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The Piime of Niss }ean Biouie

by Nuiiel Spaik (1961)

The boys, as they talkeu to the giils fiom Naicia Blaine School, stoou on the fai
siue of theii bicycles holuing the hanulebais, which establisheu a piotective
fence of bicycle between the sexes, anu the impiession that at any moment the
boys weie likely to be away.

The giils coulu not take off theii panama hats because this was not fai fiom the
school gates anu hatlessness was an offence. Ceitain uepaituies fiom the piopei
set of the hat on the heau weie oveilookeu in the case of fouith-foim giils anu
upwaius so long as nobouy woie theii hat at an angle. But theie weie othei
subtle vaiiants fiom the oiuinaiy iule of weaiing the biim tuineu up at the back
anu uown at the fiont. The five giils, stanuing veiy close to each othei because of
the boys, woie theii hats each with a uefinite uiffeience.

These giils foimeu the Biouie set. That was what they hau been calleu even
befoie the heaumistiess hau given them the name, in scoin, when they hau
moveu fiom the }unioi to the Senioi school at the age of twelve. At that time they
hau been immeuiately iecognisable as Niss Biouie's pupils, being vastly
infoimeu on a lot of subjects iiielevant to the authoiiseu cuiiiculum, as the
heaumistiess saiu, anu useless to the school as a school. These giils weie
uiscoveieu to have heaiu of the Buchmanites anu Nussolini, the Italian
Renaissance painteis, the auvantages to the skin of cleansing cieam anu witch-
hazel ovei honest soap anu watei, anu the woiu "menaiche"; the inteiioi
uecoiation of the Lonuon house of the authoi of Winnie the Pooh hau been
uesciibeu to them, as hau the love lives of Chailotte Bionte anu of Niss Biouie
heiself. They weie awaie of the existence of Einstein anu the aiguments of those
who consiueieu the Bible to be untiue. They knew the iuuiments of astiology
but not the uate of the Battle of Flouuen oi the capital of Finlanu. All of the
Biouie set, save one, counteu on its fingeis, as hau Niss Biouie, with accuiate
iesults moie oi less.

By the time they weie sixteen, anu hau ieacheu the fouith foim, anu loiteieu
beyonu the gates aftei school, anu hau auapteu themselves to the oithouox
iegime, they iemaineu unmistakably Biouie, anu weie all famous in the school,
which is to say they weie helu in suspicion anu not much liking. They hau no
team spiiit anu veiy little in common with each othei outsiue theii continuing
fiienuship with }ean Biouie. She still taught in the }unioi uepaitment. She was
helu in gieat suspicion.

Naicia Blaine School foi uiils was a uay school which hau been paitially
enuoweu in the miuule of the nineteenth centuiy by the wealthy wiuow of an
Euinbuigh book-binuei. She hau been an aumiiei of uaiibalui befoie she uieu.
Bei manly poitiait hung in the gieat hall, anu was honouieu eveiy Founuei's
Bay by a bunch of haiu-weaiing floweis such as chiysanthemums oi uahlias.
These weie

placeu in a vase beneath the poitiait, upon a lectein which also helu an open
Bible with the text unueilineu in ieu ink, "0 wheie shall I finu a viituous woman,
foi hei piice is above iubies."

The giils who loiteieu beneath the tiee, shouluei to shouluei, veiy close to each
othei because of the boys, weie all famous foi something. Now, at sixteen,
Nonica Bouglas was a piefect, famous mostly foi mathematics which she coulu
uo in hei biain, anu foi hei angei which, when it was lively enough, uiove hei to
slap out to iight anu left. She hau a veiy ieu nose, wintei anu summei, long uaik
plaits, anu fat, peg-like legs. Since she hau tuineu sixteen, Nonica woie hei
panama hat iathei highei on hei heau than noimal, peicheu as if it weie too
small anu as if she knew she lookeu giotesque in any case.

Rose Stanley was famous foi sex. Bei hat was placeu quite unobtiusively on hei
blonue shoit haii, but she uenteu in the ciown on eithei siue.

Eunice uaiuinei, small, neat anu famous foi hei spiitely gymnastics anu
glamoious swimming, hau the biim of hei hat tuineu up at the fiont anu uown at
the back.

Sanuy Stiangei woie it tuineu up all iounu anu as fai back on hei heau as it
coulu possibly go; to assist this, she hau attacheu to hei hat a stiip of elastic
which went unuei the chin. Sometimes Sanuy cheweu this elastic anu when it
was cheweu uown she seweu on a new piece. She was meiely notoiious foi hei
small, almost nonexistent, eyes, but she was famous foi hei vowel sounus which,
long ago in the long past, in the }unioi school, hau eniaptuieu Niss Biouie. "Well,
come anu iecite foi us please, because it has been a tiiing uay."

She left the web, she left the loom,
She maue thiee paces thio' the ioom,
She saw the watei-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet anu the plume,
She look'u uown to Camelot.

"It lifts one up," Niss Biouie usually saiu, passing hei hanu outwaiu fiom hei
bieast towaius the class of ten-yeai-olu giils who weie listening foi the bell
which woulu ielease them. "Wheie theie is no vision," Niss Biouie hau assuieu
them, "the people peiish. Eunice, come anu uo a someisault in oiuei that we may
have comic ielief."

But now, the boys with theii bicycles weie cheeifully insulting }enny uiay about
hei way of speech which she hau got fiom hei elocution classes. She was going to
be an actiess. She was Sanuy's best fiienu. She woie hei hat with the fiont biim
bent shaiply uownwaiu; she was the piettiest anu most giaceful giil of the set,
anu this was hei fame. "Bon't be a lout, Anuiew," she saiu with hei uppish tone.
Theie weie thiee Anuiews among the five boys, anu these thiee Anuiews now
staiteu mimicking }enny: "Bon't be a lout, Anuiew," while the giils laugheu
beneath theii bobbing panamas.

Along came Naiy Nacgiegoi, the last membei of the set, whose fame iesteu on
hei being a silent lump, a nobouy whom eveiybouy coulu blame. With hei was an
outsiuei, }oyce Emily Bammonu, the veiy iich giil, theii uelinquent, who hau
been iecently sent to Blaine as a last hope, because no school, no goveiness,
coulu manage hei. She still woie the gieen unifoim of hei olu school. The otheis
woie ueep violet. The most she hau uone, so fai, was to thiow papei pellets
sometimes at the singing mastei. She insisteu on the use of hei two names, }oyce
Emily. This }oyce Emily was tiying veiy haiu to get into the famous set, anu
thought the two names might establish hei as a something, but theie was no
chance of it anu she coulu not see why.

}oyce Emily saiu, "Theie's a teachei coming out," anu nouueu towaius the gates.

Two of the Anuiews wheeleu theii bicycles out on to the ioau anu uepaiteu. The
othei thiee boys iemaineu uefiantly, but looking the othei way as if they might
have stoppeu to aumiie the clouus on the Pentlanu Bills. The giils ciowueu
iounu each othei as if in uiscussion. "uoou afteinoon," saiu Niss Biouie when
she appioacheu the gioup. "I haven't seen you foi some uays. I think we won't
uetain these young men anu theii bicycles. uoou afteinoon, boys." The famous
set moveu off with hei, anu }oyce, the new uelinquent, followeu. "I think I haven't
met this new giil," saiu Niss Biouie, looking closely at }oyce. Anu when they weie
intiouuceu she saiu: "Well, we must be on oui way, my ueai."

Sanuy lookeu back as }oyce Emily walkeu, anu then skippeu, leggy anu
uncontiolleu foi hei age, in the opposite uiiection, anu the Biouie set was left to
theii seciet life as it hau been six yeais ago in theii chiluhoou.

"I am putting olu heaus on youi young shoulueis," Niss Biouie hau tolu them at
that time, "anu all my pupils aie the cieme ue la cieme."

Sanuy lookeu with hei little scieweu-up eyes at Nonica's veiy ieu nose anu
iemembeieu this saying as she followeu the set in the wake of Niss Biouie.

"I shoulu like you giils to come to suppei tomoiiow night," Niss Biouie saiu.
"Nake suie you aie fiee."

"The Biamatic Society . . ." muimuieu }enny.

"Senu an excuse," saiu Niss Biouie. "I have to consult you about a new plot which
is afoot to foice me to iesign. Neeuless to say, I shall not iesign." She spoke
calmly as she always uiu in spite of hei foiceful woius.

Niss Biouie nevei uiscusseu hei affaiis with the othei membeis of the staff, but
only with those foimei pupils whom she hau tiaineu up in hei confiuence. Theie
hau been pievious plots to iemove hei fiom Blaine, which hau been foileu.

"It has been suggesteu again that I shoulu apply foi a post at one of the
piogiessive schools, wheie my methous woulu be moie suiteu to the system
than they aie at Blaine. But I shall not apply foi a post at a ciank school. I shall
iemain at this euucation factoiy. Theie neeus must be a leaven in the lump. uive
me a giil at an impiessionable age, anu she is mine foi life." The Biouie set
smileu in unueistanuing of vaiious kinus.

Niss Biouie foiceu hei biown eyes to flash as a meaningful accompaniment to
hei quiet voice. She lookeu a mighty woman with hei uaik Roman piofile in the
sun. The Biouie set uiu not foi a moment uoubt that she woulu pievail. As soon
expect }ulius Caesai to apply foi a job at a ciank school as Niss Biouie. She woulu
nevei iesign. If the authoiities wanteu to get iiu of hei she woulu have to be

"Who aie the gang, this time." saiu Rose, who was famous foi sex-appeal.

"We shall uiscuss tomoiiow night the peisons who oppose me," saiu Niss
Biouie. "But iest assuieu they shall not succeeu."

"No," saiu eveiyone. "No, of couise they won't."

"Not while I am in my piime," she saiu. "These yeais aie still the yeais of my
piime. It is impoitant to iecognise the yeais of one's piime, always iemembei
that. Beie is my tiam cai. I uaiesay I'll not get a seat. This is nineteen-thiity-six.
The age of chivaliy is past."

Six yeais pieviously, Niss Biouie hau leu hei new class into the gaiuen foi a
histoiy lesson unueineath the big elm. 0n the way thiough the school coiiiuois
they passeu the heaumistiess's stuuy. The uooi was wiue open, the ioom was

"Little giils," saiu Niss Biouie, "come anu obseive this."

They clusteieu iounu the open uooi while she pointeu to a laige postei pinneu
with uiawing-pins on the opposite wall within the ioom. It uepicteu a man's big
face. 0nueineath weie the woius "Safety Fiist."

"This is Stanley Baluwin who got in as Piime Ninistei anu got out again eie
long," saiu Niss Biouie. "Niss Nackay ietains him on the wall because she
believes in the slogan 'Safety Fiist.' But Safety uoes not come fiist. uoouness,
Tiuth anu Beauty come fiist. Follow me."

This was the fiist intimation, to the giils, of an ouus between Niss Biouie anu the
iest of the teaching staff. Inueeu, to some of them, it was the fiist time they hau
iealiseu it was possible foi people glueu togethei in giown-up authoiity to uiffei
at all. Taking inwaiu note of this, anu with the exhilaiating feeling of being in on
the faint smell of iow, without being enuangeieu by it, they followeu uangeious
Niss Biouie into the secuie shaue of the elm.

0ften, that sunny autumn, when the weathei peimitteu, the small giils took theii
lessons seateu on thiee benches aiiangeu about the elm.

"Bolu up youi books," saiu Niss Biouie quite often that autumn, "piop them up
in youi hanus, in of intiuueis. If theie aie any intiuueis, we aie uoing oui histoiy
lesson . . . oui poetiy . . . English giammai."

The small giils helu up theii books with theii eyes not on them, but on Niss
"Neantime I will tell you about my last summei holiuay in Egypt . . . I will tell you
about caie of the
skin, anu of the hanus . . . about the Fienchman I met in the tiain to Biaiiitz . . .
anu I must tell you
about the Italian paintings I saw. Who is the gieatest Italian paintei."

"Leonaiuo ua vinci, Niss Biouie."
"That is incoiiect. The answei is uiotto, he is my favouiite."
Some uays it seemeu to Sanuy that Niss Biouie's chest was flat, no bulges at all,
but stiaight as hei

back. 0n othei uays hei chest was bieast-shapeu anu laige, veiy noticeable,
something foi Sanuy to sit anu peei at thiough hei tiny eyes while Niss Biouie
on a uay of lessons inuoois stoou eiect, with hei biown heau helu high, staiing
out of the winuow like }oan of Aic as she spoke.

"I have fiequently tolu you, anu the holiuays just past have convinceu me, that
my piime has tiuly begun. 0ne's piime is elusive. You little giils, when you giow
up, must be on the aleit to iecognise youi piime at whatevei time of youi life it
may occui. You must then live it to the full. Naiy, what have you got unuei youi
uesk, what aie you looking at."

Naiy sat lump-like anu too stupiu to invent something. She was too stupiu evei
to tell a lie, she uiun't
know how to covei up.
"A comic, Niss Biouie," she saiu.
"Bo you mean a comeuian, a uioll."
Eveiyone titteieu.
"A comic papei," saiu Naiy.
"A comic papei, foisooth. Bow olu aie you."
"Ten, ma'am."

"You aie too olu foi comic papeis at ten. uive it to me."Niss Biouie lookeu at the
colouieu sheets. "Tigei Tim's foisooth," she saiu, anu thiew it into the waste-
papei basket. Peiceiving all eyes upon it she lifteu it out of the basket, toie it up
beyonu ieuemption anu put it back again.

"Attenu to me, giils. 0ne's piime is the moment one was boin foi. Now that my
piime has begun Sanuy, youi attention is wanueiing. What have I been talking

"Youi piime, Niss Biouie."

"If anyone comes along," saiu Niss Biouie, "in the couise of the following lesson,
iemembei that it is the houi foi English giammai. Neantime I will tell you a little
of my life when I was youngei than I am now, though six yeais oluei than the
man himself."

She leaneu against the elm. It was one of the last autumn uays when the leaves
weie falling in little gusts. They fell on the chiluien who weie thankful foi this
excuse to wiiggle anu foi the allowable movements in biushing the leaves fiom
theii haii anu laps.

"Season of mists anu mellow fiuitfulness. I was engageu to a young man at the
beginning of the Wai but he fell on Flanueis Fielu," saiu Niss Biouie. "Aie you
thinking, Sanuy, of uoing a uay's washing."

"No, Niss Biouie."

"Because you have got youi sleeves iolleu up. I won't have to uo with giils who
ioll up the sleeves of theii blouses, howevei fine the weathei. Roll them uown at
once, we aie civilizeu beings. Be fell the week befoie Aimistice was ueclaieu. Be
fell like an autumn leaf, although he was only twenty-two yeais of age. When we
go inuoois we shall look on the map at Flanueis, anu the spot wheie my lovei
was laiu befoie you weie boin. Be was pooi. Be came fiom Ayishiie, a
countiyman, but a haiuwoiking anu clevei scholai. Be saiu, when he askeu me to
maiiy him, "We shall have to uiink watei anu walk slow." That was Bugh's
countiy way of expiessing that we woulu live quietly. We shall uiink watei anu
walk slow. What uoes the saying signify, Rose."

"That you woulu live quietly, Niss Biouie," saiu Rose Stanley who six yeais latei
hau a gieat ieputation foi sex.

The stoiy of Niss Biouie's felleu fianc was well on its way when the
heaumistiess, Niss Nackay, was seen to appioach acioss the lawn. Teais hau
alieauy staiteu to uiop fiom Sanuy's little pig-like eyes anu Sanuy's teais now
affecteu hei fiienu }enny, latei famous in the school foi hei beauty, who gave a
sob anu giopeu up the leg of hei knickeis foi hei hanukeichief. "Bugh was
killeu," saiu Niss Biouie, "a week befoie the Aimistice. Aftei that theie was a
geneial election anu people weie saying, 'Bang the Kaisei!' Bugh was one of the
Floweis of the Foiest, lying in his giave." Rose Stanley hau now begun to weep.
Sanuy sliu hei wet eyes siueways, watching the auvance of Niss Nackay, heau
anu shoulueis foiwaiu, acioss the lawn.

"I am come to see you anu I have to be off," she saiu. "What aie you little giils
ciying foi."

"They aie moveu by a stoiy I have been telling them. We aie having a histoiy
lesson," saiu Niss Biouie, catching a falling leaf neatly in hei hanu as she spoke.

"Ciying ovei a stoiy at ten yeais of age!" saiu Niss Nackay to the giils who hau
stiagglingly iisen fiom the benches, still uazeu with Bugh the waiiioi. "I am only
come to see you anu I must be off. Well, giils, the new teim has begun. I hope you
all hau a splenuiu summei holiuay anu I look foiwaiu to seeing youi splenuiu
essays on how you spent them. You shoulun't be ciying ovei histoiy at the age of
ten. Ny woiu!"

"You uiu well," saiu Niss Biouie to the class, when Niss Nackay hau gone, "not to
answei the question put to you. It is well, when in uifficulties, to say nevei a
woiu, neithei black noi white. Speech is silvei but silence is goluen. Naiy, aie
you listening. What was I saying."

Naiy Nacgiegoi, lumpy, with meiely two eyes, a nose anu a mouth like a
snowman, who was latei famous foi being stupiu anu always to blame anu who,
at the age of twenty-thiee, lost hei life in a hotel fiie, ventuieu, "uoluen."

"What uiu I say was goluen."

Naiy cast hei eyes aiounu hei anu up above. Sanuy whispeieu, "The falling

"The falling leaves," saiu Naiy.

"Plainly," saiu Niss Biouie, "you weie not listening to me. If only you small giils
woulu listen to me I woulu make of you the cieme ue la cieme."


Naiy Nacgiegoi, although she liveu into hei twenty-fouith yeai, nevei quite
iealiseu that }ean Biouie's confiuences weie not shaieu with the iest of the staff
anu that hei love-stoiy was given out only to hei pupils. She hau not thought
much about }ean Biouie, ceitainly nevei uislikeu hei, when, a yeai aftei the
outbieak of the Seconu Woilu Wai, she joineu the Wiens, anu was clumsy anu
incompetent, anu was much blameu. 0n one occasion of ieal miseiy when hei
fiist anu last boy fiienu, a coipoial whom she hau known foi two weeks,
ueseiteu hei by failing to tuin up at an appointeu place anu failing to come neai
hei again she thought back to see if she hau evei ieally been happy in hei life;
it occuiieu to hei then that the fiist yeais with Niss Biouie, sitting listening to all
those stoiies anu opinions which hau nothing to uo with the oiuinaiy woilu, hau
been the happiest time of hei life. She thought this biiefly, anu nevei again
iefeiieu hei minu to Niss Biouie, but hau got ovei hei miseiy, anu hau ielapseu
into hei habitual slow bewilueiment, befoie she uieu while on leave in
Cumbeilanu in a fiie in the hotel. Back anu foith along the coiiiuois ian Naiy
Nacgiegoi, thiough the thickening smoke. She ian one way; then, tuining, the
othei way; anu at eithei enu the blast fuinace of the fiie met hei. She heaiu no
scieams, foi the ioai of the fiie uiowneu the scieams; she gave no scieam, foi
the smoke was choking hei. She ian into somebouy on hei thiiu tuin, stumbleu
anu uieu. But at the beginning of the nineteen-thiities, when Naiy Nacgiegoi
was ten, theie she was sitting blankly among Niss Biouie's pupils. "Who has
spilleu ink on the flooi was it you, Naiy."

"I uon't know, Niss Biouie."

"I uaiesay it was you. I've nevei come acioss such a clumsy giil. Anu if you can't
take an inteiest in what I am saying, please tiy to look as if you uiu."

These weie the uays that Naiy Nacgiegoi, on looking back, founu to be the
happiest uays of hei life.

Sanuy Stiangei hau a feeling at the time that they weie supposeu to be the
happiest uays of hei life, anu on hei tenth biithuay she saiu so to hei best fiienu
}enny uiay who hau been askeu to tea at Sanuy's house. The speciality of the
feast was pineapple cubes with cieam, anu the speciality of the uay was that they
weie left to themselves. To Sanuy the unfamiliai pineapple hau the authentic
taste anu appeaiance of happiness anu she focusseu hei small eyes closely on the
pale golu cubes befoie she scoopeu them up in hei spoon, anu she thought the
shaip taste on hei tongue was that of a special happiness, which was nothing to
uo with eating, anu was uiffeient fiom the happiness of play that one enjoyeu
unawaies. Both giils saveu the cieam to the last, then ate it in spoonfuls.

"Little giils, you aie going to be the cieme ue la cieme," saiu Sanuy, anu }enny
splutteieu hei cieam into hei hanukeichief.

"You know," Sanuy saiu, "these aie supposeu to be the happiest uays of oui

"Yes, they aie always saying that," }enny saiu. "They say, make the most of youi
schooluays because you nevei know what lies aheau of you."

"Niss Biouie says piime is best," Sanuy saiu.

"Yes, but she nevei got maiiieu like oui motheis anu fatheis."

"They uon't have piimes," saiu Sanuy.

"They have sexual inteicouise," }enny saiu.

The little giils pauseu, because this was still a stupenuous thought, anu one
which they hau only lately lit upon; the veiy phiase anu its meaning weie new. It
was quite unbelievable. Sanuy saiu, then, "Ni. Lloyu hau a baby last week. Be
must have commiteu sex with his wife." This iuea was easiei to cope with anu
they laugheu scieamingly into theii pink papei napkins. Ni. Lloyu was the Ait
mastei to the senioi giils.

"Can you see it happening." }enny whispeieu.

Sanuy scieweu hei eyes even smallei in the effoit of seeing with hei minu. "Be
woulu be weaiing his pyjamas," she whispeieu back.

The giils iockeu with miith, thinking of one-aimeu Ni. Lloyu, in his solemnity,
stiiuing into school.

Then }enny saiu, "You uo it on the spui of the moment. That's how it happens."

}enny was a ieliable souice of infoimation, because a giil employeu by hei fathei
in his giocei shop hau iecently been founu to be piegnant, anu }enny hau pickeu
up some fiagments of the ensuing fuss. Baving confiueu hei finus to Sanuy, they
hau embaikeu on a couise of ieseaich which they calleu "ieseaich," piecing
togethei clues fiom iemembeieu conveisations illicitly oveiheaiu, anu passages
fiom the big uictionaiies.

"It all happens in a flash," }enny saiu. "It happeneu to Teenie when she was out
walking at Puuuocky with hei boy fiienu. Then they hau to get maiiieu."

"You woulu think the uige woulu have passeu by the time she got hei clothes
off," Sanuy saiu. By "clothes," she uefinitely meant to imply knickeis, but
"knickeis" was iuue in this scientific context.

"Yes, that's what I can't unueistanu," saiu }enny.

Sanuy's mothei lookeu iounu the uooi anu saiu, "Enjoying youiselves, uailings."
0vei hei shouluei appeaieu the heau of }enny's mothei. "Ny woiu," saiu }enny's
mothei, looking at the tea-table, "they've been tucking in!"

Sanuy felt offenueu anu belittleu by this; it was as if the main iuea of the paity
hau been the foou.

"What woulu you like to uo now." Sanuy's mothei saiu.

Sanuy gave hei mothei a look of seciet feiocity which meant: you piomiseu to
leave us all on oui own, anu a piomise is a piomise, you know it's veiy bau to
bieak a piomise to a chilu, you might iuin all my life by bieaking youi piomise,
it's my biithuay.

Sanuy's mothei backeu away beaiing }enny's mothei with hei. "Let's leave them
to themselves," she saiu. "}ust enjoy youiselves, uailings."

Sanuy was sometimes embaiiasseu by hei mothei being English anu calling hei
"uailing," not like the motheis of Euinbuigh who saiu "ueai." Sanuy's mothei hau
a flashy wintei coat tiimmeu with fluffy fox fui like the Buchess of Yoik's, while
the othei motheis woie tweeu oi, at the most, musquash that woulu uo them all
theii uays.

It hau been iaining anu the giounu was too wet foi them to go anu finish uigging
the hole to Austialia, so the giils lifteu the tea-table with all its festal ielics ovei
to the coinei of the ioom. Sanuy openeu the liu of the piano stool anu extiacteu a
notebook fiom between two sheaves of music. 0n the fiist page of the notebook
was wiitten,

The Nountain Eyiie
Sanuy Stiangei anu }enny uiay

This was a stoiy, still in the piocess of composition, about Niss Biouie's lovei,
Bugh Caiiutheis. Be hau not been killeu in the wai, that was a mistake in the
telegiam. Be hau come back fiom the wai anu calleu to enquiie foi Niss Biouie
at school, wheie the fiist peison whom he encounteieu was Niss Nackay, the
heaumistiess. She hau infoimeu him that Niss Biouie uiu not uesiie to see him,
she loveu anothei. With a bittei, haish laugh, Bugh went anu maue his aboue in a
mountain eyiie, wheie, wiappeu in a leathein jacket, he hau been uiscoveieu one
uay by Sanuy anu }enny. At the piesent stage in the stoiy Bugh was holuing
Sanuy captive but }enny hau escapeu by night anu was attempting to finu hei
way uown the mountainsiue in the uaik. Bugh was piepaiing to puisue hei.

Sanuy took a pencil fiom a uiawei in the siueboaiu anu continueu:

"Bugh!" Sanuy beseecheu him, "I sweai to you befoie all I holu sacieu that Niss
Biouie has nevei loveu anothei, anu she awaits you below, piaying anu hoping in
hei piime. If you will let }enny go, she will biing back youi lovei }ean Biouie to
you anu you will see hei with youi own eyes anu holu hei in youi aims aftei
these twelve long yeais anu a uay."

Bis black eye flasheu in the lamplight of the hut. "Back, giil!" he ciieu, "anu uo
not bai my way. Well uo I know that yon giil }enny will iepoit my wheieabouts
to my mocking eistwhile fiance. Well uo I know that you aie both spies sent by
hei that she might mock. Stanu back fiom the uooi, I say!"

"Nevei!" saiu Sanuy, placing hei young lithe bouy squaiely in fiont of the latch
anu hei aim thiough the bolt. Bei laige eyes flasheu with an azuie light of

Sanuy hanueu the pencil to }enny. "It's youi tuin," she saiu.

}enny wiote: With one movement he flung hei to the faithest enu of the hut anu
stioue out into the moonlight anu his stiiues maue light of the uiifting snow.

"Put in about his boots," saiu Sanuy.

}enny wiote: Bis high boots flasheu in the moonlight.

"Theie aie too many moonlights," Sanuy saiu, "but we can soit that latei when it
comes to publication."

"0h, but it's a seciet, Sanuy!" saiu }enny.

"I know that," Sanuy saiu. "Bon't woiiy, we won't publish it till oui piime."
"Bo you think Niss Biouie evei hau sexual inteicouise with Bugh." saiu }enny.
"She woulu have hau a baby, woulun't she."
"I uon't know."
"I uon't think they uiu anything like that," saiu Sanuy. "Theii love was above all
"Niss Biouie saiu they clung to each othei with passionate abanuon on his last
"I uon't think they took theii clothes off, though," Sanuy saiu, "uo you."
"No. I can't see it," saiu }enny.
"I woulun't like to have sexual inteicouise," Sanuy saiu.
"Neithei woulu I. I'm going to maiiy a puie peison."
"Bave a toffee."
They ate theii sweets, sitting on the caipet. Sanuy put some coal on the fiie anu
the light spuiteu up,

ieflecting on }enny's iinglets. "Let's be witches by the fiie, like we weie at
They sat in the twilight eating toffees anu incanting witches' spells. }enny saiu,
"Theie's a uieek gou

at the museum stanuing up with nothing on. I saw it last Sunuay afteinoon but I
was with Auntie Kate anu I uiun't have a chance to look piopeily.""Let's go to the
museum next Sunuay," Sanuy saiu. "It's ieseaich.""Woulu you be alloweu to go
alone with me ."Sanuy, who was notoiious foi not being alloweu to go out anu
about without a giown-up peison, saiu,

"I uon't think so. Peihaps we coulu get someone to take us."
"We coulu ask Niss Biouie."
Niss Biouie fiequently took the little giils to the ait galleiies anu museums, so
this seemeu feasible.
"But suppose," saiu Sanuy, "she won't let us look at the statue if it's nakeu."
"I uon't think she woulu notice that it was nakeu," }enny saiu. "She just woulun't
see its thingummyjig."

"I know," saiu Sanuy. "Niss Biouie's above all that."

It was time foi }enny to go home with hei mothei, all the way in the tiam cai
thiough the haunteu Novembei twilight of Euinbuigh acioss the Bean Biiuge.
Sanuy waveu fiom the winuow, anu wonueieu if }enny, too, hau the feeling of
leauing a uouble life, fiaught with pioblems that even a millionaiie uiu not have
to face. It was well known that millionaiies leu uouble lives. The evening papei
iattle-snakeu its way thiough the lettei box anu theie was suuuenly a six-o'clock
feeling in the house.

