one of these +ays my eyes will be o*ene+ an+ you'll meet me at 4oly Communion at se0en o'cloc! on some +amne+ col+ winter morning# Don't youA' '/ell22' sai+ Dorothy. again uncomfortably# 7he +i+. in fact. entertain some such ho*e about @r /arburton. though he was not e'actly a *romising case for con0ersion# :t was not in her nature to see a fellow being in a state of unbelief without ma!ing some effort to reclaim him# /hat hours she ha+ s*ent. at +ifferent times. earnestly +ebating with 0ague 0illage atheists who coul+ not *ro+uce a single intelligible reason for their unbelief8 '1es.' she a+mitte+ finally. not *articularly wanting to ma!e the a+mission. but not wanting to *re0aricate# @r /arburton laughe+ +elighte+ly# '1ou'0e a ho*eful nature.' he sai+# ' ut you aren't afrai+. by any chance. that : might con0ert 1OCA LThe +og it was that +ie+L. you may remember#' At this Dorothy merely smile+# 'Don't let him see he's shoc!ing you'22that was always her ma'im when she was tal!ing to @r /arburton# They ha+ been arguing in this manner. without coming to any !in+ of conclusion. for the *ast hour. an+ might ha0e gone on for the rest of the night if Dorothy ha+ been willing to stay> for @r /arburton +elighte+ in teasing her about her religious beliefs# 4e ha+ that fatal cle0erness that so often goes with unbelief. an+ in their arguments. though Dorothy was always 5:G4T. she was not always 0ictorious# They were sitting. or rather Dorothy was

sitting an+ @r /arburton was stan+ing. in a large agreeable room. gi0ing on a moonlit lawn. that @r /arburton calle+ his 'stu+io'22 not that there was any sign of wor! e0er ha0ing been +one in it# To Dorothy's great +isa**ointment. the celebrate+ @r ewley ha+ not turne+ u*# ;As a matter of fact. neither @r ewley. nor his wife. nor his no0el entitle+ Bish*ools an+ Concubines. actually e'iste+# @r /arburton ha+ in0ente+ all three of them on the s*ur of the moment. as a *rete't for in0iting Dorothy to his house. well !nowing that she woul+ ne0er come uncha*erone+#= Dorothy ha+ felt rather uneasy on fin+ing that @r /arburton was alone# :t ha+ occurre+ to her. in+ee+ she ha+ felt *erfectly certain. that it woul+ be wiser to go home at once> but she ha+ staye+. chiefly because she was horribly tire+ an+ the leather armchair into which @r /arburton ha+ thrust her the moment she entere+ the house was too comfortable to lea0e# "ow. howe0er. her conscience was *ric!ing her# :t D:D"'T DO to stay too late at his house22*eo*le woul+ tal! if they hear+ of it# esi+es. there was a multitu+e of jobs that she ought to be +oing an+ that she ha+ neglecte+ in or+er to come here# 7he was so little use+ to i+leness that e0en an hour s*ent in mere tal!ing seeme+ to her 0aguely sinful# 7he ma+e an effort. an+ straightene+ herself in the too2comfortable chair# ': thin!. if you +on't min+. it's really time : was getting home.' she sai+# 'Tal!ing of :n0incible :gnorance.' went on @r /arburton. ta!ing no notice of Dorothy's remar!. ': forget whether : e0er tol+ you that once when : was stan+ing outsi+e the /orl+'s )n+ *ub in Chelsea. waiting for a ta'i. a +amne+ ugly little 7al0ation Army lassie came u* to me an+ sai+22without any !in+ of intro+uction. you !now22 L/hat will you say at the ,u+gement 7eatAL : sai+. L: am reser0ing my +efence#L 5ather neat. : thin!. +on't youA' Dorothy +i+ not answer# 4er conscience ha+ gi0en her another an+ har+er jab22she ha+ remembere+ those wretche+. unma+e jac!boots. an+ the fact that at least one of them ha+ got to be ma+e tonight# 7he was. howe0er. unbearably tire+# 7he ha+ ha+ an e'hausting afternoon. starting off with ten miles or so bicycling to an+ fro in the sun. +eli0ering the *arish maga6ine. an+ continuing with the @others' Cnion tea in the hot little woo+en2walle+ room behin+ the *arish hall# The @others met e0ery /e+nes+ay afternoon to ha0e tea an+ +o some charitable sewing while Dorothy rea+ alou+ to them# ;At *resent she was rea+ing Gene 7tratton Porter's A Girl of the (imberlost#= :t was nearly always u*on Dorothy that jobs of that !in+ +e0ol0e+. because the *halan' of +e0ote+ women ;the church fowls. they are calle+= who +o the +irty wor! of most *arishes ha+ +win+le+ at <ny*e 4ill to four or fi0e at most# The only hel*er on whom Dorothy coul+ count at all regularly was @iss Boote. a tall. rabbit2face+. +ithering 0irgin of thirty2fi0e. who meant well but ma+e a mess of e0erything an+ was in a *er*etual state of flurry#

@r /arburton use+ to say that she remin+e+ him of a comet22'a ri+iculous blunt2nose+ creature rushing roun+ on an eccentric orbit an+ always a little behin+ time'# 1ou coul+ trust @iss Boote with the church +ecorations. but not with the @others or the 7un+ay 7chool. because. though a regular churchgoer. her ortho+o'y was sus*ect# 7he ha+ confi+e+ to Dorothy that she coul+ worshi* Go+ best un+er the blue +ome of the s!y# After tea Dorothy ha+ +ashe+ u* to the church to *ut fresh flowers on the altar. an+ then she ha+ ty*e+ out her father's sermon22her ty*ewriter was a ric!ety *re2 oer /ar 'in0isible'. on which you coul+n't a0erage eight hun+re+ wor+s an hour22an+ after su**er she ha+ wee+e+ the *ea rows until the light faile+ an+ her bac! seeme+ to be brea!ing# /ith one thing an+ another. she was e0en more tire+ than usual# ': really @C7T be getting home.' she re*eate+ more firmly# ':'m sure it's getting fearfully late#' '4omeA' sai+ @r /arburton# '"onsense8 The e0ening's har+ly begun#' 4e was wal!ing u* an+ +own the room again. with his han+s in his coat *oc!ets. ha0ing thrown away his cigar# The s*ectre of the unma+e jac!boots stal!e+ bac! into Dorothy's min+# 7he woul+. she su++enly +eci+e+. ma!e two jac!boots tonight instea+ of only one. as a *enance for the hour she ha+ waste+# 7he was just beginning to ma!e a mental s!etch of the way she woul+ cut out the *ieces of brown *a*er for the inste*s. when she notice+ that @r /arburton ha+ halte+ behin+ her chair# '/hat time is it. +o you !nowA' she sai+# ': +are say it might be half *ast ten# ut *eo*le li!e you an+ me +on't tal! of such 0ulgar subjects as the time#' ':f it's half *ast ten. then : really must be going.' sai+ Dorothy# :'0e got a whole lot of wor! to +o before : go to be+#' '/or!8 At this time of nightA :m*ossible8' '1es. : ha0e# :'0e got to ma!e a *air of jac!boots#' '1ou'0e got to ma!e a *air of /4ATA' sai+ @r /arburton# 'Of jac!boots# Bor the *lay the schoolchil+ren are acting# /e ma!e them out of glue an+ brown *a*er#' 'Glue an+ brown *a*er8 Goo+ Go+8' murmure+ @r /arburton# 4e went on. chiefly to co0er the fact that he was +rawing nearer to Dorothy's chair: '/hat a life you lea+8 @essing about with glue an+ brown *a*er in the mi++le of the night8 : must say. there are times when : feel just a little gla+ that :'m not a clergyman's

+aughter#' ': thin!22' began Dorothy# ut at the same moment @r /arburton. in0isible behin+ her chair. ha+ lowere+ his han+s an+ ta!en her gently by the shoul+ers# Dorothy imme+iately wriggle+ herself in an effort to get free of him> but @r /arburton *resse+ her bac! into her *lace# '<ee* still.' he sai+ *eaceably# '(et me go8' e'claime+ Dorothy# @r /arburton ran his right han+ caressingly +own her u**er arm# There was something 0ery re0ealing. 0ery characteristic in the way he +i+ it> it was the lingering. a**raising touch of a man to whom a woman's bo+y is 0aluable *recisely in the same way as though it were something to eat# '1ou really ha0e e'traor+inary nice arms.' he sai+# '4ow on earth ha0e you manage+ to remain unmarrie+ all these yearsA' '(et me go at once8' re*eate+ Dorothy. beginning to struggle again# ' ut : +on't *articularly want to let you go.' objecte+ @r /arburton# 'P()A7) +on't stro!e my arm li!e that8 : +on't li!e it8' '/hat a curious chil+ you are8 /hy +on't you li!e itA' ': tell you : +on't li!e it8' '"ow +on't go an+ turn roun+.' sai+ @r /arburton mil+ly# '1ou +on't seem to reali6e how tactful it was on my *art to a**roach you from behin+ your bac!# :f you turn roun+ you'll see that :'m ol+ enough to be your father. an+ hi+eously bal+ into the bargain# ut if you'll only !ee* still an+ not loo! at me you can imagine :'m :0or "o0ello#' Dorothy caught sight of the han+ that was caressing her22a large. *in!. 0ery masculine han+. with thic! fingers an+ a fleece of gol+ hairs u*on the bac!# 7he turne+ 0ery *ale> the e'*ression of her face altere+ from mere annoyance to a0ersion an+ +rea+# 7he ma+e a 0iolent effort. wrenche+ herself free. an+ stoo+ u*. facing him# ': DO wish you woul+n't +o that8' she sai+. half in anger an+ half in +istress# '/hat is the matter with youA' sai+ @r /arburton#

4e ha+ stoo+ u*right. in his normal *ose. entirely unconcerne+. an+ he loo!e+ at her with a touch of curiosity# 4er face ha+ change+# :t was not only that she ha+ turne+ *ale> there was a with+rawn. half2frightene+ loo! in her eyes22almost as though. for the moment. she were loo!ing at him with the eyes of a stranger# 4e *ercei0e+ that he ha+ woun+e+ her in some way which he +i+ not un+erstan+. an+ which *erha*s she +i+ not want him to un+erstan+# '/hat is the matter with youA' he re*eate+# '/41 must you +o that e0ery time you meet meA' 'L)0ery time : meet youL is an e'aggeration.' sai+ @r /arburton# ':t's really 0ery sel+om that : get the o**ortunity# ut if you really an+ truly +on't li!e it22' 'Of course : +on't li!e it8 1ou !now : +on't li!e it8' '/ell. well8 Then let's say no more about it.' sai+ @r /arburton generously# '7it +own. an+ we'll change the subject#' 4e was totally +e0oi+ of shame# :t was *erha*s his most outstan+ing characteristic# 4a0ing attem*te+ to se+uce her. an+ faile+. he was Huite willing to go on with the con0ersation as though nothing whate0er ha+ ha**ene+# ':'m going home at once.' sai+ Dorothy# ': can't stay here any longer#' 'Oh nonsense8 7it +own an+ forget about it# /e'll tal! of moral theology. or cathe+ral architecture. or the Girl Gui+es' coo!ing classes. or anything you choose# Thin! how bore+ : shall be all alone if you go home at this hour#' ut Dorothy *ersiste+. an+ there was an argument# )0en if it ha+ not been his intention to ma!e lo0e to her22an+ whate0er he might *romise he woul+ certainly begin again in a few minutes if she +i+ not go22@r /arburton woul+ ha0e *resse+ her to stay. for. li!e all thoroughly i+le *eo*le. he ha+ a horror of going to be+ an+ no conce*tion of the 0alue of time# 4e woul+. if you let him. !ee* you tal!ing till three or four in the morning# )0en when Dorothy finally esca*e+. he wal!e+ besi+e her +own the moonlit +ri0e. still tal!ing 0oluminously an+ with such *erfect goo+ humour that she foun+ it im*ossible to be angry with him any longer# ':'m lea0ing first thing tomorrow.' he tol+ her as they reache+ the gate# ':'m going to ta!e the car to town an+ *ic! u* the !i+s22the A7TA5D7. you !now22an+ we're lea0ing for Brance the ne't +ay# :'m not certain where we shall go after that> eastern )uro*e. *erha*s#

Prague. Dienna. ucharest#' '4ow nice.' sai+ Dorothy# @r /arburton. with an a+roitness sur*rising in so large an+ stout a man. ha+ manoeu0re+ himself between Dorothy an+ the gate# ': shall be away si' months or more.' he sai+# 'An+ of course : nee+n't as!. before so long a *arting. whether you want to !iss me goo+2byeA' efore she !new what he was +oing he ha+ *ut his arm about her an+ +rawn her against him# 7he +rew bac!22too late> he !isse+ her on the chee!22woul+ ha0e !isse+ her on the mouth if she ha+ not turne+ her hea+ away in time# 7he struggle+ in his arms. 0iolently an+ for a moment hel*lessly# 'Oh. let me go8' she crie+# 'DO let me go8' ': belie0e : *ointe+ out before.' sai+ @r /arburton. hol+ing her easily against him. 'that : +on't want to let you go#' ' ut we're stan+ing right in front of @rs 7em*rill's win+ow8 7he'll see us absolutely for certain8' 'Oh. goo+ Go+8 7o she will8' sai+ @r /arburton# ': was forgetting#' :m*resse+ by this argument. as he woul+ not ha0e been by any other. he let Dorothy go# 7he *rom*tly *ut the gate between @r /arburton an+ herself# 4e. meanwhile. was scrutini6ing @rs 7em*rill's win+ows# ': can't see a light anywhere.' he sai+ finally# '/ith any luc! the blaste+ hag hasn't seen us#' 'Goo+2bye.' sai+ Dorothy briefly# 'This time : really @C7T go# 5emember me to the chil+ren#' /ith this she ma+e off as fast as she coul+ go without actually running. to get out of his reach before he shoul+ attem*t to !iss her again# )0en as she +i+ so a soun+ chec!e+ her for an instant22the unmista!able bang of a win+ow shutting. somewhere in @rs 7em*rill's house# Coul+ @rs 7em*rill ha0e been watching them after allA ut ;reflecte+ Dorothy= of COC57) she ha+ been watching them8 /hat else coul+ you e'*ectA 1ou coul+ har+ly imagine @rs 7em*rill missing such a scene as that# An+ if she 4AD been watching them. un+oubte+ly the story woul+ be all o0er the town tomorrow morning. an+ it woul+ lose nothing in the telling# ut this thought.

sinister though it was. +i+ no more than flight momentarily through Dorothy's min+ as she hurrie+ +own the roa+# /hen she was well out of sight of @r /arburton's house she sto**e+. too! out her han+!erchief an+ scrubbe+ the *lace on her chee! where he ha+ !isse+ her# 7he scrubbe+ it 0igorously enough to bring the bloo+ into her chee!# :t was not until she ha+ Huite rubbe+ out the imaginary stain which his li*s ha+ left there that she wal!e+ on again# /hat he ha+ +one ha+ u*set her# )0en now her heart was !noc!ing an+ fluttering uncomfortably# : can't )A5 that !in+ of thing8 she re*eate+ to herself se0eral times o0er# An+ unfortunately this was no more than the literal truth> she really coul+ not bear it# To be !isse+ or fon+le+ by a man22to feel hea0y male arms about her an+ thic! male li*s bearing +own u*on her own22was terrifying an+ re*ulsi0e to her# )0en in memory or imagination it ma+e her wince# :t was her es*ecial secret. the es*ecial. incurable +isability that she carrie+ through life# :f only they woul+ lea0e you A(O")8 she thought as she wal!e+ onwar+s a little more slowly# That was how she *ut it to herself habitually22':f only they woul+ lea0e you A(O")8' Bor it was not that in other ways she +isli!e+ men# On the contrary. she li!e+ them better than women# Part of @r /arburton's hol+ o0er her was in the fact that he was a man an+ ha+ the careless goo+ humour an+ the intellectual largeness that women so sel+om ha0e# ut why coul+n't they lea0e you A(O")A /hy +i+ they always ha0e to !iss you an+ maul you aboutA They were +rea+ful when they !isse+ you22 +rea+ful an+ a little +isgusting. li!e some large. furry beast that rubs itself against you. all too frien+ly an+ yet liable to turn +angerous at any moment# An+ beyon+ their !issing an+ mauling there lay always the suggestion of those other. monstrous things ;'A(( T4AT' was her name for them= of which she coul+ har+ly e0en bear to thin!# Of course. she ha+ ha+ her share. an+ rather more than her share. of casual attention from men# 7he was just *retty enough. an+ just *lain enough. to be the !in+ of girl that men habitually *ester# Bor when a man wants a little casual amusement. he usually *ic!s out a girl who is not TOO *retty# Pretty girls ;so he reasons= are s*oilt an+ therefore ca*ricious> but *lain girls are easy game# An+ e0en if you are a clergyman's +aughter. e0en if you li0e in a town li!e <ny*e 4ill an+ s*en+ almost your entire life in *arish wor!. you +on't altogether esca*e *ursuit# Dorothy was all too use+ to it22all too use+ to the fattish mi++le2age+ men. with their fishily ho*eful eyes. who slowe+ +own their cars when you *asse+ them on the roa+. or who manoeu0re+ an intro+uction an+ then began *inching your elbow about ten minutes afterwar+s# @en of all +escri*tions# )0en a clergyman. on one occasion22a bisho*'s

cha*lain. he was# # # # ut the trouble was that it was not better. but oh8 infinitely worse when they were the right !in+ of man an+ the a+0ances they ma+e you were honourable# 4er min+ sli**e+ bac!war+s fi0e years. to Brancis @oon. curate in those +ays at 7t /e+e!in+'s in @illborough# Dear Brancis8 4ow gla+ly woul+ she ha0e marrie+ him if only it ha+ not been for A(( T4AT8 O0er an+ o0er again he ha+ as!e+ her to marry him. an+ of course she ha+ ha+ to say "o> an+. eHually of course. he ha+ ne0er !nown why# :m*ossible to tell him why# An+ then he ha+ gone away. an+ only a year later ha+ +ie+ so irrele0antly of *neumonia# 7he whis*ere+ a *rayer for his soul. momentarily forgetting that her father +i+ not really a**ro0e of *rayers for the +ea+. an+ then. with an effort. *ushe+ the memory asi+e# Ah. better not to thin! of it again8 :t hurt her in her breast to thin! of it# 7he coul+ ne0er marry. she ha+ +eci+e+ long ago u*on that# )0en when she was a chil+ she ha+ !nown it# "othing woul+ e0er o0ercome her horror of A(( T4AT22at the 0ery thought of it something within her seeme+ to shrin! an+ free6e# An+ of course. in a sense she +i+ not want to o0ercome it# Bor. li!e all abnormal *eo*le. she was not fully aware that she was abnormal# An+ yet. though her se'ual col+ness seeme+ to her natural an+ ine0itable. she !new well enough how it was that it ha+ begun# 7he coul+ remember. as clearly as though it were yester+ay. certain +rea+ful scenes between her father an+ her mother22scenes that she ha+ witnesse+ when she was no more than nine years ol+# They ha+ left a +ee*. secret woun+ in her min+# An+ then a little later she ha+ been frightene+ by some ol+ steel engra0ings of nym*hs *ursue+ by satyrs# To her chil+ish min+ there was something ine'*licably. horribly sinister in those horne+. semi2human creatures that lur!e+ in thic!ets an+ behin+ large trees. rea+y to come boun+ing forth in su++en swift *ursuit# Bor a whole year of her chil+hoo+ she ha+ actually been afrai+ to wal! through woo+s alone. for fear of satyrs# 7he ha+ grown out of the fear. of course. but not out of the feeling that was associate+ with it# The satyr ha+ remaine+ with her as a symbol# Perha*s she woul+ ne0er grow out of it. that s*ecial feeling of +rea+. of ho*eless flight from something more than rationally +rea+ful22the stam* of hoo0es in the lonely woo+. the lean. furry thighs of the satyr# :t was a thing not to be altere+. not to be argue+ away# :t is. moreo0er. a thing too common nowa+ays. among e+ucate+ women. to occasion any !in+ of sur*rise# @ost of Dorothy's agitation ha+ +isa**eare+ by the time she reache+ the rectory# The thoughts of satyrs an+ @r /arburton. of Brancis @oon an+ her fore+oome+ sterility. which ha+ been going to an+ fro in her min+. fa+e+ out of it an+ were re*lace+ by the accusing

image of a jac!boot# 7he remembere+ that she ha+ the best *art of two hours' wor! to +o before going to be+ tonight# The house was in +ar!ness# 7he went roun+ to the bac! an+ sli**e+ in on ti*toe by the scullery +oor. for fear of wa!ing her father. who was *robably aslee* alrea+y# As she felt her way through the +ar! *assage to the conser0atory. she su++enly +eci+e+ that she ha+ gone wrong in going to @r /arburton's house tonight# 7he woul+. she resol0e+. ne0er go there again. e0en when she was certain that somebo+y else woul+ be there as well# @oreo0er. she woul+ +o *enance tomorrow for ha0ing gone there tonight# 4a0ing lighte+ the lam*. before +oing anything else she foun+ her 'memo list'. which was alrea+y written out for tomorrow. an+ *encille+ a ca*ital P against 'brea!fast'. P stoo+ for *enance22no bacon again for brea!fast tomorrow# Then she lighte+ the oilsto0e un+er the glue2*ot# The light of the lam* fell yellow u*on her sewing2machine an+ u*on the *ile of half2finishe+ clothes on the table. remin+ing her of the yet greater *ile of clothes that were not e0en begun> remin+ing her. also. that she was +rea+fully. o0erwhelmingly tire+# 7he ha+ forgotten her tire+ness at the moment when @r /arburton lai+ his han+s on her shoul+ers. but now it ha+ come bac! u*on her with +ouble force# @oreo0er. there was a somehow e'ce*tional Huality about her tire+ness tonight# 7he felt. in an almost literal sense of the wor+s. washe+ out# As she stoo+ besi+e the table she ha+ a su++en. 0ery strange feeling as though her min+ ha+ been entirely em*tie+. so that for se0eral secon+s she actually forgot what it was that she ha+ come into the conser0atory to +o# Then she remembere+22the jac!boots. of course8 7ome contem*tible little +emon whis*ere+ in her ear. '/hy not go straight to be+ an+ lea0e the jac!boots till tomorrowA' 7he uttere+ a *rayer for strength. an+ *inche+ herself# Come on. Dorothy8 "o slac!ing *lease8 (u!e i'. F%# Then. clearing some of the litter off the table. she got out her scissors. a *encil. an+ four sheets of brown *a*er. an+ sat +own to cut out those troublesome inste*s for the jac!boots while the glue was boiling# /hen the gran+father cloc! in her father's stu+y struc! mi+night she was still at wor!# 7he ha+ sha*e+ both jac!boots by this time. an+ was reinforcing them by *asting narrow stri*s of *a*er all o0er them22a long. messy job# )0ery bone in her bo+y was aching. an+ her eyes were stic!y with slee*# :n+ee+. it was only rather +imly that she remembere+ what she was +oing# ut she wor!e+ on. mechanically *asting stri* after stri* of *a*er into *lace. an+ *inching herself e0ery two minutes to counteract the hy*notic soun+ of the oilsto0e singing beneath the glue2*ot#

C4APT)5 %

& Out of a blac!. +reamless slee*. with the sense of being +rawn u*war+s through enormous an+ gra+ually lightening abysses. Dorothy awo!e to a s*ecies of consciousness# 4er eyes were still close+# y +egrees. howe0er. their li+s became less o*aHue to the light. an+ then flic!ere+ o*en of their own accor+# 7he was loo!ing out u*on a street22a shabby. li0ely street of small sho*s an+ narrow2face+ houses. with streams of men. trams. an+ cars *assing in either +irection# ut as yet it coul+ not *ro*erly be sai+ that she was (OO<:"G# Bor the things she saw were not a**rehen+e+ as men. trams. an+ cars. nor as anything in *articular> they were not e0en a**rehen+e+ as things mo0ing> not e0en as T4:"G7# 7he merely 7A/. as an animal sees. without s*eculation an+ almost without consciousness# The noises of the street22the confuse+ +in of 0oices. the hooting of horns an+ the scream of the trams grin+ing on their gritty rails22 flowe+ through her hea+ *ro0o!ing *urely *hysical res*onses# 7he ha+ no wor+s. nor any conce*tion of the *ur*ose of such things as wor+s. nor any consciousness of time or *lace. or of her own bo+y or e0en of her own e'istence# "e0ertheless. by +egrees her *erce*tions became shar*er# The stream of mo0ing things began to *enetrate beyon+ her eyes an+ sort themsel0es out into se*arate images in her brain# 7he began. still wor+lessly. to obser0e the sha*es of things# A long2sha*e+ thing swam *ast. su**orte+ on four other. narrower long2sha*e+ things. an+ +rawing after it a sHuare2sha*e+ thing balance+ on two circles# Dorothy watche+ it *ass> an+ su++enly. as though s*ontaneously. a wor+ flashe+ into her min+# The wor+ was 'horse'# :t fa+e+. but returne+ *resently in the more com*le' form: 'T4AT :7 A 4O57)#' Other wor+s followe+22'house'. 'street'. 'tram'. 'car'. 'bicycle'22 until in a few minutes she ha+ foun+ a name for almost e0erything within sight# 7he +isco0ere+ the wor+s 'man' an+ 'woman'. an+. s*eculating u*on these wor+s. +isco0ere+ that she !new the +ifference between li0ing an+ inanimate things. an+ between human beings an+ horses. an+ between men an+ women# :t was only now. after becoming aware of most of the things about her. that she became aware of 4)57)(B# 4itherto she ha+ been as it were a *air of eyes with a rece*ti0e but *urely im*ersonal brain

behin+ them# ut now. with a curious little shoc!. she +isco0ere+ her se*arate an+ uniHue e'istence> she coul+ B))( herself e'isting> it was as though something within her were e'claiming ': am :8' Also. in some way she !new that this ':' ha+ e'iste+ an+ been the same from remote *erio+s in the *ast. though it was a *ast of which she ha+ no remembrance# ut it was only for a moment that this +isco0ery occu*ie+ her# Brom the first there was a sense of incom*leteness in it. of something 0aguely unsatisfactory# An+ it was this: the ': am :' which ha+ seeme+ an answer ha+ itself become a Huestion# :t was no longer ': am :'. but '/4O am :'A /4O /A7 74)A 7he turne+ the Huestion o0er in her min+. an+ foun+ that she ha+ not the +immest notion of who she was> e'ce*t that. watching the *eo*le an+ horses *assing. she gras*e+ that she was a human being an+ not a horse# An+ that the Huestion altere+ itself an+ too! this form: 'Am : a man or a womanA' Again neither feeling nor memory ga0e any clue to the answer# ut at that moment. by acci+ent *ossibly. her finger2ti*s brushe+ against her bo+y# 7he reali6e+ more clearly than before that her bo+y e'iste+. an+ that it was her own22that it was. in fact. herself# 7he began to e'*lore it with her han+s. an+ her han+s encountere+ breasts# 7he was a woman. therefore# Only women ha+ breasts# :n some way she !new. without !nowing how she !new. that all those women who *asse+ ha+ breasts beneath their clothes. though she coul+ not see them# 7he now gras*e+ that in or+er to i+entify herself she must e'amine her own bo+y. beginning with her face> an+ for some moments she actually attem*te+ to loo! at her own face. before reali6ing that this was im*ossible# 7he loo!e+ +own. an+ saw a shabby blac! satin +ress. rather long. a *air of flesh2coloure+ artificial sil! stoc!ings. la++ere+ an+ +irty. an+ a *air of 0ery shabby blac! satin shoes with high heels# "one of them was in the least familiar to her# 7he e'amine+ her han+s. an+ they were both strange an+ unstrange# They were smallish han+s. with har+ *alms. an+ 0ery +irty# After a moment she reali6e+ that it was their +irtiness that ma+e them strange to her# The han+s themsel0es seeme+ natural an+ a**ro*riate. though she +i+ not recogni6e them# After hesitating a few moments longer. she turne+ to her left an+ began to wal! slowly along the *a0ement# A fragment of !nowle+ge ha+ come to her. mysteriously. out of the blan! *ast: the e'istence of mirrors. their *ur*ose. an+ the fact that there are often mirrors in sho* win+ows# After a moment she came to a chea* little jeweller's sho* in which a stri* of mirror. set at an angle. reflecte+ the faces of *eo*le *assing# Dorothy *ic!e+ her reflection out from among a +o6en others. imme+iately reali6ing it to be her own# 1et it coul+ not be sai+ that she ha+ recogni6e+

it> she ha+ no memory of e0er ha0ing seen it till this moment# :t showe+ her a woman's youngish face. thin. 0ery blon+e. with crow's2 feet roun+ the eyes. an+ faintly smu+ge+ with +irt# A 0ulgar blac! cloche hat was stuc! carelessly on the hea+. concealing most of the hair# The face was Huite unfamiliar to her. an+ yet not strange# 7he ha+ not !nown till this moment what face to e'*ect. but now that she ha+ seen it she reali6e+ that it was the face she might ha0e e'*ecte+# :t was a**ro*riate# :t corres*on+e+ to something within her# As she turne+ away from the jeweller's mirror. she caught sight of the wor+s 'Bry's Chocolate' on a sho* win+ow o**osite. an+ +isco0ere+ that she un+erstoo+ the *ur*ose of writing. an+ also. after a momentary effort. that she was able to rea+# 4er eyes flitte+ across the street. ta!ing in an+ +eci*hering o++ scra*s of *rint> the names of sho*s. a+0ertisements. news*a*er *osters# 7he s*elle+ out the letters of two re+ an+ white *osters outsi+e a tobacconist's sho*# One of them rea+. 'Bresh 5umours about 5ector's Daughter'. an+ the other. '5ector's Daughter# "ow belie0e+ in Paris'# Then she loo!e+ u*war+s. an+ saw in white lettering on the corner of a house: '"ew <ent 5oa+'# The wor+s arreste+ her# 7he gras*e+ that she was stan+ing in the "ew <ent 5oa+. an+22another fragment of her mysterious !nowle+ge22the "ew <ent 5oa+ was somewhere in (on+on# 7o she was in (on+on# As she ma+e this +isco0ery a *eculiar tremor ran through her# 4er min+ was now fully awa!ene+> she gras*e+. as she ha+ not gras*e+ before. the strangeness of her situation. an+ it bewil+ere+ an+ frightene+ her# /hat coul+ it all @)A"A /hat was she +oing hereA 4ow ha+ she got hereA /hat ha+ ha**ene+ to herA The answer was not long in coming# 7he thought22an+ it seeme+ to her that she un+erstoo+ *erfectly well what the wor+s meant: 'Of course8 :'0e lost my memory8' At this moment two youths an+ a girl who were tru+ging *ast. the youths with clumsy sac!ing bun+les on their bac!s. sto**e+ an+ loo!e+ curiously at Dorothy# They hesitate+ for a moment. then wal!e+ on. but halte+ again by a lam*2*ost fi0e yar+s away# Dorothy saw them loo!ing bac! at her an+ tal!ing among themsel0es# One of the youths was about twenty. narrow2cheste+. blac!2haire+. ru++y2chee!e+. goo+2loo!ing in a nosy coc!ney way. an+ +resse+ in the wrec! of a raffishly smart blue suit an+ a chec! ca*# The other was about twenty2si'. sHuat. nimble. an+ *owerful. with a snub nose. a clear *in! s!in an+ huge li*s as coarse as sausages. e'*osing strong yellow teeth# 4e was fran!ly ragge+. an+ he ha+ a mat of orange2coloure+ hair cro**e+ short an+ growing low on his hea+. which ga0e him a startling resemblance to an orang2outang# The girl was a silly2loo!ing. *lum* creature. +resse+ in clothes 0ery li!e Dorothy's own# Dorothy coul+ hear some of what they were

saying: 'That tart loo!s ill.' sai+ the girl# The orange2hea+e+ one. who was singing '7onny oy' in a goo+ baritone 0oice. sto**e+ singing to answer# '7he ain't ill.' he sai+# '7he's on the beach all right. though# 7ame as us#' '7he'+ +o jest nicely for "obby. woul+n't sheA' sai+ the +ar!2 haire+ one# 'Oh. 1OC8' e'claime+ the girl with a shoc!e+2amorous air. *reten+ing to smac! the +ar! one o0er the hea+# The youths ha+ lowere+ their bun+les an+ leane+ them against the lam*2*ost# All three of them now came rather hesitantly towar+s Dorothy. the orange2hea+e+ one. whose name seeme+ to be "obby. lea+ing the way as their ambassa+or# 4e mo0e+ with a gambolling. a*eli!e gait. an+ his grin was so fran! an+ wi+e that it was im*ossible not to smile bac! at him# 4e a++resse+ Dorothy in a frien+ly way# '4ullo. !i+8' '4ullo8' '1ou on the beach. !i+A' 'On the beachA' '/ell. on the bumA' 'On the bumA' 'Christ8 she's batty.' murmure+ the girl. twitching at the blac!2 haire+ one's arm as though to *ull him away# '/ell. what : mean to say. !i+22ha0e you got any moneyA' ': +on't !now#' At this all three loo!e+ at one another in stu*efaction# Bor a moment they *robably thought that Dorothy really /A7 batty# ut simultaneously Dorothy. who ha+ earlier +isco0ere+ a small *oc!et in the si+e of her +ress. *ut her han+ into it an+ felt the outline of a large coin# ': belie0e :'0e got a *enny.' she sai+# 'A *enny8' sai+ the +ar! youth +isguste+ly. '22lot of goo+ that is

to us8' Dorothy +rew it out# :t was a half2crown# An astonishing change came o0er the faces of the three others# "obby's mouth s*lit o*en with +elight. he gambolle+ se0eral ste*s to an+ fro li!e some great jubilant a*e. an+ then. halting. too! Dorothy confi+entially by the arm# 'That's the mulligatawny8' he sai+# '/e'0e struc! it luc!y22an+ so'0e you. !i+. belie0e me# 1ou're going to bless the +ay you set eyes on us lot# /e're going to ma!e your fortune for you. we are# "ow. see here. !i+22are you on to go into cahoots with us threeA' '/hatA' sai+ Dorothy# '/hat : mean to say22how about you chumming in with Blo an+ Charlie an+ meA Partners. seeA Comra+es all. shoul+er to shoul+er# Cnite+ we stan+. +i0i+e+ we fall# /e *ut u* the brains. you *ut u* the money# 4ow about it. !i+A Are you on. or are you offA' '7hut u*. "obby8' interru*te+ the girl# '7he +on't un+erstan+ a wor+ of what you're saying# Tal! to her *ro*er. can't youA' 'That'll +o. Blo.' sai+ "obby eHuably# '1ou !ee* it shut an+ lea0e the tal!ing to me# : got a way with the tarts. : ha0e# "ow. you listen to me. !i+22what might your name ha**en to be. !i+A' Dorothy was within an ace of saying ': +on't !now.' but she was sufficiently on the alert to sto* herself in time# Choosing a feminine name from the half2+o6en that s*rang imme+iately into her min+. she answere+. ')llen#' ')llen# That's the mulligatawny# "o surnames when you're on the bum# /ell now. )llen +ear. you listen to me# Cs three are going +own ho**ing. see22' '4o**ingA' ''O**ing8' *ut in the +ar! youth im*atiently. as though +isguste+ by Dorothy's ignorance# 4is 0oice an+ manner were rather sullen. an+ his accent much baser than "obby's# 'Pic!in' 'o*s22+ahn in <ent8 C'n un+erstan+ that. can't yerA' 'Oh. 4OP78 Bor beerA' 'That's the mulligatawny8 Coming on fine. she is# /ell. !i+. '6 : was saying. here's us three going +own ho**ing. an+ got a job *romise+ us an+ all22 lessington's farm. (ower @olesworth# Only we're just a bit in the mulligatawny. seeA ecause we ain't got a brown between us. an+ we got to +o it on the toby22thirty2fi0e

miles it is22an+ got to ta* for our tommy an+ s!i**er at night as well# An+ that's a bit of a mulligatawny. with la+ies in the *arty# ut now s'*ose f'rinstance you was to come along with us. seeA /e c'+ ta!e the two*enny tram far as romley. an+ that's fifteen miles +one. an+ we won't nee+ s!i**er more'n one night on the way# An+ you can chum in at our bin22four to a bin's the best *ic!ing22an+ if lessington's *aying two*ence a bushel you'll turn your ten bob a wee! easy# /hat +o you say to it. !i+A 1our two an+ a tanner won't +o you much goo+ here in 7mo!e# ut you go into *artnershi* with us. an+ you'll get your !i* for a month an+ something o0er22an+ /)'(( get a lift to romley an+ a bit of scran as well#' About a Huarter of his s*eech was intelligible to Dorothy# 7he as!e+ rather at ran+om: '/hat is 7C5A"A' '7cranA Tommy22foo+# : can see 1OC ain't been long on the beach. !i+#' 'Oh# # # # /ell. you want me to come +own ho*2*ic!ing with you. is that itA' 'That's it. )llen my +ear# Are you on. or are you offA' 'All right.' sai+ Dorothy *rom*tly# ':'ll come#' 7he ma+e this +ecision without any misgi0ing whate0er# :t is true that if she ha+ ha+ time to thin! o0er her *osition. she woul+ *robably ha0e acte+ +ifferently> in all *robability she woul+ ha0e gone to a *olice station an+ as!e+ for assistance# That woul+ ha0e been the sensible course to ta!e# ut "obby an+ the others ha+ a**eare+ just at the critical moment. an+. hel*less as she was. it seeme+ Huite natural to throw in her lot with the first human being who *resente+ himself# @oreo0er. for some reason which she +i+ not un+erstan+. it reassure+ her to hear that they were ma!ing for <ent# <ent. it seeme+ to her. was the 0ery *lace to which she wante+ to go# The others showe+ no further curiosity. an+ as!e+ no uncomfortable Huestions# "obby sim*ly sai+. 'O#<# That's the mulligatawny8' an+ then gently too! Dorothy's half2crown out of her han+ an+ sli+ it into his *oc!et22in case she shoul+ lose it. he e'*laine+# The +ar! youth22a**arently his name was Charlie22sai+ in his surly. +isagreeable way: 'Come on. less get mo0in'8 :t's 'ar2*arse two alrea+y# /e +on't want to miss that there 2222 tram# /here +'they start from. "obbyA' 'The )le*hant.' sai+ "obby: 'an+ we got to catch it before four

o'cloc!. because they +on't gi0e no free ri+es after four#' 'Come on. then. +on't less waste no more time# "ice job we'll 'a0e of it if we got to 'i!e it +own to romley A"D loo! for a *lace to s!i**er in the 2222 +ar!# C'm on. Blo#' 'Muic! march8' sai+ "obby. swinging his bun+le on to his shoul+er# They set out. without more wor+s sai+. Dorothy. still bewil+ere+ but feeling much better than she ha+ felt half an hour ago. wal!e+ besi+e Blo an+ Charlie. who tal!e+ to one another an+ too! no further notice of her# Brom the 0ery first they seeme+ to hol+ themsel0es a little aloof from Dorothy22willing enough to share her half2crown. but with no frien+ly feelings towar+s her# "obby marche+ in front. ste**ing out bris!ly in s*ite of his bur+en. an+ singing. with s*irite+ imitations of military music. the well2!nown military song of which the only recor+e+ wor+s seem to be: 'L22228L was all the ban+ coul+ *lay> L22228 22228L An+ the same to you8'

% This was the twenty2ninth of August# :t was on the night of the twenty2first that Dorothy ha+ fallen aslee* in the conser0atory> so that there ha+ been an interregnum in her life of not Huite eight +ays# The thing that ha+ ha**ene+ to her was common*lace enough22almost e0ery wee! one rea+s in the news*a*ers of a similar case# A man +isa**ears from home. is lost sight of for +ays or wee!s. an+ *resently fetches u* at a *olice station or in a hos*ital. with no notion of who he is or where he has come from# As a rule it is im*ossible to tell how he has s*ent the inter0ening time> he has been wan+ering. *resumably. in some hy*notic or somnambulistic state in which he has ne0ertheless been able to *ass for normal# :n Dorothy's case only one thing is certain. an+ that is that she ha+ been robbe+ at some time +uring her tra0els> for the clothes she was wearing were not her own. an+ her gol+ cross was missing# At the moment when "obby accoste+ her. she was alrea+y on the roa+ to reco0ery> an+ if she ha+ been *ro*erly care+ for. her memory might ha0e come bac! to her within a few +ays or e0en hours# A 0ery small thing woul+ ha0e been enough to accom*lish it> a chance meeting with a frien+. a *hotogra*h of her home. a few Huestions s!ilfully *ut# ut as it was. the slight mental stimulus that she

nee+e+ was ne0er gi0en# 7he was left in the *eculiar state in which she ha+ first foun+ herself22a state in which her min+ was *otentially normal. but not Huite strung u* to the effort of *u66ling out her own i+entity# Bor of course. once she ha+ thrown in her lot with "obby an+ the others. all chance of reflection was gone# There was no time to sit +own an+ thin! the matter o0er22no time to come to gri*s with her +ifficulty an+ reason her way to its solution# :n the strange. +irty sub2worl+ into which she was instantly *lunge+. e0en fi0e minutes of consecuti0e thought woul+ ha0e been im*ossible# The +ays *asse+ in ceaseless nightmarish acti0ity# :n+ee+. it was 0ery li!e a nightmare> a nightmare not of urgent terrors. but of hunger. sHualor. an+ fatigue. an+ of alternating heat an+ col+# Afterwar+s. when she loo!e+ bac! u*on that time. +ays an+ nights merge+ themsel0es together so that she coul+ ne0er remember with *erfect certainty how many of them there ha+ been# 7he only !new that for some in+efinite *erio+ she ha+ been *er*etually footsore an+ almost *er*etually hungry# 4unger an+ the soreness of her feet were her clearest memories of that time> an+ also the col+ of the nights. an+ a *eculiar. blowsy. witless feeling that came of slee*lessness an+ constant e'*osure to the air# After getting to romley they ha+ '+rumme+ u*' on a horrible. *a*er2littere+ rubbish +um*. ree!ing with the refuse of se0eral slaughter2houses. an+ then *asse+ a shu++ering night. with only sac!s for co0er. in long wet grass on the e+ge of a recreation groun+# :n the morning they ha+ starte+ out. on foot. for the ho*fiel+s# )0en at this early +ate Dorothy ha+ +isco0ere+ that the tale "obby ha+ tol+ her. about the *romise of a job. was totally untrue# 4e ha+ in0ente+ it22he confesse+ this Huite light2 hearte+ly22to in+uce her to come with them# Their only chance of getting a job was to march +own into the ho* country an+ a**ly at e0ery farm till they foun+ one where *ic!ers were still nee+e+# They ha+ *erha*s thirty2fi0e miles to go. as the crow flies. an+ yet at the en+ of three +ays they ha+ barely reache+ the fringe of the ho*fiel+s# The nee+ of getting foo+. of course. was what slowe+ their *rogress# They coul+ ha0e marche+ the whole +istance in two +ays or e0en in a +ay if they ha+ not been oblige+ to fee+ themsel0es# As it was. they ha+ har+ly e0en time to thin! of whether they were going in the +irection of the ho*fiel+s or not> it was foo+ that +ictate+ all their mo0ements# Dorothy's half2 crown ha+ melte+ within a few hours. an+ after that there was nothing for it e'ce*t to beg# ut there came the +ifficulty# One *erson can beg his foo+ easily enough on the roa+. an+ e0en two can manage it. but it is a 0ery +ifferent matter when there are four *eo*le together# :n such circumstances one can only !ee* ali0e if one hunts for foo+ as *ersistently an+ single2min+e+ly as a wil+ beast# Boo+22that was their sole *reoccu*ation +uring those three

+ays22just foo+. an+ the en+less +ifficulty of getting it# Brom morning to night they were begging# They wan+ere+ enormous +istances. 6ig6agging right across the country. trailing from 0illage to 0illage an+ from house to house. 'ta**ing' at e0ery butcher's an+ e0ery ba!er's an+ e0ery li!ely loo!ing cottage. an+ hanging ho*efully roun+ *icnic *arties. an+ wa0ing22always 0ainly22 at *assing cars. an+ accosting ol+ gentlemen with the right !in+ of face an+ *itching har+2u* stories# Often they went fi0e miles out of their way to get a crust of brea+ or a han+ful of scra*s of bacon# All of them begge+. Dorothy with the others> she ha+ no remembere+ *ast. no stan+ar+s of com*arison to ma!e her ashame+ of it# An+ yet with all their efforts they woul+ ha0e gone em*ty2 bellie+ half the time if they ha+ not stolen as well as begge+# At +us! an+ in the early mornings they *illage+ the orchar+s an+ the fiel+s. stealing a**les. +amsons. *ears. cobnuts. autumn ras*berries. an+. abo0e all. *otatoes> "obby counte+ it a sin to *ass a *otato fiel+ without getting at least a *oc!etful# :t was "obby who +i+ most of the stealing. while the others !e*t guar+# 4e was a bol+ thief> it was his *eculiar boast that he woul+ steal anything that was not tie+ +own. an+ he woul+ ha0e lan+e+ them all in *rison if they ha+ not restraine+ him sometimes# Once he e0en lai+ han+s on a goose. but the goose set u* a fearful clamour. an+ Charlie an+ Dorothy +ragge+ "obby off just as the owner came out of +oors to see what was the matter# )ach of those first +ays they wal!e+ between twenty an+ twenty2fi0e miles# They traile+ across commons an+ through burie+ 0illages with incre+ible names. an+ lost themsel0es in lanes that le+ nowhere. an+ s*rawle+ e'hauste+ in +ry +itches smelling of fennel an+ tansies. an+ snea!e+ into *ri0ate woo+s an+ '+rumme+ u*' in thic!ets where firewoo+ an+ water were han+y. an+ coo!e+ strange. sHuali+ meals in the two two2*oun+ snuff2tins that were their only coo!ing *ots# 7ometimes. when their luc! was in. they ha+ e'cellent stews of ca+ge+ bacon an+ stolen cauliflowers. sometimes great insi*i+ gorges of *otatoes roaste+ in the ashes. sometimes jam ma+e of stolen autumn ras*berries which they boile+ in one of the snuff2tins an+ +e0oure+ while it was still scal+ing hot# Tea was the one thing they ne0er ran short of# )0en when there was no foo+ at all there was always tea. stewe+. +ar! brown an+ re0i0ing# :t is a thing that can be begge+ more easily than most# 'Please. ma'am. coul+ you s*are me a *inch of teaA' is a *lea that sel+om fails. e0en with the case2har+ene+ <entish housewi0es# The +ays were burning hot. the white roa+s glare+ an+ the *assing cars sent stinging +ust into their faces# Often families of ho*2 *ic!ers +ro0e *ast. cheering. in lorries *ile+ s!y2high with furniture. chil+ren. +ogs. an+ bir+cages# The nights were always col+# There is har+ly such a thing as a night in )nglan+ when it is really warm after mi+night# Two large sac!s were all the

be++ing they ha+ between them# Blo an+ Charlie ha+ one sac!. Dorothy ha+ the other. an+ "obby sle*t on the bare groun+# The +iscomfort was almost as ba+ as the col+# :f you lay on your bac!. your hea+. with no *illow. lolle+ bac!war+s so that your nec! seeme+ to be brea!ing> if you lay on your si+e. your hi*2bone *ressing against the earth cause+ you torments# )0en when. towar+s the small hours. you manage+ to fall aslee* by fits an+ starts. the col+ *enetrate+ into your +ee*est +reams# "obby was the only one who coul+ really stan+ it# 4e coul+ slee* as *eacefully in a nest of so++en grass as in a be+. an+ his coarse. simian face. with barely a +o6en re+2gol+ hairs glittering on the chin li!e sni**ings of co**er wire. ne0er lost its warm. *in! colour# 4e was one of those re+2haire+ *eo*le who seem to glow with an inner ra+iance that warms not only themsel0es but the surroun+ing air# All this strange. comfortless life Dorothy too! utterly for grante+22only +imly aware. if at all. that the other. unremembere+ life that lay behin+ her ha+ been in some way +ifferent from this# After only a cou*le of +ays she ha+ cease+ to won+er any longer about her Hueer *re+icament# 7he acce*te+ e0erything22acce*te+ the +irt an+ hunger an+ fatigue. the en+less trailing to an+ fro. the hot. +usty +ays an+ the slee*less. shi0ering nights# 7he was. in any case. far too tire+ to thin!# y the afternoon of the secon+ +ay they were all +es*erately. o0erwhelmingly tire+. e'ce*t "obby. whom nothing coul+ tire# )0en the fact that soon after they set out a nail began to wor! its way through the sole of his boot har+ly seeme+ to trouble him# There were *erio+s of an hour at a time when Dorothy seeme+ almost to be slee*ing as she wal!e+# 7he ha+ a bur+en to carry now. for as the two men were alrea+y loa+e+ an+ Blo stea+fastly refuse+ to carry anything. Dorothy ha+ 0olunteere+ to carry the sac! that hel+ the stolen *otatoes# They generally ha+ ten *oun+s or so of *otatoes in reser0e# Dorothy slung the sac! o0er her shoul+er as "obby an+ Charlie +i+ with their bun+les. but the string cut into her li!e a saw an+ the sac! bum*e+ against her hi* an+ chafe+ it so that finally it began to blee+# 4er wretche+. flimsy shoes ha+ begun to go to *ieces from the 0ery beginning# On the secon+ +ay the heel of her right shoe came off an+ left her hobbling> but "obby. e'*ert in such matters. a+0ise+ her to tear the heel off the other shoe an+ wal! flatfoote+# The result was a fiery *ain +own her shins when she wal!e+ u*hill. an+ a feeling as though the soles of her feet ha+ been hammere+ with an iron bar# ut Blo an+ Charlie were in a much worse case than she# They were not so much e'hauste+ as ama6e+ an+ scan+ali6e+ by the +istances they were e'*ecte+ to wal!# /al!ing twenty miles in a +ay was a thing they ha+ ne0er hear+ of till now# They were coc!neys born an+ bre+. an+ though they ha+ ha+ se0eral months of +estitution in (on+on. neither of them ha+ e0er been on the roa+ before# Charlie. till fairly recently. ha+ been in goo+ em*loyment. an+ Blo. too.

ha+ ha+ a goo+ home until she ha+ been se+uce+ an+ turne+ out of +oors to li0e on the streets# They ha+ fallen in with "obby in Trafalgar 7Huare an+ agree+ to come ho*2*ic!ing with him. imagining that it woul+ be a bit of a lar!# Of course. ha0ing been 'on the beach' a com*arati0ely short time. they loo!e+ +own on "obby an+ Dorothy# They 0alue+ "obby's !nowle+ge of the roa+ an+ his bol+ness in thie0ing. but he was their social inferior22that was their attitu+e# An+ as for Dorothy. they scarcely e0en +eigne+ to loo! at her after her half2crown came to an en+# )0en on the secon+ +ay their courage was failing# They lagge+ behin+. grumble+ incessantly. an+ +eman+e+ more than their fair share of foo+# y the thir+ +ay it was almost im*ossible to !ee* them on the roa+ at all# They were *ining to be bac! in (on+on. an+ ha+ long cease+ to care whether they e0er got to the ho*fiel+s or not> all they wante+ to +o was to s*rawl in any comfortable halting *lace they coul+ fin+. an+. when there was any foo+ left. +e0our en+less snac!s# After e0ery halt there was a te+ious argument before they coul+ be got to their feet again# 'Come on. blo!es8' "obby woul+ say# 'Pac! your *eter u*. Charlie# Time we was getting off#' 'Oh. 2222 getting off8' Charlie woul+ answer morosely# '/ell. we can't s!i**er here. can weA /e sai+ we was going to hi!e as far as 7e0enoa!s tonight. +i+n't weA' 'Oh. 2222 7e0enoa!s8 7e0enoa!s or any other blee+ing *lace22it +on't ma!e any blee+ing +ifference to me#' ' ut 2222 it8 /e want to get a job tomorrow. +on't weA An+ we got to get +own among the farms 'fore we can start loo!ing for one#' 'Oh. 2222 the farms8 : wish :'+ ne0er 'ear+ of a 2222 'o*8 : wasn't brought u* to this 2222 'i!ing an+ s!i**ering li!e you was# :'m fe+ u*> that's what : am 2222 fe+ u*#' ':f this is bloo+y 'o**ing.' Blo woul+ chime in. ':'0e 'a+ my bloo+y bellyful of it alrea+y#' "obby ga0e Dorothy his *ri0ate o*inion that Blo an+ Charlie woul+ *robably 'jac! off' if they got the chance of a lift bac! to (on+on# ut as for "obby. nothing +isheartene+ him or ruffle+ his goo+ tem*er. not e0en when the nail in his boot was at its worst an+ his filthy remnant of a soc! was +ar! with bloo+# y the thir+ +ay the nail ha+ worn a *ermanent hole in his foot. an+ "obby ha+ to halt once in a mile to hammer it +own# ''7cuse me. !i+.' he woul+ say> 'got to atten+ to my bloo+y hoof

again# This nail's a mulligatawny#' 4e woul+ search for a roun+ stone. sHuat in the +itch an+ carefully hammer the nail +own# 'There8' he woul+ say o*timistically. feeling the *lace with his thumb# 'T4AT b22's in his gra0e8' The e*ita*h shoul+ ha0e been 5esurgam. howe0er# The nail in0ariably wor!e+ its way u* again within a Huarter of an hour# "obby ha+ trie+ to ma!e lo0e to Dorothy. of course. an+. when she re*ulse+ him. bore her no gru+ge# 4e ha+ that ha**y tem*erament that is inca*able of ta!ing its own re0erses 0ery seriously# 4e was always +ebonair. always singing in a lusty baritone 0oice22his three fa0ourite songs were: '7onny oy'. ''Twas Christmas Day in the /or!house' ;to the tune of 'The Church's One Boun+ation'=. an+ 'L22228L was all the ban+ coul+ *lay'. gi0en with li0ely ren+erings of military music# 4e was twenty2si' years ol+ an+ was a wi+ower. an+ ha+ been successi0ely a seller of news*a*ers. a *etty thief. a orstal boy. a sol+ier. a burglar. an+ a tram*# These facts. howe0er. you ha+ to *iece together for yourself. for he was not eHual to gi0ing a consecuti0e account of his life# 4is con0ersation was stu++e+ with casual *icturesHue memories22the si' months he ha+ ser0e+ in a line regiment before he was in0ali+e+ out with a +amage+ eye. the loathsomeness of the s!illy in 4olloway. his chil+hoo+ in the De*tfor+ gutters. the +eath of his wife. age+ eighteen. in chil+birth. when he was twenty. the horrible su**leness of the orstal canes. the +ull boom of the nitro2 glycerine. blowing in the safe +oor at /oo+war+'s boot an+ shoe factory. where "obby ha+ cleare+ a hun+re+ an+ twenty2fi0e *oun+s an+ s*ent it in three wee!s# On the afternoon of the thir+ +ay they reache+ the fringe of the ho* country. an+ began to meet +iscourage+ *eo*le. mostly tram*s. trailing bac! to (on+on with the news that there was nothing +oing22 ho*s were ba+ an+ the *rice was low. an+ the gy*sies an+ 'home *ic!ers' ha+ collare+ all the jobs# At this Blo an+ Charlie ga0e u* ho*e altogether. but by an a+roit mi'ture of bullying an+ *ersuasion "obby manage+ to +ri0e them a few miles farther# :n a little 0illage calle+ /ale they fell in with an ol+ :rishwoman22 @rs @c)lligot was her name22who ha+ just been gi0en a job at a neighbouring ho*fiel+. an+ they swa**e+ some of their stolen a**les for a *iece of meat she ha+ 'bumme+' earlier in the +ay# 7he ga0e them some useful hints about ho*2*ic!ing an+ about what farms to try# They were all s*rawling on the 0illage green. tire+ out. o**osite a little general sho* with some news*a*er *osters outsi+e# '1ou'+ best go +own'n ha0e a try at Chalmers's.' @rs @c)lligot a+0ise+ them in her base Dublin accent# 'Dat's a bit abo0e fi0e

mile from here# :'0e hear+ tell as Chalmers wants a +o6en *ic!ers still# : +aresay he'+ gi0e y'a job if you gets +ere early enough#' 'Bi0e miles8 Cri*es8 Ain't there none nearer'n thatA' grumble+ Charlie# '/ell. +ere's "orman's# : got a job at "orman's meself22:'m startin' tomorrow mornin'# ut 'twoul+n't be no use for you to try at "orman's# 4e ain't ta!in' on none but home *ic!ers. an' +ey say as he's goin' to let half his ho*s blow#' '/hat's home *ic!ersA' sai+ "obby# '/hy. +em as has got homes o' +eir own# )i+er you got to li0e in +e neighbourhoo+. or else +e farmer's got to gi0e y'a hut to slee* in# Dat's +e law nowa+ays# :n +e ole +ays when you come +own ho**in'. you !i**e+ in a stable an' +ere was no Huestions as!e+# ut +em bloo+y interferin' gets of a (abour Go0ernment brought in a law to say as no *ic!ers was to be ta!en on wi+out +e farmer ha+ *ro*er accommo+ation for 'em# 7o "orman only ta!es on fol!s as has got homes o' +eir own#' '/ell. you ain't got a home of your own. ha0e youA' '"o bloo+y fear8 ut "orman t'in!s : ha0e# : !i++e+'m : was stayin' in a cottage near by# etween you an' me. :'m s!i**erin' in a cow byre# 'Tain't so ba+ e'ce*t for +e stin! o' +e muc!. but you got to be out be fi0e in +e mornin'. else +e cowmen 'u+ catch you#' '/e ain't got no e'*erience of ho**ing.' "obby sai+# ': woul+n't !now a bloo+y ho* if : saw one# est to let on you're an ol+ han+ when you go u* for a job. ehA' '4ell8 4o*s +on't nee+ no e'*erience# Tear 'em off an' fling 'em into +e bin# Dat's all +er is to it. wi+ ho*s#' Dorothy was nearly aslee*# 7he hear+ the others tal!ing +esultorily. first about ho*2*ic!ing. then about some story in the news*a*ers of a girl who ha+ +isa**eare+ from home# Blo an+ Charlie ha+ been rea+ing the *osters on the sho*2front o**osite> an+ this ha+ re0i0e+ them somewhat. because the *osters remin+e+ them of (on+on an+ its joys# The missing girl. in whose fate they seeme+ to be rather intereste+. was s*o!en of as 'The 5ector's Daughter'# ','a see that one. BloA' sai+ Charlie. rea+ing a *oster alou+ with intense relish: 'L7ecret (o0e (ife of 5ector's Daughter# 7tartling 5e0elations#L Coo8 /ish : 'a+ a *enny to 'a0e a rea+ of that8'

