Full text: The waves

THE WAVES - 
subservient after him. Yet it is Percival I need; for it is 
Percival who inspires poetry.” 
“ For how many months,” said Susan, “ for how many 
years, have I run up these stairs, in the dismal days of winter, 
in the chilly days of spring? Now it is midsummer. We 
go upstairs to change into white frocks to play tennis— 
Jinny and I with Rhoda following after. I count each 
step as I mount, counting each step something done with. 
So each night I tear off the old day from the calendar, and 
screw it tight into a ball. 1 do this vindictively, while 
Betty and Clara are on their knees. I do not pray. I 
revenge myself upon the day. I wreak my spite upon its 
image. You are dead now, I say, school day, hated day, 
They have made all the days of June—this is the twenty- 
fifth—shiny and orderly, with gongs, with lessons, with 
orders to wash, to change, to work, to eat. We listen to 
missionaries from China. We drive off in brakes along the 
asphalt pavement, to attend concerts in halls. We are shown 
galleries and pictures. 
“ At home the hay waves over the meadows. My father 
leans upon the stile, smoking. In the house one door bangs 
and then another, as the summer air puffs along the empty 
passages. Some old picture perhaps swings on the wall. 
A petal drops from the rose in the jar. ‘The farm wagons 
strew the hedges with tufts of hay. All this I see, I always 
see, as I pass the looking-glass on the landing, with Jinny 
in front and Rhoda lagging behind. Jinny dances. Jinny 
always dances in the hall on the ugly, the encaustic tiles ; she 
turns cartwheels in the playground; she picks some flower 
forbiddenly, and sticks it behind her ear so that Miss Perry’s 
dark eyes smoulder with admiration, for Jinny, not me. 
Miss Perry loves Jinny; and I could have loved her, but 
now love no one, except my father, my doves and the squirrel 
whom I left in the cage at home for the boy to look after.” 
“1 hate the small looking-glass on the stairs,” said Jinny. 
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