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Quarrel scratched his head. He looked sideways at Bond. "Yo don' plan we jess ditch dis girl?" he asked hopefully. "Ain't.nuttin to do wit we…" Suddenly he stopped. His head swivelled round and pointed like a dog's. He held up a hand for silence, listening intently.

Horatia. O no. It’s a poor soldier—got the cholera—lying in the vault ... 'Nine.' 'Why, sir, his father giv it him,' said Mr. Peggotty.

'It is merely different from yours. Most of our funny stories involve death or disaster. I am not a "picture-daddy" - a professional story-teller - but I will tell you my favourite. It concerns the young girl who comes to the toll bridge. She tosses one sen, a very small piece of money, to the watchman, and walks on. The watchman calls after her, "Hey! You know that the toll for crossing the bridge is two sen." The girl answers, "But I do not intend to cross the bridge. I intend only to go halfway and then throw myself into the river." ' Tiger laughed uproariously.

Then I was sent to a private school at Sunbury, kept by Arthur Drury. This, I think, must have been done in accordance with the advice of Henry Drury, who was my tutor at Harrow School, and my father’s friend, and who may probably have expressed an opinion that my juvenile career was not proceeding in a satisfactory manner at Harrow. To Sunbury I went, and during the two years I was there, though I never had any pocket-money, and seldom had much in the way of clothes, I lived more nearly on terms of equality with other boys than at any other period during my very prolonged school-days. Even here, I was always in disgrace. I remember well how, on one occasion, four boys were selected as having been the perpetrators of some nameless horror. What it was, to this day I cannot even guess; but I was one of the four, innocent as a babe, but adjudged to have been the guiltiest of the guilty. We each had to write out a sermon, and my sermon was the longest of the four. During the whole of one term-time we were helped last at every meal. We were not allowed to visit the playground till the sermon was finished. Mine was only done a day or two before the holidays. Mrs. Drury, when she saw us, shook her head with pitying horror. There were ever so many other punishments accumulated on our heads. It broke my heart, knowing myself to be innocent, and suffering also under the almost equally painful feeling that the other three — no doubt wicked boys — were the curled darlings of the school, who would never have selected me to share their wickedness with them. I contrived to learn, from words that fell from Mr. Drury, that he condemned me because I, having come from a public school, might be supposed to be the leader of wickedness! On the first day of the next term he whispered to me half a word that perhaps he had been wrong. With all a stupid boy’s slowness, I said nothing; and he had not the courage to carry reparation further. All that was fifty years ago, and it burns me now as though it were yesterday. What lily-livered curs those boys must have been not to have told the truth! — at any rate as far as I was concerned. I remember their names well, and almost wish to write them here.

'All right, so I stay on this island and then one night I swim across to the wall. How do I get up it?'

Kurt involved me closely in the whole affair, translating Trade's letters to me, discussing the number of children they would have, and asking my advice on the decoration of the flat they planned to buy in Hamburg when he had finished his three years' stint in London and had saved enough money for marriage. I became a sort of universal aunt to the two of them, and I would have found the role ridiculous if it hadn't all seemed quite natural and rather fun-like having two big dolls to play at "weddings" with. Kurt had even planned their sex life minutely and the details, which he insisted, rather perversely, on sharing with me, were at first embarrassing and then, because he was so clinical about the whole subject, highly educative. On the honeymoon in Venice (all Germans go to Italy for their honeymoons) they would of course do it every night because, Kurt said, it was most important that "the act" should be technically perfect and, to achieve this, much practice was necessary. To this end, they would have a light dinner, because a full stomach was not desirable, and they would retire not later than eleven o'clock because it was important to have at least eight hours' sleep "to recharge the batteries." Trade, he said, was unawakened and inclined to be kьhl sexually, while he was of a passionate temperament. So there would have to be much preliminary sex-play to bring the curve of her passion up to his. This would need restraint on his part, and in this matter he would have to be firm with himself, for, as he told me, it was essential to a happy marriage that the climax should be reached simultaneously by the partners. Only thus could the thrilling summits of Ekstase become the equal property of both. After the honeymoon they would sleep together on Wednesdays and Saturdays. To do it more often would weaken his "batteries" and might reduce his efficiency at the Bьr