Join date: Jun 17, 2022


He nodded at her. Aye, men or maidens, anything. He bowed his head and shook it for a moment before saying, What I m really frightened of is, if they should go for Jimmy. He s no match for any of them, although he s got plenty of guts. But guts aren t much use against them lot, it s guile you want

If you are so worried about him then you must make him come here to sleep.

He gave a weak smile and put his hand out and touched her shoulder, saying, That s nice of you, kind, but I doubt if he would.

Why not? He s got over his shyness of me, he s even, I think, beginning to like me. It gives me hope that your family may well follow suit.

He turned from her and went towards the mantelpiece. And now he looked up into the face of her great-grandfather, and he thought, That ll be the day. That pig-headed lot. Even Ruth was included in his thoughts now.

Jimmy, acting as a kind of go-between, had arranged that he should take her up one Saturday, and because she also demanded it, but much against the grain, he had complied. And what had happened? Nothing. She had sat there trying to talk her way into their good books, and how had they responded? By staring at her as if she were a curio.

Later, she had remarked, I think your mother is a gentle creature.

His mother. That was one secret he had kept to himself. She knew everything about him but that, and he couldn t bring himself to tell her that the slight, quiet, little woman, with a dignity that was all her own, was not his mother. His mother was the woman he had introduced to her by merely remarking, This is Lizzie, and explaining later that she was his father s cousin. Why was it that some things were impossible to admit to? He felt as guilty at being Lizzie s son as if it were he himself who had perpetrated the sin of his conception.



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