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I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Author:Dodie Smith [Smith, Dodie]
Language: eng
Format: epub, mobi
Tags: Sagas, Family Life, Fiction
ISBN: 9780312316167
Publisher: Random House
Published: 2011-10-31T23:14:38+00:00


XI

I am sitting on the ruins beyond the kitchen-where I sat with Neil, three weeks ago all but a day, after swimming the moat. How different it is now, in the hot sunshine! Bees are humming, a dove is cooing, the moat is full of sky. Heloise has just gone down to take a drink and a swan is giving her a glance of utter disdain.

Abelard went into the tall green wheat a few minutes ago, looking rather like a lion entering the jungle.

This is the first time I have used the beautiful manuscript book Simon gave me-and the fountain pen which came from him yesterday.

A scarlet pen and a blue and gold leather-bound book-what could be more inspiring? But I seemed to get on better with a stump of pencil and Stephen’s fat, shilling exercise book …. I keep closing my eyes and basking—that is, my body basks; my mind is restless. I go backwards and forwards, recapturing the past, wondering about the future—and, most unreasonably, I find myself longing for the past more than for the future. I remind myself of how often we were cold and hungry with barely a rag to our backs, and then I count the blessings that have descended on us; but I still seem to fancy the past most. This is ridiculous. And it is ridiculous that I should have this dull, heavy, not exactly unhappy but—well, no kind of feeling when I ought to be blissfully happy.

Perhaps if I make myself write I shall find out what is wrong with me.

It is just a week since Rose and Topaz went to London. Mrs.

Cotton asked me, too—they are staying at her Park Lane flat-but someone had to be here to look after Father and Thomas and Stephen; besides, if I had accepted she might have felt she had to buy clothes for me, as well as give Rose her trousseau. She is wonderfully generous and wonderfully tactful. Instead of pressing money on us to pay our way here, she insisted on buying the beaver-lined coat for two hundred pounds.

As for the trousseau, she said to Rose: “My dear, I always longed for a daughter to dress-let me have my share of your happiness.”

I was rather surprised that Topaz agreed to go to London, but the night before they left we had an illuminating talk. I came up from the kitchen with some things I had been ironing for her and found her sitting on her bed beside a half-filled suitcase, staring at nothing.

“I’m not going,” she said, her voice quite baritone with tragedy.

“Good heavens, why not?” I asked.

“Because my motives are all wrong. I’ve been telling myself that it’d be good for Mortmain to be here without me for a bit, and that I ought to see some of my friends-renew my artistic interests, make myself more stimulating. But the real truth is that I want to keep an eye on that woman and be sure she doesn’t see him when he comes up to London.



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