Friday, August 25, 2017
Meanwhile, What about Rose?
While Susan was in the ferry to Ireland, Rose woke up late in a curious place and whondered for a moment where she was. Ah, yes, the attic of the empty house ... and in a pirate's den with lots of ginger beer bottles, some candles (there was a box of matches for her use), and something to cover the plaster between the beams : planks, a mat and some more. On an improvised "table" she saw a mark in the dust, where there had been a book.
She had been dusting the corner, but somehow that mark was glued, perhaps in solidified ginger beer. If you have read The Magician's Nephew by C. S. Lewis, you will know it was Polly Plumber who had prepared it. And, as you recall from the beginning of my book, or from the end of C. S. Lewis' The Last Battle, she had died in the railway accident. So had Digory Kirke, whom she had invited there when they were both children and had just become neighbours. But Rose had no idea of this. She was however aware - though there was no kicking yet - of the little life of a very tiny man inside her.
"Dear Eustace this is a curious place we are in, but we could be worse off, you know!"
She was fairly sure, even very sure, it was a boy, and she was thinking of her cousin Jill's friend (they had both died in the railway accident), as you can see.
And she felt hungry. And she saw, just outside where she was, there was some food left by the gipsies. Milk in a bottle, a bar of chocolate, bread, sardines. And there was a chamber pot, though she had no idea as yet where to empty it.
"Well, we've survived this round!"
She felt it was not just her baby, but herself too, who had escaped.
What she did then ... if you have been or known a pregnant woman, you may know. Afterwards she wondered when and where to empty the chamber pot, had no appetite and she drew the curtain to escape some of the smell.
"Afraid? We'll survive this too!" she said, as if thinking the reaction came from fear within her baby. As she calmed down (her stomach feeling better too) she presumed she had succeeded in soothing little Eustace. Perhaps she had.
And exhausted by growth of her offspring and by vomiting, she fell asleep. When she woke again, the chamber pot was no longer smelling. She looked out, there was a new and dry one, happily.
In she went, after a somewhat more humdrum use, took some chocolate, drank just a very little milk to it, wondered if she should light a candle, didn't and went to sleep after telling her boy inside:
"You liked that too, didn't you?"
But it was no real question, she was not in doubt.