Chapter 3

           Wecancomehereonceagain,’saidJulia. ‘It’sgenerallysafetouseanyhide-outtwice. Butnotforanothermonthortwo,ofcourse.’ 

           Assoonasshewokeupherdemeanourhadchanged. Shebecamealertandbusiness-like,putherclotheson,knottedthescarletsashaboutherwaist,andbeganarrangingthedetailsofthejourneyhome. Itseemednaturaltoleavethistoher. SheobviouslyhadapracticalcunningwhichWinstonlacked,andsheseemedalsotohaveanexhaustiveknowledgeofthecountrysideroundLondon,storedawayfrominnumerablecommunityhikes. Therouteshegavehimwasquitedifferentfromtheonebywhichhehadcome,andbroughthimoutatadifferentrailwaystation. ‘Nevergohomethesamewayasyouwentout,’shesaid,asthoughenunciatinganimportantgeneralprinciple. Shewouldleavefirst,andWinstonwastowaithalfanhourbeforefollowingher. 

           Shehadnamedaplacewheretheycouldmeetafterwork,foureveningshence. Itwasastreetinoneofthepoorerquarters,wheretherewasanopenmarketwhichwasgenerallycrowdedandnoisy. Shewouldbehangingaboutamongthestalls,pretendingtobeinsearchofshoelacesorsewing-thread. Ifshejudgedthatthecoastwasclearshewouldblowhernosewhenheapproached;otherwisehewastowalkpastherwithoutrecognition. Butwithluck,inthemiddleofthecrowd,itwouldbesafetotalkforaquarterofanhourandarrangeanothermeeting. 

           ‘AndnowImustgo,’shesaidassoonashehadmasteredhisinstructions. ‘I’mduebackatnineteen-thirty. I’vegottoputintwohoursfortheJuniorAnti-SexLeague,handingoutleaflets,orsomething. Isn’titbloody? Givemeabrush-down,wouldyou? HaveIgotanytwigsinmyhair? Areyousure? Thengood-bye,mylove,good-bye!’ 

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