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Книга "Brooklyn" - Colm Toibin. Купити книгу, читати рецензії | ISBN 9780141047768 | лабіринт

Увійти по коду знижки Ви отримуєте його після першої покупки і в кожному листі від нас. За цим номером ми дізнаємося вас і розповімо про ваші знижки і персональних спецпропозиції!

Увійти через профіль у соціальних мережах Відкриється вікно підтвердження авторизації, після цього вас автоматично повернуть в Лабіринт

Авторизація через акаунт Вхід для постійних покупателейАвторізіруясь в Лабіринті, я підтверджую, що я старше 18 років, приймаю умови роботи сайту та даю добровільну згоду на обробку своїх персональних даних

Увійти по коду знижки Ви отримуєте його після першої покупки і в кожному листі від нас. За цим номером ми дізнаємося вас і розповімо про ваші знижки і персональних спецпропозиції!

Увійти через профіль у соціальних мережах Відкриється вікно підтвердження авторизації, після цього вас автоматично повернуть в Лабіринт

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Brooklyn-Colm Toibin Сторінка 29 - Читати онлайн.

Brooklyn to her again, including Dolores herself, who viewed being ditched, since it had resulted in Eilis meeting a man, as eminently reasonable. In return for this view, Dolores wanted only to know about the boyfriend himself, his name, for example, and his occupation, and when Eilis intended to see him again. All of the other lodgers had scrutinized him carefully as well ; they thought him handsome, they said, although Miss McAdam might have wished him taller, and Patty did not like his shoes. All of them presumed that he was Irish, or of Irish origin, and all of them begged Eilis to tell them about him, what he had said to her that made her dance the second set with him and if she was going to the dance the following Friday night and if she expected to see him there.

 The following Thursday evening, when she went downstairs to make herself a cup of tea, she met Mrs. Kehoe in the kitchen.

 "There's a lot of giddiness in the house at the moment," Mrs. Kehoe said. "That Diana has a terrible voice, God help her. If she squeals once more, I'll have to get the doctor or the vet to give her something to calm her down."

 "It's the dancing is doing it to them," Eilis said drily.

 "Well, I'm going to ask Father Flood to preach a sermon on the evils of giddiness," Mrs. Kehoe said. "And maybe he might mention a few more things in his sermon."

 Mrs. Kehoe left the room.

 On Friday evening at eight thirty Tony rang on the front door bell, and, before Eilis could escape from the basement door and alert him to the impending danger, the door was answered by Mrs. Kehoe. By the time Eilis reached the front door, as Tony told her later, Mrs. Kehoe had asked him several questions, including his full name, his address and his profession.

 "That's what she called it," he said. "My profession."

 He grinned as though nothing as amusing had ever occurred to him in his life.

 "Is she your mom?" he asked.

 "I told you that my mom, as you call her, is in Ireland."

 "So you did, but that woman looked like she owned you."

 "She's my landlady."

 "She's a lady all right. A lady with loads of questions to ask."

 "And, incidentally, what is your full name?"

 "You want what I told your mom?"

 "She's not my mom."

 "You want my real name?"

 "Yes, I want your real name."

 "My real full name is Antonio Giuseppe Fiorello."

 "What name did you give my landlady when she asked you?"

 "I told her my name is Tony McGrath. Because there's a guy at work called Billo McGrath."

 "Oh, for God's sake. And what did you tell her your profession was?"

 "My real one?"

 "If you do not answer me properly-"

 "I told her I'm a plumber and that's because I am."

 "Tony?"

 "Yeah?"

 "In future, if I ever allow you to call again, you will come quietly to the basement door."

 "And say nothing to no one?"

 "Correct."

 "Suits me."

 He took her to a diner where they had supper and then they walked together towards the dancehall. She told him about her fellow lodgers and her job at Bartocci's. He told her, in turn, that he was the oldest of four boys and that he still lived at home in Bensonhurst with his parents.

 "And my mom made me promise not to laugh too much, or make jokes," he said. "She said Irish girls are not like Italian girls. They're serious."

 "You told your mom you were meeting me?"

 "No, but my brother guessed that I was meeting a girl and he told her. I think they all guessed. I think I was smiling too much. And I had to tell them it was an Irish girl in case they thought it was some family they knew. "

 Eilis could not understand him. By the end of the night as he walked her home she knew only that she liked dancing close to him and that he was funny. But she would not have been surprised if everything he told her was untrue, instead just part of the joke he made out of most things or, in fact, she decided in the days that followed when she went over all he had said, out of everything.

