Monday, March 26, 2007

Wednesday 5th December 1934

Went into the White Room at 4 o’clock, with Gunner. Tinting creams, smelling different whites and so forth. Dashed interesting and useful. Out of the corner of my eye I could see a vivid splash of red, where Joan sat in her office. We did not speak throughout that hour, though within a few yards of one another. Just one quick, laughing glance passed between us. Oh, a delightful end to the Tangle Extension!

At lunch time, broke, I called at the Midland at Staines and closed my account, thus drawing 11/6d. My only reserve is now in currency! Spent sixpence at a stall on Staines Bridge but did not buy any cigarettes. How I have longed for one!

I have decided to end my TocH career from tonight onwards for the rest of the winter at least. Perhaps for ever.

Well, I stuck to this resolve. Before the meeting began, Taffy and I discovered an old bottle of ginger wine in a side room. We speedily put it away. One thing we drunk to, was, “Our respective futures and the decisions that govern them.” Then the meeting, with myself as the incompetent chairman. And I took Light.

When the business was over I wrote in the log book, “My last meeting for a long time. D.” Then I told them so. Surprised when they realised it. I could make no sentimental farewells because there was a lump in my throat, now it had come. I told them this, also. Then went away, leaving them still at discussion, in the old way. Good blokes. As I passed through the door, a yell, “So long, Steve!” and a great chorus of goodbye. I said “cheerio” or something like that and came away, upset. By leaving suddenly I avoided all the questions and recriminations that were in their eyes.

Au revoir to TocH. The saddest parting in the whole series of partings which I have had just recently.

(Cheery talk at the Kings Head, hot supper, a few pipes and bed.)

Conclusion of Starshine

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