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sweet peas before. Of course, I'm doing them as
well1' With great restraint I said that I was sure the
vegetables would be very interesting and difficult.

'Tm playing in the match,35 I added, with casual
intensity. Aunt Evelyn was overjoyed at the news,
and she pretended to be astonished. No doubt she
had known about it all the time. The roast chicken
at dinner tasted delicious and my bed felt ever so
much more comfortable than the one at school.

My window was wide open when I went to bed,
and 1 had left the curtains half-drawn. I woke out
of my deep and dreamless sleep to a gradual recog-
nition that I was at home and not in the cubicled
dormitory at Ballboro5. Drowsily grateful for this,
I lay and listened. A cock was crowing from a neigh-
bouring farm; his shrill challenge was faintly echoed
by another cock a long way off.

1 loved tlu* early morning; it was luxurious to lie
there, half-awake, and half-aware that there was a
pleasantly eventful day in front of me. . . . Presently
1 would get up and lean on the window-ledge to see
what was happening in the world outside. . . . There
was a starling's nest under the window where the
jasmine grew thickest, arid all of a sudden I heard one
of the birds dart away with a soft flurry of wings.
Hearing it go, I imagined how it would fly boldly
across tlxe garden: soon 1 was up and staring at the
tree-tops which loomed motionless against a flushed
and brightening sky. Slipping into some clothes I
opened my door very quietly and tiptoed along the
passage and down the stairs. There was no sound
except the first chirping of the sparrows in the ivy.