A few days after I had succeeded in getting this report my attention was attracted one morning by the heading of a newspaper article: "How the Poor Die." The article was an account of the finding of the body of an unknown
His feyther and his mither,
over the trousseau. It appeared that Rafella was entitled, on her twenty-first birthday, or on her marriage, to the legacy of a hundred pounds bequeathed to her by her godmother. She maintained that the half of this sum would be ample for her outfit, and she was on the point of engaging the village dressmaker to work daily at the vicarage, when George interfered. Though he did not wish Rafella to be anything but simply dressed, he had a suspicion that Under-edge fashions might be regarded as somewhat peculiar in an Indian military station. Therefore he insisted that her "costumes," as she called them, should at least be ordered in the little country town, under the guidance of his mother and sister, in whose taste he had implicit confidence. The result enchanted all concerned, though certainly it might have evoked contempt on the part of the more fastidious.
He turned the volume down but did not dare turn it off. He had lost track of time and couldn't guess when they would respond to his last message. He needed to hear that response when it came. Meanwhile, what about his fellow-captive?
Doc looked solemn for a moment, then he started to chuckle. "You are getting altogether too smart, Miss Sandra Lea Grayling," he said. "Yes, yes—a chess player is happy to win in any barely legitimate way he can, by an earthquake if necessary, or his opponent sickening before he does from the bubonic plague. So—I confess it to you—I was very happy to chalk up my utterly undeserved win over the luckless Machine."
The world owed him five years of youth! That was the true defence of his action in leaving Peckham. He saw his justification with astounding clearness as he stood on Westminster Bridge looking up the river, half an hour before his train was timed to leave Charing Cross—the train that was to take him to Hartling for his promised week-end. In a re-action against his orgie of spending, he had come as far as that by tram, lugging his new kit-bag and dressing-case. The tram would have taken him on to Charing Cross, but when it had stopped close to his old hospital, he had felt an urgent desire to see the river from the old standpoint. The thought of his bags had not deterred him. He was bursting with vigour and energy that morning.
The family do be soospecting nuthing, for Mr. Wolley seems to have sum sacred thrubble of his own. After Mrs. Wolley gets to bed at ate (she being a sufferer from insomnear ivery nite) I seen Mr. Wolley sneeking out of the house, like he was after going out for some meeness, and she his lorful wife innersent and unsoospecting and he an old man wid four grown luvly children.
He intended to make the girl his wife. She might not be accomplished or clever; her education must necessarily have been limited, reared, as she had been, so apart from the world. Yet if she were ignorant in the accepted sense of the word, she must also be innocent, guileless, unacquainted with evil--white and unsullied in thought and experience. He had no desire for an intellectual wife; in his opinion the more women knew the more objectionable they became.
Copyright © 2020