'OhA /hat's 't all about. thenA' '/hatA Di+n't j'a rea+ about itA Pa*ers 'as bin full of it# 5ector's Daughter this an+ 5ector's Daughter that22wasn't 'alf smutty. some of it. too#' '7he's bit of hot stuff. the ole 5ector's Daughter.' sai+ "obby reflecti0ely. lying on his bac!# '/ish she was here now8 :'+ !now what to +o with her. all right. : woul+#' ''Twas a !i+ run away from home.' *ut in @rs @c)lligot# '7he was carryin' on wi+ a man twenty year ol+er'n herself. an' now she's +isa**eare+ an' +ey're searchin' for her high an' low#' ',ac!e+ off in the mi++le of the night in a motor2car with no clo'es on 'ce*' 'er night+ress.' sai+ Charlie a**reciati0ely# 'The 'ole 0illage sore 'em go#' 'Dere's some t'in! as he's too! her abroa+ an' sol+ her to one o' +em flash cat2houses in Parrus.' a++e+ @rs @c)lligot# '"o clo'es on 'ce*' 'er night+ressA Dirty tart she must 'a been8' The con0ersation might ha0e *rocee+e+ to further +etails. but at this moment Dorothy interru*te+ it# /hat they were saying ha+ rouse+ a faint curiosity in her# 7he reali6e+ that she +i+ not !now the meaning of the wor+ '5ector'# 7he sat u* an+ as!e+ "obby: '/hat is a 5ectorA' '5ectorA /hy. a s!y2*ilot22*arson blo!e# lo!e that *reaches an+ gi0es out the hymns an+ that in church# /e *asse+ one of 'em yester+ay22ri+ing a green bicycle an+ ha+ his collar on bac! to front# A *riest22clergyman# 1OC !now#' 'Oh# # # # 1es. : thin! so#' 'Priests8 loo+y ole getsies +ey are too. some o' +em.' sai+ @rs @c)lligot reminiscently# Dorothy was left not much the wiser# /hat "obby ha+ sai+ +i+ enlighten her a little. but only a 0ery little# The whole train of thought connecte+ with 'church' an+ 'clergyman' was strangely 0ague an+ blurre+ in her min+# :t was one of the ga*s22there was a number of such ga*s22in the mysterious !nowle+ge that she ha+ brought with her out of the *ast# That was their thir+ night on the roa+# /hen it was +ar! they sli**e+ into a s*inney as usual to 's!i**er'. an+ a little after mi+night it began to *elt with rain# They s*ent a miserable hour

stumbling to an+ fro in the +ar!ness. trying to fin+ a *lace to shelter. an+ finally foun+ a hay2stac!. where they hu++le+ themsel0es on the lee si+e till it was light enough to see# Blo blubbere+ throughout the night in the most intolerable manner. an+ by the morning she was in a state of semi2colla*se# 4er silly fat face. washe+ clean by rain an+ tears. loo!e+ li!e a bla++er of lar+. if one can imagine a bla++er of lar+ contorte+ with self2 *ity# "obby roote+ about un+er the he+ge until he ha+ collecte+ an armful of *artially +ry stic!s. an+ then manage+ to get a fire going an+ boil some tea as usual# There was no weather so ba+ that "obby coul+ not *ro+uce a can of tea# 4e carrie+. among other things. some *ieces of ol+ motor tyre that woul+ ma!e a flare when the woo+ was wet. an+ he e0en *ossesse+ the art. !nown only to a few cognoscenti among tram*s. of getting water to boil o0er a can+le# )0eryone's limbs ha+ stiffene+ after the horrible night. an+ Blo +eclare+ herself unable to wal! a ste* farther# Charlie bac!e+ her u*# 7o. as the other two refuse+ to mo0e. Dorothy an+ "obby went on to Chalmers's farm. arranging a ren+e60ous where they shoul+ meet when they ha+ trie+ their luc!# They got to Chalmers's. fi0e miles away. foun+ their way through 0ast orchar+s to the ho*2 fiel+s. an+ were tol+ that the o0erseer 'woul+ be along *resently'# 7o they waite+ four hours on the e+ge of the *lantation. with the sun +rying their clothes on their bac!s. watching the ho*2*ic!ers at wor!# :t was a scene somehow *eaceful an+ alluring# The ho* bines. tall climbing *lants li!e runner beans enormously magnifie+. grew in green leafy lanes. with the ho*s +angling from them in *ale green bunches li!e gigantic gra*es# /hen the win+ stirre+ them they shoo! forth a fresh. bitter scent of sul*hur an+ cool beer# :n each lane of bines a family of sunburnt *eo*le were shre++ing the ho*s into sac!ing bins. an+ singing as they wor!e+> an+ *resently a hooter soun+e+ an+ they !noc!e+ off to boil cans of tea o0er crac!ling fires of ho* bines# Dorothy en0ie+ them greatly# 4ow ha**y they loo!e+. sitting roun+ the fires with their cans of tea an+ their hun!s of brea+ an+ bacon. in the smell of ho*s an+ woo+ smo!e8 7he *ine+ for such a job22howe0er. for the *resent there was nothing +oing# At about one o'cloc! the o0erseer arri0e+ an+ tol+ them that he ha+ no jobs for them. so they traile+ bac! to the roa+. only a0enging themsel0es on Chalmers's farm by stealing a +o6en a**les as they went# /hen they reache+ their ren+e60ous. Blo an+ Charlie ha+ 0anishe+# Of course they searche+ for them. but. eHually of course. they !new 0ery well what ha+ ha**ene+# :n+ee+. it was *erfectly ob0ious# Blo ha+ ma+e eyes at some *assing lorry +ri0er. who ha+ gi0en the two of them a lift bac! to (on+on for the chance of a goo+ cu++le on the way# /orse yet. they ha+ stolen both bun+les# Dorothy an+ "obby ha+ not a scra* of foo+ left. not a crust of brea+ nor a *otato nor a *inch of tea. no be++ing. an+ not e0en a snuff2tin in

which to coo! anything they coul+ ca+ge or steal22nothing. in fact. e'ce*t the clothes they stoo+ u* in# The ne't thirty2si' hours were a ba+ time22a 0ery ba+ time# 4ow they *ine+ for a job. in their hunger an+ e'haustion8 ut the chances of getting one seeme+ to grow smaller an+ smaller as they got farther into the ho* country# They ma+e interminable marches from farm to farm. getting the same answer e0erywhere22no *ic!ers nee+e+22an+ they were so busy marching to an+ fro that they ha+ not e0en time to beg. so that they ha+ nothing to eat e'ce*t stolen a**les an+ +amsons that tormente+ their stomachs with their aci+ juice an+ yet left them ra0enously hungry# :t +i+ not rain that night. but it was much col+er than before# Dorothy +i+ not e0en attem*t to slee*. but s*ent the night in crouching o0er the fire an+ !ee*ing it alight# They were hi+ing in a beech woo+. un+er a sHuat. ancient tree that !e*t the win+ away but also wette+ them *erio+ically with s*rin!lings of chilly +ew# "obby. stretche+ on his bac!. mouth o*en. one broa+ chee! faintly illumine+ by the feeble rays of the fire. sle*t as *eacefully as a chil+# All night long a 0ague won+er. born of slee*lessness an+ intolerable +iscomfort. !e*t stirring in Dorothy's min+# /as this the life to which she ha+ been bre+22this life of wan+ering em*ty2bellie+ all +ay an+ shi0ering at night un+er +ri**ing treesA 4a+ it been li!e this e0en in the blan! *astA /here ha+ she come fromA /ho was sheA "o answer came. an+ they were on the roa+ at +awn# y the e0ening they ha+ trie+ at ele0en farms in all. an+ Dorothy's legs were gi0ing out. an+ she was so +i66y with fatigue that she foun+ +ifficulty in wal!ing straight# ut late in the e0ening. Huite une'*ecte+ly. their luc! turne+# They trie+ at a farm name+ Cairns's. in the 0illage of Clintoc!. an+ were ta!en on imme+iately. with no Huestions as!e+# The o0erseer merely loo!e+ them u* an+ +own. sai+ briefly. '5ight you are22you'll +o# 7tart in the morning> bin number ?. set &9.' an+ +i+ not e0en bother to as! their names# 4o*2*ic!ing. it seeme+. nee+e+ neither character nor e'*erience# They foun+ their way to the mea+ow where the *ic!ers' cam* was situate+# :n a +reamli!e state. between e'haustion an+ the joy of ha0ing got a job at last. Dorothy foun+ herself wal!ing through a ma6e of tin2roofe+ huts an+ gy*sies' cara0ans with many2coloure+ washing hanging from the win+ows# 4or+es of chil+ren swarme+ in the narrow grass alleys between the huts. an+ ragge+. agreeable2 loo!ing *eo*le were coo!ing meals o0er innumerable faggot fires# At the bottom of the fiel+ there were some roun+ tin huts. much inferior to the others. set a*art for unmarrie+ *eo*le# An ol+ man who was toasting cheese at a fire +irecte+ Dorothy to one of the women's huts# Dorothy *ushe+ o*en the +oor of the hut# :t was about twel0e feet

across. with ungla6e+ win+ows which ha+ been boar+e+ u*. an+ it ha+ no furniture whate0er# There seeme+ to be nothing in it but an enormous *ile of straw reaching to the roof22in fact. the hut was almost entirely fille+ with straw# To Dorothy's eyes. alrea+y stic!y with slee*. the straw loo!e+ *ara+isically comfortable# 7he began to *ush her way into it. an+ was chec!e+ by a shar* yel* from beneath her# L)re8 /hat yer +oin' ofA Get off of it8 'Oo as!e+ 1OC to wal! about on my belly. stoo*i+A' 7eemingly there were women +own among the straw# Dorothy burrowe+ forwar+ more circums*ectly. tri**e+ o0er something. san! into the straw an+ in the same instant began to fall aslee*# A rough2 loo!ing woman. *artially un+resse+. *o**e+ u* li!e a mermai+ from the strawy sea# ''Cllo. mate8' she sai+# ',est about all in. ain't you. mateA' '1es. :'m tire+220ery tire+#' '/ell. you'll bloo+y free6e in this straw with no be+2clo'es on you# Ain't you got a blan!etA' '"o#' ''Alf a mo. then# : got a *o!e 'ere#' 7he +i0e+ +own into the straw an+ re2emerge+ with a ho*2*o!e se0en feet long# Dorothy was aslee* alrea+y# 7he allowe+ herself to be wo!en u*. an+ inserte+ herself somehow into the sac!. which was so long that she coul+ get into it hea+ an+ all> an+ then she was half wriggling. half sin!ing +own. +ee* +own. into a nest of straw warmer an+ +rier than she ha+ concei0e+ *ossible# The straw tic!le+ her nostrils an+ got into her hair an+ *ric!e+ her e0en through the sac!. but at that moment no imaginable slee*ing *lace22 not Cleo*atra's couch of swan's2+own nor the floating be+ of 4aroun al 5aschi+22coul+ ha0e caresse+ her more 0olu*tuously#

E :t was remar!able how easily. once you ha+ got a job. you settle+ +own to the routine of ho*2*ic!ing# After only a wee! of it you ran!e+ as an e'*ert *ic!er. an+ felt as though you ha+ been *ic!ing ho*s all your life# :t was e'cee+ingly easy wor!# Physically. no +oubt. it was

e'hausting22it !e*t you on your feet ten or twel0e hours a +ay. an+ you were +ro**ing with slee* by si' in the e0ening22but it nee+e+ no !in+ of s!ill# Muite a thir+ of the *ic!ers in the cam* were as new to the job as Dorothy herself# 7ome of them ha+ come +own from (on+on with not the +immest i+ea of what ho*s were li!e. or how you *ic!e+ them. or why# One man. it was sai+. on his first morning on the way to the fiel+s. ha+ as!e+. '/here are the s*a+esA' 4e imagine+ that ho*s were +ug u* out of the groun+# )'ce*t for 7un+ays. one +ay at the ho* cam* was 0ery li!e another# At half *ast fi0e. at a ta* on the wall of your hut. you crawle+ out of your slee*ing nest an+ began searching for your shoes. ami+ slee*y curses from the women ;there were si' or se0en or *ossibly e0en eight of them= who were burie+ here an+ there in the straw# :n that 0ast *ile of straw any clothes that you were so unwise as to ta!e off always lost themsel0es imme+iately# 1ou grabbe+ an armful of straw an+ another of +rie+ ho* bines. an+ a faggot from the *ile outsi+e. an+ got the fire going for brea!fast# Dorothy always coo!e+ "obby's brea!fast as well as her own. an+ ta**e+ on the wall of his hut when it was rea+y. she being better at wa!ing u* in the morning than he# :t was 0ery col+ on those 7e*tember mornings. the eastern s!y was fa+ing slowly from blac! to cobalt. an+ the grass was sil0ery white with +ew# 1our brea!fast was always the same22bacon. tea. an+ brea+ frie+ in the grease of the bacon# /hile you ate it you coo!e+ another e'actly similar meal. to ser0e for +inner. an+ then. carrying your +inner2*ail. you set out for the fiel+s. a mile2an+2a2half wal! through the blue. win+y +awn. with your nose running so in the col+ that you ha+ to sto* occasionally an+ wi*e it on your sac!ing a*ron# The ho*s were +i0i+e+ u* into *lantations of about an acre. an+ each set22forty *ic!ers or thereabouts. un+er a foreman who was often a gy*sy22*ic!e+ one *lantation at a time# The bines grew twel0e feet high or more. an+ they were traine+ u* strings an+ slung o0er hori6ontal wires. in rows a yar+ or two a*art> in each row there was a sac!ing bin li!e a 0ery +ee* hammoc! slung on a hea0y woo+en frame# As soon as you arri0e+ you swung your bin into *osition. slit the strings from the ne't two bines. an+ tore them +own22huge. ta*ering stran+s of foliage. li!e the *laits of 5a*un6el's hair. that came tumbling +own on to* of you. showering you with +ew# 1ou +ragge+ them into *lace o0er the bin. an+ then. starting at the thic! en+ of the bine. began tearing off the hea0y bunches of ho*s# At that hour of the morning you coul+ only *ic! slowly an+ aw!war+ly# 1our han+s were still stiff an+ the col+ness of the +ew numbe+ them. an+ the ho*s were wet an+ sli**ery# The great +ifficulty was to *ic! the ho*s without *ic!ing the lea0es an+ stal!s as well> for the measurer was liable to refuse your ho*s if they ha+ too many lea0es among them# The stems of the bines were co0ere+ with minute thorns which within

two or three +ays ha+ torn the s!in of your han+s to *ieces# :n the morning it was a torment to begin *ic!ing when your fingers were almost too stiff to ben+ an+ blee+ing in a +o6en *laces> but the *ain wore off when the cuts ha+ reo*ene+ an+ the bloo+ was flowing freely# :f the ho*s were goo+ an+ you *ic!e+ well. you coul+ stri* a bine in ten minutes. an+ the best bines yiel+e+ half a bushel of ho*s# ut the ho*s 0arie+ greatly from one *lantation to another# :n some they were as large as walnuts. an+ hung in great leafless bunches which you coul+ ri* off with a single twist> in others they were miserable things no bigger than *eas. an+ grew so thinly that you ha+ to *ic! them one at a time# 7ome ho*s were so ba+ that you coul+ not *ic! a bushel of them in an hour# :t was slow wor! in the early morning. before the ho*s were +ry enough to han+le# ut *resently the sun came out. an+ the lo0ely. bitter o+our began to stream from the warming ho*s. an+ *eo*le's early2morning surliness wore off. an+ the wor! got into its stri+e# Brom eight till mi++ay you were *ic!ing. *ic!ing. *ic!ing. in a sort of *assion of wor!22a *assionate eagerness. which grew stronger an+ stronger as the morning a+0ance+. to get each bine +one an+ shift your bin a little farther along the row# At the beginning of each *lantation all the bins starte+ abreast. but by +egrees the better *ic!ers forge+ ahea+. an+ some of them ha+ finishe+ their lane of ho*s when the others were barely halfway along> whereu*on. if you were far behin+. they were allowe+ to turn bac! an+ finish your row for you. which was calle+ 'stealing your ho*s'# Dorothy an+ "obby were always among the last. there being only two of them22there were four *eo*le at most of the bins# An+ "obby was a clumsy *ic!er. with his great coarse han+s> on the whole. the women *ic!e+ better than the men# :t was always a nec! an+ nec! race between the two bins on either si+e of Dorothy an+ "obby. bin number F an+ bin number I# in number F was a family of gy*sies22a curly2hea+e+. ear2ringe+ father. an ol+ +rie+2u* leather2coloure+ mother. an+ two stra**ing sons22an+ bin number I was an ol+ )ast )n+ costerwoman who wore a broa+ hat an+ long blac! cloa! an+ too! snuff out of a *a*iermache bo' with a steamer *ainte+ on the li+# 7he was always hel*e+ by relays of +aughters an+ gran++aughters who came +own from (on+on for two +ays at a time# There was Huite a troo* of chil+ren wor!ing with the set. following the bins with bas!ets an+ gathering u* the fallen ho*s while the a+ults *ic!e+# An+ the ol+ costerwoman's tiny. *ale gran++aughter 5ose. an+ a little gy*sy girl. +ar! as an :n+ian. were *er*etually sli**ing off to steal autumn ras*berries an+ ma!e swings out of ho* bines> an+ the constant singing roun+ the bins was *ierce+ by shrill cries from the costerwoman of. 'Go on. 5ose. you la6y little cat8 Pic! them 'o*s u*8 :'ll warm your a22 for you8' etc#. etc# Muite half the *ic!ers in the set were gy*sies22there were not less

than two hun+re+ of them in the cam*# Di++y!ies. the other *ic!ers calle+ them# They were not a ba+ sort of *eo*le. frien+ly enough. an+ they flattere+ you grossly when they wante+ to get anything out of you> yet they were sly. with the im*enetrable slyness of sa0ages# :n their oafish. Oriental faces there was a loo! as of some wil+ but sluggish animal22a loo! of +ense stu*i+ity e'isting si+e by si+e with untameable cunning# Their tal! consiste+ of about half a +o6en remar!s which they re*eate+ o0er an+ o0er again without e0er growing tire+ of them# The two young gy*sies at bin number F woul+ as! "obby an+ Dorothy as many as a +o6en times a +ay the same conun+rum: '/hat is it the cle0erest man in )nglan+ coul+n't +oA' ': +on't !now# /hatA' 'Tic!le a gnat's a22 with a telegra*h *ole#' At this. ne0er2failing bellows of laughter# They were all abysmally ignorant> they informe+ you with *ri+e that not one of them coul+ rea+ a single wor+# The ol+ curly2hea+e+ father. who ha+ concei0e+ some +im notion that Dorothy was a 'scholar+'. once seriously as!e+ her whether he coul+ +ri0e his cara0an to "ew 1or!# At twel0e o'cloc! a hooter +own at the farm signalle+ to the *ic!ers to !noc! off wor! for an hour. an+ it was generally a little before this that the measurer came roun+ to collect the ho*s# At a warning shout from the foreman of ''O*s rea+y. number nineteen8' e0eryone woul+ hasten to *ic! u* the fallen ho*s. finish off the ten+rils that ha+ been left un*ic!e+ here an+ there. an+ clear the lea0es out of the bin# There was an art in that# :t +i+ not *ay to *ic! too 'clean'. for lea0es an+ ho*s ali!e all went to swell the tally# The ol+ han+s. such as the gy*sies. were a+e*ts at !nowing just how '+irty' it was safe to *ic!# The measurer woul+ come roun+. carrying a wic!er bas!et which hel+ a bushel. an+ accom*anie+ by the 'boo!ie.' who entere+ the *ic!ings of each bin in a le+ger# The 'boo!ies' were young men. cler!s an+ chartere+ accountants an+ the li!e. who too! this job as a *aying holi+ay# The measurer woul+ scoo* the ho*s out of the bin a bushel at a time. intoning as he +i+ so. 'One8 Two8 Three8 Bour8' an+ the *ic!ers woul+ enter the number in their tally boo!s# )ach bushel they *ic!e+ earne+ them two*ence. an+ naturally there were en+less Huarrels an+ accusations of unfairness o0er the measuring# 4o*s are s*ongy things22you can crush a bushel of them into a Huart *ot if you choose> so after each scoo* one of the *ic!ers woul+ lean o0er into the bin an+ stir the ho*s u* to ma!e them lie looser. an+ then the measurer woul+ hoist the en+ of the bin an+ sha!e the ho*s together again# 7ome mornings he ha+ or+ers to 'ta!e them hea0y'. an+ woul+ sho0el them in so that he got a cou*le

of bushels at each scoo*. whereat there were angry yells of. '(oo! how the b22's ramming them +own8 /hy +on't you bloo+y well stam* on themA' etc#> an+ the ol+ han+s woul+ say +ar!ly that they ha+ !nown measurers to be +uc!e+ in cow*on+s on the last +ay of *ic!ing# Brom the bins the ho*s were *ut into *o!es which theoretically hel+ a hun+re+weight> but it too! two men to hoist a full *o!e when the measurer ha+ been 'ta!ing them hea0y'# 1ou ha+ an hour for +inner. an+ you ma+e a fire of ho* bines22this was forbi++en. but e0eryone +i+ it22an+ heate+ u* your tea an+ ate your bacon san+wiches# After +inner you were *ic!ing again till fi0e or si' in the e0ening. when the measurer came once more to ta!e your ho*s. after which you were free to go bac! to the cam*# (oo!ing bac!. afterwar+s. u*on her interlu+e of ho*2*ic!ing. it was always the afternoons that Dorothy remembere+# Those long. laborious hours in the strong sunlight. in the soun+ of forty 0oices singing. in the smell of ho*s an+ woo+ smo!e. ha+ a Huality *eculiar an+ unforgettable# As the afternoon wore on you grew almost too tire+ to stan+. an+ the small green ho* lice got into your hair an+ into your ears an+ worrie+ you. an+ your han+s. from the sul*hurous juice. were as blac! as a "egro's e'ce*t where they were blee+ing# 1et you were ha**y. with an unreasonable ha**iness# The wor! too! hol+ of you an+ absorbe+ you# :t was stu*i+ wor!. mechanical. e'hausting. an+ e0ery +ay more *ainful to the han+s. an+ yet you ne0er wearie+ of it> when the weather was fine an+ the ho*s were goo+ you ha+ the feeling that you coul+ go on *ic!ing for e0er an+ for e0er# :t ga0e you a *hysical joy. a warm satisfie+ feeling insi+e you. to stan+ there hour after hour. tearing off the hea0y clusters an+ watching the *ale green *ile grow higher an+ higher in your bin. e0ery bushel another two*ence in your *oc!et# The sun burne+ +own u*on you. ba!ing you brown. an+ the bitter. ne0er2*alling scent. li!e a win+ from oceans of cool beer. flowe+ into your nostrils an+ refreshe+ you# /hen the sun was shining e0erybo+y sang as they wor!e+> the *lantations rang with singing# Bor some reason all the songs were sa+ that autumn22songs about rejecte+ lo0e an+ fi+elity unrewar+e+. li!e gutter 0ersions of Carmen an+ @anon (escaut# There was: T4)5) they GO22:" their joy22 'APP1 girl22(CC<1 boy22 ut 'ere am P:2:2:P22 ro!en22'A2A2Arte+8 An+ there was: ut :'m +an22cing with tears22in my eyes22 'Cos the girl22in my arms22isn't you2o2ou8

An+: The bells22are ringing22for 7ally22 ut no2o2ot22for 7ally22an+ me8 The little gy*sy girl use+ to sing o0er an+ o0er again: /e're so misable. all so misable. Down on @isable Barm8 An+ though e0eryone tol+ her that the name of it was @isery Barm. she *ersiste+ in calling it @isable Barm# The ol+ costerwoman an+ her gran++aughter 5ose ha+ a ho*2*ic!ing song which went: 'Our lousy 'o*s8 Our lousy 'o*s8 /hen the measurer 'e comes roun+. Pic! 'em u*. *ic! 'em u* off the groun+8 /hen 'e comes to measure. ') ne0er !nows where to sto*> Ay. ay. get in the bin An+ ta!e the bloo+y lot8' 'There they go in their joy'. an+ 'The bells are ringing for 7ally'. were the es*ecial fa0ourites# The *ic!ers ne0er grew tire+ of singing them> they must ha0e sung both of them se0eral hun+re+ times o0er before the season came to an en+# As much a *art of the atmos*here of the ho*fiel+s as the bitter scent an+ the blowsy sunlight were the tunes of those two songs. ringing through the leafy lanes of the bines# /hen you got bac! to the cam*. at half *ast si' or thereabouts. you sHuatte+ +own by the stream that ran *ast the huts. an+ washe+ your face. *robably for the first time that +ay# :t too! you twenty minutes or so to get the coal2blac! filth off your han+s# /ater an+ e0en soa* ma+e no im*ression on it> only two things woul+ remo0e it22one of them was mu+. an+ the other. curiously enough. was ho* juice# Then you coo!e+ your su**er. which was usually brea+ an+ tea an+ bacon again. unless "obby ha+ been along to the 0illage an+ bought two *ennyworth of *ieces from the butcher# :t was always "obby who +i+ the sho**ing# 4e was the sort of man who !nows how to get four *ennyworth of meat from the butcher for

two*ence. an+. besi+es. he was e'*ert in tiny economies# Bor instance. he always bought a cottage loaf in *reference to any of the other sha*es. because. as he use+ to *oint out. a cottage loaf seems li!e two loa0es when you tear it in half# )0en before you ha+ eaten your su**er you were +ro**ing with slee*. but the huge fires that *eo*le use+ to buil+ between the huts were too agreeable to lea0e# The farm allowe+ two faggots a +ay for each hut. but the *ic!ers *lun+ere+ as many more as they wante+. an+ also great lum*s of elm root which !e*t smoul+ering till morning# On some nights the fires were so enormous that twenty *eo*le coul+ sit roun+ them in comfort. an+ there was singing far into the night. an+ telling of stories an+ roasting of stolen a**les# 1ouths an+ girls sli**e+ off to the +ar! lanes together. an+ a few bol+ s*irits li!e "obby set out with sac!s an+ robbe+ the neighbouring orchar+s. an+ the chil+ren *laye+ hi+e2an+2see! in the +us! an+ harrie+ the nightjars which haunte+ the cam* an+ which. in their coc!ney ignorance. they imagine+ to be *heasants# On 7atur+ay nights fifty or si'ty of the *ic!ers use+ to get +run! in the *ub an+ then march +own the 0illage street roaring baw+y songs. to the scan+al of the inhabitants. who loo!e+ on the ho**ing season as +ecent *ro0incials in 5oman Gaul might ha0e loo!e+ on the yearly incursion of the Goths# /hen finally you manage+ to +rag yourself away to your nest in the straw. it was none too warm or comfortable# After that first blissful night. Dorothy +isco0ere+ that straw is wretche+ stuff to slee* in# :t is not only *ric!ly. but. unli!e hay. it lets in the +raught from e0ery *ossible +irection# 4owe0er. you ha+ the chance to steal an almost unlimite+ number of ho*2*o!es from the fiel+s. an+ by ma!ing herself a sort of cocoon of four ho*2*o!es. one on to* of the other. she manage+ to !ee* warm enough to slee* at any rate fi0e hours a night#

G As to what you earne+ by ho*2*ic!ing. it was just enough to !ee* bo+y an+ soul together. an+ no more# The rate of *ay at Cairns's was two*ence a bushel. an+ gi0en goo+ ho*s a *ractise+ *ic!er can a0erage three bushels an hour# :n theory. therefore. it woul+ ha0e been *ossible to earn thirty shillings by a si'ty2hour wee!# Actually. no one in the cam* came anywhere near this figure# The best *ic!ers of all earne+ thirteen or fourteen shillings a wee!. an+ the worst har+ly as much as si' shillings# "obby an+ Dorothy. *ooling their ho*s an+ +i0i+ing the *rocee+s. ma+e roun+ about ten shillings a wee! each#

There were 0arious reasons for this# To begin with. there was the ba+ness of the ho*s in some of the fiel+s# Again. there were the +elays which waste+ an hour or two of e0ery +ay# /hen one *lantation was finishe+ you ha+ to carry your bin to the ne't. which might be a mile +istant> an+ then *erha*s it woul+ turn out that there was some mista!e. an+ the set. struggling un+er their bins ;they weighe+ a hun+re+weight=. woul+ ha0e to waste another half2hour in trai*sing elsewhere# /orst of all. there was the rain# :t was a ba+ 7e*tember that year. raining one +ay in three# 7ometimes for a whole morning or afternoon you shi0ere+ miserably in the shelter of the unstri**e+ bines. with a +ri**ing ho*2*o!e roun+ your shoul+ers. waiting for the rain to sto*# :t was im*ossible to *ic! when it was raining# The ho*s were too sli**ery to han+le. an+ if you +i+ *ic! them it was worse than useless. for when so++en with water they shran! all to nothing in the bin# 7ometimes you were in the fiel+s all +ay to earn a shilling or less# This +i+ not matter to the majority of the *ic!ers. for Huite half of them were gy*sies an+ accustome+ to star0ation wages. an+ most of the others were res*ectable )ast )n+ers. costermongers an+ small sho*!ee*ers an+ the li!e. who came ho*2*ic!ing for a holi+ay an+ were satisfie+ if they earne+ enough for their fare both ways an+ a bit of fun on 7atur+ay nights# The farmers !new this an+ tra+e+ on it# :n+ee+. were it not that ho*2*ic!ing is regar+e+ as a holi+ay. the in+ustry woul+ colla*se forthwith. for the *rice of ho*s is now so low that no farmer coul+ affor+ to *ay his *ic!ers a li0ing wage# Twice a wee! you coul+ 'sub' u* to the amount of half your earnings# :f you left before the *ic!ing was finishe+ ;an incon0enient thing for the farmers= they ha+ the right to *ay you off at the rate of a *enny a bushel instea+ of two*ence22that is. to *oc!et half of what they owe+ you# :t was also common !nowle+ge that towar+s the en+ of the season. when all the *ic!ers ha+ a fair sum owing to them an+ woul+ not want to sacrifice it by throwing u* their jobs. the farmer woul+ re+uce the rate of *ayment from two*ence a bushel to a *enny half*enny# 7tri!es were *ractically im*ossible# The *ic!ers ha+ no union. an+ the foremen of the sets. instea+ of being *ai+ two*ence a bushel li!e the others. were *ai+ a wee!ly wage which sto**e+ automatically if there was a stri!e> so naturally they woul+ raise 4ea0en an+ earth to *re0ent one# Altogether. the farmers ha+ the *ic!ers in a cleft stic!> but it was not the farmers who were to blame22the low *rice of ho*s was the root of the trouble# Also as Dorothy obser0e+ later. 0ery few of the *ic!ers ha+ more than a +im i+ea of the amount they earne+# The system of *iecewor! +isguise+ the low rate of *ayment# Bor the first few +ays. before they coul+ 'sub'. Dorothy an+ "obby

0ery nearly star0e+. an+ woul+ ha0e star0e+ altogether if the other *ic!ers ha+ not fe+ them# ut e0eryone was e'traor+inarily !in+# There was a *arty of *eo*le who share+ one of the larger huts a little farther u* the row. a flower2seller name+ ,im urrows an+ a man name+ ,im Turle who was 0ermin man at a large (on+on restaurant. who ha+ marrie+ sisters an+ were close frien+s. an+ these *eo*le ha+ ta!en a li!ing to Dorothy# They saw to it that she an+ "obby shoul+ not star0e# )0ery e0ening +uring the first few +ays @ay Turle. age+ fifteen. woul+ arri0e with a sauce*an full of stew. which was *resente+ with stu+ie+ casualness. lest there shoul+ be any hint of charity about it# The formula was always the same: 'Please. )llen. mother says as she was just going to throw this stew away. an+ then she thought as *'ra*s you might li!e it# 7he ain't got no use for it. she says. an+ so you'+ be +oing her a !in+ness if you was to ta!e it#' :t was e'traor+inary what a lot of things the Turles an+ the urrowses were 'just going to throw away' +uring those first few +ays# On one occasion they e0en ga0e "obby an+ Dorothy half a *ig's hea+ rea+y stewe+> an+ besi+es foo+ they ga0e them se0eral coo!ing *ots an+ a tin *late which coul+ be use+ as a frying2*an# est of all. they as!e+ no uncomfortable Huestions# They !new well enough that there was some mystery in Dorothy's life22'1ou coul+ see.' they sai+. 'as )llen ha+ CO@) DO/" :" T4) /O5(D'22but they ma+e it a *oint of honour not to embarrass her by as!ing Huestions about it# :t was not until she ha+ been more than a fortnight at the cam* that Dorothy was e0en oblige+ to *ut herself to the trouble of in0enting a surname# As soon as Dorothy an+ "obby coul+ 'sub'. their money troubles were at an en+# They li0e+ with sur*rising ease at the rate of one an+ si'*ence a +ay for the two of them# Bour*ence of this went on tobacco for "obby. an+ four*ence2half*enny on a loaf of brea+> an+ they s*ent about se0en*ence a +ay on tea. sugar. mil! ;you coul+ get mil! at the farm at a half*enny a half2*int=. an+ margarine an+ '*ieces' of bacon# ut. of course. you ne0er got through the +ay without sHuan+ering another *enny or two# 1ou were e0erlastingly hungry. e0erlastingly +oing sums in farthings to see whether you coul+ affor+ a !i**er or a +oughnut or a *ennyworth of *otato chi*s. an+. wretche+ as the *ic!ers' earnings were. half the *o*ulation of <ent seeme+ to be in cons*iracy to tic!le their money out of their *oc!ets# The local sho*!ee*ers. with four hun+re+ ho*2*ic!ers Huartere+ u*on them. ma+e more +uring the ho* season than all the rest of the year *ut together. which +i+ not *re0ent them from loo!ing +own on the *ic!ers as coc!ney +irt# :n the afternoon the farm han+s woul+ come roun+ the bins selling a**les an+ *ears at se0en a *enny. an+ (on+on haw!ers woul+ come with bas!ets of +oughnuts or water ices or 'half*enny lollies'# At night the cam* was thronge+ by haw!ers who +ro0e +own from (on+on

with 0ans of horrifyingly chea* groceries. fish an+ chi*s. jellie+ eels. shrim*s. sho*2soile+ ca!es. an+ gaunt. glassy2eye+ rabbits which ha+ lain two years on the ice an+ were being sol+ off at nine*ence a time# Bor the most *art it was a filthy +iet u*on which the ho*2*ic!ers li0e+22ine0itably so. for e0en if you ha+ the money to buy *ro*er foo+. there was no time to coo! it e'ce*t on 7un+ays# Probably it was only the abun+ance of stolen a**les that *re0ente+ the cam* from being ra0age+ by scur0y# There was constant. systematic thie0ing of a**les> *ractically e0eryone in the cam* either stole them or share+ them# There were e0en *arties of young men ;em*loye+. so it was sai+. by (on+on fruit2costers= who bicycle+ +own from (on+on e0ery wee!2en+ for the *ur*ose of rai+ing the orchar+s# As for "obby. he ha+ re+uce+ fruit2stealing to a science# /ithin a wee! he ha+ collecte+ a gang of youths who loo!e+ u* to him as a hero because he was a real burglar an+ ha+ been in jail four times. an+ e0ery night they woul+ set out at +us! with sac!s an+ come bac! with as much as two hun+re+weight of fruit# There were 0ast orchar+s near the ho*fiel+s. an+ the a**les. es*ecially the beautiful little Gol+en 5ussets. were lying in *iles un+er the trees. rotting. because the farmers coul+ not sell them# :t was a sin not to ra!e them. "obby sai+# On two occasions he an+ his gang e0en stole a chic!en# 4ow they manage+ to +o it without wa!ing the neighbourhoo+ was a mystery> but it a**eare+ that "obby !new some +o+ge of sli**ing a sac! o0er a chic!en's hea+. so that it 'ceas'+ u*on the mi+night with no *ain'22or at any rate. with no noise# :n this manner a wee! an+ then a fortnight went by. an+ Dorothy was no nearer to sol0ing the *roblem of her own i+entity# :n+ee+. she was further from it than e0er. for e'ce*t at o++ moments the subject ha+ almost 0anishe+ from her min+# @ore an+ more she ha+ come to ta!e her curious situation for grante+. to aban+on all thoughts of either yester+ay or tomorrow# That was the natural effect of life in the ho*fiel+s> it narrowe+ the range of your consciousness to the *assing minute# 1ou coul+ not struggle with nebulous mental *roblems when you were e0erlastingly slee*y an+ e0erlastingly occu*ie+22for when you were not at wor! in the fiel+s you were either coo!ing. or fetching things from the 0illage. or coa'ing a fire out of wet stic!s. or tru+ging to an+ fro with cans of water# ;There was only one water ta* in the cam*. an+ that was two hun+re+ yar+s from Dorothy's hut. an+ the uns*ea!able earth latrine was at the same +istance#= :t was a life that wore you out. use+ u* e0ery ounce of your energy. an+ !e*t you *rofoun+ly. unHuestionably ha**y# :n the literal sense of the wor+. it stu*efie+ you# The long +ays in the fiel+s. the coarse foo+ an+ insufficient slee*. the smell of ho*s an+ woo+ smo!e. lulle+ you into an almost beastli!e hea0iness# 1our wits seeme+ to thic!en. just as your s!in +i+. in the rain an+ sunshine an+ *er*etual fresh

air# On 7un+ays. of course. there was no wor! in the fiel+s> but 7un+ay morning was a busy time. for it was then that *eo*le coo!e+ their *rinci*al meal of the wee!. an+ +i+ their laun+ering an+ men+ing# All o0er the cam*. while the jangle of bells from the 0illage church came +own the win+. mingling with the thin strains of 'O Go+ our 4el*' from the ill2atten+e+ o*en2air ser0ice hel+ by 7t 7omebo+y's @ission to 4o*2*ic!ers. huge faggot fires were bla6ing. an+ water boiling in buc!ets an+ tin cans an+ sauce*ans an+ anything else that *eo*le coul+ lay their han+s on. an+ ragge+ washing fluttering from the roofs of all the huts# On the first 7un+ay Dorothy borrowe+ a basin from the Turles an+ washe+ first her hair. then her un+erclothes an+ "obby's shirt# 4er un+erclothes were in a shoc!ing state# 4ow long she ha+ worn them she +i+ not !now. but certainly not less than ten +ays. an+ they ha+ been sle*t in all that while# 4er stoc!ings ha+ har+ly any feet left to them. an+ as for her shoes. they only hel+ together because of the mu+ that ca!e+ them# After she ha+ set the washing to +ry she coo!e+ the +inner. an+ they +ine+ o*ulently off half a stewe+ chic!en ;stolen=. boile+ *otatoes ;stolen=. stewe+ a**les ;stolen=. an+ tea out of real tea2 cu*s with han+les on them. borrowe+ from @rs urrows# An+ after +inner. the whole afternoon. Dorothy sat against the sunny si+e of the hut. with a +ry ho*2*o!e across her !nees to hol+ her +ress +own. alternately +o6ing an+ reawa!ening# Two2thir+s of the *eo*le in the cam* were +oing e'actly the same thing> just +o6ing in the sun. an+ wa!ing to ga6e at nothing. li!e cows# :t was all you felt eHual to. after a wee! of hea0y wor!# About three o'cloc!. as she sat there on the 0erge of slee*. "obby sauntere+ by. bare to the waist22his shirt was +rying22with a co*y of a 7un+ay news*a*er that he ha+ succee+e+ in borrowing# :t was Pi**in's /ee!ly. the +irtiest of the fi0e +irty 7un+ay news*a*ers# 4e +ro**e+ it in Dorothy's la* as he *asse+# '4a0e a rea+ of that. !i+.' he sai+ generously# Dorothy too! Pi**in's /ee!ly an+ lai+ it across her !nees. feeling herself far too slee*y to rea+# A huge hea+line stare+ her in the face: 'PA77:O" D5A@A :" COC"T51 5)CTO51#' An+ then there were some more hea+lines. an+ something in lea+e+ ty*e. an+ an inset *hotogra*h of a girl's face# Bor the s*ace of fi0e secon+s or thereabouts Dorothy was actually ga6ing at a blac!ish. smu+gy. but Huite recogni6able *ortrait of herself# There was a column or so of *rint beneath the *hotogra*h# As a matter of fact. most of the news*a*ers ha+ +ro**e+ the '5ector's Daughter' mystery by this time. for it was more than a fortnight

ol+ an+ stale news# ut Pi**in's /ee!ly care+ little whether its news was new so long as it was s*icy. an+ that wee!'s cro* of ra*es an+ mur+ers ha+ been a *oor one# They were gi0ing the '5ector's Daughter' one final boost22gi0ing her. in fact. the *lace of honour at the to* left2han+ corner of the front *age# Dorothy ga6e+ inertly at the *hotogra*h# A girl's face. loo!ing out at her from be+s of blac! una**eti6ing *rint22it con0eye+ absolutely nothing to her min+# 7he re2rea+ mechanically the wor+s. 'PA77:O" D5A@A :" COC"T51 5)CTO51'. without either un+erstan+ing them or feeling the slightest interest in them# 7he was. she +isco0ere+. totally uneHual to the effort of rea+ing> e0en the effort of loo!ing at the *hotogra*hs was too much for her# 4ea0y slee* was weighing +own her hea+# 4er eyes. in the act of closing. flitte+ across the *age to a *hotogra*h that was either of (or+ 7now+en or of the man who woul+n't wear a truss. an+ then. in the same instant. she fell aslee*. with Pi**in's /ee!ly across her !nees# :t was not uncomfortable against the corrugate+ iron wall of the hut. an+ she har+ly stirre+ till si' o'cloc!. when "obby wo!e her u* to tell her that he ha+ got tea rea+y> whereat Dorothy *ut Pi**in's /ee!ly thriftily away ;it woul+ come in for lighting the fire=. without loo!ing at it again# 7o for the moment the chance of sol0ing her *roblem *asse+ by# An+ the *roblem might ha0e remaine+ unsol0e+ e0en for months longer. ha+ not a +isagreeable acci+ent. a wee! later. frightene+ her out of the contente+ an+ unreflecting state in which she was li0ing#

J The following 7un+ay night two *olicemen su++enly +escen+e+ u*on the cam* an+ arreste+ "obby an+ two others for theft# :t ha**ene+ all in a moment. an+ "obby coul+ not ha0e esca*e+ e0en if he ha+ been warne+ beforehan+. for the countrysi+e was *ullulating with s*ecial constables# There are 0ast numbers of s*ecial constables in <ent# They are sworn in e0ery autumn22a sort of militia to +eal with the marau+ing tribes of ho*2*ic!ers# The farmers ha+ been growing tire+ of the orchar+2robbing. an+ ha+ +eci+e+ to ma!e an e'am*le. in terrorem# Of course there was a tremen+ous u*roar in the cam*# Dorothy came out of her hut to +isco0er what was the matter. an+ saw a firelit ring of *eo*le towar+s which e0eryone was running# 7he ran after them. an+ a horri+ chill went through her. because it seeme+ to her that she !new alrea+y what it was that ha+ ha**ene+# 7he manage+

to wriggle her way to the front of the crow+. an+ saw the 0ery thing that she ha+ been fearing# There stoo+ "obby. in the gri* of an enormous *oliceman. an+ another *oliceman was hol+ing two frightene+ youths by the arms# One of them. a wretche+ chil+ har+ly si'teen years ol+. was crying bitterly# @r Cairns. a stiff2built man with grey whis!ers. an+ two farm han+s. were !ee*ing guar+ o0er the stolen *ro*erty that ha+ been +ug out of the straw of "obby's hut# )'hibit A. a *ile of a**les> )'hibit . some bloo+2staine+ chic!en feathers# "obby caught sight of Dorothy among the crow+. grinne+ at her with a flash of large teeth. an+ win!e+# There was a confuse+ +in of shouting: '(oo! at the *ore little b22 crying8 (et 'im go8 loo+y shame. *ore little !i+ li!e that8 7er0e the young bastar+ right. getting us all into trouble8 (et 'im go8 Always got to *ut the blame on us bloo+y ho*2*ic!ers8 Can't lose a bloo+y a**le without it's us that's too! it# (et 'im go8 7hut u*. can't youA 7'*ose they was 1OC5 bloo+y a**lesA /oul+n't 1OC bloo+iwell22' etc#. etc#. etc# An+ then: '7tan+ bac! mate8 ')re comes the !i+'s mother#' A huge Toby jug of a woman. with monstrous breasts an+ her hair coming +own her bac!. force+ her way through the ring of *eo*le an+ began roaring first at the *oliceman an+ @r Cairns. then at "obby. who ha+ le+ her son astray# Binally the farm han+s manage+ to +rag her away# Through the woman's yells Dorothy coul+ hear @r Cairns gruffly interrogating "obby: '"ow then. young man. just you own u* an+ tell us who you share+ them a**les with8 /e're going to *ut a sto* to this thie0ing game. once an+ for all# 1ou own u*. an+ : +essay we'll ta!e it into consi+eration#' "obby answere+. as blithely as e0er. 'Consi+eration. your a228' 'Don't you get gi0ing me any of your li*. young man8 Or else you'll catch it all the hotter when you go u* before the magistrate#' 'Catch it hotter. your a228' "obby grinne+# 4is own wit fille+ him with +elight# 4e caught Dorothy's eye an+ win!e+ at her once again before being le+ away# An+ that was the last she e0er saw of him# There was further shouting. an+ when the *risoners were remo0e+ a few +o6en men followe+ them. booing at the *olicemen an+ @r Cairns. but nobo+y +are+ to interfere# Dorothy meanwhile ha+ cre*t away> she +i+ not e0en sto* to fin+ out whether there woul+ be an

o**ortunity of saying goo+bye to "obby22she was too frightene+. too an'ious to esca*e# 4er !nees were trembling uncontrollably# /hen she got bac! to the hut. the other women were sitting u*. tal!ing e'cite+ly about "obby's arrest# 7he burrowe+ +ee* into the straw an+ hi+ herself. to be out of the soun+ of their 0oices# They continue+ tal!ing half the night. an+ of course. because Dorothy ha+ su**ose+ly been "obby's 'tart'. they !e*t con+oling with her an+ *lying her with Huestions# 7he +i+ not answer them22*reten+e+ to be aslee*# ut there woul+ be. she !new well enough. no slee* for her that night# The whole thing ha+ frightene+ an+ u*set her22but it ha+ frightene+ her more than was reasonable or un+erstan+able# Bor she was in no !in+ of +anger# The farm han+s +i+ not !now that she ha+ share+ the stolen a**les22for that matter. nearly e0eryone in the cam* ha+ share+ them22an+ "obby woul+ ne0er betray her# :t was not e0en that she was greatly concerne+ for "obby. who was fran!ly not trouble+ by the *ros*ect of a month in jail# :t was something that was ha**ening insi+e her22some change that was ta!ing *lace in the atmos*here of her min+# :t seeme+ to her that she was no longer the same *erson that she ha+ been an hour ago# /ithin her an+ without. e0erything was change+# :t was as though a bubble in her brain ha+ burst. setting free thoughts. feelings. fears of which she ha+ forgotten the e'istence# All the +reamli!e a*athy of the *ast three wee!s was shattere+# Bor it was *recisely as in a +ream that she ha+ been li0ing22it is the es*ecial con+ition of a +ream that one acce*ts e0erything. Huestions nothing# Dirt. rags. 0agabon+age. begging. stealing22all ha+ seeme+ natural to her# )0en the loss of her memory ha+ seeme+ natural> at least. she ha+ har+ly gi0en it a thought till this moment# The Huestion '/4O A@ :A' ha+ fa+e+ out of her min+ till sometimes she ha+ forgotten it for hours together# :t was only now that it returne+ with any real urgency# Bor nearly the whole of a miserable night that Huestion went to an+ fro in her brain# ut it was not so much the Huestion itself that trouble+ her as the !nowle+ge that it was about to be answere+# 4er memory was coming bac! to her. that was certain. an+ some ugly shoc! was coming with it# 7he actually feare+ the moment when she shoul+ +isco0er her own i+entity# 7omething that she +i+ not want to face was waiting just below the surface of her consciousness# At half *ast fi0e she got u* an+ gro*e+ for her shoes as usual# 7he went outsi+e. got the fire going. an+ stuc! the can of water among the hot embers to boil# ,ust as she +i+ so a memory. seeming irrele0ant. flashe+ across her min+# :t was of that halt on the 0illage green at /ale. a fortnight ago22the time when they ha+ met the ol+ :rishwoman. @rs @c)lligot# Dery 0i0i+ly she remembere+ the scene# 4erself lying e'hauste+ on the grass. with her arm o0er her

face> an+ "obby an+ @rs @c)lligot tal!ing across her su*ine bo+y> an+ Charlie. with succulent relish. rea+ing out the *oster. '7ecret (o0e (ife of 5ector's Daughter'> an+ herself. mystifie+ but not +ee*ly intereste+. sitting u* an+ as!ing. '/hat is a 5ectorA' At that a +ea+ly chill. li!e a han+ of ice. fastene+ about her heart# 7he got u* an+ hurrie+. almost ran bac! to the hut. then burrowe+ +own to the *lace where her sac!s lay an+ felt in the straw beneath them# :n that 0ast moun+ of straw all your loose *ossessions got lost an+ gra+ually wor!e+ their way to the bottom# ut after searching for some minutes. an+ getting herself well curse+ by se0eral women who were still half aslee*. Dorothy foun+ what she was loo!ing for# :t was the co*y of Pi**in's /ee!ly which "obby ha+ gi0en her a wee! ago# 7he too! it outsi+e. !nelt +own. an+ s*rea+ it out in the light of the fire# :t was on the front *age22a *hotogra*h. an+ three big hea+lines# 1es8 There it was8 PA77:O" D5A@A :" COC"T51 5)CTO51 PA57O"'7 DACG4T)5 A"D )(D)5(1 7)DCC)5 /4:T)24A:5)D BAT4)5 P5O7T5AT) /:T4 G5:)B ;Pi**in's /ee!ly 7*ecial= ': woul+ sooner ha0e seen her in her gra0e8' was the heartbro!en cry of the 5e0# Charles 4are. 5ector of <ny*e 4ill. 7uffol!. on learning of his twenty2eight2year2ol+ +aughter's elo*ement with an el+erly bachelor name+ /arburton. +escribe+ as an artist# @iss 4are. who left the town on the night of the twenty2first of August. is still missing. an+ all attem*ts to trace her ha0e faile+# N:n lea+e+ ty*eO 5umour. as yet unconfirme+. states that she was recently seen with a male com*anion in a hotel of e0il re*ute in Dienna# 5ea+ers of Pi**in's /ee!ly will recall that the elo*ement too! *lace in +ramatic circumstances# A little before mi+night on the twenty2first of August. @rs )0elina 7em*rill. a wi+owe+ la+y who inhabits the house ne't +oor to @r /arburton's. ha**ene+ by chance to loo! out of her be+room win+ow an+ saw @r /arburton stan+ing at his front gate in con0ersation with a young woman# As it was a clear moonlight night. @rs 7em*rill was able to +istinguish this young woman as @iss 4are. the 5ector's +aughter# The *air remaine+ at the gate for se0eral minutes. an+ before going in+oors they e'change+ embraces which @rs 7em*rill +escribes as being of a

