Sarah Brown talked on, louder and louder. “Too long I have been a servant in the house of this stranger, this greedy Charity; too long have I sat—a silly proxy for the Too-Fortunate—in this narrow stiff-backed judgement-seat from ten till three daily. There is Love and April outside the window, there is too much wind and laughter outside to allow of the forming of Habits. I have seen Love and the Spring only through the glass of a charity office window, the rude voices of children and sparrows and other inheritors of opportunity have been dulled for me by grey panes. The white ships ... Castle-of-Comfort ... Cloud-i’-the-Sun have sailed into port from the open sky without a cargo for me....”
“Good God!” said Sarah Brown, pushing David from her. “What has happened to me? I have become sentimental.”
The room seemed to her wild imagination to be full of the spirits of parsons and social workers with flaming swords, pointing at the door.
“Well, that’s the end of that job,” said the witch. “I’ll tell you what, let’s go and sit on the Swing-leg Seat on the Heath. The air there and the look of Harrow church steeple’ll do you good.”
“I am damned. I am a Cautionary Case,” cried Sarah Brown, and she slunk behind the witch through the frowning gate of her Eden of fair inks and smooth white surfaces. She had shared with David the remains of her Sandwich of Knowledge; she had left on the table her puny paper defiance. David, except that he had required but little temptation, had played Adam’s part very creditably in the affair. For him Eden had been a soft warm place, and he was anxious to blame somebody—the woman for choice—for the loss of his comfort. He followed her out into the cold, to become, as you shall hear, like Adam, a tiller of the soil.
AN AIR RAID SEEN FROM BELOW
Magic is a disconcerting travelling companion. While seldom actually conspicuous, it seems to have a mysterious and varying effect on the surrounding public. I have met travellers by Tube who tell of strange doings in those regions, when the conductor of one compartment fell suddenly in love with the conductress of the next, and they ran to each other and met in the middle of the car. As nobody opened the gates or rang the bells, the bewildered train stood for hours at Mornington Crescent before any member of the watching public could find the heart to interrupt the pretty scene. It is patent that a magic person must have been the more or less deliberate cause of this episode. Then again, there is the story of the ’bus that went mad, just as it was leaving its burrow at Dalston. It got the idea that the kindly public was its enemy. You should have seen the astonishment of Liverpool Street and the Bank as it rushed by them. Old ladies about to ask it whether it went to Clapham—its label said it was bound for Barnes—stood