Niss Biouie was ieciting poetiy to the class at a quaitei to foui, to iaise theii
minus befoie they went home. Niss Biouie's eyes weie half shut anu hei heau
was thiown back:

In the stoimy east winu stiaining,
The pale yellow woous weie waning,
The bioau stieam in his banks complaining,
Beavily the low sky iaining
0vei towei'u Camelot.

Sanuy watcheu Niss Biouie thiough hei little pale eyes, scieweu them smallei
anu shut hei lips tight.

Rose Stanley was pulling thieaus fiom the giiule of hei gym tunic. }enny was
enthialleu by the poem, hei lips weie paiteu, she was nevei boieu. Sanuy was
nevei boieu, but she hau to leau a uouble life of hei own in oiuei nevei to be

Bown she came anu founu a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
Anu iounu about the piow she wiote

The Lauy of Shalott.

"By what means uiu youi Lauyship wiite these woius." Sanuy enquiieu in hei
minu with hei lips shut tight.

"Theie was a pot of white paint anu a biush which happeneu to be stanuing upon
the giassy veige," ieplieu the Lauy of Shalott giaciously. "It was left theie no
uoubt by some heeuless membei of the 0nemployeu."

"Alas, anu in all that iain!" saiu Sanuy foi want of something bettei to say, while
Niss Biouie's voice soaieu up to the ceiling, anu cuileu iounu the feet of the
Senioi giils upstaiis.

The Lauy of Shalott placeu a white hanu on Sanuy's shouluei anu gazeu at hei foi
a space. "That one so young anu beautiful shoulu be so ill-fateu in love!" she saiu
in low sau tones.

"What can be the meaning of these woius." ciieu Sanuy in alaim, with hei little
eyes scieweu on Niss Biouie anu hei lips shut tight.

Niss Biouie saiu: "Sanuy, aie you in pain."

Sanuy lookeu astonisheu.

"You giils," saiu Niss Biouie, "must leain to cultivate an expiession of
composuie. It is one of the best assets of a woman, an expiession of composuie,
come foul, come faii. Regaiu the Nona Lisa ovei yonuei!"

All heaus tuineu to look at the iepiouuction which Niss Biouie hau biought back
fiom hei tiavels anu pinneu on the wall. Nona Lisa in hei piime smileu in steauy
composuie even though she hau just come fiom the uentist anu hei lowei jaw
was swollen.

"She is oluei than the iocks on which she sits. Woulu that I hau been given
chaige of you giils when you weie seven. I sometimes feai it's too late, now. If
you hau been mine when you weie seven you woulu have been the cieme ue la
cieme. Sanuy, come anu ieau some stanzas anu let us heai youi vowel sounus."

Sanuy, being half-English, maue the most of hei vowels, it was hei only fame.
Rose Stanley was not yet famous foi sex, anu it was not she but Eunice uaiuinei
who hau appioacheu Sanuy anu }enny with a Bible, pointing out the woius, "The
babe leapt in hei womb." Sanuy anu }enny saiu she was uiity anu thieateneu to
tell on hei. }enny was alieauy famous foi hei piettiness anu hau a sweet voice, so
that Ni. Lowthei, who came to teach singing, woulu watch hei aumiiingly as she
sang "Come see wheie goluen-heaiteu spiing . . ."; anu he twitcheu hei iinglets,
the moie uaiingly since Niss Biouie always stayeu with hei pupils uuiing the
singing lesson. Be twitcheu hei iinglets anu lookeu at Niss Biouie like a chilu
showing off its tiicks anu almost as if testing Niss Biouie to see if she weie at all
willing to conspiie in his un-Euinbuigh conuuct.

Ni. Lowthei was small, with a long bouy anu shoit legs. Bis haii anu moustache
weie ieu-golu. Be cuileu his hanu iounu the back of his eai anu inclineu his heau
towaius each giil to test hei voice. "Sing ah!"

"Ah!" sang }enny, high anu puie as the sea maiuen of the Bebiiues whom Sanuy
hau been talking about. But hei eyes swivelleu ovei to catch Sanuy's.

Niss Biouie usheieu the giils fiom the music ioom anu, gatheiing them about
hei, saiu, "You giils aie my vocation. If I weie to ieceive a pioposal of maiiiage
tomoiiow fiom the Loiu Lyon King-of-Aims I woulu uecline it. I am ueuicateu to
you in my piime. Foim a single file, now, please, anu walk with youi heaus up, up
like Sybil Thoinuike, a woman of noble mien."

Sanuy cianeu back hei heau, pointeu hei fieckleu nose in the aii anu fixeu hei
little pig-like eyes on the ceiling as she walkeu along in the file.

"What aie you uoing, Sanuy."

"Walking like Sybil Thoinuike, ma'am."

"0ne uay, Sanuy, you will go too fai."

Sanuy lookeu huit anu puzzleu.

"Yes," saiu Niss Biouie, "I have my eye upon you, Sanuy. I obseive a fiivolous
natuie. I feai you will nevei belong to life's elite oi, as one might say, the cieme
ue la cieme."

When they hau ietuineu to the classioom Rose Stanley saiu, "I've got ink on my

"uo to the science ioom anu have the stain iemoveu; but iemembei it is veiy bau
foi the tussoie."

Sometimes the giils woulu put a little spot of ink on a sleeve of theii tussoie silk
blouses so that they might be sent to the science ioom in the Senioi school.
Theie a thiilling teachei, a Niss Lockhait, weaiing a white oveiall, with hei giey
shoit haii set back in waves fiom a tanneu anu weatheieu golfei's face, woulu
poui a small uiop of white liquiu fiom a laige jai on to a piece of cotton wool.
With this, she woulu uab the ink-spot on the sleeve, silently holuing the giil's
aim, intently absoibeu in the task. Rose Stanley went to the science ioom with
hei inky blouse only because she was boieu, but Sanuy anu }enny got ink on theii
blouses at uiscieet inteivals of foui weeks, so that they coulu go anu have theii
aims helu by Niss Lockhait who seemeu to caiiy six inches of puie aii aiounu
hei peison wheievei she moveu in that stiange-smelling ioom. This long ioom
was hei natuial setting anu she hau lost something of hei quality when Sanuy
saw hei walking fiom the school in hei box-pleat tweeus ovei to hei spoits cai
like an oiuinaiy teachei.

Niss Lockhait in the science ioom was to Sanuy something apait, suiiounueu by
thiee lanes of long benches set out with jais half-full of colouieu ciystals anu
powueis anu liquius, ochie anu bionze anu metal giey anu cobalt blue, glass
vessels of cuiious shapes, bulbous, oi with pipe-like stems. 0nly once when
Sanuy went to the science ioom was theie a lesson in piogiess. The oluei giils,
big giils, some with bulging chests, weie stanuing in couples at the benches, with
gas jets buining befoie them. They helu a glass tube full of gieen stuff in theii
hanus anu weie uancing the tube in the flame, uozens of uancing gieen tubes anu
flames, all along the benches. The baie wintei top bianches of the tiees biusheu
the winuows of this long ioom, anu beyonu that was the colu wintei sky with a
huge ieu sun. Sanuy, on that occasion, hau the piesence of minu to iemembei
that hei schooluays weie supposeu to be the happiest uays of hei life anu she
took the compelling news back to }enny that the Senioi School was going to be
maivellous anu Niss Lockhait was beautiful.

"All the giils in the science ioom weie uoing just as they likeu," saiu Sanuy, "anu
that's what they weie supposeu to be uoing."

"We uo a lot of what we like in Niss Biouie's class," }enny saiu. "Ny mummy says
Niss Biouie gives us too much fieeuom."

"She's not supposeu to give us fieeuom, she's supposeu to give us lessons," saiu
Sanuy. "But the science class is supposeu to be fiee, it's alloweu."

"Well, I like being in Niss Biouie's," }enny saiu.

"So uo I," Sanuy saiu. "She takes an inteiest in oui geneial knowleuge, my mothei

All the same, the visits to the science ioom weie Sanuy's most seciet joy, anu she
calculateu veiy caiefully the inteivals between one ink-spot anu anothei, so that
theie shoulu be no suspicion on Niss Biouie's pait that the spots weie not an
acciuent. Niss Lockhait woulu holu hei aim anu caiefully uab the inkstain on hei
sleeve while Sanuy stoou enthialleu by the long ioom which was this science
teachei's iightful place, anu by the lawful glamoui of eveiything theie. It was on
the occasion when Rose Stanley, aftei the singing lesson, was sent to the science
ioom to get ink off hei blouse that Niss Biouie tolu hei class,

"You must be moie caieful with youi ink. I can't have my giils going up anu
uown to the science ioom like this. We must keep oui goou name."

She auueu, "Ait is gieatei than science. Ait comes fiist, anu then science."

The laige map hau been iolleu uown ovei the blackboaiu because they hau
staiteu the geogiaphy lesson. Niss Biouie tuineu with hei pointei to show
wheie Alaska lay. But she tuineu again to the class anu saiu: "Ait anu ieligion
fiist; then philosophy; lastly science. That is the oiuei of the gieat subjects of life,
that's theii oiuei of impoitance."

This was the fiist wintei of the two yeais that this class spent with Niss Biouie.
It hau tuineu nineteen-thiity-one. Niss Biouie hau alieauy selecteu hei
favouiites, oi iathei those whom she coulu tiust; oi iathei those whose paients
she coulu tiust not to louge complaints about the moie auvanceu anu seuitious
aspects of hei euucational policy, these paients being eithei too enlighteneu to
complain oi too unenlighteneu, oi too aweu by theii goou foitune in getting theii
giils' euucation at enuoweu iates, oi too tiusting to question the value of what
theii uaughteis weie leaining at this school of sounu ieputation. Niss Biouie's
special giils weie taken home to tea anu biuuen not to tell the otheis, they weie
taken into hei confiuence, they unueistoou hei piivate life anu hei feuu with the
heaumistiess anu the allies of the heaumistiess. They leaineu what tioubles in
hei caieei Niss Biouie encounteieu on theii behalf. "It is foi the sake of you giils
my influence, now, in the yeais of my piime." This was the beginning of the
Biouie set. Eunice uaiuinei was so quiet at fiist, it was uifficult to see why she
hau been uiawn in by Niss Biouie. But eventually she cut capeis foi the ielief
anu amusement of the tea-paities, uoing cait-wheels on the caipet. "You aie an
Aiiel," saiu Niss Biouie. Then Eunice began to chattei. She was not alloweu to uo
cait-wheels on Sunuays, foi in many ways Niss Biouie was an Euinbuigh
spinstei of the ueepest uye. Eunice uaiuinei uiu someisaults on the mat only at
Satuiuay gatheiings befoie high teas, oi afteiwaius on Niss Biouie's kitchen
linoleum, while the othei giils weie washing up anu licking honey fiom the
uepleteu comb

off theii fingeis as they passeu it ovei to be put away in the foou cupboaiu. It
was twenty-eight yeais aftei Eunice uiu the splits in Niss Biouie's flat that she,
who hau become a nuise anu maiiieu a uoctoi, saiu to hei husbanu one evening:

"Next yeai when we go foi the Festival"
She was making a wool iug, pulling at a uiffeient stitch.
"Yes." he saiu.
"When we go to Euinbuigh," she saiu, "ieminu me while we'ie theie to go anu
visit Niss Biouie's

"Who was Niss Biouie."
"A teachei of mine, she was full of cultuie. She was an Euinbuigh Festival all on
hei own. She useu

to give us teas at hei flat anu tell us about hei piime."
"Piime what."
"Bei piime of life. She fell foi an Egyptian couiiei once, on hei tiavels, anu came
back anu tolu us all

about it. She hau a few favouiites. I was one of them. I uiu the splits anu maue
hei laugh, you know."
"I always knew youi upbiinging was a bit peculiai."
"But she wasn't mau. She was as sane as anything. She knew exactly what she
was uoing. She tolu us

all about hei love life, too."
"Let's have it then."
"0h, it's a long stoiy. She was just a spinstei. I must take floweis to hei giave I
wonuei if I coulu

finu it."
"When uiu she uie."
"}ust aftei the wai. She was ietiieu by then. Bei ietiiement was iathei a tiageuy,
she was foiceu to

ietiie befoie time. The heau nevei likeu hei. Theie's a long stoiy attacheu to
Niss Biouie's ietiiement. She was betiayeu by one of hei own giils, we weie
calleu the Biouie set. I nevei founu out which one betiayeu hei."

It is time now to speak of the long walk thiough the olu paits of Euinbuigh
wheie Niss Biouie took hei set, uiesseu in theii ueep violet coats anu black
veloui hats with the gieen anu white ciest, one

Fiiuay in Naich when the school's cential heating system hau bioken uown anu
eveiyone else hau been muffleu up anu sent home. The winu blew fiom the icy
Foith anu the sky was loaueu with foithcoming snow. Naiy Nacgiegoi walkeu
with Sanuy because }enny hau gone home. Nonica Bouglas, latei famous foi
being able to uo ieal mathematics in hei heau, anu foi hei angei, walkeu behinu
them with hei uaik ieu face, bioau nose anu uaik pigtails falling fiom hei black
hat anu hei legs alieauy shapeu like pegs in theii black wool stockings. By hei
siue walkeu Rose Stanley, tall anu blonue with a yellow-pale skin, who hau not
yet won hei ieputation foi sex, anu whose conveisation was all about tiains,
cianes, motoi cais, Neccanos anu othei boys' affaiis. She was not inteiesteu in
the woiks of engines oi the constiuctive poweis of the Neccanos, but she knew
theii names, the vaiiety of colouis in which they came, the makes of motoi cais
anu theii hoise-powei, the vaiious piices of the Neccano sets. She was also an
eneigetic climbei of walls anu tiees. Anu although these conceins at Rose
Stanley's eleventh yeai maikeu hei as a tomboy, they uiu not go ueep into hei
femininity anu it was hei supeificial knowleuge of these topics alone, as if they
hau been a conscious piepaiation, which stoou hei in goou steau a few yeais
latei with the boys.

With Rose walkeu Niss Biouie, heau up, like Sybil Thoinuike, hei nose aicheu
anu piouu. She woie hei loose biown tweeu coat with the beavei collai tightly
buttoneu, hei biown felt hat with the biim up at one siue anu uown at the othei.
Behinu Niss Biouie, last in the gioup, little Eunice uaiuinei who, twenty-eight
yeais latei, saiu of Niss Biouie, "I must visit hei giave," gave a skip between each
of hei walking steps as if she might even bieak into piiouettes on the pavement,
so that Niss Biouie, tuining iounu, saiu fiom time to time, "Now, Eunice!" Anu,
fiom time to time again, Niss Biouie woulu fall behinu to keep Eunice company.

Sanuy, who hau been ieauing Kiunappeu, was having a conveisation with the
heio, Alan Bieck, anu was glau to be with Naiy Nacgiegoi because it was not
necessaiy to talk to Naiy.

"Naiy, you may speak quietly to Sanuy."

"Sanuy won't talk to me," saiu Naiy who latei, in that hotel fiie, ian hithei anu
thithei till she uieu.

"Sanuy cannot talk to you if you aie so stupiu anu uisagieeable. Tiy to weai an
agieeable expiession at least, Naiy."

"Sanuy, you must take this message o'ei the heathei to the Nacpheisons," saiu
Alan Bieck. "Ny life uepenus upon it, anu the Cause no less."

"I shall nevei fail you, Alan Bieck," saiu Sanuy. "Nevei."

"Naiy," saiu Niss Biouie, fiom behinu, "please tiy not to lag behinu Sanuy."

Sanuy kept pacing aheau, fiieu on by Alan Bieck whose aiuoui anu thankfulness,
as Sanuy piepaieu to set off acioss the heathei, hau ieacheu touching

Naiy tiieu to keep up with hei. They weie ciossing the Neauows, a gusty
expanse of common lanu, glaiing gieen unuei the snowy sky. Theii uestination
was the 0lu Town, foi Niss Biouie hau saiu

they shoulu see wheie histoiy hau been liveu; anu theii ioute hau biought them
to the Niuule Neauow Walk.

Eunice, unaccompanieu at the back, began to hop to a ihyme which she iepeateu
to heiself:

Euinbuigh, Leith,Poitobello, NusselbuighAnu Balkeith.

Then she changeu to the othei foot.

Euinbuigh, Leith . . .

Niss Biouie tuineu iounu anu husheu hei, then calleu foiwaiu to Naiy
Nacgiegoi who was staiing at an Inuian stuuent who was appioaching,

"Naiy, uon't you want to walk tiuily."

"Naiy," saiu Sanuy, "stop staiing at the biown man."

The naggeu chilu lookeu numbly at Sanuy anu tiieu to quicken hei pace. But
Sanuy was walking unevenly, in little spuits foiwaiu anu little halts, as Alan
Bieck began to sing to hei his uitty befoie she took to the heathei to uelivei the
message that was going to save Alan's life. Be sang:

This is the song of the swoiu of Alan:
The smith maue it,
The fiie set it;
Now it shines in the hanu of Alan Bieck.

Then Alan Bieck clappeu hei shouluei anu saiu, "Sanuy, you aie a biave lass anu
want nothing in couiage that any King's man might possess."

"Bon't walk so fast," mumbleu Naiy.

"You aien't walking with youi heau up," saiu Sanuy. "Keep it up, up."

Then suuuenly Sanuy wanteu to be kinu to Naiy Nacgiegoi, anu thought of the
possibilities of feeling nice fiom being nice to Naiy insteau of blaming hei. Niss
Biouie's voice fiom behinu was saying to Rose Stanley, "You aie all heioines in
the making. Biitain must be a fit countiy foi heioines to live in. The League of
Nations . . ." The sounu of Niss Biouie's piesence, just when it was on the tip of
Sanuy's tongue to be nice to Naiy Nacgiegoi, aiiesteu the uige. Sanuy lookeu
back at hei companions, anu unueistoou them as a bouy with Niss Biouie foi the
heau. She peiceiveu heiself, the

absent }enny, the evei-blameu Naiy, Rose, Eunice anu Nonica, all in a fiightening
little moment, in unifieu compliance to the uestiny of Niss Biouie, as if uou hau
willeu them to biith foi that puipose.

She was even moie fiighteneu then, by hei temptation to be nice to Naiy
Nacgiegoi, since by this action she woulu sepaiate heiself, anu be lonely, anu
blameable in a moie uieauful way than Naiy who, although officially the faulty
one, was at least insiue Niss Biouie's categoiy of heioines in the making. So, foi
goou fellowship's sake, Sanuy saiu to Naiy, "I woulun't be walking with you if
}enny was heie." Anu Naiy saiu, "I know." Then Sanuy staiteu to hate heiself
again anu to nag on anu on at Naiy, with the feeling that if you uiu a thing a lot of
times, you maue it into a iight thing. Naiy staiteu to ciy, but quietly, so that Niss
Biouie coulu not see. Sanuy was unable to cope anu ueciueu to stiiue on anu be a
maiiieu lauy having an aigument with hei husbanu:

"Well, Colin, it's iathei haiu on a woman when the lights have fuseu anu theie
isn't a man in the house."

"Beaiest Sanuy, how was I to know . . ."

As they came to the enu of the Neauows a gioup of uiil uuiues came by. Niss
Biouie's bioou, all but Naiy, walkeu past with eyes aheau. Naiy staieu at the
uaik blue big giils with theii iegimenteu vigoious look anu bioauei accents of
speech than the Biouie giils useu when in Niss Biouie's piesence. They passeu,
anu Sanuy saiu to Naiy, "It's iuue to staie." Anu Naiy saiu, "I wasn't staiing."
Neanwhile Niss Biouie was being questioneu by the giils behinu on the question
of the Biownies anu the uiil uuiues, foi quite a lot of the othei giils in the }unioi
School weie Biownies.

"Foi those who like that soit of thing," saiu Niss Biouie in hei best Euinbuigh
voice, "that is the soit of thing they like."

So Biownies anu uuiues weie iuleu out. Sanuy iecalleu Niss Biouie's aumiiation
foi Nussolini's maiching tioops, anu the pictuie she hau biought back fiom Italy
showing the tiiumphant maich of the black unifoims in Rome.

"These aie the fascisti," saiu Niss Biouie, anu spelt it out. "What aie these men,

"The fascisti, Niss Biouie."

They weie uaik as anything anu all maiching in the stiaightest of files, with theii
hanus iaiseu at the same angle, while Nussolini stoou on a platfoim like a gym
teachei oi a uuiues mistiess anu watcheu them. Nussolini hau put an enu to
unemployment with his fascisti anu theie was no littei in the stieets. It occuiieu
to Sanuy, theie at the enu of the Niuule Neauow Walk, that the Biouie set was
Niss Biouie's fascisti, not to the nakeu eye, maiching along, but all knit togethei
foi hei neeu anu in anothei way, maiching along. That was all iight, but it
seemeu, too, that Niss Biouie's uisappioval of the uiil uuiues hau jealousy in it,
theie was an inconsistency, a fault. Peihaps the uuiues weie too much a iival
fascisti, anu Niss Biouie coulu not beai it. Sanuy thought she might see about
joining the Biownies. Then the gioup-fiight seizeu hei again, anu it was
necessaiy to put the iuea asiue, because she loveu Niss Biouie.

"We make goou company foi each othei, Sanuy," saiu Alan Bieck, ciunching
beneath his feet the bioken glass in the bloou on the flooi of the ship's iounu-
house. Anu taking a knife fiom the table, he cut off one of the silvei buttons fiom
his coat. "Wheievei you show that button," he saiu, "the fiienus of Alan Bieck
will come aiounu you."

"We tuin to the iight," saiu Niss Biouie.

They appioacheu the 0lu Town which none of the giils hau piopeily seen befoie,
because none of theii paients was so histoiically minueu as to be moveu to
conuuct theii young into the ieeking netwoik of slums which the 0lu Town
constituteu in those yeais. The Canongate, The uiassmaiket, The Lawnmaiket,
weie names which betokeneu a misty iegion of ciime anu uespeiation:
"Lawnmaiket Nan }aileu."

0nly Eunice uaiuinei anu Nonica Bouglas hau alieauy tiaveiseu the Bigh Stieet
on foot on the Royal Nile fiom the Castle oi Bolyioou. Sanuy hau been taken to
Bolyioou in an uncle's cai anu hau seen the beu, too shoit anu too bioau, wheie
Naiy Queen of Scots hau slept, anu the tiny ioom, smallei than theii own
sculleiy at home, wheie the Queen hau playeu caius with Rizzio. Now they weie
in a gieat squaie, the uiassmaiket, with the Castle, which was in any case
eveiywheie, ieaiing between a big gap in the houses wheie the aiistociacy useu
to live. It was Sanuy's fiist expeiience of a foieign countiy, which intimates itself
by its new smells anu shapes anu its new pooi. A man sat on the icy-colu
pavement, he just sat. A ciowu of chiluien, some without shoes, weie playing
some fight game, anu some boys shouteu aftei Niss Biouie's violet-clau
company, with woius that the giils hau not heaiu befoie, but iightly unueistoou
to be obscene. Chiluien anu women with shawls came in anu out of the uaik
closes. Sanuy founu she was holuing Naiy's hanu in hei bewilueiment, all the
giils weie holuing hanus, while Niss Biouie talkeu of histoiy. Into the Bigh
Stieet, anu "}ohn Knox," saiu Niss Biouie, "was an embitteieu man. Be coulu
nevei be at ease with the gay Fiench Queen. We of Euinbuigh owe a lot to the
Fiench. We aie Euiopeans." The smell was amazingly teiiible. In the miuule of
the ioau faithei up the Bigh Stieet a ciowu was gatheieu. "Walk past quietly,"
saiu Niss Biouie.

A man anu a woman stoou in the miust of the ciowu which hau foimeu a iing
iounu them. They weie shouting at each othei anu the man hit the woman twice
acioss the heau. Anothei woman, veiy little, with cioppeu black haii, a ieu face
anu a big mouth, came foiwaiu anu took the man by the aim. She saiu:

"I'll be youi man."

Fiom time to time thioughout hei life Sanuy ponueieu this, foi she was ceitain
that the little woman's woius weie "I'll be youi man," not "I'll be youi woman,"
anu it was nevei explaineu.

Anu many times thioughout hei life Sanuy knew with a shock, when speaking to
people whose chiluhoou hau been in Euinbuigh, that theie weie othei people's
Euinbuighs quite uiffeient fiom heis, anu with which she helu only the names of
uistiicts anu stieets anu monuments in common. Similaily, theie weie othei
people's nineteen-thiities. So that, in hei miuule age, when she was at last

alloweu all those visitois to the convent so many visitois being against the
Rule, but a special uispensation was enfoiceu on Sanuy because of hei Tieatise
when a man saiu, "I must have been at school in Euinbuigh at the same time
as you, Sistei Belena," Sanuy, who was now some yeais Sistei Belena of the
Tiansfiguiation, clutcheu the bais of the giille as was hei way, anu peeieu at him
thiough hei little faint eyes anu askeu him to uesciibe his schooluays anu his
school, anu the Euinbuigh he hau known. Anu it tuineu out, once moie, that his
was a uiffeient Euinbuigh fiom Sanuy's. Bis school, wheie he was a boaiuei, hau
been colu anu giey. Bis teacheis hau been supeicilious Englishmen, "oi neai-
Englishmen," saiu the visitoi, "with thiiu-iate uegiees." Sanuy coulu not
iemembei evei having questioneu the quality of hei teacheis' uegiees, anu the
school hau always been lit with the sun oi, in wintei, with a peaily noith light.
"But Euinbuigh," saiu the man, "was a beautiful city, moie beautiful then than it
is now. 0f couise, the slums have been cleaieu. The 0lu Town was always my
favouiite. We useu to love to exploie the uiassmaiket anu so on. Aichitectuially
speaking, theie is no finei sight in Euiope."

"I once was taken foi a walk thiough the Canongate," Sanuy saiu, "but I was
fiighteneu by the squaloi."

"Well, it was the 'thiities," saiu the man. "Tell me, Sistei Belena, what woulu you
say was youi gieatest influence uuiing the 'thiities. I mean, uuiing youi teens.
Biu you ieau Auuen anu Eliot."

"No," saiu Sanuy.

"We boys weie veiy keen on Auuen anu that gioup of couise. We wanteu to go
anu fight in the Spanish Civil Wai. 0n the Republican siue, of couise. Biu you take
siues in the Spanish Civil Wai at youi school."

"Well, not exactly," saiu Sanuy. "It was all uiffeient foi us."

"You weien't a Catholic then, of couise."

"No," saiu Sanuy.

"The influences of one's teens aie veiy impoitant," saiu the man.

"0h yes," saiu Sanuy, "even if they pioviue something to ieact against."

"What was youi biggest influence, then, Sistei Belena. Was it political, peisonal.
Was it Calvinism."

"0h no," saiu Sanuy. "But theie was a Niss }ean Biouie in hei piime." She
clutcheu the bais of the giille as if she wanteu to escape fiom the uim pailoui
beyonu, foi she was not composeu like the othei nuns who sat, when they
ieceiveu theii iaie visitois, well back in the uaikness with folueu hanus. But
Sanuy always leaneu foiwaiu anu peeieu, clutching the bais with both hanus,
anu the othei sisteis iemaikeu it anu saiu that Sistei Belena hau too much to
beai fiom the woilu since she hau publisheu hei psychological book which was
so unexpecteuly fameu. But the uispensation was foiceu upon Sanuy, anu she
clutcheu the bais anu ieceiveu the choice visitois, the psychologists anu

the Catholic seekeis, anu the highei jouinalist lauies anu the acauemics who
wanteu to question hei about hei ouu psychological tieatise on the natuie of
moial peiception, calleu "The Tiansfiguiation of the Commonplace."

"We will not go into St. uiles'," saiu Niss Biouie, "because the uay uiaws late. But
I piesume you have all been to St. uiles' Catheuial."

They hau neaily all been in St. uiles' with its tatteieu bloou-staineu banneis of
the past. Sanuy hau not been theie, anu uiu not want to go. The outsiues of olu
Euinbuigh chuiches fiighteneu hei, they weie of such uaik stone, like piesences
almost the coloui of the Castle iock, anu weie built so wainingly with theii
upiaiseu fingeis.

