Chapter 6

           Ithadhappenedatlast. Theexpectedmessagehadcome. Allhislife,itseemedtohim,hehadbeenwaitingforthistohappen. 

           HewaswalkingdownthelongcorridorattheMinistryandhewasalmostatthespotwhereJuliahadslippedthenoteintohishandwhenhebecameawarethatsomeonelargerthanhimselfwaswalkingjustbehindhim. Theperson,whoeveritwas,gaveasmallcough,evidentlyasapreludetospeaking. Winstonstoppedabruptlyandturned. ItwasO’Brien. 

           Atlasttheywerefacetoface,anditseemedthathisonlyimpulsewastorunaway. Hisheartboundedviolently. Hewouldhavebeenincapableofspeaking. O’Brien,however,hadcontinuedforwardinthesamemovement,layingafriendlyhandforamomentonWinston’sarm,sothatthetwoofthemwerewalkingsidebyside. HebeganspeakingwiththepeculiargravecourtesythatdifferentiatedhimfromthemajorityofInnerPartymembers. 

           ‘Ihadbeenhopingforanopportunityoftalkingtoyou,’hesaid. ‘IwasreadingoneofyourNewspeakarticlesin‘TheTimes’theotherday. YoutakeascholarlyinterestinNewspeak,Ibelieve?’ 

           Winstonhadrecoveredpartofhisself-possession. ‘Hardlyscholarly,’hesaid. ‘I’monlyanamateur.It’snotmysubject.Ihaveneverhadanythingtodowiththeactualconstructionofthelanguage.’ 

           ‘Butyouwriteitveryelegantly,’saidO’Brien. ‘Thatisnotonlymyownopinion. Iwastalkingrecentlytoafriendofyourswhoiscertainlyanexpert. Hisnamehasslippedmymemoryforthemoment.’ 

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