Join date: Jun 14, 2022


‘You’re quiet the night. Nothing wrong is there? And what made you go back to the office this afternoon?’

‘Oh, I had some work to get through. It’s been a heavy week, and I’ve got that Pittie mob on me mind. Did he say he’d seen them around the day?’

‘No. He only stayed in for a few minutes after I got home, I told you. He said he was goin’ down to collect some wood he had roped together’

‘But that was this afternoon. It’s dark, he should be back by now. I’d better take a walk out and see if he’s comin’.’

He looked towards her where she was kneading dough in a brown earthenware dish, then went out and down the steps into the yard. There was a moon riding high, raced by white scudding clouds. He walked to the end of the little jetty and looked along each side of the river where boats large and small were moored. He liked the river at night when it was quiet like this, but he had made up his mind, at least he had done until this morning, that it wouldn’t be long before he moved Janie away from this quarter and into a decent house in the town. He had thought Jimmy could stay on here, Jimmy wouldn’t mind living on his own, for he was self-sufficient was Jimmy. But now things had changed. This morning’s business had blown his schemes away into dust.

He’d had the feeling of late that he was galloping towards some place but he didn’t know where. So many strange things had happened over the past months. He wasn’t even wearing the same kind of clothes he wore a few weeks ago for she had hinted not only that he should get a new suit but where he should go to buy it. However, he hadn’t patronised the shop she suggested; he hadn’t, he told himself, enough money as yet for that kind of tailoring. Nevertheless, he had got himself a decent suit, with a high waistcoat and the jacket flared, and the very cut of it had lifted him out of the rent collector’s class. But now the rosy future had suddenly died on him. What would she say on Monday? . . . Well, he’d have to wait and see, that’s all he could do.

He heard a soft splash and saw the minute figure of Jimmy steering the boat towards the jetty. He bent down and grabbed the rope that Jimmy threw to him, then said, ‘You all right? Where you been all day? What’s taken you so long?’



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