 In the house there was much discussion about her boyfriend the plumber. She told them, once Mrs. Kehoe had left the room, once Patty and Diana began to wonder why none of their friends had ever seen him before, that Tony was Italian and not Irish. She had made a point of not introducing him to any of them at the dance and now regretted, as the conversation began, that she had said anything at all about him.

 "I hope that dancehall is not going to be inundated with Italians now," Miss McAdam said.

 "What do you mean?" Eilis asked.

 "Now they realize what is to be had."

 The others were silent for a moment. It was after supper on the Friday night and Eilis wished that Mrs. Kehoe, who had left the room some time before, would return.

 "And what is to be had?" she asked.

 "That's all they have to do, it seems." Miss McAdam snapped her finger. "I do not have to say the rest."

 "I think we have to be very careful about men we do not know coming into the hall," Sheila Heffernan said.

 "Maybe if we got rid of some of the wallflowers, Sheila," Eilis said, "with the sour look on their faces."

 Diana began to shriek with laughter as Sheila Heffernan quickly left the room.

 Suddenly Mrs. Kehoe arrived back in the kitchen.

 "Diana, if I hear you squeal again," she said, "I will call the Fire Brigade to douse you with water. Did someone say something rude to Miss Heffernan?"

 "We were giving Eilis here advice, that's all," Miss McAdam said. "Just to beware of strangers."

 "Well, I thought he was very nice, her caller," Mrs. Kehoe said. "With nice old-fashioned Irish manners. And we will have no further comment about him in this house. Do you hear, Miss McAdam?"

 "I was only saying-"

 "You were only refusing to mind your own business, Miss McAdam. It's a trait I notice in people from Northern Ireland."

 As Diana shrieked again she put her hand over her mouth in mock shame.

 "I'll have no more talk about men at this table," Mrs. Kehoe said, "except to say to you, Diana, that the man that gets you will be nicely hoped up with you. The hard knocks that life gives you will put a sorry end to that smirk on your face."

 One by one they crept out of the kitchen, leaving Mrs. Kehoe with Dolores.

 Tony asked Eilis if she would come to a movie with him some night in the middle of the week. In everything she had told him she had left out the fact that she had classes at Brooklyn College. He had not asked her what she did every evening, and she had kept it to herself almost deliberately as a way of holding him at a distance. She had enjoyed being collected by him on a Friday night at Mrs. Kehoe's up to now, and she looked forward to his company, especially in the diner before the dance. He was bright and funny as he spoke about baseball, his brothers, his work and life in Brooklyn. He had quickly learned the names of her fellow lodgers and of her bosses at work and he managed to allude to them regularly in a way that made her laugh.

 "Why did not you tell me about the college?" he asked her as they sat in the diner before the dance.

 "You did not ask."

 "I do not have anything more to tell you." He shrugged, feigning depression.

 "No secrets?"

 "I could make up some, but they would not sound true."

 "Mrs. Kehoe believes that you're Irish. And you could be a native of Tipperary for all I know and just be putting on the rest. How come I met you at an Irish dance?"

 "Okay.

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Soon to be a Motion Picture starring Saoirse Ronan It is Enniscorthy in the southeast of Ireland in the early 1950s. Eilis Lacey is one among many of her generation who can not find work at home. Thus when a job is offered in America, it is clear to everyone that she must go. Leaving her family and country, Eilis heads for unfamiliar Brooklyn, and to a crowded boarding house where the landlady's intense scrutiny and the small jealousies of her fellow residents only deepen her isolation. Slowly, however, the pain of parting is buried beneath the rhythms of her new life - until she begins to realize that she has found a sort of happiness. As she falls in love, news comes from home that forces her back to Enniscorthy, not to the constrictions of her old life, but to new possibilities which conflict deeply with the life she has left behind in Brooklyn. In the quiet character of Eilis Lacey, Colm Toibin has created one of fiction's most memorable heroines and in Brooklyn, a luminous novel of devastating power. Toibin demonstrates once again his astonishing range and that he is a true master of nuanced prose, emotional depth, and narrative virtuosity.

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Brooklyn-Colm Toibin - Читати онлайн.