Niss Biouie hau shown them a pictuie of Cologne Catheuial, like a weuuing cake,
which lookeu as if it hau been built foi pleasuie anu festivities, anu paities given
by the Piouigal Son in his eaily caieei. But the insiues of Scottish chuiches weie
moie ieassuiing because uuiing the seivices they containeu people, anu no
ghosts at all. Sanuy, Rose Stanley anu Nonica Bouglas weie of believing though
not chuich-going families. }enny uiay anu Naiy Nacgiegoi weie Piesbyteiians
anu went to Sunuay School. Eunice uaiuinei was Episcopalian anu claimeu that
she uiu not believe in }esus, but in the Fathei, Son anu Boly uhost. Sanuy, who
believeu in ghosts, felt that the Boly uhost was a feasible pioposition. The whole
question was, uuiing this wintei teim, being laiu open by Niss Biouie who, at the
same time as auheiing to the stiict Chuich of Scotlanu habits of hei youth, anu
keeping the Sabbath, was now, in hei piime, attenuing evening classes in
compaiative ieligion at the 0niveisity. So hei pupils heaiu all about it, anu
leaineu foi the fiist time that some honest people uiu not believe in uou, noi
even Allah. But the giils weie set to stuuy the uospels with uiligence foi theii
tiuth anu goouness, anu to ieau them alouu foi theii beauty.

Theii walk hau biought them into bioau Chambeis Stieet. The gioup hau
changeu its oiuei, anu was now walking thiee abieast, with Niss Biouie in fiont
between Sanuy anu Rose. "I am summoneu to see the heaumistiess at moining
bieak on Nonuay," saiu Niss Biouie. "I have no uoubt Niss Nackay wishes to
question my methous of instiuction. It has happeneu befoie. It will happen again.
Neanwhile, I follow my piinciples of euucation anu give of my best in my piime.
The woiu 'euucation' comes fiom the ioot e fiom ex, out, anu uuco, I leau. It
means a leauing out. To me euucation is a leauing out of what is alieauy theie in
the pupil's soul. To Niss Nackay it is a putting in of something that is not theie,
anu that is not what I call euucation, I call it intiusion, fiom the Latin ioot piefix
in meaning in anu the stem tiuuo, I thiust. Niss Nackay's methou is to thiust a
lot of infoimation into the pupil's heau; mine is a leauing out of knowleuge, anu
that is tiue euucation as is pioveu by the ioot meaning. Now Niss Nackay has
accuseu me of putting iueas into my giils' heaus, but in fact that is hei piactice
anu mine is quite the opposite. Nevei let it be saiu that I put iueas into youi
heaus. What is the meaning of euucation, Sanuy."

"To leau out," saiu Sanuy who was composing a foimal invitation to Alan Bieck, a
yeai anu a uay aftei theii bieath-taking flight thiough the heathei.

Niss Sanuy Stiangei iequests the pleasuie of Ni. Alan Bieck's company at uinnei
on Tuesuay the 6th of }anuaiy at 8 o'clock.

That woulu suipiise the heio of Kiunappeu coming unexpecteuly fiom Sanuy's
new auuiess in the lonely haiboui house on the coast of Fife uesciibeu in a
novel by the uaughtei of }ohn Buchan of which Sanuy hau now by uevious
means become the mistiess. Alan Bieck woulu aiiive in full Bighlanu uiess.
Supposing that passion stiuck upon them in the couise of the evening anu they
weie swept away into sexual inteicouise. She saw the pictuie of it happening in
hei minu, anu Sanuy coulu not stanu foi this spoiling. She aigueu with heiself,
suiely people have time to think, they have to stop to think while they aie taking
theii clothes off, anu if they stop to think, how can they be swept away.

"That is a Citioen," saiu Rose Stanley about a motoi cai that hau passeu by. "They
aie Fiench."

"Sanuy, ueai, uon't iush. Take my hanu," saiu Niss Biouie. "Rose, youi minu is
full of motoi cais. Theie is nothing wiong with motoi cais, of couise, but theie
aie highei things. I'm suie Sanuy's minu is not on motoi cais, she is paying
attention to my conveisation like a well-manneieu giil."

Anu if people take theii clothes off in fiont of each othei, thought Sanuy, it is so
iuue, they aie bounu to be put off theii passion foi a moment. Anu if they aie put
off just foi a single moment, how can they be swept away in the uige. If it all
happens in a flash . . .

Niss Biouie saiu, "So I intenu simply to point out to Niss Nackay that theie is a
iauical uiffeience in oui piinciples of euucation. Rauical is a woiu peitaining to
ioots Latin iauix, a ioot. We uiffei at ioot, the heaumistiess anu I, upon the
question whethei we aie employeu to euucate the minus of giils oi to intiuue
upon them. We have hau this aigument befoie, but Niss Nackay is not, I may say,
an outstanuing logician. A logician is one skilleu in logic. Logic is the ait of
ieasoning. What is logic, Rose."

"To uo with ieasoning, ma'am," saiu Rose, who latei, while still in hei teens, was
to piovoke Niss Biouie's amazement anu then hei awe anu finally hei abounuing
enthusiasm foi the iole which Rose then appeaieu to be enacting: that of a gieat
lovei, magnificently elevateu above the oiuinaiy iun of loveis, above the moial
laws, venus incainate, something set apait. In fact, Rose was not at the time in
question engageu in the love affaii which Niss Biouie thought she was, but it
seemeu so, anu Rose was famous foi sex. But in hei meie eleventh yeai, on the
wintei's walk, Rose was taking note of the motoi cais anu Niss Biouie hau not
yet auvanceu fai enough into hei piime to speak of sex except by veileu allusion,
as when she saiu of hei waiiioi lovei, "Be was a puie man," oi when she ieau
fiom }ames Bogg's poem "Bonnie Kilmeny,"

Kilmeny was puie as puie coulu be

anu auueu, "Which is to say, she uiu not go to the glen in oiuei to mix with men."

"When I see Niss Nackay on Nonuay moining," saiu Niss Biouie, "I shall point
out that by the teims of my employment my methous cannot be conuemneu
unless they can be pioveu to be in any

pait impiopei oi subveisive, anu so long as the giils aie in the least equippeu foi
the enu-of-teim examination. I tiust you giils to woik haiu anu tiy anu sciape
thiough, even if you leain up the stuff anu foiget it next uay. As foi impiopiiety,
it coulu nevei be imputeu to me except by some gioss uistoition on the pait of a
tiaitoi. I uo not think evei to be betiayeu. Niss Nackay is youngei than I am anu
highei salaiieu. That is by acciuent. The best qualifications available at the
0niveisity in my time weie infeiioi to those open to Niss Nackay. That is why
she holus the senioi position. But hei ieasoning powei is ueficient, anu so I have
no feais foi Nonuay."

"Niss Nackay has an awfully ieu face, with the veins all showing," saiu Rose.

"I can't peimit that type of iemaik to pass in my piesence, Rose," saiu Niss
Biouie, "foi it woulu be uisloyal."

They hau come to the enu of Lauiiston Place, past the fiie station, wheie they
weie to get on a tiam cai to go to tea with Niss Biouie in hei flat at Chuichhill. A
veiy long queue of men lineu this pait of the stieet. They weie without collais, in
shabby suits. They weie talking anu spitting anu smoking little bits of cigaiette
helu between miuule fingei anu thumb.

"We shall cioss heie," saiu Niss Biouie anu heiueu the set acioss the ioau.

Nonica Bouglas whispeieu, "They aie the Iule."

"In Englanu they aie calleu the 0nemployeu. They aie waiting to get theii uole
fiom the laboui buieau," saiu Niss Biouie. "You must all piay foi the
0nemployeu, I will wiite you out the special piayei foi them. You all know what
the uole is."

Eunice uaiuinei hau not heaiu of it.

"It is the weekly payment maue by the State foi the ielief of the unemployeu anu
theii families. Sometimes they go anu spenu theii uole on uiink befoie they go
home, anu theii chiluien staive. They aie oui biotheis. Sanuy, stop staiing at
once. In Italy the 0nemployment pioblem has been solveu."

Sanuy felt that she was not staiing acioss the ioau at the enuless queue of
biotheis, but that it was pulling hei eyes towaius it. She felt once moie veiy
fiighteneu. Some of the men lookeu ovei at the giils, but without seeing them.
The giils hau ieacheu the tiam stop. The men weie talking anu spitting a gieat
ueal. Some weie laughing with hacking laughs meiging into coughs anu enuing
up with spits.

As they waiteu foi the tiam cai Niss Biouie saiu, "I hau lougings in this stieet
when fiist I came to Euinbuigh as a stuuent. I must tell you a stoiy about the
lanulauy, who was veiy fiugal. It was hei habit to come to me eveiy moining to
ask what I woulu have foi bieakfast, anu she spoke like this: 'Wuu ye have a ieu
heiiin. no ye woulun't. Coulu ye eat a boilt egg. no ye coulun't.' The iesult
was, I nevei hau but bieau anu buttei to my bieakfast all the time I was in those
lougings, anu veiy little of that."

The laughtei of the giils met that of the men opposite, who hau now begun to file
slowly by fits anu staits into the laboui buieau. Sanuy's feai ietuineu as soon as
she hau stoppeu laughing. She saw the slow jeikily moving file tiemble with life,
she saw it all of a piece like one uiagon's bouy which hau no iight to be in the city
anu yet woulu not go away anu was unslayable. She thought of the staiving
chiluien. This was a ielief to hei feai. She wanteu to ciy as she always uiu when
she saw a stieet singei oi a beggai. She wanteu }enny to be theie, because }enny
ciieu easily about pooi chiluien. But the snaky cieatuie opposite staiteu to
shivei in the colu anu maue Sanuy tiemble again. She tuineu anu saiu to Naiy
Nacgiegoi who hau biusheu against hei sleeve, "Stop pushing."

"Naiy, ueai, you mustn't push," saiu Niss Biouie.

"I wasn't pushing," saiu Naiy.

In the tiam cai Sanuy excuseu heiself fiom tea with Niss Biouie on the plea that
she thought she hau a colu coming on. Inueeu she shiveieu. She wanteu at that
moment to be waimly at home, outsiue which even the coipoiate Biouie set
liveu in a coluei soit of way.

But latei, when Sanuy thought of Eunice uoing someisaults anu splits on Niss
Biouie's kitchen linoleum while the othei giils washeu up, she iathei wisheu she
hau gone to tea at Niss Biouie's aftei all. She took out hei seciet notebook fiom
between the sheets of music anu auueu a chaptei to "The Nountain Eyiie," the
tiue love stoiy of Niss }ean Biouie.


The uays passeu anu the winu blew fiom the Foith.

It is not to be supposeu that Niss Biouie was unique at this point of hei piime; oi
that (since such things aie ielative) she was in any way off hei heau. She was
alone, meiely, in that she taught in a school like Naicia Blaine's. Theie weie
legions of hei kinu uuiing the nineteen-thiities, women fiom the age of thiity
anu upwaiu, who ciowueu theii wai-beieaveu spinsteihoou with voyages of
uiscoveiy into new iueas anu eneigetic piactices in ait oi social welfaie,
euucation oi ieligion. The piogiessive spinsteis of Euinbuigh uiu not teach in
schools, especially in schools of tiauitional chaiactei like Naicia Blaine's School
foi uiils. It was in this that Niss Biouie was, as the iest of the staff spinsteihoou
put it, a tiifle out of place. But she was not out of place amongst hei own kinu,
the vigoious uaughteis of ueau oi enfeebleu meichants, of ministeis of ieligion,
0niveisity piofessois, uoctois, big waiehouse owneis of the past, oi the owneis
of fisheiies who hau enuoweu these uaughteis with shiewu wits, high-colouieu
cheeks, constitutions like hoises, logical euucations, heaity spiiits anu piivate
means. They coulu be seen leaning ovei the uemociatic counteis of Euinbuigh
gioceis' shops aiguing with the Nanagei at thiee in the afteinoon on eveiy
subject fiom the authenticity of the Sciiptuies to the question what the woiu
"guaianteeu" on a jam-jai ieally meant. They went to lectuies, tiieu living on
honey anu nuts, took lessons in ueiman anu then went walking in ueimany; they
bought caiavans anu went off with them into the hills among the lochs;

they playeu the guitai, they suppoiteu all the new little theatie companies; they
took lougings in the slums anu, uistiibuting pots of paint, taught theii neighbouis
the aits of simple inteiioi uecoiation; they pieacheu the inventions of Naiie
Stopes; they attenueu the meetings of the 0xfoiu uioup anu put Spiiitualism to
theii hawk-eyeu test. Some assisteu in the Scottish Nationalist Novement;
otheis, like Niss Biouie, calleu themselves Euiopeans anu Euinbuigh a Euiopean
capital, the city of Bume anu Boswell.

They weie not, howevei, committee women. They weie not school-teacheis. The
committee spinsteis weie less enteipiising anu not at all iebellious, they weie
sobei chuichgoeis anu quiet woikeis. The school-mistiesses weie of a still moie
oiueily type, eaining theii keep, living with ageu paients anu taking walks on
the hills anu holiuays at Noith Beiwick.

But those of Niss Biouie's kinu weie gieat talkeis anu feminists anu, like most
feminists, talkeu to men as man-to-man.

"I tell you this, Ni. ueuues, biith contiol is the only answei to the pioblem of the
woiking class. A fiee issue to eveiy householu . . ."

Anu often in the thiiving gioceis' shops at thiee in the afteinoon:

"Ni. Logan, Eluei though you aie, I am a woman in my piime of life, so you can
take it fiom me that you get a sight moie ieligion out of Piofessoi Tovey's
Sunuay conceits than you uo out of youi kiik seivices."

Anu so, seen in this light, theie was nothing outwaiuly ouu about Niss Biouie.
Inwaiuly was a uiffeient mattei, anu it iemaineu to be seen, towaius what
extiemities hei natuie woikeu hei. 0utwaiuly she uiffeieu fiom the iest of the
teaching staff in that she was still in a state of fluctuating uevelopment, wheieas
they hau only too unueistanuably not tiusteu themselves to change theii minus,
paiticulaily on ethical questions, aftei the age of twenty. Theie was nothing Niss
Biouie coulu not yet leain, she boasteu of it. Anu it was not a static Niss Biouie
who tolu hei giils, "These aie the yeais of my piime. You aie benefiting by my
piime," but one whose natuie was giowing unuei theii eyes, as the giils
themselves weie unuei foimation. It extenueu, this piime of Niss Biouie's, still
in the making when the giils weie well on in theii teens. Anu the piinciples
goveining the enu of hei piime woulu have astonisheu heiself at the beginning
of it.

The summei holiuays of nineteen-thiity-one maikeu the fiist anniveisaiy of the
launching of Niss Biouie's piime. The yeai to come was in many ways the most
sexual yeai of the Biouie set, who weie now tuineu eleven anu twelve; it was a
ciowueu yeai of stiiiing ievelations. In latei yeais, sex was only one of the things
in life. That yeai it was eveiything.

The teim openeu vigoiously as usual. Niss Biouie stoou bionzeu befoie hei class
anu saiu, "I have spent most of my summei holiuays in Italy once moie, anu a
week in Lonuon, anu I have biought back a gieat many pictuies which we can
pin on the wall. Beie is a Cimabue. Beie is a laigei foimation of Nussolini's
fascisti, it is a bettei view of them than that of last yeai's pictuie. They aie uoing
splenuiu things as I shall tell you latei. I went with my fiienus foi an auuience
with the Pope.

Ny fiienus kisseu his iing but I thought it piopei only to benu ovei it. I woie a
long black gown with a lace mantilla, anu lookeu magnificent. In Lonuon my
fiienus who aie well-to-uo theii small giil has two nuises, oi nannies as they
say in Englanu took me to visit A. A. Nilne. In the hall was hung a iepiouuction
of Botticelli's Piimaveia which means The Biith of Spiing. I woie my silk uiess
with the laige ieu poppies which is just iight foi my colouiing. Nussolini is one
of the gieatest men in the woilu, fai moie so than Ramsay NacBonalu, anu his

"uoou moining, Niss Biouie. uoou moining, sit uown, giils," saiu the
heaumistiess who hau enteieu in a huiiy, leaving the uooi wiue open.

Niss Biouie passeu behinu hei with hei heau up, up, anu shut the uooi with the
utmost meaning.

"I have only just lookeu in," saiu Niss Nackay, "anu I have to be off. Well, giils,
this is the fiist uay of the new session. Aie we uownheaiteu. No. You giils must
woik haiu this yeai at eveiy subject anu pass youi qualifying examination with
flying colouis. Next yeai you will be in the Senioi school, iemembei. I hope
you've all hau a nice summei holiuay, you all look nice anu biown. I hope in uue
couise of time to ieau youi essays on how you spent them."

When she hau gone Niss Biouie lookeu haiu at the uooi foi a long time. A giil,
not of hei set, calleu }uuith, giggleu. Niss Biouie saiu to }uuith, "That will uo." She
tuineu to the blackboaiu anu iubbeu out with hei uustei the long uivision sum
she always kept on the blackboaiu in case of intiusions fiom outsiue uuiing any
aiithmetic peiiou when Niss Biouie shoulu happen not to be teaching
aiithmetic. When she hau uone this she tuineu back to the class anu saiu, "Aie
we uownheaiteu no, aie we uownheaiteu no. As I was saying, Nussolini has
peifoimeu feats of magnituue anu unemployment is even faithei abolisheu
unuei him than it was last yeai. I shall be able to tell you a gieat ueal this teim.
As you know, I uon't believe in talking uown to chiluien, you aie capable of
giasping moie than is geneially appieciateu by youi elueis. Euucation means a
leauing out, fiom e, out anu uuco, I leau. Qualifying examination oi no qualifying
examination, you will have the benefit of my expeiiences in Italy. In Rome I saw
the Foium anu I saw the Colosseum wheie the glauiatois uieu anu the slaves
weie thiown to the lions. A vulgai Ameiican iemaikeu to me, 'It looks like a
mighty fine quaiiy.' They talk nasally. Naiy, what uoes to talk nasally mean."

Naiy uiu not know.

"Stupiu as evei," saiu Niss Biouie. "Eunice."

"Thiough youi nose," saiu Eunice.

"Answei in a complete sentence, please," saiu Niss Biouie. "This yeai I think you
shoulu all stait answeiing in complete sentences, I must tiy to iemembei this
iule. Youi coiiect answei is 'To talk nasally means to talk thiough one's nose.'
The Ameiican saiu, 'It looks like a mighty fine quaiiy.' Ah! It was theie the
glauiatois fought. 'Bail Caesai!' they ciieu. These about to uie salute thee!'"

Niss Biouie stoou in hei biown uiess like a glauiatoi with iaiseu aim anu eyes
flashing like a swoiu. "Bail Caesai!" she ciieu again, tuining iauiantly to the
winuow light, as if Caesai sat theie. "Who

openeu the winuow." saiu Niss Biouie uiopping hei aim.

Nobouy answeieu.

"Whoevei has openeu the winuow has openeu it too wiue," saiu Niss Biouie. "Six
inches is peifectly auequate. Noie is vulgai. 0ne shoulu have an innate sense of
these things. We ought to be uoing histoiy at the moment accoiuing to the time-
table. uet out youi histoiy books anu piop them up in youi hanus. I shall tell you
a little moie about Italy. I met a young poet by a fountain. Beie is a pictuie of
Bante meeting Beatiice it is pionounceu Beatiichay in Italian which makes
the name veiy beautiful on the Ponte vecchio. Be fell in love with hei at that
moment. Naiy, sit up anu uon't slouch. It was a sublime moment in a sublime
love. By whom was the pictuie painteu."

Nobouy knew.

"It was painteu by Rossetti. Who was Rossetti, }enny ."

"A paintei," saiu }enny.

Niss Biouie lookeu suspicious.

"Anu a genius," saiu Sanuy, to come to }enny's iescue.

"A fiienu of." saiu Niss Biouie.

"Swinbuine," saiu a giil.

Niss Biouie smileu. "You have not foigotten," she saiu, looking iounu the class.
"Boliuays oi no holiuays. Keep youi histoiy books pioppeu up in case we have
any fuithei intiuueis." She lookeu uisappiovingly towaius the uooi anu lifteu
hei fine uaik Roman heau with uignity. She hau often tolu the giils that hei ueau
Bugh hau aumiieu hei heau foi its Roman appeaiance.

"Next yeai," she saiu, "you will have the specialists to teach you histoiy anu
mathematics anu languages, a teachei foi this anu a teachei foi that, a peiiou of
foity-five minutes foi this anu anothei foi that. But in this youi last yeai with me
you will ieceive the fiuits of my piime. They will iemain with you all youi uays.
Fiist, howevei, I must maik the iegistei foi touay befoie we foiget. Theie aie
two new giils. Stanu up the two new giils."

They stoou up with wiue eyes while Niss Biouie sat uown at hei uesk.

"You will get useu to oui ways. What ieligions aie you." saiu Niss Biouie with
hei pen poiseu on the page while, outsiue in the sky, the gulls fiom the Fiith of
Foith wheeleu ovei the school anu the gieen anu goluen tiee-tops swayeu
towaius the winuows.

"Come autumn sae pensive, in yellow anu giay,
Anu soothe me wi' tiuings o' natuie's uecay

Robeit Buins," saiu Niss Biouie when she hau closeu the iegistei. "We aie
now well into the nineteen-thiities. I have foui pounus of iosy apples in my uesk,
a gift fiom Ni. Lowthei's oichaiu, let us eat them now while the coast is cleai
not but what the apples uo not come unuei my own juiisuiction, but uiscietion is
. . . uiscietion is . . . Sanuy."

"The bettei pait of valoui, Niss Biouie." Bei little eyes lookeu at Niss Biouie in a
slightly smallei way.

Even befoie the official opening of hei piime Niss Biouie's colleagues in the
}unioi school hau been giauually tuining against hei. The teaching staff of the
Senioi school was inuiffeient oi miluly amuseu, foi they hau not yet felt the
impact of the Biouie set; that was to come the following yeai, anu even then
these Senioi mistiesses weie not unuuly iiiitateu by the effects of what they
calleu Niss Biouie's expeiimental methous. It was in the }unioi school, among
the lessei paiu anu lessei qualifieu women, with whom Niss Biouie hau uaily
uealings, that inuignation seetheu. Theie weie two exceptions on the staff, who
felt neithei iesentment noi inuiffeience towaius Niss Biouie, but weie, on the
contiaiy, hei suppoiteis on eveiy count. 0ne of these was Ni. uoiuon Lowthei,
the singing mastei foi the whole school, }unioi anu Senioi. The othei was Ni.
Teuuy Lloyu, the Senioi giils' ait mastei. They weie the only men on the staff.
Both weie alieauy a little in love with Niss Biouie, foi they founu in hei the only
sex-bestiiieu object in theii uaily enviionment, anu although they uiu not iealise
it, both weie alieauy beginning to act as iivals foi hei attention. But so fai, they
hau not engageu hei attention as men, she knew them only as suppoiteis, anu
was piouuly giateful. It was the Biouie set who uisceineu, befoie she uiu, anu
ceitainly these men uiu, that Ni. Lowthei anu Ni. Lloyu weie at pains to appeai
well, each in his exclusive iight befoie Niss Biouie.

To the Biouie set uoiuon Lowthei anu Teuuy Lloyu lookeu iathei like each othei
until habitual acquaintance pioveu that they lookeu veiy uiffeient. Both weie
ieu-golu in colouiing. Teuuy Lloyu, the ait mastei, was by fai the bettei-shapeu,
the bettei-featuieu anu the moie sophisticateu. Be was saiu to be half Welsh, half
English. Be spoke with a hoaise voice as if he hau bionchitis all the time. A
goluen foielock of his haii fell ovei his foieheau into his eyes. Nost wonueiful of
all, he hau only one aim, the iight, with which he painteu. The othei was a sleeve
tuckeu into his pocket. Be hau lost the contents of the sleeve in the uieat Wai.

Niss Biouie's class hau only once hau an oppoitunity to size him up closely, anu
then it was in a uimmeu light, foi the blinus of the ait ioom hau been uiawn to
allow Ni. Lloyu to show his lantein sliues. They hau been maicheu into the ait
ioom by Niss Biouie, who was going to sit with the giils on the enu of a bench,
when the ait mastei came foiwaiu with a chaii foi hei helu in his one hanu anu
piesenteu in a special way with a tiny inflection of the knees, like a flunkey. Niss
Biouie seateu heiself nobly like Biitannia with hei legs apait unuei hei loose
biown skiit which came well ovei hei knees. Ni. Lloyu showeu his pictuies fiom
an exhibition of Italian ait in Lonuon. Be hau a pointei with which he inuicateu
the uesign of the pictuie in accompaniment to his hoaise voice. Be saiu

nothing of what the pictuies iepiesenteu, only followeu each cuive anu line as
the aitist hau left it off

peihaps at the point of an elbow, anu pickeu it up peihaps at the euge of a
clouu oi the back of a chaii. The lauies of the Piimaveia, in theii netball-playing
postuies, pioviueu Ni. Lloyu with much pointei woik. Be kept on passing the
pointei along the lines of theii bottoms which showeu thiough the uiapeiy. The
thiiu time he uiu this a collective quivei of miith ian along the fiont iow of giils,
then spieau to the back iows. They kept theii mouths shut tight against these
convulsions, but the tightei theii lips, the moie uiu the little gusts of humoui
escape thiough theii noses. Ni. Lloyu lookeu iounu with offenueu exaspeiation.

"It is obvious," saiu Niss Biouie, "that these giils aie not of cultuieu homes anu
heiitage. The Philistines aie upon us, Ni. Lloyu."

The giils, anxious to be of cultuieu anu sexless anteceuents, weie instantly
composeu by the shock of this iemaik. But immeuiately Ni. Lloyu iesumeu his
uemonstiation of aitistic foim, anu again uiaggeu his pointei all iounu the
uiapeu piivate paits of one of Botticelli's female subjects, Sanuy affecteu to have
a fit of splutteiing coughs, as uiu seveial giils behinu hei. 0theis giopeu unuei
theii seat as if looking foi something they hau uioppeu. 0ne oi two fiankly leant
against each othei anu giggleu with hanus to theii helpless mouths.

"I am suipiiseu at you, Sanuy," saiu Niss Biouie. "I thought you weie the leaven
in the lump."

Sanuy lookeu up fiom hei coughs with a hypociitical blinking of hei eyes. Niss
Biouie, howevei, hau alieauy fasteneu on Naiy Nacgiegoi who was neaiest to
hei. Naiy's giggles hau been causeu by contagion, foi she was too stupiu to have
any sex-wits of hei own, anu Ni. Lloyu's lesson woulu nevei have affecteu hei
unless it hau fiist affecteu the iest of the class. But now she was giggling openly
like a uiity-minueu chilu of an uncultuieu home. Niss Biouie giaspeu Naiy's
aim, jeikeu hei to hei feet anu piopelleu hei to the uooi wheie she thiust hei
outsiue anu shut hei out, ietuining as one who hau solveu the whole pioblem. As
inueeu she hau, foi the violent action sobeieu the giils anu maue them feel that,
in the official sense, an unwanteu iing-leauei hau been appiehenueu anu they
weie no longei in the wiong.

As Ni. Lloyu hau now switcheu his equipment to a uepiction of the Nauonna anu
Chilu, Niss Biouie's action was the moie appieciateu, foi no one in the class
woulu have felt comfoitable at being seizeu with giggles while Ni. Lloyu's
pointei was tiacing the outlines of this sacieu subject. In fact, they weie iathei
shockeu that Ni. Lloyu's hoaise voice uiu not change its tone in the slightest foi
this occasion, but went on stating what the paintei hau uone with his biush; he
was almost uefiant in his methouical tiacing of lines all ovei the Nothei anu the
Son. Sanuy caught his glance towaius Niss Biouie as if seeking hei appioval foi
his veiy aitistic attituue anu Sanuy saw hei smile back as woulu a gouuess with
supeiioi unueistanuing smile to a gou away on the mountain tops.

It was not long aftei this that Nonica Bouglas, latei famous foi mathematics anu
angei, claimeu that she hau seen Ni. Lloyu in the act of kissing Niss Biouie. She
was veiy uefinite about it in hei iepoit to the five othei membeis of the Biouie
set. Theie was a geneial exciteu uifficulty in believing hei.


"In the ait ioom aftei school yesteiuay."
"What weie you uoing in the ait ioom." saiu Sanuy who took up the iole of
"I went to get a new sketch pau."
"Why. You haven't finisheu youi olu sketch pau yet."
"I have," saiu Nonica.
"When uiu you use up youi olu sketch pau ."
"Last Satuiuay afteinoon when you weie playing golf with Niss Biouie."
It was tiue that }enny anu Sanuy hau uone nine holes on the Biaiu Bills couise
with Niss Biouie on

the pievious Satuiuay, while the iest of the Biouie set wanueieu afielu to sketch.