*assionate nature# About half an hour later they rea**eare+ in @r /arburton's car. which was bac!e+ out of the front gate. an+ +ro0e off in the +irection of the :*swich roa+# @iss 4are was +resse+ in scanty attire. an+ a**eare+ to be un+er the influence of alcohol# :t is now learne+ that for some time *ast @iss 4are ha+ been in the habit of ma!ing clan+estine 0isits to @r /arburton's house# @rs 7em*rill. who coul+ only with great +ifficulty be *ersua+e+ to s*ea! u*on so *ainful a subject. has further re0eale+22 Dorothy crum*le+ Pi**in's /ee!ly 0iolently between her han+s an+ thrust it into the fire. u*setting the can of water# There was a clou+ of ashes an+ sul*hurous smo!e. an+ almost in the same instant Dorothy *ulle+ the *a*er out of the fire unburnt# "o use fun!ing it22better to learn the worst# 7he rea+ on. with a horrible fascination# :t was not a nice !in+ of story to rea+ about yourself# Bor it was strange. but she ha+ no longer any sha+ow of +oubt that this girl of whom she was rea+ing was herself# 7he e'amine+ the *hotogra*h# :t was a blurre+. nebulous thing. but Huite unmista!able# esi+es. she ha+ no nee+ of the *hotogra*h to remin+ her# 7he coul+ remember e0erything22e0ery circumstance of her life. u* to that e0ening when she ha+ come home tire+ out from @r /arburton's house. an+. *resumably. fallen aslee* in the conser0atory# :t was all so clear in her min+ that it was almost incre+ible that she ha+ e0er forgotten it# 7he ate no brea!fast that +ay. an+ +i+ not thin! to *re*are anything for the mi++ay meal> but when the time came. from force of habit. she set out for the ho*fiel+s with the other *ic!ers# /ith +ifficulty. being alone. she +ragge+ the hea0y bin into *osition. *ulle+ the ne't bine +own an+ began *ic!ing# ut after a few minutes she foun+ that it was Huite im*ossible> e0en the mechanical labour of *ic!ing was beyon+ her# That horrible. lying story in Pi**in's /ee!ly ha+ so unstrung her that it was im*ossible e0en for an instant to focus her min+ u*on anything else# :ts lic!erish *hrases were going o0er an+ o0er in her hea+# ')mbraces of a *assionate nature'22'in scanty attire'22'un+er the influence of alcohol'22as each one came bac! into her memory it brought with it such a *ang that she wante+ to cry out as though in *hysical *ain# After a while she sto**e+ e0en *reten+ing to *ic!. let the bine fall across her bin. an+ sat +own against one of the *osts that su**orte+ the wires# The other *ic!ers obser0e+ her *light. an+ were sym*athetic# )llen was a bit cut u*. they sai+# /hat else coul+ you e'*ect. after her blo!e ha+ been !noc!e+ offA ;)0eryone in the cam*. of course. ha+ ta!en it for grante+ that "obby was Dorothy's lo0er#= They a+0ise+ her to go +own to the farm an+ re*ort sic!# An+ towar+s twel0e o'cloc!. when the measurer was +ue. e0eryone in the set came across with a hatful of ho*s an+

+ro**e+ it into her bin# /hen the measurer arri0e+ he foun+ Dorothy still sitting on the groun+# eneath her +irt an+ sunburn she was 0ery *ale> her face loo!e+ haggar+. an+ much ol+er than before# 4er bin was twenty yar+s behin+ the rest of the set. an+ there were less than three bushels of ho*s in it# '/hat's the gameA' he +eman+e+# '1ou illA' '"o#' '/ell. why ain't you bin *ic!in'. thenA /hat you thin! this is22 toff's *icnicA 1ou +on't come u* 'ere to sit about on the groun+. you !now#' '1ou cheese it an+ +on't get nagging of 'er8' shoute+ the ol+ coc!ney costerwoman su++enly# 'Can't the *ore girl 'a0e a bit of rest an+ *eace if she wants itA Ain't 'er blo!e in the clin! than!s to you an+ your bloo+y nosing *als of co**ersA 7he's got enough to worry 'er 'thout being 2222 about by e0ery bloo+y co**er's nar! in <ent8' 'That'll be enough from you. @a8' sai+ the measurer gruffly. but he loo!e+ more sym*athetic on hearing that it was Dorothy's lo0er who ha+ been arreste+ on the *re0ious night# /hen the costerwoman ha+ got her !ettle boiling she calle+ Dorothy to her bin an+ ga0e her a cu* of strong tea an+ a hun! of brea+ an+ cheese> an+ after the +inner inter0al another *ic!er who ha+ no *artner was sent u* to share Dorothy's bin# 4e was a small. wea6ene+ ol+ tram* name+ Deafie# Dorothy felt somewhat better after the tea# )ncourage+ by Deafie's e'am*le22for he was an e'cellent *ic!er22she manage+ to +o her fair share of wor! +uring the afternoon# 7he ha+ thought things o0er. an+ was less +istracte+ than before# The *hrases in Pi**in's /ee!ly still ma+e her wince with shame. but she was eHual now to facing the situation# 7he un+erstoo+ well enough what ha+ ha**ene+ to her. an+ what ha+ le+ to @rs 7em*rill's libel# @rs 7em*rill ha+ seen them together at the gate an+ ha+ seen @r /arburton !issing her> an+ after that. when they were both missing from <ny*e 4ill. it was only too natural22natural for @rs 7em*rill. that is22to infer that they ha+ elo*e+ together# As for the *icturesHue +etails. she ha+ in0ente+ them later# Or 4AD she in0ente+ themA That was the one thing you coul+ ne0er be certain of with @rs 7em*rill22whether she tol+ her lies consciously an+ +eliberately A7 lies. or whether. in her strange an+ +isgusting min+. she somehow succee+e+ in belie0ing them# /ell. anyway. the harm was +one22no use worrying about it any longer# @eanwhile. there was the Huestion of getting bac! to <ny*e

4ill# 7he woul+ ha0e to sen+ for some clothes. an+ she woul+ nee+ two *oun+s for her train fare home# 4ome8 The wor+ sent a *ang through her heart# 4ome. after wee!s of +irt an+ hunger8 4ow she longe+ for it. now that she remembere+ it8 ut228 A chilly little +oubt raise+ its hea+# There was one as*ect of the matter that she ha+ not thought of till this moment# COC(D she. after all. go homeA Dare+ sheA Coul+ she face <ny*e 4ill after e0erything that ha+ ha**ene+A That was the Huestion# /hen you ha0e figure+ on the front *age of Pi**in's /ee!ly22'in scanty attire'22'un+er the influence of alcohol'22ah. +on't let's thin! of it again8 ut when you ha0e been *lastere+ all o0er with horrible. +ishonouring libels. can you go bac! to a town of two thousan+ inhabitants where e0erybo+y !nows e0erybo+y else's *ri0ate history an+ tal!s about it all +ay longA 7he +i+ not !now22coul+ not +eci+e# At one moment it seeme+ to her that the story of her elo*ement was so *al*ably absur+ that no one coul+ *ossibly ha0e belie0e+ it# @r /arburton. for instance. coul+ contra+ict it22most certainly woul+ contra+ict it. for e0ery *ossible reason# ut the ne't moment she remembere+ that @r /arburton ha+ gone abroa+. an+ unless this affair ha+ got into the continental news*a*ers. he might not e0en ha0e hear+ of it> an+ then she Huaile+ again# 7he !new what it means to ha0e to li0e +own a scan+al in a small country town# The glances an+ furti0e nu+ges when you *asse+8 The *rying eyes following you +own the street from behin+ curtaine+ win+ows8 The !nots of youths on the corners roun+ lifil2Gor+on's factory. lew+ly +iscussing you8 'George8 7ay. George8 ,'a see that bit of stuff o0er thereA /ith fair 'airA' '/hat. the s!inny oneA 1es# 'Oo's sheA' '5ector's +aughter. she is# @iss 'Are# ut. say8 /hat you thin! she +one two years agoA Done a bun! with a blo!e ol+ enough to bin 'er father# 5egular *ro*erly went on the ra66le with 'im in Paris8 "e0er thin! it to loo! at 'er. woul+ youA' 'GO on8' '7he +i+8 7traight. she +i+# :t was in the *a*ers an+ all# Only 'e gi0e 'er the chuc! three wee!s afterwar+s. an+ she come bac! 'ome again as bol+ as brass# "er0e. ehA' 1es. it woul+ ta!e some li0ing +own# Bor years. for a +eca+e it might be. they woul+ be tal!ing about her li!e that# An+ the worst

of it was that the story in Pi**in's /ee!ly was *robably a mere bow+leri6e+ 0estige of what @rs 7em*rill ha+ been saying in the town# "aturally. Pi**in's /ee!ly ha+ not wante+ to commit itself too far# ut was there anything that woul+ e0er restrain @rs 7em*rillA Only the limits of her imagination22an+ they were almost as wi+e as the s!y# One thing. howe0er. reassure+ Dorothy. an+ that was the thought that her father. at any rate. woul+ +o his best to shiel+ her# Of course. there woul+ be others as well# :t was not as though she were frien+less# The church congregation. at least. !new her an+ truste+ her. an+ the @others' Cnion an+ the Girl Gui+es an+ the women on her 0isiting list woul+ ne0er belie0e such stories about her# ut it was her father who mattere+ most# Almost any situation is bearable if you ha0e a home to go bac! to an+ a family who will stan+ by you# /ith courage. an+ her father's su**ort. she might face things out# y the e0ening she ha+ +eci+e+ that it woul+ be *erfectly all right to go bac! to <ny*e 4ill. though no +oubt it woul+ be +isagreeable at first. an+ when wor! was o0er for the +ay she 'subbe+' a shilling. an+ went +own to the general sho* in the 0illage an+ bought a *enny *ac!et of note*a*er# ac! in the cam*. sitting on the grass by the fire22no tables or chairs in the cam*. of course22she began to write with a stum* of *encil: Dearest Bather.22: can't tell you how gla+ : am. after e0erything that has ha**ene+. to be able to write to you again# An+ : +o ho*e you ha0e not been too an'ious about me or too worrie+ by those horrible stories in the news*a*ers# : +on't !now what you must ha0e thought when : su++enly +isa**eare+ li!e that an+ you +i+n't hear from me for nearly a month# ut you see22' 4ow strange the *encil felt in her torn an+ stiffene+ fingers8 7he coul+ only write a large. s*rawling han+ li!e that of a chil+# ut she wrote a long letter. e'*laining e0erything. an+ as!ing him to sen+ her some clothes an+ two *oun+s for her fare home# Also. she as!e+ him to write to her un+er an assume+ name she ga0e him22)llen @illborough. after @illborough in 7uffol!# :t seeme+ a Hueer thing to ha0e to +o. to use a false name> +ishonest22criminal. almost# ut she +are+ not ris! its being !nown in the 0illage. an+ *erha*s in the cam* as well. that she was Dorothy 4are. the notorious '5ector's Daughter'#

F Once her min+ was ma+e u*. Dorothy was *ining to esca*e from the

ho* cam*# On the following +ay she coul+ har+ly bring herself to go on with the stu*i+ wor! of *ic!ing. an+ the +iscomforts an+ ba+ foo+ were intolerable now that she ha+ memories to com*are them with# 7he woul+ ha0e ta!en to flight imme+iately if only she ha+ ha+ enough money to get her home# The instant her father's letter with the two *oun+s arri0e+. she woul+ say goo+2bye to the Turles an+ ta!e the train for home. an+ breathe a sigh of relief to get there. in s*ite of the ugly scan+als that ha+ got to be face+# On the thir+ +ay after writing she went +own the 0illage *ost office an+ as!e+ for her letter# The *ostmistress. a woman with the face of a +achshun+ an+ a bitter contem*t for all ho*2*ic!ers. tol+ her frostily that no letter ha+ come# Dorothy was +isa**ointe+# A *ity22it must ha0e been hel+ u* in the *ost# 4owe0er. it +i+n't matter> tomorrow woul+ be soon enough22only another +ay to wait# The ne't e0ening she went again. Huite certain that it woul+ ha0e arri0e+ this time# 7till no letter# This time a misgi0ing assaile+ her> an+ on the fifth e0ening. when there was yet again no letter. the misgi0ing change+ into a horrible *anic# 7he bought another *ac!et of note*a*er an+ wrote an enormous letter. using u* the whole four sheets. e'*laining o0er an+ o0er again what ha+ ha**ene+ an+ im*loring her father not to lea0e her in such sus*ense# 4a0ing *oste+ it. she ma+e u* her min+ that she woul+ let a whole wee! go by before calling at the *ost office again# This was 7atur+ay# y /e+nes+ay her resol0e ha+ bro!en +own# /hen the hooter soun+e+ for the mi++ay inter0al she left her bin an+ hurrie+ +own to the *ost office22it was a mile an+ a half away. an+ it meant missing her +inner# 4a0ing got there she went shame2 face+ly u* to the counter. almost afrai+ to s*ea!# The +og2face+ *ostmistress was sitting in her brass2barre+ cage at the en+ of the counter. tic!ing figures in a long sha*e+ account boo!# 7he ga0e Dorothy a brief nosy glance an+ went on with her wor!. ta!ing no notice of her# 7omething *ainful was ha**ening in Dorothy's +ia*hragm# 7he was fin+ing it +ifficult to breathe. 'Are there any letters for meA' she manage+ to say at last# '"ameA' sai+ the *ostmistress. tic!ing away# ')llen @illborough#' The *ostmistress turne+ her long +achshun+ nose o0er her shoul+er for an instant an+ glance+ at the @ *artition of the Poste 5estante letter2bo'# '"o.' she sai+. turning bac! to her account boo!#

:n some manner Dorothy got herself outsi+e an+ began to wal! bac! towar+s the ho*fiel+s. then halte+# A +ea+ly feeling of em*tiness at the *it of her stomach. cause+ *artly by hunger. ma+e her too wea! to wal!# 4er father's silence coul+ mean only one thing# 4e belie0e+ @rs 7em*rill's story22belie0e+ that she. Dorothy. ha+ run away from home in +isgraceful circumstances an+ then tol+ lies to e'cuse herself# 4e was too angry an+ too +isguste+ to write to her# All he wante+ was to get ri+ of her. +ro* all communication with her> get her out of sight an+ out of min+. as a mere scan+al to be co0ere+ u* an+ forgotten# 7he coul+ not go home after this# 7he +are+ not# "ow that she ha+ seen what her father's attitu+e was. it ha+ o*ene+ her eyes to the rashness of the thing she ha+ been contem*lating# Of COC57) she coul+ not go home8 To slin! bac! in +isgrace. to bring shame on her father's house by coming there22ah. im*ossible. utterly im*ossible8 4ow coul+ she e0en ha0e thought of itA /hat thenA There was nothing for it but to go right away22right away to some *lace that was big enough to hi+e in# (on+on. *erha*s# 7omewhere where nobo+y !new her an+ the mere sight of her face or mention of her name woul+ not +rag into the light a string of +irty memories# As she stoo+ there the soun+ of bells floate+ towar+s her. from the 0illage church roun+ the ben+ of the roa+. where the ringers were amusing themsel0es by ringing 'Abi+e with @e'. as one *ic!s out a tune with one finger on the *iano# ut *resently 'Abi+e with @e' ga0e way to the familiar 7un+ay2morning jangle# 'Oh +o lea0e my wife alone8 7he is so +run! she can't get home8'22the same *eal that the bells of 7t Athelstan's ha+ been use+ to ring three years ago before they were unswung# The soun+ *lante+ a s*ear of homesic!ness in Dorothy's heart. bringing bac! to her with momentary 0i0i+ness a me+ley of remembere+ things22the smell of the glue2*ot in the conser0atory when she was ma!ing costumes for the school *lay. an+ the chatter of starlings outsi+e her be+room win+ow. interru*ting her *rayers before 4oly Communion. an+ @rs Pither's +oleful 0oice chronicling the *ains in the bac!s of her legs. an+ the worries of the colla*sing belfry an+ the sho*2+ebts an+ the bin+wee+ in the *eas22all the multitu+inous. urgent +etails of a life that ha+ alternate+ between wor! an+ *rayer# Prayer8 Bor a 0ery short time. a minute *erha*s. the thought arreste+ her# Prayer22in those +ays it ha+ been the 0ery source an+ centre of her life# :n trouble or in ha**iness. it was to *rayer that she ha+ turne+# An+ she reali6e+22the first time that it ha+ crosse+ her min+22that she ha+ not uttere+ a *rayer since

lea0ing home. not e0en since her memory ha+ come bac! to her# @oreo0er. she was aware that she ha+ no longer the smallest im*ulse to *ray# @echanically. she began a whis*ere+ *rayer. an+ sto**e+ almost instantly> the wor+s were em*ty an+ futile# Prayer. which ha+ been the mainstay of her life. ha+ no meaning for her any longer# 7he recor+e+ this fact as she wal!e+ slowly u* the roa+. an+ she recor+e+ it briefly. almost casually. as though it ha+ been something seen in *assing22a flower in the +itch or a bir+ crossing the roa+22something notice+ an+ then +ismisse+# 7he ha+ not e0en the time to reflect u*on what it might mean# :t was shoul+ere+ out of her min+ by more momentous things# :t was of the future that she ha+ got to be thin!ing now# 7he was alrea+y fairly clear in her min+ as to what she must +o# /hen the ho*2*ic!ing was at an en+ she must go u* to (on+on. write to her father for money an+ her clothes22for howe0er angry he might be. she coul+ not belie0e that he inten+e+ to lea0e her utterly in the lurch22an+ then start loo!ing for a job# :t was the measure of her ignorance that those +rea+e+ wor+s 'loo!ing for a job' soun+e+ har+ly at all +rea+ful in her ears# 7he !new herself strong an+ willing22!new that there were *lenty of jobs that she was ca*able of +oing# 7he coul+ be a nursery go0erness. for instance22no. better. a housemai+ or a *arlourmai+# There were not many things in a house that she coul+ not +o better than most ser0ants> besi+es. the more menial her job. the easier it woul+ be to !ee* her *ast history secret# At any rate. her father's house was close+ to her. that was certain# Brom now on she ha+ got to fen+ for herself# On this +ecision. with only a 0ery +im i+ea of what it meant. she Huic!ene+ her *ace an+ got bac! to the fiel+s in time for the afternoon shift# The ho*2*ic!ing season ha+ not much longer to run# :n a wee! or thereabouts Cairns's woul+ be closing +own. an+ the coc!neys woul+ ta!e the ho**ers' train to (on+on. an+ the gy*sies woul+ catch their horses. *ac! their cara0ans. an+ march northwar+ to (incolnshire. to scramble for jobs in the *otato fiel+s# As for the coc!neys. they ha+ ha+ their bellyful of ho*2*ic!ing by this time# They were *ining to be bac! in +ear ol+ (on+on. with /oolworths an+ the frie+2fish sho* roun+ the corner. an+ no more slee*ing in straw an+ frying bacon in tin li+s with your eyes wee*ing from woo+ smo!e# 4o**ing was a holi+ay. but the !in+ of holi+ay that you were gla+ to see the last of# 1ou came +own cheering. but you went home cheering lou+er still an+ swearing that you woul+ ne0er go ho**ing again22until ne't August. when you ha+ forgotten the col+ nights an+ the ba+ *ay an+ the +amage to your han+s. an+ remembere+ only the blowsy afternoons in the sun an+ the boo6ing of stone *ots of beer roun+ the re+ cam* fires at night#

The mornings were growing blea! an+ "o0emberish> grey s!ies. the first lea0es falling. an+ finches an+ starlings alrea+y floc!ing for the winter# Dorothy ha+ written yet again to her father. as!ing for money an+ some clothes> he ha+ left her letter unanswere+. nor ha+ anybo+y else written to her# :n+ee+. there was no one e'ce*t her father who !new her *resent a++ress> but somehow she ha+ ho*e+ that @r /arburton might write# 4er courage almost faile+ her now. es*ecially at nights in the wretche+ straw. when she lay awa!e thin!ing of the 0ague an+ menacing future# 7he *ic!e+ her ho*s with a sort of +es*eration. a sort of fren6y of energy. more aware each +ay that e0ery han+ful of ho*s meant another fraction of a farthing between herself an+ star0ation# Deafie. her bin2mate. li!e herself. was *ic!ing against time. for it was the last money he woul+ earn till ne't year's ho**ing season came roun+# The figure they aime+ at was fi0e shillings a +ay22 thirty bushels22between the two of them. but there was no +ay when they Huite attaine+ it# Deafie was a Hueer ol+ man an+ a *oor com*anion after "obby. but not a ba+ sort# 4e was a shi*'s stewar+ by *rofession. but a tram* of many years' stan+ing. as +eaf as a *ost an+ therefore something of a @r B#'s aunt in con0ersation# 4e was also an e'hibitionist. but Huite harmless# Bor hours together he use+ to sing a little song that went '/ith my willy willy22/:T4 my willy willy'. an+ though he coul+ not hear what he was singing it seeme+ to cause him some !in+ of *leasure# 4e ha+ the hairiest ears Dorothy ha+ e0er seen# There were tufts li!e miniature Dun+reary whis!ers growing out of each of his ears# )0ery year Deafie came ho*2*ic!ing at Cairns's farm. sa0e+ u* a *oun+. an+ then s*ent a *ara+isiac wee! in a lo+ging2house in "ewington utts before going bac! to the roa+# This was the only wee! in the year when he sle*t in what coul+ be calle+. e'ce*t by courtesy. a be+# The *ic!ing came to an en+ on %I 7e*tember# There were se0eral fiel+s still un*ic!e+. but they were *oor ho*s an+ at the last moment @r Cairns +eci+e+ to 'let them blow'# 7et number &9 finishe+ their last fiel+ at two in the afternoon. an+ the little gy*sy foreman swarme+ u* the *oles an+ retrie0e+ the +erelict bunches. an+ the measurer carte+ the last ho*s away# As he +isa**eare+ there was a su++en shout of 'Put 'em in the bins8' an+ Dorothy saw si' men bearing +own u*on her with a fien+ish e'*ression on their faces. an+ all the women in the set scattering an+ running# efore she coul+ collect her wits to esca*e the men ha+ sei6e+ her. lai+ her at full length in a bin an+ swung her 0iolently from si+e to si+e# Then she was +ragge+ out an+ !isse+ by a young gy*sy smelling of onions# 7he struggle+ at first. but she saw the same thing being +one to the other women in the set. so she submitte+# :t a**eare+ that *utting the women in the bins was an in0ariable custom on the last +ay of *ic!ing# There were great +oings in the cam* that night. an+ not much slee* for anybo+y#

(ong after mi+night Dorothy foun+ herself mo0ing with a ring of *eo*le about a mighty fire. one han+ clas*e+ by a rosy butcher2boy an+ the other by a 0ery +run! ol+ woman in a 7cotch bonnet out of a crac!er. to the tune of 'Aul+ (ang 7yne'# :n the morning they went u* to the farm to +raw their money. an+ Dorothy +rew one *oun+ an+ four*ence. an+ earne+ another fi0e*ence by a++ing u* their tally boo!s for *eo*le who coul+ not rea+ or write# The coc!ney *ic!ers *ai+ you a *enny for this job> the gy*sies *ai+ you only in flattery# Then Dorothy set out for /est Ac!worth station. four miles away. together with the Turles. @r Turle carrying the tin trun!. @rs Turle carrying the baby. the other chil+ren carrying 0arious o++s an+ en+s. an+ Dorothy wheeling the *erambulator which hel+ the Turles' entire stoc! of croc!ery. an+ which ha+ two circular wheels an+ two elli*tical# They got to the station about mi++ay. the ho**ers' train was +ue to start at one. an+ it arri0e+ at two an+ starte+ at a Huarter *ast three# After a journey of incre+ible slowness. 6ig6agging all o0er <ent to *ic! u* a +o6en ho*2*ic!ers here an+ half a +o6en there. going bac! on its trac!s o0er an+ o0er again an+ bac!ing into si+ings to let other trains *ass22ta!ing. in fact. si' hours to +o thirty2fi0e miles22it lan+e+ them in (on+on a little after nine at night#

? Dorothy sle*t that night with the Turles# They ha+ grown so fon+ of her that they woul+ ha0e gi0en her shelter for a wee! or a fortnight if she ha+ been willing to im*ose on their hos*itality# Their two rooms ;they li0e+ in a tenement house not far from Tower ri+ge 5oa+= were a tight fit for se0en *eo*le inclu+ing chil+ren. but they ma+e her a be+ of sorts on the floor out of two rag mats. an ol+ cushion an+ an o0ercoat# :n the morning she sai+ goo+2bye to the Turles an+ than!e+ them for all their !in+ness towar+s her. an+ then went straight to ermon+sey *ublic baths an+ washe+ off the accumulate+ +irt of fi0e wee!s# After that she set out to loo! for a lo+ging. ha0ing in her *ossession si'teen an+ eight*ence in cash. an+ the clothes she stoo+ u* in# 7he ha+ +arne+ an+ cleane+ her clothes as best she coul+. an+ being blac! they +i+ not show the +irt Huite as ba+ly as they might ha0e +one# Brom the !nees +own she was now *assably res*ectable# On the last +ay of *ic!ing a 'home *ic!er' in the ne't set. name+ @rs <illfrew. ha+ *resente+ her with a goo+ *air of shoes that ha+ been her +aughter's. an+ a *air of woollen stoc!ings#

:t was not until the e0ening that Dorothy manage+ to fin+ herself a room# Bor something li!e ten hours she was wan+ering u* an+ +own. from ermon+sey into 7outhwar!. from 7outhwar! into (ambeth. through labyrinthine streets where snotty2nose+ chil+ren *laye+ at ho*2scotch on *a0ements horrible with banana s!ins an+ +ecaying cabbage lea0es# At e0ery house she trie+ it was the same story22 the lan+la+y refuse+ *oint2blan! to ta!e her in# One after another a succession of hostile women. stan+ing in their +oorways as +efensi0ely as though she ha+ been a motor ban+it or a go0ernment ins*ector. loo!e+ her u* an+ +own. sai+ briefly. '/e +on't TA<) single girls.' an+ shut the +oor in her face# 7he +i+ not !now it. of course. but the 0ery loo! of her was enough to rouse any res*ectable lan+la+y's sus*icions# 4er staine+ an+ ragge+ clothes they might *ossibly ha0e *ut u* with> but the fact that she ha+ no luggage +amne+ her from the start# A single girl with no luggage is in0ariably a ba+ lot22this is the first an+ greatest of the a*o*hthegms of the (on+on lan+la+y# At about se0en o'cloc!. too tire+ to stan+ on her feet any longer. she 0enture+ into a filthy. flyblown little cafe near the Ol+ Dic theatre an+ as!e+ for a cu* of tea# The *ro*rietress. getting into con0ersation with her an+ learning that she wante+ a room. a+0ise+ her to 'try at @ary's. in /ellings Court. jest orff the Cut'# '@ary'. it a**eare+. was not *articular an+ woul+ let a room to anybo+y who coul+ *ay# 4er *ro*er name was @rs 7awyer. but the boys all calle+ her @ary# Dorothy foun+ /ellings Court with some +ifficulty# 1ou went along (ambeth Cut till you got to a ,ew clothes2sho* calle+ <noc!out Trousers (t+. then you turne+ u* a narrow alley. an+ then turne+ to your left again u* another alley so narrow that its grimy *laster walls almost brushe+ you as you went# :n the *laster. *erse0ering boys ha+ cut the wor+ 2222 innumerable times an+ too +ee*ly to be erase+# At the far en+ of the alley you foun+ yourself in a small court where four tall narrow houses with iron staircases stoo+ facing one another# Dorothy ma+e inHuiries an+ foun+ '@ary' in a subterranean +en beneath one of the houses# 7he was a +rabby ol+ creature with remar!ably thin hair an+ face so emaciate+ that it loo!e+ li!e a rouge+ an+ *ow+ere+ s!ull# 4er 0oice was crac!e+. shrewish. an+ ne0ertheless ineffably +reary# 7he as!e+ Dorothy no Huestions. an+ in+ee+ scarcely e0en loo!e+ at her. but sim*ly +eman+e+ ten shillings an+ then sai+ in her ugly 0oice: 'Twenty2nine# Thir+ floor# Go u* be the bac! stairs#' A**arently the bac! stairs were those insi+e the house# Dorothy went u* the +ar!. s*iral staircase. between sweating walls. in a

smell of ol+ o0ercoats. +ishwater an+ slo*s# As she reache+ the secon+ floor there was a lou+ sHueal of laughter. an+ two row+y2 loo!ing girls came out of one of the rooms an+ stare+ at her for a moment# They loo!e+ young. their faces being Huite hi++en un+er rouge an+ *in! *ow+er. an+ their li*s *ainte+ scarlet as geranium *etals# ut ami+ the *in! *ow+er their china2blue eyes were tire+ an+ ol+> an+ that was somehow horrible. because it remin+e+ you of a girl's mas! with an ol+ woman's face behin+ it# The taller of the two greete+ Dorothy# ''Cllo. +earie8' '4ullo8' '1ou new 'ereA /hich room you !i**ing inA' '"umber twenty2nine#' 'Go+. ain't that a bloo+y +ungeon to *ut you in8 1ou going out tonightA' '"o. : +on't thin! so.' sai+ Dorothy. *ri0ately a little astonishe+ at the Huestion# ':'m too tire+#' 'Thought you wasn't. when : saw you 'a+n't +olle+ u*# ut. say8 +earie. you ain't on the beach. are youA "ot s*oiling the shi* for a 'a*orth of tarA ecause f'rinstance if you want the len+ of a li*stic!. you only got to say the wor+# /e're all chums 'ere. you !now#' 'Oh# # # # "o. than! you.' sai+ Dorothy. ta!en abac!# 'Oh. well8 Time Doris an+ me was mo0ing# Got a '*ortant business engagement in (eicester 7Huare#' 4ere she nu+ge+ the other girl with her hi*. an+ both of them sniggere+ in a silly mirthless manner# ' ut. say8' a++e+ the taller girl confi+entially. 'ain't it a bloo+y treat to 'a0e a goo+ night's !i* all alone once in a wayA /ish P:P coul+# All on your ,ac! ,ones with no bloo+y great man's feet sho0ing you about# '7 all right when you can affor+ it. ehA' '1es.' sai+ Dorothy. feeling that this answer was e'*ecte+ of her. an+ with only a 0ery 0ague notion of what the other was tal!ing about# '/ell. ta ta. +earie8 7lee* tight# An+ jes' loo! out for the smash an+ grab rai+ers 'bout 'ar2*arse one8' /hen the two girls ha+ s!i**e+ +ownstairs with another of their meaningless sHueals of laughter. Dorothy foun+ her way to room

number %9 an+ o*ene+ the +oor# A col+. e0il smell met her# The room measure+ about eight feet each way. an+ was 0ery +ar!# The furniture was sim*le# :n the mi++le of the room. a narrow iron be+stea+ with a ragge+ co0erlet an+ greyish sheets> against the wall. a *ac!ing case with a tin basin an+ an em*ty whis!y bottle inten+e+ for water> tac!e+ o0er the be+. a *hotogra*h of ebe Daniels torn out of Bilm Bun# The sheets were not only +irty. but +am*# Dorothy got into the be+. but she ha+ only un+resse+ to her chemise. or what was left of her chemise. her un+erclothes by this time being almost entirely in ruins> she coul+ not bring herself to lay her bare bo+y between those nauseous sheets# An+ once in be+. though she was aching from hea+ to foot with fatigue. she coul+ not slee*# 7he was unner0e+ an+ full of forebo+ings# The atmos*here of this 0ile *lace brought home to her more 0i0i+ly than before the fact that she was hel*less an+ frien+less an+ ha+ only si' shillings between herself an+ the streets# @oreo0er. as the night wore on the house grew noisier an+ noisier# The walls were so thin that you coul+ hear e0erything that was ha**ening# There were bursts of shrill i+iotic laughter. hoarse male 0oices singing. a gramo*hone +rawling out limeric!s. noisy !isses. strange +eathli!e groans. an+ once or twice the 0iolent rattling of an iron be+# Towar+s mi+night the noises began to form themsel0es into a rhythm in Dorothy's brain. an+ she fell lightly an+ unrestfully aslee*# 7he was wo!en about a minute later. as it seeme+. by her +oor being flung o*en. an+ two +imly seen female sha*es rushe+ in. tore e0ery scra* of clothing from her be+ e'ce*t the sheets. an+ rushe+ out again# There was a chronic shortage of blan!ets at '@ary's'. an+ the only way of getting enough of them was to rob somebo+y else's be+# 4ence the term 'smash an+ grab rai+ers'# :n the morning. half an hour before o*ening time. Dorothy went to the nearest *ublic library to loo! at the a+0ertisements in the news*a*ers# Alrea+y a score of 0aguely mangy2loo!ing *eo*le were *rowling u* an+ +own. an+ the number swelle+ by ones an+ twos till there were no less than si'ty# Presently the +oors of the library o*ene+. an+ in they all surge+. racing for a boar+ at the other en+ of the rea+ing2room where the '7ituations Dacant' columns from 0arious news*a*ers ha+ been cut out an+ *inne+ u*# An+ in the wa!e of the job2hunters came *oor ol+ bun+les of rags. men an+ women both. who ha+ s*ent the night in the streets an+ came to the library to slee*# They came shambling in behin+ the others. flo**e+ +own with grunts of relief at the nearest table. an+ *ulle+ the nearest *erio+ical towar+s them> it might be the Bree Church @essenger. it might be the Degetarian 7entinel22it +i+n't matter what it was. but you coul+n't stay in the library unless you *reten+e+ to be rea+ing# They o*ene+ their *a*ers. an+ in the same instant fell aslee*. with their chins on their breasts# An+ the atten+ant wal!e+ roun+ *ro++ing them in turn li!e a sto!er *o!ing a

succession of fires. an+ they grunte+ an+ wo!e u* as he *ro++e+ them. an+ then fell aslee* again the instant he ha+ *asse+# @eanwhile a battle was raging roun+ the a+0ertisement boar+. e0erybo+y struggling to get to the front# Two young men in blue o0eralls came running u* behin+ the others. an+ one of them *ut his hea+ +own an+ fought his way through the crow+ as though it ha+ been a football scrum# :n a moment he was at the boar+# 4e turne+ to his com*anion: '')re we are. ,oe22: got it8 L@echanics wante+22 (oc!e's Garage. Cam+en Town#L C'm on out of it8' 4e fought his way out again. an+ both of them scoote+ for the +oor# They were going to Cam+en Town as fast as their legs woul+ carry them# An+ at this moment. in e0ery *ublic library in (on+on. mechanics out of wor! were rea+ing that i+entical notice an+ starting on the race for the job. which in all *robability ha+ alrea+y been gi0en to someone who coul+ affor+ to buy a *a*er for himself an+ ha+ seen the notice at si' in the morning# Dorothy manage+ to get to the boar+ at last. an+ ma+e a note of some of the a++resses where 'coo! generals' were wante+# There were *lenty to choose from22in+ee+. half the la+ies in (on+on seeme+ to be crying out for strong ca*able general ser0ants# /ith a list of twenty a++resses in her *oc!et. an+ ha0ing ha+ a brea!fast of brea+ an+ margarine an+ tea which cost her three*ence. Dorothy set out to loo! for a job. not unho*efully# 7he was too ignorant as yet to !now that her chances of fin+ing wor! unai+e+ were *ractically nil> but the ne't four +ays gra+ually enlightene+ her# During those four +ays she a**lie+ for eighteen jobs. an+ sent written a**lications for four others# 7he tru+ge+ enormous +istances all through the southern suburbs: Cla*ham. ri'ton. Dulwich. Penge. 7y+enham. ec!enham. "orwoo+22e0en as far as Croy+on on one occasion# 7he was hale+ into neat suburban +rawing2rooms an+ inter0iewe+ by women of e0ery concei0able ty*e22 large. chubby. bullying women. thin. aci+. catty women. alert frigi+ women in gol+ *ince2ne6. 0ague rambling women who loo!e+ as though they *ractise+ 0egetarianism or atten+e+ s*iritualist seances# An+ one an+ all. fat or thin. chilly or motherly. they reacte+ to her in *recisely the same way# They sim*ly loo!e+ her o0er. hear+ her s*ea!. stare+ inHuisiti0ely. as!e+ her a +o6en embarrassing an+ im*ertinent Huestions. an+ then turne+ her +own# Any e'*erience+ *erson coul+ ha0e tol+ her how it woul+ be# :n her circumstances it was not to be e'*ecte+ that anyone woul+ ta!e the ris! of em*loying her# 4er ragge+ clothes an+ her lac! of references were against her. an+ her e+ucate+ accent. which she +i+ not !now how to +isguise. wrec!e+ whate0er chances she might ha0e ha+# The tram*s an+ coc!ney ho*2*ic!ers ha+ not notice+ her accent. but the suburban housewi0es notice+ it Huic!ly enough. an+ it scare+ them in just the same way as the fact that she ha+ no

luggage ha+ scare+ the lan+la+ies# The moment they ha+ hear+ her s*ea!. an+ s*otte+ her for a gentlewoman. the game was u*# 7he grew Huite use+ to the startle+. mystifie+ loo! that came o0er their faces as soon as she o*ene+ her mouth22the *rying. feminine glance from her face to her +amage+ han+s. an+ from those to the +arns in her s!irt# 7ome of the women as!e+ her outright what a girl of her class was +oing see!ing wor! as a ser0ant# They sniffe+. no +oubt. that she ha+ 'been in trouble'22that is. ha+ an illegitimate baby22an+ after *robing her with their Huestions they got ri+ of her as Huic!ly as *ossible# As soon as she ha+ an a++ress to gi0e Dorothy ha+ written to her father. an+ when on the thir+ +ay no answer came. she wrote again. +es*airingly this time22it was her fifth letter. an+ four ha+ gone unanswere+22telling him that she must star0e if he +i+ not sen+ her money at once# There was just time for her to get an answer before her wee! at '@ary's' was u* an+ she was thrown out for not *aying her rent# @eanwhile. she continue+ the useless search for wor!. while her money +win+le+ at the rate of a shilling a +ay22a sum just sufficient to !ee* her ali0e while lea0ing her chronically hungry# 7he ha+ almost gi0en u* the ho*e that her father woul+ +o anything to hel* her# An+ strangely enough her first *anic ha+ +ie+ +own. as she grew hungrier an+ the chances of getting a job grew remoter. into a s*ecies of miserable a*athy# 7he suffere+. but she was not greatly afrai+# The sub2worl+ into which she was +escen+ing seeme+ less terrible now that it was nearer# The autumn weather. though fine. was growing col+er# )ach +ay the sun. fighting his losing battle against the winter. struggle+ a little later through the mist to +ye the house2fronts with *ale aHuarelle colours# Dorothy was in the streets all +ay. or in the *ublic library. only going bac! to '@ary's' to slee*. an+ then ta!ing the *recaution of +ragging her be+ across the +oor# 7he ha+ gras*e+ by this time that '@ary's' was22not actually a brothel. for there is har+ly such a thing in (on+on. but a well2!nown refuge of *rostitutes# :t was for that reason that you *ai+ ten shillings a wee! for a !ennel not worth fi0e# Ol+ '@ary' ;she was not the *ro*rietress of the house. merely the manageress= ha+ been a *rostitute herself in her +ay. an+ loo!e+ it# (i0ing in such a *lace +amne+ you e0en in the eyes of (ambeth Cut# /omen sniffe+ when you *asse+ them. men too! an offensi0e interest in you# The ,ew on the corner. the owner of <noc!out Trousers (t+. was the worst of all# 4e was a soli+ young man of about thirty. with bulging re+ chee!s an+ curly blac! hair li!e astra!han# Bor twel0e hours a +ay he stoo+ on the *a0ement roaring with bra6en lungs that you coul+n't get a chea*er *air of trousers in (on+on. an+ obstructing the *assers2by# 1ou ha+ only to halt for a fraction of a secon+. an+ he sei6e+ you by the arm an+ bun+le+ you insi+e the

sho* by main force# Once he got you there his manner became *ositi0ely threatening# :f you sai+ anything +is*araging about his trousers he offere+ to fight. an+ wea!2min+e+ *eo*le bought *airs of trousers in sheer *hysical terror# ut busy though he was. he !e*t a shar* eye o*en for the 'bir+s'. as he calle+ them> an+ Dorothy a**eare+ to fascinate him beyon+ all other 'bir+s'# 4e ha+ gras*e+ that she was not a *rostitute. but li0ing at '@ary's'. she must22so he reasone+22be on the 0ery 0erge of becoming one# The thought ma+e his mouth water# /hen he saw her coming +own the alley he woul+ *ost himself at the corner. with his massi0e chest well +is*laye+ an+ one blac! lecherous eye turne+ inHuiringly u*on her ;'Are you rea+y to begin yetA' his eye seeme+ to be saying=. an+. as she *asse+. gi0e her a +iscreet *inch on the bac!si+e# On the last morning of her wee! at '@ary's'. Dorothy went +ownstairs an+ loo!e+. with only a faint flic!er of ho*e. at the slate in the hallway where the names of *eo*le for whom there were letters were chal!e+ u*# There was no letter for ')llen @illborough'# That settle+ it> there was nothing left to +o e'ce*t to wal! out into the street# :t +i+ not occur to her to +o as e0ery other woman in the house woul+ ha0e +one22that is. *itch a har+2u* tale an+ try to ca+ge another night's lo+ging rent free# 7he sim*ly wal!e+ out of the house. an+ ha+ not e0en the ner0e to tell '@ary' that she was going# 7he ha+ no *lan. absolutely no *lan whate0er# )'ce*t for half an hour at noon when she went out to s*en+ three*ence out of her last four*ence on brea+ an+ margarine an+ tea. she *asse+ the entire +ay in the *ublic library. rea+ing wee!ly *a*ers# :n the morning she rea+ the arber's 5ecor+. an+ in the afternoon Cage ir+s# They were the only *a*ers she coul+ get hol+ of. for there were always so many i+lers in the library that you ha+ to scramble to get hol+ of a *a*er at all# 7he rea+ them from co0er to co0er. e0en the a+0ertisements# 7he *ore+ for hours together o0er such technicalities as 4ow to stro* Brench 5a6ors. /hy the )lectric 4airbrush is Cnhygienic. Do u+gies thri0e on 5a*esee+A :t was the only occu*ation that she felt eHual to# 7he was in a strange lethargic state in which it was easier to interest herself in 4ow to stro* Brench 5a6ors than in her own +es*erate *light# All fear ha+ left her# Of the future she was utterly unable to thin!> e0en so far ahea+ as tonight she coul+ barely see# There was a night in the streets ahea+ of her. that was all she !new. an+ e0en about that she only 0aguely care+# @eanwhile there were Cage ir+s an+ the arber's 5ecor+> an+ they were. strangely. absorbingly interesting# At nine o'cloc! the atten+ant came roun+ with a long hoo!e+ *ole an+ turne+ out the gaslights. the library was close+# Dorothy turne+ to the left. u* the /aterloo 5oa+. towar+s the ri0er# On the iron footbri+ge she halte+ for a moment# The night win+ was

blowing# Dee* ban!s of mist. li!e +unes. were rising from the ri0er. an+. as the win+ caught them. swirling north2eastwar+ across the town# A swirl of mist en0elo*e+ Dorothy. *enetrating her thin clothes an+ ma!ing her shu++er with a su++en foretaste of the night's col+# 7he wal!e+ on an+ arri0e+. by the *rocess of gra0itation that +raws all roofless *eo*le to the same s*ot. at Trafalgar 7Huare#


& N7C)"): Trafalgar 7Huare# Dimly 0isible through the mist. a +o6en *eo*le. Dorothy among them. are grou*e+ about one of the benches near the north *ara*et#O C4A5(:) NsingingO: 'Ail @ary. 'ail @ary. 'a2il @a2ary22N ig en stri!es ten#O 7"OCT)5 Nmimic!ing the noiseO: Ding +ong. +ing +ong8 7hut your 2222 noise. can't youA 7e0en more hours of it on this 2222 sHuare before we get the chance of a set+own an+ a bit of slee*8 Cri*es8 @5 TA(( O17 Nto himselfO: "on sum Hualis eram boni sub regno )+war+i8 :n the +ays of my innocence. before the De0il carrie+ me u* into a high *lace an+ +ro**e+ me into the 7un+ay news*a*ers22 that is to say when : was 5ector of (ittle Bawley2cum2Dewsbury# # # # D)AB:) NsingingO: /ith my willy willy. /:T4 my willy willy22 @57 /A1"): Ah. +earie. as soon as : set eyes on you : !new as you was a la+y born an+ bre+# 1ou an+ me'0e !nown what it is to come +own in the worl+. ha0en't we. +earieA :t ain't the same for us as what it is for some of these others here# C4A5(:) NsingingO: 'Ail @ary. 'ail @ary. 'a2il @a2ary. full of grace8 @57 )"D:GO: Calls himself a bloo+y husban+. +oes heA Bour *oun+ a wee! in Co0ent Gar+en an+ 'is wife +oing a starry in the bloo+y 7Huare8 4usban+8 @5 TA(( O17 Nto himselfO: 4a**y +ays. ha**y +ays8 @y i0ie+ church un+er the sheltering hillsi+e22my re+2tile+ 5ectory slumbering

among )li6abethan yews8 @y library. my 0inery. my coo!. house2 *arlourmai+ an+ groom2gar+ener8 @y cash in the ban!. my name in Croc!for+8 @y blac! suit of irre*roachable cut. my collar bac! to front. my watere+ sil! cassoc! in the church *recincts# # # # @57 /A1"): Of course the one thing : DO than! Go+ for. +earie. is that my *oor +ear mother ne0er li0e+ to see this +ay# ecause if she e0er 4AD of li0e+ to see the +ay when her el+est +aughter22as was brought u*. min+ you. with no e'*ense s*are+ an+ mil! straight from the cow# # # # @57 )"D:GO: 4C7 A"D8 G:"G)5: Come on. less 'a0e a +rum of tea while we got the chance# (ast we'll get tonight22coffee sho* shuts at 'ar2*arse ten# T4) <:<): Oh ,esus8 This bloo+y col+'s gonna !ill me8 : ain't got nothing on un+er my trousers# Oh ,e2e2e2))Q)8 C4A5(:) NsingingO: 'Ail @ary. 'ail @ary22 7"OCT)5: Bour*ence8 Bour*ence for si' 2222 hours on the bum8 An+ that there nosing so+ with the woo+en leg Hueering our *itch at e0ery boo6er between Al+gate an+ the @ile )n+ 5oa+# /ith 'is 2222 woo+en leg an+ 'is war me+als as 'e bought in (ambeth Cut8 astar+8 D)AB:) NsingingO: /ith my willy willy. /:T4 my willy willy22 @57 )"D:GO: /ell. : tol+ the bastar+ what : thought of 'im. anyway# 'Call yourself a manA' : says# ':'0e seen things li!e you !e*' in a bottle at the 'ors*ital.' : says# # # # @5 TA(( O17 Nto himselfO: 4a**y +ays. ha**y +ays8 5oast beef an+ bobbing 0illagers. an+ the *eace of Go+ that *asseth all un+erstan+ing8 7un+ay mornings in my oa!en stall. cool flower scent an+ frou2frou of sur*lices mingling in the sweet cor*se2la+en air8 7ummer e0enings when the late sun slante+ through my stu+y win+ow22: *ensi0e. boo6e+ with tea. in fragrant wreaths of Ca0en+ish. thumbing +rowsily some half2calf 0olume22Poetical /or!s of /illiam 7henstone. )sH#. Percy's 5eliHues of Ancient )nglish Poetry. ,# (em*riere. D#D#. *rofessor of immoral theology # # # G:"G)5: Come on. 'oo's for that +rum of ri++leme2reeA /e got the mil! an+ we got the tea# Muestion is. 'oo's got any blee+ing sugarA DO5OT41: This col+. this col+8 :t seems to go right through you8 7urely it won't be li!e this all nightA

@57 )"D:GO: Oh. cheese it8 : 'ate these sni0elling tarts# C4A5(:): Ain't it going to be a *ro*er *erisher. tooA (oo! at the *erishing ri0er mist cree*ing u* that there column# Bree6e the fish2hoo!s off of ole "elson before morning# @57 /A1"): Of course. at the time that :'m s*ea!ing of we still ha+ our little tobacco an+ sweetstuff business on the corner. you'll un+erstan+# # # # T4) <:<): Oh ,e2e2e2))Q)8 (en+'s that o0ercoat of yours. Ginger# :'m bloo+y free6ing8 7"OCT)5: 2222 +ouble2crossing bastar+8 P'ra*s : won't bash 'is na0el in when : get a 'ol+ of 'im8 C4A5(:): Bortunes o' war. boy. fortunes o' war# Perishing 7Huare tonight22rum*stea! an+ !i* on feathers tomorrow# /hat else +'you e'*ect on *erishing Thurs+ayA @57 )"D:GO: 7ho0e u*. Da++y. sho0e u*8 Thin! : want your lousy ol+ 'e+ on my shoul+er22me a marrie+ womanA @5 TA(( O17 Nto himselfO: Bor *reaching. chanting. an+ intoning : was unri0alle+# @y (ift u* your 4earts' was renowne+ throughout the +iocese# All styles : coul+ +o you. 4igh Church. (ow Church. roa+ Church an+ "o Church# Throaty Anglo2Cat /arblings. straight from the shoul+er muscular Anglican. or the a+enoi+al (ow Church whine in which still lur! the 4ouyhnhnm2notes of neighing cha*el el+ers# # # # D)AB:) NsingingO: /:T4 my willy willy22 G:"G)5: Ta!e your 'an+s off that blee+ing o0ercoat. <i!ie# 1ou +on't get no clo'es of mine while you got the chats on you# C4A5(:) NsingingO: As *ants the 'art for cooling streams. /hen 'eate+ in the chase22 @57 @C)((:GOT Nin her slee*O: /as 'at you. @ichael +earA @57 )"D:GO: :t's my belief as the snea!ing bastar+ 'a+ another wife li0ing when 'e marrie+ me# @5 TA(( O17 Nfrom the roof of his mouth. stage curate2wise. reminiscentlyO: :f any of you !now cause of just im*e+iment why these two *ersons shoul+ not be joine+ together in holy matrimony # # #

T4) <:<): A *al8 A bloo+y *al8 An+ won't len+ his bloo+y o0ercoat8 @57 /A1"): /ell. now as you'0e mentione+ it. : must a+mit as : ne0er /A7 one to refuse a nice cu* of tea# : !now that when our *oor +ear mother was ali0e. *ot after *ot we use+ to # # # "O71 /AT7O" Nto himself. angrilyO: 7o+8 # # # Gee'+ into it an+ then a stretch all roun+# # # # "e0er e0en +one the bloo+y job# # # # 7o+8 D)AB:) NsingingO: /:T4 my willy willy22 @57 @C)((:GOT Nhalf aslee*O: D)A5 @ichael# # # # 4e was real lo0ing. @ichael was# Ten+er an' true# # # # "e0er loo!e+ at another man since +at e0enin' when : met'm outsi+e <ron!'s slaughter2house an' he gimme +e two *oun+ o' sausage as he'+ bumme+ off +e :nternational 7tores for his own su**er# # # # @57 )"D:GO: /ell. : su**ose we'll get that bloo+y tea this time tomorrow# @5 TA(( O17 Nchanting. reminiscentlyO: y the waters of abylon we sat +own an+ we*t. when we remembere+ thee. O Qion8 # # # DO5OT41: Oh. this col+. this col+8 7"OCT)5: /ell. : +on't +o no more 2222 starries this si+e of Christmas# :'ll 'a0e my !i* tomorrow if : 'a0e to cut it out of their bowels# "O71 /AT7O": Detecti0e. is heA 7mith of the Blying 7Hua+8 Blying ,u+as more li!ely8 All they can bloo+y +o22co**ing the ol+ offen+ers what no bea! won't gi0e a fair chance# G:"G)5: /ell. :'m off for the fi++le+e2+ee# 'Oo's got a cou*le of clo+s for the waterA @57 @C)((:GOT Nwa!ingO: Oh +ear. oh +ear8 :f my bac! ain't fair bro!e8 Oh holy ,esus. if +is bench +on't catch you across +e !i+neys8 An' +ere was me +reamin' : was warm in !i* wi+ a nice cu* a' tea an' two o' buttere+ toast waitin' by me be+si+e# /ell. +ere goes me last win! o' slee* till : gets into (ambeth *ublic lib'ry tomorrow# DADD1 Nhis hea+ emerging from within his o0ercoat li!e a tortoise's from within its shellO: /assat you sai+. boyA Paying money for water8 4ow long'0e you bin on the roa+. you ignorant young scutA @oney for bloo+y waterA um it. boy. bum it8 Don't buy what you

can bum an+ +on't bum what you can steal# That's my wor+22fifty year on the roa+. man an+ boy# N5etires within his coat#O @5 TA(( O17 NchantingO: O all ye wor!s of the (or+22 D)AB:) NsingingO: /:T4 my willy willy22 C4A5(:): 'Oo was it co**e+ you. "osyA T4) <:<): Oh ,e2e2e2))Q)8 @57 )"D:GO: 7ho0e u*. sho0e u*8 7eems to me some fol!s thin! they'0e too! a mortgage on this bloo+y seat# @5 TA(( O17 NchantingO: O all ye wor!s of the (or+. curse ye the (or+. curse 4im an+ 0ilify 4im for e0er8 @57 @C)((:GOT: /hat : always says is. it's always us *oor bloo+y Catholics +at's +own in +e bloo+y +um*s# "O71 /AT7O": 7mithy# Blying 7Hua+22flying so+8 Gi0e us the *lans of the house an+ e0erything. an+ then ha+ a 0an full of co**ers waiting an+ ni**e+ the lot of us# : wrote it u* in the lac! @aria: 'Detecti0e 7mith !nows how to gee> Tell him he's a 2222 from me#' 7"OCT)5: ')re. what about our 2222 teaA Go on. <i!ie. you're a young 'un> shut that 2222 noise an+ ta!e the +rums# Don't you *ay nothing# /orm it out of the ol+ tart# 7ni0el# Do the +oleful# @5 TA(( O17 NchantingO: O all ye chil+ren of men. curse ye the (or+. curse 4im an+ 0ilify 4im for e0er8 C4A5(:): /hat. is 7mithy croo!e+ tooA @57 )"D:GO: : tell you what. girls. : tell you what gets @) +own. an+ that's to thin! of my bloo+y husban+ snoring un+er four blan!ets an+ me free6ing in this bloo+y 7Huare# That's what P:P can't stomach# The unnatural so+8 G:"G)5 NsingingO: T4)5) they go22:" their joy22Don't ta!e that there +rum with the col+ sausage in it. <i!ie# "O71 /AT7O": Croo!e+A C5OO<)DA /hy. a cor!screw 'u+ loo! li!e a bloo+y bra+awl besi+e of him8 There isn't one of them +ouble 2222 sons of whores in the Blying 7Hua+ but 'u+ sell his gran+mother to the !nac!ers for two *oun+ ten an+ then sit on her gra0estone eating *otato cris*s# The geeing. nar!ing toe rag8

C4A5(:): Perishing tough# 'Ow many con0ictions you gotA G:"G)5 NsingingO: T4)5) they go22:" their joy22 'AP*y girl22(Cc!y boy22 "O71 /AT7O": Bourteen# 1ou +on't stan+ no chance with that lot against you# @57 /A1"): /hat. +on't he !ee* you. thenA @57 )"D:GO: "o. :'m marrie+ to this one. so+ 'im8 C4A5(:): : got *erishing nine myself# @5 TA(( O17 NchantingO: O Ananias. A6arias an+ @isael. curse ye the (or+. curse 4im an+ 0ilify 4im for e0er8 G:"G)5 NsingingO: T4)5) they go22:" their joy22 'AP*y girl22(Cc!y boy22 ut 'ere am P:2:2:P22 ro!en22'A2A2AA5te+8 Go+. : ain't 'a+ a +ig in the gra0e for three +ays# 'Ow long since you washe+ your face. 7nouterA @57 @C)((:GOT: Oh +ear. oh +ear8 :f +at boy +on't come soon wi+ +e tea me insi+es'll +ry u* li!e a bloo+y !i**ere+ herring# C4A5(:): 1OC can't sing. none of you# Ought to 'ear 7nouter an+ me 'long towar+s Christmas time when we *i*e u* 'Goo+ <ing /enceslas' outsi+e the boo6ers# '1mns. too# lo!es in the bar wee* their *erishing eyes out to 'ear us# '@ember when we ta**e+ twice at the same 'ouse by mista!e. 7nouterA Ol+ tart fair tore the innar+s out of us# @5 TA(( O17 Nmarching u* an+ +own behin+ an imaginary +rum an+ singingO: All things 0ile an+ +amnable. All creatures great an+ small22 N ig en stri!es half *ast ten#O 7"OCT)5 Nmimic!ing the cloc!O: Ding +ong. +ing +ong8 7i' an+ a 2222 half hours of it8 Cri*es8

G:"G)5: <i!ie an+ me !noc!e+ off four of them safety2ra6or bla+es in /oolworth's 's afternoon# :'ll 'a0e a +ig in the blee+ing fountains tomorrow if : can bum a bit of soa*# D)AB:): /hen : was a stooar+ in the P# K O#. we use+ to meet them blac! :n+ians two +ays out at sea. in them there great canoes as they call catamarans. catching sea2turtles the si6e of +inner tables# @57 /A1"): Di+ yoo use+ to be a clergyman. then. sirA @5 TA(( O17 NhaltingO: After the or+er of @elchi6e+ec# There is no Huestion of 'use+ to be'. @a+am# Once a *riest always a *riest# 4oc est cor*us hocus2*ocus# )0en though unfroc!e+22un2Croc!e+. we call it22an+ +og2collar *ublicly torn off by the bisho* of the +iocese# G:"G)5 NsingingO: T4)5) they go22:" their joy22Than! Christ8 ')re comes <i!ie# "ow for the consultation2free8 @57 )"D:GO: "ot before it's bloo+y nee+e+# C4A5(:): 'Ow come they gi0e you the sac!. mateA Csual storyA Choirgirls in the family wayA @57 @C)((:GOT: 1ou'0e too! your time. ain't you. young manA come on. let's ha0e a su* of it before me tongue falls out o' me bloo+y mouth# @57 )"D:GO: 7ho0e u*. Da++y8 1ou're sitting on my *ac!et of bloo+y sugar# @5 TA(( O17: Girls is a eu*hemism# Only the usual flannel2 bloomere+ hunters of the unmarrie+ clergy# Church hens22altar2 +ressers an+ brass2*olishers22s*insters growing bony an+ +es*erate# There is a +emon that enters into them at thirty2fi0e# T4) <:<): The ol+ bitch woul+n't gi0e me the hot water# 4a+ to ta* a toff in the street an+ *ay a *enny for it# 7"OCT)5: 2222 li!ely story8 li!ely# in swigging it on the way more ut

DADD1 Nemerging from his o0ercoatO: Drum o' tea. ehA : coul+ su* a +rum o' tea# N elches slightly#O C4A5(:): /hen their bubs get li!e *erishing ra6or sto*sA P:P !now#

"O71 /AT7O": Tea22bloo+y catla*# though# (en+'s your cu*. matie#

etter'n that cocoa in the stir.

