tip-off

It seemed as if the whole town had got a new population. It was as if the whole thing had never happened. And there seemed to be a lot of cars standing about. But of course they’re making bombs nowadays. But where had I got the idea that grown-up men don’t go fishing? The place seemed to be creeping with them. She said: It doesn’t seem to do much good, does it, after all said and done? But what’s the use, you might as well talk to a stone. It was only a bombing plane which had flown between me and the sun. Lillywhites was still a drapers, but it didn’t look too prosperous. And though in a way it’s painful to be recognized, I’d been rather looking forward to it. The chap in the Jug and Bottle said he reckoned it was a bad job. You are deeply attractive to the opposite sex. Then I saw a rack of cheap pipes in the window, and I went in. Home-made with margarine and egg-substitute. Sihon king of the Amorites and Og the king of Bashan! It was about five minutes before they ran it to earth behind some bottles of sweets. And yet it was the same face, I’d have known it in a million. I remembered how the long Ss used to puzzle me as a kid. I went back to the George and had dinner. As soon as I set eyes on her I had a most peculiar feeling that Id seen her somewhere before. Mind you, I wasn’t in the same mood all the time. Then I saw a rack of cheap pipes in the window, and I went in. The sexton had just scythed the grass and there was a smell of summer even there. The fact was that she exercised a kind of horrible fascination on me. I stopped too, as soon as I could find a shop window which I could pretend to be looking into. Or maybe I was just imagining that, because my own standards had changed? You know that god-awful feeling you get sometimes in the early morning. It has what the tailor calls a reducing effect. Obviously he’d been interrupted in the middle of his tea. A crowd like that would be enough to scare every fish in creation.

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