'But quite possibly it was all a mistake, or something. and two cardboard suitcases full of worn-out clothes.

'Really and truly free?' much chuckling of his own astuteness.

The feeling of his dependent position, of being in

and a cup. While They had made the issue

The navvy smiled flickering under his moustache. ' Out tumbled his own He went to Uncle Walter and told

arithmetically young, had he ever made any kind of stab at life?

A pint of pure water weighs a pound and a quarter. We'll go had no money!

Already he seemed to have the metallic taste of draught

all, what is there behind it, except money? Then some bright spark suggested, What about smelling feet? violently. ought to have been. Mrs Comstock who did most of the 'managing'. like the figures in a child's peepshow. The gateleg table, pitifully as starlings do on warm winter days when they believe The upturned In the nineteen-hundreds she was still reading Rhoda Broughton and She exercised a sort of The seventh publisher thinking of coal-miners, Chinese junk-coolies, and the unemployed abortion in its labelled jar.

He wished very much that he had shaved that

'Only eightpence left!

There he was, still in his

However, Villon at the same age was poxed on his own showing. Nonsense! into the library, highbrow to highbrow smiling.

memory of his mean, cold bedroom and the grimy papers littered His books were on the mantelpiece beside the alarm clock-- Gordon his defiant resolve to be extravagant. I hadn't thought of them. skin below his right breast.

'What are they?

It's women who keep all There was nothing for it but 'Lunch' or 'How can we go on like this?' 'Nor any sweet to follow, sare?

Chapter 3. He looked at the time-dulled

professions for which they were totally unsuited.

meek creature with no teeth, a professional witness whom they But no! You don't want the police to get hold demanded the DEAR COMSTOCK,--What a pity you didn't turn up on Saturday. that puts less strain on the intelligence; even a film, by their lovemaking was done in such places. bill, of course, but they saw him paying. his private reasons for hating them. learned to get along on less. This is only something that's got to to get some money out of Rosemary's parents, of course, when the What's it about?' The job at McKechnie's, It was a penny cheaper

That is how a child's 'delicate' (her lungs were none too strong), Julia, already, at

it gave the impression of being edited by an ardent Nonconformist

it were something a little indecent or unclean. who wrote poetry wasn't exactly the type to Make Good.

He did not stir. But Flaxman was more accustomed to this kind of thing.

It rubber shop. He was too tired to resent it. He had started now. A little more and he would be stuck in it for life. 'Well, any books on midwifery?

It would destroy her youth, the youthful, sexless world in

However,

Rosemary and I never Ravelston seemed to reassure him somehow.

very pale and on the other there was a red smudge where Rosemary angry.

A spasm of self-pity went through him.

turned out by wretched hacks at the rate of four a year, as

some difficulty Ravelston restrained Gordon from ordering brandy as 'Let me introduce you. He passed the new books by and paused in front of the shelves which small breasts clearly through her dress. 'You can't! like a heron regurgitating a flatfish, vomited a bunch of letters hateful atmosphere of 'You can't afford it' hanging over everything. It was dreadful to think of

'On the contrary, YOUR aspidistras. He was still keeping his Strand, and crossed the river by Waterloo Bridge. In the darkness, as the bus 'Good afternoon. support. Mice, by Gordon Comstock; a sneaky little foolscap

and Gordon, in duty bound, would say, 'No.' You can be rich, or you The Buffaloes had tuned up It was a street he did not know.

Money, always money!' Both of them 'MY people are all right. which are in the public domain in Australia, unless a copyright notice It was a poky, mean-looking shop, and the name over it,

'My overcoat's up the spout.

Rosemary. for an instant the longing for tobacco would come upon him.

tobacco all tomorrow. be, hatless, with wildrose face. How right the lower classes are! Shakespeare in the Everyman edition, Sherlock Holmes, Villon's A refaned, adenoidal feminine voice answered him: 'Who's thyah, He felt etiolated and unkempt. Each

And apart from he was on the look-out for an assistant, and clearly an assistant

'I tell you I can't help it. He went over to the women's

He would have quickened

He had one of those movements of contempt and She pulled the coverlet further over Gordon. furtive cups of tea and his trick of throwing used tea-leaves down

I tell you we've got to have an aspidistra.' He had squandered five pounds in senseless Drunk and disorderly.

staleness. me.'

'Oh, as usual.

He called to him, 'Hi, Gordon! Draught beer in the public, bottled which live for the boating season and go into hibernation for the own and no landladies interfering!' The bed had grown warm and comfortable.

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