G:"G)5: ,est wait'll : !noc! a 'ole in this tin of mil!# 7hy us a money or your life. someone# @57 )"D:GO: )asy with that bloo+y sugar8 'Oo *ai+ for it. : sh'+ li!e to !nowA @5 TA(( O17: /hen their bubs get li!e ra6or sto*s# : than! thee for that humour# Pi**in's /ee!ly ma+e Huite a feature of the case# '@issing Canon's 7ub 5osa 5omance# :ntimate 5e0elations#' An+ also an O*en (etter in ,ohn ull: 'To a 7!un! in 7he*her+'s Clothing'# A *ity22: was mar!e+ out for *referment# NTo DorothyO Gaiters in the family. if you un+erstan+ me# 1ou woul+ not thin!. woul+ you. that the time has been when this unworthy bac!si+e +ente+ the *lush cushions of a cathe+ral stallA C4A5(:): ')re comes Blorry# Thought she'+ be along soon as we got the tea going# Got a nose li!e a *erishing 0ulture for tea. that girl 'as# 7"OCT)5: Ay. always on the ta*# N7ingingO Ta*. ta*. ta**ety ta*. :'m a *erfec' +e0il at that22 @57 @C)((:GOT: De *oor !i+. she ain't got no sense# /hy +on't she go u* to Picca+illy Circus where she'+ get her fi0e bob reg'larA 7he won't +o herself no goo+ bummin' roun+ +e 7Huare wi+ a set of miserable ole Tobies# DO5OT41: :s that mil! all rightA G:"G)5: All rightA NA**lies his mouth to one of the holes in the tin an+ blows# A stic!y greyish stream +ribbles from the other#O C4A5(:): /hat luc!. BlorryA 'Ow 'bout that *erishing toff as : see you get off with just nowA DO5OT41: :t's got '"ot fit for babies' on it# @57 )"D:GO: /ell. you ain't a bloo+y baby. are youA 1ou can +ro* your uc!ingham Palace manners. 'ere. +earie# B(O551: 7too+ me a coffee an+ a fag22mingy bastar+8 That tea you got there. GingerA 1ou always /A7 my fa0ourite. Ginger +ear# @57 /A1"): There's jest thirteen of us#

@5 TA(( O17: As we are not going to ha0e any +inner you nee+ not +isturb yourself# G:"G)5: /hat2o. la+ies an+ gents8 Tea is ser0e+# Cu*s forwar+. *lease8 T4) <:<): Oh ,ee68 1ou ain't fille+ my bloo+y cu* half full8 @57 @C)((:GOT: /ell. here's luc! to us all. an' a better bloo+y !i* tomorrow# :'+ ha' too! shelter in one o' +em +ere churches meself. only +e b22s won't let you in if so be as +ey t'in! you got +e chats on you# NDrin!s#O @57 /A1"): /ell. : can't say as this is e'actly the way as :'0e been ACCC7TO@)D to +rin!ing a cu* of tea22but still22NDrin!s#O C4A5(:): Perishing goo+ cu* of tea# NDrin!s#O D)AB:): An+ there was floc!s of them there green *ara!eets in the coco2nut *alms. too# NDrin!s#O @5 TA(( O17: /hat *otions ha0e : +run! of siren tears. Distille+ from limbecs foul as 4ell within8 NDrin!s#O 7"OCT)5: (ast we'll get till fi0e in the 2222 morning# NDrin!s#O NBlorry *ro+uces a bro!en sho*2ma+e cigarette from her stoc!ing. an+ ca+ges a match# The men. e'ce*t Da++y. Deafie. an+ @r Tallboys. roll cigarettes from *ic!e+2u* fag2en+s# The re+ en+s glow through the misty twilight. li!e a croo!e+ constellation. as the smo!ers s*rawl on the bench. the groun+. or the slo*e of the *ara*et#O @57 /A1"): /ell. there now8 A nice cu* of tea +o seem to warm you u*. +on't it. nowA "ot but what : +on't feel it a bit +ifferent. as you might say. not ha0ing no nice clean table2cloth li!e :'0e been accustome+ to. an+ the beautiful china tea ser0ice as our mother use+ to ha0e> an+ always. of course. the 0ery best tea as money coul+ buy22real Pe!oe Points at two an+ nine a *oun+# # # # G:"G)5 NsingingO: T4)5) they go22:" their joy22 'APP1 girl22(CC<1 boy22 @5 TA(( O17 Nsinging. to the tune of 'Deutschlan+. Deutschlan+ uber

alles'O: <ee* the as*i+istra flying22 C4A5(:): 'Ow long you two !i+s been in 7mo!eA 7"OCT)5: :'m going to gi0e them boo6ers such a +oing tomorrow as they won't !now if theyr'e on their 'ea+s or their 2222 'eels# :'ll 'a0e my 'alf +ollar if : 'a0e to 'ol+ them u*si+e +own an+ 2222 sha!e 'em# G:"G)5: Three +ays# /e come +own from 1or!22s!i**ering 'alf the way# Go+. wasn't it jest about blee+ing nine carat gol+. too8 B(O551: Got any more tea there. Ginger +earA /ell. so long. fol!s# 7ee you all at /il!ins's tomorrow morning# @57 )"D:GO: Thie0ing little tart8 7wallers 'er tea an+ then jac!s off without so much as a than! you# Can't waste a bloo+y moment# @57 @C)((:GOT: Col+A Ay. : b'lie0e you# 7!i**erin' in +e long grass wi+ no blan!et an' +e bloo+y +ew fit to +rown you. an' +en can't get your bloo+y fire going' in +e mornin'. an' got to ta* +e mil!man 'fore you can ma!e yourself a +rum o' tea# :'0e ha+ some'0 it when me an+ @ichael was on +e toby# @57 )"D:GO: )0en go with blac!ies an+ Chinamen she will. the +irty little cow# DO5OT41: 4ow much +oes she get each timeA 7"OCT)5: Tanner# DO5OT41: 7:RP)"C)A C4A5(:): morning# et your life# Do it for a *erishing fag along towar+s

@57 @C)((:GOT: : ne0er too! less'n a shilling. ne0er# G:"G)5: <i!ie an+ me s!i**ere+ in a boneyar+ one night# /o!e u* in the morning an+ foun+ : was lying on a blee+ing gra0estone# T4) <:<): 7he ain't half got the crabs on her. too# @57 @C)((:GOT: @ichael an' me s!i**ere+ in a *igsty once# /e was just a2cree*in' in. when. '4oly @ary8' says @ichael. '+ere's a *ig in here8' 'Pig be 22228' : says. 'he'll !ee* us warm anyway#' 7o in we goes. an' +ere was an ol+ sow lay on her si+e snorin' li!e a traction engine# : cree*s u* agen her an' *uts me arms roun+ her. an' bego+ she !e*t me warm all night# :'0e s!i**ere+ worse#

D)AB:) NsingingO: /:T4 my willy willy22 C4A5(:): Don't ole Deafie !ee* it u*A 7ets u* a !in+ of a 'umming insi+e of 'im. 'e says# DADD1: /hen : was a boy we +i+n't li0e on this 'ere brea+ an+ marg an+ tea an+ suchli!e trash# Goo+ soli+ tommy we 'a+ in them +ays# eef stoo# lac! *u++en# acon +um*ling# Pig's 'ea+# Be+ li!e a fighting2coc! on a tanner a +ay# An+ now fifty year :'0e 'a+ of it on the toby# 7*u+2grabbing. *ea2*ic!ing. lambing. turni*2to**ing22 e0erythin!# An+ slee*ing in wet straw an+ not once in a year you +on't fill your guts right full# /ell228 N5etires within his coat#O @57 @C)((:GOT: ut he was real bol+. @ichael was# 4e'+ go in anywhere# @any's +e time we'0e bro!e into an em*ty house an !i**e+ in +e best be+# 'Other *eo*le got homes.' he'+ say# '/hy shouln't we ha0e'm too8' G:"G)5 NsingingO: ut :'m +an22cing with tears22in my eyes22

@5 TA(( O17 Nto himselfO: Absumet haeres Caecuba +ignior8 To thin! that there were twenty2one bottles of Clos 7t ,acHues &9&& in my cellar still. that night when the baby was born an+ : left for (on+on on the mil! train8 # # # @57 /A1"): An+ as for the /5)AT47 we 'as sent us when our mother +ie+22well. you woul+n't belie0e8 'Cge. they was# # # # @57 )"D:GO: :f : 'a+ my time o0er again :'+ marry for bloo+y money# G:"G)5 NsingingO: ut :'m +an22cing with tears22in my eyes22 'Cos the girl22in my arms22isn't you2o2ou8 "O71 /AT7O": 7ome of you lot thin! you got a bloo+y lot to howl about. +on't youA /hat about a *oor so+ li!e meA 1ou wasn't nar!e+ into the stir when you was eighteen year ol+. was youA T4) <:<): Oh ,e2e2e))Q)8 C4A5(:): Ginger. you can't sing no more'n a *erishing tomcat with the guts2ache# ,ust you listen to me# :'ll gi0e y'a treat# N7ingingO: ,esu. lo0er OB my soul22 @5 TA(( O17 Nto himselfO: )t ego in Croc!for+# # # # /ith isho*s an+ Archbisho*s an+ with all the Com*any of 4ea0en# # # #

"O71 /AT7O": D'you !now how : got in the stir the first timeA "ar!e+ by my own sister22yes. my own bloo+y sister8 @y sister's a cow if e0er there was one# 7he got marrie+ to a religious maniac22 he's so bloo+y religious that she's got fifteen !i+s now22well. it was him *ut her u* to nar!ing me# ut : got bac! on 'em. P:P can tell you# Birst thing. : +one when : come out of the stir. : buys a hammer an+ goes roun+ to my sister's house. an+ smashe+ her *iano to bloo+y matchwoo+# 'There8' : says. 'that's what you get for nar!ing @)8 1ou nosing mare8' : says# DO5OT41: This col+. this col+8 : +on't !now whether my feet are there or not# @57 @C)((:GOT: fair fro6e myself# loo+y tea +on't warm you for long. +o itA :'m

@5 TA(( O17 Nto himselfO: @y curate +ays. my curate +ays8 @y fancywor! ba6aars an+ morris2+ancers in ai+ of on the 0illage green. my lectures to the @others' Cnion2missionary wor! in /estern China with fourteen magic lantern sli+es8 @y oys' Cric!et Club. teetotallers only. my Confirmation classes22*urity lecture once monthly in the Parish 4all22my oy 7cout orgies8 The /olf Cubs will +eli0er the Gran+ 4owl# 4ousehol+ 4ints for the Parish @aga6ine. 'Discar+e+ fountain2*en fillers can be use+ as enemas for canaries# # # #' C4A5(:) NsingingO: ,esu. lo0er OB my soul22 G:"G)5: ')re comes the blee+ing flattie8 Get u* off the groun+. all of you# NDa++y emerges from his o0ercoat#O T4) PO(:C)@A" Nsha!ing the slee*ers on the ne't benchO: "ow then. wa!e u*. wa!e u*8 5ouse u*. you8 Got to go home if you want to slee*# This isn't a common lo+ging house# Get u*. there8 Netc#. etc#O @57 )"D:GO: :t's that nosy young so+ as wants *romotion# /oul+n't let you bloo+y breathe if 'e 'a+ 'is way# C4A5(:) NsingingO: ,esu. lo0er of my soul. (et me TO Thy bosom fly22 T4) PO(:C)@A": "ow then. 1OC8 /hat you thin! T4:7 isA *rayer meetingA NTo the <i!eO C* you get. an+ loo! shar* about it8 C4A5(:): : can't 'el* it. sergeant# :t's my toonful nature# :t comes out of me natural2li!e# a*tist

T4) PO(:C)@A" Nsha!ing @rs en+igoO: /a!e u*. mother. wa!e u*8 @57 )"D:GO: @otherA @OT4)5. is itA /ell. if : am a mother. than! Go+ : ain't got a bloo+y son li!e you8 An+ :'ll tell you another little secret. constable# "e't time : want a man's fat 'an+s feeling roun+ the bac! of my nec!. : won't as! 1OC to +o it# :'ll 'a0e someone with a bit more se'2a**eal# T4) PO(:C)@A": "ow then. now then8 "o call to get abusi0e. you !now# /e got our or+ers to carry out# N)'it majestically#O 7"OCT)5 Nsotto 0oceO: 2222 off. you 2222 son of a 22228 C4A5(:) NsingingO: /hile the gathering waters roll. /hile the tem*est still is 'igh8 7ung bass in the choir my last two years in Dartmoor. : +i+# @57 )"D:GO: :'ll bloo+y mother 'im8 N7houting after the *olicemanO ':8 /hy +on't you get after them bloo+y cat burglars 'stea+ of coming nosing roun+ a res*ectable marrie+ womanA G:"G)5: <i* +own. blo!es# ')'s jac!e+# NDa++y retires within his coat#O "O71 /AT7O": /assit li!e in Dartmoor nowA D'they gi0e you jam nowA @57 /A1"): Of course. you can see as they coul+n't reely allow *eo*le to slee* in the streets22: mean. it woul+n't be Huite nice22 an+ then you'0e got to remember as it'+ be encouraging of all the *eo*le as ha0en't got homes of their own22the !in+ of riff2raff. if you ta!e my meaning# # # # @5 TA(( O17 Nto himselfO: 4a**y +ays. ha**y +ays8 Outings with the Girl Gui+es in )**ing Borest22hire+ bra!e an+ slee! roan horses. an+ : on the bo' in my grey flannel suit. s*ec!le+ straw hat. an+ +iscreet layman's nec!tie# uns an+ ginger *o* un+er the green elms# Twenty Girl Gui+es *ious yet susce*tible fris!ing in the breast2high brac!en. an+ : a ha**y curate s*orting among them. in loco *arentis *inching the girls' bac!si+es# # # # @57 @C)((:GOT: /ell. you may tal! about !i**in' +own. but bego+ +ere won't be much slee* for my *oor ole bloo+y bones tonight# : can't s!i**er it now +e way me an+ @ichael use+ to# C4A5(:): "ot jam# Gets cheese. though. twice a wee!#

T4) <:<): Oh ,ee68 : can't stan+ it no longer# : going +own to the @#A# # NDorothy stan+s u*. an+ then. her !nees ha0ing stiffene+ with the col+. almost falls#O G:"G)5: Only sen+ you to the blee+ing (abour 4ome# /hat you say we all go u* to Co0ent Gar+en tomorrow morningA um a few *ears if we get there early enough# C4A5(:): :'0e 'a+ my *erishing bellyful of Dartmoor. b'lie0e me# Borty on us went through 'ell for getting off with the ole women +own on the allotments# Ole trots se0enty years ol+ they was22 s*u+2grabbers# Di+n't we co* it just8 rea+ an+ water. chaine+ to the wall22*erishing near mur+ere+ us# @57 )"D:GO: "o fear8 "ot while my bloo+y husban+'s there# One blac! eye in a wee!'s enough for me. than! you# @5 TA(( O17 Nchanting. reminiscentlyO: As for our har*s. we hange+ them u*. u*on the willow trees of abylon8 # # # @57 @C)((:GOT: 4ol+ u*. !i++ie8 7tam* your feet an' get +e bloo+ bac! into 'm# :'ll ta!e y'a wal! u* to Paul's in a cou*la minutes# D)AB:) NsingingO: /:T4 my willy willy22 N ig en stri!es ele0en#O 7"OCT)5: 7i' more22hours8 Cri*es8 NAn hour *asses# ig en sto*s stri!ing# The mist thins an+ the col+ increases# A grubby2face+ moon is seen snea!ing among the clou+s of the southern s!y# A +o6en har+ene+ ol+ men remain on the benches. an+ still contri0e to slee*. +ouble+ u* an+ hi++en in their greatcoats# Occasionally they groan in their slee*# The others set out in all +irections. inten+ing to wal! all night an+ so !ee* their bloo+ flowing. but nearly all of them ha0e +rifte+ bac! to the 7Huare by mi+night# A new *oliceman comes on +uty# 4e strolls through the 7Huare at inter0als of half an hour. scrutini6ing the faces of the slee*ers but letting them alone when he has ma+e sure that they are only aslee* an+ not +ea+# 5oun+ each bench re0ol0es a !not of *eo*le who ta!e it in turns to sit +own an+ are +ri0en to their feet by the col+ after a few minutes# Ginger an+ Charlie fill two +rums at the fountains an+ set out in the +es*erate ho*e of boiling some tea o0er the na00ies' clin!er fire in Chan+os 7treet> but a *oliceman is warming himself at the fire. an+ or+ers them away# The <i!e su++enly 0anishes. *robably to beg a be+ at the @#A# # Towar+s one o'cloc! a rumour goes roun+

that a la+y is +istributing hot coffee. ham san+wiches. an+ *ac!ets of cigarettes un+er Charing Cross ri+ge> there is a rush to the s*ot. but the rumour turns out to be unfoun+e+# As the 7Huare fills again the ceaseless changing of *laces u*on the benches Huic!ens until it is a game of musical chairs# 7itting +own. with one's han+s un+er one's arm*its. it is *ossible to get into a !in+ of slee*. or +o6e. for two or three minutes on en+# :n this state. enormous ages seem to *ass# One sin!s into a com*le'. troubling +reams which lea0e one conscious of one's surroun+ings an+ of the bitter col+# The night is growing clearer an+ col+er e0ery minute# There is a chorus of 0arying soun+22groans. curses. bursts of laughter. an+ singing. an+ through them all the uncontrollable chattering of teeth#O @5 TA(( O17 NchantingO: : am *oure+ out li!e water. an+ all my bones are out of joint8 # # # @57 @C)((:GOT: )llen an' me bin wan+erin' roun+ +e City +is two hours# ego+ it's li!e a bloo+y tomb wi+ +em great lam*s glarin' +own on you an' not a soul stirren' e'ce*' +e flatties strollin' two an' two# 7"OCT)5: Bi0e *ast 2222 one an+ : ain't 'a+ a bite since +inner8 Course it 'a+ to 'a**en to us on a 2222 night li!e this8 @5 TA(( O17: A +rin!ing night : shoul+ ha0e calle+ it# man to his taste# NChantingO '@y strength is +rie+ li!e a *otsher+. an+ my tongue clea0eth to my gums8' # # # ut e0ery

C4A5(:): 7ay. what you thin!A "osy an+ me +one a smash jest now# "osy sees a tobacconist's show2case full of them fancy bo'es of Gol+ Bla!e. an+ 'e says. ' y cri*es :'m going to 'a0e some of them fags if they gi0e me a *erishing stretch for it8' 'e says# 7o 'e wra*s 'is scarf roun+ 'is 'an+. an+ we waits till there's a *erishing great 0an *assing as'll +rown the noise. an+ then "osy lets fly22biff8 /e ni**e+ a +o6en *ac!ets of fags. an+ then : bet you +i+n't see our a22s for +ust# An+ when we gets roun+ the corner an+ o*ens them. there wasn't no *erishing fags insi+e8 Perishing +ummy bo'es# : 'a+ to laugh# DO5OT41: @y !nees are gi0ing way# : can't stan+ u* much longer# @57 )"D:GO: Oh. the so+. the so+8 To turn a woman out of +oors on a night li!e bloo+y this8 1ou wait'll : get 'im +run! o' 7atur+ay night an+ 'e can't 'it bac!# :'ll mash 'im to bloo+y shin of beef. : will# ')'ll loo! li!e two *ennorth of *ieces after :'0e swi*e+ 'im with the bloo+y flat2iron# @57 @C)((:GOT: 4ere. ma!e room'n let +e !i+ sit +own# Press u* agen ole Da++y. +ear# Put his arm roun+ you# 4e's chatty. but

he'll !ee* you warm# G:"G)5 N+ouble mar!ing timeO: 7tam* your feet on the groun+22only blee+ing thing to +o# 7tri!e u* a song. someone. an+ less all stam* our blee+ing feet in time to it# DADD1 Nwa!ing an+ emergingO: /assatA N7till half aslee*. he lets his hea+ fall bac!. with mouth o*en an+ A+am's a**le *rotru+ing from his withere+ throat li!e the bla+e of a tomahaw!#O @57 )"D:GO: There's women what if they'+ stoo+ what :'D) stoo+. they'+ a0e *ut s*irits of salts in 'is cu* of bloo+y tea# @5 TA(( O17 Nbeating an imaginary +rum an+ singingO: Onwar+. heathen so2ol+iers22 @57 /A1"): /ell. reely now8 :f any of us'+ e0er of thought. in the +ear ol+ +ays when we use+ to sit roun+ our own 7il!stone coal fire. with the !ettle on the hob an+ a nice +ish of toaste+ crum*ets from the ba!er's o0er the way# # # # NThe chattering of her teeth silences her#O C4A5(:): "o *erishing church tra* now. matie# :'ll gi0e y'a bit of smut22something as we can *erishing +ance to# 1ou listen t'me# @57 @C)((:GOT: Don't you get tal!in' about crum*ets. @issis# @e bloo+y belly's rubbin' agen me bac!bone alrea+y# NCharlie +raws himself u*. clears his throat. an+ in an enormous 0oice roars out a song entitle+ '5ollic!ing ill the 7ailor'# A laugh that is *artly a shu++er bursts from the *eo*le on the bench# They sing the song through again. with increasing 0olume of noise. stam*ing an+ cla**ing in time# Those sitting +own. *ac!e+ elbow to elbow. sway grotesHuely from si+e to si+e. wor!ing their feet as though stam*ing on the *e+als of a harmonium# )0en @rs /ayne joins in after a moment. laughing in s*ite of herself# They are all laughing. though with chattering teeth# @r Tallboys marches u* an+ +own behin+ his 0ast swag belly. *reten+ing to carry a banner or cro6ier in front of him# The night is now Huite clear. an+ an icy win+ comes shu++ering at inter0als through the 7Huare# The stam*ing an+ cla**ing rise to a !in+ of fren6y as the *eo*le feel the +ea+ly col+ *enetrate to their bones# Then the *oliceman is seen wan+ering into the 7Huare from the eastern en+. an+ the singing ceases abru*tly#O C4A5(:): There8 1ou can't say as a bit of music +on't warm you u*# @57 )"D:GO: This bloo+y win+8 An+ : ain't e0en got any +rawers

on. the bastar+ !ic!e+ me out in such a 'urry# @57 @C)((:GOT: /ell. glory be to ,esus. 'twon't be long before +at +ere church in +e Gray's :nn 5oa+ o*ens u* for +e winter# Dey gi0es you a roof o0er your hea+ of a night. 't any rate# T4) PO(:C)@A": "ow then. now T4)"8 D'you thin! this is the time of night to begin singing li!e a blooming bear gar+enA : shall ha0e to sen+ you bac! to your homes if you can't !ee* Huiet# 7"OCT)5 Nsotto 0oceO: 1ou 2222 son of a 22228 G:"G)5: 1es22they lets you !i* on the blee+ing stone floor with three news*a*er *osters 'stea+ of blan!ets# @ight as well be in the 7Huare an+ 'a0e +one with it# Go+. : wish : was in the blee+ing s*i!e# @57 @C)((:GOT: 7till. you gets a cu* of 4orlic!s an' two slices# : bin gla+ to !i* +ere often enough# @5 TA(( O17 NchantingO: : was gla+ when they sai+ unto me. /e will go into the house of the (or+8 # # # DO5OT41 Nstarting u*O: Oh. this col+. this col+8 : +on't !now whether it's worse when you're sitting +own or when you're stan+ing u*# Oh. how can you all stan+ itA 7urely you +on't ha0e to +o this e0ery night of your li0esA @57 /A1"): 1ou mustn't thin!. +earie. as there isn't 7O@) of us wasn't brought u* res*ectable# C4A5(:) NsingingO: Cheer u*. cully. you'll soon be +ea+8 rrh8 Perishing ,esus8 Ain't my fish2hoo!s blue8 NDouble mar!s time an+ beats his arms against his si+es#O DO5OT41: Oh. but how can you stan+ itA 4ow can you go on li!e this. night after night. year after yearA :t's not *ossible that *eo*le can li0e so8 :t's so absur+ that one woul+n't belie0e it if one +i+n't !now it was true# :t's im*ossible8 7"OCT)5: 2222 *ossible if you as! me# @5 TA(( O17 Nstage curate2wiseO: /ith Go+. all things are *ossible# NDorothy sin!s bac! on to the bench. her !nees still being unstea+y#O C4A5(:): /ell. it's jest on 'ar2*arse one# )ither we got to get mo0ing. or else ma!e a *yrami+ on that *erishing bench# Cnless we want to *erishing turn u* our toes# 'Oo's for a little

constitootional u* to the Tower of (on+onA @57 @C)((:GOT: 'Twon't be me +at'll wal! another ste* tonight# @e bloo+y legs'0e gi0en out on me# G:"G)5: /hat2o for the *yrami+8 This is a bit too blee+ing nine2 +ay2ol+ for me# (ess scrum into that bench22beg *ar+on. @a8 DADD1 Nslee*ilyO: /assa gameA Can't a man get a bit of !i* but what you must come worriting 'in an+ sha!ing of 'imA C4A5(:): That's the stuff8 7ho0e in8 7hift yourself. Da++y. an+ ma!e room for my little sit2me2+own# Get one ato* of each other# That's right# "e0er min+ the chats# ,am all together li!e *ilchar+s in a *erishing tin# @57 /A1"): 4ere8 : +i+n't as! you to sit on my la*. young man8 G:"G)5: 7ir on mine. then. mother22'sall the same# /hat2o8 Birst bit of stuff :'0e 'a+ my arm roun+ since )aster# NThey *ile themsel0es in a monstrous sha*eless clot. men an+ women clinging in+iscriminately together. li!e a bunch of toa+s at s*awning time# There is a writhing mo0ement as the hea* settles +own. an+ a sour stench of clothes +iffuses itself# Only @r Tallboys remains marching u* an+ +own#O @5 TA(( O17 N+eclaimingO: O ye nights an+ +ays. ye light an+ +ar!ness. ye lightnings an+ clou+s. curse ye the (or+8 NDeafie. someone ha0ing sat on his +ia*hragm. utters a strange. unre*ro+ucible soun+#O @57 )"D:GO: Get off my ba+ leg. can't youA /hat you thin! : amA loo+y +rawing2room sofaA C4A5(:): Don't ole Da++y stin! when you get u* agen 'imA G:"G)5: lee+ing an! 'oli+ay for the chats this'll be#

DO5OT41: Oh. Go+. Go+8 @5 TA(( O17 NhaltingO: /hy call on Go+. you *uling +eathbe+ *enitentA 7tic! to your guns an+ call on the De0il as : +o# 4ail to thee. (ucifer. Prince of the Air8 N7inging to the tune of '4oly. holy holy'O: :ncubi an+ 7uccubi. falling +own before Thee8 # # # @57 )"D:GO: Oh. shut u*. you blars*hemous ol+ so+8 ')'s too bloo+y fat to feel the col+. that's what's wrong with 'im#

C4A5(:): "ice soft be'in+ you got. @a# <ee* an eye out for the *erishing flattie. Ginger# @5 TA(( O17: @aleci+ite. omnia o*era8 The lac! @ass8 /hy notA Once a *riest always a *riest# 4an+ me a chun! of to!e an+ : will wor! the miracle# 7ul*hur can+les. (or+'s Prayer bac!war+s. crucifi' u*si+e +own# NTo DorothyO :f we ha+ a blac! he2goat you woul+ come in useful# NThe animal heat of the *ile+ bo+ies ha+ alrea+y ma+e itself felt# A +rowsiness is +escen+ing u*on e0eryone#O @57 /A1"): 1ou mustn't thin! as :'m ACCC7TO@)D to sitting on a gentleman's !nee. you !now # # # @57 @C)((:GOT N+rowsilyO: :t too! my sacraments reg'lar till +e bloo+y *riest woul+n't gi0e me absolution along o' my @ichael# De ole get. +e ole getsie8 # # # @5 TA(( O17 Nstri!ing an attitu+eO: Per aHuam sacratam Huam nunc s*argo. signumHue crucis Huo+ nunc facio# # # # G:"G)5: 'Oo's got a fill of 'ar+2u*A :'0e smo!e+ by last blee+ing fag2en+# @5 TA(( O17 Nas at the altarO: Dearly belo0e+ brethren we are gathere+ together in the sight of Go+ for the solemni6ation of unholy blas*hemy# 4e has afflicte+ us with +irt an+ col+. with hunger an+ solitu+e. with the *o' an+ the itch. with the hea+louse an+ the crablouse# Our foo+ is +am* crusts an+ slimy meat2scra*s han+e+ out in *ac!ets from hotel +oorways# Our *leasure is stewe+ tea an+ saw+ust ca!es bolte+ in ree!ing cellars. bar2rinsing san+ s*ittle of common ale. the embrace of toothless hags# Our +estiny is the *au*er's gra0e. twenty2feet +ee* in +eal coffins. the !i*2 house of un+ergroun+# :t is 0ery meet. right an+ our boun+en +uty at all times an+ in all *laces to curse 4im an+ re0ile 4im# Therefore with Demons an+ Arch+emons Netc#. etc#. etc#O# @57 @C)((:GOT N+rowsilyO: y holy ,esus. :'m half aslee* right now. only some b22's lyin' across my legs an+ crushin' 'em# @5 TA(( O17: Amen# )0il from us +eli0er. but tem*tation into not us lea+ Netc#. etc#. etc#O# NAs he reaches the first wor+ of the *rayer he tears the consecrate+ brea+ across# The bloo+ runs out of it# There is a rolling soun+. as of thun+er. an+ the lan+sca*e changes# Dorothy's feet are 0ery col+# @onstrous winge+ sha*es of Demons an+ Arch+emons are +imly 0isible. mo0ing to an+ fro# 7omething. bea!

or claw. closes u*on Dorothy's shoul+er. remin+ing her that her feet an+ han+s are aching with col+#O T4) PO(:C)@A" Nsha!ing Dorothy by the shoul+erO: /a!e u*. now. wa!e u*. wa!e u*8 4a0en't you got an o0ercoatA 1ou're as white as +eath# Don't you !now better than to let yourself s*rawl about in the col+ li!e thatA NDorothy fin+s that she is stiff with col+# The s!y is now Huite clear. with gritty little stars twin!ling li!e electric lam*s enormously remote# The *yrami+ has unrolle+ itself#O @57 @C)((:GOT: De *oor !i+. she ain't use+ to roughin' it +e way us others are# G:"G)5 Nbeating his armsO: moul+8 rr8 /oo8 'Taters in the blee+ing

@57 /A1"): 7he's a la+y born an+ bre+# T4) PO(:C)@A": :s that soA227ee here. @iss. you best come +own to the @#A# # with me# They'll gi0e you a be+ all right# Anyone can see with half an eye as you're a cut abo0e these others here# @57 )"D:GO: Than! you. constable. T4A"< you8 ')ar that. girlsA 'A cut abo0e us.' 'e says# "ice. ain't itA NTo the *olicemanO Pro*er bloo+y Ascot swell yourself. ain't youA DO5OT41: "o. no8 (ea0e me. :'+ rather stay here# T4) PO(:C)@A": /ell. *lease yourself# 1ou loo!e+ real ba+ just now# :'ll be along later an+ ta!e a loo! at you# N@o0es off +oubtfully#O C4A5(:): /ait'll the *erisher's roun+ the corner an+ then *ile u* agen# Only *erishing way we'll !ee* warm# @57 @C)((:GOT: Come on. !i+# Get un+erneath an' let'm warm you# 7"OCT)5: Ten minutes to 2222 two# Can't last for e0er. : s'*ose# @5 TA(( O17 NchantingO: : am *oure+ out li!e water. an+ all my bones are out of joint# @y heart also in the mi+st of my bo+y is li!e unto melting wa'8 # # # NOnce more the *eo*le *ile themsel0es on the bench# ut the tem*erature is now not many +egrees abo0e free6ing2*oint. an+ the win+ is blowing more cuttingly# The *eo*le wriggle their win+2 ni**e+ faces into the hea* li!e suc!ing *igs struggling for their mother's teats# One's interlu+es of slee* shrin! to a few secon+s.

an+ one's +reams grow more monstrous. troubling. an+ un+reamli!e# There are times when the nine *eo*le are tal!ing almost normally. times when they can e0en laugh at their situation. an+ times when they *ress themsel0es together in a !in+ of fren6y. with +ee* groans of *ain# @r Tallboys su++enly becomes e'hauste+ an+ his monologue +egenerates into a stream of nonsense# 4e +ro*s his 0ast bul! on to* of the others. almost suffocating them# The hea* rolls a*art# 7ome remain on the bench. some sli+e to the groun+ an+ colla*se against the *ara*et or against the others' !nees# The *oliceman enters the 7Huare an+ or+ers those on the groun+ to their feet# They get u*. an+ colla*se again the moment he is gone# There is no soun+ from the ten *eo*le sa0e of snores that are *artly groans# Their hea+s no+ li!e those of joine+ *orcelain Chinamen as they fall aslee* an+ reawa!e as rhythmically as the tic!ing of a cloc!# Three stri!es somewhere# A 0oice yells li!e a trum*et from the eastern en+ of the 7Huare: ' oys8 C* you get8 The noos*a*ers is come8'O C4A5(:) Nstarting from his slee*O: The *erishing *a*ers8 C'm on. Ginger8 5un li!e 4ell8 NThey run. or shamble. as fast as they can to the corner of the 7Huare. where three youths are +istributing sur*lus *osters gi0en away in charity by the morning news*a*ers# Charlie an+ Ginger come bac! with a thic! wa+ of *osters# The fi0e largest men now jam themsel0es together on the bench. Deafie an+ the four women sitting across their !nees> then. with infinite +ifficulty ;as it has to be +one from the insi+e=. they wra* themsel0es in a monstrous cocoon of *a*er. se0eral sheets thic!. tuc!ing the loose en+s into their nec!s or breasts or between their shoul+ers an+ the bac! of the bench# Binally nothing is unco0ere+ sa0e their hea+s an+ the lower *art of their legs# Bor their hea+s they fashion hoo+s of *a*er# The *a*er constantly comes loose an+ lets in col+ shafts of win+. but it is now *ossible to slee* for as much as fi0e minutes consecuti0ely# At this time22between three an+ fi0e in the morning22it is customary with the *olice not to +isturb the 7Huare slee*ers# A measure of warmth steals through e0eryone an+ e'ten+s e0en to their feet# There is some furti0e fon+ling of the women un+er co0er of the *a*er# Dorothy is too far gone to care# y a Huarter *ast four the *a*er is all crum*le+ an+ torn to nothing. an+ it is far too col+ to remain sitting +own# The *eo*le get u*. swear. fin+ their legs somewhat reste+. an+ begin to slouch to an+ fro in cou*les. freHuently halting from mere lassitu+e# )0ery belly is now contorte+ with hunger# Ginger's tin of con+ense+ mil! is torn o*en an+ the contents +e0oure+. e0eryone +i**ing their fingers into it an+ lic!ing them# Those who ha0e no money at all lea0e the 7Huare for the Green Par!. where they will be un+isturbe+ till se0en# Those who can comman+ e0en a half*enny ma!e for /il!ins's cafe not far from the Charing Cross 5oa+# :t is

!nown that the cafe will not o*en till fi0e o'cloc!> ne0ertheless. a crow+ is waiting outsi+e the +oor by twenty to fi0e#O @57 @C)((:GOT: Got your half*enny. +earieA Dey won't let more'n four of us in on one cu* o'tea. +e stingy ole gets8 @5 TA(( O17 NsingingO: The roseate hu2ues of early +a2awn22 G:"G)5: Go+. that bit of slee* we 'a+ un+er the news*a*ers +one me some goo+# N7ingingO ut :'m +an2cing with tears22in my eyes22 C4A5(:): Oh. boys. boys8 (oo! through that *erishing win+ow. will youA (oo! at the 'eat steaming +own the win+ow *ane8 (oo! at the tea2urns jest on the boil. an+ them great *iles of 'ot toast an+ 'am san+wiches. an+ them there sausages si66ling in the *an8 Don't it ma!e your belly turn *erishing summersaults to see 'emA DO5OT41: :'0e got a *enny# : can't get a cu* of tea for that. can :A 7"OCT)5: 2222 lot of sausages we'll get this morning with four*ence between us# 'Alf a cu* of tea an+ a 2222 +oughnut more li!ely# There's a brea!fus' for you8 @57 @C)((:GOT: 1ou +on't nee+ buy a cu* o' tea all to yourself# : got a half*enny an' so's Da++y. an' we'll *ut'm to your *enny an' ha0e a cu* between +e t'ree of us# 4e's got sores on his li*. but 4ell8 who caresA Drin! near +e han+le an' +ere's no harm +one# NA Huarter to fi0e stri!es#O @57 )"D:GO: :'+ bet a +ollar my ole man's got a bit of 'a++oc! to 'is brea!fast# : 'o*e it bloo+y cho!es 'im# G:"G)5 NsingingO: ut :'m +an2cing with tears22in my eyes22

@5 TA(( O17 NsingingO: )arly in the morning my song shall rise to Thee8 @57 @C)((:GOT: 1ou gets a bit o' !i* in +is *lace. +at's one comfort# Dey lets you slee* wi+ your hea+ on +e table till se0en o'cloc!# :t's a bloo+y go+sen+ to us 7Huare Tobies# C4A5(:) Nsla0ering li!e a +ogO: 7ausages8 Perishing sausages8 /elsh rabbit8 'Ot +ri**ing toast8 An+ a rum*2stea! two inches thic! with chi*s an+ a *int of Ole urton8 Oh. *erishing ,esus8 N4e boun+s forwar+. *ushes his way through the crow+ an+ rattles the han+le of the glass +oor# The whole crow+ of *eo*le. about forty strong. surge forwar+ an+ attem*t to storm the +oor. which is

stoutly hel+ within by @r /il!ins. the *ro*rietor of the cafe# 4e menaces them through the glass# 7ome *ress their breasts an+ faces against the win+ow as though warming themsel0es# /ith a whoo* an+ a rush Blorry an+ four other girls. com*arati0ely fresh from ha0ing s*ent *art of the night in be+. +ebouch from a neighbouring alley. accom*anie+ by a gang of youths in blue suits# They hurl themsel0es u*on the rear of the crow+ with such momentum that the +oor is almost bro!en# @r /il!ins *ulls it furiously o*en an+ sho0es the lea+ers bac!# A fume of sausages. !i**ers. coffee. an+ hot brea+ streams into the outer col+#O 1OCT47 DO:C)7 B5O@ T4) 5)A5: /hy can't he 2222 o*en before fi0eA /e're star0ing for our 2222 tea8 5am the 2222 +oor in8 Netc#. etc#O @5 /:(<:"7: Get out8 Get out. the lot of you8 Or by Go+ not one of you comes in this morning8 G:5(7' DO:C)7 B5O@ T4) 5)A5: @is2ter /il2!ins8 @is2ter /il2!ins8 ) a s*ort an+ let us in8 :'ll gi0e y'a !iss all free for nothing# ) a s*ort now8 Netc#. etc#O @5 /:(<:"7: Get on out of it8 /e +on't o*en before fi0e. an+ you !now it# N7lams the +oor#O @57 @C)((:GOT: Oh. holy ,esus. if +is ain't +e longest ten minutes o' +e whole bloo+y night8 /ell. :'ll gi0e me *oor ole legs a rest. anyway# N7Huats on her heels coal2miner2fashion# @any others +o the same#O G:"G)5: 'Oo's got a 'alf*ennyA :'m ri*e to go fifty2fifty on a +oughnut# 1OCT47' DO:C)7 Nimitating military music. then singingO: '22228' was all the ban+ coul+ *lay> '22228 2222' An+ the same to you8 DO5OT41 Nto @rs @c)lligotO: (oo! at us all8 ,ust loo! at us8 /hat clothes8 /hat faces8 @57 )"D:GO: 1ou're no Greta Garbo yourself. if you +on't min+ my mentioning it# @57 /A1"): /ell. now. the time DO seem to *ass slowly when you're waiting for a nice cu* of tea. +on't it nowA @5 TA(( O17 NchantingO: Bor our soul is brought low. e0en unto the +ust: our belly clea0eth unto the groun+8

C4A5(:): <i**ers8 Perishing *iles of 'em8 : can smell 'em through the *erishing glass# G:"G)5 NsingingO: ut :'m +an2cing with tears22in my eyes22 'Cos the girl22in my arms22isn't you2o2ou8 N@uch time *asses# Bi0e stri!es# :ntolerable ages seem to *ass# Then the +oor is su++enly wrenche+ o*en an+ the *eo*le stam*e+e in to fight for the corner seats# Almost swooning in the hot air. they fling themsel0es +own an+ s*rawl across the tables. +rin!ing in the heat an+ the smell of foo+ through all their *ores#O @5 /:(<:"7: "ow then. all8 1ou !now the rules. : s'*ose# "o ho!ey2*o!ey this morning8 7lee* till se0en if you li!e. but if : see any man aslee* after that. out he goes on his nec!# Get busy with that tea. girls8 A D)AB)":"G C4O5C7 Of 1)((7: Two teas 'ere8 (arge tea an+ a +oughnut between us four8 <i**ers8 @is2ter /il2!ins8 'Ow much them sausagesA Two slices8 @is2ter /il2!ins8 Got any fag *a*ersA <i**2ers8 Netc#. etc#O @5 /:(<:"7: 7hut u*. shut u*8 7to* that hollering or : +on't ser0e any of you# @57 @C)((:GOT: D'you feel +e bloo+ runnin' bac! into your toes. +earieA @57 /A1"): 4e +o s*ea! rough to you. +on't heA "ot what :'+ call a reely gentlemanly !in+ of man# 7"OCT)5: This is 2222 star0ation Corner. this is# Cri*es8 Coul+n't : +o a cou*le of them sausages8 T4) TA5T7 Nin chorusO: <i**ers 'ere8 'Crry u* with them !i**ers8 @is2ter /il!ins8 <i**ers all roun+8 A"D a +oughnut8 C4A5(:): "ot 'alf8 Got to fill u* on the smell of 'em this morning# 7ooner be 'ere than on the *erishing 7Huare. A(( the same# G:"G)5: ')re. Deafie8 1ou'0e 'a+ your 'alf8 Gimme me that blee+ing cu*# @5 TA(( O17 NchantingO: Then was our mouth fille+ with laughter. an+ our tongue with joy8 # # # @57 @C)((:GOT: ego+ :'m half aslee* alrea+y# :t's +e heat o' +e

room as +oes it# @5 /:(<:"7: 7to* that singing there8 1ou !now the rules# T4) TA5T7 Nin chorusO: <i**2ers8 7"OCT)5: 2222 +oughnuts8 Col+ *rog8 :t turns my belly sic!# DADD1: )0en the tea they gi0e you ain't no more than water with a bit of +ust in it# N elches#O C4A5(:): es' thing22'a0e a bit of shut2eye an+ forget about it# Dream about *erishing cut off the joint an+ two 0eg# (ess get our 'ea+s on the table an+ *ac! u* comfortable# @57 @C)((:GOT: (ean u* agen me shoul+er. +earie# :'0e got more flesh on me bones'n what you ha0e# G:"G)5: :'+ gi0e a tanner for a blee+ing fag. if : 'a+ a blee+ing tanner# C4A5(:): Pac! u*# Get your 'ea+ agenst mine. 7nouter# That's right# ,esus. won't : *erishing slee*8 NA +ish of smo!ing !i**ers is borne *ast to the tarts' table#O 7"OCT)5 N+rowsilyO: @ore 2222 !i**ers# /on+er 'ow many times she's bin on 'er bac! to *ay for that lot# @57 @C)((:GOT Nhalf2aslee*O: 'Twas a *ity. 'twas a real *ity. when @ichael went off on his jac! an' left me wi+ +e bloo+y baby an' all# # # # @57 )"D:GO Nfuriously. following the +ish of !i**ers with accusing fingerO: (oo! at that. girls8 (oo! at that8 <i**ers8 Don't it ma!e you bloo+y wil+A /e +on't get !i**ers for brea!fast. +o we. girlsA loo+y tarts swallering +own !i**ers as fast as they can turn 'em out of the *an. an+ us 'ere with a cu* of tea between four of us an+ luc!y to get that8 <i**ers8 @5 TA(( O17 Nstage curate2wiseO: The wages of sin is !i**ers# G:"G)5: Don't breathe in my face. Deafie# : can't blee+ing stan+ it# C4A5(:) Nin his slee*O: Charles2/is+om2+run!2an+2inca*able2+run!A2 yes2si'2shillings2mo0e2on2")RT8 DO5OT41 Non @rs @c)lligot's bosomO: Oh. joy. joy8

NThey are aslee*#O

% An+ so it goes on# Dorothy en+ure+ this life for ten +ays22to be e'act. nine +ays an+ ten nights# :t was har+ to see what else she coul+ +o# 4er father. seemingly. ha+ aban+one+ her altogether. an+ though she ha+ frien+s in (on+on who woul+ rea+ily ha0e hel*e+ her. she +i+ not feel that she coul+ face them after what ha+ ha**ene+. or what was su**ose+ to ha0e ha**ene+# An+ she +are+ not a**ly to organi6e+ charity because it woul+ almost certainly lea+ to the +isco0ery of her name. an+ hence. *erha*s. to a fresh hullabaloo about the '5ector's Daughter'# 7o she staye+ in (on+on. an+ became one of that curious tribe. rare but ne0er Huite e'tinct22the tribe of women who are *enniless an+ homeless. but who ma!e such +es*erate efforts to hi+e it that they 0ery nearly succee+> women who wash their faces at +rin!ing fountains in the col+ of the +awn. an+ carefully uncrum*le their clothes after slee*less nights. an+ carry themsel0es with an air of reser0e an+ +ecency. so that only their faces. *ale beneath sunburn. tell you for certain that they are +estitute# :t was not in her to become a har+ene+ beggar li!e most of the *eo*le about her# 4er first twenty2four hours on the 7Huare she s*ent without any foo+ whate0er. e'ce*t for the cu* of tea that she ha+ ha+ o0ernight an+ a thir+ of a cu* more that she ha+ ha+ at /il!ins's cafe in the morning# ut in the e0ening. ma+e +es*erate by hunger an+ the others' e'am*le. she wal!e+ u* to a strange woman. mastere+ her 0oice with an effort. an+ sai+: 'Please. @a+am. coul+ you gi0e me two*enceA : ha0e ha+ nothing to eat since yester+ay#' The woman stare+. but she o*ene+ her *urse an+ ga0e Dorothy three*ence# Dorothy +i+ not !now it. but her e+ucate+ accent. which ha+ ma+e it im*ossible to get wor! as a ser0ant. was an in0aluable asset to her as a beggar# After that she foun+ that it was really 0ery easy to beg the +aily shilling or so that was nee+e+ to !ee* her ali0e# An+ yet she ne0er begge+22it seeme+ to her that actually she coul+ not +o it22 e'ce*t when hunger was *ast bearing or when she ha+ got to lay in the *recious *enny that was the *ass*ort to /il!ins's cafe in the morning# /ith "obby. on the way to the ho*fiel+s. she ha+ begge+ without fear or scru*le# ut it ha+ been +ifferent then> she ha+ not !nown what she was +oing# "ow. it was only un+er the s*ur of actual hunger that she coul+ screw her courage to the *oint. an+ as! for a few co**ers from some woman whose face loo!e+ frien+ly#

:t was always women that she begge+ from. of course# 7he +i+ once try begging from a man22but only once# Bor the rest. she grew use+ to the life that she was lea+ing22use+ to the enormous slee*less nights. the col+. the +irt. the bore+om. an+ the horrible communism of the 7Huare# After a +ay or two she ha+ cease+ to feel e0en a flic!er of sur*rise at her situation# 7he ha+ come. li!e e0eryone about her. to acce*t this monstrous e'istence almost as though it were normal# The +a6e+. witless feeling that she ha+ !nown on the way to the ho*fiel+s ha+ come bac! u*on her more strongly than before# :t is the common effect of slee*lessness an+ still more of e'*osure# To li0e continuously in the o*en air. ne0er going un+er a roof for more than an hour or two. blurs your *erce*tions li!e a strong light glaring in your eyes or a noise +rumming in your ears# 1ou act an+ *lan an+ suffer. an+ yet all the while it is as though e0erything were a little out of focus. a little unreal# The worl+. inner an+ outer. grows +immer till it reaches almost the 0agueness of a +ream# @eanwhile. the *olice were getting to !now her by sight# On the 7Huare *eo*le are *er*etually coming an+ going. more or less unnotice+# They arri0e from nowhere with their +rums an+ their bun+les. cam* for a few +ays an+ nights. an+ then +isa**ear as mysteriously as they come# :f you stay for more than a wee! or thereabouts. the *olice will mar! you +own as an habitual beggar. an+ they will arrest you sooner or later# :t is im*ossible for them to enforce the begging laws at all regularly. but from time to time they ma!e a su++en rai+ an+ ca*ture two or three of the *eo*le they ha0e ha+ their eye on# An+ so it ha**ene+ in Dorothy's case# One e0ening she was '!noc!e+ off'. in com*any with @rs @c)lligot an+ another woman whose name she +i+ not !now# They ha+ been careless an+ begge+ off a nasty ol+ la+y with a face li!e a horse. who ha+ *rom*tly wal!e+ u* to the nearest *oliceman an+ gi0en them in charge# Dorothy +i+ not min+ 0ery much# )0erything was +reamli!e now22the face of the nasty ol+ la+y. eagerly accusing them. an+ the wal! to the station with a young *oliceman's gentle. almost +eferential han+ on her arm> an+ then the white2tile+ cell. with the fatherly sergeant han+ing her a cu* of tea through the grille an+ telling her that the magistrate woul+n't be too har+ on her if she *lea+e+ guilty# :n the cell ne't +oor @rs @c)lligot storme+ at the sergeant. calle+ him a bloo+y get. an+ then s*ent half the night in bewailing her fate# ut Dorothy ha+ no feeling sa0e 0ague relief at being in so clean an+ warm a *lace# 7he cre*t imme+iately on to the *lan! be+ that was fi'e+ li!e a shelf to the wall. too tire+ e0en to *ull the blan!ets about her. an+ sle*t for ten hours without stirring# :t was only on the following morning that she began to gras* the reality of her situation. as the lac! @aria

rolle+ bris!ly u* to Ol+ 7treet Police Court. to the tune of 'A+este fi+eles' shoute+ by fi0e +run!s insi+e#