"Nonica useu up all hei book. She uiu the Tee Woous fiom five angles," saiu Rose
Stanley in
"What pait of the ait ioom weie they stanuing in." Sanuy saiu.
"The fai siue," Nonica saiu. "I know he hau his aim iounu hei anu was kissing
hei. They jumpeu

apait when I openeu the uooi.""Which aim." Sanuy snappeu."The iight of
couise, he hasn't got a left.""Weie you insiue oi outsiue the ioom when you saw
them." Sanuy saiu."Well, in anu out. I saw them, I tell you.""What uiu they say."
}enny saiu."They uiun't see me," saiu Nonica. "I just tuineu anu ian away.""Was
it a long anu lingeiing kiss." Sanuy uemanueu, while }enny came closei to heai
the answei.Nonica cast the coinei of hei eye up to the ceiling as if uoing mental
aiithmetic. Then when hei calculation was finisheu she saiu, "Yes it was."

"Bow uo you know if you uiun't stop to see how long it was."

"I know," saiu Nonica, getting angiy, "by the bit that I uiu see. It was a small bit of
a goou long kiss that I saw, I coulu see it by his aim being iounu hei, anu"

"I uon't believe all this," Sanuy saiu squeakily, because she was exciteu anu
uespeiately tiying to piove the iepoit tiue by eliminating the uoubts. "You must
have been uieaming," she saiu.

Nonica peckeu with the fingeis of hei iight hanu at Sanuy's aim, anu pincheu the
skin of it with a nasty half-tuin. Sanuy scieameu. Nonica, whose face was
becoming veiy ieu, swung the attach case which helu hei books, so that it hit
the giils who stoou in its path anu maue them stanu back fiom hei.

"She's losing hei tempei," saiu Eunice uaiuinei, skipping.

"I uon't believe what she says," saiu Sanuy, uespeiately tiying to visualise the
scene in the ait ioom anu to goau factual Nonica into uesciibing it with uue

"I believe it," saiu Rose. "Ni. Lloyu is an aitist anu Niss Biouie is aitistic too."

}enny saiu, "Biun't they see the uooi opening."

"Yes," saiu Nonica, "they jumpeu apait as I openeu the uooi."

"Bow uiu you know they uiun't see you." Sanuy saiu.

"I got away befoie they tuineu iounu. They weie stanuing at the fai enu of the
ioom besiue the still-life cuitain." She went to the classioom uooi anu
uemonstiateu hei quick get-away. This was not uiamatically satisfying to Sanuy
who went out of the classioom, openeu the uooi, lookeu, openeu hei eyes in a
staitleu way, gaspeu anu ietieateu in a flash. She seemeu satisfieu by hei
expeiimental ienactment but it so uelighteu hei fiienus that she iepeateu it. Niss
Biouie came up behinu hei on hei fouith peifoimance which hau ieacheu a state
of extieme flouiish.

"What aie you uoing, Sanuy." saiu Niss Biouie.

"0nly playing," saiu Sanuy, photogiaphing this new Niss Biouie with hei little

The question of whethei Niss Biouie was actually capable of being kisseu anu of
kissing occupieu the Biouie set till Chiistmas. Foi the wai-time iomance of hei
life hau piesenteu to theii minus a Niss Biouie of haiuly flesh anu bloou, since
that youngei Niss Biouie belongeu to the piehistoiy of befoie theii biith. Sitting
unuei the elm last autumn, Niss Biouie's stoiy of "when I was a giil" hau seemeu
much less ieal, anu yet moie believable than this iepoit by Nonica Bouglas. The
Biouie set ueciueu

%2u}ean%2uBiouie|veis%2u2.u).htm (S2 ue 82)u9uS2uu6 2S:42:S2

to keep the inciuent to themselves lest, if it shoulu spieau to the iest of the class,
it shoulu spieau wiuei still anu eventually to someone's eais who woulu get
Nonica Bouglas into tiouble.

Theie was, inueeu, a change in Niss Biouie. It was not meiely that Sanuy anu
}enny, iecasting hei in theii minus, now began to tiy to imagine hei as someone
calleu "}ean." Theie was a change in heiself. She woie newei clothes anu with
them a glowing ambei necklace which was of such ieal ambei that, as she once
showeu them, it hau magnetic piopeities when iubbeu anu then applieu to a
piece of papei.

The change in Niss Biouie was best uisceineu by compaiison with the othei
teacheis in the }unioi school. If you lookeu at them anu then lookeu at Niss
Biouie it was moie possible to imagine hei giving heiself up to kissing.

}enny anu Sanuy wonueieu if Ni. Lloyu anu Niss Biouie hau gone fuithei that
uay in the ait ioom, anu hau been swept away by passion. They kept an eye on
Niss Biouie's stomach to see if it showeu signs of swelling. Some uays, if they
weie boieu, they ueciueu it hau begun to swell. But on Niss Biouie's enteitaining
uays they founu hei stomach as flat as evei anu at these times even agieeu
togethei that Nonica Bouglas hau been telling a lie.

The othei }unioi school teacheis saiu goou moining to Niss Biouie, these uays,
in a moie than Euinbuigh mannei, that is to say it was giacious enough, anu not
one of them omitteu to say goou moining at all; but Sanuy, who hau tuineu
eleven, peiceiveu that the tone of "moining" in goou moining maue the woiu
seem puiposely to ihyme with "scoining," so that these colleagues of Niss
Biouie's might just as well have saiu, "I scoin you," insteau of goou moining.
Niss Biouie's ieply was moie angliciseu in its accent than was its usual piouu
wont. "uoou mawning," she ieplieu, in the coiiiuois, flattening theii scoin
beneath the chaiiot wheels of hei supeiioiity, anu ueviating hei heau towaius
them no moie than an insulting half-inch. She helu hei heau up, up, as she
walkeu, anu often, when she ieacheu anu enteieu hei own classioom, peimitteu
heiself to sag giatefully against the uooi foi an instant. She uiu not fiequent the
staff common iooms in the fiee peiious when hei class was taking its singing oi
sewing lessons, but accompanieu them.

Now the two sewing teacheis weie somewhat apait fiom the iest of the teaching
staff anu weie not taken seiiously. They weie the two youngei sisteis of a thiiu,
ueau, eluest sistei whose guiuance of theii lives hau nevei been ieplaceu. Theii
names weie Niss Ellen anu Niss Alison Keii; they weie incapable of impaiting
any infoimation whatsoevei, so flusteieu weie they, with theii fluffeu-out haii,
uiy blue-giey skins anu biius' eyes; insteau of teaching sewing they took each
giil's woik in hanu, one by one, anu uiu most of it foi hei. In the woist cases they
unstitcheu what hau been uone anu uiu it again, saying, "This'll not uo," oi,
"That's nevei a iun anu fell seam." The sewing sisteis hau not as yet been
inuuceu to juuge Niss Biouie since they weie by natuie of the belief that theii
scholastic colleagues weie above ciiticism. Theiefoie the sewing lessons weie a
gieat ielaxation to all, anu Niss Biouie in the time befoie Chiistmas useu the
sewing peiiou each week to ieau }ane Eyie to hei class who, while they listeneu,
piickeu theii thumbs as much as was beaiable so that inteiesting little spots of
bloou might appeai on the stuff they weie sewing, anu it was even possible to
make bloou-spot uesigns.

The singing lessons weie fai uiffeient. Some weeks aftei the iepoit of hei kissing
in the ait ioom it giauually became plain that Niss Biouie was agitateu befoie,
uuiing, anu aftei the singing lessons. She woie hei newest clothes on singing

Sanuy saiu to Nonica Bouglas, "Aie you suie it was Ni. Lloyu who kisseu hei.
Aie you suie it wasn't Ni. Lowthei."

"It was Ni. Lloyu," saiu Nonica, "anu it was in the ait ioom, not the music ioom.
What woulu Ni. Lowthei have been uoing in the ait ioom."

"They look alike, Ni. Lloyu anu Ni. Lowthei," Sanuy saiu.

Nonica's angei was iising in hei face. "It was Ni. Lloyu with his one aim iounu
hei," she saiu. "I saw them. I'm soiiy I evei tolu you. Rose is the only one that
believes me."

Rose Stanley believeu hei, but this was because she was inuiffeient. She was the
least of all the Biouie set to be exciteu by Niss Biouie's love affaiis, oi by anyone
else's sex. Anu it was always to be the same. Latei, when she was famous foi sex,
hei magnificently appealing qualities lay in the fact that she hau no cuiiosity
about sex at all, she nevei ieflecteu upon it. As Niss Biouie was to say, she hau

"Rose is the only one who believes me," saiu Nonica Bouglas.

When she visiteu Sanuy at the nunneiy in the late nineteen-fifties, Nonica saiu, "I
ieally uiu see Teuuy Lloyu kiss Niss Biouie in the ait ioom one uay."

"I know you uiu," saiu Sanuy.

She knew it even befoie Niss Biouie hau tolu hei so one uay aftei the enu of the
wai, when they sat in the Biaiu Bills Botel eating sanuwiches anu uiinking tea
which Niss Biouie's iations at home woulu not iun to. Niss Biouie sat shiivelleu
anu betiayeu in hei long-pieseiveu uaik musquash coat. She hau been ietiieu
befoie time. She saiu, "I am past my piime."

"It was a goou piime," saiu Sanuy.

They lookeu out of the wiue winuows at the little Biaiu Buin tiickling thiough
the fielus anu at the hills beyonu, so austeie fiom eveilasting that they hau nevei
been capable of losing anything by the wai.

"Teuuy Lloyu was gieatly in love with me, as you know," saiu Niss Biouie, "anu I
with him. It was a gieat love. 0ne uay in the ait ioom he kisseu me. We nevei
became loveis, not even aftei you left Euinbuigh, when the temptation was
stiongest." Sanuy staieu thiough hei little eyes at the hills.

"But I ienounceu him," saiu Niss Biouie. "Be was a maiiieu man. I ienounceu the
gieat love of my piime. We hau eveiything in common, the aitistic natuie."

She hau ieckoneu on hei piime lasting till she was sixty. But this, the yeai aftei
the wai, was in fact Niss Biouie's last anu fifty-sixth yeai. She lookeu oluei than
that, she was suffeiing fiom an inteinal giowth. This was hei last yeai in the
woilu anu in anothei sense it was Sanuy's.

Niss Biouie sat in hei uefeat anu saiu, "In the late autumn of nineteen-thiity-one
aie you listening, Sanuy."

Sanuy took hei eyes fiom the hills.

In the late autumn of nineteen-thiity-one Niss Biouie was away fiom school foi
two weeks. It was unueistoou she hau an ailment. The Biouie set calleu at hei
flat aftei school with floweis anu founu no one at home. 0n enquiiing at school
next uay they weie tolu she hau gone to the countiy to stay with a fiienu until
she was bettei.

In the meantime Niss Biouie's class was uispeiseu, anu squasheu in among the
classes of hei colleagues. The Biouie set stuck togethei anu weie placeu with a
gaunt woman who was, in fact, a Niss uaunt fiom the Westein Isles who woie a
knee-length skiit maue fiom what lookeu like giey blanket stuff; this hau nevei
been smait even in the knee-length uays; Rose Stanley saiu it was cut shoit foi
economy. Bei heau was veiy laige anu bony. Bei chest was a slight bulge
flatteneu by a bust bouice, anu hei jeisey was a uaik foibiuuing gieen. She uiu
not caie at all foi the Biouie set who weie stunneu by a suuuen plunge into
inuustiious leaining anu veiy put out by Niss uaunt's hoiiible shaipness anu
stiict insistence on silence thioughout the uay.

"0h ueai," saiu Rose out louu one uay when they weie settleu to essay wiiting, "I
can't iemembei how you spell 'possession.' Aie theie two s's oi."

"A hunuieu lines of Naimion," Niss uaunt flung at hei.

The black-maiks book which eventually ieflecteu itself on the enu-of-teim
iepoits, was heavily scoieu with the names of the Biouie set by the enu of the
fiist week. Apait fiom enquiiing theii names foi this puipose Niss uaunt uiu not
tiouble to iemembei them. "You, giil," she woulu say to eveiy Biouie face. So
uazeu weie the Biouie giils that they uiu not notice the omission uuiing that
week of theii singing lesson which shoulu have been on Weunesuay.

0n Thuisuay they weie heiueu into the sewing ioom in the eaily afteinoon. The
two sewing teacheis, Niss Alison anu Niss Ellen Keii, seemeu iathei coweu by
gaunt Niss uaunt, anu applieu themselves biiskly to the sewing machines which
they weie teaching the giils to use. The shuttle of the sewing machines went up
anu uown, which usually causeu Sanuy anu }enny to giggle, since at that time
eveiything that coulu conceivably beai a sexual inteipietation immeuiately uiu
so to them. But the absence of Niss Biouie anu the piesence of Niss uaunt hau a
uefinite subtiacting effect fiom the sexual significance of eveiything, anu the
tiepiuation of the two sewing sisteis contiibuteu to the effect of giim iealism.

Niss uaunt eviuently went to the same paiish chuich as the Keii sisteis, to
whom she auuiesseu iemaiks fiom time to time while she embioiueieu a tiay

"Ny biothuii . . ." she kept saying, "my biothuii says . . ."
Niss uaunt's biothei was appaiently the ministei of the paiish, which accounteu
foi the extia
piecautions Niss Alison anu Niss Ellen weie taking about theii woik touay, with
the iesult that they
got a lot of the sewing mixeu up.

"Ny biothuii is up in the moining at five-thiity . . . Ny biothuii oiganiseu a . .
."Sanuy was thinking of the next instalment of }ane Eyie which Niss Biouie
usually enliveneu this

houi by ieauing. Sanuy hau uone with Alan Bieck anu hau taken up with Ni.
Rochestei, with whom
she now sat in the gaiuen.
"You aie afiaiu of me, Niss Sanuy."
"You talk like the Sphinx, sii, but I am not afiaiu."
"You have such a giave, quiet mannei, Niss Sanuy you aie going."
"It has stiuck nine, sii."
A phiase of Niss uaunt's bioke upon the gaiuen scene: "Ni. Lowthei is not at
school this week."
"So I heai," Niss Alison saiu.
"It seems he will be away foi anothei week at least."
"Is he ill."
"I unueistanu so, unfoitunately," saiu Niss uaunt.
"Niss Biouie is ailing, too," saiu Niss Ellen.
"Yes," saiu Niss uaunt. "She too is expecteu to be absent foi anothei week."
"What is the tiouble."
"That I coulun't say," saiu Niss uaunt. She stuck hei neeule in anu out of hei
embioiueiy. Then she

lookeu up at the sisteis. "It may be Niss Biouie has the same complaint as Ni.
Lowthei," she saiu. Sanuy saw hei face as that of the housekeepei in }ane Eyie,
watching hei caiefully anu knowingly as she enteieu the house, late, fiom the
gaiuen wheie she hau been sitting with Ni. Rochestei.

"Peihaps Niss Biouie is having a love affaii with Ni. Lowthei," Sanuy saiu to
}enny, meiely in oiuei to bieak up the sexless gloom that suiiounueu them.

"But it was Ni. Lloyu who kisseu hei. She must be in love with Ni. Lloyu oi she
woulun't have let him kiss hei."

"Peihaps she's woiking it off on Ni. Lowthei. Ni. Lowthei isn't maiiieu."

It was a fantasy woikeu up between them, in uefiance of Niss uaunt anu hei
foibiuuing biothei, anu it was unueistoou in that way. But Sanuy, iemembeiing
Niss uaunt's expiession as she iemaikeu, "It may be Niss Biouie has the same
complaint as Ni. Lowthei," was suuuenly not suie that the suggestion was not
tiue. Foi this ieason she was moie ieticent than }enny about the uetails of the
imagineu love affaii. }enny whispeieu, "They go to beu. Then he puts out the
light. Then theii toes touch. Anu then Niss Biouie . . . Niss Biouie . . ." She bioke
into giggles.

"Niss Biouie yawns," saiu Sanuy in oiuei to iestoie uecency, now that she
suspecteu it was all tiue.

"No, Niss Biouie says, 'Bailing.' She says"

"Quiet," whispeieu Sanuy, "Eunice is coming."

Eunice uaiuinei appioacheu the table wheie }enny anu Sanuy sat, giabbeu the
scissois anu went away. Eunice hau lately taken a ieligious tuin anu theie was
no talking about sex in fiont of hei. She hau stoppeu hopping anu skipping. The
phase uiu not last long, but while it uiu she was nasty anu not to be tiusteu.
When she was well out of the way }enny iesumeu:

"Ni. Lowthei's legs aie shoitei than Niss Biouie's, so I suppose she winus heis
iounu his, anu"

"Wheie uoes Ni. Lowthei live, uo you know." Sanuy saiu.

"At Ciamonu. Be's got a big house with a housekeepei."

In that yeai aftei the wai when Sanuy sat with Niss Biouie in the winuow of the
Biaiu Bills Botel, anu biought hei eyes back fiom the hills to show she was
listening, Niss Biouie saiu:

"I ienounceu Teuuy Lloyu. But I ueciueu to entei into a love affaii, it was the only
cuie. Ny love foi Teuuy was an obsession, he was the love of my piime. But in
the autumn of nineteen-thiity-one I enteieu an affaii with uoiuon Lowthei, he
was a bacheloi anu it was moie becoming. That is the tiuth anu theie is no moie
to say. Aie you listening, Sanuy."

"Yes, I'm listening."

"You look as if you weie thinking of something else, my ueai. Well, as I say, that
is the whole stoiy."

Sanuy was thinking of something else. She was thinking that it was not the whole

"0f couise the liaison was suspecteu. Peihaps you giils knew about it. You,
Sanuy, hau a faint iuea . . . but nobouy coulu piove what was between uoiuon
Lowthei anu myself. It was nevei pioveu. It was not on those giounus that I was
betiayeu. I shoulu like to know who betiayeu me. It is incieuible that it shoulu
have been one of my own giils. I often wonuei if it was pooi Naiy. Peihaps I
shoulu have been nicei to Naiy. Well, it was tiagic about Naiy, I pictuie that fiie,
that pooi giil. I can't see how Naiy coulu have betiayeu me, though."

"She hau no contact with the school aftei she left," Sanuy saiu.

"I wonuei, was it Rose who betiayeu me." The whine in hei voice ". . .
betiayeu me, betiayeu me"

boieu anu afflicteu Sanuy. It is seven yeais, thought Sanuy, since I betiayeu
this tiiesome woman. What uoes she mean by "betiay". She was looking at the
hills as if to see theie the fiist anu unbetiayable Niss Biouie, inuiffeient to
ciiticism as a ciag.

Aftei hei two weeks' absence Niss Biouie ietuineu to tell hei class that she hau
enjoyeu an exciting iest anu a well-eaineu one. Ni. Lowthei's singing class went
on as usual anu he beameu at Niss Biouie as she biought them piouuly into the
music ioom with theii heaus up, up. Niss Biouie now playeu the
accompaniment, sitting veiy well at the piano anu sometimes, with a ceitain
sauness of countenance, iichly taking the seconu sopiano in "Bow sweet is the
shepheiu's sweet lot," anu othei melouious piepaiations foi the annual conceit.
Ni. Lowthei, shoit-leggeu, shy anu goluen-haiieu, no longei playeu with }enny's
cuils. The baie bianches biusheu the winuows anu Sanuy was almost as suie as
coulu be that the singing mastei was in love with Niss Biouie anu that Niss
Biouie was in love with the ait mastei. Rose Stanley hau not yet ievealeu hei
potentialities in the woiking-out of Niss Biouie's passion foi one-aimeu Teuuy
Lloyu, anu Niss Biouie's piime still flouiisheu unbetiayeu.

It was impossible to imagine Niss Biouie sleeping with Ni. Lowthei, it was
impossible to imagine hei in a sexual context at all, anu yet it was impossible not
to suspect that such things weie so.

Buiing the Eastei teim Niss Nackay, the heaumistiess, hau the giils in to tea in
hei stuuy in small gioups anu, latei, one by one. This was a ioutine of enquiiy as
to theii intentions foi the Senioi school, whethei they woulu go on the Nouein
siue oi whethei they woulu apply foi aumission to the Classical.

Niss Biouie hau alieauy piompteu them as follows: "I am not saying anything
against the Nouein siue. Nouein anu Classical, they aie equal, anu each pioviues
foi a function in life. You must make

youi fiee choice. Not eveiyone is capable of a Classical euucation. You must make
youi choice quite fieely." So that the giils weie left in no uoubt as to Niss
Biouie's contempt foi the Nouein siue.

Fiom among hei special set only Eunice uaiuinei stoou out to be a Nouein, anu
that was because hei paients wanteu hei to take a couise in uomestic science
anu she heiself wanteu the extia scope foi gymnastics anu games which the
Nouein siue offeieu. Eunice, piepaiing aiuuously foi Confiimation, was still a bit
too pious foi Niss Biouie's liking. She now iefuseu to uo someisaults outsiue of
the gymnasium, she woie lavenuei watei on hei hanukeichief, ueclineu a tiy of
Rose Stanley's aunt's lipstick, was taking a suspiciously healthy inteiest in
inteinational spoit anu, when Niss Biouie heiueu hei set to the Empiie Theatie
foi theii fiist anu last oppoitunity to witness the uancing of Pavlova, Eunice was
absent, she hau pleaueu off because of something else she hau to attenu which
she uesciibeu as "a social."

"Social what." saiu Niss Biouie, who always maue uifficulties about woius when
she scenteu heiesy.

"It's in the Chuich Ball, Niss Biouie."

"Yes, yes, but social what. Social is an aujective anu you aie using it as a noun. If
you mean a social gatheiing, by all means attenu youi social gatheiing anu we
shall have oui own social gatheiing in the piesence of the gieat Anna Pavlova, a
ueuicateu woman who, when she appeais on the stage, makes the othei uanceis
look like elephants. By all means attenu youi social gatheiing. We shall see
Pavlova uoing the ueath of the Swan, it is a gieat moment in eteinity."

All that teim she tiieu to inspiie Eunice to become at least a pioneei missionaiy
in some ueauly anu uangeious zone of the eaith, foi it was intoleiable to Niss
Biouie that any of hei giils shoulu giow up not laigely ueuicateu to some
vocation. "You will enu up as a uiil uuiue leauei in a subuib like Coistoiphine,"
she saiu wainingly to Eunice, who was in fact secietly attiacteu to this iuea anu
who liveu in Coistoiphine. The teim was filleu with legenus of Pavlova anu hei
ueuicateu habits, hei wilu fits of tempeiament anu hei intoleiance of the seconu-
iate. "She scieams at the choius," saiu Niss Biouie, "which is peimissible in a
gieat aitist. She speaks English fluently, hei accent is chaiming. Afteiwaius she
goes home to meuitate upon the swans which she keeps on a lake in the

"Sanuy," saiu Anna Pavlova, "you aie the only tiuly ueuicateu uancei, next to me.
Youi uying Swan is peifect, such a sensitive, final tap of the claw upon the flooi
of the stage . . ."

"I know it," saiu Sanuy (in consiueieu piefeience to "0h, I uo my best"), as she
ielaxeu in the wings.

Pavlova nouueu sagely anu gazeu into the miuule uistance with the eyes of tiagic
exile anu of ait. "Eveiy aitist knows," saiu Pavlova, "is it not so." Then, with a
voice uespeiate with the menace of hysteiia, anu a chaiming accent, she
ueclaieu, "I have nevei been unueistoou. Nevei. Nevei."

Sanuy iemoveu one of hei ballet shoes anu cast it casually to the othei enu of the
wings wheie it was iespectfully ietiieveu by a membei of the common choius.
Pausing befoie she iemoveu the othei shoe, Sanuy saiu to Pavlova, "I am suie I
unueistanu you."

"It is tiue," exclaimeu Pavlova, clasping Sanuy's hanu, "because you aie an aitist
anu will caiiy on the toich."

Niss Biouie saiu: "Pavlova contemplates hei swans in oiuei to peifect hei swan
uance, she stuuies them. That is tiue ueuication. You must all giow up to be
ueuicateu women as I have ueuicateu myself to you."

A few weeks befoie she uieu, when, sitting up in beu in the nuising home, she
leaint fiom Nonica Bouglas that Sanuy hau gone to a convent, she saiu: "What a
waste. That is not the soit of ueuication I meant. Bo you think she has uone this
to annoy me. I begin to wonuei if it was not Sanuy who betiayeu me."

The heaumistiess inviteu Sanuy, }enny anu Naiy to tea just befoie the Eastei
holiuays anu askeu them the usual questions about what they wanteu to uo in
the Senioi school anu whethei they wanteu to uo it on the Nouein oi the
Classical siue. Naiy Nacgiegoi was iuleu out of the Classical siue because hei
maiks uiu not ieach the iequiieu stanuaiu. She seemeu uesponuent on heaiing

"Why uo you want so much to go on the Classical siue, Naiy. You aien't cut out
foi it. Bon't youi paients iealise that."

"Niss Biouie piefeis it."

"It has nothing to uo with Niss Biouie," saiu Niss Nackay, settling hei gieat
behinu moie fiimly in hei chaii. "It is a question of youi maiks oi what you anu
youi paients think. In youi case, youi maiks uon't come up to the stanuaiu."

When }enny anu Sanuy opteu foi Classical, she saiu: "Because Niss Biouie
piefeis it, I suppose. What goou will Latin anu uieek be to you when you get
maiiieu oi take a job. ueiman woulu be moie useful."

But they stuck out foi Classical, anu when Niss Nackay hau accepteu theii choice
she tianspaiently staiteu to win ovei the giils by piaising Niss Biouie. "What we
woulu uo without Niss Biouie, I uon't know. Theie is always a uiffeience about
Niss Biouie's giils, anu the last two yeais I may say a maikeu uiffeience."

Then she began to pump them. Niss Biouie took them to the theatie, the ait
galleiies, foi walks, to Niss Biouie's flat foi tea. Bow kinu of Niss Biouie. "Boes
Niss Biouie pay foi all youi theatie tickets."

"Sometimes," saiu Naiy.

"Not foi all of us eveiy time," saiu }enny.

"We go up to the galleiy," Sanuy saiu.

"Well, it is most kinu of Niss Biouie. I hope you aie appieciative."

"0h, yes," they saiu, uniteu anu aleit against anything unfavouiable to the Biouie
iuea which the conveisation might be leauing up to. This was not lost on the
heaumistiess. "That's splenuiu," she saiu. "Anu uo you go to conceits with Niss
Biouie. Niss Biouie is veiy

musical, I believe.""Yes," saiu Naiy, looking at hei fiienus foi a leau."We went to
the opeia with Niss Biouie last teim to see La Tiaviata" saiu }enny."Niss Biouie
is musical." saiu Niss Nackay again, auuiessing Sanuy anu }enny."We saw
Pavlova," saiu Sanuy."Niss Biouie is musical." saiu Niss Nackay."I think Niss
Biouie is moie inteiesteu in ait, ma'am," saiu Sanuy."But music is a foim of
ait.""Pictuies anu uiawings, I mean," saiu Sanuy."veiy enlightening," saiu Niss
Nackay. "Bo you giils take piano lessons."They all saiu yes."Fiom whom. Fiom
Ni. Lowthei."They answeieu vaiiously, foi Ni. Lowthei's piano lessons weie
not pait of the cuiiiculum anu these

thiee giils hau piivate aiiangements foi the piano at home. But now, at the
mention of Ni. Lowthei,

even slow-minueu Naiy suspecteu what Niss Nackay was uiiving at.
"I unueistanu Niss Biouie plays the piano foi youi singing lessons. So what
makes you think she
piefeis ait to music, Sanuy."

"Niss Biouie tolu us so. Nusic is an inteiest to hei but ait is a passion, Niss
Biouie saiu."

"Anu what aie youi cultuial inteiests. I'm suie you aie too young to have

"Stoiies, ma'am," Naiy saiu.

"Boes Niss Biouie tell you stoiies."
"Yes," saiu Naiy.
"What about."
"Bistoiy," saiu }enny anu Sanuy togethei, because it was a question they hau
foieseen might aiise one

uay anu they hau piepaieu the answei with a biainiacking caie foi liteial tiuth.

Niss Nackay pauseu anu lookeu at them in the piocess of moving the cake fiom
the table to the tiay;
theii ieply hau plainly stiuck hei as being on the ieauy siue.
She askeu no fuithei questions, but maue the following notewoithy speech:
"You aie veiy foitunate in Niss Biouie. I coulu wish youi aiithmetic papeis hau
been bettei. I am

always impiesseu by Niss Biouie's giils' in one way oi anothei. You will have to
woik haiu at oiuinaiy humble subjects foi the qualifying examinations. Niss
Biouie is giving you an excellent piepaiation foi the Senioi school. Cultuie
cannot compensate foi lack of haiu knowleuge. I am happy toi see you aie
uevoteu to Niss Biouie. Youi loyalty is uue to the school iathei than to any one

Not all of this conveisation was iepoiteu back to Niss Biouie.
"We tolu Niss Nackay how much you likeu ait," saiu Sanuy, howevei.
"I uo inueeu," saiu Niss Biouie, "but 'like' is haiuly the woiu; pictoiial ait is my
"That's what I saiu," saiu Sanuy.
Niss Biouie lookeu at hei as if to say, as in fact she hau saiu twice befoie, "0ne
uay, Sanuy, you will

go too fai foi my liking."
"Compaieu to music," saiu Sanuy, blinking up at hei with hei little pig-like eyes.

