Page 58 – 59 / 1941 – 42
Left Hand Page
‘The Chunkel’ (draft),
‘Our Short Story: Yellow Curtains’ by Jon Mackwood.
OUR SHORT STORY: ‘YELLOW CURTAINS’ BY JON MACKWOOD
Good night he said. Good night” she said, and her eyes were dark. He could see them shining in the light of the shaded street lamp. He was shy now that it was all over. He wanted to stay but he could think of nothing to say to her. “You have a to lovely garden” he said. “Yes, my husband was very fond of gardening.” “Oh – I didn’t know you were married.” “My husband was killed last month – he used to be in the unexploded Bomb Squad.” “I’m sorry”. “You needed be” she said, and smiled at ho,. “I never loved him. I try to forget about it.” “I see. You know you haven’t even told me your name.” ”Harbottle” she said. “Jane Harbottle – Goodnight”. “May I see you again.” “Of course”. “Thank you” he said “Goodnight”. His hand just touched hers and he left her standing at the gate.
He drove very fast, his hands light on the steering wheel. He was going again. He no longer belonged to the earth, he was living in a different plane. His spirit had left him, and was soaring in places his body had never known. He could see the lights of the city in front of him. He saw the flashes of the stars that were the shells bursting high in the sky; he heard the roll of thunder, that was the bursting of the bombs in the city. He drove faster, the noise of the engine drowned the thunder; he began to sing and his heart sang.
He locked the garage door and went out into the street. The noise of the planes and bursting of the bombs was deafening. He wondered if he could see the house with the yellow curtains a few doors away in the black-out. He looked, and found that he could not see it. The house with the yellow curtains had gone.
There was a mad screeching of brakes and the lorry pulled up beside him. A man, a stranger, lent out of the driving seat and shouted at him “Unexploded Bomb. Want to help.” “Of course.” Jump in” said the stranger. They drove very fast through dark streets past opening craters in the ground. The stranger was very silent. The only noise was the crashing of gears and the thunder of guns. They came to a small field just outside of the city, a field with barbed wire round it, and pitted with bomb craters. They carried the unexploded bomb to the largest hole and the stranger produced a small black box and a coil of wire. “My own invention” said the stranger, “connect these wires to the detonator, put it under the bomb, press this button, and the job’s done. Simple, isn’t it?” And he carried the box back to the edge of the field. “Steady the bomb while I connect up, will you” called the stranger. The man in the crater fixed the detonator and steadied the bomb with his hands. He called out to the stranger “all right now”. But the stranger paid no attention. The man thought that he must be deaf. He propped the bomb against his leg, cupped his hands to his mouth, and shouted again. “I say – are you ready? Sorry I don’t know your name –” “Harbottle” said the stranger and pressed the button.
Right Hand Page
‘The Balance of Life’ by C.Nussbaum
THE BALANCE OF LIFE BY C. NUSSBAUM
The Pessimist says: Nature is cruel; Man is selfish. Envy, class-hatred and war distort the history of people; the life of the community is distorted by corruption and the misuse of power, by sufferings and diseases, by poverty and misery…. Life is painful, hurtful, and scarred by disillusion.
The Optimist says; Beauty reigns in nature, ‘a joy for ever’; Love reigns in life of man; one gives more than he takes; you work not only for yourself but also for your parents, family, and the community. Charm and helpfulness, generosity and pity are ever present threads in the pattern of life. Esteem for the just, reverence for the holy, admiration for the