 For Peter Straus

 Part One

 Eilis Lacey, sitting at the window of the upstairs living room in the house on Friary Street, noticed her sister walking briskly from work. She watched Rose crossing the street from sunlight into shade, carrying the new leather handbag that she had bought in Clerys in Dublin in the sale. Rose was wearing a cream-coloured cardigan over her shoulders. Her golf clubs were in the hall; in a few minutes, Eilis knew, someone would call for her and her sister would not return until the summer evening had faded.

 Eilis's bookkeeping classes were almost ended now; she had a manual on her lap about systems of accounting, and on the table behind her was a ledger where she had entered, as her homework, on the debit and credit sides, the daily business of a company whose details she had taken down in notes in the Vocational School the week before.

 As soon as she heard the front door open, Eilis went downstairs. Rose, in the hall, was holding her pocket mirror in front of her face. She was studying herself closely as she applied lipstick and eye make-up before glancing at her overall appearance in the large hall mirror, settling her hair. Eilis looked on silently as her sister moistened her lips and then checked herself one more time in the pocket mirror before putting it away.

 Their mother came from the kitchen to the hall.

 "You look lovely, Rose," she said. "You'll be the belle of the golf club."

 "I'm starving," Rose said, "but I've no time to eat."

 "I'll make a special tea for you later," her mother said. "Eilis and myself are going to have our tea now."

 Rose reached into her handbag and took out her purse. She placed a one-shilling piece on the hallstand. "That's in case you want to go to the pictures," she said to Eilis.

 "And what about me?" her mother asked.

 "She'll tell you the story when she gets home," Rose replied.

 "That's a nice thing to say!" her mother said.

 All three laughed as they heard a car stop outside the door and beep its horn. Rose picked up her golf clubs and was gone.

 Later, as her mother washed the dishes and Eilis dried them, another knock came to the door. When Eilis answered it, she found a girl whom she recognized from Kelly's grocery shop beside the cathedral.

 "Miss Kelly sent me with a message for you," the girl said. "She wants to see you."

 "Does she?" Eilis asked. "And did she say what it was about?"

 "No. You're just to call up there tonight."

 "But why does she want to see me?"

 "God, I do not know, miss. I did not ask her. Do you want me to go back and ask her?"

 "No, it's all right. But are you sure the message is for me?"

 "I am, miss. She says you are to call in on her."

 Since she had decided in any case to go to the pictures some other evening, and being tired of her ledger, Eilis changed her dress and put on a cardigan and left the house. She walked along Friary Street and Rafter Street into the Market Square and then up the hill to the cathedral. Miss Kelly's shop was closed, so Eilis knocked on the side door, which led to the upstairs part where she knew Miss Kelly lived. The door was answered by the young girl who had come to the house earlier, who told her to wait in the hall.

 Eilis could hear voices and movement on the floor above and then the young girl came down and said that Miss Kelly would be with her before long.

 She knew Miss Kelly by sight, but her mother did not deal in her shop as it was too expensive. Also, she believed that her mother did not like Miss Kelly, although she could think of no reason for this. It was said that Miss Kelly sold the best ham in the town and the best creamery butter and the freshest of everything including cream, but Eilis did not think she had ever been in the shop, merely glanced into the interior as she passed and noticed Miss Kelly at the counter.

 Miss Kelly slowly came down the stairs into the hallway and turned on a light.

 "Now," she said, and repeated it as though it were a greeting. She did not smile.

 Eilis was about to explain that she had been sent for, and to ask politely if this was the right time to come, but Miss Kelly's way of looking her up and down made her decide to say nothing. Because of Miss Kelly's manner, Eilis wondered if she had been offended by someone in the town and had mistaken her for that person.

 "Here you are, then," Miss Kelly said.

 Eilis noticed a number of black umbrellas resting against the hallstand.

 "I hear you have no job at all but a great head for figures."

 "Is that right?"

 "Oh, the whole town, anyone who is anyone, comes into the shop and I hear everything."

 Eilis wondered if this was a reference to her own mother's consistent dealing in another grocery shop, but she was not sure. Miss Kelly's thick glasses made the expression on her face difficult to read.