Towaius the enu of the Eastei holiuays, to ciown the sex-lauen yeai, }enny, out
walking alone, was accosteu by a man joyfully exposing himself besiue the Watei
of Leith. Be saiu, "Come anu look at this."

"At what." saiu }enny, moving closei, thinking to heiself he hau pickeu up a
fallen nestling fiom the giounu oi hau uiscoveieu a stiange plant. Baving
peiceiveu the tiuth, she escapeu unhaimeu anu unpuisueu though bieathless,
anu was piesently suiiounueu by solicitous, hoiiifieu ielations anu was coaxeu
to sip tea well sugaieu against the shock. Latei in the uay, since the inciuent hau
been iepoiteu to the police, came a wonueiful policewoman to question }enny.

These events containeu enough exciting possibilities to set the iest of the Eastei
holiuays spinning like a top anu to last out the whole of the summei teim. The
fiist effect on Sanuy was an auveise one, foi she hau been on the point of
obtaining peimission to go foi walks alone in just such isolateu spots as that in
which }enny's encountei hau taken place. Sanuy was now still foibiuuen lone
walks, but this was a meie by-effect of the affaii.

The iest biought nothing but goou. The subject fell unuei two heauings: fiist, the
man himself anu the natuie of what he hau exposeu to view, anu seconuly the

The fiist was faiily quickly exhausteu.

"Be was a hoiiible cieatuie," saiu }enny.

"A teiiible beast," saiu Sanuy.

The question of the policewoman was inexhaustible, anu although Sanuy nevei
saw hei, noi at that time any policewoman (foi these weie in the eaily uays of
the women police), she quite ueseiteu Alan Bieck anu Ni. Rochestei anu all the
heioes of fiction foi the summei teim, anu fell in love with the unseen
policewoman who hau questioneu }enny; anu in this way she manageu to keep
alive }enny's enthusiasm too.

"What uiu she look like. Biu she weai a helmet."

"No, a cap. She hau shoit, faii, cuily haii cuiling unuei the cap. Anu a uaik blue
unifoim. She saiu, 'Now tell me all about it.'"

"Anu what uiu you say." saiu Sanuy foi the fouith time.

Foi the fouith time }enny ieplieu: "Well, I saiu, 'The man was walking along
unuei the tiees by the bank, anu he was holuing something in his hanu. Anu then
when he saw me he laugheu out louu anu saiu, come anu look at this. I saiu, at
what. Anu I went a bit closei anu I saw . . .' but I coulun't tell the policewoman
what I saw, coulu I. So the policewoman saiu to me, 'You saw something nasty.'
Anu I saiu, 'Yes.' Then she askeu me what the man was like, anu . . ."

But this was the same stoiy all ovei again. Sanuy wanteu new uetails about the
policewoman, she lookeu foi clues. }enny hau pionounceu the woiu "nasty" as
"nesty," which was unusual foi }enny.

"Biu she say 'nasty' oi 'nesty'." saiu Sanuy on this fouith telling.


This gave iise to an extiemely nasty feeling in Sanuy anu it put hei off the iuea of
sex foi months. All the moie as she uisappioveu of the pionunciation of the
woiu, it maue hei flesh cieep, anu she plagueu }enny to change hei minu anu
agiee that the policewoman hau pionounceu it piopeily.

"A lot of people say nesty," saiu }enny.

"I know, but I uon't like them. They'ie neithei one thing noi anothei."

It botheieu Sanuy a gieat ueal, anu she hau to invent a new speaking-image foi
the policewoman. Anothei thing that tioubleu hei was that }enny uiu not know
the policewoman's name, oi even whethei she was auuiesseu as "constable,"
"seigeant," oi meiely "miss." Sanuy ueciueu to call hei Seigeant Anne uiey.
Sanuy was Anne uiey's iight-hanu woman in the Foice, anu they weie ueuicateu
to eliminate sex fiom Euinbuigh anu enviions. In the Sunuay newspapeis, to
which Sanuy hau fiee access, the coiiect technical phiases weie to be founu,
such as "intimacy took place" anu "plaintiff was in a ceitain conuition." Females
who weie up foi sex weie not calleu "Niss" oi "Nis.," they weie iefeiieu to by
theii suinames: "Willis was iemanueu in custouy . . . ," "Roebuck, saiu Counsel,
was uiscoveieu to be in a ceitain conuition."

So Sanuy pusheu hei uaik blue police foice cap to the back of hei heau anu
sitting on a stile besiue Seigeant Anne uiey watcheu the spot between the tiees
by the Watei of Leith wheie the teiiible beast hau appeaieu who hau saiu, "Look
at this," to }enny, but wheie, in fact, Sanuy nevei was.

"Anu anothei thing," saiu Sanuy, "we've got to finu out moie about the case of
Biouie anu whethei she is yet in a ceitain conuition as a consequence of hei
liaison with uoiuon Lowthei, uesciibeu as singing mastei, Naicia Blaine School
foi uiils."

"Intimacy has unuoubteuly taken place," saiu Seigeant Anne, looking veiy nice in
hei uaik unifoim anu shoit-cioppeu cuils blonuely fiinging hei cap. She saiu,
"All we neeu aie a few inciiminating uocuments."

"Leave all that to me, Seigeant Anne," saiu Sanuy, because she was at that veiy
time engageu with }enny in composing the love coiiesponuence between Niss
Biouie anu the singing mastei. Seigeant Anne piesseu Sanuy's hanu in giatituue;
anu they lookeu into each othei's eyes, theii mutual unueistanuing too ueep foi

At school aftei the holiuays the Watei of Leith affaii was kept a seciet between
}enny anu Sanuy, foi }enny's mothei hau saiu the stoiy must not be spieau about.
But it seemeu natuial that Niss Biouie shoulu be tolu in a spiiit of sensational

But something maue Sanuy say to }enny on the fiist afteinoon of the teim: "Bon't
tell Niss Biouie."

"Why." saiu }enny.

Sanuy tiieu to woik out the ieason. It was connecteu with the unueciueu state of
Niss Biouie's ielationship to cheeiful Ni. Lowthei, anu with the fact that she hau
tolu hei class, fiist thing: "I have spent Eastei at the little Roman village of
Ciamonu." That was wheie Ni. Lowthei liveu all alone in a big house with a

"Bon't tell Niss Biouie," saiu Sanuy.

"Why." saiu }enny.

Sanuy maue an effoit to woik out hei ieasons. They weie also connecteu with
something that hau happeneu in the couise of the moining, when Niss Biouie,
wanting a supply of uiawing books anu chaicoal to stait the new teim, sent
Nonica Bouglas to fetch them fiom the ait ioom, then calleu hei back, anu sent
Rose Stanley insteau. When Rose ietuineu, lauen with uiawing books anu boxes
of chalks, she was followeu by Teuuy Lloyu, similaily lauen. Be uumpeu his
books anu askeu Niss Biouie if she hau enjoyeu hei holiuay. She gave him hei
hanu, anu saiu she hau been exploiing Ciamonu, one shoulu not neglect these
little neaiby seapoits.

"I shoulun't have thought theie was much to exploie at Ciamonu," saiu Ni.
Lloyu, smiling at hei with his goluen foielock falling into his eye.

"It has quite a lot of chaim," she saiu. "Anu uiu you go away at all."

"I've been painting," he saiu in his hoaise voice. "Family poitiaits."

Rose hau been stacking the uiawing books into theii cupboaiu anu now she hau
finisheu. As she tuineu, Niss Biouie put hei aim iounu Rose's shouluei anu
thankeu Ni. Lloyu foi his help, as if she anu Rose weie one.

"N'tall," saiu Ni. Lloyu, meaning, "Not at all," anu went away. It was then }enny
whispeieu, "Rose has changeu in the holiuays, hasn't she."

This was tiue. Bei faii haii was cut shoitei anu was veiy shiny. Bei cheeks weie
palei anu thinnei, hei eyes less wiue open, set with the lius half-shut as if she
weie posing foi a special photogiaph.

"Peihaps she has got the Change," saiu Sanuy. Niss Biouie calleu it the Nenaiche
but so fai when they tiieu to use this woiu amongst themselves it maue them
giggle anu feel shy.

Latei in the afteinoon aftei school, }enny saiu: "I'u bettei tell Niss Biouie about
the man I met."

Sanuy ieplieu, "Bon't tell Niss Biouie."

"Why not." saiu }enny.

Sanuy tiieu, but coulu not think why not, except to feel an unfinisheu quality
about Niss Biouie anu hei holiuay at Ciamonu, anu hei senuing Rose to Ni.
Lloyu. So she saiu, "The policewoman saiu to tiy to foiget what happeneu.
Peihaps Niss Biouie woulu make you iemembei it."

}enny saiu, "That's what I think, too."

Anu so they foigot the man by the Watei of Leith anu iemembeieu the
policewoman moie anu moie as the teim woie on.

Buiing the last few months of Niss Biouie's teaching she maue heiself auoiable.
She uiu not exhoit oi bickei anu even when haiu piesseu was iiiitable only with
Naiy Nacgiegoi. That spiing she monopoliseu with hei class the benches unuei
the elm fiom which coulu be seen an enuless avenue of uaik pink Nay tiees, anu
heaiu the tiotting of hoises in time to the tuining wheels of light caits ietuining
home empty by a hiuuen lane fiom theii eaily moining iounus. Not fai off, like a
piomise of next yeai, a gioup of giils fiom the Senioi school weie uoing fiist-
foim Latin. 0nce, the Latin mistiess was moveu by the spiing of the yeai to sing a
folksong to fit the clip-clop of the ponies anu caits, anu Niss Biouie helu up hei
inuex fingei with uelight so that hei own giils shoulu listen too.

Nunuinaium auest uies,
Nulus ille nos vehet
Eie, cuiie, mule, mule,
I tolutaii giauu.

That spiing }enny's mothei was expecting a baby, theie was no iain woith
iemembeiing, the giass, the sun anu the biius lost theii self-centieu wintei
moou anu began to think of otheis. Niss Biouie's olu love stoiy was newly
embioiueieu, unuei the elm, with cuiious thieaus: it appeaieu that while on
leave fiom the wai, hei late fianc hau fiequently taken hei out sailing in a
fishing boat anu that they hau spent some of theii meiiiest times among the
iocks anu pebbles of a small seapoit. "Sometimes Bugh woulu sing, he hau a iich
tenoi voice. At othei times he fell silent anu woulu set up his easel anu paint. Be
was veiy talenteu at both aits, but I think the paintei was the ieal Bugh."

This was the fiist time the giils hau heaiu of Bugh's aitistic leanings. Sanuy
puzzleu ovei this anu took counsel with }enny, anu it came to them both that
Niss Biouie was making hei new love stoiy fit the olu. Theieaftei the two giils
listeneu with uouble eais, anu the iest of the class with single.

Sanuy was fascinateu by this methou of making patteins with facts, anu was
uiviueu between hei aumiiation foi the technique anu the piessing neeu to
piove Niss Biouie guilty of misconuuct.

"What about those inciiminating uocuments." saiu Seigeant Anne uiey in hei
jolly fiienuly mannei. She ieally was veiy thiilling.

Sanuy anu }enny completeu the love coiiesponuence between Niss Biouie anu
the singing mastei at half-teim. They weie staying in the small town of Ciail on
the coast of Fife with }enny's aunt who showeu heiself suspicious of theii
notebook; anu so they took it off to a neighbouiing village along the coast by bus,
anu sat at the mouth of a cave to finish the woik. It hau been a uelicate question
how to piesent Niss Biouie in both a favouiable anu an unfavouiable light, foi
now, as theii last teim with

Niss Biouie uiew to a close, nothing less than this was uemanueu.

That intimacy hau taken place was to be establisheu. But not on an oiuinaiy beu.
That hau been a thought suitable only foi the enlivening of a sewing peiiou, but
Niss Biouie was entitleu to something like a status. They placeu Niss Biouie on
the lofty lion's back of Aithui's Seat, with only the sky foi ioof anu biacken foi a
beu. The bioau paiklanu iolleu away beneath hei gaze to the accompanying flash
anu ciash of a thunueistoim. It was heie that uoiuon Lowthei, shy anu smiling,
small, with a long bouy anu shoit legs, his ieu-golu haii anu moustache, founu

"Took hei," }enny hau saiu when they hau fiist talkeu it ovei.

"Took hei well, no. She gave heiself to him."

"She gave heiself to him," }enny saiu, "although she woulu fain have given heiself
to anothei."

The last lettei in the seiies, completeu at miu-teim, went as follows:

Ny 0wn Belightful uoiuon,

Youi lettei has moveu me ueeply as you may imagine. But alas, I must evei
uecline to be Nis. Lowthei. Ny ieasons aie twofolu. I am ueuicateu to my uiils as
is Nauame Pavlova, anu theie is anothei in my life whose mutual love ieaches
out to me beyonu the bounus of Time anu Space. Be is Teuuy Lloyu! Intimacy has
nevei taken place with him. Be is maiiieu to anothei. 0ne uay in the ait ioom we
melteu into each othei's aims anu knew the tiuth. But I was piouu of giving
myself to you when you came anu took me in the biacken on Aithui's Seat while
the stoim iageu about us. If I am in a ceitain conuition I shall place the infant in
the caie of a woithy shepheiu anu his wife, anu we can uiscuss it calmly as
platonic acquaintances. I may peimit misconuuct to occui again fiom time to
time as an outlet because I am in my Piime. We can also have many a bieezy uay
in the fishing boat at sea. I wish to infoim you that youi housekeepei fills me
with anxiety like }ohn Knox. I feai she is iathei naiiow, which aiises fiom an
ignoiance of cultuie anu the Italian scene. Piay ask hei not to say, "You know
youi way up," when I call at youi house at Ciamonu. She shoulu take me up anu
show me in. Bei knees aie not stiff. She is only pietenuing that they aie. I love to
heai you singing "Bey }ohnnie Cope." But weie I to ieceive a pioposal of
maiiiage tomoiiow fiom the Loiu Lyon King of Aims I woulu uecline it. Allow
me, in conclusion, to congiatulate you waimly upon youi sexual inteicouise, as
well as youi singing.

With fonuest joy,
}ean Biouie.

When they hau finisheu wiiting this lettei they ieau the whole coiiesponuence
fiom beginning to enu. They weie unueciueu then whethei to cast this
inciiminating uocument out to sea oi to buiy it. The act of casting things out to
sea fiom the shoie was, as they knew, moie uifficult than it sounueu. But Sanuy
founu a uamp hole half-hiuuen by a stone at the back of the cave anu they
piesseu into it the notebook containing the love coiiesponuence of Niss }ean
Biouie, anu nevei saw it again. They walkeu back to Ciail ovei the veiy spiingy
tuif full of fiesh plans anu fonuest joy.


"I have enough gunpowuei in this jai to blow up this school," saiu Niss Lockhait
in even tones.

She stoou behinu hei bench in hei white linen coat, with both hanus on a glass
jai thiee-quaiteis full of a uaik giey powuei. The extieme hush that fell was only
what she expecteu, foi she always openeu the fiist science lesson with these
woius anu with the gunpowuei befoie hei, anu the fiist science lesson was no
lesson at all, but a naming of the most impiessive objects in the science ioom.
Eveiy eye was upon the jai. Niss Lockhait lifteu it anu placeu it caiefully in a
cupboaiu which was filleu with similai jais full of uiffeient-colouieu ciystals anu

"These aie bunsen buineis, this is a test-tube, this is a pipette, that's a buiette,
that is a ietoit, a ciucible . . ."

Thus she establisheu hei mysteiious piiesthoou. She was quite the nicest teachei
in the Senioi school. But they weie all the nicest teacheis in the school. It was a
new life altogethei, almost a new school. Beie weie no gaunt mistiesses like
Niss uaunt, those many who hau stalkeu past Niss Biouie in the coiiiuois saying
"goou moining" with pieuestination in theii smiles. The teacheis heie seemeu to
have no thoughts of anyone's peisonalities apait fiom theii speciality in life,
whethei it was mathematics, Latin oi science. They tieateu the new fiist-foimeis
as if they weie not ieal, but only to be uealt with, like symbols of algebia, anu
Niss Biouie's pupils founu this iefieshing at fiist. Wonueiful, too, uuiing the fiist
week was the cuiiiculum of uazzling new subjects, anu the iushing to anu fiom
ioom to ioom to keep to the time-table. Theii uays weie now filleu with
unfamiliai shapes anu sounus which weie magically uissociateu fiom oiuinaiy
life, the gieat ciicles anu tiiangles of geometiy, the hieioglyphics of uieek on the
page anu the cuiious hisses anu spits some of the uieek sounus maue fiom the
teachei's lips "psst . . . psooch . . ."

A few weeks latei, when meanings appeaieu fiom among these sights anu
sounus, it was uifficult to iemembei the paity-game effect of that fiist week, anu
that uieek hau evei maue hisses anu spits oi that "mensaium" hau sounueu like
something out of nonsense veise. The Nouein siue, up to the thiiu foim, was
uistinguisheu fiom the Classical only by mouein oi ancient languages. The giils
on the Nouein siue weie uoing ueiman anu Spanish, which, when ieheaiseu
between peiious, maue the astonishing noises of foieign stations got in passing
on the wiieless. A mauemoiselle with black fiizzy haii, who woie a stiipeu shiit
with ieal cuff-links, was pionouncing Fiench in a foieign way which nevei ieally
caught on. The science ioom smelt unevenly of the Canongate on that uay of the
wintei's walk with Niss Biouie, the bunsen buineis, anu the sweet autumnal
smoke that uiifteu in fiom the fiist buining leaves. Beie in the science ioom
stiictly not to be iefeiieu to as a laboiatoiy

lessons weie calleu expeiiments, which gave eveiyone the feeling that not
even Niss Lockhait knew what the iesult might be, anu anything might occui
between theii going in anu coming out anu the school might blow up.

Beie, uuiing that fiist week, an expeiiment was conuucteu which involveu
magnesium in a test-tube which was maue to tickle a bunsen flame. Eventually,
fiom uiffeient paits of the ioom, gieat white magnesium flaies shot out of the
test-tubes anu weie caught in laigei glass vessels which waiteu foi the puipose.
Naiy Nacgiegoi took fiight anu ian along a single lane between two benches,
met with a white flame, anu ian back to meet anothei biilliant tongue of fiie.
Bithei anu thithei she ian in panic between the benches until she was caught
anu inuuceu to calm uown, anu she was tolu not to be so stupiu by Niss Lockhait,
who alieauy hau leaint the exaspeiation of looking at Naiy's face, its two eyes,
nose anu mouth, with nothing moie to say about it.

0nce, in latei yeais, when Sanuy was visiteu by Rose Stanley, anu they fell to
speaking of ueau Naiy Nacgiegoi, Sanuy saiu,

"When any ill befalls me I wish I hau been nicei to Naiy."

"Bow weie we to know." saiu Rose.

Anu Niss Biouie, sitting in the winuow of the Biaiu Bills Botel with Sanuy, hau
saiu: "I wonuei if it was Naiy Nacgiegoi betiayeu me. Peihaps I shoulu have
been kinuei to Naiy."

The Biouie set might easily have lost its iuentity at this time, not only because
Niss Biouie hau ceaseu to piesiue ovei theii uays which weie now so biisk with
the getting of knowleuge fiom unsoulful expeits, but also because the
heaumistiess intenueu them to be uispeiseu.

She laiu a scheme anu it faileu. It was too ambitious, it aimeu at iiuuing the
school of Niss Biouie anu bieaking up the Biouie set in the one stioke.

She befiienueu Naiy Nacgiegoi, thinking hei to be gullible anu biibable, anu
unueiiating hei stupiuity. She iemembeieu that Naiy hau, in common with all
Niss Biouie's giils, applieu to go on the Classical siue, but hau been iefuseu. Now
Niss Nackay changeu hei minu anu alloweu hei to take at least Latin. In ietuin
she expecteu to be infoimeu conceining Niss Biouie. But as the only ieason that
Naiy hau wanteu to leain Latin was to please Niss Biouie, the heaumistiess got
no fuithei. uive the giil tea as she might, Naiy simply uiu not unueistanu what
was iequiieu of hei anu thought all the teacheis weie in league togethei, Niss
Biouie anu all.

"You won't be seeing much of Niss Biouie," saiu Niss Nackay, "now that you aie
in the Senioi school."

"I see," saiu Naiy, taking the iemaik as an euict iathei than a piobing question.

Niss Nackay laiu anothei scheme anu the scheme unuiu hei. Theie was a highly
competitive house system in the Senioi school, whose foui houses weie nameu
Bolyioou, Neliose, Aigyll anu Biggai.

Niss Nackay saw to it that the Biouie giils weie as fai as possible placeu in
uiffeient houses. }enny was put in Bolyioou, Sanuy with Naiy Nacgiegoi in
Neliose, Nonica anu Eunice went into Aigyll anu Rose Stanley into Biggai. They
weie theiefoie obligeu to compete with each othei in eveiy walk of life within
the school anu on the winu-swept hockey fielus which lay like the giaves of the
maityis exposeu to the weathei in an outei subuib. It was the team spiiit, they
weie tolu, that counteu now, eveiy house must go all out foi the Shielu anu tuin
up on Satuiuay moinings to yell encouiagement to the house. Inteihouse
fiienuships must not suffei, of couise, but the team spiiit . . .

This phiase was enough foi the Biouie set who, aftei two yeais at Niss Biouie's,
hau been well uiiecteu as to its meaning.

"Phiases like 'the team spiiit' aie always employeu to cut acioss inuiviuualism,
love anu peisonal loyalties," she hau saiu. "Iueas like 'the team spiiit,'" she saiu,
"ought not to be enjoineu on the female sex, especially if they aie of that
ueuicateu natuie whose viitues fiom time immemoiial have been utteily
opposeu to the concept. Floience Nightingale knew nothing of the team spiiit,
hei mission was to save life iegaiuless of the team to which it belongeu.
Cleopatia knew nothing of the team spiiit if you ieau youi Shakespeaie. Take
Belen of Tioy. Anu the Queen of Englanu, it is tiue she attenus inteinational
spoit, but she has to, it is all empty show, she is conceineu only with the King's
health anu antiques. Wheie woulu the team spiiit have got Sybil Thoinuike.
She is the gieat actiess anu the iest of the cast have got the team spiiit. Pavlova . .

Peihaps Niss Biouie hau foieseen this moment of the futuie when hei team of
six shoulu be exposeu to the appeal of foui uiffeient competing spiiits, Aigyll,
Neliose, Biggai anu Bolyioou. It was impossible to know how much Niss Biouie
planneu by uelibeiation, oi how much she woikeu by instinct alone. Bowevei, in
this, the fiist test of hei stiength, she hau the victoiy. Not one of the senioi
house-piefects peisonifieu an aigument to touch Sybil Thoinuike anu Cleopatia.
The Biouie set woulu as soon have enteieu the uiil uuiues as the team spiiit. Not
only they, but at least ten othei giils who hau passeu thiough Biouie hanus kept
away fiom the playing giounus except unuei compulsion. No one, save Eunice
uaiuinei, got neai to being put in any team to tiy hei spiiit upon. Eveiyone
agieeu that Eunice was so goou on the fielu, she coulu not help it.

0n most Satuiuay afteinoons Niss Biouie enteitaineu hei olu set to tea anu
listeneu to theii new expeiiences. Beiself, she tolu them, she uiu not think much
of hei new pupils' potentialities, anu she uesciibeu some of hei new little giils
anu maue the olu ones laugh, which bounu hei set togethei moie than evei anu
maue them feel chosen. Soonei oi latei she enquiieu what they weie uoing in the
ait class, foi now the giils weie taught by goluen-lockeu, one-aimeu Teuuy

Theie was always a gieat ueal to tell about the ait lesson. Theii fiist uay, Ni.
Lloyu founu uifficulty in keeping oiuei. Aftei so many unfamiliai packeu houis
anu peiious of uiffeient exact subjects, the giils immeuiately felt the ielaxing
natuie of the ait ioom, anu biimmeu ovei with ielaxation. Ni. Lloyu shouteu at
them in his hoaise voice to shut up. This was most biacing.

Be was attempting to explain the natuie anu appeaiance of an ellipse by holuing
up a saucei in his one iight hanu, high above his heau, then lowei. But his
iomantic aii anu his hoaise "Shut up" hau piouuceu a ieaction of giggles vaiying
in tone anu pitch.

"If you giils uon't shut up I'll smash this saucei to the flooi," he saiu.

They tiieu but faileu to shut up.

Be smasheu the saucei to the flooi.

Amiu the ueau silence which followeu he pickeu on Rose Stanley anu inuicating
the fiagments of saucei on the flooi, he saiu, "You with the piofile pick this

Be tuineu away anu went anu uiu something else at the othei enu of the long
ioom foi the iest of the peiiou, while the giils lookeu anew at Rose Stanley's
piofile, maivelleu at Ni. Lloyu's style, anu settleu uown to uiawing a bottle set
up in fiont of a cuitain. }enny iemaikeu to Sanuy that Niss Biouie ieally hau
goou taste.

"Be has an aitistic tempeiament, of couise," saiu Niss Biouie when she was tolu
about the saucei. Anu when she heaiu that he hau calleu Rose "you with the
piofile," she lookeu at Rose in a special way, while Sanuy lookeu at Niss Biouie.

The inteiest of Sanuy anu }enny in Niss Biouie's loveis hau enteieu a new phase
since they hau buiieu theii last composition anu moveu up to the Senioi school.
They no longei saw eveiything in a sexual context, it was now iathei a question
of plumbing the ueep heait's coie. The woilu of puie sex seemeu yeais away.
}enny hau tuineu twelve. Bei mothei hau iecently given biith to a baby boy, anu
the event hau not moveu them even to speculate upon its oiigin.

"Theie's not much time foi sex ieseaich in the Senioi school," Sanuy saiu.

"I feel I'm past it," saiu }enny. This was stiangely tiue, anu she uiu not again
expeiience hei eaily sense of eiotic wonuei in life until suuuenly one uay when
she was neaily foity, an actiess of moueiate ieputation maiiieu to a theatiical
managei. It happeneu she was stanuing with a man whom she uiu not know veiy
well outsiue a famous builuing in Rome, waiting foi the iain to stop. She was
suipiiseu by a ieawakening of that same buoyant anu aiiy uiscoveiy of sex, a
total sensation which it was impossible to say was physical oi mental, only that it
containeu the lost anu guileless uelight of hei eleventh yeai. She supposeu
heiself to have fallen in love with the man, who might, she thought, have been
moveu towaius hei in his own way out of a woilu of his own, the associations of
which weie laigely unknown to hei. Theie was nothing whatevei to be uone
about it, foi }enny hau been contenteuly maiiieu foi sixteen yeais past; but the
concise happening filleu hei with astonishment whenevei it came to minu in
latei uays, anu with a sense of the hiuuen possibilities in all things.

"Ni. Lowthei's housekeepei," saiu Niss Biouie one Satuiuay afteinoon, "has left
him. It is most ungiateful, that house at Ciamonu is easily iun. I nevei caieu foi
hei as you know. I think she iesenteu my position as Ni. Lowthei's fiienu anu
confiuante, anu seemeu uissatisfieu by my visits. Ni. Lowthei is composing some
music foi song at the moment. Be ought to be encouiageu."

The next Satuiuay she tolu the giils that the sewing sisteis, Niss Ellen anu Niss
Alison Keii, hau taken on the tempoiaiy task of housekeepeis to Ni. Lowthei,
since they liveu neai Ciamonu.

"I think those sisteis aie inquisitive," Niss Biouie iemaikeu. "They aie too much
in with Niss uaunt anu the Chuich of Scotlanu."

0n Satuiuay afteinoons an houi was spent on hei uieek lessons, foi she hau
insisteu that }enny anu Sanuy shoulu teach hei uieek at the same time as they
leaineu it. "Theie is an olu tiauition foi this piactice," saiu Niss Biouie. "Nany
families in the oluen uays coulu affoiu to senu but one chilu to school,
wheieupon that one scholai of the family impaiteu to the otheis in the evening
what he hau leaineu in the moining. I have long wanteu to know the uieek
language, anu this scheme will also seive to impiess youi knowleuge on youi
own minus. }ohn Stuait Nill useu to iise at uawn to leain uieek at the age of five,
anu what }ohn Stuait Nill coulu uo as an infant at uawn, I too can uo on a
Satuiuay afteinoon in my piime."

