Join date: Jun 19, 2022

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I don t need the carriage. Go back inside. Do what you re told. His voice trailed away as he hurried down the drive.

Once in the lane, he began to run and little Joe kept up with him, but by the time they had reached Westoe village the little fellow was lagging far behind

Fire. It only needed a can of oil and a match and the whole place would go up like dried hay lit by lightning, and they mightn t be able to get out in time. If Jimmy was up in the loft he could be choked with smoke. There were so many books and papers up there, and all that wood, oiled wood inside and out, and the tarred beams underneath in the covered slipway . . . He d kill those Pitties; one or all of them he d kill them. It had to come sooner or later; it was either them or him. If they hurt Jimmy . . . And she was there an all, Janie. To come back from the dead and then be burned alive. And that s what could happen, if they d both gone to bed. Those buggers! They were murderers, maniacs.

He was racing down the bank towards the market. Dark-clothed figures stopped and looked after him, then looked ahead to see if he was being chased.

It was as he turned into the Cut that he smelt the smoke, and then he looked up and saw the reflection of the flames. Like a wild horse he tore down to the waterfront and along it. But he was too late. He knew before he reached the crowd that he was too late.

The place was alive with people. He pushed and thrust and yelled to try to get through them. But they were packed tight and all staring upwards towards the flaming mass inside the railings.

Dashing back, he climbed the stout sleepers that he d had put up to encase the spare land they had bought only a few months earlier. When he dropped on to the other side he saw men dragging a hawser from a river boat, and he ran, scrambling and falling over the debris, yelling, Jimmy! Jimmy!


Alonso Gallego

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