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money affairs; or thinking what a relief it is to have
escaped from the tyranny of my Tripos at Cambridge.
Outside the park the village children are making a
shrill hubbub as they come out of school. But the sun
is reddening beyond the straight-rising smoke of the
village chimneys, and I must sling my clubs across my
shoulder and mount my bicycle to pedal my way
along the narrow autumn-smelling lanes. And when
I get home Aunt Evelyn will be there to pour out my
tea and tell me all about the Jumble Sale this after-
noon; it was such a success, they made more than
six pounds for the Mission to Deep-Sea Fishermen.

The days were drawing in, though it was only the
second week in October.

"There's a nice fire up in the schoolroom, Mr.
George; and a parcel of books come by the carrier's
van/' said Miriam, when she was taking away the
tea things.

Miriam (and I might well have mentioned her
before, since she had already been with Aunt Evelyn
for nearly seven years) was a gaunt woman who had
looked more than middle-aged ever since I first saw
her. Miriam's hair had perhaps begun by being
golden, but it was now a faded yellow remnant,
drawn tightly back from her broad forehead and
crowned by a skimpy lace cap. Her wide-set eyes had
a strained and patient expression, as though expecting
to be rather sharply ordered to lug a heavy scuttle of
coals up four flights of steep stairs. She was unob-
trusively humpbacked and round shouldered, which
suggested that when not carrying scuttles upstairs she
had been, burdened with heavy trays or had been