Monday, 11 October 2010

Conversation in Thursday Street

This is a short extract from the beginning of an original story published in the May 17, 1940 John O'London's Weekly by Margery Sharp entitled "Conversation in Thursday Street."

Sherrard was motoring through Suffolk, and had just reached the village of Thursday Street when the radiator-cap on his car worked loose and flew off. By great good luck he found it again, and also a saddler's shop whose owner expressed himself capable of cutting a leather washer that would hold the thing in place; so Sherrard left his car and walked off for a leg-stretch while the job was being done.
The village did not at first sight promise much interest: it was very small, without the solid fifteenth-century charm of Lavenham or Eye, and it evidently did not attract tourists, for there were no tea-shops. "Remote, unfriended, melancholy, slow," thought Sherrard; though in fact only two of the adjectives were appropriate, since he had no reason to believe the place unfriended, and under the hot sunlight it was not in the least melancholy. It was simply dull, a backwater unredeemed by picturesqueness.
As he turned from the narrow main street into a narrower lane a cat lying in his path looked up at him and yawned. Sherrard stooped to caress it, whereupon it yawned again. The cat reflected Sherrard, is the sophisticate among animals. He continued down the lane, turned , and found himself in a cul-de-sac, a sort of close, bounded on one side and at the end by tall flint walls, and on the other side by a pair of cottages, of which one was empty. "The back of beyond!" thought Sherrard; and would have turned away had not his eyes been caught by a small notice under the porch of the farther, and occupied , dwelling. Idleness and boredom impelled him to see what it said; a moment later both emotions had given way to the pleasanter sensation of curiosity.
"Modern French," read Sherrard, "taught here." .....