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By Tom Sharpe

The panorama is faultless, the timber majestic, the vegetation and the fauna are correct and correct, the full is picturesquely normal of rural England at its most sensible. Sir Giles, an MP of few rules and curius tastes, plots to ruin all this through development a toll road smack via it, to line his personal pocket and whilst to cast off his spouse, the capacious woman Maude. Sir Giles recruits to his aspect Hoskins, a corrupt neighborhood professional, Lord Leakham, the surroundings an identical of a dangling pass judgement on, and Dundridge, a hard bureaucrat with an dangerous ardour for order. in contrast strong foyer are ranged a trifling handful of neighborhood citizens led by way of woman Maude. hardly ever first and foremost sight a group to resist the batteries of reliable inertia, obligatory buy Orders and bulldozer blades.

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It was pitch black at first, but then the landing window gave a glimmering of light. She could almost feel her pupils dilate. The street was her home now. Once over the step she was more herself. She picked her way along the cracked pavements as delicately as the cat that, seeing her, whisked itself into the gutter. There was a square of light cast by the fish and chip shop window. She hurried across it. Outside, in the street, it was not darkness that frightened her, but light. After a few minutes she passed a woman walking home, alone, in the middle of the road, as Kelly had been taught to leapt out at a man do.

She had gone perhaps thirty feet when she saw the wall. At first her brain simply refused to accept it. She felt all over it with her hands, looking for the opening that must be there, although there was light enough for her to see that there was none. The bricks were new. Perhaps the wall had been built quite recently. When the factory closed down. Perhaps he hadn't known it was there. Perhaps it was all a mistake. Then she heard his footsteps crossing the yard. There had been no mistake. 32 UNION STREET She pressed herself against the wall, until she could feel every knob of her backbone against the brick.

She might have cried after all if the Kelly's footsteps on the landing had not stopped sound of 43 ' PAT BARKER her. 'She's awake,' Arthur said, looking more than ever as though he would like to bolt for the door. She wished he would. Then was glad he was there. She was afraid of Kelly. Then, again, she wanted him out of the way. 'Pop out and see if I've opened the yard door, love. The bin men won't be able to get in and it's practically overflowing. But he sat on, frozen, as she was, by the sound of bare feet slapping across the lino overhead.

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