THE WINDOWabout Andrew. When he was Andrew’s age he usedto walk about the country all day long, with nothingbut a biscuit in his pocket and nobody botheredabout him, or thought that he had fallen over acliff. He said aloud he thought he would be off fora day’s walk if the weather held. He had had aboutenough of Bankes and of Carmichael. He would likea little solitude. Yes, she said. It annoyed him thatshe did not protest. She knew that he would neverdo it. He was too old now to walk all day long witha biscuit in his pocket. She worried about the boys,but not about him. Years ago, before he had married,he thought, looking across the bay, as they stoodbetween the clumps of red-hot pokers, he hadwalked all day. He had made a meal off bread andcheese in a public house. He had worked ten hoursat a stretch; an old woman just popped her headin now and again and saw to the fire. That was thecountry he liked best, over there; those sandhillsdwindling away into darkness. One could walk allday without meeting a soul. There was not a housescarcely, not a single village for miles on end. Onecould worry things out alone. There were littlesandy beaches where no one had been sincethe beginning of time. The seals sat up and lookedat you. It sometimes seemed to him that in a littlehouse out there, alone—he broke off, sighing. He105
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