& Dorothy ha+ wronge+ her father in su**osing that he was willing to let her star0e to +eath in the street# 4e ha+. as a matter of fact. ma+e efforts to get in touch with her. though in a roun+about an+ not 0ery hel*ful way# 4is first emotion on learning of Dorothy's +isa**earance ha+ been rage *ure an+ sim*le# At about eight in the morning. when he was beginning to won+er what ha+ become of his sha0ing water. )llen ha+ come into his be+room an+ announce+ in a 0aguely *anic2stric!en tone: 'Please. 7ir. @iss Dorothy ain't in the house. 7ir# : can't fin+ her nowhere8' '/hatA' sai+ the 5ector# '7he ain't in the house. 7ir8 An+ her be+ +on't loo! as if it ha+n't been sle*t in. neither# :t's my belief as she's GO5". 7ir8' 'Gone8' e'claime+ the 5ector. *artly sitting u* in be+# '/hat +o you mean22GO")A' '/ell. 7ir. : belie0e she's run away from 'ome. 7ir8' '5un away from home8 At T4:7 hour of the morningA An+ what about my brea!fast. *rayA' y the time the 5ector got +ownstairs22unsha0en. no hot water ha0ing a**eare+22)llen ha+ gone +own into the town to ma!e fruitless inHuiries for Dorothy# An hour *asse+. an+ she +i+ not return# /hereu*on there occurre+ a frightful. un*rece+ente+ thing22 a thing ne0er to be forgotten this si+e of the gra0e> the 5ector was oblige+ to *re*are his own brea!fast22yes. actually to mess about with a 0ulgar blac! !ettle an+ rashers of Danish bacon22with his own sacer+otal han+s# After that. of course. his heart was har+ene+ against Dorothy for

e0er# Bor the rest of the +ay he was far too busy raging o0er un*unctual meals to as! himself /41 she ha+ +isa**eare+ an+ whether any harm ha+ befallen her# The *oint was that the confoun+e+ girl ;he sai+ se0eral times 'confoun+e+ girl'. an+ came near to saying something stronger= 4AD +isa**eare+. an+ ha+ u*set the whole househol+ by +oing so# "e't +ay. howe0er. the Huestion became more urgent. because @rs 7em*rill was now *ublishing the story of the elo*ement far an+ wi+e# Of course. the 5ector +enie+ it 0iolently. but in his heart he ha+ a snea!ing sus*icion that it might be true# :t was the !in+ of thing. he now +eci+e+. that Dorothy /OC(D +o# A girl who woul+ su++enly wal! out of the house without e0en ta!ing thought for her father's brea!fast was ca*able of anything# Two +ays later the news*a*ers got hol+ of the story. an+ a nosy young re*orter came +own to <ny*e 4ill an+ began as!ing Huestions# The 5ector ma+e matters worse by angrily refusing to inter0iew the re*orter. so that @rs 7em*rill's 0ersion was the only one that got into *rint# Bor about a wee!. until the *a*ers got tire+ of Dorothy's case an+ +ro**e+ her in fa0our of a *lesiosaurus that ha+ been seen at the mouth of the Thames. the 5ector enjoye+ a horrible notoriety# 4e coul+ har+ly o*en a news*a*er without seeing some flaming hea+line about '5ector's Daughter# Burther 5e0elations'. or '5ector's Daughter# :s she in DiennaA 5e*orte+ seen in (ow2 class Cabaret'# Binally there came an article in the 7un+ay 7*yhole. which began. 'Down in a 7uffol! 5ectory a bro!en ol+ man sits staring at the wall'. an+ which was so absolutely unbearable that the 5ector consulte+ his solicitor about an action for libel# 4owe0er. the solicitor was against it> it might lea+ to a 0er+ict. he sai+. but it woul+ certainly lea+ to further *ublicity# 7o the 5ector +i+ nothing. an+ his anger against Dorothy. who ha+ brought this +isgrace u*on him. har+ene+ beyon+ *ossibility of forgi0eness# After this there came three letters from Dorothy. e'*laining what ha+ ha**ene+# Of course the 5ector ne0er really belie0e+ that Dorothy ha+ lost her memory# :t was too thin a story altogether# 4e belie0e+ that she either 4AD elo*e+ with @r /arburton. or ha+ gone off on some similar esca*a+e an+ ha+ lan+e+ herself *enniless in <ent> at any rate22this he ha+ settle+ once an+ for all. an+ no argument woul+ e0er mo0e him from it22whate0er ha+ ha**ene+ to her was entirely her own fault# The first letter he wrote was not to Dorothy herself but to his cousin Tom. the baronet# Bor a man of the 5ector's u*bringing it was secon+ nature. in any serious trouble. to turn to a rich relati0e for hel*# 4e ha+ not e'change+ a wor+ with his cousin for the last fifteen years. since they ha+ Huarrelle+ o0er a little matter of a borrowe+ fifty *oun+s> still. he wrote fairly confi+ently. as!ing 7ir Thomas to get in touch with Dorothy if it coul+ be +one. an+ to fin+ her some !in+ of job in (on+on# Bor of course. after what ha+ ha**ene+. there coul+ be no Huestion of letting her come bac! to <ny*e 4ill#

7hortly after this there came two +es*airing letters from Dorothy. telling him that she was in +anger of star0ation an+ im*loring him to sen+ her some money# The 5ector was +isturbe+# :t occurre+ to him22it was the first time in his life that he ha+ seriously consi+ere+ such a thing22that it :7 *ossible to star0e if you ha0e no money# 7o. after thin!ing it o0er for the best *art of a wee!. he sol+ out ten *oun+s' worth of shares an+ sent a cheHue for ten *oun+s to his cousin. to be !e*t for Dorothy till she a**eare+# At the same time he sent a col+ letter to Dorothy herself. telling her that she ha+ better a**ly to 7ir Thomas 4are# ut se0eral more +ays *asse+ before this letter was *oste+. because the 5ector ha+ Hualms about a++ressing a letter to ')llen @illborough'22he +imly imagine+ that it was against the law to use false names22an+. of course. he ha+ +elaye+ far too long# Dorothy was alrea+y in the streets when the letter reache+ '@ary's'# 7ir Thomas 4are was a wi+ower. a goo+2hearte+. chuc!le2hea+e+ man of about si'ty2fi0e. with an obtuse rosy face an+ curling moustaches# 4e +resse+ by *reference in chec!e+ o0ercoats an+ curly brimme+ bowler hats that were at once +ashingly smart an+ four +eca+es out of +ate# At a first glance he ga0e the im*ression of ha0ing carefully +isguise+ himself as a ca0alry major of the 'nineties. so that you coul+ har+ly loo! at him without thin!ing of +e0ille+ bones with a b an+ s. an+ the tin!le of hansom bells. an+ the Pin! 'Cn in its great 'Pitcher' +ays. an+ (ottie Collins an+ 'Tarara2 OO@2+eay'# ut his chief characteristic was an abysmal mental 0agueness# 4e was one of those *eo*le who say 'Don't you !nowA' an+ '/hat8 /hat8' an+ lose themsel0es in the mi++le of their sentences# /hen he was *u66le+ or in +ifficulties. his moustaches seeme+ to bristle forwar+. gi0ing him the a**earance of a well2 meaning but e'ce*tionally brainless *rawn# 7o far as his own inclinations went 7ir Thomas was not in the least an'ious to hel* his cousins. for Dorothy herself he ha+ ne0er seen. an+ the 5ector he loo!e+ on as a ca+ging *oor relation of the worst *ossible ty*e# ut the fact was that he ha+ ha+ just about as much of this '5ector's Daughter' business as he coul+ stan+# The accurse+ chance that Dorothy's surname was the same as his own ha+ ma+e his life a misery for the *ast fortnight. an+ he foresaw further an+ worse scan+als if she were left at large any longer# 7o. just before lea0ing (on+on for the *heasant shooting. he sent for his butler. who was also his confi+ant an+ intellectual gui+e. an+ hel+ a council of war# '(oo! here. lyth. +ammit.' sai+ 7ir Thomas *rawnishly ; lyth was the butler's name=. ': su**ose you'0e seen all this +amn' stuff in the news*a*ers. heyA This L5ector's DaughterL stuffA About this +amne+ niece of mine#' lyth was a small shar*2feature+ man with a 0oice that ne0er rose

abo0e a whis*er# :t was as nearly silent as a 0oice can be while still remaining a 0oice# Only by watching his li*s as well as listening closely coul+ you catch the whole of what he sai+# :n this case his li*s signalle+ something to the effect that Dorothy was 7ir Thomas's cousin. not his niece# '/hat. my cousin. is sheA' sai+ 7ir Thomas# '7o she is. by ,o0e8 /ell. loo! here. lyth. what : mean to say22it's about time we got hol+ of the +amn' girl an+ loc!e+ her u* somewhere# 7ee what : meanA Get hol+ of her before there's any @O5) trouble# 7he's !noc!ing about somewhere in (on+on. : belie0e# /hat's the best way of getting on her trac!A PoliceA Pri0ate +etecti0es an+ all thatA D'you thin! we coul+ manage itA' lyth's li*s registere+ +isa**ro0al# :t woul+. he seeme+ to be saying. be *ossible to trace Dorothy without calling in the *olice an+ ha0ing a lot of +isagreeable *ublicity# 'Goo+ man8' sai+ 7ir Thomas# 'Get to it. then# "e0er min+ what it costs# :'+ gi0e fifty Hui+ not to ha0e that L5ector's DaughterL business o0er again# An+ for Go+'s sa!e. lyth.' he a++e+ confi+entially. 'once you'0e got hol+ of the +amn' girl. +on't let her out of your sight# ring her bac! to the house an+ +amn' well !ee* her here# 7ee what : meanA <ee* her un+er loc! an+ !ey till : get bac!# Or else Go+ !nows what she'll be u* to ne't#' 7ir Thomas. of course. ha+ ne0er seen Dorothy. an+ it was therefore e'cusable that he shoul+ ha0e forme+ his conce*tion of her from the news*a*er re*orts# :t too! lyth about a wee! to trac! Dorothy +own# On the morning after she came out of the *olice2court cells ;they ha+ fine+ her si' shillings. an+. in +efault of *ayment. +etaine+ her for twel0e hours: @rs @c)lligot. as an ol+ offen+er. got se0en +ays=. lyth came u* to her. lifte+ his bowler hat a Huarter of an inch from his hea+. an+ inHuire+ noiselessly whether she were not @iss Dorothy 4are# At the secon+ attem*t Dorothy un+erstoo+ what he was saying. an+ a+mitte+ that she /A7 @iss Dorothy 4are> whereu*on lyth e'*laine+ that he was sent by her cousin. who was an'ious to hel* her. an+ that she was to come home with him imme+iately# Dorothy followe+ him without more wor+s sai+# :t seeme+ Hueer that her cousin shoul+ ta!e this su++en interest in her. but it was no Hueerer than the other things that ha+ been ha**ening lately# They too! the bus to 4y+e Par! Corner. lyth *aying the fares. an+ then wal!e+ to a large. e'*ensi0e2loo!ing house with shuttere+ win+ows. on the bor+erlan+ between <nightsbri+ge an+ @ayfair# They went +own some ste*s. an+ lyth *ro+uce+ a !ey an+ they went in# 7o. after an absence of something o0er si' wee!s. Dorothy returne+ to res*ectable society. by the area +oor#

7he s*ent three +ays in the em*ty house before her cousin came home# :t was a Hueer. lonely time# There were se0eral ser0ants in the house. but she saw nobo+y e'ce*t lyth. who brought her her meals an+ tal!e+ to her. noiselessly. with a mi'ture of +eference an+ +isa**ro0al# 4e coul+ not Huite ma!e u* his min+ whether she was a young la+y of family or a rescue+ @ag+alen. an+ so treate+ her as something between the two# The house ha+ that hushe+. cor*seli!e air *eculiar to houses whose master is away. so that you instincti0ely went about on ti*toe an+ !e*t the blin+s o0er the win+ows# Dorothy +i+ not e0en +are to enter any of the main rooms# 7he s*ent all the +aytime lur!ing in a +usty. forlorn room at the to* of the house which was a sort of museum of bric2a2brac +ating from &II$ onwar+s# (a+y 4are. +ea+ these fi0e years. ha+ been an in+ustrious collector of rubbish. an+ most of it ha+ been stowe+ away in this room when she +ie+# :t was a +oubtful *oint whether the Hueerest object in the room was a yellowe+ *hotogra*h of Dorothy's father. age+ eighteen but with res*ectable si+e2whis!ers. stan+ing self2consciously besi+e an 'or+inary' bicycle22this was in &III> or whether it was a little san+alwoo+ bo' labelle+ 'Piece of rea+ touche+ by Cecil 5ho+es at the City an+ 7outh Africa anHuet. ,une &I9?'# The sole boo!s in the room were some grisly school *ri6es that ha+ been won by 7ir Thomas's chil+ren22he ha+ three. the youngest being the same age as Dorothy# :t was ob0ious that the ser0ants ha+ or+ers not to let her go out of +oors# 4owe0er. her father's cheHue for ten *oun+s ha+ arri0e+. an+ with some +ifficulty she in+uce+ lyth to get it cashe+. an+. on the thir+ +ay. went out an+ bought herself some clothes# 7he bought herself a rea+y2ma+e twee+ coat an+ s!irt an+ a jersey to go with them. a hat. an+ a 0ery chea* froc! of artificial *rinte+ sil!> also a *air of *assable brown shoes. three *airs of lisle stoc!ings. a nasty. chea* little han+bag. an+ a *air of grey cotton glo0es that woul+ *ass for sue+e at a little +istance# That came to eight *oun+s ten. an+ she +are+ not s*en+ more# As for un+erclothes. night+resses. an+ han+!erchiefs. they woul+ ha0e to wait# After all. it is the clothes that show that matter# 7ir Thomas arri0e+ on the following +ay. an+ ne0er really got o0er the sur*rise that Dorothy's a**earance ga0e him# 4e ha+ been e'*ecting to see some rouge+ an+ *ow+ere+ siren who woul+ *lague him with tem*tations to which alas8 he was no longer ca*able of succumbing> an+ this countrifie+. s*insterish girl u*set all his calculations# Certain 0ague i+eas that ha+ been floating about his min+. of fin+ing her a job as a manicurist or *erha*s as a *ri0ate secretary to a boo!ie. floate+ out of it again# Brom time to time Dorothy caught him stu+ying her with a *u66le+. *rawnish eye. ob0iously won+ering how on earth such a girl coul+ e0er ha0e figure+ in an elo*ement# :t was 0ery little use. of course. telling him that she ha+ "OT elo*e+# 7he ha+ gi0en him her 0ersion

of the story. an+ he ha+ acce*te+ it with a chi0alrous 'Of course. m'+ear. of course8' an+ thereafter. in e0ery other sentence. betraye+ the fact that he +isbelie0e+ her# 7o for a cou*le of +ays nothing +efinite was +one# Dorothy continue+ her solitary life in the room u*stairs. an+ 7ir Thomas went to his club for most of his meals. an+ in the e0ening there were +iscussions of the most unutterable 0agueness# 7ir Thomas was genuinely an'ious to fin+ Dorothy a job. but he ha+ great +ifficulty in remembering what he was tal!ing about for more than a few minutes at a time# '/ell. m'+ear.' he woul+ start off. 'you'll un+erstan+. of course. that :'m 0ery !een to +o what : can for you# "aturally. being your uncle an+ all that22whatA /hat's thatA "ot your uncleA "o. : su**ose :'m not. by ,o0e8 Cousin22that's it> cousin# /ell. now. m'+ear. being your cousin22now. what was : sayingA' Then. when Dorothy ha+ gui+e+ him bac! to the subject. he woul+ throw out some such suggestion as. '/ell. now. for instance. m'+ear. how woul+ you li!e to be com*anion to an ol+ la+yA 7ome +ear ol+ girl. +on't you !now22blac! mittens an+ rheumatoi+ arthritis# Die an+ lea0e you ten thousan+ Hui+ an+ care of the *arrot# /hat. whatA' which +i+ not get them 0ery much further# Dorothy re*eate+ a number of times that she woul+ rather be a housemai+ or a *arlourmai+. but 7ir Thomas woul+ not hear of it# The 0ery i+ea awa!ene+ in him a class2instinct which he was usually too 0ague2min+e+ to remember# '/hat8' he woul+ say# 'A +ashe+ s!i00yA Girl of your u*bringingA "o. m'+ear22no. no8 Can't +o T4AT !in+ of thing. +ash it8' ut in the en+ e0erything was arrange+. an+ with sur*rising ease> not by 7ir Thomas. who was inca*able of arranging anything. but by his solicitor. whom he ha+ su++enly thought of consulting# An+ the solicitor. without e0en seeing Dorothy. was able to suggest a job for her# 7he coul+. he sai+. almost certainly fin+ a job as a schoolmistress# Of all jobs. that was the easiest to get# 7ir Thomas came home 0ery *lease+ with this suggestion. which struc! him as highly suitable# ;Pri0ately. he thought that Dorothy ha+ just the !in+ of face that a schoolmistress ought to ha0e#= ut Dorothy was momentarily aghast when she hear+ of it# 'A schoolmistress8' she sai+# ' ut : coul+n't *ossibly8 :'m sure no school woul+ gi0e me a job# There isn't a single subject : can teach#' '/hatA /hat's thatA Can't teachA Oh. +ash it8 Of course you can8 /here's the +ifficultyA' ' ut : +on't !now enough8 :'0e ne0er taught anybo+y anything. e'ce*t coo!ing to the Girl Gui+es# 1ou ha0e to be *ro*erly Hualifie+ to be a teacher#'

'Oh. nonsense8 Teaching's the easiest job in the worl+# Goo+ thic! ruler22ra* 'em o0er the !nuc!les# They'll be gla+ enough to get hol+ of a +ecently brought u* young woman to teach the youngsters their A C# That's the line for you. m'+ear22 schoolmistress# 1ou're just cut out for it#' An+ sure enough. a schoolmistress Dorothy became# The in0isible solicitor ha+ ma+e all the arrangements in less than three +ays# :t a**eare+ that a certain @rs Cree0y. who !e*t a girls' +ay school in the suburb of 7outhbri+ge. was in nee+ of an assistant. an+ was Huite willing to gi0e Dorothy the job# 4ow it ha+ all been settle+ so Huic!ly. an+ what !in+ of school it coul+ be that woul+ ta!e on a total stranger. an+ unHualifie+ at that. in the mi++le of the term. Dorothy coul+ har+ly imagine# 7he +i+ not !now. of course. that a bribe of fi0e *oun+s. miscalle+ a *remium. ha+ change+ han+s# 7o. just ten +ays after her arrest for begging. Dorothy set out for 5ingwoo+ 4ouse Aca+emy. rough 5oa+. 7outhbri+ge. with a small trun! +ecently full of clothes an+ four *oun+s ten in her *urse22 for 7ir Thomas ha+ ma+e her a *resent of ten *oun+s# /hen she thought of the ease with which this job ha+ been foun+ for her. an+ then of the miserable struggles of three wee!s ago. the contrast ama6e+ her# :t brought home to her. as ne0er before. the mysterious *ower of money# :n fact. it remin+e+ her of a fa0ourite saying of @r /arburton's. that if you too! & Corinthians. cha*ter thirteen. an+ in e0ery 0erse wrote 'money' instea+ of 'charity'. the cha*ter ha+ ten times as much meaning as before#

% 7outhbri+ge was a re*ellent suburb ten or a +o6en miles from (on+on# rough 5oa+ lay somewhere at the heart of it. ami+ labyrinths of meanly +ecent streets. all so in+istinguishably ali!e. with their ran!s of semi2+etache+ houses. their *ri0et an+ laurel he+ges an+ *lots of ailing shrubs at the crossroa+s. that you coul+ lose yourself there almost as easily as in a ra6ilian forest# "ot only the houses themsel0es. but e0en their names were the same o0er an+ o0er again# 5ea+ing the names on the gates as you came u* rough 5oa+. you were conscious of being haunte+ by some half2remembere+ *assage of *oetry> an+ when you *ause+ to i+entify it. you reali6e+ that it was the first two lines of (yci+as# 5ingwoo+ 4ouse was a +ar!2loo!ing. semi2+etache+ house of yellow bric!. three storeys high. an+ its lower win+ows were hi++en from

the roa+ by ragge+ an+ +usty laurels# Abo0e the laurels. on the front of the house. was a boar+ inscribe+ in fa+e+ gol+ letters: 5:"G/OOD 4OC7) ACAD)@1 BO5 G:5(7 Ages J to &I @usic an+ Dancing Taught A**ly within for Pros*ectus )+ge to e+ge with this boar+. on the other half of the house. was another boar+ which rea+: 5C74:"GTO" G5A"G) 4:G4 7C4OO( BO5 O17 Ages F to &F oo!2!ee*ing an+ Commercial Arithmetic a 7*eciality A**ly within for Pros*ectus The +istrict *ullulate+ with small *ri0ate schools> there were four of them in rough 5oa+ alone# @rs Cree0y. the Princi*al of 5ingwoo+ 4ouse. an+ @r oulger. the Princi*al of 5ushington Grange. were in a state of warfare. though their interests in no way clashe+ with one another# "obo+y !new what the feu+ was about. not e0en @rs Cree0y or @r oulger themsel0es> it was a feu+ that they ha+ inherite+ from earlier *ro*rietors of the two schools# :n the mornings after brea!fast they woul+ stal! u* an+ +own their res*ecti0e bac! gar+ens. besi+e the 0ery low wall that se*arate+ them. *reten+ing not to see one another an+ grinning with hatre+# Dorothy's heart san! at the sight of 5ingwoo+ 4ouse# 7he ha+ not been e'*ecting anything 0ery magnificent or attracti0e. but she ha+ e'*ecte+ something a little better than this mean. gloomy house. not one of whose win+ows was lighte+. though it was after I o'cloc! in the e0ening# 7he !noc!e+ at the +oor. an+ it was o*ene+ by a woman. tall an+ gaunt2loo!ing in the +ar! hallway. whom Dorothy too! for a ser0ant. but who was actually @rs Cree0y herself# /ithout a wor+. e'ce*t to inHuire Dorothy's name. the woman le+ the way u* some +ar! stairs to a twilit. fireless +rawing2room. where she turne+ u* a *in*oint of gas. re0ealing a blac! *iano. stuffe+ horsehair chairs. an+ a few yellowe+. ghostly *hotos on the walls# @rs Cree0y was a woman somewhere in her forties. lean. har+. an+

angular. with abru*t +eci+e+ mo0ements that in+icate+ a strong will an+ *robably a 0icious tem*er# Though she was not in the least +irty or unti+y there was something +iscoloure+ about her whole a**earance. as though she li0e+ all her life in a ba+ light> an+ the e'*ression of her mouth. sullen an+ ill2sha*e+ with the lower li* turne+ +own. recalle+ that of a toa+# 7he s*o!e in a shar*. comman+ing 0oice. with a ba+ accent an+ occasional 0ulgar turns of s*eech# 1ou coul+ tell her at a glance for a *erson who !new e'actly what she wante+. an+ woul+ gras* it as ruthlessly as any machine> not a bully e'actly22you coul+ somehow infer from her a**earance that she woul+ not ta!e enough interest in you to want to bully you22but a *erson who woul+ ma!e use of you an+ then throw you asi+e with no more com*unction than if you ha+ been a worn2out scrubbing2brush# @rs Cree0y +i+ not waste any wor+s on greetings# 7he motione+ Dorothy to a chair. with the air rather of comman+ing than of in0iting her to sir +own. an+ then sat +own herself. with her han+s clas*e+ on her s!inny forearms# ': ho*e you an+ me are going to get on well together. @iss @illborough.' she began in her *enetrating. subhectoring 0oice# ;On the a+0ice of 7ir Thomas's e0erwise solicitor. Dorothy ha+ stuc! to the name of )llen @illborough#= 'An+ : ho*e :'m not going to ha0e the same nasty business with you as : ha+ with my last two assistants# 1ou say you ha0en't ha+ an e'*erience of teaching before thisA' '"ot in a school.' sai+ Dorothy22there ha+ been a tarra+i++le in her letter of intro+uction. to the effect that she ha+ ha+ e'*erience of '*ri0ate teaching'# @rs Cree0y loo!e+ Dorothy o0er as though won+ering whether to in+uct her into the inner secrets of school2teaching. an+ then a**eare+ to +eci+e against it# '/ell. we shall see.' she sai+# ': must say.' she a++e+ com*lainingly. 'it's not easy to get hol+ of goo+ har+wor!ing assistants nowa+ays# 1ou gi0e them goo+ wages an+ goo+ treatment. an+ you get no than!s for it# The last one : ha+22the one :'0e just ha+ to get ri+ of22@iss 7trong. wasn't so ba+ so far as the teaching *art went> in fact. she was a #A#. an+ : +on't !now what you coul+ ha0e better than a #A#. unless it's an @#A# 1ou +on't ha**en to be a #A# or an @#A#. +o you. @iss @illboroughA' '"o. :'m afrai+ not.' sai+ Dorothy# '/ell. that's a *ity# :t loo!s so much better on the *ros*ectus if you'0e got a few letters after your name# /ell8 Perha*s it +oesn't matter# : +on't su**ose many of OC5 *arents'+ !now what

#A# stan+s for> an+ they aren't so !een on showing their ignorance# : su**ose you can tal! Brench. of courseA' '/ell22:'0e learnt Brench#' 'Oh. that's all right. then# ,ust so as we can *ut it on the *ros*ectus# /ell. now. to come bac! to what : was saying. @iss 7trong was all right as a teacher. but she +i+n't come u* to my i+eas on what : call the @O5A( 7:D)# /e're 0ery strong on the moral si+e at 5ingwoo+ 4ouse# :t's what counts most with the *arents. you'll fin+# An+ the one before @iss 7trong. @iss rewer22 well. she ha+ what : call a wea! nature# 1ou +on't get on with girls if you'0e got a wea! nature# The en+ of it all was that one morning one little girl cre*t u* to the +es! with a bo' of matches an+ set fire to @iss rewer's s!irt# Of course : wasn't going to !ee* her after that# :n fact : ha+ her out of the house the same afternoon22an+ : +i+n't gi0e her any refs either. : can tell you8' '1ou mean you e'*elle+ the girl who +i+ itA' sai+ Dorothy. mystifie+# '/hatA The G:5(A "ot li!ely8 1ou +on't su**ose :'+ go an+ turn fees away from my +oor. +o youA : mean : got ri+ of @iss rewer. not the G:5(# :t's no goo+ ha0ing teachers who let the girls get saucy with them# /e'0e got twenty2one in the class just at *resent. an+ you'll fin+ they nee+ a strong han+ to !ee* them +own#' '1ou +on't teach yourselfA' sai+ Dorothy# 'Oh +ear. no8' sai+ @rs Cree0y almost contem*tuously# ':'0e got a lot too much on my han+s to waste my time T)AC4:"G# There's the house to loo! after. an+ se0en of the chil+ren stay to +inner22:'0e only a +aily woman at *resent# esi+es. it ta!es me all my time getting the fees out of the *arents# After all. the fees A5) what matter. aren't theyA' '1es# : su**ose so.' sai+ Dorothy# '/ell. we'+ better settle about your wages.' continue+ @rs Cree0y# ':n term time :'ll gi0e you your boar+ an+ lo+ging an+ ten shillings a wee!> in the holi+ays it'll just be your boar+ an+ lo+ging# 1ou can ha0e the use of the co**er in the !itchen for your laun+ering. an+ : light the geyser for hot baths e0ery 7atur+ay night> or at least @O7T 7atur+ay nights# 1ou can't ha0e the use of this room we're in now. because it's my rece*tion2room. an+ : +on't want you to go wasting the gas in your be+room# ut you can ha0e the use of the morning2room whene0er you want it#' 'Than! you.' sai+ Dorothy#

'/ell. : shoul+ thin! that'll be about all# : e'*ect you're feeling rea+y for be+# 1ou'll ha0e ha+ your su**er long ago. of courseA' This was clearly inten+e+ to mean that Dorothy was not going to get any foo+ tonight. so she answere+ 1es. untruthfully. an+ the con0ersation was at an en+# That was always @rs Cree0y's way22she ne0er !e*t you tal!ing an instant longer than was necessary# 4er con0ersation was so 0ery +efinite. so e'actly to the *oint. that it was not really con0ersation at all# 5ather. it was the s!eleton of con0ersation> li!e the +ialogue in a ba+ly written no0el where e0eryone tal!s a little too much in character# ut in+ee+. in the *ro*er sense of the wor+ she +i+ not TA(<> she merely sai+. in her brief shrewish way. whate0er it was necessary to say. an+ then got ri+ of you as *rom*tly as *ossible# 7he now showe+ Dorothy along the *assage to her be+room. an+ lighte+ a gas2jet no bigger than an acorn. re0ealing a gaunt be+room with a narrow white2Huilte+ be+. a ric!ety war+robe. one chair an+ a wash2han+2stan+ with a frigi+ white china basin an+ ewer# :t was 0ery li!e the be+rooms in seasi+e lo+ging houses. but it lac!e+ the one thing that gi0es such rooms their air of homeliness an+ +ecency22the te't o0er the be+# 'This is your room.' @rs Cree0y sai+> 'an+ : just ho*e you'll !ee* it a bit ti+ier than what @iss 7trong use+ to# An+ +on't go burning the gas half the night. *lease. because : can tell what time you turn it off by the crac! un+er the +oor#' /ith this *arting salutation she left Dorothy to herself# The room was +ismally col+> in+ee+. the whole house ha+ a +am*. chilly feeling. as though fires were rarely lighte+ in it# Dorothy got into be+ as Huic!ly as *ossible. feeling be+ to be the warmest *lace# On to* of the war+robe. when she was *utting her clothes away. she foun+ a car+boar+ bo' containing no less than nine em*ty whis!y bottles22relics. *resumably. of @iss 7trong's wea!ness on the @O5A( 7:D)# At eight in the morning Dorothy went +ownstairs an+ foun+ @rs Cree0y alrea+y at brea!fast in what she calle+ the 'morning2room'# This was a smallish room a+joining the !itchen. an+ it ha+ starte+ life as the scullery> but @rs Cree0y ha+ con0erte+ it into the 'morning2room' by the sim*le *rocess of remo0ing the sin! an+ co**er into the !itchen# The brea!fast table. co0ere+ with a cloth of harsh te'ture. was 0ery large an+ forbi++ingly bare# C* at @rs Cree0y's en+ were a tray with a 0ery small tea*ot an+ two cu*s. a *late on which were two leathery frie+ eggs. an+ a +ish of marmala+e> in the mi++le. just within Dorothy's reach if she stretche+. was a *late of brea+ an+ butter> an+ besi+e her *late22 as though it were the only thing she coul+ be truste+ with22a cruet stan+ with some +rie+2u*. clotte+ stuff insi+e the bottles#

'Goo+ morning. @iss @illborough.' sai+ @rs Cree0y# ':t +oesn't matter this morning. as this is the first +ay. but just remember another time that : want you +own here in time to hel* me get brea!fast rea+y#' ':'m so sorry.' sai+ Dorothy# ': ho*e you're fon+ of frie+ eggs for your brea!fastA' went on @rs Cree0y# Dorothy hastene+ to assure her that she was 0ery fon+ of frie+ eggs# '/ell. that's a goo+ thing. because you'll always ha0e to ha0e the same as what : ha0e# 7o : ho*e you're not going to be what : call DA:"T1 about your foo+# : always thin!.' she a++e+. *ic!ing u* her !nife an+ for!. 'that a frie+ egg tastes a lot better if you cut it well u* before you eat it#' 7he slice+ the two eggs into thin stri*s. an+ then ser0e+ them in such a way that Dorothy recei0e+ about two2thir+s of an egg# /ith some +ifficulty Dorothy s*un out her fraction of egg so as to ma!e half a +o6en mouthfuls of it. an+ then. when she ha+ ta!en a slice of brea+ an+ butter. she coul+ not hel* glancing ho*efully in the +irection of the +ish of marmala+e# ut @rs Cree0y was sitting with her lean left arm22not e'actly 5OC"D the marmala+e. but in a *rotecti0e *osition on its left flan!. as though she sus*ecte+ that Dorothy was going to ma!e an attac! u*on it# Dorothy's ner0e faile+ her. an+ she ha+ no marmala+e that morning22nor. in+ee+. for many mornings to come# @rs Cree0y +i+ not s*ea! again +uring brea!fast. but *resently the soun+ of feet on the gra0el outsi+e. an+ of sHuea!y 0oices in the schoolroom. announce+ that the girls were beginning to arri0e# They came in by a si+e2+oor that was left o*en for them# @rs Cree0y got u* from the table an+ bange+ the brea!fast things together on the tray# 7he was one of those women who can ne0er mo0e anything without banging it about> she was as full of thum*s an+ ra*s as a *oltergeist# Dorothy carrie+ the tray into the !itchen. an+ when she returne+ @rs Cree0y *ro+uce+ a *enny noteboo! from a +rawer in the +resser an+ lai+ it o*en on the table# ',ust ta!e a loo! at this.' she sai+# '4ere's a list of the girls' names that :'0e got rea+y for you# : shall want you to !now the whole lot of them by this e0ening#' 7he wette+ her thumb an+ turne+ o0er three *ages: '"ow. +o you see these three lists hereA' '1es.' sai+ Dorothy# '/ell. you'll just ha0e to learn those three lists by heart. an+

ma!e sure you !now what girls are on which# ecause : +on't want you to go thin!ing that all the girls are to be treate+ ali!e# They aren't22not by a long way. they aren't# Different girls. +ifferent treatment22that's my system# "ow. +o you see this lot on the first *ageA' '1es.' sai+ Dorothy again# '/ell. the *arents of that lot are what : call the goo+ *ayers# 1ou !now what : mean by thatA They're the ones that *ay cash on the nail an+ no jibbing at an e'tra half2guinea or so now an+ again# 1ou're not to smac! any of that lot. not on A"1 account# This lot o0er here are the @)D:C@ *ayers# Their *arents +o *ay u* sooner or later. but you +on't get the money out of them without you worry them for it night an+ +ay# 1ou can smac! that lot if they get saucy. but +on't go an+ lea0e a mar! their *arents can see# :f you'll ta!e @1 a+0ice. the best thing with chil+ren is to twist their ears# 4a0e you e0er trie+ thatA' '"o.' sai+ Dorothy# '/ell. : fin+ it answers better than anything# :t +oesn't lea0e a mar!. an+ the chil+ren can't bear it# "ow these three o0er here are the AD *ayers# Their fathers are two terms behin+ alrea+y. an+ :'m thin!ing of a solicitor's letter# : +on't care /4AT you +o to that lot22well. short of a *olice2court case. naturally# "ow. shall : ta!e you in an+ start you with the girlsA 1ou'+ better bring that boo! along with you. an+ just !ee* your eye on it all the time so as there'll be no mista!es#' They went into the schoolroom# :t was a largish room. with grey2 *a*ere+ walls that were ma+e yet greyer by the +ullness of the light. for the hea0y laurel bushes outsi+e cho!e+ the win+ows. an+ no +irect ray of the sun e0er *enetrate+ into the room# There was a teacher's +es! by the em*ty fire*lace. an+ there were a +o6en small +ouble +es!s. a light blac!boar+. an+. on the mantel*iece. a blac! cloc! that loo!e+ li!e a miniature mausoleum> but there were no ma*s. no *ictures. nor e0en. as far as Dorothy coul+ see. any boo!s# The sole objects in the room that coul+ be calle+ ornamental were two sheets of blac! *a*er *inne+ to the walls. with writing on them in chal! in beautiful co**er*late# On one was '7*eech is 7il0er# 7ilence is Gol+en'. an+ on the other 'Punctuality is the Politeness of Princes'# The girls. twenty2one of them. were alrea+y sitting at their +es!s# They ha+ grown 0ery silent when they hear+ footste*s a**roaching. an+ as @rs Cree0y came in they seeme+ to shrin! +own in their *laces li!e *artri+ge chic!s when a haw! is soaring# Bor the most *art they were +ull2loo!ing. lethargic chil+ren with ba+ com*le'ions. an+ a+enoi+s seeme+ to be remar!ably common among them# The el+est of

them might ha0e been fifteen years ol+. the youngest was har+ly more than a baby# The school ha+ no uniform. an+ one or two of the chil+ren were 0erging on ragge+ness# '7tan+ u*. girls.' sai+ @rs Cree0y as she reache+ the teacher's +es!# '/e'll start off with the morning *rayer#' The girls stoo+ u*. clas*e+ their han+s in front of them. an+ shut their eyes# They re*eate+ the *rayer in unison. in wea! *i*ing 0oices. @rs Cree0y lea+ing them. her shar* eyes +arting o0er them all the while to see that they were atten+ing# 'Almighty an+ e0erlasting Bather.' they *i*e+. 'we beseech Thee that our stu+ies this +ay may be grace+ by Thy +i0ine gui+ance# @a!e us to con+uct oursel0es Huietly an+ obe+iently> loo! +own u*on our school an+ ma!e it to *ros*er. so that it may grow in numbers an+ be a goo+ e'am*le to the neighbourhoo+ an+ not a +isgrace li!e some schools of which Thou !nowest. O (or+# @a!e us. we beseech Thee. O (or+. in+ustrious. *unctual. an+ la+yli!e. an+ worthy in all *ossible res*ects to wal! in Thy ways: for ,esus Christ's sa!e. our (or+. Amen#' This *rayer was of @rs Cree0y's own com*osition# /hen they ha+ finishe+ it. the girls re*eate+ the (or+'s Prayer. an+ then sat +own# '"ow. girls.' sai+ @rs Cree0y. 'this is your new teacher. @iss @illborough# As you !now. @iss 7trong ha+ to lea0e us all of a su++en after she was ta!en so ba+ in the mi++le of the arithmetic lesson> an+ : can tell you :'0e ha+ a har+ wee! of it loo!ing for a new teacher# : ha+ se0enty2three a**lications before : too! on @iss @illborough. an+ : ha+ to refuse them all because their Hualifications weren't high enough# ,ust you remember an+ tell your *arents that. all of you22se0enty2three a**lications8 /ell. @iss @illborough is going to ta!e you in (atin. Brench. history. geogra*hy. mathematics. )nglish literature an+ com*osition. s*elling. grammar. han+writing. an+ freehan+ +rawing> an+ @r ooth will ta!e you in chemistry as usual on Thurs+ay afternoons# "ow. what's the first lesson on your time2table this morningA' '4istory. @a'am.' *i*e+ one or two 0oices# 'Dery well# : e'*ect @iss @illborough'll start off by as!ing you a few Huestions about the history you'0e been learning# 7o just you +o your best. all of you. an+ let her see that all the trouble we'0e ta!en o0er you hasn't been waste+# 1ou'll fin+ they can be Huite a shar* lot of girls when they try. @iss @illborough#' ':'m sure they are.' sai+ Dorothy#

'/ell. :'ll be lea0ing you. then# An+ just you beha0e yoursel0es. girls8 Don't you get trying it on with @iss @illborough li!e you +i+ with @iss rewer. because : warn you she won't stan+ it# :f : hear any noise coming from this room. there'll be trouble for somebo+y#' 7he ga0e a glance roun+ which inclu+e+ Dorothy an+ in+ee+ suggeste+ that Dorothy woul+ *robably be the 'somebo+y' referre+ to. an+ +e*arte+# Dorothy face+ the class# 7he was not afrai+ of them22she was too use+ to +ealing with chil+ren e0er to be afrai+ of them22but she +i+ feel a momentary Hualm# The sense of being an im*ostor ;what teacher has not felt it at timesA= was hea0y u*on her# :t su++enly occurre+ to her. what she ha+ only been +imly aware of before. that she ha+ ta!en this teaching job un+er flagrantly false *retences. without ha0ing any !in+ of Hualification for it# The subject she was now su**ose+ to be teaching was history. an+. li!e most 'e+ucate+' *eo*le. she !new 0irtually no history# 4ow awful. she thought. if it turne+ out that these girls !new more history than she +i+8 7he sai+ tentati0ely: '/hat *erio+ e'actly were you +oing with @iss 7trongA' "obo+y answere+# Dorothy saw the ol+er girls e'changing glances. as though as!ing one another whether it was safe to say anything. an+ finally +eci+ing not to commit themsel0es# '/ell. whereabouts ha+ you got toA' she sai+. won+ering whether *erha*s the wor+ '*erio+' was too much for them# Again no answer# '/ell. now. surely you remember 7O@)T4:"G about itA Tell me the names of some of the *eo*le you were learning about in your last history lesson#' @ore glances were e'change+. an+ a 0ery *lain little girl in the front row. in a brown jum*er an+ s!irt. with her hair screwe+ into two tight *igtails. remar!e+ clou+ily. ':t was about the Ancient ritons#' At this two other girls too! courage. an+ answere+ simultaneously# One of them sai+. 'Columbus'. an+ the other '"a*oleon'# 7omehow. after that. Dorothy seeme+ to see her way more clearly# :t was ob0ious that instea+ of being uncomfortably !nowle+geable as she ha+ feare+. the class !new as nearly as *ossible no history at all# /ith this +isco0ery her stage2fright 0anishe+# 7he gras*e+ that before she coul+ +o anything else with them it was necessary to fin+ out what. if anything. these chil+ren !new# 7o. instea+ of

following the time2table. she s*ent the rest of the morning in Huestioning the entire class on each subject in turn> when she ha+ finishe+ with history ;an+ it too! about fi0e minutes to get to the bottom of their historical !nowle+ge= she trie+ them with geogra*hy. with )nglish grammar. with Brench. with arithmetic22with e0erything. in fact. that they were su**ose+ to ha0e learne+# y twel0e o'cloc! she ha+ *lumbe+. though not actually e'*lore+. the frightful abysses of their ignorance# Bor they !new nothing. absolutely nothing22nothing. nothing. nothing. li!e the Da+aists# :t was a**alling that e0en chil+ren coul+ be so ignorant# There were only two girls in the class who !new whether the earth went roun+ the sun or the sun roun+ the earth. an+ not a single one of them coul+ tell Dorothy who was the last !ing before George D. or who wrote 4amlet. or what was meant by a 0ulgar fraction. or which ocean you crosse+ to get to America. the Atlantic or the Pacific# An+ the big girls of fifteen were not much better than the tiny infants of eight. e'ce*t that the former coul+ at least rea+ consecuti0ely an+ write neat co**er*late# That was the one thing that nearly all of the ol+er girls coul+ +o22they coul+ write neatly# @rs Cree0y ha+ seen to that# An+ of course. here an+ there in the mi+st of their ignorance. there were small. +isconnecte+ islets of !nowle+ge> for e'am*le. some o++ stan6as from '*ieces of *oetry' that they ha+ learne+ by heart. an+ a few Ollen+orffian Brench sentences such as 'Passe62moi le beurre. s'il 0ous *lait' an+ '(e fils +u jar+inier a *er+u son cha*eau'. which they a**eare+ to ha0e learne+ as a *arrot learns 'Pretty Poll'# As for their arithmetic. it was a little better than the other subjects# @ost of them !new how to a++ an+ subtract. about half of them ha+ some notion of how to multi*ly. an+ there were e0en three or four who ha+ struggle+ as far as long +i0ision# ut that was the utmost limit of their !nowle+ge> an+ beyon+. in e0ery +irection. lay utter. im*enetrable night# @oreo0er. not only +i+ they !now nothing. but they were so unuse+ to being Huestione+ that it was often +ifficult to get answers out of them at all# :t was ob0ious that whate0er they !new they ha+ learne+ in an entirely mechanical manner. an+ they coul+ only ga*e in a sort of +ull bewil+erment when as!e+ to thin! for themsel0es# 4owe0er. they +i+ not seem unwilling. an+ e0i+ently they ha+ ma+e u* their min+s to be 'goo+'22chil+ren are always 'goo+' with a new teacher> an+ Dorothy *ersiste+. an+ by +egrees the chil+ren grew. or seeme+ to grow. a sha+e less lum*ish# 7he began to *ic! u*. from the answers they ga0e her. a fairly accurate notion of what @iss 7trong's regime ha+ been li!e# :t a**eare+ that. though theoretically they ha+ learne+ all the usual school subjects. the only ones that ha+ been at all seriously taught were han+writing an+ arithmetic# @rs Cree0y was *articularly !een on han+writing# An+ besi+es this they ha+ s*ent great

Huantities of time22an hour or two out of e0ery +ay. it seeme+22in +ru+ging through a +rea+ful routine calle+ 'co*ies#' 'Co*ies' meant co*ying things out of te'tboo!s or off the blac!boar+# @iss 7trong woul+ write u*. for e'am*le. some sententious little 'essay' ;there was an essay entitle+ '7*ring' which recurre+ in all the ol+er girls' boo!s. an+ which began. '"ow. when girlish A*ril is tri**ing through the lan+. when the bir+s are chanting gaily on the boughs an+ the +ainty flowerets bursting from their bu+s'. etc#. etc#=. an+ the girls woul+ ma!e fair co*ies of it in their co*yboo!s> an+ the *arents. to whom the co*yboo!s were shown from time to time. were no +oubt suitably im*resse+# Dorothy began to gras* that e0erything that the girls ha+ been taught was in reality aime+ at the *arents# 4ence the 'co*ies'. the insistence on han+writing. an+ the *arroting of rea+y2ma+e Brench *hrases> they were chea* an+ easy ways of creating an im*ression# @eanwhile. the little girls at the bottom of the class seeme+ barely able to rea+ an+ write. an+ one of them22 her name was @a0is /illiams. an+ she was a rather sinister2loo!ing chil+ of ele0en. with eyes too far a*art22coul+ not e0en count# This chil+ seeme+ to ha0e +one nothing at all +uring the *ast term an+ a half e'ce*t to write *othoo!s# 7he ha+ Huite a *ile of boo!s fille+ with *othoo!s22*age after *age of *othoo!s. loo*ing on an+ on li!e the mangro0e roots in some tro*ical swam*# Dorothy trie+ not to hurt the chil+ren's feelings by e'claiming at their ignorance. but in her heart she was ama6e+ an+ horrifie+# 7he ha+ not !nown that schools of this +escri*tion still e'iste+ in the ci0ili6e+ worl+# The whole atmos*here of the *lace was so curiously antiHuate+22so reminiscent of those +reary little *ri0ate schools that you rea+ about in Dictorian no0els# As for the few te'tboo!s that the class *ossesse+. you coul+ har+ly loo! at them without feeling as though you ha+ ste**e+ bac! into the mi+ nineteenth century# There were only three te'tboo!s of which each chil+ ha+ a co*y# One was a shilling arithmetic. *re Great /ar but fairly ser0iceable. an+ another was a horri+ little boo! calle+ The 4un+re+ Page 4istory of ritain22a nasty little +uo+ecimo boo! with a gritty brown co0er. an+. for frontis*iece. a *ortrait of oa+icea with a Cnion ,ac! +ra*e+ o0er the front of her chariot# Dorothy o*ene+ this boo! at ran+om. came to *age 9&. an+ rea+: After the Brench 5e0olution was o0er. the self2style+ )m*eror "a*oleon uona*arte attem*te+ to set u* his sway. but though he won a few 0ictories against continental troo*s. he soon foun+ that in the 'thin re+ line' he ha+ more than met his match# Conclusions were trie+ u*on the fiel+ of /aterloo. where J$.$$$ ritons *ut to flight ?$.$$$ Brenchmen22for the Prussians. our allies. arri0e+ too late for the battle# /ith a ringing ritish cheer our men charge+ +own the slo*e an+ the enemy bro!e an+ fle+# /e now come on to the great 5eform ill of &IE%. the first of those beneficent reforms which ha0e ma+e ritish liberty what it is an+ mar!e+ us off from

the less fortunate nations Netc#. etc#O# # # # The +ate of the boo! was &III# Dorothy. who ha+ ne0er seen a history boo! of this +escri*tion before. e'amine+ it with a feeling a**roaching horror# There was also an e'traor+inary little 'rea+er'. +ate+ &IFE# :t consiste+ mostly of bits out of Benimore Coo*er. Dr /atts. an+ (or+ Tennyson. an+ at the en+ there were the Hueerest little '"ature "otes' with woo+cut illustrations# There woul+ be a woo+cut of an ele*hant. an+ un+erneath in small *rint: 'The ele*hant is a sagacious beast# 4e rejoices in the sha+e of the Palm Trees. an+ though stronger than si' horses he will allow a little chil+ to lea+ him# 4is foo+ is ananas#' An+ so on to the /hale. the Qebra. an+ Porcu*ine. an+ the 7*otte+ Camelo*ar+# There were also. in the teacher's +es!. a co*y of eautiful ,oe. a forlorn boo! calle+ Pee*s at Distant (an+s. an+ a Brench *hrase2 boo! +ate+ &I9&# :t was calle+ All you will nee+ on your Parisian Tri*. an+ the first *hrase gi0en was '(ace my stays. but not too tightly'# :n the whole room there was not such a thing as an atlas or a set of geometrical instruments# At ele0en there was a brea! of ten minutes. an+ some of the girls *laye+ +ull little games at noughts an+ crosses or Huarrelle+ o0er *encil2cases. an+ a few who ha+ got o0er their first shyness clustere+ roun+ Dorothy's +es! an+ tal!e+ to her# They tol+ her some more about @iss 7trong an+ her metho+s of teaching. an+ how she use+ to twist their ears when they ma+e blots on their co*yboo!s# :t a**eare+ that @iss 7trong ha+ been a 0ery strict teacher e'ce*t when she was 'ta!en ba+'. which ha**ene+ about twice a wee!# An+ when she was ta!en ba+ she use+ to +rin! some me+icine out of a little brown bottle. an+ after +rin!ing it she woul+ grow Huite jolly for a while an+ tal! to them about her brother in Cana+a# ut on her last +ay22the time when she was ta!en so ba+ +uring the arithmetic lesson22the me+icine seeme+ to ma!e her worse than e0er. because she ha+ no sooner +run! it than she began sin!ing an+ fell across a +es!. an+ @rs Cree0y ha+ to carry her out of the room# After the brea! there was another *erio+ of three Huarters of an hour. an+ then school en+e+ for the morning# Dorothy felt stiff an+ tire+ after three hours in the chilly but stuffy room. an+ she woul+ ha0e li!e+ to go out of +oors for a breath of fresh air. but @rs Cree0y ha+ tol+ her beforehan+ that she must come an+ hel* get +inner rea+y# The girls who li0e+ near the school mostly went home for +inner. but there were se0en who ha+ +inner in the 'morning2 room' at ten*ence a time# :t was an uncomfortable meal. an+ *asse+ in almost com*lete silence. for the girls were frightene+ to tal! un+er @rs Cree0y's eye# The +inner was stewe+ scrag en+ of mutton. an+ @rs Cree0y showe+ e'traor+inary +e'terity in ser0ing the *ieces of lean to the 'goo+ *ayers' an+ the *ieces of fat to the 'me+ium

*ayers'# As for the three 'ba+ *ayers'. they ate a shameface+ lunch out of *a*er bags in the school2room# 7chool began again at two o'cloc!# Alrea+y. after only one morning's teaching. Dorothy went bac! to her wor! with secret shrin!ing an+ +rea+# 7he was beginning to reali6e what her life woul+ be li!e. +ay after +ay an+ wee! after wee!. in that sunless room. trying to +ri0e the ru+iments of !nowle+ge into unwilling brats# ut when she ha+ assemble+ the girls an+ calle+ their names o0er. one of them. a little *ea!y chil+ with mouse2coloure+ hair. calle+ (aura Birth. came u* to her +es! an+ *resente+ her with a *athetic bunch of browny2yellow chrysanthemums. 'from all of us'# The girls ha+ ta!en a li!ing to Dorothy. an+ ha+ subscribe+ four*ence among themsel0es. to buy her a bunch of flowers# 7omething stirre+ in Dorothy's heart as she too! the ugly flowers# 7he loo!e+ with more seeing eyes than before at the anaemic faces an+ shabby clothes of the chil+ren. an+ was all of a su++en horribly ashame+ to thin! that in the morning she ha+ loo!e+ at them with in+ifference. almost with +isli!e# "ow. a *rofoun+ *ity too! *ossession of her# The *oor chil+ren. the *oor chil+ren8 4ow they ha+ been stunte+ an+ maltreate+8 An+ with it all they ha+ retaine+ the chil+ish gentleness that coul+ ma!e them sHuan+er their few *ennies on flowers for their teacher# 7he felt Huite +ifferently towar+s her job from that moment onwar+s# A feeling of loyalty an+ affection ha+ s*rung u* in her heart# This school was 4)5 school> she woul+ wor! for it an+ be *rou+ of it. an+ ma!e e0ery effort to turn it from a *lace of bon+age into a *lace human an+ +ecent# Probably it was 0ery little that she coul+ +o# 7he was so ine'*erience+ an+ unfitte+ for her job that she must e+ucate herself before she coul+ e0en begin to e+ucate anybo+y else# 7till. she woul+ +o her best> she woul+ +o whate0er willingness an+ energy coul+ +o to rescue these chil+ren from the horrible +ar!ness in which they ha+ been !e*t#

E During the ne't few wee!s there were two things that occu*ie+ Dorothy to the e'clusion of all others# One. getting her class into some !in+ of or+er> the other. establishing a concor+at with @rs Cree0y# The secon+ of the two was by a great +eal the more +ifficult# @rs Cree0y's house was as 0ile a house to li0e in as one coul+ *ossibly imagine# :t was always more or less col+. there was not a comfortable chair in it from to* to bottom. an+ the foo+ was

