28 July

28 July 1920

2 Portland Villas, Hampstead - London

A moment later and there was nothing left of Netta Skeritt but a dent in the pillow and one long - much too long - blue black hairpin gleaming on the pale carpet.

On her way back to the garden Susannah sat down on the hall chair for a minute to take a pebble out of her shoe. And she heard her mother say: No, I can't possibly do that. I can't possibly turn that dear good Mr Taylor out of the house simply to make room for this Skeritt girl. Susannah
It was a little difficult to explain the facts of the case to the Reverend Mr Taylor, and Mrs Downing hated having to do so. It seemed so unreasonable to ask him to turn out of the spare room for an unknown girl for the night when he was their regular guest, as it were, for the whole Synod and so appreciative - poor lonely up-country man - of the spare room double bed. But there was nothing else to be done. In that extraordinary way men have Harry Downing had rung up from the office to tell her that a Netta Skeritt had called on him that morning. She was passing through Wellington on her way to Nelson and though neither of the Downings had ever seen her before, simply because her father and Harry Downing had known each other in the old days, Harry had immediately asked her to stay the night with them. [. . .] [KM Notebooks, undated]