Thursday, July 2, 2015
Susan looked up from the tea she was sipping. Oh yes, it was Mrs Macready all right. That voice was so itself after all these years.
She stammered: "You are mistaken, you must be thinking of someone else ...?"
"When you were eleven you hid in a wardrobe from me. Don't you think I didn't see you!
"I have been keeping an eye on you for some time now, an eye or two open.
"The news are out that you are escaped, and as tired as you look, there are slim chances you'll be taken for a nurse!"
"But what about night nurses?" Susan knew it was no ood to pretend, but she wanted some reassurance she wasn't as stupid as Mrs. Macready made it out.
"You were awake at daytime yesterday and all night through. A night nurse sleeps the days before doing night service and in the morning she's no more exhausted than you are a normal evening. Now, don't fuss, come with me. You need some hours' sleep, and thanks to us not being all that close, I am not suspect of helping you."
They went out after no significant delay. Susan had already paid the tea.
As they walked to the bus, Mrs Macready said: "Now, I heard what you did, and I have never heard of archery come to better use in our times.
"I knew you were a spunky girl, when faced with any battle you should fight in. As was the case here."
"How do you know that? Haven't all the news painted me out as a dangerous madwoman?"
"Oh, the news!" Mrs Macready said. "Look here, I don't know what happened in that wardrobe, but I do know you are not mad!
"When you defend the life of the unborn, you are not mad. Someone else is, or it wouldn't need defending. But not you!"
She paused and very quickly put finger on mouth before boarding the bus. Of course they went upstairs (for those who do not know, busses in London have two floors). And very fortunately, the upper floor wasn't empty, it was not yet rushing hours. It could easily have become so if Susan, tired as she was, had been left to herself and had dozed off for some hours.
Half an hour later, they were in another part of London, and they entered Mrs. Macready's rented flat.
"I'm afraid the sofa will have to do."
"Oh, it will be great!"
Despite the one cup of tea, she soon slept as soundly as with Mr and Mrs Beaver (and Lu, Pete, Ed) in that hiding place where they met Father Christmas in the morning. And yes, she thought of it just before going to sleep.