The people of London ran into the portico in Covent Garden to take cover from the summer thunder storms. A hapless son sent out to find a taxi ends up knocking a basket over from a lowly flower seller. She berates him in a broad cockney accent. His mother gives money to the girl and asks how she knew his name was Freddy; but Freddy was the name she used to address anyone.
Muriel carried on reading and nearly missed her stop. She closed the book then walked out of the station down Bedford Street and along Saville Street to her house.
“Where have you been Muriel you’ve been away all afternoon?’
“I’ve been to the market at Tynemouth mother.’ I bought a new book she lied.’
She removed the blue velvet coat and the white dress and blue bonnet from her head then took two clips from her oak dressing table bought second hand from Featenby’s auction rooms for three pounds.’ It had an oak stool that came with it and a large mirror. She looked at herself in the mirror; was she really as beautiful as Edward had said; Muriel just though that she was just ordinary.’
She placed the book under her pillow then hung up her clothes in the large wardrobe.’
She changes into her old clothes and goes into the scullery to help her mother.
She seems a million miles away as her mother is talking to her.
“You’ve met someone Muriel haven’t you asked Annabella.’
“What makes you say that mother?’
“Because I’ve been talking to you for the last fifteen minutes and you haven’t been listening have you.’
“I need to get away from the fish quay mother I really do she cried.’
“The fish quay was good enough for your father and me.’
“I know that mother but I have to make a better life for myself.’
“Could I write to my aunt Ester in Coventry and ask if I could stay with her for a while?’
“You could but why do you want to leave North Shields?’
“Because I must mother.’
“Well write her a letter and I will post it for you.’
The family sat around the table eating leek pudding with mince and potatoes.’
“Are you going out tonight lads asked Robert?’
“Yes, I’m seeing Rose tonight; we are going to the Borough picture house to watch Rudolph Valentino in The Sheik.’
“Well your mam and I are going to Ballarat tonight; what are you doing Craig?’
“I’m going around to Micky Douglas’s house to play cards.’
“What are you going to do Muriel do you want to come with your mother and me?
“No; dad I’m staying in I might have a bath if you can get it down for me Craig.’
Alright but bath night is usually tomorrow isn’t it?’
“I don’t fancy going in your dirty water.’
“Well gan canny with the hot water love.’
Yes mother I will.’
“I will put the pans on for you now then.’ said Jimmy as he filled up the two large soup pans that held some four gallons of water each. Once the tub was filled cold water was then added so you didn’t get scalded. There was a mad rush to get ready as the pan that had already been put on the stove was hot enough for them all to wash and shave in. Robert went first then Jimmy, and finally Craig. They all longed for a constant supply of water instead of heating the water on the range.