Straight Home

Simone freewheels down Suttling Hill, legs out in front of her, although she has tucked her wide skirt under her, in which position she shows a bit of thigh. The bicycle belongs to Mr. Heywood, and Mrs. Heywood did not think it proper for a girl. But if Simone was to go up the shops as a matter of course there was no alternative, and in this instance Mr. Heywood prevailed.

Everybody in Suttling says “go up the shops” though the village is in the valley and almost everybody must descend to them. These oddities of the language make Simone laugh, and when she points this one out to the greengrocer and the bakery lady, they laugh with her. She is well liked in town, an enthusiastic presence—the grocer’s wife even said “vivacious”—but it does not occur to them that her high spirits represent a burst of freedom from the Heywoods. She is not vivacious at the Heywoods’. She has once or twice deliberately forgotten something so that Mrs. H., after a tsk! of exasperation, will send her freewheeling down Suttling Hill to go up the shops again.

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