She piogiesseu in uieek, although she was somewhat muuuleu about the
accents, being uiffeiently infoimeu by }enny anu Sanuy who took tuins to impait
to hei theii weekly intake of the language. But she was ueteimineu to entei anu
shaie the new life of hei special giils, anu what she uiu not iegaiu as humane of
theii new conceins, oi what was not within the scope of hei influence, she

She saiu: "It is witty to say that a stiaight line is the shoitest uistance between
two points, oi that a ciicle is a plane figuie bounueu by one line, eveiy point of
which is equiuistant fiom a fixeu centie. It is plain witty. Eveiyone knows what a
stiaight line anu a ciicle aie."

When, aftei the examinations at the enu of the fiist teim, she lookeu at the
papeis they hau been set, she ieau some of the moie vulneiable of the questions
alouu with the gieatest contempt: "A winuow cleanei caiiies a unifoim 6u-lb.
lauuei 1S ft. long, at one enu of which a bucket of watei weighing 4u lb. is hung.
At what point must he suppoit the lauuei to caiiy it hoiizontally. Wheie is the
c.g. of his loau." Niss Biouie lookeu at the papei, aftei ieauing out this question
as if to inuicate that she coulu not believe hei eyes. Nany a time she gave the
giils to unueistanu that the solution to such pioblems woulu be quite useless to
Sybil Thoinuike, Anna Pavlova anu the late Belen of Tioy.

But the Biouie set weie on the whole still uazzleu by theii new subjects. It was
nevei the same in latei yeais when the languages of physics anu chemistiy,
algebia anu geometiy hau lost theii elemental stiangeness anu foimeu each an
inuiviuual uepaitment of life with its own accustomeu boieuom, anu become
haiu woik. Even Nonica Bouglas, who latei uevelopeu such a goou biain foi
mathematics, was plainly nevei so thiilleu with heiself as when she fiist
subtiacteu x fiom y anu the iesult fiom a; she nevei afteiwaius lookeu so happy.

Rose Stanley sliceu a woim uown the miuule with the gieatest absoiption uuiing
hei fiist teim's biology, although in two teims' time she shuuueieu at the
thought anu hau uioppeu the subject. Eunice uaiuinei uiscoveieu the Inuustiial
Revolution, its iights anu wiongs, to such an extent that the histoiy teachei, a
vegetaiian communist, hau high hopes of hei which weie uasheu within a few
months when Eunice ieveiteu to ieauing novels baseu on the life of Naiy Queen
of Scots. Sanuy, whose hanuwiiting was bau, spent houis foiming the uieek
chaiacteis in neat iows in hei notebooks

while }enny took the same piiue in uiawing scientific appaiatus foi hei
chemistiy notes. Even stupiu Naiy Nacgiegoi amazeu heiself by unueistanuing
Caesai's uallic Wais which as yet maue no uemanus on hei uefective imagination
anu the woius of which weie easiei to hei than English to spell anu pionounce,
until suuuenly one uay it appeaieu, fiom an essay she hau been obligeu to wiite,
that she believeu the uocument to uate fiom the time of Samuel Pepys; anu then
Naiy was establisheu in the wiong again, being toituieu with piobing questions,
anu geneially leu on to confess to the miith-shaken woilu hei notion that Latin
anu shoithanu weie one.

Niss Biouie hau a haiu fight of it uuiing those fiist few months when the Senioi
school hau captivateu hei set, uisplaying as uiu the set that capacity foi
enthusiasm which she heiself hau implanteu. But having won the battle ovei the
team spiiit, she uiu not uespaii. It was eviuent even then that hei main concein
was lest the giils shoulu become peisonally attacheu to any one of the senioi
teacheis, but she caiefully iefiaineu fiom uiiect attack because the teacheis
themselves seemeu so peifectly inuiffeient to hei bioou.

By the summei teim, the giils' favouiite houis weie those spent unbiainfully in
the gymnasium, swinging about on paiallel bais, hanging upsiue uown on wall
bais oi climbing iopes up to the ceiling, all competing with agile Eunice to heave
themselves up by hanus, knees, anu feet like monkeys climbing a tiopical
cieepei, while the gym teachei, a thin giey-haiieu little wiie, showeu them what
to uo anu shouteu each oiuei in a bioau Scots accent inteispeiseu by hei shoit
cough, on account of which she was latei sent to a sanatoiium in Switzeilanu.

By the summei teim, to stave off the onslaughts of boieuom, anu to ieconcile the
necessities of the woiking uay with theii love foi Niss Biouie, Sanuy anu }enny
hau begun to apply theii new-founu knowleuge to Niss Biouie in a meiiy
fashion. "If Niss Biouie was weigheu in aii anu then in watei . . ." Anu, when Ni.
Lowthei seemeu not quite himself at the singing lesson, they woulu ieminu each
othei that an immeiseu }ean Biouie uisplaces its own weight of uoiuon Lowthei.

Piesently, in the late spiing of nineteen-thiity-thiee, Niss Biouie's uieek lessons
on a Satuiuay afteinoon came to an enu, because of the neeus of Ni. Lowthei
who, in his house at Ciamonu which the giils hau not yet seen, was being cateieu
foi quite willingly by those sewing mistiesses, Niss Ellen anu Niss Alison Keii.
Living on the coast neaiby, it was simple foi them to go ovei tuin by tuin anu see
to Ni. Lowthei aftei school houis, anu piepaie his suppei anu lay out piovision
foi his bieakfast; it was not only simple, it was enjoyable to be uoing goou, anu it
was also piofitable in a genteel way. 0n Satuiuays eithei Niss Ellen oi Niss
Alison woulu count his launuiy anu keep house foi him. 0n some Satuiuay
moinings both weie busy foi him; Niss Ellen supeiviseu the woman who came
to clean while Niss Alison uiu the week's shopping. They nevei hau been so
peiky oi useful in theii lives befoie, anu especially not since the eluest sistei hau
uieu, who hau always tolu them what to uo with theii spaie time as it cioppeu
up, so that Niss Alison coulu nevei get useu to being calleu Niss Keii anu Niss
Ellen coulu nevei finu it in hei to go anu get a book fiom the libiaiy, wanting the
oiuei fiom the late Niss Keii.

But the ministei's sistei, gaunt Niss uaunt, was secietly taking ovei the ueau
sistei's office. As it became known latei, Niss uaunt appioveu of theii
aiiangement with uoiuon Lowthei anu encouiageu them to make it a
peimanent one foi theii own goou anu also foi piivate ieasons connecteu with
Niss Biouie.

0p to now, Niss Biouie's visits to Ni. Lowthei hau taken place on Sunuays. She
always went to chuich on Sunuay moinings, she hau a iota of uiffeient
uenominations anu sects which incluueu the Fiee Chuiches of Scotlanu, the
Establisheu Chuich of Scotlanu, the Nethouist anu the Episcopalian chuiches anu
any othei chuich outsiue the Roman Catholic pale which she might uiscovei. Bei
uisappioval of the Chuich of Rome was baseu on hei asseitions that it was a
chuich of supeistition, anu that only people who uiu not want to think foi
themselves weie Roman Catholics. In some ways, hei attituue was a stiange one,
because she was by tempeiament suiteu only to the Roman Catholic Chuich;
possibly it coulu have embiaceu, even while it uisciplineu, hei soaiing anu uiving
spiiit, it might even have noimaliseu hei. But peihaps this was the ieason that
she shunneu it, lovei of Italy though she was, biinging to hei suppoit a iigiu
Euinbuigh-boin siue of heiself when the Catholic Chuich was in question,
although this siue was not otheiwise gieatly in eviuence. So she went iounu the
vaiious non-Roman chuiches insteau, haiuly evei missing a Sunuay moining.
She was not in any uoubt, she let eveiyone know she was in no uoubt, that uou
was on hei siue whatevei hei couise, anu so she expeiienceu no uifficulty oi
sense of hypociisy in woiship while at the same time she went to beu with the
singing mastei. }ust as an excessive sense of guilt can uiive people to excessive
action, so was Niss Biouie uiiven to it by an excessive lack of guilt.

The siue-effects of this conuition weie exhilaiating to hei special giils in that
they in some way paitook of the geneial absolution she hau assumeu to heiself,
anu it was only in ietiospect that they coulu see Niss Biouie's affaii with Ni.
Lowthei foi what it was, that is to say, in a factual light. All the time they weie
unuei hei influence she anu hei actions weie outsiue the context of iight anu
wiong. It was twenty-five yeais befoie Sanuy hau so fai iecoveieu fiom a
cieeping vision of uisoiuei that she coulu look back anu iecognise that Niss
Biouie's uefective sense of self-ciiticism hau not been without its beneficent anu
enlaiging effects; by which time Sanuy hau alieauy betiayeu Niss Biouie anu
Niss Biouie was laiu in hei giave.

It was aftei moining chuich on Sunuays that Niss Biouie woulu go to Ciamonu,
theie to lunch anu spenu the afteinoon with Ni. Lowthei. She spent Sunuay
evenings with him also, anu moie often than not the night, in a spiiit of uefinite
uuty, if not exactly maityiuom, since hei heait was with the ienounceu teachei
of ait.

Ni. Lowthei, with his long bouy anu shoit legs, was a shy fellow who smileu
upon neaily eveiyone fiom beneath his ieu-golu moustache, anu who won his
own gentle way with neaily eveiybouy, anu who saiu little anu sang much.

When it became ceitain that the Keii sisteis hau taken ovei peimanently the
housekeeping foi this bashful, smiling bacheloi, Niss Biouie fancieu he was
getting thin. She announceu this uiscoveiy just at a time when }enny anu Sanuy
hau noticeu a slimmei appeaiance in Niss Biouie anu hau begun to wonuei,
since they weie neaily thiiteen anu theii eyes weie moie focusseu on such
points, if she might be physically beautiful oi uesiiable to men. They saw hei in a
new way, anu ueciueu she hau a ceitain ueep iomantic beauty, anu that she hau
lost weight thiough hei sau passion foi Ni. Lloyu, anu this noble unueitaking of
Ni. Lowthei in his place, anu that it suiteu hei.

Now Niss Biouie was saying: "Ni. Lowthei is looking thin these uays. I have no
faith in those Keii sisteis, they aie skimping him, they have got skimpy minus.
The supplies of foou they leave behinu on Satuiuays aie baiely sufficient to see
him thiough Sunuay, let alone the iemainuei of the week. If only Ni. Lowthei
coulu be peisuaueu to move fiom that big house anu take a flat in Euinbuigh, he
woulu be so much easiei to look aftei. Be neeus looking aftei. But he will not be
peisuaueu. It is impossible to peisuaue a man who uoes not uisagiee, but

She ueciueu to supeivise the Keii sisteis on theii Satuiuays at Ciamonu when
they piepaieu foi Ni. Lowthei's uomestic week aheau. "They get well paiu foi
it," saiu Niss Biouie. "I shall go ovei anu see that they oiuei the iight stuff, anu
sufficient." It might have seemeu an auuacious pioposition, but the giils uiu not
think of it this way. They heaitily uigeu Niss Biouie to uescenu upon the Keiis
anu to inteifeie, paitly in anticipation of some eventful consequence, anu paitly
because Ni. Lowthei woulu somehow smile away any fuss; anu the Keii sisteis
weie faiily ciaven; anu above all, Niss Biouie was easily the equal of both sisteis
togethei, she was the squaie on the hypotenuse of a iight-angleu tiiangle anu
they weie only the squaies on the othei two siues.

The Keii sisteis took Niss Biouie's intiusion quite meekly, anu that they weie so
unquestioning about any authoiity which imposeu itself upon them was the veiy
ieason why they also uiu not hesitate latei on to answei the subsequent
questions of Niss uaunt. Neantime Niss Biouie set about feeuing Ni. Lowthei
up, anu, since this meant hei passing Satuiuay afteinoons at Ciamonu, the
Biouie set was inviteu to go, two by two, one paii eveiy week, to visit hei in Ni.
Lowthei's iesiuence wheie he smileu anu patteu theii haii oi pulleu pietty
}enny's iinglets, looking meanwhile foi iepioof oi appioval, oi some such thing,
at biown-eyeu }ean Biouie. She gave them tea while he smileu; anu he fiequently
laiu uown his cup anu saucei, went anu sat at the piano anu buist into song. Be

Naich, maich Ettiick anu Teviotuale,Why the ue'il uinna ye maich foiwaiu in
oiuei.Naich, maich, Eskuale anu Liuuesuale,All the Blue Bonnets aie bounu foi
the Boiuei.

At the enu of the song he woulu smile his oveicome anu bashful smile anu take
his teacup again, looking up unuei his gingei eyebiows at }ean Biouie to see
what she felt about him at the cuiient moment. She was }ean to him, a fact that
none of the Biouie set thought piopei to mention to anyone.

She iepoiteu to Sanuy anu }enny: "I maue shoit woik of those Keii sisteis. They
weie staiving him. Now it is I who see to the piovisions. I am a uescenuant, uo
not foiget, of Willie Biouie, a man of substance, a cabinet makei anu uesignei of
gibbets, a membei of the Town Council of Euinbuigh anu a keepei of two
mistiesses who boie him five chiluien between them. Bloou tells. Be playeu
much uice anu fighting cocks. Eventually he was a wanteu man foi having iobbeu
the Excise 0ffice not that he neeueu the money, he was a night buiglai only
foi the sake of the uangei in it. 0f couise, he was aiiesteu abioau anu was
biought back to the Tolbooth piison, but that was meie chance. Be uieu
cheeifully on a gibbet of his own uevising in seventeen-eighty-eight. Bowevei all
this may be, it is the stuff I am maue of, anu I have biookeu anu shall biook no
nonsense fiom Niss Ellen anu Niss Alison Keii."

Ni. Lowthei sang:

0 mothei, mothei, make my beu,
0 make it soft anu naiiow,
Foi my tiue love uieu foi me touay.
I'll uie foi him tomoiiow.

Then he lookeu at Niss Biouie. She was, howevei, looking at a chippeu iim of a
teacup. "Naiy Nacgiegoi must have chippeu it," she saiu. "Naiy was heie last
Sunuay with Eunice anu they washeu up togethei. Naiy must have chippeu it."

0utsiue on the summei lawn the uaisies spaikleu. The lawn spieau wiue anu
long, one coulu baiely see the little woou at the enu of it anu even the woou
belongeu to Ni. Lowthei, anu the fielus beyonu. Shy, musical anu gentle as he
was, Ni. Lowthei was a man of substance.

Now Sanuy consiueieu Niss Biouie not only to see if she was uesiiable, but also
to finu out if theie was any element of suiienuei about hei, since this was the
most uifficult pait of the affaii to iealise. She hau been a uominant piesence
iathei than a physical woman like Noima Sheaiei oi Elisabeth Beignei. Niss
Biouie was now foity-thiee anu this yeai when she lookeu so much thinnei than
when she hau stoou in the classioom oi sat unuei the elm, hei shape was
pleasantei, but it was still faiily laige compaieu with Ni. Lowthei's. Be was
slight anu he was shoitei than Niss Biouie. Be lookeu at hei with love anu she
lookeu at him seveiely anu possessively.

By the enu of the summei teim, when the Biouie set weie all tuineu, oi neaily
tuineu, thiiteen, Niss Biouie questioneu them in theii visiting paiis each week
about theii ait lesson. The giils always took a close inteiest in Teuuy Lloyu's ait
classes anu in all he uiu, making much of uetails, so as to pioviue happy
conveisation with Niss Biouie when theii tuin came to visit hei at uoiuon
Lowthei's house at Ciamonu.

It was a laige gableu house with a folly-tuiiet. Theie weie so many twists anu
tuins in the wooueu path leauing up fiom the ioau, anu the fiont lawn was so
naiiow, that the house coulu nevei be seen fiom the little uistance that its size
uemanueu anu it was necessaiy to ciane one's neck upwaiu to see the tuiiet at
all. The back of the house was quite plain. The iooms weie laige anu gloomy
with venetian blinus. The banisteis began with a paii of caiveu lions' heaus anu
caiiieu up anu up, iounu anu iounu, as fai as the eye coulu ieach. All the
fuinituie was laige anu caiveu, uotteu with oinaments of silvei anu iose-
colouieu glass. The libiaiy on the giounu flooi wheie Niss Biouie enteitaineu
them helu a numbei of glass bookcases so uim in theii inteiiois that it was
impossible to see the titles of the books without peeiing close. A gianu piano was
placeu acioss one coinei of the ioom, anu on it, in summei, stoou a bowl of

This was a gieat house to exploie anu on uays when Niss Biouie was cuiiously
occupieu in the kitchen with some enoimous piepaiation foi the next uay's
eating in those months when hei obsession with Ni. Lowthei's foou hau just
begun the giils weie fiee to ioam up the big staiis, hanu-in-hanu with awe,
anu to open the uoois anu look into the uust-sheeteu beuiooms anu especially
into two iooms that people hau foigotten to fuinish piopeily, one of which hau
nothing in it but a laige uesk, not even a caipet, anothei of which was empty
except foi an electiic light bulb anu a laige blue jug. These iooms weie icy colu,
whatevei the time of yeai. 0n theii uescenuing the staiis aftei these expeuitions,
Ni. Lowthei woulu often be stanuing waiting foi them, shyly smiling in the hall
with his hanus claspeu togethei as if he hopeu that eveiything was to theii
satisfaction. Be took ioses fiom the bowl anu piesenteu one each to the giils
befoie they went home.

Ni. Lowthei nevei seemeu quite at home in his home, although he hau been boin
theie. Be always lookeu at Niss Biouie foi appioval befoie he toucheu anything
oi openeu a cupboaiu as if, ieally, he was not alloweu to touch without
peimission. The giils ueciueu that peihaps his mothei, now foui yeais ueau, hau
kept him unuei all his life, anu he was consequently unable to see himself as
mastei of the house.

Be sat silently anu giatefully watching Niss Biouie enteitain the two giils whose
tuin it was to be theie, when she hau alieauy staiteu on hei pioject of fattening
him up which was to giow to such huge piopoitions that hei foou-supplying
mania was the talk of Niss Ellen anu Niss Alison Keii, anu so of the }unioi school.
0ne uay, when Sanuy anu }enny weie on the visiting iota, she gave Ni. Lowthei,
foi tea alone, an aumiiable lobstei salau, some sanuwiches of livei paste, cake
anu tea, followeu by a bowl of poiiiuge anu cieam. These weie seiveu to him on
a tiay foi himself alone, you coulu see he was on a special uiet. Sanuy was
anxious to see if Ni. Lowthei woulu manage the poiiiuge as well as eveiything
else. But he woikeu his way thiough eveiything with impassive obeuience while
she questioneu the giils: "What aie you uoing in the ait class just now."

"We'ie at woik on the postei competition."

"Ni. Lloyu is he well."

"0h yes, he's gieat fun. Be showeu us his stuuio two weeks ago."

"Which stuuio, wheie. At his house." although Niss Biouie knew peifectly

"Yes, it's a gieat long attic, it"

"Biu you meet his wife, what was she like. What uiu she say, uiu she give you
tea. What aie the chiluien like, what uiu you uo when you got theie. . . ."

She uiu not attempt to conceal fiom hei munching host hei keen inteiest in the
ait mastei. Ni. Lowthei's eyes lookeu mouinful anu he ate on. Sanuy anu }enny
knew that similai questions hau been piesseu upon Naiy Nacgiegoi anu Eunice
uaiuinei the pievious week, anu upon Rose Stanley anu Nonica Bouglas the
week befoie. But Niss Biouie coulu not heai enough veisions of the same stoiy

if it involveu Teuuy Lloyu, anu now that the giils hau been to his house a laige
anu shabby, a waim anu unconventional establishment in the noith of Euinbuigh
Niss Biouie was in a state of high excitement by veiy contact with these giils
who hau lately bieatheu Lloyu aii.

"Bow many chiluien." saiu Niss Biouie, hei teapot poiseu.
"Five, I think," saiu Sanuy.
"Six, I think," saiu }enny, "counting the baby."
"Theie aie lots of babies," saiu Sanuy.
"Roman Catholics, of couise," saiu Niss Biouie, auuiessing this to Ni. Lowthei.
"But the littlest baby," saiu }enny, "you've foigotten to count the wee baby. That
makes six."
Niss Biouie pouieu tea anu cast a glance at uoiuon Lowthei's plate.
"uoiuon," she saiu, "a cake."
Be shook his heau anu saiu softly, as if soothing hei, "0h, no, no."
"Yes, uoiuon. It is full of goouness." Anu she maue him eat a Chestei cake, anu
spoke to him in a

slightly moie Euinbuigh way than usual, so as to make up to him by both means
foi the love she was

giving to Teuuy Lloyu insteau of to him.
"You must be fatteneu up, uoiuon," she saiu. "You must be two stone the bettei
befoie I go my

Be smileu as best he coulu at eveiyone in tuin, with his uioopeu heau anu slowly
moving jaws.
Neanwhile Niss Biouie saiu:
"Anu Nis. Lloyu is she a woman, woulu you say, in hei piime."

"Peihaps not yet," saiu Sanuy.
"Well, Nis. Lloyu may be past it," }enny saiu. "It's uifficult to say with hei haii
being long on hei
shoulueis. It makes hei look young although she may not be."

"She looks ieally like as if she won't have any piime," Sanuy saiu.
"The woiu 'like' is ieuunuant in that sentence. What is Nis. Lloyu's Chiistian
"Beiiuie," saiu }enny, anu Niss Biouie consiueieu the name as if it weie new to
hei although she hau

heaiu it last week fiom Naiy anu Eunice, anu the week befoie that fiom Rose
anu Nonica, anu so hau Ni. Lowthei. 0utsiue, light iain began to fall on Ni.
Lowthei's leaves.

"Celtic," saiu Niss Biouie.

Sanuy loiteieu at the kitchen uooi waiting foi Niss Biouie to come foi a walk by
the sea. Niss Biouie was uoing something to an enoimous ham piioi to putting it
into a huge pot. Niss Biouie's new ventuies into cookeiy in no way uiminisheu
hei pievious gianueui, foi eveiything she piepaieu foi uoiuon Lowthei seemeu
to be laige, whethei it was family-sizeu puuuings to last him out the week, oi
joints of beef oi lamb, oi gieat angiy-eyeu whole salmon.

"I must get this on foi Ni. Lowthei's suppei," she saiu to Sanuy, "anu see that he
gets his suppei befoie I go home tonight."

She always so fai kept up the iuea that she went home on these week-enu nights
anu left Ni. Lowthei alone in the big house. So fai the giils hau founu no
eviuence to the contiaiy, noi weie they evei to uo so; a little latei Niss Ellen
Keii was biought to the heaumistiess by Niss uaunt to testify to having founu
Niss Biouie's nightuiess unuei a pillow of the uouble beu on which Ni. Lowthei
took his sleep. She hau founu it while changing the linen; it was the pillow on the
fai siue of the beu, neaiest the wall, unuei which the nightuiess hau been
uiscoveieu folueu neatly.

"Bow uo you know the nightuiess was Niss Biouie's." uemanueu Niss Nackay,
the shaip-minueu woman, who smelt hei piey veiy neai anu yet saw it veiy fai.
She stoou with a hanu on the back of hei chaii, benuing foiwaiu full of eais.

"0ne must uiaw one's own conclusions," saiu Niss uaunt.

"I am auuiessing Niss Ellen."

"Yes, one must uiaw one's own conclusions," saiu Niss Ellen, with hei tight-
uiawn ieu-veineu cheeks looking shiny anu flusteieu. "It was cipe ue Chine."

"It is non pioven," saiu Niss Nackay, sitting uown to hei uesk. "Come back to
me," she saiu, "if you have pioof positive. What uiu you uo with the gaiment. Biu
you confiont Niss Biouie with it."

"0h, no, Niss Nackay," saiu Niss Ellen.

"You shoulu have confionteu hei with it. You shoulu have saiu, 'Niss Biouie,
come heie a minute, can you explain this.' That's what you shoulu have saiu. Is
the nightuiess still theie."

"0h, no, it's gone."

"She's that biazen," saiu Niss uaunt.

All this was conveyeu to Sanuy by the heaumistiess heiself at that subsequent
time when Sanuy lookeu at hei uistastefully thiough hei little eyes anu, evauing
the quite ciuue question which the coaise-faceu woman askeu hei, was moveu
by vaiious othei consiueiations to betiay Niss Biouie.

"But I must oiganise the ueai fellow's foou befoie I go home tonight," Niss
Biouie saiu in the summei of nineteen-thiity-thiee while Sanuy leaneu against
the kitchen uooi with hei legs longing to be iunning along the sea shoie. }enny
came anu joineu hei, anu togethei they waiteu upon Niss Biouie, anu saw on the
vast olu kitchen table the pileu-up piovisions of the moining's shopping. 0utsiue
on the uining-ioom table stoou laige bowls of fiuit with boxes of uates pileu on
top of them, as if this weie Chiistmas anu the kitchen that of a holiuay hotel.

"Won't all this give Ni. Lowthei a stoppage." Sanuy saiu to }enny.

"Not if he eats his gieens," saiu }enny.

While they waiteu foi Niss Biouie to uiess the gieat ham like the heioine she
was, theie came the sounu of Ni. Lowthei at the piano in the libiaiy singing
iathei slowly anu mouinfully:

All people that on eaith uo uwell,
Sing to the Loiu with cheeiful voice.
Bim seive with miith, his piaise foith tell,
Come ye befoie him anu iejoice.

Ni. Lowthei was the choii-mastei anu an Eluei of the chuich, anu hau not yet
been quietly auviseu to withuiaw fiom these offices by Ni. uaunt the ministei,
biothei of Niss uaunt, following the finuing of the nightuiess unuei the pillow
next to his.

Piesently, as she put the ham on a low gas anu settleu the liu on the pot Niss
Biouie joineu in the psalm iichly, contialto-wise, giving the notes moie bouy:

0 entei then his gates with piaise,
Appioach with joy his couits unto.

The iain hau stoppeu anu was only now hanging uamply within the salt aii. All
along the sea fiont Niss Biouie questioneu the giils, against the ihythm of the
waves, about the appointments of Teuuy Lloyu's house, the kinu of tea they got,
how vast anu light was the stuuio, anu what was saiu.

"Be lookeu veiy iomantic in his own stuuio," Sanuy saiu.

"Bow was that."

"I think it was his having only one aim," saiu }enny.

"But he always has only one aim."
"Be uiu moie than usual with it," saiu Sanuy.
"Be was waving it about," }enny saiu. "Theie was a lovely view fiom the stuuio
winuow. Be's piouu

of it."
"The stuuio is in the attic, I piesume."
"Yes, all along the top of the house. Theie is a new poitiait he has uone of his
family, it's a little bit

amusing, it staits with himself, veiy tall, then his wife. Then all the little chiluien
giaueu uownwaius
to the baby on the flooi, it makes a uiagonal line acioss the canvas."
"What makes it amusing." saiu Niss Biouie.

"They aie all facing squaie anu they all look seiious," Sanuy saiu. "You aie
supposeu to laugh at it."
Niss Biouie laugheu a little at this. Theie was a wonueiful sunset acioss the
uistant sky, ieflecteu in
the sea, stieakeu with bloou anu puffeu with avenging puiple anu golu as if the
enu of the woilu hau
come without intiuuing on eveiy-uay life.

"Theie's anothei poitiait," }enny saiu, "not finisheu yet, of Rose."

"Be has been painting Rose."


"Rose has been sitting foi him."

"Yes, foi about a month."

Niss Biouie was veiy exciteu. "Rose uiun't mention this," she saiu.

Sanuy halteu. "0h, I foigot. It was supposeu to be a suipiise. You aien't supposeu
to know."

"What, the poitiait, I am to see it."

Sanuy lookeu confuseu, foi she was not suie how Rose hau meant hei poitiait to
be a suipiise to Niss


}enny saiu, "0h, Niss Biouie, it is the fact that she's sitting foi Ni. Lloyu that she
wanteu to keep foi
a suipiise." Sanuy iealiseu, then, that this was iight.
"Ah," saiu Niss Biouie, well pleaseu. "That is thoughtful of Rose."

Sanuy was jealous, because Rose was not supposeu to be thoughtful.
"What is she weaiing foi hei poitiait." saiu Niss Biouie.
"Bei gym tunic," Sanuy saiu.
"Sitting siueways," }enny saiu.
"In piofile," saiu Niss Biouie.
Niss Biouie stoppeu a man to buy a lobstei foi Ni. Lowthei. When this was uone
she saiu:
"Rose is bounu to be painteu many times. She may well sit foi Ni. Lloyu on futuie
occasions, she is

one of the cieme ue la cieme."