+isgusting# Teaching is har+er wor! than it loo!s. an+ a teacher nee+s goo+ foo+ to !ee* him going# :t was horribly +is*iriting to ha0e to wor! on a +iet of tasteless mutton stews. +am* boile+ *otatoes full of little blac! eyeholes. watery rice *u++ings. brea+ an+ scra*e. an+ wea! tea22an+ ne0er enough e0en of these# @rs Cree0y. who was mean enough to ta!e a *leasure in s!im*ing e0en her own foo+. ate much the same meals as Dorothy. but she always ha+ the lion's share of them# )0ery morning at brea!fast the two frie+ eggs were slice+ u* an+ uneHually *artitione+. an+ the +ish of marmala+e remaine+ for e0er sacrosanct# Dorothy grew hungrier an+ hungrier as the term went on# On the two e0enings a wee! when she manage+ to get out of +oors she +i**e+ into her +win+ling store of money an+ bought slabs of *lain chocolate. which she ate in the +ee*est secrecy22for @rs Cree0y. though she star0e+ Dorothy more or less intentionally. woul+ ha0e been mortally offen+e+ if she ha+ !nown that she bought foo+ for herself# The worst thing about Dorothy's *osition was that she ha+ no *ri0acy an+ 0ery little time that she coul+ call her own# Once school was o0er for the +ay her only refuge was the 'morning2room'. where she was un+er @rs Cree0y's eye. an+ @rs Cree0y's lea+ing i+ea was that Dorothy must ne0er be left in *eace for ten minutes together# 7he ha+ ta!en it into her hea+. or *reten+e+ to +o so. that Dorothy was an i+le *erson who nee+e+ !ee*ing u* to the mar!# An+ so it was always. '/ell. @iss @illborough. you +on't seem to ha0e 0ery much to +o this e0ening. +o youA Aren't there some e'ercise boo!s that want correctingA Or why +on't you get your nee+le an+ +o a bit of sewingA :'m sure P:P coul+n't bear to just sit in my chair +oing nothing li!e you +o8' 7he was for e0er fin+ing househol+ jobs for Dorothy to +o. e0en ma!ing her scrub the schoolroom floor on 7atur+ay mornings when the girls +i+ not come to school> but this was +one out of *ure ill nature. for she +i+ not trust Dorothy to +o the wor! *ro*erly. an+ generally +i+ it again after her# One e0ening Dorothy was unwise enough to bring bac! a no0el from the *ublic library# @rs Cree0y flare+ u* at the 0ery sight of it# '/ell. really. @iss @illborough8 : shoul+n't ha0e thought you'+ ha0e ha+ time to 5)AD8' she sai+ bitterly# 7he herself ha+ ne0er rea+ a boo! right through in her life. an+ was *rou+ of it# @oreo0er. e0en when Dorothy was not actually un+er her eye. @rs Cree0y ha+ ways of ma!ing her *resence felt# 7he was for e0er *rowling in the neighbourhoo+ of the schoolroom. so that Dorothy ne0er felt Huite safe from her intrusion> an+ when she thought there was too much noise she woul+ su++enly ra* on the wall with her broom2han+le in a way that ma+e the chil+ren jum* an+ *ut them off their wor!# At all hours of the +ay she was restlessly. noisily acti0e# /hen she was not coo!ing meals she was banging about with broom an+ +ust*an. or harrying the charwoman. or *ouncing +own u*on the schoolroom to 'ha0e a loo! roun+' in ho*es

of catching Dorothy or the chil+ren u* to mischief. or '+oing a bit of gar+ening'22that is. mutilating with a *air of shears the unha**y little shrubs that grew ami+ wastes of gra0el in the bac! gar+en# On only two e0enings a wee! was Dorothy free of her. an+ that was when @rs Cree0y sallie+ forth on forays which she calle+ 'going after the girls'> that is to say. can0assing li!ely *arents# These e0enings Dorothy usually s*ent in the *ublic library. for when @rs Cree0y was not at home she e'*ecte+ Dorothy to !ee* out of the house. to sa0e fire an+ gaslight# On other e0enings @rs Cree0y was busy writing +unning letters to the *arents. or letters to the e+itor of the local *a*er. haggling o0er the *rice of a +o6en a+0ertisements. or *o!ing about the girls' +es!s to see that their e'ercise boo!s ha+ been *ro*erly correcte+. or '+oing a bit of sewing'# /hene0er occu*ation faile+ her for e0en fi0e minutes she got out her wor!bo' an+ '+i+ a bit of sewing'22generally restitching some bloomers of harsh white linen of which she ha+ *airs beyon+ number# They were the most chilly loo!ing garments that one coul+ *ossibly imagine> they seeme+ to carry u*on them. as no nun's coif or anchorite's hair shirt coul+ e0er ha0e +one. the im*ress of a fro6en an+ awful chastity# The sight of them set you won+ering about the late @r Cree0y. e0en to the *oint of won+ering whether he ha+ e0er e'iste+# (oo!ing with an outsi+er's eye at @rs Cree0y's manner of life. you woul+ ha0e sai+ that she ha+ no P()A7C5)7 whate0er# 7he ne0er +i+ any of the things that or+inary *eo*le +o to amuse themsel0es22 ne0er went to the *ictures. ne0er loo!e+ at a boo!. ne0er ate sweets. ne0er coo!e+ a s*ecial +ish for +inner or +resse+ herself in any !in+ of finery# 7ocial life meant absolutely nothing to her# 7he ha+ no frien+s. was *robably inca*able of imagining such a thing as frien+shi*. an+ har+ly e0er e'change+ a wor+ with a fellow being e'ce*t on business# Of religious belief she ha+ not the smallest 0estige# 4er attitu+e towar+s religion. though she went to the a*tist Cha*el e0ery 7un+ay to im*ress the *arents with her *iety. was a mean anti2clericalism foun+e+ on the notion that the clergy are 'only after your money'# 7he seeme+ a creature utterly joyless. utterly submerge+ by the +ullness of her e'istence# ut in reality it was not so# There were se0eral things from which she +eri0e+ acute an+ ine'haustible *leasure# Bor instance. there was her a0arice o0er money# :t was the lea+ing interest of her life# There are two !in+s of a0aricious *erson22 the bol+. gras*ing ty*e who will ruin you if he can. but who ne0er loo!s twice at two*ence. an+ the *etty miser who has not the enter*rise actually to @A<) money. but who will always. as the saying goes. ta!e a farthing from a +unghill with his teeth# @rs Cree0y belonge+ to the secon+ ty*e# y ceaseless can0assing an+ im*u+ent bluff she ha+ wor!e+ her school u* to twenty2one *u*ils. but she woul+ ne0er get it much further. because she was too mean to s*en+ money on the necessary eHui*ment an+ to *ay *ro*er wages

to her assistant# The fees the girls *ai+. or +i+n't *ay. were fi0e guineas a term with certain e'tras. so that. star0e an+ sweat her assistant as she might. she coul+ har+ly ho*e to ma!e more than a hun+re+ an+ fifty *oun+s a year clear *rofit# ut she was fairly satisfie+ with that# :t meant more to her to sa0e si'*ence than to earn a *oun+# 7o long as she coul+ thin! of a way of +oc!ing Dorothy's +inner of another *otato. or getting her e'ercise boo!s a half*enny a +o6en chea*er. or sho0ing an unauthori6e+ half guinea on to one of the 'goo+ *ayers'' bills. she was ha**y after her fashion# An+ again. in *ure. *ur*oseless malignity22in *etty acts of s*ite. e0en when there was nothing to be gaine+ by them22she ha+ a hobby of which she ne0er wearie+# 7he was one of those *eo*le who e'*erience a !in+ of s*iritual orgasm when they manage to +o somebo+y else a ba+ turn# 4er feu+ with @r oulger ne't +oor22a one2si+e+ affair. really. for *oor @r oulger was not u* to @rs Cree0y's fighting weight22was con+ucte+ ruthlessly. with no Huarter gi0en or e'*ecte+# 7o !een was @rs Cree0y's *leasure in scoring off @r oulger that she was e0en willing to s*en+ money on it occasionally# A year ago @r oulger ha+ written to the lan+lor+ ;each of them was for e0er writing to the lan+lor+. com*laining about the other's beha0iour=. to say that @rs Cree0y's !itchen chimney smo!e+ into his bac! win+ows. an+ woul+ she *lease ha0e it heightene+ two feet# The 0ery +ay the lan+lor+'s letter reache+ her. @rs Cree0y calle+ in the bric!layers an+ ha+ the chimney lowere+ two feet# :t cost her thirty shillings. but it was worth it# After that there ha+ been the long guerrilla cam*aign of throwing things o0er the gar+en wall +uring the night. an+ @rs Cree0y ha+ finally won with a +ustbinful of wet ashes thrown on to @r oulger's be+ of tuli*s# As it ha**ene+. @rs Cree0y won a neat an+ bloo+less 0ictory soon after Dorothy's arri0al# Disco0ering by chance that the roots of @r oulger's *lum tree ha+ grown un+er the wall into her own gar+en. she *rom*tly injecte+ a whole tin of wee+2!iller into them an+ !ille+ the tree# This was remar!able as being the only occasion when Dorothy e0er hear+ @rs Cree0y laugh# ut Dorothy was too busy. at first. to *ay much attention to @rs Cree0y an+ her nasty characteristics# 7he saw Huite clearly that @rs Cree0y was an o+ious woman an+ that her own *osition was 0irtually that of a sla0e> but it +i+ not greatly worry her# 4er wor! was too absorbing. too all2im*ortant# :n com*arison with it. her own comfort an+ e0en her future har+ly seeme+ to matter# :t +i+ not ta!e her more than a cou*le of +ays to get her class into running or+er# :t was curious. but though she ha+ no e'*erience of teaching an+ no *reconcei0e+ theories about it. yet from the 0ery first +ay she foun+ herself. as though by instinct. rearranging. scheming. inno0ating# There was so much that was crying out to be +one# The first thing. ob0iously. was to get ri+

of the grisly routine of 'co*ies'. an+ after Dorothy's secon+ +ay no more 'co*ies' were +one in the class. in s*ite of a sniff or two from @rs Cree0y# The han+writing lessons. also. were cut +own# Dorothy woul+ ha0e li!e+ to +o away with han+writing lessons altogether so far as the ol+er girls were concerne+22it seeme+ to her ri+iculous that girls of fifteen shoul+ waste time in *ractising co**er*late22but @rs Cree0y woul+ not hear of it# 7he seeme+ to attach an almost su*erstitious 0alue to han+writing lessons# An+ the ne't thing. of course. was to scra* the re*ulsi0e 4un+re+ Page 4istory an+ the *re*osterous little 'rea+ers'# :t woul+ ha0e been worse than useless to as! @rs Cree0y to buy new boo!s for the chil+ren. but on her first 7atur+ay afternoon Dorothy begge+ lea0e to go u* to (on+on. was gru+gingly gi0en it. an+ s*ent two *oun+s three shillings out of her *recious four *oun+s ten on a +o6en secon+han+ co*ies of a chea* school e+ition of 7ha!es*eare. a big secon+2han+ atlas. some 0olumes of 4ans An+ersen's stories for the younger chil+ren. a set of geometrical instruments. an+ two *oun+s of *lasticine# /ith these. an+ history boo!s out of the *ublic library. she felt that she coul+ ma!e a start# 7he ha+ seen at a glance that what the chil+ren most nee+e+. an+ what they ha+ ne0er ha+. was in+i0i+ual attention# 7o she began by +i0i+ing them u* into three se*arate classes. an+ so arranging things that two lots coul+ be wor!ing by themsel0es while she 'went through' something with the thir+# :t was +ifficult at first. es*ecially with the younger girls. whose attention wan+ere+ as soon as they were left to themsel0es. so that you coul+ ne0er really ta!e your eyes off them# An+ yet how won+erfully. how une'*ecte+ly. nearly all of them im*ro0e+ +uring those first few wee!s8 Bor the most *art they were not really stu*i+. only +a6e+ by a +ull. mechanical rigmarole# Bor a wee!. *erha*s. they continue+ unteachable> an+ then. Huite su++enly. their war*e+ little min+s seeme+ to s*ring u* an+ e'*an+ li!e +aisies when you mo0e the gar+en roller off them# Muite Huic!ly an+ easily Dorothy bro!e them in to the habit of thin!ing for themsel0es# 7he got them to ma!e u* essays out of their own hea+s instea+ of co*ying out +ri0el about the bir+s chanting on the boughs an+ the flowerets bursting from their bu+s# 7he attac!e+ their arithmetic at the foun+ations an+ starte+ the little girls on multi*lication an+ *ilote+ the ol+er ones through long +i0ision to fractions> she e0en got three of them to the *oint where there was tal! of starting on +ecimals# 7he taught them the first ru+iments of Brench grammar in *lace of 'Passe62moi le beurre. s'il 0ous *lait' an+ '(e fils +u jar+inier a *er+u son cha*eau'# Bin+ing that not a girl in the class !new what any of the countries of the worl+ loo!e+ li!e ;though se0eral of them !new that Muito was the ca*ital of )cua+or=. she set them to ma!ing a large contour2ma* of )uro*e in *lasticine. on a *iece of three2*ly woo+. co*ying it in scale from the atlas# The chil+ren a+ore+

ma!ing the ma*> they were always clamouring to be allowe+ to go on with it# An+ she starte+ the whole class. e'ce*t the si' youngest girls an+ @a0is /illiams. the *othoo! s*ecialist. on rea+ing @acbeth# "ot a chil+ among them ha+ e0er 0oluntarily rea+ anything in her life before. e'ce*t *erha*s the Girl's Own Pa*er> but they too! rea+ily to 7ha!es*eare. as all chil+ren +o when he is not ma+e horrible with *arsing an+ analysing# 4istory was the har+est thing to teach them# Dorothy ha+ not reali6e+ till now how har+ it is for chil+ren who come from *oor homes to ha0e e0en a conce*tion of what history means# )0ery u**er2class *erson. howe0er ill2informe+. grows u* with some notion of history> he can 0isuali6e a 5oman centurion. a me+ie0al !night. an eighteenth2century nobleman> the terms AntiHuity. @i++le Ages. 5enaissance. :n+ustrial 5e0olution e0o!e some meaning. e0en if a confuse+ one. in his min+# ut these chil+ren came from boo!less homes an+ from *arents who woul+ ha0e laughe+ at the notion that the *ast has any meaning for the *resent# They ha+ ne0er hear+ of 5obin 4oo+. ne0er *laye+ at being Ca0aliers an+ 5oun+hea+s. ne0er won+ere+ who built the )nglish churches or what Bi+# Def# on a *enny stan+s for# There were just two historical characters of whom all of them. almost without e'ce*tion. ha+ hear+. an+ those were Columbus an+ "a*oleon# 4ea0en !nows why22*erha*s Columbus an+ "a*oleon get into the news*a*ers a little oftener than most historical characters# They seeme+ to ha0e swelle+ u* in the chil+ren's min+s. li!e Twee+le+um an+ Twee+le+ee. till they bloc!e+ out the whole lan+sca*e of the *ast# As!e+ when motor2cars were in0ente+. one chil+. age+ ten. 0aguely ha6ar+e+. 'About a thousan+ years ago. by Columbus#' 7ome of the ol+er girls. Dorothy +isco0ere+. ha+ been through the 4un+re+ Page 4istory as many as four times. from oa+icea to the first ,ubilee. an+ forgotten *ractically e0ery wor+ of it# "ot that that mattere+ greatly. for most of it was lies# 7he starte+ the whole class o0er again at ,ulius Caesar's in0asion. an+ at first she trie+ ta!ing history boo!s out of the *ublic library an+ rea+ing them alou+ to the chil+ren> but that metho+ faile+. because they coul+ un+erstan+ nothing that was not e'*laine+ to them in wor+s of one or two syllables# 7o she +i+ what she coul+ in her own wor+s an+ with her own ina+eHuate !nowle+ge. ma!ing a sort of *ara*hrase of what she rea+ an+ +eli0ering it to the chil+ren> stri0ing all the while to +ri0e into their +ull little min+s some *icture of the *ast. an+ what was always more +ifficult. some interest in it# ut one +ay a brilliant i+ea struc! her# 7he bought a roll of chea* *lain wall*a*er at an u*holsterer's sho*. an+ set the chil+ren to ma!ing an historical chart# They mar!e+ the roll of *a*er into centuries an+ years. an+ stuc! scra*s that they cut out of illustrate+ *a*ers22*ictures of !nights in armour an+ 7*anish galleons an+ *rinting2*resses an+ railway trains22at the a**ro*riate *laces# Pinne+ roun+ the walls of the room. the

chart *resente+. as the scra*s grew in number. a sort of *anorama of )nglish history# The chil+ren were e0en fon+er of the chart than of the contour ma*# They always. Dorothy foun+. showe+ more intelligence when it was a Huestion of @A<:"G something instea+ of merely learning# There was e0en tal! of ma!ing a contour ma* of the worl+. four feet by four. in *a*iermache. if Dorothy coul+ 'get roun+' @rs Cree0y to allow the *re*aration of the *a*iermache22a messy *rocess nee+ing buc!ets of water# @rs Cree0y watche+ Dorothy's inno0ations with a jealous eye. but she +i+ not interfere acti0ely at first# 7he was not going to show it. of course. but she was secretly ama6e+ an+ +elighte+ to fin+ that she ha+ got hol+ of an assistant who was actually willing to wor!# /hen she saw Dorothy s*en+ing her own money on te'tboo!s for the chil+ren. it ga0e her the same +elicious sensation that she woul+ ha0e ha+ in bringing off a successful swin+le# 7he +i+. howe0er. sniff an+ grumble at e0erything that Dorothy +i+. an+ she waste+ a great +eal of time by insisting on what she calle+ 'thorough correction' of the girls' e'ercise boo!s# ut her system of correction. li!e e0erything else in the school curriculum. was arrange+ with one eye on the *arents# Perio+ically the chil+ren too! their boo!s home for their *arents' ins*ection. an+ @rs Cree0y woul+ ne0er allow anything +is*araging to be written in them# "othing was to be mar!e+ 'ba+' or crosse+ out or too hea0ily un+erline+> instea+. in the e0enings. Dorothy +ecorate+ the boo!s. un+er @rs Cree0y's +ictation. with more or less a**lau+ing comments in re+ in!# 'A 0ery cre+itable *erformance'. an+ ')'cellent8 1ou are ma!ing great stri+es# <ee* it u*8' were @rs Cree0y's fa0ourites# All the chil+ren in the school. a**arently. were for e0er 'ma!ing great stri+es'> in what +irection they were stri+ing was not state+# The *arents. howe0er. seeme+ willing to swallow an almost unlimite+ amount of this !in+ of thing# There were times. of course. when Dorothy ha+ trouble with the girls themsel0es# The fact that they were all of +ifferent ages ma+e them +ifficult to +eal with. an+ though they were fon+ of her an+ were 0ery 'goo+' with her at first. they woul+ not ha0e been chil+ren at all if they ha+ been in0ariably 'goo+'# 7ometimes they were la6y an+ sometimes they succumbe+ to that most +amnable 0ice of schoolgirls22giggling# Bor the first few +ays Dorothy was greatly e'ercise+ o0er little @a0is /illiams. who was stu*i+er than one woul+ ha0e belie0e+ it *ossible for any chil+ of ele0en to be# Dorothy coul+ +o nothing with her at all# At the first attem*t to get her to +o anything beyon+ *othoo!s a loo! of almost subhuman blan!ness woul+ come into her wi+e2set eyes# 7ometimes. howe0er. she ha+ tal!ati0e fits in which she woul+ as! the most ama6ing an+ unanswerable Huestions# Bor instance. she woul+ o*en her 'rea+er'. fin+ one of the illustrations22the sagacious )le*hant. *erha*s22an+ as! Dorothy:

'Please. @iss. wass 'at thing thereA' ;7he mis*ronounce+ her wor+s in a curious manner#= 'That's an ele*hant. @a0is#' '/ass a ele*hantA' 'An ele*hant's a !in+ of wil+ animal#' '/ass a animalA' '/ell22a +og's an animal#' '/ass a +ogA' An+ so on. more or less in+efinitely# About half2way through the fourth morning @a0is hel+ u* her han+ an+ sai+ with a sly *oliteness that ought to ha0e *ut Dorothy on her guar+: 'Please. @iss. may : be 'scuse+A' '1es.' sai+ Dorothy# One of the bigger girls *ut u* her han+. blushe+. an+ *ut her han+ +own again as though too bashful to s*ea!# On being *rom*te+ by Dorothy. she sai+ shameface+ly: 'Please. @iss. @iss 7trong +i+n't use+ to let @a0is go to the la0atory alone# 7he loc!s herself in an+ won't come out. an+ then @rs Cree0y gets angry. @iss#' Dorothy +is*atche+ a messenger. but it was too late# @a0is remaine+ in latebra *u+en+a till twel0e o'cloc!# Afterwar+s. @rs Cree0y e'*laine+ *ri0ately to Dorothy that @a0is was a congenital i+iot22or. as she *ut it. 'not right in the hea+'# :t was totally im*ossible to teach her anything# Of course. @rs Cree0y +i+n't 'let on' to @a0is's *arents. who belie0e+ that their chil+ was only 'bac!war+' an+ *ai+ their fees regularly# @a0is was Huite easy to +eal with# 1ou just ha+ to gi0e her a boo! an+ a *encil an+ tell her to +raw *ictures an+ be Huiet# ut @a0is. a chil+ of habit. +rew nothing but *othoo!s22remaining Huiet an+ a**arently ha**y for hours together. with her tongue hanging out. ami+ festoons of *othoo!s# ut in s*ite of these minor +ifficulties. how well e0erything went +uring those first few wee!s8 4ow ominously well. in+ee+8 About the tenth of "o0ember. after much grumbling about the *rice of coal. @rs Cree0y starte+ to allow a fire in the schoolroom# The chil+ren's wits brightene+ noticeably when the room was +ecently warm# An+ there were ha**y hours. sometimes. when the fire

crac!le+ in the grate. an+ @rs Cree0y was out of the house. an+ the chil+ren were wor!ing Huietly an+ absorbe+ly at one of the lessons that were their fa0ourites# est of all was when the two to* classes were rea+ing @acbeth. the girls sHuea!ing breathlessly through the scenes. an+ Dorothy *ulling them u* to ma!e them *ronounce the wor+s *ro*erly an+ to tell them who ellona's bri+egroom was an+ how witches ro+e on broomstic!s> an+ the girls wanting to !now. almost as e'cite+ly as though it ha+ been a +etecti0e story. how irnam /oo+ coul+ *ossible come to Dunsinane an+ @acbeth be !ille+ by a man who was not of woman born# Those are the times that ma!e teaching worth while22the times when the chil+ren's enthusiasm lea*s u*. li!e an answering flame. to meet your own. an+ su++en unloo!e+2for gleams of intelligence rewar+ your earlier +ru+gery# "o job is more fascinating than teaching if you ha0e a free han+ at it# "or +i+ Dorothy !now. as yet. that that 'if' is one of the biggest 'ifs' in the worl+# 4er job suite+ her. an+ she was ha**y in it# 7he !new the min+s of the chil+ren intimately by this time. !new their in+i0i+ual *eculiarities an+ the s*ecial stimulants that were nee+e+ before you coul+ get them to thin!# 7he was more fon+ of them. more intereste+ in their +e0elo*ment. more an'ious to +o her best for them. than she woul+ ha0e concei0e+ *ossible a short while ago# The com*le'. ne0er2en+e+ labour of teaching fille+ her life just as the roun+ of *arish jobs ha+ fille+ it at home# 7he thought an+ +reame+ of teaching> she too! boo!s out of the *ublic library an+ stu+ie+ theories of e+ucation# 7he felt that Huite willingly she woul+ go on teaching all her life. e0en at ten shillings a wee! an+ her !ee*. if it coul+ always be li!e this# :t was her 0ocation. she thought# Almost any job that fully occu*ie+ her woul+ ha0e been a relief after the horrible futility of the time of her +estitution# ut this was more than a mere job> it was22so it seeme+ to her22a mission. a life2*ur*ose# Trying to awa!en the +ulle+ min+s of these chil+ren. trying to un+o the swin+le that ha+ been wor!e+ u*on them in the name of e+ucation22that. surely. was something to which she coul+ gi0e herself heart an+ soulA 7o for the time being. in the interest of her wor!. she +isregar+e+ the beastliness of li0ing in @rs Cree0y's house. an+ Huite forgot her strange. anomalous *osition an+ the uncertainty of her future#

G ut of course. it coul+ not last# "ot many wee!s ha+ gone by before the *arents began interfering

with Dorothy's *rogramme of wor!# That22trouble with the *arents22 is *art of the regular routine of life in a *ri0ate school# All *arents are tiresome from a teacher's *oint of 0iew. an+ the *arents of chil+ren at fourth2rate *ri0ate schools are utterly im*ossible# On the one han+. they ha0e only the +immest i+ea of what is meant by e+ucation> on the other han+. they loo! on 'schooling' e'actly as they loo! on a butcher's bill or a grocer's bill. an+ are *er*etually sus*icious that they are being cheate+# They bombar+ the teacher with ill2written notes ma!ing im*ossible +eman+s. which they sen+ by han+ an+ which the chil+ rea+s on the way to school# At the en+ of the first fortnight @abel riggs. one of the most *romising girls in the class. brought Dorothy the following note: Dear @iss.22/oul+ you *lease gi0e @abel a bit more A5:T4@)T:CA : feel that what your gi0ing her is not *ractacle enough# All these ma*s an+ that# 7he wants *ractacle wor!. not all this fancy stuff# 7o more A5:T4@)T:C. *lease# An+ remain. 1ours Baithfully. Geo# riggs P#7# @abel says your tal!ing of starting her on something calle+ +ecimals# : +on't want her taught +ecimals. : want her taught A5:T4@)T:C# 7o Dorothy sto**e+ @abel's geogra*hy an+ ga0e her e'tra arithmetic instea+. whereat @abel we*t# @ore letters followe+# One la+y was +isturbe+ to hear that her chil+ was being gi0en 7ha!es*eare to rea+# '7he ha+ hear+'. she wrote. 'that this @r 7ha!es*eare was a writer of stage2*lays. an+ was @iss @illborough Huite certain that he wasn't a 0ery :@@O5A( writerA Bor her own *art she ha+ ne0er so much as been to the *ictures in her life. let alone to a stage2 *lay. an+ she felt that e0en in 5)AD:"G stage2*lays there was a 0ery gra0e +anger.' etc#. etc# 7he ga0e way. howe0er. on being informe+ that @r 7ha!es*eare was +ea+# This seeme+ to reassure her# Another *arent wante+ more attention to his chil+'s han+writing. an+ another thought Brench was a waste of time> an+ so it went on. until Dorothy's carefully arrange+ time2table was almost in ruins# @rs Cree0y ga0e her clearly to un+erstan+ that whate0er the *arents +eman+e+ she must +o. or *reten+ to +o# :n many cases it was ne't +oor to im*ossible. for it +isorgani6e+ e0erything to ha0e one chil+ stu+ying. for instance. arithmetic while the rest of the class were +oing history or geogra*hy# ut in *ri0ate schools the *arents' wor+ is law# 7uch schools e'ist. li!e sho*s. by flattering their customers. an+ if a *arent wante+ his chil+ taught nothing but cat's2cra+le an+ the cuneiform

al*habet. the teacher woul+ ha0e to agree rather than lose a *u*il# The fact was that the *arents were growing *erturbe+ by the tales their chil+ren brought home about Dorothy's metho+s# They saw no sense whate0er in these new2fangle+ i+eas of ma!ing *lasticine ma*s an+ rea+ing *oetry. an+ the ol+ mechanical routine which ha+ so horrifie+ Dorothy struc! them as eminently sensible# They became more an+ more resti0e. an+ their letters were *e**ere+ with the wor+ '*ractical'. meaning in effect more han+writing lessons an+ more arithmetic# An+ e0en their notion of arithmetic was limite+ to a++ition. subtraction. multi*lication an+ '*ractice'. with long +i0ision thrown in as a s*ectacular tour +e force of no real 0alue# Dery few of them coul+ ha0e wor!e+ out a sum in +ecimals themsel0es. an+ they were not *articularly an'ious for their chil+ren to be able to +o so either# 4owe0er. if this ha+ been all. there woul+ *robably ne0er ha0e been any serious trouble# The *arents woul+ ha0e nagge+ at Dorothy. as all *arents +o> but Dorothy woul+ finally ha0e learne+22as. again. all teachers finally learn22that if one showe+ a certain amount of tact one coul+ safely ignore them# ut there was one fact that was absolutely certain to lea+ to trouble. an+ that was the fact that the *arents of all e'ce*t three chil+ren were "onconformists. whereas Dorothy was an Anglican# :t was true that Dorothy ha+ lost her faith22in+ee+. for two months *ast. in the *ress of 0arying a+0entures. ha+ har+ly thought either of her faith or of its loss# ut that ma+e 0ery little +ifference> 5oman or Anglican. Dissenter. ,ew. Tur! or infi+el. you retain the habits of thought that you ha0e been brought u* with# Dorothy. born an+ bre+ in the *recincts of the Church. ha+ no un+erstan+ing of the "onconformist min+# /ith the best will in the worl+. she coul+ not hel* +oing things that woul+ cause offence to some of the *arents# Almost at the beginning there was a s!irmish o0er the 7cri*ture lessons22twice a wee! the chil+ren use+ to rea+ a cou*le of cha*ters from the ible# Ol+ Testament an+ "ew Testament alternately22se0eral of the *arents writing to say. woul+ @iss @illborough *lease "OT answer the chil+ren when they as!e+ Huestions about the Dirgin @ary> te'ts about the Dirgin @ary were to be *asse+ o0er in silence. or. if *ossible. misse+ out altogether# ut it was 7ha!es*eare. that immoral writer. who brought things to a hea+# The girls ha+ wor!e+ their way through @acbeth. *ining to !now how the witches' *ro*hecy was to be fulfille+# They reache+ the closing scenes# irnam /oo+ ha+ come to Dunsinane22that *art was settle+. anyway> now what about the man who was not of woman bornA They came to the fatal *assage: @AC )T4: Thou losest labour> As easy may'st thou the intrenchant air

/ith thy !een swor+ im*ress. as ma!e me blee+: (et fall thy bla+e on 0ulnerable crests. : bear a charme+ life. which must not yiel+ To one of woman born# @ACDCBB: Des*air thy charm. An+ let the Angel whom thou still hast ser0e+ Tell thee. @ac+uff was from his mother's womb Cntimely ri**'+# The girls loo!e+ *u66le+# There was a momentary silence. an+ then a chorus of 0oices roun+ the room: 'Please. @iss. what +oes that meanA' Dorothy e'*laine+# 7he e'*laine+ haltingly an+ incom*letely. with a su++en horri+ misgi0ing22a *remonition that this was going to lea+ to trouble22but still. she +i+ e'*lain# An+ after that. of course. the fun began# About half the chil+ren in the class went home an+ as!e+ their *arents the meaning of the wor+ 'womb'# There was a su++en commotion. a flying to an+ fro of messages. an electric thrill of horror through fifteen +ecent "onconformist homes# That night the *arents must ha0e hel+ some !in+ of concla0e. for the following e0ening. about the time when school en+e+. a +e*utation calle+ u*on @rs Cree0y# Dorothy hear+ them arri0ing by ones an+ twos. an+ guesse+ what was going to ha**en# As soon as she ha+ +ismisse+ the chil+ren. she hear+ @rs Cree0y call shar*ly +own the stairs: 'Come u* here a minute. @iss @illborough8' Dorothy went u*. trying to control the trembling of her !nees# :n the gaunt +rawing2room @rs Cree0y was stan+ing grimly besi+e the *iano. an+ si' *arents were sitting roun+ on horsehair chairs li!e a circle of inHuisitors# There was the @r Geo# riggs who ha+ written the letter about @abel's arithmetic22he was an alert2 loo!ing greengrocer with a +rie+2u*. shrewish wife22an+ there was a large. buffalo2li!e man with +roo*ing moustaches an+ a colourless. *eculiarly B(AT wife who loo!e+ as though she ha+ been flattene+ out by the *ressure of some hea0y object22her husban+. *erha*s# The names of these two Dorothy +i+ not catch# There was also @rs /illiams. the mother of the congenital i+iot. a small. +ar!. 0ery obtuse woman who always agree+ with the last s*ea!er. an+ there was a @r Poyn+er. a commercial tra0eller# 4e was a youngish to mi++le2 age+ man with a grey face. mobile li*s. an+ a bal+ scal* across which some stri*s of rather nasty2loo!ing +am* hair were carefully *lastere+# :n honour of the *arents' 0isit. a fire com*ose+ of three large coals was sul!ing in the grate#

'7it +own there. @iss @illborough.' sai+ @rs Cree0y. *ointing to a har+ chair which stoo+ li!e a stool of re*entance in the mi++le of the ring of *arents# Dorothy sat +own# 'An+ now.' sai+ @rs Cree0y. 'just you listen to what @r Poyn+er's got to say to you#' @r Poyn+er ha+ a great +eal to say# The other *arents ha+ e0i+ently chosen him as their s*o!esman. an+ he tal!e+ till flec!s of yellowish foam a**eare+ at the corners of his mouth# An+ what was remar!able. he manage+ to +o it all22so nice was his regar+ for the +ecencies22without e0er once re*eating the wor+ that ha+ cause+ all the trouble# ': feel that :'m 0oicing the o*inion of all of us.' he sai+ with his facile bagman's eloHuence. 'in saying that if @iss @illborough !new that this *lay22@ac+uff. or whate0er its name is22containe+ such wor+s as22well. such wor+s as we're s*ea!ing about. she ne0er ought to ha0e gi0en it to the chil+ren to rea+ at all# To my min+ it's a +isgrace that schoolboo!s can be *rinte+ with such wor+s in them# :'m sure if any of us ha+ e0er !nown that 7ha!es*eare was that !in+ of stuff. we'+ ha0e *ut our foot +own at the start# :t sur*rises me. : must say# Only the other morning : was rea+ing a *iece in my "ews Chronicle about 7ha!es*eare being the father of )nglish (iterature> well. if that's (iterature. let's ha0e a bit ()77 (iterature. say :8 : thin! e0eryone'll agree with me there# An+ on the other han+. if @iss @illborough +i+n't !now that the wor+22well. the wor+ :'m referring to22was coming. she just ought to ha0e gone straight on an+ ta!en no notice when it +i+ come# There wasn't the slightest nee+ to go e'*laining it to them# ,ust tell them to !ee* Huiet an+ not get as!ing Huestions22that's the *ro*er way with chil+ren#' ' ut the chil+ren woul+n't ha0e un+erstoo+ the *lay if : ha+n't e'*laine+8' *roteste+ Dorothy for the thir+ or fourth time# 'Of course they woul+n't8 1ou +on't seem to get my *oint. @iss @illborough8 /e +on't want them to un+erstan+# Do you thin! we want them to go *ic!ing u* +irty i+eas out of boo!sA Muite enough of that alrea+y with all these +irty films an+ these two*enny girls' *a*ers that they get hol+ of22all these filthy. +irty lo0e2 stories with *ictures of22well. : won't go into it# /e +on't sen+ our chil+ren to school to ha0e i+eas *ut into their hea+s# :'m s*ea!ing for all the *arents in saying this# /e're all of +ecent Go+2fearing fol!22some of us are a*tists an+ some of us are @etho+ists. an+ there's e0en one or two Church of )nglan+ among us> but we can sin! our +ifferences when it comes to a case li!e this22

an+ we try to bring our chil+ren u* +ecent an+ sa0e them from !nowing anything about the Bacts of (ife# :f : ha+ my way. no chil+22at any rate. no girl22woul+ !now anything about the Bacts of (ife till she was twenty2one#' There was a general no+ from the *arents. an+ the buffalo2li!e man a++e+. '1er. yer8 :'m with you there. @r Poyn+er# 1er. yer8' +ee* +own in his insi+e# After +ealing with the subject of 7ha!es*eare. @r Poyn+er a++e+ some remar!s about Dorothy's new2fangle+ metho+s of teaching. which ga0e @r Geo# riggs the o**ortunity to ra* out from time to time. 'That's it8 Practical wor!22that's what we want22*ractical wor!8 "ot all this messy stuff li!e *o'try an+ ma!ing ma*s an+ stic!ing scra*s of *a*er an+ such li!e# Gi0e 'em a goo+ bit of figuring an+ han+writing an+ bother the rest# Practical wor!8 1ou'0e sai+ it8' This went on for about twenty minutes# At first Dorothy attem*te+ to argue. but she saw @rs Cree0y angrily sha!ing her hea+ at her o0er the buffalo2li!e man's shoul+er. which she rightly too! as a signal to be Huiet# y the time the *arents ha+ finishe+ they ha+ re+uce+ Dorothy 0ery nearly to tears. an+ after this they ma+e rea+y to go# ut @rs Cree0y sto**e+ them# ',C7T a minute. la+ies an+ gentlemen.' she sai+# '"ow that you'0e all ha+ your say22an+ :'m sure :'m most gla+ to gi0e you the o**ortunity22:'+ just li!e to say a little something on my own account# ,ust to ma!e things clear. in case any of you might thin! P:P was to blame for this nasty business that's ha**ene+# An+ 1OC stay here too. @iss @illborough8' she a++e+# 7he turne+ on Dorothy. an+. in front of the *arents. ga0e her a 0enomous 'tal!ing to' which laste+ u*war+s of ten minutes# The bur+en of it all was that Dorothy ha+ brought these +irty boo!s into the house behin+ her bac!> that it was monstrous treachery an+ ingratitu+e> an+ that if anything li!e it ha**ene+ again. out Dorothy woul+ go with a wee!'s wages in her *oc!et# 7he rubbe+ it in an+ in an+ in# Phrases li!e 'girl that :'0e ta!en into my house'. 'eating my brea+'. an+ e0en 'li0ing on my charity'. recurre+ o0er an+ o0er again# The *arents sat roun+ watching. an+ in their crass faces22faces not harsh or e0il. only blunte+ by ignorance an+ mean 0irtues22you coul+ see a solemn a**ro0al. a solemn *leasure in the s*ectacle of sin rebu!e+# Dorothy un+erstoo+ this> she un+erstoo+ that it was necessary that @rs Cree0y shoul+ gi0e her her 'tal!ing to' in front of the *arents. so that they might feel that they were getting their money's worth an+ be satisfie+# ut still. as the stream of mean. cruel re*riman+ went on an+ on. such anger rose in her heart that she coul+ with *leasure ha0e stoo+ u* an+ struc! @rs Cree0y across the face# Again an+ again she thought. ': won't stan+ it. : won't stan+ it

any longer8 :'ll tell her what : thin! of her an+ then wal! straight out of the house8' ut she +i+ nothing of the !in+# 7he saw with +rea+ful clarity the hel*lessness of her *osition# /hate0er ha**ene+. whate0er insults it meant swallowing. she ha+ got to !ee* her job# 7o she sat still. with *in! humiliate+ face. ami+ the circle of *arents. an+ *resently her anger turne+ to misery. an+ she reali6e+ that she was going to begin crying if she +i+ not struggle to *re0ent it# ut she reali6e+. too. that if she began crying it woul+ be the last straw an+ the *arents woul+ +eman+ her +ismissal# To sto* herself. she +ug her nails so har+ into the *alms that afterwar+s she foun+ that she ha+ +rawn a few +ro*s of bloo+# Presently the 'tal!ing to' wore itself out in assurances from @rs Cree0y that this shoul+ ne0er ha**en again an+ that the offen+ing 7ha!es*eares shoul+ be burnt imme+iately# The *arents were now satisfie+# Dorothy ha+ ha+ her lesson an+ woul+ +oubtless *rofit by it> they +i+ not bear her any malice an+ were not conscious of ha0ing humiliate+ her# They sai+ goo+2bye to @rs Cree0y. sai+ goo+2bye rather more col+ly to Dorothy. an+ +e*arte+# Dorothy also rose to go. but @rs Cree0y signe+ to her to stay where she was# ',ust you wait a minute.' she sai+ ominously as the *arents left the room# ': ha0en't finishe+ yet. not by a long way : ha0en't#' Dorothy sat +own again# 7he felt 0ery wea! at the !nees. an+ nearer to tears than e0er# @rs Cree0y. ha0ing shown the *arents out by the front +oor. came bac! with a bowl of water an+ threw it o0er the fire22for where was the sense of burning goo+ coals after the *arents ha+ goneA Dorothy su**ose+ that the 'tal!ing to' was going to begin afresh# 4owe0er. @rs Cree0y's wrath seeme+ to ha0e coole+22at any rate. she ha+ lai+ asi+e the air of outrage+ 0irtue that it ha+ been necessary to *ut on in front of the *arents# ': just want to ha0e a bit of a tal! with you. @iss @illborough.' she sai+# ':t's about time we got it settle+ once an+ for all how this school's going to be run an+ how it's not going to be run#' '1es.' sai+ Dorothy# '/ell. :'ll be straight with you# /hen you came here : coul+ see with half an eye that you +i+n't !now the first thing about school2 teaching> but : woul+n't ha0e min+e+ that if you'+ just ha+ a bit of common sense li!e any other girl woul+ ha0e ha+# Only it seems you ha+n't# : let you ha0e your own way for a wee! or two. an+ the first thing you +o is to go an+ get all the *arents' bac!s u*# /ell. :'m not going to ha0e T4AT o0er again# Brom now on :'m going to ha0e things +one @1 way. not 1OC5 way# Do you un+erstan+ thatA' '1es.' sai+ Dorothy again#

'1ou're not to thin! as : can't +o without you. min+.' *rocee+e+ @rs Cree0y# ': can *ic! u* teachers at two a *enny any +ay of the wee!. @#A#s an+ #A#s an+ all# Only the @#A#s an+ #A#s mostly ta!e to +rin!. or else they22well. no matter what22an+ : will say for you you +on't seem to be gi0en to the +rin! or anything of that !in+# : +are say you an+ me can get on all right if you'll +ro* these new2fangle+ i+eas of yours an+ un+erstan+ what's meant by *ractical school2teaching# 7o just you listen to me#' Dorothy listene+# /ith a+mirable clarity. an+ with a cynicism that was all the more +isgusting because it was utterly unconscious. @rs Cree0y e'*laine+ the techniHue of the +irty swin+le that she calle+ *ractical school2teaching# '/hat you'0e got to get hol+ of once an+ for all.' she began. 'is that there's only one thing that matters in a school. an+ that's the fees# As for all this stuff about L+e0elo*ing the chil+ren's min+sL. as you call it. it's neither here nor there# :t's the fees :'m after. not D)D)(OP:"G T4) C4:(D5)"'7 @:"D7# After all. it's no more than common sense# :t's not to be su**ose+ as anyone'+ go to all the trouble of !ee*ing school an+ ha0ing the house turne+ u*si+e +own by a *ac! of brats. if it wasn't that there's a bit of money to be ma+e out of it# The fees come first. an+ e0erything else comes afterwar+s# Di+n't : tell you that the 0ery first +ay you came hereA' '1es.' a+mitte+ Dorothy humbly# '/ell. then. it's the *arents that *ay the fees. an+ it's the *arents you'0e got to thin! about# Do what the *arents want22 that's our rule here# : +are say all this messing about with *lasticine an+ *a*er2scra*s that you go in for +oesn't +o the chil+ren any *articular harm> but the *arents +on't want it. an+ there's an en+ of it# /ell. there's just two subjects that they DO want their chil+ren taught. an+ that's han+writing an+ arithmetic# )s*ecially han+writing# That's something they CA" see the sense of# An+ so han+writing's the thing you'0e got to !ee* on an+ on at# Plenty of nice neat co*ies that the girls can ta!e home. an+ that the *arents'll show off to the neighbours an+ gi0e us a bit of a free a+0ert# : want you to gi0e the chil+ren two hours a +ay just at han+writing an+ nothing else#' 'Two hours a +ay just at han+writing.' re*eate+ Dorothy obe+iently# '1es# An+ *lenty of arithmetic as well# The *arents are 0ery !een on arithmetic: es*ecially money2sums# <ee* your eye on the *arents all the time# :f you meet one of them in the street. get hol+ of them an+ start tal!ing to them about their own girl# @a!e out that she's the best girl in the class an+ that if she stays just three

terms longer she'll be wor!ing won+ers# 1ou see what : meanA Don't go an+ tell them there's no room for im*ro0ement> because if you tell them T4AT. they generally ta!e their girls away# ,ust three terms longer22that's the thing to tell them# An+ when you ma!e out the en+ of term re*orts. just you bring them to me an+ let me ha0e a goo+ loo! at them# : li!e to +o the mar!ing myself#' @rs Cree0y's eye met Dorothy's# 7he ha+ *erha*s been about to say that she always arrange+ the mar!s so that e0ery girl came out somewhere near the to* of the class> but she refraine+# Dorothy coul+ not answer for a moment# Outwar+ly she was sub+ue+. an+ 0ery *ale. but in her heart were anger an+ +ea+ly re*ulsion against which she ha+ to struggle before she coul+ s*ea!# 7he ha+ no thought. howe0er. of contra+icting @rs Cree0y# The 'tal!ing to' ha+ Huite bro!en her s*irit# 7he mastere+ her 0oice. an+ sai+: ':'m to teach nothing but han+writing an+ arithmetic22is that itA' '/ell. : +i+n't say that e'actly# There's *lenty of other subjects that loo! well on the *ros*ectus# Brench. for instance22Brench loo!s D)51 well on the *ros*ectus# ut it's not a subject you want to waste much time o0er# Don't go filling them u* with a lot of grammar an+ synta' an+ 0erbs an+ all that# That !in+ of stuff +oesn't get them anywhere so far as P:P can see# Gi0e them a bit of LParley 0ous BranceyL. an+ LPassey moi le beurreL. an+ so forth> that's a lot more use than grammar# An+ then there's (atin22: always *ut (atin on the *ros*ectus# ut : +on't su**ose you're 0ery great on (atin. are youA' '"o.' a+mitte+ Dorothy# '/ell. it +oesn't matter# 1ou won't ha0e to teach it# "one of OC5 *arents'+ want their chil+ren to waste time o0er (atin# ut they li!e to see it on the *ros*ectus# :t loo!s classy# Of course there's a whole lot of subjects that we can't actually teach. but we ha0e to a+0ertise them all the same# oo!2!ee*ing an+ ty*ing an+ shorthan+. for instance> besi+es music an+ +ancing# :t all loo!s well on the *ros*ectus#' 'Arithmetic. han+writing. Brench22is there anything elseA' Dorothy sai+# 'Oh. well. history an+ geogra*hy an+ )nglish (iterature. of course# ut just +ro* that ma*2ma!ing business at once22it's nothing but waste of time# The best geogra*hy to teach is lists of ca*itals# Get them so that they can rattle off the ca*itals of all the )nglish counties as if it was the multi*lication table# Then they'0e got something to show for what they'0e learnt. anyway# An+ as for history. !ee* on with the 4un+re+ Page 4istory of ritain# : won't ha0e them taught out of those big history boo!s you !ee*

bringing home from the library# : o*ene+ one of those boo!s the other +ay. an+ the first thing : saw was a *iece where it sai+ the )nglish ha+ been beaten in some battle or other# There's a nice thing to go teaching chil+ren8 The *arents won't stan+ for T4AT !in+ of thing. : can tell you8' 'An+ (iteratureA' sai+ Dorothy# '/ell. of course they'0e got to +o a bit of rea+ing. an+ : can't thin! why you wante+ to turn u* your nose at those nice little rea+ers of ours# <ee* on with the rea+ers# They're a bit ol+. but they're Huite goo+ enough for a *ac! of chil+ren. : shoul+ ha0e thought# An+ : su**ose they might as well learn a few *ieces of *oetry by heart# 7ome of the *arents li!e to hear their chil+ren say a *iece of *oetry# LThe oy stoo+ on the urning Dec!L22that's a 0ery goo+ *iece22an+ then there's LThe /rec! of the 7teamerL22 now. what was that shi* calle+A LThe /rec! of the 7teamer 4es*erusL# A little *oetry +oesn't hurt now an+ again# ut +on't let's ha0e any more 74A<)7P)A5). *lease8' Dorothy got no tea that +ay# :t was now long *ast tea2time. but when @rs Cree0y ha+ finishe+ her harangue she sent Dorothy away without saying anything about tea# Perha*s this was a little e'tra *unishment for l'affaire @acbeth# Dorothy ha+ not as!e+ *ermission to go out. but she +i+ not feel that she coul+ stay in the house any longer# 7he got her hat an+ coat an+ set out +own the ill2lit roa+. for the *ublic library# :t was late into "o0ember# Though the +ay ha+ been +am* the night win+ blew shar*ly. li!e a threat. through the almost na!e+ trees. ma!ing the gas2lam*s flic!er in s*ite of their glass chimneys. an+ stirring the so++en *lane lea0es that littere+ the *a0ement# Dorothy shi0ere+ slightly# The raw win+ sent through her a bone2 +ee* memory of the col+ of Trafalgar 7Huare# An+ though she +i+ not actually thin! that if she lost her job it woul+ mean going bac! to the sub2worl+ from which she ha+ come22in+ee+. it was not so +es*erate as that> at the worst her cousin or somebo+y else woul+ hel* her22still. @rs Cree0y's 'tal!ing to' ha+ ma+e Trafalgar 7Huare seem su++enly 0ery much nearer# :t ha+ +ri0en into her a far +ee*er un+erstan+ing than she ha+ ha+ before of the great mo+ern comman+ment22the ele0enth comman+ment which has wi*e+ out all the others: 'Thou shalt not lose thy job#' ut as to what @rs Cree0y ha+ sai+ about '*ractical school2 teaching'. it ha+ been no more than a realistic facing of the facts# 7he ha+ merely sai+ alou+ what most *eo*le in her *osition thin! but ne0er say# 4er oft2re*eate+ *hrase. ':t's the fees :'m after'. was a motto that might be22in+ee+. ought to be22written o0er the +oors of e0ery *ri0ate school in )nglan+#

There are. by the way. 0ast numbers of *ri0ate schools in )nglan+# 7econ+2rate. thir+2rate. an+ fourth2rate ;5ingwoo+ 4ouse was a s*ecimen of the fourth2rate school=. they e'ist by the +o6en an+ the score in e0ery (on+on suburb an+ e0ery *ro0incial town# At any gi0en moment there are somewhere in the neighbourhoo+ of ten thousan+ of them. of which less than a thousan+ are subject to Go0ernment ins*ection# An+ though some of them are better than others. an+ a certain number. *robably. are better than the council schools with which they com*ete. there is the same fun+amental e0il in all of them> that is. that they ha0e ultimately no *ur*ose e'ce*t to ma!e money# Often. e'ce*t that there is nothing illegal about them. they are starte+ in e'actly the same s*irit as one woul+ start a brothel or a buc!et sho*# 7ome snuffy little man of business ;it is Huite usual for these schools to be owne+ by *eo*le who +on't teach themsel0es= says one morning to his wife: ')mma. : got a notion8 /hat you say to us two !ee*ing school. ehA There's *lenty of cash in a school. you !now. an+ there ain't the same wor! in it as what there is in a sho* or a *ub# esi+es. you +on't ris! nothing> no o0er'ea+ to worry about. 'ce*t jest your rent an+ few +es!s an+ a blac!boar+# ut we'll +o it in style# Get in one of these O'for+ an+ Cambri+ge cha*s as is out of a job an+'ll come chea*. an+ +ress 'im u* in a gown an+22what +o they call them little sHuare 'ats with tassels on to*A That 'u+ fetch the *arents. ehA 1ou jest !ee* your eyes o*en an+ see if you can't *ic! on a goo+ +istrict where there's not too many on the same game alrea+y#' 4e chooses a situation in one of those mi++le2class +istricts where the *eo*le are too *oor to affor+ the fees of a +ecent school an+ too *rou+ to sen+ their chil+ren to the council schools. an+ 'sets u*'# y +egrees he wor!s u* a conne'ion in 0ery much the same manner as a mil!man or a greengrocer. an+ if he is astute an+ tactful an+ has not too many com*etitors. he ma!es his few hun+re+s a year out of it# Of course. these schools are not all ali!e# "ot e0ery *rinci*al is a gras*ing low2min+e+ shrew li!e @rs Cree0y. an+ there are *lenty of schools where the atmos*here is !in+ly an+ +ecent an+ the teaching is as goo+ as one coul+ reasonably e'*ect for fees of fi0e *oun+s a term# On the other han+. some of them are crying scan+als# (ater on. when Dorothy got to !now one of the teachers at another *ri0ate school in 7outhbri+ge. she hear+ tales of schools that were worse by far than 5ingwoo+ 4ouse# 7he hear+ of a chea* boar+ing2school where tra0elling actors +um*e+ their chil+ren as one +um*s luggage in a railway cloa!room. an+ where the chil+ren sim*ly 0egetate+. +oing absolutely nothing. reaching the age of si'teen without learning to rea+> an+ another school where the +ays *asse+ in a *er*etual riot. with a bro!en2+own ol+ hac! of a master chasing the boys u* an+ +own an+ slashing at them with a cane. an+

then su++enly colla*sing an+ wee*ing with his hea+ on a +es!. while the boys laughe+ at him# 7o long as schools are run *rimarily for money. things li!e this will ha**en# The e'*ensi0e *ri0ate schools to which the rich sen+ their chil+ren are not. on the surface. so ba+ as the others. because they can affor+ a *ro*er staff. an+ the Public 7chool e'amination system !ee*s them u* to the mar!> but they ha0e the same essential taint# :t was only later. an+ by +egrees. that Dorothy +isco0ere+ these facts about *ri0ate schools# At first. she use+ to suffer from an absur+ fear that one +ay the school ins*ectors woul+ +escen+ u*on 5ingwoo+ 4ouse. fin+ out what a sham an+ a swin+le it all was. an+ raise the +ust accor+ingly# (ater on. howe0er. she learne+ that this coul+ ne0er ha**en# 5ingwoo+ 4ouse was not 'recogni6e+'. an+ therefore was not liable to be ins*ecte+# One +ay a Go0ernment ins*ector +i+. in+ee+. 0isit the school. but beyon+ measuring the +imensions of the schoolroom to see whether each girl ha+ her right number of cubic feet of air. he +i+ nothing> he ha+ no *ower to +o more# Only the tiny minority of 'recogni6e+' schools22less than one in ten22are officially teste+ to +eci+e whether they !ee* u* a reasonable e+ucational stan+ar+# As for the others. they are free to teach or not teach e'actly as they choose# "o one controls or ins*ects them e'ce*t the chil+ren's *arents22the blin+ lea+ing the blin+#

