Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The train was full of fellows: a long long chocolate train with cream facings. The guards went to and fro opening, closing, locking, unlocking the doors. They were men in dark blue and silver; they had silvery whistles and their keys made a quick music: click, click: click, click.

And the train raced on over the flat lands and past the Hill of Allen. The telegraphpoles were passing, passing. The train went on and on. It knew. There were coloured lanterns in the hall of his father's house and ropes of green branches. There were holly and ivey round the pierglass and holly and ivy, green and red, twined round the old portraits on the walls. Holly and ivy for him and for Christmas.


All the people. Welcome home, Stephen! Noises of welcome. HIs mother kissed him. Was that right? HIs father was a marshal now: higher than a magistrate. Welcome home, Stephen!


There was a noise of curtainrings running back along the rods, of water being splashed in the basins. There was a noise of rising and dressing and washing in the dormitory: a noise of clapping of hands as the prefect went up and down telling the fellows to look sharp. A pale sunlight showed the yellow curtains drawn back, the tossed beds. His bed was very hot and his face and body were very hot.

He got up and sat on the side of his bed. He was weak. He tried to pull on his stocking. It had a horrid rough feel. The sunlight was queer and cold.

Fleming said:

----Are you not well?

He did not know; and Fleming said:

----Get back into bed. I'll tell McGlade you're not well.

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