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that Cambridge was preferable to Clitherland. A
bowl of strawberries, perhaps the best ones we'd had
that summer, created a diversion. Aunt Evelyn re-
gretted the unavoidable absence of cream, which
enabled me to assure her that some of the blighters I'd
seen in London restaurants weren't denying them-
selves much; and I went off into a diatribe against
Erofiteers and officials who gorged at the Ritz and the
avoy while the poorer classes stood for hours in
queues outside food shops. Much relieved at being
able to agree with me about something, Aunt Evelyn
almost overdid her indignant ejaculations, adding
that it was a positive scandal—the disgracefully im-
moral way most of the young women were behaving
while doing war-work. This animation subsided
when we got up from the table. In the drawing-room
she lit the fire "as the night felt a bit chilly and a fire
would make the room more cheerful". Probably she
was hoping to spend a cosy evening with me; but I
made a bad beginning, for the lid fell off the coffee-
pot and cracked one of the little blue and yellow
cups, and when Aunt Evelyn suggested that we might
play one of our old games of cribbage or halma, I said
I didn't feel like that sort of thing. Somehow I couldn't
get myself to behave affectionately towards her, and
she had irritated me by making uncomplimentary
remarks about Markington's paper, a copy of which
was lying on the table. (She said it was written by
people who were mad with their own self-importance
and she couldn't understand how I could read such a
paper.) Picking it up I went grumpily upstairs and
spent the next ten minutes trying to teach Popsy the
parrot how to say "Stop the War". But he only put
his head down to be scratched, and afterwards obliged
me with his well-known rendering of Aunt Evelyn