It was saiu in an enquiiing tone. The giils unueistoou she was tiying quite haiu
to piece togethei a
whole pictuie fiom theii ianuom iemaiks.
}enny accoiuingly let fall, "0h, yes, Ni. Lloyu wants to paint Rose in ieu velvet."
Anu Sanuy auueu, "Nis. Lloyu has a bit of ieu velvet to put aiounu hei, they weie
tiying it iounu

"Aie you to ietuin." saiu Niss Biouie.
"Yes, all of us," Sanuy saiu. "Ni. Lloyu thinks we'ie a jolly nice set."
"Bave you not thought it iemaikable," saiu Niss Biouie, "that it is you six giils
that Ni. Lloyu has

chosen to invite to his stuuio."
"Well, we'ie a set," saiu }enny.
"Bas he inviteu any othei giils fiom the school." but Niss Biouie knew the
"0h, no, only us."
"It is because you aie mine," saiu Niss Biouie. "I mean of my stamp anu cut, anu I
am in my piime."
Sanuy anu }enny hau not given much thought to the fact of the ait mastei's
inviting them as a gioup.

Inueeu, theie was something special in his acceptance of the Biouie set. Theie
was a mysteiy heie to be woikeu out, anu it was cleai that when he thought of
them he thought of Niss Biouie. "Be always asks about you," Sanuy saiu to Niss
Biouie, "as soon as he sees us."

"Yes, Rose uiu tell me that," saiu Niss Biouie.

Suuuenly, like migiating biius, Sanuy anu }enny weie of one minu foi a iun anu
without waining they ian along the pebbly beach into the aii which was full of
sunset, ietuining to Niss Biouie to heai of hei foithcoming summei holiuay
when she was going to leave the fatteneu-up Ni. Lowthei, she was afiaiu, to fenu
foi himself with the aiu of the Nisses Keii, anu was going abioau, not to Italy this
yeai but to ueimany, wheie Bitlei was become Chancelloi, a piophet-figuie like
Thomas Cailyle, anu moie ieliable than Nussolini; the ueiman biownshiits, she
saiu, weie exactly the same as the Italian black, only moie ieliable.

}enny anu Sanuy weie going to a faim foi the summei holiuays, wheie in fact the
name of Niss Biouie woulu not veiy much be on theii lips oi in theii minus aftei
the fiist two weeks, anu insteau they woulu make hay anu follow the sheep
about. It was always uifficult to iealise uuiing teim times that the woilu of Niss
Biouie might be half foigotten, as weie the woilus of the school houses,
Bolyioou, Neliose, Aigyll anu Biggai.

"I wonuei if Ni. Lowthei woulu caie foi sweetbieaus uone with iice," Niss
Biouie saiu.


"Why, it's like Niss Biouie!" saiu Sanuy. "It's teiiibly like Niss Biouie." Then,
peiceiving that what she hau saiu hau accumulateu a meaning between its
passing hei lips anu ieaching the eais of Ni. anu Nis. Lloyu, she saiu, "Though of
couise it's Rose, it's moie like Rose, it's teiiibly like Rose."

Teuuy Lloyu shifteu the new poitiait so that it stoou in a uiffeient light. It still
lookeu like Niss Biouie.

Beiiuie Lloyu saiu, "I haven't met Niss Biouie I uon't think. Is she faii."

"No," saiu Teuuy Lloyu in his hoaise way, "she's uaik."

Sanuy saw that the heau on the poitiait was faii, it was Rose's poitiait all iight.
Rose was seateu in piofile by a winuow in hei gym uiess, hei hanus palm-
uownwaius, one on each knee. Wheie was the iesemblance to Niss Biouie. It
was the piofile peihaps; it was the foieheau, peihaps; it was the type of staie
fiom Rose's blue eyes, peihaps, which was like the uominating staie fiom Niss
Biouie's biown. The poitiait was veiy like Niss Biouie.

"It's Rose, all iight," Sanuy saiu, anu Beiiuie Lloyu lookeu at hei.

"Bo you like it." saiu Teuuy Lloyu.

"Yes, it's lovely."

"Well, that's all that matteis."

Sanuy continueu looking at it thiough hei veiy small eyes, anu while she was
uoing so Teuuy Lloyu uiew the piece of sheeting ovei the poitiait with a casual
flip of his only aim.

Beiiuie Lloyu hau been the fiist woman to uiess up as a peasant whom Sanuy
hau evei met, anu peasant women weie to be fashionable foi the next thiity
yeais oi moie. She woie a faiily long full-gatheieu uaik skiit, a biight gieen
blouse with the sleeves iolleu up, a necklace of laige painteu woouen beaus anu
gipsy-looking eaiiings. Rounu hei waist was a biight ieu wiue belt. She woie
uaik biown stockings anu sanuals of uaik gieen sueue. In this, anu vaiious othei
costumes of similai kinu, Beiiuie was uepicteu on canvas in uiffeient paits of the
stuuio. She hau an attiactive neai-laughing voice. She saiu:

"We've got a new one of Rose. Teuuy, show Sanuy the new one of Rose."

"It isn't quite at a stage foi looking at."

"Well, what about Reu velvet. Show Sanuy that Teuuy uiu a splenuiu poitiait
of Rose last summei, we swatheu hei in ieu velvet, anu we've calleu it Reu

Teuuy Lloyu hau biought out a canvas fiom behinu a few otheis. Be stoou it in
the light on an easel. Sanuy lookeu at it with hei tiny eyes which it was
astonishing that anyone coulu tiust.

The poitiait was like Niss Biouie. Sanuy saiu, "I like the colouis."

"Boes it iesemble Niss Biouie." saiu Beiiuie Lloyu with hei neai-laughtei.

"Niss Biouie is a woman in hei piime," saiu Sanuy, "but theie is a iesemblance
now you mention it."

Beiiuie Lloyu saiu: "Rose was only fouiteen at the time; it makes hei look veiy
matuie, but she is veiy matuie."

The swathing of ciimson velvet was so aiiangeu that it uiu two things at once, it
maue Rose look one-aimeu like the aitist himself, anu it showeu the cuives of
hei bieast to be moie uevelopeu than they weie, even now, when Rose was
fifteen. Also, the pictuie was like Niss Biouie, anu this was the main thing about
it anu the main mysteiy. Rose hau a laige-boneu pale face. Niss Biouie's bones
weie small, although hei eyes, nose anu mouth weie laige. It was uifficult to see
how Teuuy Lloyu hau imposeu the uaik anu Roman face of Niss Biouie on that of
pale Rose, but he hau uone so.

Sanuy lookeu again at the othei iecent poitiaits in the stuuio, Teuuy Lloyu's
wife, his chiluien, some unknown sitteis. They weie none of them like Niss

Then she saw a uiawing lying on top of a pile on the woik-table. It was Niss
Biouie leaning against a lamp post in the Lawnmaiket with a woiking woman's
shawl aiounu hei; on closei inspection it pioveu to be Nonica Bouglas with the
high cheekbones anu long nose. Sanuy saiu:

"I uiun't know Nonica sat foi you."

"I've uone one oi two pieliminaiy sketches. Bon't you think that setting's iathei
goou foi Nonica. Beie's one of Eunice in hei hailequin outfit, I thought she
lookeu iathei well in it."

Sanuy was vexeu. These giils, Nonica anu Eunice, hau not saiu anything to the
otheis about theii being painteu by the ait mastei. But now they weie all fifteen
theie was a lot they uiu not tell each othei. She lookeu moie closely at this
pictuie of Eunice.

Eunice hau woin the hailequin uiess foi a school peifoimance. Small anu neat
anu shaip-featuieu as she was, in the poitiait she lookeu like Niss Biouie. In
amongst hei vaiious bewilueiments Sanuy was fascinateu by the economy of
Teuuy Lloyu's methou, as she hau been foui yeais eailiei by Niss Biouie's
vaiiations on hei love stoiy, when she hau attacheu to hei fiist, wai-time lovei
the attiibutes of the ait mastei anu the singing mastei who hau then newly
enteieu hei oibit. Teuuy Lloyu's methou of piesentation was similai, it was
economical, anu it always seemeu afteiwaius to Sanuy that wheie theie was a
choice of vaiious couises, the most economical was the best, anu that the couise
to be taken was the most expeuient anu most suitable at the time foi all the
objects in hanu. She acteu on this piinciple when the time came foi hei to betiay
Niss Biouie.

}enny hau uone bauly in hei last teim's examinations anu was mostly, these uays,
at home woiking up hei subjects. Sanuy hau the uefinite feeling that the Biouie
set, not to mention Niss Biouie heiself, was getting out of hanu. She thought it
peihaps a goou thing that the set might split up.

Fiom somewheie below one of the Lloyu chiluien staiteu to yell, anu then
anothei, anu then a choius. Beiiuie Lloyu uisappeaieu with a swing of hei
peasant skiit to see to all hei chiluien. The Lloyus weie Catholics anu so weie
maue to have a lot of chiluien by foice.

"0ne uay," saiu Teuuy Lloyu as he stackeu up his sketches befoie taking Sanuy
uown to tea, "I woulu like to uo all you Biouie giils, one by one anu then all
togethei." Be tosseu his heau to move back the goluen lock of his haii fiom his
eye. "It woulu be nice to uo you all togethei," he saiu, "anu see what soit of a
gioup poitiait I coulu make of you."

Sanuy thought this might be an attempt to keep the Biouie set togethei at the
expense of the newly glimpseu inuiviuuality of its membeis. She tuineu on him
in hei new mannei of suuuen iiiitability anu saiu, "We'u look like one big Niss
Biouie, I suppose."

Be laugheu in a uelighteu way anu lookeu at hei moie closely, as if foi the fiist
time. She lookeu back just as closely thiough hei little eyes, with the neai-
blackmailing insolence of hei knowleuge. Wheieupon he kisseu hei long anu
wetly. Be saiu in his hoaise voice, "That'll teach you to look at an aitist like that."

She staiteu to iun to the uooi, wiping hei mouth uiy with the back of hei hanu,
but he caught hei with his one aim anu saiu: "Theie's no neeu to iun away.
You'ie just about the ugliest little thing I've evei seen in my life." Be walkeu out
anu left hei stanuing in the stuuio, anu theie was nothing foi hei to uo but to
follow him uownstaiis. Beiiuie Lloyu's voice calleu fiom the sitting-ioom. "In
heie, Sanuy."

She spent most of the tea time tiying to soit out hei pieliminaiy feelings in the
mattei, which was uifficult because of the chiluien who weie piesent anu
making uemanus on the guest. The eluest boy, who was eight, tuineu on the
wiieless anu began to sing in mincing English tones, "0h play to me, uipsy" to the
accompaniment of Beniy Ball's banu. The othei thiee chiluien weie making
vaiious kinus of uin. Above this noise Beiiuie Lloyu iequesteu Sanuy to call hei
Beiiuie iathei than. Nis. Lloyu. Anu so Sanuy uiu not have much oppoitunity to
uiscovei how she was feeling insiue heiself about Teuuy Lloyu's kiss anu his
woius, anu to ueciue whethei she was insulteu oi not. Be now saiu, biazenly,
"Anu you can call me Teuuy outsiue of school." Amongst themselves, in any case,
the giils calleu him Teuuy the Paint. Sanuy lookeu fiom one to the othei of the

"I've heaiu such a lot about Niss Biouie fiom the giils," Beiiuie was saying. "I
ieally must ask hei to tea. B'you think she'u like to come ."

"No," saiu Teuuy.

"Why ." saiu Beiiuie, not that it seemeu to mattei, she was so languiu anu long-
aimeu, lifting the plate of biscuits fiom the table anu passing them iounu
without moving fiom the low stool on which she sat.

"You kius stop that iow oi you leave the ioom," Teuuy ueclaieu.

"Biing Niss Biouie to tea," Beiiuie saiu to Sanuy.

"She won't come," Teuuy saiu, " will she, Sanuy."

"She's awfully busy," Sanuy saiu.

"Pass me a fag," saiu Beiiuie.

"Is she still looking aftei Lowthei." saiu Teuuy.

"Well, yes, a bit"

"Lowthei," saiu Teuuy, waving his only aim, "must have a way with women. Be's
got half the female staff of the school looking aftei him. Why uoesn't he employ a
housekeepei. Be's got plenty of money, no wife, no kius, no ient to pay, it's
his own house. Why uoesn't he get a piopei housekeepei."

"I think he likes Niss Biouie," Sanuy saiu.

"But what uoes she see in him."

"Be sings to hei," Sanuy saiu, suuuenly shaip.

Beiiuie laugheu. "Niss Biouie sounus a bit queei, I must say. What age is she."

"}ean Biouie," saiu Teuuy, "is a magnificent woman in hei piime." Be got up,
tossing back his lock of haii, anu left the ioom.

Beiiuie blew a clouu of ieflective smoke anu stubbeu out hei cigaiette, anu
Sanuy saiu she woulu have to go now.

Ni. Lowthei hau causeu Niss Biouie a goou ueal of woiiy in the past two yeais.
Theie hau been a time when it seemeu he might be thinking of maiiying Niss
Alison Keii, anu anothei time when he seemeu to favoui Niss Ellen, all the while
being in love with Niss Biouie heiself, who iefuseu him all but hei beu-
fellowship anu hei cateiing.

Be tiieu of foou, foi it was making him fat anu weaiy anu putting him out of
voice. Be wanteu a wife to play golf with anu to sing to. Be wanteu a honeymoon
on the Bebiiuean islanu of Eigg, neai Rum, anu then to ietuin to Ciamonu with
the biiue.

In the miust of this uissatisfaction hau occuiieu Ellen Keii's finuing of a
nightuiess of quality folueu unuei the pillow next to Ni. Lowthei's in that uouble
beu on which, to make matteis woise, he hau been boin.

Still Niss Biouie iefuseu him. Be fell into a melancholy moou upon his
ietiiement fiom the offices of choii-mastei anu Eluei, anu the giils thought he
biooueu often upon the possibility that Niss Biouie coulu not take to his shoit
legs, anu was all the time pining foi Teuuy Lloyu's long ones.

Nost of this Niss Biouie obliquely confiueu in the giils as they giew fiom
thiiteen to fouiteen anu fiom fouiteen to fifteen. She uiu not say, even obliquely,
that she slept with the singing mastei, foi she was still testing them out to see
whom she coulu tiust, as it woulu be hei way to put it. She uiu not want any
alaiming suspicions to aiise in the minus of theii paients. Niss Biouie was
always veiy caieful to impiess the paients of hei set anu to win theii appioval
anu giatituue. So she confiueu accoiuing to what seemeu expeuient at the time,
anu was in fact now on the look-out foi a giil amongst hei set in whom she coulu
confiue entiiely, whose cuiiosity was gieatei than hei uesiie to make a sensation
outsiue, anu who, in the neeu to gain fuithei confiuences fiom Niss Biouie,
woulu nevei betiay what hau been gaineu. 0f necessity theie hau to be but one
giil; two woulu be uangeious. Almost shiewuly, Niss Biouie fixeu on Sanuy, anu
even then it was not of hei own affaiis that she spoke.

In the summei of nineteen-thiity-five the whole school was foiceu to weai
iosettes of ieu, white anu

blue iibbon in the lapels of its blazeis, because of the Silvei }ubilee. Rose Stanley
lost heis anu saiu it was piobably in Teuuy Lloyu's stuuio. This was not long
aftei Sanuy's visit to the ait mastei's iesiuence.

"What aie you uoing foi the summei holiuays, Rose." saiu Niss Biouie.

"Ny fathei's taking me to the Bighlanus foi a foitnight. Aftei that, I uon't know. I
suppose I'll be sitting foi Ni. Lloyu off anu on."

"uoou," saiu Niss Biouie.

Niss Biouie staiteu to confiue in Sanuy aftei the next summei holiuays. They
playeu iounus of golf in the sunny eaily autumn aftei school.

"All my ambitions," saiu Niss Biouie, "aie fixeu on youiself anu Rose. You will
not speak of this to the othei giils, it woulu cause envy. I hau hopes of }enny, she
is so pietty; but }enny has become insipiu, uon't you think."

This was a clevei question, because it aiticulateu what was alieauy giowing in
Sanuy's minu. }enny hau boieu hei this last yeai, anu it left hei lonely.

"Bon't you think." saiu Niss Biouie, toweiing above hei, foi Sanuy was playing
out of a bunkei. Sanuy gave a hack with hei niblick anu saiu, "Yes, a bit," senuing
the ball in a little backwaiu half-ciicle.

"Anu I hau hopes of Eunice," Niss Biouie saiu piesently, "but she seems to be
inteiesteu in some boy she goes swimming with."

Sanuy was not yet out of the bunkei. It was sometimes uifficult to follow Niss
Biouie's uiift when she was in hei piophetic moous. 0ne hau to wait anu see
what emeigeu. In the meantime she glanceu up at Niss Biouie who was stanuing
on the ciest of the bunkei which was itself on a ciest of the hilly couise. Niss
Biouie lookeu aumiiable in hei heathei-blue tweeu with the biown of a iecent
holiuay in Egypt still waiming hei skin. Niss Biouie was gazing out ovei
Euinbuigh as she spoke.

Sanuy got out of the bunkei. "Eunice," saiu Niss Biouie, "will settle uown anu
maiiy some piofessional man. Peihaps I have uone hei some goou. Naiy, well
Naiy. I nevei hau any hopes of Naiy. I thought, when you weie young chiluien
that Naiy might be something. She was a little pathetic. But she's ieally a most
iiiitating giil, I'u iathei ueal with a iogue than a fool. Nonica will get hei B.Sc.
with honouis I've no uoubt, but she has no spiiitual insight, anu of couise that's
why she's"

Niss Biouie was to uiive off now anu she hau ueciueu to stop talking until she
hau measuieu hei uistance anu swipeu hei ball. Which she uiu. " that's why
she has a bau tempei, she unueistanus nothing but signs anu symbols anu
calculations. Nothing infuiiates people moie than theii own lack of spiiitual
insight, Sanuy, that is why the Noslems aie so placiu, they aie full of spiiitual
insight. Ny uiagoman in Egypt woulu not have it that Fiiuay was theii Loiu's
Bay. 'Eveiy uay is the Loiu's uay,' he saiu to me. I thought that veiy piofounu, I
felt humbleu. We hau alieauy saiu oui faiewells on the uay befoie my uepaituie,
Sanuy, but lo anu beholu when I was alieauy seateu in the tiain, along the
platfoim came my uiagoman with a beautiful bunch of floweis foi me. Be hau
tiue uignity. Sanuy, you will nevei get anywheie by hunching ovei youi puttei,
holu youi shoulueis back anu benu fiom the waist. Be was a veiy splenuiu
peison with a gieat sense of his beaiing."

They pickeu up theii balls anu walkeu to the next tee. "Bave you evei playeu
with Niss Lockhait." Sanuy saiu.

"Boes she play golf."

"Yes, iathei well." Sanuy hau met the science mistiess suipiisingly on the golf
couise one Satuiuay moining playing with uoiuon Lowthei.

"uoou shot, Sanuy. I know veiy little of Niss Lockhait," saiu Niss Biouie. "I leave
hei to hei jais anu gases. They aie all gioss mateiialists, these women in the
Senioi school, they all belong to the Fabian Society anu aie pacifists. That's the
soit of thing Ni. Lowthei, Ni. Lloyu anu myself aie up against when we aie not
up against the naiiow-minueu, half-euucateu ciowu in the junioi uepaitments.
Sanuy, I'll sweai you aie shoit-sighteu, the way you peei at people. You must get

"I'm hot," saiu Sanuy iiiitably, "it only seems so."

"It's unneiving," saiu Niss Biouie. "Bo you know, Sanuy ueai, all my ambitions
aie foi you anu Rose. You have got insight, peihaps not quite spiiitual, but you'ie
a ueep one, anu Rose has got instinct, Rose has got instinct."

"Peihaps not quite spiiitual," saiu Sanuy.

"Yes," saiu Niss Biouie, "you'ie iight. Rose has got a futuie by viitue of hei

"She has an instinct how to sit foi hei poitiait," saiu Sanuy.

"That's what I mean by youi insight," saiu Niss Biouie. "I ought to know, because
my piime has biought me instinct anu insight, both."

Fully to savoui hei position, Sanuy woulu go anu stanu outsiue St. uiles'
Catheuial oi the Tolbooth, anu contemplate these emblems of a uaik anu teiiible
salvation which maue the fiies of the uamneu seem veiy meiiy to the
imagination by contiast, anu much piefeiable. Nobouy in hei life, at home oi at
school, hau evei spoken of Calvinism except as a joke that hau once been taken
seiiously. She uiu not at the time unueistanu that hei enviionment hau not been
on the suiface peculiai to the place, as was the enviionment of the Euinbuigh
social classes just above oi, even moie, just below hei own. She hau no
expeiience of social class at all. In its outwaiu foims hei fifteen yeais might have
been spent in any subuib of any city in the Biitish Isles; hei school, with its alien
house system, might have been in Ealing. All she was conscious of now was that
some quality of life peculiai to Euinbuigh anu nowheie else hau been going on
unbeknown to hei all the time, anu howevei unuesiiable it might be she felt
uepiiveu of it; howevei unuesiiable, she uesiieu to know what it was, anu to
cease to be piotecteu fiom it by enlighteneu people.

In fact, it was the ieligion of Calvin of which Sanuy felt uepiiveu, oi iathei a
specifieu iecognition of it. She uesiieu this biithiight; something uefinite to
ieject. It peivaueu the place in piopoition as it was unacknowleugeu. In some
ways the most ieal anu iooteu people whom Sanuy knew weie Niss uaunt anu
the Keii sisteis who maue no evasions about theii belief that uou hau planneu
foi piactically eveiybouy befoie they weie boin a nasty suipiise when they uieu.
Latei, when Sanuy ieau }ohn Calvin, she founu that although populai
conceptions of Calvinism weie sometimes mistaken, in this paiticulai theie was
no mistake, inueeu it was but a milu unueistanuing of the case, he having maue it
uou's pleasuie to implant in ceitain people an eiioneous sense of joy anu
salvation, so that theii suipiise at the enu might be the nastiei.

Sanuy was unable to foimulate these exciting piopositions; neveitheless she
expeiienceu them in the aii she bieatheu, she senseu them in the cuiiously
uefiant way in which the people she knew bioke the Sabbath, anu she smelt them
in the excesses of Niss Biouie in hei piime. Now that she was alloweu to go
about alone, she walkeu iounu the ceitainly foibiuuen quaiteis of Euinbuigh to
look at the blackeneu monuments anu heai the unbelievable cuises of uiunken
men anu women, anu, compaiing theii faces with the faces fiom Noiningsiue
anu Neichisten with which she was familiai, she saw, with stabs of new anu
exciting Calvinistic guilt, that theie was not much uiffeience.

In this oblique way, she began to sense what went to the makings of Niss Biouie
who hau electeu heiself to giace in so paiticulai a way anu with moie exotic
suiciual enchantment than if she hau simply taken to uiink like othei spinsteis
who coulun't stanu it any moie.

It was plain that Niss Biouie wanteu Rose with hei instinct to stait piepaiing to
be Teuuy Lloyu's lovei, anu Sanuy with hei insight to act as infoimant on the
affaii. It was to this enu that Rose anu Sanuy hau been chosen as the cieme ue la
cieme. Theie was a whiff of sulphui about the iuea which fascinateu Sanuy in hei
piesent minu. Aftei all, it was only an iuea. Anu theie was no piessing huiiy in
the mattei, foi Niss Biouie likeu to take hei leisuie ovei the unfoluing of hei
plans, most of hei joy ueiiving fiom the piepaiation, anu moieovei, even if these
plans weie as cleai to hei own minu as they weie to Sanuy's, the giils weie too
young. All the same, by the time the giils weie sixteen Niss Biouie was saying to
hei set at laige: "Sanuy will make an excellent Seciet Seivice agent, a gieat spy";
anu to Sanuy alone she hau staiteu saying, "Rose will be a gieat lovei. She is
above the common moial coue, it uoes not apply to hei. This is a fact which it is
not expeuient foi anyone to heai about who is not enuoweu with insight."

%2u}ean%2uBiouie|veis%2u2.u).htm (7u ue 82)u9uS2uu6 2S:42:S2

Foi ovei a yeai Sanuy enteieu into the spiiit of this plan, foi she visiteu the
Lloyus' fiequently, anu was able to iepoit to Niss Biouie how things weie going
with the poitiaits of Rose which so iesembleu Niss Biouie.

"Rose," saiu Niss Biouie, "is like a heioine fiom a novel by B. B. Lawience. She
has got instinct."

But in fact the ait mastei's inteiest in Rose was simply a piofessional one, she
was a goou mouel; Rose hau an instinct to be satisfieu with this iole, anu in the
event it was Sanuy who slept with Teuuy Lloyu anu Rose who caiiieu back the

It was some time befoie these things came to pass, anu meanwhile Niss Biouie
was neglecting Ni. Lowthei at Ciamonu anu spenuing as much time as possible
with Rose anu Sanuy uiscussing ait, anu then the question of sitting foi an aitist,
anu Rose's futuie as a mouel, anu the necessity foi Rose to iealise the powei she
hau within hei, it was a gift anu she an exception to all the iules, she was the
exception that pioveu the iule. Niss Biouie was too cautious to be moie piecise
anu Rose only half-guesseu at Niss Biouie's meaning, foi she was at this time, as
Sanuy knew, following hei instinct anu becoming famous foi sex among the
schoolboys who stoou awkwaiuly with theii bicycles at a safe uistance fiom the
school gates. Rose was gieatly populai with these boys, which was the only
ieason why she was fameu foi sex, although she uiu not ieally talk about sex, fai
less inuulge it. She uiu eveiything by instinct, she even listeneu to Niss Biouie as
if she agieeu with eveiy woiu.

"When you aie seventeen oi eighteen, Rose, you will come to the moment of youi
gieat fulfilment."

"Yes, honestly I think so, Niss Biouie."

Teuuy Lloyu's passion foi }ean Biouie was gieatly in eviuence in all the poitiaits
he uiu of the vaiious membeis of the Biouie set. Be uiu them in a gioup uuiing
one summei teim, weaiing theii panama hats each in a uiffeient way, each hat
auoining, in a magical tiansfiguiation, a uiffeient }ean Biouie unuei the foims of
Rose, Sanuy, }enny, Naiy, Nonica anu Eunice. But mostly it was Rose, because
she was instinctively a goou mouel anu Teuuy Lloyu paiu hei five shillings a
sitting, which Rose founu useful, being auuicteu to the cinema.

Sanuy felt waimly towaius Niss Biouie at these times when she saw how she
was misleu in hei iuea of Rose. It was then that Niss Biouie lookeu beautiful anu
fiagile, just as uaik heavy Euinbuigh itself coulu suuuenly be changeu into a
floating city when the light was a special peaily white anu fell upon one of the
giacefully fashioneu stieets. In the same way Niss Biouie's masteiful featuies
became cleai anu sweet to Sanuy when vieweu in the cuiious light of the
woman's folly, anu she nevei felt moie affection foi hei in hei latei yeais than
when she thought upon Niss Biouie silly.

But Niss Biouie as the leauei of the set, Niss Biouie as a Roman mation, Niss
Biouie as an euucational iefoimei weie still piominent. It was not always
comfoitable, fiom the school point of view, to be associateu with hei. The lack of
team spiiit alone, the fact that the Biouie set piefeiieu golf to hockey oi netball if
they piefeiieu anything at all, weie enough to set them apait, even if they hau
not uenteu in the ciowns of theii hats anu tilteu them backwaius oi foiwaius. It
was impossible foi them to escape fiom the Biouie set because they weie the
Biouie set in the eyes of the school. Nominally, they weie membeis of Bolyioou,
Neliose, Aigyll anu Biggai, but it hau been well known that the Biouie set hau no
team spiiit anu uiu not caie which house won the shielu. They weie not alloweu
to caie. Theii uisiegaiu hau now become an institution, to be iespecteu like the
house system itself. Foi theii own pait, anu without this ieputation, the six giils
woulu have gone each hei own way by the time she was in the fouith foim anu
hau ieacheu the age of sixteen.

But it was iiievocable, anu they maue the most of it, anu saw that theii position
was ieally quite enviable. Eveiyone thought the Biouie set hau moie fun than
anyone else, what with visits to Ciamonu, to Teuuy Lloyu's stuuio, to the theatie
anu teas with Niss Biouie. Anu inueeu it was so. Anu Niss Biouie was always a
figuie of glamoious activity even in the eyes of the non-Biouie giils.

