Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What about the train to Bristol?

If you have read the Last Battle, you know that the Seven Friends of Narnia and Mr and Mrs Pevensie were on the train to Bristol.

Yes, at least they were when going to undig the rings that Digory and Polly had used.

But the things that happened between that train journey and the real train crash were not quite suitable to put into a children's story. I am afraid C. S. Lewis shortened the story a bit so as to leave it out. And adapted Jill's words to Tirian to this shorter story - it is actually not all the words in the stories that were exactly recorded. Remember how Aravis retold the words of Whin a bit grander than Whin recalled them? Well, C. S. Lewis also knew how to put words into the proper occasions - and leave some out too. The Narnia books are not the Holy Writ, you know.

When Lucy came home from Bristol, Susan got a visit from her.

"Su, the rings were not there, although we digged."

"What rings?"

"Of course, you were not there when Digory told us about their journey to Narnia ..."

"Will you excuse me for a minute?"

"Of course. I'll read a book and make some tea."

"Do. I'll be back in a quarter of an hour or so."

And that is when Susan got to her therapist, told him "Lucy is getting worse", got a calming comment about his just needing to see her, "probably" no need to lock her up at all. She put her hopes on that probability. Now she knew bitterly she should not have.

And after Lucy came out after a week, she did not look quite herself, she did not have quite the same smile, the Seven Friends of Narnia took another train - and their parents were on it too. But Reverend Jenkins was approaching the place where it crashed: Sevenoaks.