Sunday, December 06, 2009

You loved his person

'We none of us know what even the people nearest us are really like,' said the old woman slowly. 'We don't even know what we're like ourselves. A set of children playing Blind Man's Buff, that's what we are. . . . Oh, I know he deceived you, but he deceived himself first and last. Make-believe! He wasn't much worse than most. You've all tried your hand at it. . . . Her up at the Hall. She kidded herself, didn't she? Maybe she didn't know she was doing it but she did it all the same. And that Mrs. Tenby. Her person's so wonderful that no one's got to think of anything else while they're with her. And that Miss Cradock had her person, too,' She turned her deep-set eyes to the Vicar. 'You've seen it in your own house, haven't you? Those great girls turning into babies as soon as they got inside the gate.' Her eyes moved remorselessly to Miss Bullimer. "You've had your person, too.'

Miss Bullimer bend her head and her lips took on a tight tortured line.

'I loved him," she said.

'You loved his person,' said the old woman. 'You didn't love him. I'd have warned you if I could.'

Miss Bullimer lifted her head jerkily.

'I'd have loved him anyway,' she said.

The old woman shook her head.

'No, you wouldn't,' she said.

--Blind Man's Buff, Richmal Crompton


  1. That's absolutely wonderful. Crompton has been on my TBR list forever but this makes me think I must make her a higher priority.

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"I don't believe in ghosts, but I see them all the time."

Sherman Alexie cancels book tour for memoir about his mother.