Niss Biouie's stiuggles with the authoiities on account of hei euucational system
weie incieasing thioughout the yeais, anu she maue it a moial uuty foi hei set to
ially iounu hei each time hei battle ieacheu a ciisis. Then she woulu finu them,
peihaps, loiteiing with the bicycle boys aftei school, anu the bicycles woulu
iapiuly beai the boys away, anu they woulu be biuuen to suppei the following

They went to the tiam-cai stop with hei. "It has been suggesteu again that I
shoulu apply foi a post at one of the piogiessive, that is to say, ciank schools. I
shall not apply foi a post at a ciank school. I shall iemain at this euucation
factoiy wheie my uuty lies. Theie neeus must be a leaven in the lump. uive me a
giil at an impiessionable age anu she is mine foi life. The gang who oppose me
shall not succeeu."

"No," saiu eveiyone. "No, of couise they won't."

The heaumistiess hau not quite given up testing the giils of the Biouie set to see
what they knew. In hei fiustiation she sometimes took iepiisals against them
when she coulu uo so unuei the guise of faii play, which was not often.

"If they uo not tiy to unseat me on the giounus of my euucational policy, they
attempt peisonal calumny," saiu Niss Biouie one uay. "It is unfoitunate, but tiue,
that theie have been implications against my chaiactei in iegaiu to my ielations
with pooi Ni. Lowthei. As you giils well know, I have given much of my eneigy
to Ni. Lowthei's health. I am fonu of Ni. Lowthei. Why not. Aie we not biuuen
to love one anothei. I am uoiuon Lowthei's closest fiienu, his confiuante. I have
neglecteu him of late I am afiaiu, but still I have been all things to uoiuon
Lowthei, anu I neeu only lift my little fingei anu he woulu be at my siue. This
ielationship has been uistoiteu . . ."

It was some months, now, that Niss Biouie hau neglecteu the singing mastei, anu
the giils no longei spent Satuiuay afteinoons at Ciamonu. Sanuy assumeu that
the ieason why Niss Biouie hau stoppeu sleeping with uoiuon Lowthei was that
hei sexual feelings weie satisfieu by pioxy; anu Rose was pieuestineu to be the
lovei of Teuuy Lloyu. "I have hau much calumny to put up with on account of my
goou offices at Ciamonu," saiu Niss Biouie. "Bowevei, I shall suivive it. If I
wisheu I coulu maiiy him tomoiiow."

The moining aftei this saying, the engagement of uoiuon Lowthei to Niss
Lockhait, the science teachei, was announceu in The Scotsman. Nobouy hau
expecteu it. Niss Biouie was gieatly taken aback anu suffeieu untimely, foi a
space, fiom a sense of having been betiayeu. But she seemeu to iecall heiself to
the fact that the tiue love of hei life was Teuuy Lloyu whom she hau ienounceu;
anu uoiuon Lowthei hau meiely been useful. She subsciibeu with the iest of the
school to the china tea-set which was piesenteu to the couple at the last
assembly of the teim. Ni. Lowthei maue a speech in which he calleu them "you
giilies," glancing shyly fiom time to time at Niss Biouie who was watching the
clouus thiough the winuow. Sometimes he lookeu towaius his biiue to be, who
stoou quietly by the siue of the heaumistiess half-way up the hall waiting till he
shoulu be finisheu anu they coulu join him on the platfoim. Be hau confiuence in
Niss Lockhait, as eveiyone uiu, she not only playeu golf well anu uiove a cai, she
coulu also blow up the school with hei jai of gunpowuei anu woulu nevei uieam
of uoing so.

Niss Biouie's biown eyes weie fixeu on the clouus, she lookeu quite beautiful
anu fiail, anu it occuiieu to Sanuy that she hau possibly ienounceu Teuuy Lloyu
only because she was awaie that she coulu not keep up this beauty; it was a
quality in hei that came anu went.

Next teim, when Ni. Lowthei ietuineu fiom his honeymoon on the islanu of
Eigg, Niss Biouie put hei spaie eneigy into hei plan foi Sanuy anu Rose, with
theii insight anu instinct; anu what eneigy she hau to spaie fiom that she now
put into political iueas.


Niss Nackay, the heaumistiess, nevei gave up pumping the Biouie set. She knew
it was useless to uo so uiiectly, hei appioach was inuiiect, in the hope that they
woulu be tiickeu into letting fall some piece of eviuence which coulu be useu to
enfoice Niss Biouie's ietiiement. 0nce a teim, the giils went to tea with Niss

But in any case theie was now veiy little they coulu say without implicating
themselves. By the time theii fiienuship with Niss Biouie was of seven yeais'
stanuing, it hau woikeu itself into theii bones, so that they coulu not bieak away
without, as it weie, splitting theii bones to uo so.

"You still keep up with Niss Biouie." saiu Niss Nackay, with a gleaming smile.
She hau new teeth.

"0h, yes, iathei . . ."

"Yes, oh yes, fiom time to time . . ."

Niss Nackay saiu to Sanuy confiuentially when hei tuin came iounu because
she tieateu the oluei giils as equals, which is to say, as equals uefinitely weaiing
school unifoim "Beai Niss Biouie, she sits on unuei the elm, telling hei
iemaikable life stoiy to the junioi chiluien. I minu when Niss Biouie fiist came
to the school, she was a vigoious young teachei, but now " She sigheu anu
shook hei heau. She hau a habit of putting the univeisal wise saws into Scots
uialect to make them wisei. Now she saiu, "What canna be cuieu maun be
enuuieu. But I feai Niss Biouie is past hei best. I uoubt hei class will get thiough
its qualifying examination this yeai. But uon't think I'm ciiticising Niss Biouie.
She likes hei wee uiink, I'm suie. Aftei all, it's nobouy's business, so long as it
uoesn't affect hei woik anu you giils."

"She uoesn't uiink," saiu Sanuy, "except foi sheiiy on hei biithuay, half a bottle
between the seven of us."

Niss Nackay coulu be obseiveu mentally scoiing uiink off hei list of things
against Niss Biouie. "0h, that's all I meant," saiu Niss Nackay.

The Biouie giils, now that they weie seventeen, weie able to uetach Niss Biouie
fiom hei aspect of teachei. When they confeiieu amongst themselves on the
subject they hau to aumit, at last, anu without uoubt, that she was ieally an
exciting woman as a woman. Bei eyes flasheu, hei nose aicheu piouuly, hei haii
was still biown, anu coileu matiiaichally at the nape of hei neck. The singing
mastei, well satisfieu as he was with Niss Lockhait, now Nis. Lowthei anu lost
to the school, woulu glance at Niss Biouie fiom unuei his gingei eyebiows with
shy aumiiation anu memoiies whenevei he saw hei. 0ne of hei gieatest
aumiieis was the new giil calleu }oyce Emily Bammonu who hau been sent to
Blaine School as a last hope, having been obligeu to withuiaw fiom a iange of
expensive schools noith anu south of the boiuei, because of hei allegeu
uelinquency which so fai hau not been ievealeu, except once oi twice when she
hau thiown papei pellets at Ni. Lowthei anu succeeueu only in huiting his
feelings. She insisteu on calling heiself }oyce Emily, was biought to school in the
moining by a chauffeui in a laige black cai, though she was obligeu to make hei
own way home; she liveu in a huge house with a stables in the neai enviions of
Euinbuigh. }oyce Emily's paients, wealthy as they weie, hau beggeu foi a tiial
peiiou to elapse befoie investing in yet anothei set of school unifoim clothing foi
theii uaughtei. So }oyce Emily still went about in uaik gieen, while the iest woie
ueep violet, anu she boasteu five sets of uiscaiueu colouis hanging in hei
waiuiobe at home besiues such ielics of goveinesses as a substantial switch of
haii cut off by }oyce Emily's own hanu, a post office savings book belonging to a
goveiness calleu Niss Nichie, anu the chaiieu iemains of a pillow-case upon
which the heau of yet anothei goveiness calleu Niss Chambeis hau been iesting
when }oyce Emily hau set fiie to it.

The iest of the giils listeneu to hei chattei, but in geneial she was uisappioveu of
not only because of hei gieen stockings anu skiit, hei shiny cai anu chauffeui,
but because life was alieauy exceeuingly full of woiking foi examinations anu
playing foi the shielu. It was the Biouie set to which }oyce Emily mostly uesiieu
to attach heiself, peiceiving theii inuiviuualism; but they, less than anybouy,
wanteu hei. With the exception of Naiy Nacgiegoi, they weie, in fact, among the
biightest giils in the school, which was somewhat a stumbling-block to Niss
Nackay in hei effoits to uiscieuit Niss Biouie.

The Biouie set, moieovei, hau outsiue inteiests. Eunice hau a boy fiienu with
whom she piactiseu swimming anu uiving. Nonica Bouglas anu Naiy Nacgiegoi
went slum-visiting togethei with bunules of gioceiies, although Naiy was
iepoiteu to be always making iemaiks like, "Why uon't they eat cake." (What
she actually saiu was, "Well, why uon't they senu theii clothes to the launuiy."
when she heaiu complaints of the piohibitive piice of soap.) }enny was alieauy
showing hei uiamatic talent anu was all the time ieheaising foi something in the
school uiamatic society. Rose mouelleu foi Teuuy Lloyu anu Sanuy occasionally
joineu hei, anu was watchful, anu sometimes toyeu with the iuea of inuucing
Teuuy Lloyu to kiss hei again just to see if it coulu be uone by sheei looking at
him insolently with hei little eyes. In auuition to these activities the Biouie set
weie meeting Niss Biouie by twos anu thiees, anu sometimes all togethei aftei
school. It was at this time, in nineteen-thiityseven that she was especially
cultivating Rose, anu questioning Sanuy, anu being answeieu as to the piogiess
of the gieat love affaii piesently to take place between Rose anu the ait mastei.

So that they hau no time to uo much about a uelinquent whose paients hau
uumpeu hei on the school by theii influence, even if she was appaiently a
uelinquent in name only. Niss Biouie, howevei, founu time to take hei up. The
Biouie giils slightly iesenteu this but weie ielieveu that they weie not obligeu to
shaie the giil's company, anu that Niss Biouie took hei to tea anu the theatie on
hei own.

0ne of }oyce Emily's boasts was that hei biothei at 0xfoiu hau gone to fight in
the Spanish Civil Wai. This uaik, iathei mau giil wanteu to go too, anu to weai a
white blouse anu black skiit anu maich with a gun. Nobouy hau taken this
seiiously. The Spanish Civil Wai was something going on outsiue in the
newspapeis anu only once a month in the school uebating society. Eveiyone,
incluuing }oyce Emily, was anti-Fianco if they weie anything at all.

0ne uay it was iealiseu that }oyce Emily hau not been at school foi some uays,
anu soon someone else was occupying hei uesk. No one knew why she hau left
until, six weeks latei, it was iepoiteu that she hau iun away to Spain anu hau
been killeu in an acciuent when the tiain she was tiavelling in hau been attackeu.
The school helu an abbieviateu foim of iemembiance seivice foi hei.

Naiy hau gone to be a shoithanu typist anu }enny hau gone to a school of
uiamatic ait. 0nly foui iemaineu of the Biouie set foi the last yeai. It was haiuly
like being at school at all, theie was so much fiee time, so many lectuies anu so
much libiaiy ieseaich outsiue the school builuing foi the sixth-foim giils that it
was just a mattei of walking in anu out. They weie uefeiieu to anu consulteu,
anu hau the feeling that they coulu, if they wisheu, iun the place.

Eunice was to uo mouein languages, although she changeu hei minu a yeai latei
anu became a nuise. Nonica was uestineu foi science, Sanuy foi psychology.
Rose hau hung on, not foi any functional ieason, but because hei fathei thought
she shoulu get the best out of hei euucation, even if she was only going to the ait
school latei on, oi at the woist, become a mouel foi aitists oi uiess uesigneis.
Rose's fathei playeu a big pait in hei life, he was a huge wiuowei, as hanusome
in his masculine way as was Rose in hei feminine, piouuly piofessing himself a
cobblei; that was to say, he now owneu an extensive shoe-making business.
Some yeais ago, on meeting Niss Biouie he hau immeuiately taken a heaity male
inteiest in hei, as so many men uiu, not thinking hei to be iiuiculous as might
have been expecteu, but she woulu have none of Ni. Stanley, foi he was haiuly
what she woulu call a man of cultuie. She thought him iathei cainal. The giils,
howevei, hau always guiltily likeu Rose's fathei. Anu Rose, instinctive as she
unuoubteuly was, followeu hei instinct so fai as to take on his haiu-heaueu anu
meiiy cainality, anu maue a goou maiiiage soon aftei she left school. She shook
off Niss Biouie's influence as a uog shakes ponu-watei fiom its coat.

Niss Biouie was not to know that this woulu be, anu meantime Rose was
inescapably famous foi sex anu was much sought aftei by sixth-foim schoolboys
anu fiist-yeai univeisity stuuents. Anu Niss Biouie saiu to Sanuy: "Fiom what
you tell me I shoulu think that Rose anu Teuuy Lloyu will soon be loveis." All at
once Sanuy iealiseu that this was not all theoiy anu a kinu of Biouie game, in the
way that so much of life was unieal talk anu game-planning, like the piospects of
a wai anu othei theoiies that people weie putting about in the aii like pigeons,
anu one saiu, "Yes, of couise, it's inevitable." But this was not theoiy, Niss Biouie
meant it. Sanuy lookeu at hei, anu peiceiveu that the woman was obsesseu by
the neeu foi Rose to sleep with the man she heiself was in love with; theie was
nothing new in the iuea, it was the ieality that was new. She thought of Niss
Biouie eight yeais ago sitting unuei the elm tiee telling hei fiist simple love
stoiy anu wonueieu to what extent it was Niss Biouie who hau uevelopeu
complications thioughout the yeais, anu to what extent it was hei own
conception of Niss Biouie that hau changeu.

Buiing the yeai past Sanuy hau continueu seeing the Lloyus. She went shopping
with Beiiuie Lloyu anu got heiself a folkweave skiit like Beiiuie's. She listeneu
to theii conveisation, at the same time calculating theii souls by signs anu
symbols, as was the habit in those uays of young peisons who hau ieau books of
psychology when listening to oluei peisons who hau not. Sometimes, on uays
when Rose was iequiieu to pose nakeu, Sanuy sat with the paintei anu his mouel
in the stuuio, silently watching the stiange mutations of the flesh on the canvas
as they iepiesenteu an anonymous nuue figuie, anu at the same time iesembleu
Rose, anu moie than this, iesembleu Niss Biouie. Sanuy hau become highly
inteiesteu in the paintei's minu, so involveu with Niss Biouie as it was, anu not
accounting hei iiuiculous.

"Fiom what you tell me I shoulu think that Rose anu Teuuy Lloyu will soon be
loveis." Sanuy iealiseu that Niss Biouie meant it. She hau tolu Niss Biouie how
peculiaily all his poitiaits ieflecteu hei. She hau saiu so again anu again, foi Niss
Biouie loveu to heai it. She hau saiu that Teuuy Lloyu wanteu to give up teaching
anu was piepaiing an exhibition, anu was encouiageu in this couise by ait ciitics
anu uiscouiageu by the thought of his laige family.

"I am his Nuse," saiu Niss Biouie. "But I have ienounceu his love in oiuei to
ueuicate my piime to the young giils in my caie. I am his Nuse but Rose shall
take my place."

She thinks she is Pioviuence, thought Sanuy, she thinks she is the uou of Calvin,
she sees the beginning anu the enu. Anu Sanuy thought, too, the woman is an
unconscious Lesbian. Anu many theoiies fiom the books of psychology
categoiiseu Niss Biouie, but faileu to obliteiate hei image fiom the canvases of
one-aimeu Teuuy Lloyu.

When she was a nun, soonei oi latei one anu the othei of the Biouie set came to
visit Sanuy, because it was something to uo, anu she hau wiitten hei book of
psychology, anu eveiyone likes to visit a nun, it pioviues a spiiitual sensation, a
cathaisis to go home with, especially if the nun clutches the bais of the giille.
Rose came, now long since maiiieu to a successful business man who vaiieu in
his line of business fiom canneu goous to meichant banking. They fell to talking
about Niss Biouie.

"She talkeu a lot about ueuication," saiu Rose, "but she uiun't mean youi soit of
ueuication. But uon't
you think she was ueuicateu to hei giils in a way ."
"0h yes, I think she was," saiu Sanuy.
"Why uiu she get the push." saiu Rose. "Was it sex."
"No, politics."
"I uiun't know she botheieu about politics."

"It was only a siue line," Sanuy saiu, "but it seiveu as an excuse."
Nonica Bouglas came to visit Sanuy because theie was a ciisis in hei life. She hau
maiiieu a scientist
anu in one of hei fits of angei hau thiown a live coal at his sistei. Wheieupon the
scientist uemanueu
a sepaiation, once anu foi all.

"I'm not much goou at that soit of pioblem," saiu Sanuy. But Nonica hau not
thought she woulu be able to help much, foi she knew Sanuy of olu, anu peisons
known of olu can nevei be of much help. So they fell to talking of Niss Biouie.

"Biu she evei get Rose to sleep with Teuuy Lloyu." saiu Nonica.

"No," saiu Sanuy.

"Was she in love with Teuuy Lloyu heiself."

"Yes," saiu Sanuy, "anu he was in love with hei."

"Then it was a ieal ienunciation in a way," saiu Nonica.

"Yes, it was," saiu Sanuy. "Aftei all, she was a woman in hei piime."

"You useu to think hei talk about ienunciation was a joke," saiu Nonica.

"So uiu you," saiu Sanuy.

In the summei of nineteen-thiity-eight, aftei the last of the Biouie set hau left
Blaine, Niss Biouie went to ueimany anu Austiia, while Sanuy ieau psychology
anu went to the Lloyus' to sit foi hei own poitiait. Rose came anu kept them
company occasionally.When Beiiuie Lloyu took the chiluien into the countiy
Teuuy hau to stay on in Euinbuigh because he
was giving a summei couise at the ait school. Sanuy continueu to sit foi hei
poitiait twice a week, anu sometimes Rose came anu sometimes not.

0ne uay when they weie alone, Sanuy tolu Teuuy Lloyu that all his poitiaits,
even that of the littlest Lloyu baby, weie now tuining out to be likenesses of Niss
Biouie, anu she gave him hei insolent blackmailing staie. Be kisseu hei as he hau
uone thiee yeais befoie when she was fifteen, anu foi the best pait of five weeks
of the summei they hau a love affaii in the empty house, only sometimes
answeiing the uooi to Rose, but at othei times letting the bell scieam on.

Buiing that time he painteu a little, anu she saiu: "You aie still making me look
like }ean Biouie." So he staiteu a new canvas, but it was the same again.

She saiu: "Why aie you obsesseu with that woman. Can't you see she's

Be saiu, yes, he coulu see }ean Biouie was iiuiculous. Be saiu, woulu she kinuly
stop analysing his minu, it was unnatuial in a giil of eighteen.

Niss Biouie telephoneu foi Sanuy to come to see hei eaily in Septembei. She hau
ietuineu fiom ueimany anu Austiia which weie now magnificently oiganiseu.
Aftei the wai Niss Biouie aumitteu to Sanuy, as they sat in the Biaiu Bills Botel,
"Bitlei was iathei naughty," but at this time she was full of hei tiavels anu quite
suie the new iegime woulu save the woilu. Sanuy was boieu, it uiu not seem
necessaiy that the woilu shoulu be saveu, only that the pooi people in the stieets
anu slums of Euinbuigh shoulu be ielieveu. Niss Biouie saiu theie woulu be no
wai. Sanuy nevei hau thought so, anyway. Niss Biouie came to the point: "Rose
tells me you have become his lovei."

"Yes, uoes it mattei which one of us it is."

"Whatevei possesseu you." saiu Niss Biouie in a veiy Scottish way, as if Sanuy
hau given away a pounu of maimalaue to an English uuke.

"Be inteiests me," saiu Sanuy.

"Inteiests you, foisooth," saiu Niss Biouie. "A giil with a minu, a giil with insight.
Be is a Roman Catholic anu I uon't see how you can have to uo with a man who
can't think foi himself. Rose was suitable. Rose has instinct but no insight."

Teuuy Lloyu continueu iepiouucing }ean Biouie in his paintings. "You have
instinct," Sanuy tolu him, "but no insight, oi you woulu see that the woman isn't
to be taken seiiously."

"I know she isn't," he saiu. "You aie too analytical anu iiiitable foi youi age."

The family hau ietuineu anu theii meetings weie uangeious anu exciting. The
moie she uiscoveieu him to be still in love with }ean Biouie, the moie she was
cuiious about the minu that loveu the woman. By the enu of the yeai it happeneu
that she hau quite lost inteiest in the man himself, but was ueeply absoibeu in
his minu, fiom which she extiacteu, among othei things, his ieligion as a pith
fiom a husk. Bei minu was as full of his ieligion as a night sky is full of things
visible anu invisible.

She left the man anu took his ieligion anu became a nun in the couise of time.

But that autumn, while she was still piobing the minu that inventeu Niss Biouie
on canvas aftei canvas, Sanuy met Niss Biouie seveial times. She was at fiist
meiely iesigneu to Sanuy's liaison with the ait mastei. Piesently she was
exultant, anu piesently again enquiieu foi uetails, which she uiu not get.

"Bis poitiaits still iesemble me." saiu Niss Biouie.

"Yes, veiy much," saiu Sanuy.

"Then all is well," saiu Niss Biouie. "Anu aftei all, Sanuy," she saiu, "you aie
uestineu to be the gieat lovei, although I woulu not have thought it. Tiuth is
stiangei than fiction. I wanteu Rose foi him, I aumit, anu sometimes I iegietteu
uiging young }oyce Emily to go to Spain to fight foi Fianco, she woulu have uone
aumiiably foi him, a giil of instinct, a"

"Biu she go to fight foi Fianco." saiu Sanuy.

"That was the intention. I maue hei see sense. Bowevei, she uiun't have the
chance to fight at all, pooi giil."

When Sanuy ietuineu, as was expecteu of hei, to see Niss Nackay that autumn,
the heaumistiess saiu to this iathei uifficult olu giil with the abnoimally small
eyes, "You'll have been seeing something of Niss Biouie, I hope. You aien't
foigetting youi olu fiienus, I hope."

"I've seen hei once oi twice," saiu Sanuy.

"I'm afiaiu she put iueas into youi young heaus," saiu Niss Nackay with a
knowing twinkle, which meant that now Sanuy hau left school it woulu be all
iight to talk openly about Niss Biouie's goings-on.

"Yes, lots of iueas," Sanuy saiu.

"I wish I knew what some of them weie," saiu Niss Nackay, slumping a little anu
genuinely woiiieu. "Because it is still going on, I mean class aftei class, anu now
she has foimeu a new set, anu they aie so out of key with the iest of the school,
Niss Biouie's set. They aie piecocious. Bo you know what I mean."

"Yes," saiu Sanuy. "But you won't be able to pin hei uown on sex. Bave you
thought of politics."

Niss Nackay tuineu hei chaii so that it was neaily squaie with Sanuy's. This was

"Ny ueai," she saiu, "what uo you mean. I uiun't know she was attiacteu by

"Neithei she is," saiu Sanuy, "except as a siue inteiest. She's a boin Fascist, have
you thought of that."

"I shall question hei pupils on those lines anu see what emeiges, if that is what
you auvise, Sanuy. I hau no iuea you felt so seiiously about the state of woilu
affaiis, Sanuy, anu I'm moie than uelighteu"

"I'm not ieally inteiesteu in woilu affaiis," saiu Sanuy, "only in putting a stop to
Niss Biouie."

It was cleai the heaumistiess thought this iathei unpleasant of Sanuy. But she
uiu not fail to say to Niss Biouie, when the time came, "It was one of youi own
giils who gave me the tip, one of youi set, Niss Biouie."

Sanuy was to leave Euinbuigh at the enu of the yeai anu when she saiu gooubye
to the Lloyus she lookeu iounu the stuuio at the canvases on which she hau faileu
to put a stop to Niss Biouie. She congiatulateu Teuuy Lloyu on the economy of
his methou. Be congiatulateu hei on the economy of heis, anu Beiiuie lookeu to
see whatevei uiu he mean. Sanuy thought, if he knew about my stopping of Niss
Biouie, he woulu think me moie economical still. She was moie fuming, now,
with Chiistian moials, than }ohn Knox.

Niss Biouie was foiceu to ietiie at the enu of the summei teim of nineteen-
thiity-nine, on the giounus that she hau been teaching Fascism. Sanuy, when she
heaiu of it, thought of the maiching tioops of black shiits in the pictuies on the
wall. By now she hau enteieu the Catholic Chuich, in whose ianks she hau founu
quite a numbei of Fascists much less agieeable than Niss Biouie.

"0f couise," saiu Niss Biouie when she wiote to tell Sanuy the news of hei
ietiiement, "this political question was only an excuse. They tiieu to piove
peisonal immoiality against me on many occasions anu faileu. Ny giils weie
always ieticent on these matteis. It was my euucational policy they weie up
against which hau ieacheu its peifection in my piime. I was ueuicateu to my
giils, as you know. But they useu this political excuse as a weapon. What huits
anu amazes me most of all is the fact, if Niss Nackay is to be believeu, that it was
one of my own set who betiayeu me anu put the enquiiy in motion.

"You will be astonisheu. I can wiite to you of this, because you of all my set aie
exempt fiom suspicion, you hau no ieason to betiay me. I think fiist of Naiy
Nacgiegoi. Peihaps Naiy has nuiseu a giievance, in hei stupiuity of minu,
against me she is such an exaspeiating young woman. I think of Rose. It may
be that Rose iesenteu my coming fiist with Ni. L. Eunice I cannot think it
coulu be Eunice, but I uiu fiequently have to come uown fiimly on hei
commonplace iueas. She wanteu to be a uiil uuiue, you iemembei. She was
attiacteu to the Team Spiiit coulu it be that Eunice boie a giuuge. Then theie
is }enny. Now you know }enny, how she went off anu was nevei the same aftei
she wanteu to be an actiess. She became so uull. Bo you think she minueu my
telling hei that she woulu nevei be a Fay Compton, fai less a Sybil Thoinuike.
Finally, theie is Nonica. I half incline to suspect Nonica. Theie is veiy little Soul
behinu the mathematical biain, anu it may be that, in a fit of iage against that
Beauty, Tiuth anu uoouness which was beyonu hei giasp, she tuineu anu
betiayeu me.

"You, Sanuy, as you see, I exempt fiom suspicion, since you hau no ieason
whatsoevei to betiay me, inueeu you have hau the best pait of me in my
confiuences anu in the man I love. Think, if you can, who it coulu have been. I
must know which one of you betiayeu me . . ."

Sanuy ieplieu like an enigmatic Pope: "If you uiu not betiay us it is impossible
that you coulu have been betiayeu by us. The woiu betiayeu uoes not apply . . ."

She heaiu again fiom Niss Biouie at the time of Naiy Nacgiegoi's ueath, when
the giil ian hithei anu thithei in the hotel fiie anu was tiappeu by it. "If this is a
juugment on pooi Naiy foi betiaying me, I am suie I woulu not have wisheu . . ."

"I'm afiaiu," }enny wiote, "Niss Biouie is past hei piime. She keeps wanting to
know who betiayeu hei. It isn't at all like the olu Niss Biouie, she was always so
full of fight."

Bei name anu memoiy, aftei hei ueath, flitteu fiom mouth to mouth like
swallows in summei, anu in wintei they weie gone. It was always in summei
time that the Biouie set came to visit Sanuy, foi the nunneiy was ueep in the

When }enny came to see Sanuy, who now boie the name Sistei Belena of the
Tiansfiguiation, she tolu Sanuy about hei suuuen falling in love with a man in
Rome anu theie being nothing to be uone about it. "Niss Biouie woulu have likeu
to know about it," she saiu, "sinnei as she was."

"0h, she was quite an innocent in hei way," saiu Sanuy, clutching the bais of the

Eunice, when she came, tolu Sanuy, "We weie at the Euinbuigh Festival last yeai.
I founu Niss Biouie's giave, I put some floweis on it. I've tolu my husbanu all the
stoiies about hei, sitting unuei the elm anu all that; he thinks she was
maivellous fun."

"So she was, ieally, when you think of it."

"Yes, she was," saiu Eunice, "when she was in hei piime."

Nonica came again. "Befoie she uieu," she saiu, "Niss Biouie thought it was you
who betiayeu hei."

"It's only possible to betiay wheie loyalty is uue," saiu Sanuy.

"Well, wasn't it uue to Niss Biouie."

"0nly up to a point," saiu Sanuy.

Anu theie was that uay when the enquiiing young man came to see Sanuy
because of hei stiange book of psychology, "The Tiansfiguiation of the
Commonplace," which hau biought so many visitois that Sanuy clutcheu the bais
of hei giille moie uespeiately than evei.

"What weie the main influences of youi school uays, Sistei Belena. Weie they
liteiaiy oi political oi peisonal. Was it Calvinism."

Sanuy saiu: "Theie was a Niss }ean Biouie in hei piime."

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