Chapter 4

           WinstonlookedroundtheshabbylittleroomaboveMrCharrington’sshop. Besidethewindowtheenormousbedwasmadeup,withraggedblanketsandacoverlessbolster. Theold-fashionedclockwiththetwelve-hourfacewastickingawayonthemantelpiece. Inthecorner,onthegatelegtable,theglasspaperweightwhichhehadboughtonhislastvisitgleamedsoftlyoutofthehalf-darkness. 

           Inthefenderwasabatteredtinoilstove,asaucepan,andtwocups,providedbyMrCharrington. Winstonlittheburnerandsetapanofwatertoboil. HehadbroughtanenvelopefullofVictoryCoffeeandsomesaccharinetablets. Theclock’shandssaidseventeen-twenty:itwasnineteen-twentyreally. Shewascomingatnineteen-thirty. 

           Folly,folly,hisheartkeptsaying:conscious,gratuitous,suicidalfolly. OfallthecrimesthataPartymembercouldcommit,thisonewastheleastpossibletoconceal. Actuallytheideahadfirstfloatedintohisheadintheformofavision,oftheglasspaperweightmirroredbythesurfaceofthegatelegtable. Ashehadforeseen,MrCharringtonhadmadenodifficultyaboutlettingtheroom. Hewasobviouslygladofthefewdollarsthatitwouldbringhim. NordidheseemshockedorbecomeoffensivelyknowingwhenitwasmadeclearthatWinstonwantedtheroomforthepurposeofalove-affair. Insteadhelookedintothemiddledistanceandspokeingeneralities,withsodelicateanairastogivetheimpressionthathehadbecomepartlyinvisible. Privacy,hesaid,wasaveryvaluablething. Everyonewantedaplacewheretheycouldbealoneoccasionally. Andwhentheyhadsuchaplace,itwasonlycommoncourtesyinanyoneelsewhoknewofittokeephisknowledgetohimself. 

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