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Page 81 text:
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Page 80 text:
T ' h e Abb o t Circle 19 3 4 Hands Small, plump, capable hands Smoothing tangled hair on fevered pillows. Old, gnarled, shinv hands Twitching and cold in a dry, nervous heap. Heavv, square, blunt-fingered palms Cleaning the last dish in murkv water. Large-veined hands, huge and hard, Streaked with grime from stoking a bloody-faced furnace. A clenched pair of yawling fists Enclosed bv ringers, pale, perfumed, and young. Paint-smeared, spatula-hands, tanned from the sun, Skillfullv tleet in sea-blue tones on a palette. Lanquid, snowv-palmed, ruby-tipped hands, Distractingly posed on a sheening blue-green satin. Grevish, loose-skinned, hungry hands Clutching a dripping brush on a filthy floor. All over — right now — these hands are moving In the world; patting it, slapping it, pinching, pushing, Spinning it ' round its ancient orbit, Exhorting, distorting it, crying for a living in return! Elizabeth Flaxders 76
Page 82 text:
The Abbot Circle 19 3 4 Shattered Pride It was a lovelv hotel with a carp pond in the garden behind it and a handsome head-waiter. These were the first things I noticed. Later I discovered that the food was delicious and the view from my bedroom window simply " scrumptious " if I mav coin a verv descriptive word, but the first two facts took precedence in mv mind. Always eager to learn, I at once set out to investigate the fish in their large cement-rimmed pool. Carp are large and grav, with inordinatelv large mouths and bulging eves, and their unmitigated ugliness strikes terror into the hearts of visitors who watch them goop (mv own expression) at bits of bread, and I was no exception. My next step was tentativelv to essav an acquaintanceship with the head-waiter, but apparentlv this was impossible. Mavbe it was because his name was Georges. At anv rate, all mv rather timorous advances fell on barren ground. Georges ' s good looks remained unimpaired by any acknowledging smile. The morning that I broke my soft boiled egg into an egg cup which was evidentlv not meant to contain a liquid and carelesslv allowed the gooev substance to flood the plate beneath — that morning, I sav, I noticed a smile hovering about the lips of the august maitre d ' hotel. But alas, I realized with mv usual astuteness that he was laughing at me instead of with me. So it was with rather forlorn hopes that I perceived that Georges himself was to wait on our table that memorable noon. Moreover, the tables were set outdoors on the terrace, as thev always were on fine days, and that pleased me immensely, al- though I disliked bees getting into the jam and their buzzing futilely. The meal ended with cooling liquid refreshment, of which I did not partake. So instead I strolled, to be frank, swaggered, around the grounds aware that there were more than one pair of eves fixed upon me, but especiallv one. Arriving at the carp pond I suddenly took it into mv head to ascend onto the cement rim and walk pensively around the idly floating carp. What a dramatic figure I imagined myself, as I " probed the inky depths! " But, alas, the fascination must have proved too great, for I missed my foot- ing, teetered this way and that, and finally fell noisily into the carp pond. Ah, it is only too true that the fall of the mighty is great, but it is also true that the rise of the fallen is sudden. At least it was in mv case. I was onlv aware of a strong hand ig- nominiouslv seizing me bv an ignominious garment of mv apparel, and then I was on mv feet, dripping dejectedlv, with Georges ' s arm around me and a sympathetic grin on his face. Indignantlv I thrust him awav, then ran weeping and disgraced to my mother, for at the age of six one ' s romantic illusions should be dispatched into the cruel world onlv if labeled: Fragile — Handle with Care. Jane Campbell 78
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