J "e't +ay Dorothy began altering her *rogramme in accor+ance with @rs Cree0y's or+ers# The first lesson of the +ay was han+writing. an+ the secon+ was geogra*hy# 'That'll +o. girls.' sai+ Dorothy as the funereal cloc! struc! ten# '/e'll start our geogra*hy lesson now#' The girls flung their +es!s o*en an+ *ut their hate+ co*yboo!s away with au+ible sighs of relief# There were murmurs of 'Oo. jogra*hy8 Goo+8' :t was one of their fa0ourite lessons# The two girls who were 'monitors' for the wee!. an+ whose job it was to clean the blac!boar+. collect e'ercise boo!s an+ so forth ;chil+ren will fight for the *ri0ilege of +oing jobs of that !in+=. lea*t from their *laces to fetch the half2finishe+ contour ma* that stoo+ against the wall# ut Dorothy sto**e+ them# '/ait a moment# 7it +own. you two# /e aren't going to go on with the ma* this morning#' There was a cry of +ismay# 'Oh. @iss8 /hy can't we. @issA P()A7)

let's go on with it8' '"o# :'m afrai+ we'0e been wasting a little too much time o0er the ma* lately# /e're going to start learning some of the ca*itals of the )nglish counties# : want e0ery girl in the class to !now the whole lot of them by the en+ of the term#' The chil+ren's faces fell# Dorothy saw it. an+ a++e+ with an attem*t at brightness22that hollow. un+ecei0ing brightness of a teacher trying to *alm off a boring subject as an interesting one: ',ust thin! how *lease+ your *arents will be when they can as! you the ca*ital of any county in )nglan+ an+ you can tell it them8' The chil+ren were not in the least ta!en in# They writhe+ at the nauseous *ros*ect# 'Oh. CAP:TA(78 (earning CAP:TA(78 That's just what we use+ to +o with @iss 7trong# Please. @iss. /41 can't we go on with the ma*A' '"ow +on't argue# Get your noteboo!s out an+ ta!e them +own as : gi0e them to you# An+ afterwar+s we'll say them all together#' 5eluctantly. the chil+ren fishe+ out their noteboo!s. still groaning# 'Please. @iss. can we go on with the ma* ")RT timeA' ': +on't !now# /e'll see#' That afternoon the ma* was remo0e+ from the schoolroom. an+ @rs Cree0y scra*e+ the *lasticine off the boar+ an+ threw it away# :t was the same with all the other subjects. one after another# All the changes that Dorothy ha+ ma+e were un+one# They went bac! to the routine of interminable 'co*ies' an+ interminable '*ractice' sums. to the learning *arrot2fashion of 'Passe62moi le beurre' an+ '(e fils +u jar+inier a *er+u son cha*eau'. to the 4un+re+ Page 4istory an+ the insufferable little 'rea+er'# ;@rs Cree0y ha+ im*oun+e+ the 7ha!es*eares. ostensibly to burn them# The *robability was that she ha+ sol+ them#= Two hours a +ay were set a*art for han+writing lessons# The two +e*ressing *ieces of blac! *a*er. which Dorothy ha+ ta!en +own from the wall. were re*lace+. an+ their *ro0erbs written u*on them afresh in neat co**er*late# As for the historical chart. @rs Cree0y too! it away an+ burnt it# /hen the chil+ren saw the hate+ lessons. from which they ha+ thought to ha0e esca*e+ for e0er. coming bac! u*on them one by one. they were first astonishe+. then miserable. then sul!y# ut it was far worse for Dorothy than for the chil+ren# After only a cou*le of +ays the rigmarole through which she was oblige+ to +ri0e them so nauseate+ her that she began to +oubt whether she coul+ go on with it any longer# Again an+ again she toye+ with the i+ea of

+isobeying @rs Cree0y# /hy not. she woul+ thin!. as the chil+ren whine+ an+ groane+ an+ sweate+ un+er their miserable bon+age22why not sto* it an+ go bac! to *ro*er lessons. e0en if it was only for an hour or two a +ayA /hy not +ro* the whole *retence of lessons an+ sim*ly let the chil+ren *layA :t woul+ be so much better for them than this# (et them +raw *ictures or ma!e something out of *lasticine or begin ma!ing u* a fairy tale22anything 5)A(. anything that woul+ interest them. instea+ of this +rea+ful nonsense# ut she +are+ not# At any moment @rs Cree0y was liable to come in. an+ if she foun+ the chil+ren 'messing about' instea+ of getting on with their routine wor!. there woul+ be fearful trouble# 7o Dorothy har+ene+ her heart. an+ obeye+ @rs Cree0y's instructions to the letter. an+ things were 0ery much as they ha+ been before @iss 7trong was 'ta!en ba+'# The lessons reache+ such a *itch of bore+om that the brightest s*ot in the wee! was @r ooth's so2calle+ chemistry lecture on Thurs+ay afternoons# @r ooth was a see+y. tremulous man of about fifty. with long. wet. cow+ung2coloure+ moustaches# 4e ha+ been a Public 7chool master once u*on a time. but nowa+ays he ma+e just enough for a life of chronic sub2+run!enness by +eli0ering lectures at two an+ si'*ence a time# The lectures were unrelie0e+ +ri0el# )0en in his *almiest +ays @r ooth ha+ not been a *articularly brilliant lecturer. an+ now. when he ha+ ha+ his first go of +elirium tremens an+ li0e+ in a +aily +rea+ of his secon+. what chemical !nowle+ge he ha+ e0er ha+ was fast +eserting him# 4e woul+ stan+ +ithering in front of the class. saying the same thing o0er an+ o0er again an+ trying 0ainly to remember what he was tal!ing about# '5emember. girls.' he woul+ say in his hus!y. woul+2be fatherly 0oice. 'the number of the elements is ninety2three22ninety2three elements. girls22you all of you !now what an element is. +on't youA22there are just ninety2three of them22remember that number. girls22ninety2 three.' until Dorothy ;she ha+ to stay in the schoolroom +uring the chemistry lectures. because @rs Cree0y consi+ere+ that it D:D"'T DO to lea0e the girls alone with a man= was miserable with 0icarious shame# All the lectures starte+ with the ninety2three elements. an+ ne0er got 0ery much further# There was also tal! of 'a 0ery interesting little e'*eriment that :'m going to *erform for you ne't wee!. girls220ery interesting you'll fin+ it22we'll ha0e it ne't wee! without fail22a 0ery interesting little e'*eriment'. which. nee+less to say. was ne0er *erforme+# @r ooth *ossesse+ no chemical a**aratus. an+ his han+s were far too sha!y to ha0e use+ it e0en if he ha+ ha+ any# The girls sat through his lectures in a suety stu*or of bore+om. but e0en he was a welcome change from han+writing lessons# The chil+ren were ne0er Huite the same with Dorothy after the *arents' 0isit# They +i+ not change all in a +ay. of course# They ha+ grown to be fon+ of 'ol+ @illie'. an+ they e'*ecte+ that after a +ay or two of tormenting them with han+writing an+ 'commercial

arithmetic' she woul+ go bac! to something interesting# ut the han+writing an+ arithmetic went on. an+ the *o*ularity Dorothy ha+ enjoye+. as a teacher whose lessons weren't boring an+ who +i+n't sla* you. *inch you. or twist your ears. gra+ually 0anishe+# @oreo0er. the story of the row there ha+ been o0er @acbeth was not long in lea!ing out# The chil+ren gras*e+ that ol+ @illie ha+ +one something wrong22they +i+n't e'actly !now what22an+ ha+ been gi0en a 'tal!ing to'# :t lowere+ her in their eyes# There is no +ealing with chil+ren. e0en with chil+ren who are fon+ of you. unless you can !ee* your *restige as an a+ult> let that *restige be once +amage+. an+ e0en the best2hearte+ chil+ren will +es*ise you# 7o they began to be naughty in the normal. tra+itional way# efore. Dorothy ha+ only ha+ to +eal with occasional la6iness. outbursts of noise an+ silly giggling fits> now there were s*ite an+ +eceitfulness as well# The chil+ren re0olte+ ceaselessly against the horrible routine# They forgot the short wee!s when ol+ @illie ha+ seeme+ Huite a goo+ sort an+ school itself ha+ seeme+ rather fun# "ow. school was sim*ly what it ha+ always been. an+ what in+ee+ you e'*ecte+ it to be22a *lace where you slac!e+ an+ yawne+ an+ while+ the time away by *inching your neighbour an+ trying to ma!e the teacher lose her tem*er. an+ from which you burst with a yell of relief the instant the last lesson was o0er# 7ometimes they sul!e+ an+ ha+ fits of crying. sometimes they argue+ in the ma++ening *ersistent way that chil+ren ha0e. '/41 shoul+ we +o thisA /41 +oes anyone ha0e to learn to rea+ an+ writeA' o0er an+ o0er again. until Dorothy ha+ to stan+ o0er them an+ silence them with threats of blows# 7he was growing almost habitually irritable nowa+ays> it sur*rise+ an+ shoc!e+ her. but she coul+ not sto* it# )0ery morning she 0owe+ to herself. 'To+ay : will "OT lose my tem*er'. an+ e0ery morning. with +e*ressing regularity. she D:D lose her tem*er. es*ecially at about half *ast ele0en when the chil+ren were at their worst# "othing in the worl+ is Huite so irritating as +ealing with mutinous chil+ren# 7ooner or later. Dorothy !new. she woul+ lose control of herself an+ begin hitting them# :t seeme+ to her an unforgi0able thing to +o. to hit a chil+> but nearly all teachers come to it in the en+# :t was im*ossible now to get any chil+ to wor! e'ce*t when your eye was u*on it# 1ou ha+ only to turn your bac! for an instant an+ blotting2*a*er *ellets were flying to an+ fro# "e0ertheless. with ceaseless sla0e2+ri0ing the chil+ren's han+writing an+ 'commercial arithmetic' +i+ certainly show some im*ro0ement. an+ no +oubt the *arents were satisfie+# The last few wee!s of the term were a 0ery ba+ time# Bor o0er a fortnight Dorothy was Huite *enniless. for @rs Cree0y ha+ tol+ her that she coul+n't *ay her her term's wages 'till some of the fees came in'# 7o she was +e*ri0e+ of the secret slabs of chocolate that ha+ !e*t her going. an+ she suffere+ from a *er*etual slight hunger that ma+e her langui+ an+ s*iritless# There were lea+en

mornings when the minutes +ragge+ li!e hours. when she struggle+ with herself to !ee* her eyes away from the cloc!. an+ her heart sic!ene+ to thin! that beyon+ this lesson there loome+ another just li!e it. an+ more of them an+ more. stretching on into what seeme+ li!e a +reary eternity# /orse yet were the times when the chil+ren were in their noisy moo+ an+ it nee+e+ a constant e'hausting effort of the will to !ee* them un+er control at all> an+ beyon+ the wall. of course. lur!e+ @rs Cree0y. always listening. always rea+y to +escen+ u*on the schoolroom. wrench the +oor o*en. an+ glare roun+ the room with '"ow then8 /hat's all this noise about. *leaseA' an+ the sac! in her eye# Dorothy was fully awa!e. now. to the beastliness of li0ing in @rs Cree0y's house# The filthy foo+. the col+. an+ the lac! of baths seeme+ much more im*ortant than they ha+ seeme+ a little while ago# @oreo0er. she was beginning to a**reciate. as she ha+ not +one when the joy of her wor! was fresh u*on her. the utter loneliness of her *osition# "either her father nor @r /arburton ha+ written to her. an+ in two months she ha+ ma+e not a single frien+ in 7outhbri+ge# Bor anyone so situate+. an+ *articularly for a woman. it is all but im*ossible to ma!e frien+s# 7he ha+ no money an+ no home of her own. an+ outsi+e the school her sole *laces of refuge were the *ublic library. on the few e0enings when she coul+ get there. an+ church on 7un+ay mornings# 7he went to church regularly. of course22@rs Cree0y ha+ insiste+ on that# 7he ha+ settle+ the Huestion of Dorothy's religious obser0ances at brea!fast on her first 7un+ay morning# ':'0e just been won+ering what Place of /orshi* you ought to go to.' she sai+# ': su**ose you were brought u* C# of )#. weren't youA' '1es.' sai+ Dorothy# '4m. well# : can't Huite ma!e u* my min+ where to sen+ you# There's 7t George's22that's the C# of )#22an+ there's the a*tist Cha*el where : go myself# @ost of our *arents are "onconformists. an+ : +on't !now as they'+ Huite a**ro0e of a C# of )# teacher# 1ou can't be too careful with the *arents# They ha+ a bit of a scare two years ago when it turne+ out that the teacher : ha+ then was actually a 5oman Catholic. if you *lease8 Of course she !e*t it +ar! as long as she coul+. but it came out in the en+. an+ three of the *arents too! their chil+ren away# : got ri+ of her the same +ay as : foun+ it out. naturally#' Dorothy was silent# '7till.' went on @rs Cree0y. 'we 4AD) got three C# of )# *u*ils. an+ : +on't !now as the Church conne'ion mightn't be wor!e+ u* a bit# 7o *erha*s you'+ better ris! it an+ go to 7t George's# ut

you want to be a bit careful. you !now# :'m tol+ 7t George's is one of these churches where they go in for a lot of bowing an+ scra*ing an+ crossing yourself an+ all that# /e'0e got two *arents that are Plymouth rothers. an+ they'+ throw a fit if they hear+ you'+ been seen crossing yourself# 7o +on't go an+ +o T4AT. whate0er you +o#' 'Dery well.' sai+ Dorothy# 'An+ just you !ee* your eyes well o*en +uring the sermon# 4a0e a goo+ loo! roun+ an+ see if there's any young girls in the congregation that we coul+ get hol+ of# :f you see any li!ely loo!ing ones. get on to the *arson afterwar+s an+ try an+ fin+ out their names an+ a++resses#' 7o Dorothy went to 7t George's# :t was a sha+e '4igher' than 7t Athelstan's ha+ been> chairs. not *ews. but no incense. an+ the 0icar ;his name was @r Gore2/illiams= wore a *lain cassoc! an+ sur*lice e'ce*t on festi0al +ays# As for the ser0ices. they were so li!e those at home that Dorothy coul+ go through them. an+ utter all the res*onses at the right moment. in a state of the com*letest abstraction# There was ne0er a moment when the *ower of worshi* returne+ to her# :n+ee+. the whole conce*t of worshi* was meaningless to her now> her faith ha+ 0anishe+. utterly an+ irre0ocably# :t is a mysterious thing. the loss of faith22as mysterious as faith itself# (i!e faith. it is ultimately not roote+ in logic> it is a change in the climate of the min+# ut howe0er little the church ser0ices might mean to her. she +i+ not regret the hours she s*ent in church# On the contrary. she loo!e+ forwar+ to her 7un+ay mornings as blesse+ interlu+es of *eace> an+ that not only because 7un+ay morning meant a res*ite from @rs Cree0y's *rying eye an+ nagging 0oice# :n another an+ +ee*er sense the atmos*here of the church was soothing an+ reassuring to her# Bor she *ercei0e+ that in all that ha**ens in church. howe0er absur+ an+ cowar+ly its su**ose+ *ur*ose may be. there is something22it is har+ to +efine. but something of +ecency. of s*iritual comeliness22that is not easily foun+ in the worl+ outsi+e# :t seeme+ to her that e0en though you no longer belie0e. it is better to go to church than not> better to follow in the ancient ways. than to +rift in rootless free+om# 7he !new 0ery well that she woul+ ne0er again be able to utter a *rayer an+ mean it> but she !new also that for the rest of her life she must continue with the obser0ances to which she ha+ been bre+# ,ust this much remaine+ to her of the faith that ha+ once. li!e the bones in a li0ing frame. hel+ all her life together# ut as yet she +i+ not thin! 0ery +ee*ly about the loss of her faith an+ what it might mean to her in the future# 7he was too busy merely e'isting. merely struggling to ma!e her ner0es hol+ out

for the rest of that miserable term# Bor as the term +rew to an en+. the job of !ee*ing the class in or+er grew more an+ more e'hausting# The girls beha0e+ atrociously. an+ they were all the bitterer against Dorothy because they ha+ once been fon+ of her# 7he ha+ +ecei0e+ them. they felt# 7he ha+ starte+ off by being +ecent. an+ now she ha+ turne+ out to be just a beastly ol+ teacher li!e the rest of them22a nasty ol+ beast who !e*t on an+ on with those awful han+writing lessons an+ sna**e+ your hea+ off if you so much as ma+e a blot on your boo!# Dorothy caught them eyeing her face. sometimes. with the aloof. cruel scrutiny of chil+ren# They ha+ thought her *retty once. an+ now they thought her ugly. ol+. an+ scraggy# 7he ha+ grown. in+ee+. much thinner since she ha+ been at 5ingwoo+ 4ouse# They hate+ her now. as they ha+ hate+ all their *re0ious teachers# 7ometimes they baite+ her Huite +eliberately# The ol+er an+ more intelligent girls un+erstoo+ the situation well enough22un+erstoo+ that @illie was un+er ol+ Cree0y's thumb an+ that she got +ro**e+ on afterwar+s when they ha+ been ma!ing too much noise> sometimes they ma+e all the noise they +are+. just so as to bring ol+ Cree0y in an+ ha0e the *leasure of watching @illie's face while ol+ Cree0y tol+ her off# There were times when Dorothy coul+ !ee* her tem*er an+ forgi0e them all they +i+. because she reali6e+ that it was only a healthy instinct that ma+e them rebel against the loathsome monotony of their wor!# ut there were other times when her ner0es were more on e+ge than usual. an+ when she loo!e+ roun+ at the score of silly little faces. grinning or mutinous. an+ foun+ it *ossible to hate them# Chil+ren are so blin+. so selfish. so merciless# They +o not !now when they are tormenting you *ast bearing. an+ if they +i+ !now they woul+ not care# 1ou may +o your 0ery best for them. you may !ee* your tem*er in situations that woul+ try a saint. an+ yet if you are force+ to bore them an+ o**ress them. they will hate you for it without e0er as!ing themsel0es whether it is you who are to blame# 4ow true22when you ha**en not to be a school2teacher yourself22how true those often2 Huote+ lines soun+22 Cn+er a cruel eye outworn The little ones s*en+ the +ay :n sighing an+ +ismay8 ut when you yourself are the cruel eye outworn. you reali6e that there is another si+e to the *icture# The last wee! came. an+ the +irty farce of 'e'ams'. was carrie+ through# The system. as e'*laine+ by @rs Cree0y. was Huite sim*le# 1ou coache+ the chil+ren in. for e'am*le. a series of sums until you were Huite certain that they coul+ get them right. an+ then set

them the same sums as an arithmetic *a*er before they ha+ time to forget the answers> an+ so with each subject in turn# The chil+ren's *a*ers were. of course. sent home for their *arents' ins*ection# An+ Dorothy wrote the re*orts un+er @rs Cree0y's +ictation. an+ she ha+ to write 'e'cellent' so many times that22as sometimes ha**ens when you write a wor+ o0er an+ o0er again22she forgot how to s*ell it an+ began writing in 'e'celent'. 'e'sellent'. 'ecsellent'. 'eccelent'# The last +ay *asse+ in fearful tumults# "ot e0en @rs Cree0y herself coul+ !ee* the chil+ren in or+er# y mi++ay Dorothy's ner0es were in rags. an+ @rs Cree0y ga0e her a 'tal!ing to' in front of the se0en chil+ren who staye+ to +inner# :n the afternoon the noise was worse than e0er. an+ at last Dorothy. o0ercome. a**eale+ to the girls almost tearfully to sto*# 'Girls8' she calle+ out. raising her 0oice to ma!e herself hear+ through the +in# 'P()A7) sto* it. P()A7)8 1ou're beha0ing horribly to me# Do you thin! it's !in+ to go on li!e thisA' That was fatal. of course# "e0er. ne0er. ne0er throw yourself on the mercy of a chil+8 There was an instant's hush. an+ then one chil+ crie+ out. lou+ly an+ +erisi0ely. '@ill2iee8' The ne't moment the whole class ha+ ta!en it u*. e0en the imbecile @a0is. chanting all together '@ill2iee8 @ill2iee8 @ill2iee8' At that. something within Dorothy seeme+ to sna*# 7he *ause+ for an instant. *ic!e+ out the girl who was ma!ing the most noise. wal!e+ u* to her. an+ ga0e her a smac! across the ear almost as har+ as she coul+ hit# 4a**ily it was only one of the 'me+ium *ayers'#

F On the first +ay of the holi+ays Dorothy recei0e+ a letter from @r /arburton# @y Dear Dorothy Nhe wroteO.22Or shoul+ : call you )llen. as : un+erstan+ that is your new nameA 1ou must. : am afrai+. ha0e thought it 0ery heartless of me not to ha0e written sooner. but : assure you that it was not until ten +ays ago that : e0en hear+ anything about our su**ose+ esca*a+e# : ha0e been abroa+. first in 0arious *arts of Brance. then in Austria an+ then in 5ome. an+. as you !now. : a0oi+ my fellow countrymen most strenuously on these tri*s# They are +isgusting enough e0en at home. but in foreign *arts their beha0iour ma!es me so ashame+ of them that : generally try to *ass myself off as an American#

/hen : got to <ny*e 4ill your father refuse+ to see me. but : manage+ to get hol+ of Dictor 7tone. who ga0e me your a++ress an+ the name you are using# 4e seeme+ rather reluctant to +o so. an+ : gathere+ that e0en he. li!e e0eryone else in this *oisonous town. still belie0es that you ha0e misbeha0e+ yourself in some way# : thin! the theory that you an+ : elo*e+ together has been +ro**e+. but you must. they feel. ha0e +one 7O@)T4:"G scan+alous# A young woman has left home su++enly. therefore there must be a man in the case> that is how the *ro0incial min+ wor!s. you see# : nee+ not tell you that : ha0e been contra+icting the whole story with the utmost 0igour# 1ou will be gla+ to hear that : manage+ to corner that +isgusting hag. @rs 7em*rill. an+ gi0e her a *iece of my min+> an+ : assure you that a *iece of @1 min+ is +istinctly formi+able# ut the woman is sim*ly sub2human# : coul+ get nothing out of her e'ce*t hy*ocritical sni0ellings about '*oor. POO5 Dorothy'# : hear that your father misses you 0ery much. an+ woul+ gla+ly ha0e you home again if it were not for the scan+al# 4is meals are ne0er *unctual nowa+ays. it seems# 4e gi0es it out that you 'went away to recu*erate from a slight illness an+ ha0e now got an e'cellent *ost at a girls' school'# 1ou will be sur*rise+ to hear of one thing that has ha**ene+ to him# 4e has been oblige+ to *ay off all his +ebts8 : am tol+ that the tra+esmen rose in a bo+y an+ hel+ what was *ractically a cre+itors' meeting in the 5ectory# "ot the !in+ of thing that coul+ ha0e ha**ene+ at Plumstea+ )*isco*i22but these are +emocratic +ays. alas8 1ou. e0i+ently. were the only *erson who coul+ !ee* the tra+esmen *ermanently at bay# An+ now : must tell you some of my own news. etc#. etc#. etc# At this *oint Dorothy tore the letter u* in +isa**ointment an+ e0en in annoyance# 4e might ha0e shown a little more sym*athy8 she thought# :t was just li!e @r /arburton after getting her into serious trouble22for after all. he was *rinci*ally to blame for what ha+ ha**ene+22to be so fli**ant an+ unconcerne+ about it# ut when she ha+ thought it o0er she acHuitte+ him of heartlessness# 4e ha+ +one what little was *ossible to hel* her. an+ he coul+ not be e'*ecte+ to *ity her for troubles of which he ha+ not hear+# esi+es. his own life ha+ been a series of resoun+ing scan+als> *robably he coul+ not un+erstan+ that to a woman a scan+al is a serious matter# At Christmas Dorothy's father also wrote. an+ what was more. sent her a Christmas *resent of two *oun+s# :t was e0i+ent from the tone of his letter that he ha+ forgi0en Dorothy by this time# /4AT e'actly he ha+ forgi0en her was not certain. because it was not certain what e'actly she ha+ +one> but still. he ha+ forgi0en her# The letter starte+ with some *erfunctory but Huite frien+ly inHuiries# 4e ho*e+ her new job suite+ her. he wrote# An+ were

her rooms at the school comfortable an+ the rest of the staff congenialA 4e ha+ hear+ that they +i+ one 0ery well at schools nowa+ays220ery +ifferent from what it ha+ been forty years ago# "ow. in his +ay. etc#. etc#. etc# 4e ha+. Dorothy *ercei0e+. not the +immest i+ea of her *resent circumstances# At the mention of schools his min+ flew to /inchester. his ol+ school> such a *lace as 5ingwoo+ 4ouse was beyon+ his imagining# The rest of the letter was ta!en u* with grumblings about the way things were going in the *arish# The 5ector com*laine+ of being worrie+ an+ o0erwor!e+# The wretche+ churchwar+ens !e*t bothering him with this an+ that. an+ he was growing 0ery tire+ of Proggett's re*orts about the colla*sing belfry. an+ the +aily woman whom he ha+ engage+ to hel* )llen was a great nuisance an+ ha+ *ut her broom2han+le through the face of the gran+father cloc! in his stu+y22an+ so on. an+ so forth. for a number of *ages# 4e sai+ se0eral times in a mumbling roun+about way that he wishe+ Dorothy were there to hel* him> but he +i+ not actually suggest that she shoul+ come home# )0i+ently it was still necessary that she shoul+ remain out of sight an+ out of min+22a s!eleton in a +istant an+ well2loc!e+ cu*boar+# The letter fille+ Dorothy with su++en *ainful homesic!ness# 7he foun+ herself *ining to be bac! at her *arish 0isiting an+ her Girl Gui+es' coo!ing class. an+ won+ering unha**ily how her father ha+ got on without her all this while an+ whether those two women were loo!ing after him *ro*erly# 7he was fon+ of her father. in a way that she ha+ ne0er +are+ to show> for he was not a *erson to whom you coul+ ma!e any +is*lay of affection# :t sur*rise+ an+ rather shoc!e+ her to reali6e how little he ha+ been in her thoughts +uring the *ast four months# There ha+ been *erio+s of wee!s at a time when she ha+ forgotten his e'istence# ut the truth was that the mere business of !ee*ing bo+y an+ soul together ha+ left her with no leisure for other emotions# "ow. howe0er. school wor! was o0er. an+ she ha+ leisure an+ to s*are. for though @rs Cree0y +i+ her best she coul+ not in0ent enough househol+ jobs to !ee* Dorothy busy for more than *art of the +ay# 7he ma+e it Huite *lain to Dorothy that +uring the holi+ays she was nothing but a useless e'*ense. an+ she watche+ her at her meals ;ob0iously feeling it an outrage that she shoul+ eat when she wasn't wor!ing= in a way that finally became unbearable# 7o Dorothy !e*t out of the house as much as *ossible. an+. feeling fairly rich with her wages ;four *oun+s ten. for nine wee!s= an+ her father's two *oun+s. she too! to buying san+wiches at the ham an+ beef sho* in the town an+ eating her +inner out of +oors# @rs Cree0y acHuiesce+. half sul!ily because she li!e+ to ha0e Dorothy in the house to nag at her. an+ half *lease+ at the chance of s!im*ing a few more meals#

Dorothy went for long solitary wal!s. e'*loring 7outhbri+ge an+ its yet more +esolate neighbours. Dorley. /embri+ge. an+ /est 4olton# /inter ha+ +escen+e+. +an! an+ win+less. an+ more gloomy in those colourless labyrinthine suburbs than in the blea!est wil+erness# On two or three occasions. though such e'tra0agance woul+ *robably mean hungry +ays later on. Dorothy too! a chea* return tic!et to :0er 4eath or urnham eeches# The woo+s were so++en an+ wintry. with great be+s of +rifte+ beech lea0es that glowe+ li!e co**er in the still. wet air. an+ the +ays were so mil+ that you coul+ sit out of +oors an+ rea+ if you !e*t your glo0es on# On Christmas )0e @rs Cree0y *ro+uce+ some s*rigs of holly that she ha+ sa0e+ from last year. +uste+ them. an+ naile+ them u*> but she +i+ not. she sai+. inten+ to ha0e a Christmas +inner# 7he +i+n't hol+ with all this Christmas nonsense. she sai+22it was just a lot of humbug got u* by the sho*!ee*ers. an+ such an unnecessary e'*ense> an+ she hate+ tur!ey an+ Christmas *u++ing anyway# Dorothy was relie0e+> a Christmas +inner in that joyless 'morning2room' ;she ha+ an awful momentary 0ision of @rs Cree0y in a *a*er hat out of a crac!er= was something that +i+n't bear thin!ing about# 7he ate her Christmas +inner22a har+2boile+ egg. two cheese san+wiches. an+ a bottle of lemona+e22in the woo+s near urnham. against a great gnarle+ beech tree. o0er a co*y of George Gissing's The O++ /omen# On +ays when it was too wet to go for wal!s she s*ent most of her time in the *ublic library22becoming. in+ee+. one of the regular habituees of the library. along with the out2of2wor! men who sat +rearily musing o0er illustrate+ *a*ers which they +i+ not rea+. an+ the el+erly +iscoloure+ bachelor who li0e+ in 'rooms' on two *oun+s a wee! an+ came to the library to stu+y boo!s on yachting by the hour together# :t ha+ been a great relief to her when the term en+e+. but this feeling soon wore off> in+ee+. with ne0er a soul to tal! to. the +ays +ragge+ e0en more hea0ily than before# There is *erha*s no Huarter of the inhabite+ worl+ where one can be Huite so com*letely alone as in the (on+on suburbs# :n a big town the throng an+ bustle gi0e one at least the illusion of com*anionshi*. an+ in the country e0eryone is intereste+ in e0eryone else22too much so. in+ee+# ut in *laces li!e 7outhbri+ge. if you ha0e no family an+ no home to call your own. you coul+ s*en+ half a lifetime without managing to ma!e a frien+# There are women in such *laces. an+ es*ecially +erelict gentlewomen in ill2*ai+ jobs. who go for years u*on en+ in almost utter solitu+e# :t was not long before Dorothy foun+ herself in a *er*etually low2s*irite+. ja+e+ state in which. try as she woul+. nothing seeme+ able to interest her# An+ it was in the hateful ennui of this time22the corru*ting ennui that lies in wait for e0ery mo+ern soul22that she first came to a full un+erstan+ing of what it meant to ha0e lost her faith# 7he trie+ +rugging herself with boo!s. an+ it succee+e+ for a wee! or so# ut after a while 0ery nearly all boo!s seeme+ wearisome

an+ unintelligible> for the min+ will not wor! to any *ur*ose when it is Huite alone# :n the en+ she foun+ that she coul+ not co*e with anything more +ifficult than a +etecti0e story# 7he too! wal!s of ten an+ fifteen miles. trying to tire herself into a better moo+> but the mean suburban roa+s. an+ the +am*. miry *aths through the woo+s. the na!e+ trees. the so++en moss an+ great s*ongy fungi. afflicte+ her with a +ea+ly melancholy# :t was human com*anionshi* that she nee+e+. an+ there seeme+ no way of getting it# At nights' when she wal!e+ bac! to the school an+ loo!e+ at the warm2lit win+ows of the houses. an+ hear+ 0oices laughing an+ gramo*hones *laying within. her heart swelle+ with en0y# Ah. to be li!e those *eo*le in there22to ha0e at least a home. a family. a few frien+s who were intereste+ in you8 There were +ays when she *ine+ for the courage to s*ea! to strangers in the street# Days. too. when she contem*late+ shamming *iety in or+er to scra*e acHuaintance with the Dicar of 7t George's an+ his family. an+ *erha*s get the chance of occu*ying herself with a little *arish wor!> +ays. e0en. when she was so +es*erate that she thought of joining the 1#/#C#A# ut almost at the en+ of the holi+ays. through a chance encounter at the library. she ma+e frien+s with a little woman name+ @iss ea0er. who was geogra*hy mistress at Toot's Commercial College. another of the *ri0ate schools in 7outhbri+ge# Toot's Commerical College was a much larger an+ more *retentious school than 5ingwoo+ 4ouse22it ha+ about a hun+re+ an+ fifty +ay2*u*ils of both se'es an+ e0en rose to the +ignity of ha0ing a +o6en boar+ers22an+ its curriculum was a somewhat less blatant swin+le# :t was one of those schools that are aime+ at the ty*e of *arent who blathers about 'u*2to2+ate business training'. an+ its watch2wor+ was )fficiency> meaning a tremen+ous *ara+e of hustling. an+ the banishment of all humane stu+ies# One of its features was a !in+ of catechism calle+ the )fficiency 5itual. which all the chil+ren were reHuire+ to learn by heart as soon as they joine+ the school# :t ha+ Huestions an+ answers such as: M# A# M# A# /hat is the secret of successA The secret of success is efficiency# /hat is the test of efficiencyA The test of efficiency is success#

An+ so on an+ so on# :t was sai+ that the s*ectacle of the whole school. boys an+ girls together. reciting the )fficiency 5itual un+er the lea+ershi* of the 4ea+master22they ha+ this ceremony two mornings a wee! instea+ of *rayers22was most im*ressi0e# @iss ea0er was a *rim little woman with a roun+ bo+y. a thin face. a re++ish nose. an+ the gait of a guinea2hen# After twenty years of sla0e2+ri0ing she ha+ attaine+ to an income of four *oun+s a wee! an+ the *ri0ilege of 'li0ing out' instea+ of ha0ing to *ut the

boar+ers to be+ at nights# 7he li0e+ in 'rooms'22that is. in a be+2sitting room22to which she was sometimes able to in0ite Dorothy when both of them ha+ a free e0ening# 4ow Dorothy loo!e+ forwar+ to those 0isits8 They were only *ossible at rare inter0als. because @iss ea0er's lan+la+y '+i+n't a**ro0e of 0isitors'. an+ e0en when you got there there was nothing much to +o e'ce*t to hel* sol0e the crosswor+ *u66le out of the Daily Telegra*h an+ loo! at the *hotogra*hs @iss ea0er ha+ ta!en on her tri* ;this tri* ha+ been the summit an+ glory of her life= to the Austrian Tyrol in &9&E# ut still. how much it meant to sit tal!ing to somebo+y in a frien+ly way an+ to +rin! a cu* of tea less wishy2washy than @rs Cree0y's8 @iss ea0er ha+ a s*irit lam* in a ja*anne+ tra0elling case ;it ha+ been with her to the Tyrol in &9&E= on which she brewe+ herself *ots of tea as blac! as coal2tar. swallowing about a buc!etful of this stuff +uring the +ay# 7he confi+e+ to Dorothy that she always too! a Thermos flas! to school an+ ha+ a nice hot cu* of tea +uring the brea! an+ another after +inner# Dorothy *ercei0e+ that by one of two well2beaten roa+s e0ery thir+2rate schoolmistress must tra0el: @iss 7trong's roa+. 0ia whis!y to the wor!house> or @iss ea0er's roa+. 0ia strong tea to a +ecent +eath in the 4ome for Decaye+ Gentlewomen# @iss ea0er was in truth a +ull little woman# 7he was a memento mori. or rather memento senescere. to Dorothy# 4er soul seeme+ to ha0e withere+ until it was as forlorn as a +rie+2u* ca!e of soa* in a forgotten soa* +ish# 7he ha+ come to a *oint where life in a be+2sitting room un+er a tyrannous lan+la+y an+ the 'efficient' thrusting of Commercial Geogra*hy +own chil+ren's retching throats. were almost the only +estiny she coul+ imagine# 1et Dorothy grew to be 0ery fon+ of @iss ea0er. an+ those occasional hours that they s*ent together in the be+2sitting room. +oing the Daily Telegra*h crosswor+ o0er a nice hot cu* of tea. were li!e oases in her life# 7he was gla+ when the )aster term began. for e0en the +aily roun+ of sla0e2+ri0ing was better than the em*ty solitu+e of the holi+ays# @oreo0er. the girls were much better in han+ this term> she ne0er again foun+ it necessary to smac! their hea+s# Bor she ha+ gras*e+ now that it is easy enough to !ee* chil+ren in or+er if you are ruthless with them from the start# (ast term the girls ha+ beha0e+ ba+ly. because she ha+ starte+ by treating them as human beings. an+ later on. when the lessons that intereste+ them were +iscontinue+. they ha+ rebelle+ li!e human beings# ut if you are oblige+ to teach chil+ren rubbish. you mustn't treat them as human beings# 1ou must treat them li!e animals22+ri0ing. not *ersua+ing# efore all else. you must teach them that it is more *ainful to rebel than to obey# Possibly this !in+ of treatment is not 0ery goo+ for chil+ren. but there is no +oubt they un+erstan+ it an+ res*on+ to it#

7he learne+ the +ismal arts of the school2teacher# 7he learne+ to gla6e her min+ against the interminable boring hours. to economi6e her ner0ous energy. to be merciless an+ e0er20igilant. to ta!e a !in+ of *ri+e an+ *leasure in seeing a futile rigmarole well +one# 7he ha+ grown. Huite su++enly it seeme+. much tougher an+ maturer# 4er eyes ha+ lost the half2chil+ish loo! that they ha+ once ha+. an+ her face ha+ grown thinner. ma!ing her nose seem longer# At times it was Huite +efinitely a schoolmarm's face> you coul+ imagine *ince2ne6 u*on it# ut she ha+ not become cynical as yet# 7he still !new that these chil+ren were the 0ictims of a +reary swin+le. still longe+. if it ha+ been *ossible. to +o something better for them# :f she harrie+ them an+ stuffe+ their hea+s with rubbish. it was for one reason alone: because whate0er ha**ene+ she ha+ got to !ee* her job# There was 0ery little noise in the schoolroom this term# @rs Cree0y. an'ious as she always was for a chance of fin+ing fault. sel+om ha+ reason to ra* on the wall with her broom2han+le# One morning at brea!fast she loo!e+ rather har+ at Dorothy. as though weighing a +ecision. an+ then *ushe+ the +ish of marmala+e across the table# '4a0e some marmala+e if you li!e. @iss @illborough.' she sai+. Huite graciously for her# :t was the first time that marmala+e ha+ crosse+ Dorothy's li*s since she ha+ come to 5ingwoo+ 4ouse# 7he flushe+ slightly# '7o the woman reali6es that : ha0e +one my best for her.' she coul+ not hel* thin!ing# Thereafter she ha+ marmala+e for brea!fast e0ery morning# An+ in other ways @rs Cree0y's manner became22not in+ee+. genial. for it coul+ ne0er be that. but less brutally offensi0e# There were e0en times when she *ro+uce+ a grimace that was inten+e+ for a smile> her face. it seeme+ to Dorothy. C5)A7)D with the effort# About this time her con0ersation became *e**ere+ with references to 'ne't term'# :t was always '"e't term we'll +o this'. an+ '"e't term : shall want you to +o that'. until Dorothy began to feel that she ha+ won @rs Cree0y's confi+ence an+ was being treate+ more li!e a colleague than a sla0e# At that a small. unreasonable but 0ery e'citing ho*e too! root in her heart# Perha*s @rs Cree0y was going to raise her wages8 :t was *rofoun+ly unli!ely. an+ she trie+ to brea! herself of ho*ing for it. but coul+ not Huite succee+# :f her wages were raise+ e0en half a crown a wee!. what a +ifference it woul+ ma!e8 The last +ay came# /ith any luc! @rs Cree0y might *ay her wages tomorrow. Dorothy thought# 7he wante+ the money 0ery ba+ly in+ee+> she ha+ been *enniless for wee!s *ast. an+ was not only unbearably hungry. but also in nee+ of some new stoc!ings. for she ha+ not a

*air that were not +arne+ almost out of e'istence# The following morning she +i+ the househol+ jobs allotte+ to her. an+ then. instea+ of going out. waite+ in the 'morning2room' while @rs Cree0y bange+ about with her broom an+ *an u*stairs# Presently @rs Cree0y came +own# 'Ah. so T4)5) you are. @iss @illborough8' she sai+ in a *eculiar meaning tone# ': ha+ a sort of an i+ea you woul+n't be in such a hurry to get out of +oors this morning# /ell. as you A5) here. : su**ose : may as well *ay you your wages#' 'Than! you.' sai+ Dorothy# 'An+ after that.' a++e+ @rs Cree0y. ':'0e got a little something as : want to say to you#' Dorothy's heart stirre+# Di+ that 'little something' mean the longe+2for rise in wagesA :t was just concei0able# @rs Cree0y *ro+uce+ a worn. bulgy leather *urse from a loc!e+ +rawer in the +resser. o*ene+ it an+ lic!e+ her thumb# 'Twel0e wee!s an+ fi0e +ays.' she sai+# 'Twel0e wee!s is near enough# "o nee+ to be *articular to a +ay# That ma!es si' *oun+s#' 7he counte+ out fi0e +ingy *oun+ notes an+ two ten2shilling notes> then. e'amining one of the notes an+ a**arently fin+ing it too clean. she *ut it bac! into her *urse an+ fishe+ out another that ha+ been torn in half# 7he went to the +resser. got a *iece of trans*arent stic!y *a*er an+ carefully stuc! the two hal0es together# Then she han+e+ it. together with the other si'. to Dorothy# 'There you are. @iss @illborough.' she sai+# 'An+ now. will you just lea0e the house AT once. *leaseA : shan't be wanting you any longer#' '1ou won't be22' Dorothy's entrails seeme+ to ha0e turne+ to ice# All the bloo+ +raine+ out of her face# ut e0en now. in her terror an+ +es*air. she was not absolutely sure of the meaning of what ha+ been sai+ to her# 7he still half thought that @rs Cree0y merely meant that she was to stay out of the house for the rest of the +ay# '1ou won't be wanting me any longerA' she re*eate+ faintly# '"o# :'m getting in another teacher at the beginning of ne't term# An+ it isn't to be e'*ecte+ as :'+ !ee* you through the holi+ays all free for nothing. is itA'

' ut you +on't mean that you want me to ()AD)22that you're +ismissing meA' 'Of course : +o# /hat else +i+ you thin! : meantA' ' ut you'0e gi0en me no notice8' sai+ Dorothy# '"otice8' sai+ @rs Cree0y. getting angry imme+iately# '/hat's it got to +o with 1OC whether : gi0e you notice or notA 1ou ha0en't got a written contract. ha0e youA' '"o # # # : su**ose not#' '/ell. then8 1ou'+ better go u*stairs an+ start *ac!ing your bo'# :t's no goo+ your staying any longer. because : ha0en't got anything in for your +inner#' Dorothy went u*stairs an+ sat +own on the si+e of the be+# 7he was trembling uncontrollably. an+ it was some minutes before she coul+ collect her wits an+ begin *ac!ing# 7he felt +a6e+# The +isaster that ha+ fallen u*on her was so su++en. so a**arently causeless. that she ha+ +ifficulty in belie0ing that it ha+ actually ha**ene+# ut in truth the reason why @rs Cree0y ha+ sac!e+ her was Huite sim*le an+ a+eHuate# "ot far from 5ingwoo+ 4ouse there was a *oor. moribun+ little school calle+ The Gables. with only se0en *u*ils# The teacher was an incom*etent ol+ hac! calle+ @iss Allcoc!. who ha+ been at thirty2eight +ifferent schools in her life an+ was not fit to ha0e charge of a tame canary# ut @iss Allcoc! ha+ one outstan+ing talent> she was 0ery goo+ at +ouble2crossing her em*loyers# :n these thir+2rate an+ fourth2rate *ri0ate schools a sort of *iracy is constantly going on# Parents are 'got roun+' an+ *u*ils stolen from one school to another# Dery often the treachery of the teacher is at the bottom of it# The teacher secretly a**roaches the *arents one by one ;'7en+ your chil+ to me an+ :'ll ta!e her at ten shillings a term chea*er'=. an+ when she has corru*te+ a sufficient number she su++enly +eserts an+ 'sets u*' on her own. or carries the chil+ren off to another school# @iss Allcoc! ha+ succee+e+ in stealing three out of her em*loyer's se0en *u*ils. an+ ha+ come to @rs Cree0y with the offer of them# :n return. she was to ha0e Dorothy's *lace an+ a fifteen2*er2cent commission on the *u*ils she brought# There were wee!s of furti0e chaffering before the bargain was clinche+. @iss Allcoc! being finally beaten +own from fifteen *er cent to twel0e an+ a half# @rs Cree0y *ri0ately resol0e+ to sac! ol+ Allcoc! the instant she was certain that the three chil+ren she brought with her woul+ stay# 7imultaneously. @iss Allcoc! was

*lanning to begin stealing ol+ Cree0y's *u*ils as soon as she ha+ got a footing in the school# 4a0ing +eci+e+ to sac! Dorothy. it was ob0iously most im*ortant to *re0ent her from fin+ing it out# Bor. of course. if she !new what was going to ha**en. she woul+ begin stealing *u*ils on her own account. or at any rate woul+n't +o a stro!e of wor! for the rest of the term# ;@rs Cree0y *ri+e+ herself on !nowing human nature#= 4ence the marmala+e. the crea!y smiles. an+ the other ruses to allay Dorothy's sus*icions# Anyone who !new the ro*es woul+ ha0e begun thin!ing of another job the 0ery moment when the +ish of marmala+e was *ushe+ across the table# ,ust half an hour after her sentence of +ismissal. Dorothy. carrying her han+bag. o*ene+ the front gate# :t was the fourth of A*ril. a bright blowy +ay. too col+ to stan+ about in. with a s!y as blue as a he+ges*arrow's egg. an+ one of those s*iteful s*ring win+s that come tearing along the *a0ement in su++en gusts an+ blow +ry. stinging +ust into your face# Dorothy shut the gate behin+ her an+ began to wal! 0ery slowly in the +irection of the main2line station# 7he ha+ tol+ @rs Cree0y that she woul+ gi0e her an a++ress to which her bo' coul+ be sent. an+ @rs Cree0y ha+ instantly e'acte+ fi0e shillings for the carriage# 7o Dorothy ha+ fi0e *oun+s fifteen in han+. which might !ee* her for three wee!s with careful economy# /hat she was going to +o. e'ce*t that she must start by going to (on+on an+ fin+ing a suitable lo+ging. she ha+ 0ery little i+ea# ut her first *anic ha+ worn off. an+ she reali6e+ that the situation was not altogether +es*erate# "o +oubt her father woul+ hel* her. at any rate for a while. an+ at the worst. though she hate+ e0en the thought of +oing it. she coul+ as! her cousin's hel* a secon+ time# esi+es. her chances of fin+ing a job were *robably fairly goo+# 7he was young. she s*o!e with a genteel accent. an+ she was willing to +ru+ge for a ser0ant's wages22Hualities that are much sought after by the *ro*rietors of fourth2rate schools# Dery li!ely all woul+ be well# ut that there was an e0il time ahea+ of her. a time of job2hunting. of uncertainty an+ *ossibly of hunger22 that. at any rate. was certain#



4owe0er. it turne+ out Huite otherwise# Bor Dorothy ha+ not gone fi0e yar+s from the gate when a telegra*h boy came ri+ing u* the street in the o**osite +irection. whistling an+ loo!ing at the names of the houses# 4e saw the name 5ingwoo+ 4ouse. wheele+ his bicycle roun+. *ro**e+ it against the !erb. an+ accoste+ Dorothy# '@iss @ill2 C55O/ li0e 'ereA' he sai+. jer!ing his hea+ in the +irection of 5ingwoo+ 4ouse# '1es# : am @iss @illborough#' 'Gotter wait case there's a answer.' sai+ the boy. ta!ing an orange2coloure+ en0elo*e from his belt# Dorothy *ut +own her bag# 7he ha+ once more begun trembling 0iolently# An+ whether this was from joy or fear she was not certain. for two conflicting thoughts ha+ s*rung almost simultaneously into her brain# One. 'This is some !in+ of goo+ news8' The other. 'Bather is seriously ill8' 7he manage+ to tear the en0elo*e o*en. an+ foun+ a telegram which occu*ie+ two *ages. an+ which she ha+ the greatest +ifficulty in un+erstan+ing# :t ran: 5ejoice in the lor+ o ye righteous note of e'clamation great news note of e'clamation your re*utation absolutely reestablishe+ sto* mrs sem*rill fallen into the *it that she hath +igge+ sto* action for libel sto* no one belie0es her any longer sto* your father wishes you return home imme+iately sto* am coming u* to town myself comma will *ic! you u* if you li!e sto* arri0ing shortly after this sto* wait for me sto* *raise him with the lou+ cymbals note of e'clamation much lo0e sto*# "o nee+ to loo! at the signature# :t was from @r /arburton. of course# Dorothy felt wea!er an+ more tremulous than e0er# 7he was +imly aware the telegra*h boy was as!ing her something# 'Any answerA' he sai+ for the thir+ or fourth time# '"ot to+ay. than! you.' sai+ Dorothy 0aguely# The boy remounte+ his bicycle an+ ro+e off. whistling with e'tra lou+ness to show Dorothy how much he +es*ise+ her for not ti**ing him# ut Dorothy was unaware of the telegra*h's boy's scorn# The only *hrase of the telegram that she ha+ fully un+erstoo+ was 'your father wishes you return home imme+iately'. an+ the sur*rise of it ha+ left her in a semi2+a6e+ con+ition# Bor some in+efinite time she stoo+ on the *a0ement. until *resently a ta'i rolle+ u* the street. with @r /arburton insi+e it# 4e saw Dorothy. sto**e+ the

ta'i. jum*e+ out an+ came across to meet her. beaming# 4e sei6e+ her both han+s# '4ullo8' he crie+. an+ at once threw his arm *seu+o2*aternally about her an+ +rew her against him. hee+less of who might be loo!ing# '4ow are youA ut by ,o0e. how thin you'0e got8 : can feel all your ribs# /here is this school of yoursA' Dorothy. who ha+ not yet manage+ to get free of his arm. turne+ *artly roun+ an+ cast a glance towar+s the +ar! win+ows of 5ingwoo+ 4ouse# '/hat8 That *laceA Goo+ Go+. what a hole8 /hat ha0e you +one with your luggageA' ':t's insi+e# :'0e left them the money to sen+ it on# : thin! it'll be all right#' 'Oh. nonsense8 /hy *ayA /e'll ta!e it with us# :t can go on to* of the ta'i#' '"o. no8 (et them sen+ it# : +aren't go bac!# @rs Cree0y woul+ be horribly angry#' '@rs Cree0yA /ho's @rs Cree0yA' 'The hea+mistress22at least. she owns the school#' '/hat. a +ragon. is sheA (ea0e her to me22:'ll +eal with her# Perseus an+ the Gorgon. whatA 1ou are An+rome+a# 4i8' he calle+ to the ta'i2+ri0er# The two of them went u* to the front +oor an+ @r /arburton !noc!e+# 7omehow. Dorothy ne0er belie0e+ that they woul+ succee+ in getting her bo' from @rs Cree0y# :n fact. she half e'*ecte+ to see them come out flying for their li0es. an+ @rs Cree0y after them with her broom# 4owe0er. in a cou*le of minutes they rea**eare+. the ta'i2 +ri0er carrying the bo' on his shoul+er# @r /arburton han+e+ Dorothy into the ta'i an+. as they sat +own. +ro**e+ half a crown into her han+# '/hat a woman8 /hat a woman8' he sai+ com*rehensi0ely as the ta'i bore them away# '4ow the +e0il ha0e you *ut u* with it all this timeA' '/hat is thisA' sai+ Dorothy. loo!ing at the coin# '1our half2crown that you left to *ay for the luggage# 5ather a feat getting it out of the ol+ girl. wasn't itA'

' ut : left fi0e shillings8' sai+ Dorothy# '/hat8 The woman tol+ me you only left half a crown# y Go+. what im*u+ence8 /e'll go bac! an+ ha0e the half2crown out of her# ,ust to s*ite her8' 4e ta**e+ on the glass# '"o. no8' sai+ Dorothy. laying her han+ on his arm# ':t +oesn't matter in the least# (et's get away from here22right away# : coul+n't bear to go bac! to that *lace again22)D)58' :t was Huite true# 7he felt that she woul+ sacrifice not merely half a crown. but all the money in her *ossession. sooner than set eyes on 5ingwoo+ 4ouse again# 7o they +ro0e on. lea0ing @rs Cree0y 0ictorious# :t woul+ be interesting to !now whether this was another of the occasions when @rs Cree0y laughe+# @r /arburton insiste+ on ta!ing the ta'i the whole way into (on+on. an+ tal!e+ so 0oluminously in the Huieter *atches of the traffic that Dorothy coul+ har+ly get a wor+ in e+geways# :t was not till they ha+ reache+ the inner suburbs that she got from him an e'*lanation of the su++en change in her fortunes# 'Tell me.' she sai+. 'what is it that's ha**ene+A : +on't un+erstan+# /hy is it all right for me to go home all of a su++enA /hy +on't *eo*le belie0e @rs 7em*rill any longerA 7urely she hasn't confesse+A' 'Confesse+A "ot she8 ut her sins ha0e foun+ her out. all the same# :t was the !in+ of thing that you *ious *eo*le woul+ ascribe to the finger of Pro0i+ence# Cast thy brea+ u*on the waters. an+ all that# 7he got herself into a nasty mess22an action for libel# /e'0e tal!e+ of nothing else in <ny*e 4ill for the last fortnight# : though you woul+ ha0e seen something about it in the news*a*ers#' ':'0e har+ly loo!e+ at a *a*er for ages# /ho brought an action for libelA "ot my father. surelyA' 'Goo+ gracious. no8 Clergymen can't bring actions for libel# :t was the ban! manager# Do you remember her fa0ourite story about him22how he was !ee*ing a woman on the ban!'s money. an+ so forthA' '1es. : thin! so#' 'A few months ago she was foolish enough to *ut some of it in writing# 7ome !in+ frien+22some female frien+. : *resume22too! the letter roun+ to the ban! manager# 4e brought an action22@rs 7em*rill was or+ere+ to *ay a hun+re+ an+ fifty *oun+s +amages# : +on't su**ose she *ai+ a half*enny. but still. that's the en+ of her career as a scan+almonger# 1ou can go on blac!ening *eo*le's re*utations for years. an+ e0eryone will belie0e you. more or less.

e0en when it's *erfectly ob0ious that you're lying# ut once you'0e been *ro0e+ a liar in o*en court. you're +isHualifie+. so to s*ea!# @rs 7em*rill's +one for. so far as <ny*e 4ill goes# 7he left the town between +ays22*ractically +i+ a moonlight flit. in fact# : belie0e she's inflicting herself on ury 7t )+mun+s at *resent#' ' ut what has all that got to +o with the things she sai+ about you an+ meA' '"othing22nothing whate0er# ut why worryA The *oint is that you're reinstate+> an+ all the hags who'0e been smac!ing their cho*s o0er you for months *ast are saying. LPoor. *oor Dorothy. how 74OC<:"G(1 that +rea+ful woman has treate+ her8L' '1ou mean they thin! that because @rs 7em*rill was telling lies in one case she must ha0e been telling lies in anotherA' '"o +oubt that's what they'+ say if they were ca*able of reasoning it out# At any rate. @rs 7em*rill's in +isgrace. an+ so all the *eo*le she's slan+ere+ must be martyrs# )0en @1 re*utation is *ractically s*otless for the time being#' 'An+ +o you thin! that's really the en+ of itA Do you thin! they honestly belie0e that it was all an acci+ent22that : only lost my memory an+ +i+n't elo*e with anybo+yA' 'Oh. well. : woul+n't go as far as that# :n these country *laces there's always a certain amount of sus*icion !noc!ing about# "ot sus*icion of anything in *articular. you !now> just generali6e+ sus*icion# A sort of instincti0e rustic +irty2min+e+ness# : can imagine its being 0aguely rumoure+ in the bar *arlour of the Dog an+ ottle in ten years' time that you'0e got some nasty secret in your *ast. only nobo+y can remember what# 7till. your troubles are o0er# :f : were you : woul+n't gi0e any e'*lanations till you're as!e+ for them# The official theory is that you ha+ a ba+ attac! of flu an+ went away to recu*erate# : shoul+ stic! to that# 1ou'll fin+ they'll acce*t it all right# Officially. there's nothing against you# Presently they got to (on+on. an+ @r /arburton too! Dorothy to lunch at a restaurant in Co0entry 7treet. where they ha+ a young chic!en. roaste+. with as*aragus an+ tiny. *early2white *otatoes that ha+ been ri**e+ untimely from their mother earth. an+ also treacle tart an+ a nice warm bottle of urgun+y> but what ga0e Dorothy the most *leasure of all. after @rs Cree0y's lu!ewarm water tea. was the blac! coffee they ha+ afterwar+s# After lunch they too! another ta'i to (i0er*ool 7treet 7tation an+ caught the %#GJ# :t was a four2hour journey to <ny*e 4ill#

@r /arburton insiste+ on tra0elling first2class. an+ woul+ not hear of Dorothy *aying her own fare> he also. when Dorothy was not loo!ing. ti**e+ the guar+ to let them ha0e a carriage to themsel0es# :t was one of those bright col+ +ays which are s*ring or winter accor+ing as you are in+oors or out# Brom behin+ the shut win+ows of the carriage the too2blue s!y loo!e+ warm an+ !in+. an+ all the slummy wil+erness through which the train was rattling22the labyrinths of little +ingy2coloure+ houses. the great chaotic factories. the miry canals. an+ +erelict buil+ing lots littere+ with rusty boilers an+ o0ergrown by smo!e2blac!ene+ wee+s22all were re+eeme+ an+ gil+e+ by the sun# Dorothy har+ly s*o!e for the first half2hour of the journey# Bor the moment she was too ha**y to tal!# 7he +i+ not e0en thin! of anything in *articular. but merely sat there lu'uriating in the glass2filtere+ sunlight. in the comfort of the *a++e+ seat an+ the feeling of ha0ing esca*e+ from @rs Cree0y's clutches# ut she was aware that this moo+ coul+ not last 0ery much longer# 4er contentment. li!e the warmth of the wine that she ha+ +run! at lunch. was ebbing away. an+ thoughts either *ainful or +ifficult to e'*ress were ta!ing sha*e in her min+# @r /arburton ha+ been watching her face. more obser0antly than was usual for him. as though trying to gauge the changes that the *ast eight months ha+ wor!e+ in her# '1ou loo! ol+er.' he sai+ finally# ': am ol+er.' sai+ Dorothy# '1es> but you loo!22well. more com*letely grown u*# Tougher# 7omething has change+ in your face# 1ou loo!22if you'll forgi0e the e'*ression22as though the Girl Gui+e ha+ been e'orci6e+ from you for goo+ an+ all# : ho*e se0en +e0ils ha0en't entere+ into you instea+A' Dorothy +i+ not answer. an+ he a++e+: ': su**ose. as a matter of fact. you must ha0e ha+ the 0ery +e0il of a timeA' 'Oh. beastly8 7ometimes too beastly for wor+s# Do you !now that sometimes22' 7he *ause+# 7he ha+ been about to tell him how she ha+ ha+ to beg for her foo+> how she ha+ sle*t in the streets> how she ha+ been arreste+ for begging an+ s*ent a night in the *olice cells> how @rs Cree0y ha+ nagge+ at her an+ star0e+ her# ut she sto**e+. because she ha+ su++enly reali6e+ that these were not the things that she wante+ to tal! about# 7uch things as these. she *ercei0e+. are of no real im*ortance> they are mere irrele0ant acci+ents. not essentially +ifferent from catching a col+ in the hea+ or ha0ing to wait two hours at a railway junction# They are +isagreeable. but they +o not matter# The truism that all real ha**enings are in the min+ struc! her more forcibly than e0er before. an+ she sai+: 'Those things +on't really matter# : mean. things li!e ha0ing no

money an+ not ha0ing enough to eat# )0en when you're *ractically star0ing22it +oesn't C4A"G) anything insi+e you#' 'Doesn't itA :'ll ta!e your wor+ for it# : shoul+ be 0ery sorry to try#' 'Oh. well. it's beastly while it's ha**ening. of course> but it +oesn't ma!e any real +ifference> it's the things that ha**en insi+e you that matter#' '@eaningA' sai+ @r /arburton# 'Oh22things change in your min+# An+ then the whole worl+ changes. because you loo! at it +ifferently#' 7he was still loo!ing out of the win+ow# The train ha+ +rawn clear of the eastern slums an+ was running at gathering s*ee+ *ast willow2bor+ere+ streams an+ low2lying mea+ows u*on whose he+ges the first bu+s ma+e a faint soft greenness. li!e a clou+# :n a fiel+ near the line a month2ol+ calf. flat as a "oah's Ar! animal. was boun+ing stiff2legge+ after its mother. an+ in a cottage gar+en an ol+ labourer. with slow. rheumatic mo0ements. was turning o0er the soil beneath a *ear tree co0ere+ with ghostly bloom# 4is s*a+e flashe+ in the sun as the train *asse+# The +e*ressing hymn2line 'Change an+ +ecay in all aroun+ : see' mo0e+ through Dorothy's min+# :t was true what she ha+ sai+ just now# 7omething ha+ ha**ene+ in her heart. an+ the worl+ was a little em*tier. a little *oorer from that minute# On such a +ay as this. last s*ring or any earlier s*ring. how joyfully. an+ how unthin!ingly. she woul+ ha0e than!e+ Go+ for the first blue s!ies an+ the first flowers of the re0i0ing year8 An+ now. seemingly. there was no Go+ to than!. an+ nothing22not a flower or a stone or a bla+e of grass22nothing in the uni0erse woul+ e0er be the same again# 'Things change in your min+.' she re*eate+# ':'0e lost my faith.' she a++e+. somewhat abru*tly. because she foun+ herself half ashame+ to utter the wor+s# '1ou'0e lost your /4ATA' sai+ @r /arburton. less accustome+ than she to this !in+ of *hraseology# '@y faith# Oh. you !now what : mean8 A few months ago. all of a su++en. it seeme+ as if my whole min+ ha+ change+# )0erything that :'+ belie0e+ in till then22e0erything22seeme+ su++enly meaningless an+ almost silly# Go+22what :'+ meant by Go+22immortal life. 4ea0en an+ 4ell22e0erything# :t ha+ all gone# An+ it wasn't that :'+ reasone+ it out> it just ha**ene+ to me# :t was li!e when you're a chil+. an+ one +ay. for no *articular reason. you sto* belie0ing in fairies# : just coul+n't go on belie0ing in it any longer#'

'1ou ne0er +i+ belie0e in it.' sai+ @r /arburton unconcerne+ly# ' ut : +i+. really : +i+8 : !now you always thought : +i+n't22you thought : was just *reten+ing because : was ashame+ to own u*# it wasn't that at all# : belie0e+ it just as : belie0e that :'m sitting in this carriage#' 'Of course you +i+n't. my *oor chil+8 4ow coul+ you. at your ageA 1ou were far too intelligent for that# ut you'+ been brought u* in these absur+ beliefs. an+ you'+ allowe+ yourself to go on thin!ing. in a sort of way. that you coul+ still swallow them# 1ou'+ built yourself a life2*attern22if you'll e'cuse a bit of *sychological jargon22that was only *ossible for a belie0er. an+ naturally it was beginning to be a strain on you# :n fact. it was ob0ious all the time what was the matter with you# : shoul+ say that in all *robability that was why you lost your memory#' '/hat +o you meanA' she sai+. rather *u66le+ by this remar!# 4e saw that she +i+ not un+erstan+. an+ e'*laine+ to her that loss of memory is only a +e0ice. unconsciously use+. to esca*e from an im*ossible situation# The min+. he sai+. will *lay curious tric!s when it is in a tight corner# Dorothy ha+ ne0er hear+ of anything of this !in+ before. an+ she coul+ not at first acce*t his e'*lanation# "e0ertheless she consi+ere+ it for a moment. an+ *ercei0e+ that. e0en if it were true. it +i+ not alter the fun+amental fact# ': +on't see that it ma!es any +ifference.' she sai+ finally# 'Doesn't itA : shoul+ ha0e sai+ it ma+e a consi+erable +ifference#' ' ut +on't you see. if my faith is gone. what +oes it matter whether :'0e only lost it now or whether :'+ really lost it years agoA All that matters is that it's gone. an+ :'0e got to begin my life all o0er again#' '7urely : +on't ta!e you to mean.' sai+ @r /arburton. 'that you actually 5)G5)T losing your faith. as you call itA One might as well regret losing a goitre# @in+ you. :'m s*ea!ing. as it were. without the boo!22as a man who ne0er ha+ 0ery much faith to lose# The little : ha+ *asse+ away Huite *ainlessly at the age of nine# ut it's har+ly the !in+ of thing : shoul+ ha0e thought anyone woul+ 5)G5)T losing# Cse+ you not. if : remember rightly. to +o horrible things li!e getting u* at fi0e in the morning to go to 4oly Communion on an em*ty bellyA 7urely you're not homesic! for that !in+ of thingA' ut

': +on't belie0e in it any longer. if that's what you mean# An+ : see now that a lot of it was rather silly# ut that +oesn't hel*# The *oint is that all the beliefs : ha+ are gone. an+ :'0e nothing to *ut in their *lace#' ' ut goo+ Go+8 why +o you want to *ut anything in their *laceA 1ou'0e got ri+ of a loa+ of su*erstitious rubbish. an+ you ought to be gla+ of it# 7urely it +oesn't ma!e you any ha**ier to go about Hua!ing in fear of 4ell fireA' ' ut +on't you see22you must see22how +ifferent e0erything is when all of a su++en the whole worl+ is em*tyA' ')m*tyA' e'claime+ @r /arburton# '/hat +o you mean by saying it's em*tyA : call that *erfectly scan+alous in a girl of your age# :t's not em*ty at all. it's a +euce+ sight too full. that's the trouble with it# /e're here to+ay an+ gone tomorrow. an+ we'0e no time to enjoy what we'0e got#' ' ut how CA" one enjoy anything when all the meaning's been ta!en out of itA' 'Goo+ gracious8 /hat +o you want with a meaningA /hen : eat my +inner : +on't +o it to the greater glory of Go+> : +o it because : enjoy it# The worl+'s full of amusing things22boo!s. *ictures. wine. tra0el. frien+s22e0erything# :'0e ne0er seen any meaning in it all. an+ : +on't want to see one# /hy not ta!e life as you fin+ itA' ' ut22' 7he bro!e off. for she saw alrea+y that she was wasting wor+s in trying to ma!e herself clear to him# 4e was Huite inca*able of un+erstan+ing her +ifficulty22inca*able of reali6ing how a min+ naturally *ious must recoil from a worl+ +isco0ere+ to be meaningless# )0en the loathsome *latitu+es of the *antheists woul+ be beyon+ his un+erstan+ing# Probably the i+ea that life was essentially futile. if he thought of it at all. struc! him as rather amusing than otherwise# An+ yet with all this he was sufficiently acute# 4e coul+ see the +ifficulty of her own *articular *osition. an+ he a+0erte+ to it a moment later# 'Of course.' he sai+. ': can see that things are going to be a little aw!war+ for you when you get home# 1ou're going to be. so to s*ea!. a wolf in shee*'s clothing# Parish wor!22@others' @eetings. *rayers with the +ying. an+ all that22: su**ose it might be a little +istasteful at times# Are you afrai+ you won't be able to !ee* it u*22is that the troubleA' 'Oh. no# : wasn't thin!ing of that# : shall go on with it. just

the same as before# :t's what :'m most use+ to# esi+es. Bather nee+s my hel*# 4e can't affor+ a curate. an+ the wor!'s got to be +one#' 'Then what's the matterA :s it the hy*ocrisy that's worrying youA Afrai+ that the consecrate+ brea+ might stic! in your throat. an+ so forthA : shoul+n't trouble# 4alf the *arsons' +aughters in )nglan+ are *robably in the same +ifficulty# An+ Huite nine2tenths of the *arsons. : shoul+ say#' ':t's *artly that# : shall ha0e to be always *reten+ing22oh. you can't imagine in what ways8 ut that's not the worst# Perha*s that *art of it +oesn't matter. really# Perha*s it's better to be a hy*ocrite22T4AT !in+ of hy*ocrite22than some things#' '/hy +o you say T4AT !in+ of hy*ocriteA : ho*e you +on't mean that *reten+ing to belie0e is the ne't best thing to belie0ingA' '1es # # # : su**ose that's what : +o mean# Perha*s it's better22 less selfish22to *reten+ one belie0es e0en when one +oesn't. than to say o*enly that one's an unbelie0er an+ *erha*s hel* turn other *eo*le into unbelie0ers too#' '@y +ear Dorothy.' sai+ @r /arburton. 'your min+. if you'll e'cuse my saying so. is in a morbi+ con+ition# "o. +ash it8 it's worse than morbi+> it's +ownright se*tic# 1ou'0e a sort of mental gangrene hanging o0er from your Christian u*bringing# 1ou tell me that you'0e got ri+ of these ri+iculous beliefs that were stuffe+ into you from your cra+le u*war+s. an+ yet you're ta!ing an attitu+e to life which is sim*ly meaningless without those beliefs# Do you call that reasonableA' ': +on't !now# "o *erha*s it's not# naturally to me#' ut : su**ose it's what comes

'/hat you're trying to +o. a**arently.' *ursue+ @r /arburton. 'is to ma!e the worst of both worl+s# 1ou stic! to the Christian scheme of things. but you lea0e Para+ise out of it# An+ : su**ose. if the truth were !nown. there are Huite a lot of your !in+ wan+ering about among the ruins of C# of )# 1ou're *ractically a sect in yoursel0es.' he a++e+ reflecti0ely: 'the Anglican Atheists# "ot a sect : shoul+ care to belong to. : must say#' They tal!e+ for a little while longer. but not to much *ur*ose# :n reality the whole subject of religious belief an+ religious +oubt was boring an+ incom*rehensible to @r /arburton# :ts only a**eal to him was as a *rete't for blas*hemy# Presently he change+ the subject. as though gi0ing u* the attem*t to un+erstan+ Dorothy's outloo!#

'This is nonsense that we're tal!ing.' he sai+# '1ou'0e got hol+ of some 0ery +e*ressing i+eas. but you'll grow out of them later on. you !now# Christianity isn't really an incurable +isease# 4owe0er. there was something Huite +ifferent that : was going to say to you# : want you to listen to me for a moment# 1ou're coming home. after being away eight months. to what : e'*ect you reali6e is a rather uncomfortable situation# 1ou ha+ a har+ enough life before22at least. what : shoul+ call a har+ life22an+ now that you aren't Huite such a goo+ Girl Gui+e as you use+ to be. it's going to be a great +eal har+er# "ow. +o you thin! it's absolutely necessary to go bac! to itA' ' ut : +on't see what else : can +o. unless : coul+ get another job# :'0e really no alternati0e#' @r /arburton. with his hea+ coc!e+ a little on one si+e. ga0e Dorothy a rather curious loo!# 'As a matter of fact.' he sai+. in a more serious tone than usual. 'there's at least one other alternati0e that : coul+ suggest to you#' '1ou mean that : coul+ go on being a schoolmistressA Perha*s that's what : ought to +o. really# : shall come bac! to it in the en+. in any case#' '"o# : +on't thin! that's what : shoul+ a+0ise#' All this time @r /arburton. unwilling as e0er to e'*ose his bal+ness. ha+ been wearing his ra!ish. rather broa+2brimme+ grey felt hat# "ow. howe0er. he too! it off an+ lai+ it carefully on the em*ty seat besi+e him# 4is na!e+ cranium. with only a wis* or two of gol+en hair lingering in the neighbourhoo+ of the ears. loo!e+ li!e some monstrous *in! *earl# Dorothy watche+ him with a slight sur*rise# ': am ta!ing my hat off.' he sai+. 'in or+er to let you see me at my 0ery worst# 1ou will un+erstan+ why in a moment# "ow. let me offer you another alternati0e besi+es going bac! to your Girl Gui+es an+ your @others' Cnion. or im*risoning yourself in some +ungeon of a girls' school#' '/hat +o you meanA' sai+ Dorothy# ': mean. will you22thin! well before you answer> : a+mit there are some 0ery ob0ious objections. but22will you marry meA' Dorothy's li*s *arte+ with sur*rise# Perha*s she turne+ a little *aler# /ith a hasty. almost unconscious recoil she mo0e+ as far away from him as the bac! of the seat woul+ allow# ut he ha+ ma+e

no mo0ement towar+s her# 4e sai+ with com*lete eHuanimity: '1ou !now. of course. that Dolores NDolores was @r /arburton's e'2 mistressO left me a year agoA' ' ut : can't. : can't8' e'claime+ Dorothy# '1ou !now : can't8 :'m not22li!e that# : thought you always !new# : shan't e0er marry#' @r /arburton ignore+ this remar!# ': grant you.' he sai+. still with e'em*lary calmness. 'that : +on't e'actly come un+er the hea+ing of eligible young men# : am somewhat ol+er than you# /e both seem to be *utting our car+s on the table to+ay. so :'ll let you into a great secret an+ tell you that my age is forty2nine# An+ then :'0e three chil+ren an+ a ba+ re*utation# :t's a marriage that your father woul+22well. regar+ with +isfa0our# An+ my income is only se0en hun+re+ a year# ut still. +on't you thin! it's worth consi+ering8' ': can't. you !now why : can't8' re*eate+ Dorothy# 7he too! it for grante+ that he '!new why she coul+n't'. though she ha+ ne0er e'*laine+ to him. or to anyone else. why it was im*ossible for her to marry# Dery *robably. e0en if she ha+ e'*laine+. he woul+ not ha0e un+erstoo+ her# 4e went on s*ea!ing. not a**earing to notice what she ha+ sai+# '(et me *ut it to you'. he sai+. 'in the form of a bargain# Of course. : nee+n't tell you that it's a great +eal more than that# :'m not a marrying !in+ of man. as the saying goes. an+ : shoul+n't as! you to marry me if you ha+n't a rather s*ecial attraction for me# ut let me *ut the business si+e of it first# 1ou nee+ a home an+ a li0elihoo+> : nee+ a wife to !ee* me in or+er# :'m sic! of these +isgusting women :'0e s*ent my life with. if you'll forgi0e my mentioning them. an+ :'m rather an'ious to settle +own# A bit late in the +ay. *erha*s. but better late than ne0er# esi+es. : nee+ somebo+y to loo! after the chil+ren> the A7TA5D7. you !now# : +on't e'*ect you to fin+ me o0erwhelmingly attracti0e.' he a++e+. running a han+ reflecti0ely o0er his bal+ crown. 'but on the other han+ : am 0ery easy to get on with# :mmoral *eo*le usually are. as a matter of fact# An+ from your own *oint of 0iew the scheme woul+ ha0e certain a+0antages# /hy shoul+ you s*en+ your life +eli0ering *arish maga6ines an+ rubbing nasty ol+ women's legs with )lliman's embrocationA 1ou woul+ be ha**ier marrie+. e0en to a husban+ with a bal+ hea+ an+ a clou+e+ *ast# 1ou'0e ha+ a har+. +ull life for a girl of your age. an+ your future isn't e'actly rosy# 4a0e you really consi+ere+ what your future will be li!e if you +on't marryA' ': +on't !now# : ha0e to some e'tent.' she sai+#

As he ha+ not attem*te+ to lay han+s on her or to offer any en+earments. she answere+ his Huestion without re*eating her *re0ious refusal# 4e loo!e+ out of the win+ow. an+ went on in a musing 0oice. much Huieter than his normal tone. so that at first she coul+ barely hear him abo0e the rattle of the train> but *resently his 0oice rose. an+ too! on a note of seriousness that she ha+ ne0er hear+ in it before. or e0en imagine+ that it coul+ hol+# 'Consi+er what your future woul+ be li!e.' he re*eate+# ':t's the same future that lies before any woman of your class with no husban+ an+ no money# (et us say your father will li0e another ten years# y the en+ of that time the last *enny of his money will ha0e gone +own the sin!# The +esire to sHuan+er it will !ee* him ali0e just as long as it lasts. an+ *robably no longer# All that time he will be growing more senile. more tiresome. more im*ossible to li0e with> he will tyranni6e o0er you more an+ more. !ee* you shorter an+ shorter of money. ma!e more an+ more trouble for you with the neighbours an+ the tra+esmen# An+ you will go on with that sla0ish. worrying life that you ha0e li0e+. struggling to ma!e both en+s meet. +rilling the Girl Gui+es. rea+ing no0els to the @others' Cnion. *olishing the altar brasses. ca+ging money for the organ fun+. ma!ing brown *a*er jac!boots for the schoolchil+ren's *lays. !ee*ing your en+ u* in the 0ile little feu+s an+ scan+als of the church hen2coo*# 1ear after year. winter an+ summer. you will bicycle from one ree!ing cottage to another. to +ole out *ennies from the *oor bo' an+ re*eat *rayers that you +on't e0en belie0e in any longer# 1ou will sit through interminable church ser0ices which in the en+ will ma!e you *hysically sic! with their sameness an+ futility# )0ery year your life will be a little blea!er. a little fuller of those +ea+ly little jobs that are sho0e+ off on to lonely women# An+ remember that you won't always be twenty2eight# All the while you will be fa+ing. withering. until one morning you will loo! in the glass an+ reali6e that you aren't a girl any longer. only a s!inny ol+ mai+# 1ou'll fight against it. of course# 1ou'll !ee* your *hysical energy an+ your girlish mannerisms22you'll !ee* them just a little bit too long# Do you !now that ty*e of bright22too bright22s*inster who says Lto**ingL an+ Lri**ingL an+ Lright2hoL. an+ *ri+es herself on being such a goo+ s*ort. an+ she's such a goo+ s*ort that she ma!es e0eryone feel a little unwellA An+ she's so s*len+i+ly hearty at tennis an+ so han+y at amateur theatricals. an+ she throws herself with a !in+ of +es*eration into her Girl Gui+e wor! an+ her *arish 0isiting. an+ she's the life an+ soul of Church socials. an+ always. year after year. she thin!s of herself as a young girl still an+ ne0er reali6es that behin+ her bac! e0eryone laughs at her for a *oor. +isa**ointe+ ol+ mai+A That's what you'll become. what you must become. howe0er much you foresee it an+ try to a0oi+ it# There's no other future *ossible to you unless you marry# /omen who +on't

marry wither u*22they wither u* li!e as*i+istras in bac!2*arlour win+ows> an+ the +e0ilish thing is that they +on't e0en !now that they're withering#' Dorothy sat silent an+ listening with intent an+ horrifie+ fascination# 7he +i+ not e0en notice that he ha+ stoo+ u*. with one han+ on the +oor to stea+y him against the swaying of the train# 7he was as though hy*noti6e+. not so much by his 0oice as by the 0isions that his wor+s ha+ e0o!e+ in her# 4e ha+ +escribe+ her life. as it must ine0itably be. with such +rea+ful fi+elity that he seeme+ actually to ha0e carrie+ her ten years onwar+ into the menacing future. an+ she felt herself no longer a girl full of youth an+ energy. but a +es*erate. worn 0irgin of thirty2eight# As he went on he too! her han+. which was lying i+le on the arm of the seat> an+ e0en that she scarcely notice+# 'After ten years.' he continue+. 'your father will +ie. an+ he will lea0e you with not a *enny. only +ebts# 1ou will be nearly forty. with no money. no *rofession. no chance of marrying> just a +erelict *arson's +aughter li!e the ten thousan+ others in )nglan+# An+ after that. what +o you su**ose will become of youA 1ou will ha0e to fin+ yourself a job22the sort of job that *arsons' +aughters get# A nursery go0erness. for instance. or com*anion to some +isease+ hag who will occu*y herself in thin!ing of ways to humiliate you# Or you will go bac! to school2teaching> )nglish mistress in some grisly girls' school. se0enty2fi0e *oun+s a year an+ your !ee*. an+ a fortnight in a seasi+e boar+ing2house e0ery August# An+ all the time withering. +rying u*. growing more sour an+ more angular an+ more frien+less# An+ therefore22' As he sai+ 'therefore' he *ulle+ Dorothy to her feet# 7he ma+e no resistance# 4is 0oice ha+ *ut her un+er a s*ell# As her min+ too! in the *ros*ect of that forbi++ing future. whose em*tiness she was far more able to a**reciate than he. such a +es*air ha+ grown in her that if she ha+ s*o!en at all it woul+ ha0e been to say. '1es. : will marry you#' 4e *ut his arm 0ery gently about her an+ +rew her a little towar+s him. an+ e0en now she +i+ not attem*t to resist# 4er eyes. half hy*noti6e+. were fi'e+ u*on his# /hen he *ut his arm about her it was as though he were *rotecting her. sheltering her. +rawing her away from the brin! of grey. +ea+ly *o0erty an+ bac! to the worl+ of frien+ly an+ +esirable things22to security an+ ease. to comely houses an+ goo+ clothes. to boo!s an+ frien+s an+ flowers. to summer +ays an+ +istant lan+s# 7o for nearly a minute the fat. +ebauche+ bachelor an+ the thin. s*insterish girl stoo+ face to face. their eyes meeting. their bo+ies all but touching. while the train swaye+ them in its motion. an+ clou+s an+ telegra*h *oles an+ bu+2miste+ he+ges an+ fiel+s green with young wheat race+ *ast unseen# @r /arburton tightene+ his gri* an+ *ulle+ her against him# :t

bro!e the s*ell# The 0isions that ha+ hel+ her hel*less220isions of *o0erty an+ of esca*e from *o0erty22su++enly 0anishe+ an+ left only a shoc!e+ reali6ation of what was ha**ening to her# 7he was in the arms of a man22a fattish. ol+ish man8 A wa0e of +isgust an+ +ea+ly fear went through her. an+ her entrails seeme+ to shrin! an+ free6e# 4is thic! male bo+y was *ressing her bac!war+s an+ +ownwar+s. his large. *in! face. smooth. but to her eyes ol+. was bearing +own u*on her own# The harsh o+our of maleness force+ itself into her nostrils# 7he recoile+# Burry thighs of satyrs8 7he began to struggle furiously. though in+ee+ he ma+e har+ly any effort to retain her. an+ in a moment she ha+ wrenche+ herself free an+ fallen bac! into her seat. white an+ trembling# 7he loo!e+ u* at him with eyes which. from fear an+ a0ersion. were for a moment those of a stranger# @r /arburton remaine+ on his feet. regar+ing her with an e'*ression of resigne+. almost amuse+ +isa**ointment# 4e +i+ not seem in the least +istresse+# As her calmness returne+ to her she *ercei0e+ that all he ha+ sai+ ha+ been no more than a tric! to *lay u*on her feelings an+ cajole her into saying that she woul+ marry him> an+ what was stranger yet. that he ha+ sai+ it without seriously caring whether she marrie+ him or not# 4e ha+. in fact. merely been amusing himself# Dery *robably the whole thing was only another of his *erio+ical attem*ts to se+uce her# 4e sat +own. but more +eliberately than she. ta!ing care of the creases of his trousers as he +i+ so# ':f you want to *ull the communication cor+.' he sai+ mil+ly. 'you ha+ better let me ma!e sure that : ha0e fi0e *oun+s in my *oc!et2 boo!#' After that he was Huite himself again. or as nearly himself as anyone coul+ *ossibly be after such a scene. an+ he went on tal!ing without the smallest sym*tom of embarrassment# 4is sense of shame. if he ha+ e0er *ossesse+ one. ha+ *erishe+ many years ago# Perha*s it ha+ been !ille+ by o0erwor! in a lifetime of sHuali+ affairs with women# Bor an hour. *erha*s. Dorothy was ill at ease. but after that the train reache+ :*swich. where it sto**e+ for a Huarter of an hour. an+ there was the +i0ersion of going to the refreshment room for a cu* of tea# Bor the last twenty miles of the journey they tal!e+ Huite amicably# @r /arburton +i+ not refer again to his *ro*osal of marriage. but as the train neare+ <ny*e 4ill he returne+. less seriously than before. to the Huestion of Dorothy's future# '7o you really *ro*ose'. he sai+ 'to go bac! to your *arish wor!A LThe tri0ial roun+. the common tas!AL @rs Pither's rheumatism an+ @rs (ewin's corn2*laster an+ all the rest of itA The *ros*ect

+oesn't +ismay youA' ': +on't !now22sometimes it +oes# ut : e'*ect it'll be all right once :'m bac! at wor!# :'0e got the habit. you see#' 'An+ you really feel eHual to years of calculate+ hy*ocrisyA Bor that's what it amounts to. you !now# "ot afrai+ of the cat getting out of the bagA Muite sure you won't fin+ yourself teaching the 7un+ay 7chool !i+s to say the (or+'s Prayer bac!war+s. or rea+ing Gibbon's fifteenth cha*ter to the @others' Cnion instea+ of Gene 7tratton PorterA' ': +on't thin! so# ecause. you see. : +o feel that that !in+ of wor!. e0en if it means saying *rayers that one +oesn't belie0e in. an+ e0en if it means teaching chil+ren things that one +oesn't always thin! are true22: +o feel that in a way it's useful#' 'CsefulA' sai+ @r /arburton +istastefully# '1ou're a little too fon+ of that +e*ressing wor+ LusefulL# 4y*ertro*hy of the sense of +uty22that's what's the matter with you# "ow. to me. it seems the merest common sense to ha0e a bit of fun while the going's goo+#' 'That's just he+onism.' Dorothy objecte+# '@y +ear chil+. can you show me a *hiloso*hy of life that isn't he+onismA 1our 0erminous Christian saints are the biggest he+onists of all# They're out for an eternity of bliss. whereas we *oor sinners +on't ho*e for more than a few years of it# Cltimately we're all trying for a bit of fun> but some *eo*le ta!e it in such *er0erte+ forms# 1our notion of fun seems to be massaging @rs Pither's legs#' ':t's not that e'actly. but22oh8 somehow : can't e'*lain8' /hat she woul+ ha0e sai+ was that though her faith ha+ left her. she ha+ not change+. coul+ not change. +i+ not want to change. the s*iritual bac!groun+ of her min+> that her cosmos. though now it seeme+ to her em*ty an+ meaningless. was still in a sense the Christian cosmos> that the Christian way of life was still the way that must come naturally to her# ut she coul+ not *ut this into wor+s. an+ felt that if she trie+ to +o so he woul+ *robably begin ma!ing fun of her# 7o she conclu+e+ lamely: '7omehow : feel that it's better for me to go on as : was before#' ')RACT(1 the same as beforeA The whole bill of fareA The Girl Gui+es. the @others' Cnion. the an+ of 4o*e. the Com*anionshi* of @arriage. *arish 0isiting an+ 7un+ay 7chool teaching. 4oly Communion twice a wee! an+ here we go roun+ the +o'ology2bush. chanting Gregorian *lain2songA 1ou're Huite certain you can manage

itA' Dorothy smile+ in s*ite of herself# '"ot *lain2song# Bather +oesn't li!e it#' 'An+ you thin! that. e'ce*t for your inner thoughts. your life will be *recisely what it was before you lost your faithA There will be "O change in your habitsA' Dorothy thought# 1es. there /OC(D be changes in her habits> but most of them woul+ be secret ones# The memory of the +isci*linary *in crosse+ her min+# :t ha+ always been a secret from e0eryone e'ce*t herself an+ she +eci+e+ not to mention it# '/ell.' she sai+ finally. '*erha*s at 4oly Communion : shall !neel +own on @iss @ayfill's right instea+ of on her left#'

% A wee! ha+ gone by# Dorothy ro+e u* the hill from the town an+ wheele+ her bicycle in at the 5ectory gate# :t was a fine e0ening. clear an+ col+. an+ the sun. unclou+e+. was sin!ing in remote. greenish s!ies# Dorothy notice+ that the ash tree by the gate was in bloom. with clotte+ +ar! re+ blossoms that loo!e+ li!e festerings from a woun+# 7he was rather tire+# 7he ha+ ha+ a busy wee! of it. what with 0isiting all the women on her list in turn an+ trying to get the *arish affairs into some !in+ of or+er again# )0erything was in a fearful mess after her absence# The church was +irty beyon+ all belief22in fact. Dorothy ha+ ha+ to s*en+ the best *art of a +ay cleaning u* with scrubbing2brushes. broom an+ +ust*an. an+ the be+s of 'mouse +irts' that she ha+ foun+ behin+ the organ ma+e her wince when she thought of them# ;The reason why the mice came there was because Georgie Brew. the organ2blower. /OC(D bring *enny *ac!ets of biscuits into church an+ eat them +uring the sermon#= All the Church associations ha+ been neglecte+. with the result that the an+ of 4o*e an+ the Com*anionshi* of @arriage ha+ now gi0en u* the ghost. 7un+ay 7chool atten+ance ha+ +ro**e+ by half. an+ there was internecine warfare going on in the @others' Cnion because of some tactless remar! that @iss Boote ha+ ma+e# The belfry was in a worse state than e0er# The *arish maga6ine ha+ not been +eli0ere+ regularly an+ the money for it ha+ not been collecte+# "one of the accounts of the Church Bun+s ha+ been *ro*erly !e*t u*. an+ there was nineteen shillings unaccounte+ for in all. an+ e0en the *arish registers were in a mu++le22an+ so on an+ so on. a+ infinitum# The

5ector ha+ let e0erything sli+e# Dorothy ha+ been u* to her eyes in wor! from the moment of reaching home# :n+ee+. things ha+ sli**e+ bac! into their ol+ routine with astonishing swiftness# :t was as though it ha+ been only yester+ay that she ha+ gone away# "ow that the scan+al ha+ blown o0er. her return to <ny*e 4ill ha+ arouse+ 0ery little curiosity# 7ome of the women on her 0isiting list. *articularly @rs Pither. were genuinely gla+ to see her bac!. an+ Dictor 7tone. *erha*s. seeme+ just a little ashame+ of ha0ing tem*orarily belie0e+ @rs 7em*rill's libel> but he soon forgot it in recounting to Dorothy his latest trium*h in the Church Times# Darious of the coffee2la+ies. of course. ha+ sto**e+ Dorothy in the street with '@y +ear. how D)51 nice to see you bac! again8 1ou 4AD) been away a long time8 An+ you !now. +ear. we all thought it such a 74A@) when that horrible woman was going roun+ telling those stories about you# ut : +o ho*e you'll un+erstan+. +ear. that whate0er anyone else may ha0e thought. : ne0er belie0e+ a wor+ of them'. etc#. etc#. etc# ut nobo+y ha+ as!e+ her the uncomfortable Huestions that she ha+ been fearing# ':'0e been teaching in a school near (on+on' ha+ satisfie+ e0eryone> they ha+ not e0en as!e+ her the name of the school# "e0er. she saw. woul+ she ha0e to confess that she ha+ sle*t in Trafalgar 7Huare an+ been arreste+ for begging# The fact is that *eo*le who li0e in small country towns ha0e only a 0ery +im conce*tion of anything that ha**ens more than ten miles from their own front +oor# The worl+ outsi+e is a terra incognita. inhabite+. no +oubt. by +ragons an+ anthro*o*hagi. but not *articularly interesting# )0en Dorothy's father ha+ greete+ her as though she ha+ only been away for the wee!2en+# 4e was in his stu+y when she arri0e+. musingly smo!ing his *i*e in front of the gran+father cloc!. whose glass. smashe+ by the charwoman's broom2han+le four months ago. was still unmen+e+# As Dorothy came into the room he too! his *i*e out of his mouth an+ *ut it away in his *oc!et with an absent2min+e+. ol+2mannish mo0ement# 4e loo!e+ a great +eal ol+er. Dorothy thought# '7o here you are at last.' he sai+# 'Di+ you ha0e a goo+ journeyA' Dorothy *ut her arms roun+ his nec! an+ touche+ his sil0er2*ale chee! with her li*s# As she +isengage+ herself he *atte+ her shoul+er with a just *erce*tible trace more affection than usual# '/hat ma+e you ta!e it into your hea+ to run away li!e thatA' he sai+# ': tol+ you. Bather22: lost my memory#' '4m.' sai+ the 5ector> an+ Dorothy saw that he +i+ not belie0e her.

ne0er woul+ belie0e her. an+ that on many an+ many a future occasion. when he was in a less agreeable moo+ than at *resent. that esca*a+e woul+ be brought u* against her# '/ell.' he a++e+. 'when you'0e ta!en your bag u*stairs. just bring your ty*ewriter +own here. woul+ youA : want you to ty*e out my sermon#' "ot much that was of interest ha+ ha**ene+ in the town# 1e Ol+e Tea 7ho**e was enlarging its *remises. to the further +isfigurement of the 4igh 7treet# @rs Pither's rheumatism was better ;than!s to the angelica tea. no +oubt=. but @r Pither ha+ 'been un+er the +octor' an+ they were afrai+ he ha+ stone in the bla++er# @r lifil2Gor+on was now in Parliament. a +ocile +ea+hea+ on the bac! benches of the Conser0ati0e Party# Ol+ @r Tombs ha+ +ie+ just after Christmas. an+ @iss Boote ha+ ta!en o0er se0en of his cats an+ ma+e heroic efforts to fin+ homes for the others# )0a Twiss. the niece of @r Twiss the ironmonger. ha+ ha+ an illegitimate baby. which ha+ +ie+# Proggett ha+ +ug the !itchen gar+en an+ sowe+ a few see+s. an+ the broa+ beans an+ the first *eas were just showing# The sho*2+ebts ha+ begun to mount u* again after the cre+itors' meeting. an+ there was si' *oun+s owing to Cargill# Dictor 7tone ha+ ha+ a contro0ersy with Professor Coulton in the Church Times. about the 4oly :nHuisition. an+ utterly route+ him# )llen's ec6ema ha+ been 0ery ba+ all the winter# /al*h lifil2 Gor+on ha+ ha+ two *oems acce*te+ by the (on+on @ercury# Dorothy went into the conser0atory# 7he ha+ got a big job on han+22 costumes for a *ageant that the schoolchil+ren were going to ha0e on 7t George's Day. in ai+ of the organ fun+# "ot a *enny ha+ been *ai+ towar+s the organ +uring the *ast eight months. an+ it was *erha*s as well that the 5ector always threw the organ2*eo*le's bills away uno*ene+. for their tone was growing more an+ more sul*hurous# Dorothy ha+ rac!e+ her brains for a way of raising some money. an+ finally +eci+e+ on a historical *ageant. beginning with ,ulius Caesar an+ en+ing with the Du!e of /ellington# They might raise two *oun+s by a *ageant. she thought22with luc! an+ a fine +ay. they might e0en raise three *oun+s8 7he loo!e+ roun+ the conser0atory# 7he ha+ har+ly been in here since coming home. an+ e0i+ently nothing ha+ been touche+ +uring her absence# 4er things were lying just as she ha+ left them> but the +ust was thic! on e0erything# 4er sewing2machine was on the table ami+ the ol+ familiar litter of scra*s of cloth. sheets of brown *a*er. cotton2reels an+ *ots of *aint. an+ though the nee+le ha+ ruste+. the threa+ was still in it# An+. yes8 there were the jac!boots that she ha+ been ma!ing the night she went away# 7he *ic!e+ one of them u* an+ loo!e+ at it# 7omething stirre+ in her heart# 1es. say what you li!e. they /)5) goo+ jac!boots8 /hat a *ity they ha+ ne0er been use+8 4owe0er. they woul+ come in useful for the *ageant# Bor Charles ::. *erha*s22or. no. better not ha0e Charles ::> ha0e Oli0er Cromwell instea+> because if you ha+ Oli0er

Cromwell you woul+n't ha0e to ma!e him a wig# Dorothy lighte+ the oilsto0e. foun+ her scissors an+ two sheets of brown *a*er. an+ sat +own# There was a mountain of clothes to be ma+e# etter start off with ,ulius Caesar's breast*late. she thought# :t was always that wretche+ armour that ma+e all the trouble8 /hat +i+ a 5oman sol+ier's armour loo! li!eA Dorothy ma+e an effort. an+ calle+ to min+ the statue of some i+eali6e+ curly2bear+e+ em*eror in the 5oman 5oom at the ritish @useum# 1ou might ma!e a sort of rough breast*late out of glue an+ brown *a*er. an+ glue narrow stri*s of *a*er across it to re*resent the *lates of the armour. an+ then sil0er them o0er# "o helmet to ma!e. than! goo+ness8 ,ulius Caesar always wore a laurel wreath22ashame+ of his bal+ness. no +oubt. li!e @r /arburton# ut what about grea0esA Di+ they wear grea0es in ,ulius Caesar's timeA An+ bootsA /as a caligum a boot or a san+alA After a few moments she sto**e+ with the shears resting on her !nee# A thought which ha+ been haunting her li!e some ine'orci6able ghost at e0ery unoccu*ie+ moment +uring the *ast wee! ha+ returne+ once more to +istract her# :t was the thought of what @r /arburton ha+ sai+ to her in the train22of what her life was going to be li!e hereafter. unmarrie+ an+ without money# :t was not that she was in any +oubt about the e'ternal facts of her future# 7he coul+ see it all Huite clearly before her# Ten years. *erha*s. as unsalarie+ curate. an+ then bac! to school2 teaching# "ot necessarily in Huite such a school as @rs Cree0y's22 no +oubt she coul+ +o something rather better for herself than that22but at least in some more or less shabby. more or less *rison2li!e school> or *erha*s in some e0en blea!er. e0en less human !in+ of +ru+gery# /hate0er ha**ene+. at the 0ery best. she ha+ got to face the +estiny that is common to all lonely an+ *enniless women# 'The Ol+ @ai+s of Ol+ )nglan+'. as somebo+y calle+ them# 7he was twenty2eight22just ol+ enough to enter their ran!s# ut it +i+n't matter. it +i+n't matter8 That was the thing that you coul+ ne0er +ri0e into the hea+s of the @r /arburtons of this worl+. not if you tal!e+ to them for a thousan+ years> that mere outwar+ things li!e *o0erty an+ +ru+gery. an+ e0en loneliness. +on't matter in themsel0es# :t is the things that ha**en in your heart that matter# Bor just a moment22an e0il moment22while @r /arburton was tal!ing to her in the train. she ha+ !nown the fear of *o0erty# ut she ha+ mastere+ it> it was not a thing worth worrying about# :t was not because of T4AT that she ha+ got to stiffen her courage an+ rema!e the whole structure of her min+# "o. it was something far more fun+amental> it was the +ea+ly em*tiness that she ha+ +isco0ere+ at the heart of things# 7he

thought of how a year ago she ha+ sat in this chair. with these scissors in her han+. +oing *recisely what she was +oing now> an+ yet it was as though then an+ now she ha+ been two +ifferent beings# /here ha+ she gone. that well2meaning. ri+iculous girl who ha+ *raye+ ecstatically in summer2scente+ fiel+s an+ *ric!e+ her arm as a *unishment for sacrilegious thoughtsA An+ where is any of oursel0es of e0en a year agoA An+ yet after all22an+ here lay the trouble22she /A7 the same girl# eliefs change. thoughts change. but there is some inner *art of the soul that +oes not change# Baith 0anishes. but the nee+ for faith remains the same as before# An+ gi0en only faith. how can anything else matterA 4ow can anything +ismay you if only there is some *ur*ose in the worl+ which you can ser0e. an+ which. while ser0ing it. you can un+erstan+A 1our whole life is illumine+ by the sense of *ur*ose# There is no weariness in your heart. no +oubts. no feeling of futility. no au+elairean ennui waiting for unguar+e+ hours# )0ery act is significant. e0ery moment sanctifie+. wo0en by faith as into a *attern. a fabric of ne0er2en+ing joy# 7he began to me+itate u*on the nature of life# 1ou emerge+ from the womb. you li0e+ si'ty or se0enty years. an+ then you +ie+ an+ rotte+# An+ in e0ery +etail of your life. if no ultimate *ur*ose re+eeme+ it. there was a Huality of greyness. of +esolation. that coul+ ne0er be +escribe+. but which you coul+ feel li!e a *hysical *ang at your heart# (ife. if the gra0e really en+s it. is monstrous an+ +rea+ful# "o use trying to argue it away# Thin! of life as it really is. thin! of the D)TA:(7 of life> an+ then thin! that there is no meaning in it. no *ur*ose. no goal e'ce*t the gra0e# 7urely only fools or self2+ecei0ers. or those whose li0es are e'ce*tionally fortunate. can face that thought without flinchingA 7he shifte+ her *osition in her chair# ut after all there must be 7O@) meaning. 7O@) *ur*ose in it all8 The worl+ cannot be an acci+ent# )0erything that ha**ens must ha0e a cause22ultimately. therefore. a *ur*ose# 7ince you e'ist. Go+ must ha0e create+ you. an+ since 4e create+ you a conscious being. 4e must be conscious# The greater +oesn't come out of the less# 4e create+ you. an+ 4e will !ill you. for 4is own *ur*ose# ut that *ur*ose is inscrutable# :t is in the nature of things that you can ne0er +isco0er it. an+ *erha*s e0en if you +i+ +isco0er it you woul+ be a0erse to it# 1our life an+ +eath. it may be. are a single note in the eternal orchestra that *lays for 4is +i0ersion# An+ su**ose you +on't li!e the tuneA 7he thought of that +rea+ful unfroc!e+ clergyman in Trafalgar 7Huare# 4a+ she +reame+ the things he sai+. or ha+ he really sai+ themA 'Therefore with Demons an+ Arch+emons an+ with all the com*any of 4ell'# ut that was silly. really# Bor your not li!ing the tune was also *art of the tune#

4er min+ struggle+ with the *roblem. while *ercei0ing that there was no solution# There was. she saw clearly. no *ossible substitute for faith> no *agan acce*tance of life as sufficient to itself. no *antheistic cheer2u* stuff. no *seu+o2religion of '*rogress' with 0isions of glittering Cto*ias an+ ant2hea*s of steel an+ concrete# :t is all or nothing# )ither life on earth is a *re*aration for something greater an+ more lasting. or it is meaningless. +ar!. an+ +rea+ful# Dorothy starte+# A fri66ling soun+ was coming from the glue2*ot# 7he ha+ forgotten to *ut any water in the sauce*an. an+ the glue was beginning to burn# 7he too! the sauce*an. hastene+ to the scullery sin! to re*lenish it. then brought it bac! an+ *ut it on the oilsto0e again# : sim*ly @C7T get that breast*late +one before su**er8 she thought# After ,ulius Caesar there was /illiam the ConHueror to be thought of# @ore armour8 An+ *resently she must go along to the !itchen an+ remin+ )llen to boil some *otatoes to go with the mince+ beef for su**er> also there was her 'memo list' to be written out for tomorrow# 7he sha*e+ the two hal0es of the breast*late. cut out the armholes an+ nec!holes. an+ then sto**e+ again# /here ha+ she got toA 7he ha+ been saying that if +eath en+s all. then there is no ho*e an+ no meaning in anything# /ell. what thenA The action of going to the scullery an+ refilling the sauce*an ha+ change+ the tenor of her thoughts# 7he *ercei0e+. for a moment at least. that she ha+ allowe+ herself to fall into e'aggeration an+ self2*ity# /hat a fuss about nothing. after all8 As though in reality there were not *eo*le beyon+ number in the same case as herself8 All o0er the worl+. thousan+s. millions of them> *eo*le who ha+ lost their faith without losing their nee+ of faith# '4alf the *arsons' +aughters in )nglan+.' @r /arburton ha+ sai+# 4e was *robably right# An+ not only *arsons' +aughters> *eo*le of e0ery +escri*tion22*eo*le in illness an+ loneliness an+ failure. *eo*le lea+ing thwarte+. +iscouraging li0es22*eo*le who nee+e+ faith to su**ort them. an+ who ha+n't got it# Perha*s e0en nuns in con0ents. scrubbing floors an+ singing A0e @arias. secretly unbelie0ing# An+ how cowar+ly. after all. to regret a su*erstition that you ha+ got ri+ of22to want to belie0e something that you !new in your bones to be untrue8 An+ yet228 Dorothy ha+ *ut +own her scissors# Almost from force of habit. as though her return home. which ha+ not restore+ her faith. ha+ restore+ the outwar+ habits of *iety. she !nelt +own besi+e her chair# 7he burie+ her face in her han+s# 7he began to *ray#

'(or+. : belie0e. hel* Thou my unbelief# (or+. : belie0e. : belie0e> hel* Thou my unbelief#' :t was useless. absolutely useless# )0en as she s*o!e the wor+s she was aware of their uselessness. an+ was half ashame+ of her action# 7he raise+ her hea+# An+ at that moment there stole into her nostrils a warm. e0il smell. forgotten these eight months but unutterably familiar22the smell of glue# The water in the sauce*an was bubbling noisily# Dorothy jum*e+ to her feet an+ felt the han+le of the glue2brush# The glue was softening22woul+ be liHui+ in another fi0e minutes# The gran+father cloc! in her father's stu+y struc! si'# Dorothy starte+# 7he reali6e+ that she ha+ waste+ twenty minutes. an+ her conscience stabbe+ her so har+ that all the Huestions that ha+ been worrying her fle+ out of her min+# /hat on earth ha0e : been +oing all this timeA she thought> an+ at that moment it really seeme+ to her that she +i+ not !now what she ha+ been +oing# 7he a+monishe+ herself# Come on. Dorothy8 "o slac!ing. *lease8 1ou'0e got to get that breast*late +one before su**er# 7he sat +own. fille+ her mouth with *ins an+ began *inning the two hal0es of the breast*late together. to get it into sha*e before the glue shoul+ be rea+y# The smell of glue was the answer to her *rayer# 7he +i+ not !now this# 7he +i+ not reflect. consciously. that the solution to her +ifficulty lay in acce*ting the fact that there was no solution> that if one gets on with the job that lies to han+. the ultimate *ur*ose of the job fa+es into insignificance> that faith an+ no faith are 0ery much the same *ro0i+e+ that one is +oing what is customary. useful. an+ acce*table# 7he coul+ not formulate these thoughts as yet. she coul+ only li0e them# @uch later. *erha*s. she woul+ formulate them an+ +raw comfort from them# There was still a minute or two before the glue woul+ be rea+y to use# Dorothy finishe+ *inning the breast*late together. an+ in the same instant began mentally s!etching the innumerable costumes that were yet to be ma+e# After /illiam the ConHueror22was it chain mail in /illiam the ConHueror's +ayA22there were 5obin 4oo+22 (incoln Green an+ a bow an+ arrow22an+ Thomas a ec!et in his co*e an+ mitre. an+ Mueen )li6abeth's ruff. an+ a coc!e+ hat for the Du!e of /ellington# An+ : must go an+ see about those *otatoes at half *ast si'. she thought# An+ there was her 'memo list' to be written out for tomorrow# Tomorrow was /e+nes+ay22mustn't forget to set the alarm cloc! for half *ast fi0e# 7he too! a sli* of *a*er an+ began writing out the 'memo list': ? oc# 4#C#

@rs ,# baby ne't month go an+ see her# 5)A<BA7T# acon#

7he *ause+ to thin! of fresh items# @rs ,# was @rs ,owett. the blac!smith's wife> she came sometimes to be churche+ after her babies were born. but only if you coa'e+ her tactfully beforehan+# An+ : must ta!e ol+ @rs Brew some *aregoric lo6enges. Dorothy thought. an+ then *erha*s she'll s*ea! to Georgie an+ sto* him eating those biscuits +uring the sermon# 7he a++e+ @rs Brew to her list# An+ then what about tomorrow's +inner22luncheonA /e sim*ly @C7T *ay Cargill something8 she thought# An+ tomorrow was the +ay of the @others' Cnion tea. an+ they ha+ finishe+ the no0el that @iss Boote ha+ been rea+ing to them# The Huestion was. what to get for them ne'tA There +i+n't seem to be any more boo!s by Gene 7tratton Porter. their fa0ourite# /hat about /arwic! Dee*ingA Too highbrow. *erha*sA An+ : must as! Proggett to get us some young cauliflowers to *lant out. she thought finally# The glue ha+ liHuefie+# Dorothy too! two fresh sheets of brown *a*er. slice+ them into narrow stri*s. an+22rather aw!war+ly. because of the +ifficulty of !ee*ing the breast*late con0e'22*aste+ the stri*s hori6ontally across it. bac! an+ front# y +egrees it stiffene+ un+er her han+s# /hen she ha+ reinforce+ it all o0er she set it on en+ to loo! at it# :t really wasn't half ba+8 One more coating of *a*er an+ it woul+ be almost li!e real armour# /e @C7T ma!e that *ageant a success8 she thought# /hat a *ity we can't borrow a horse from somebo+y an+ ha0e oa+icea in her chariot8 /e might ma!e fi0e *oun+s if we ha+ a really goo+ chariot. with scythes on the wheels# An+ what about 4engist an+ 4orsaA Cross2 gartering an+ winge+ helmets# Dorothy slice+ two more sheets of brown *a*er into stri*s. an+ too! u* the breast*late to gi0e it its final coating# The *roblem of faith an+ no faith ha+ 0anishe+ utterly from her min+# :t was beginning to get +ar!. but. too busy to sto* an+ light the lam*. she wor!e+ on. *asting stri* after stri* of *a*er into *lace. with absorbe+. with *ious concentration. in the *enetrating smell of the glue2*ot#

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