 "And we are worked off our feet every Sunday here. Sure, there's nothing else open. And we get all sorts, good, bad and indifferent. And, as a rule, I open after seven mass, and between the end of nine o 'clock mass until eleven mass is well over, there is not room to move in this shop. I have Mary here to help, but she's slow enough at the best of times, so I was on the lookout for someone sharp, someone who would know people and give the right change. But only on Sundays, mind. The rest of the week we can manage ourselves. And you were recommended. I made inquiries about you and it would be seven and six a week, it might help your mother a bit. "

 Miss Kelly spoke, Eilis thought, as though she were describing a slight done to her, closing her mouth tightly between each phrase.

 "So that's all I have to say now. You can start on Sunday, but come in tomorrow and learn off all the prices and we'll show you how to use the scales and the slicer. You'll have to tie your hair back and get a good shop coat in Dan Bolger's or Burke O'Leary's. "

 Eilis was already saving this conversation for her mother and Rose; she wished she could think of something smart to say to Miss Kelly without being openly rude. Instead, she remained silent.

 "Well?" Miss Kelly asked.

 Eilis realized that she could not turn down the offer. It would be better than nothing and, at the moment, she had nothing.

 "Oh, yes, Miss Kelly," she said. "I'll start whenever you like."

 "And on Sunday you can go to seven o'clock mass. That's what we do, and we open when it's over."

 "That's lovely," Eilis said.

 "So, come in tomorrow, then. And if I'm busy I'll send you home, or you can fill bags of sugar while you wait, but if I'm not busy, I'll show you all the ropes. "

 "Thank you, Miss Kelly," Eilis said.

 "Your mother'll be pleased that you have something. And your sister," Miss Kelly said. "I hear she's great at the golf. So go home now like a good girl. You can let yourself out."

 Miss Kelly turned and began to walk slowly up the stairs. Eilis knew as she made her way home that her mother would indeed be happy that she had found some way of making money of her own, but that Rose would think working behind the counter of a grocery shop was not good enough for her. She wondered if Rose would say this to her directly.

 On her way home she stopped at the house of her best friend Nancy Byrne to find that their friend Annette O'Brien was also there. The Byrnes had only one room downstairs, which served as a kitchen, dining room and sitting room, and it was clear that Nancy had news of some sort to impart,

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Brooklyn-Colm Toibin Сторінка 1 - Читати онлайн.

 For Peter Straus

 Part One

 Eilis Lacey, sitting at the window of the upstairs living room in the house on Friary Street, noticed her sister walking briskly from work. She watched Rose crossing the street from sunlight into shade, carrying the new leather handbag that she had bought in Clerys in Dublin in the sale. Rose was wearing a cream-coloured cardigan over her shoulders. Her golf clubs were in the hall; in a few minutes, Eilis knew, someone would call for her and her sister would not return until the summer evening had faded.

 Eilis's bookkeeping classes were almost ended now; she had a manual on her lap about systems of accounting, and on the table behind her was a ledger where she had entered, as her homework, on the debit and credit sides, the daily business of a company whose details she had taken down in notes in the Vocational School the week before.

 As soon as she heard the front door open, Eilis went downstairs. Rose, in the hall, was holding her pocket mirror in front of her face. She was studying herself closely as she applied lipstick and eye make-up before glancing at her overall appearance in the large hall mirror, settling her hair. Eilis looked on silently as her sister moistened her lips and then checked herself one more time in the pocket mirror before putting it away.

 Their mother came from the kitchen to the hall.

 "You look lovely, Rose," she said. "You'll be the belle of the golf club."

 "I'm starving," Rose said, "but I've no time to eat."

 "I'll make a special tea for you later," her mother said. "Eilis and myself are going to have our tea now."

 Rose reached into her handbag and took out her purse. She placed a one-shilling piece on the hallstand. "That's in case you want to go to the pictures," she said to Eilis.

 "And what about me?" her mother asked.

 "She'll tell you the story when she gets home," Rose replied.

 "That's a nice thing to say!" her mother said.

 All three laughed as they heard a car stop outside the door and beep its horn. Rose picked up her golf clubs and was gone.

 Later, as her mother washed the dishes and Eilis dried them, another knock came to the door. When Eilis answered it, she found a girl whom she recognized from Kelly's grocery shop beside the cathedral.

 "Miss Kelly sent me with a message for you," the girl said. "She wants to see you."

 "Does she?" Eilis asked. "And did she say what it was about?"

 "No. You're just to call up there tonight."

 "But why does she want to see me?"

 "God, I do not know, miss. I did not ask her. Do you want me to go back and ask her?"

 "No, it's all right. But are you sure the message is for me?"

 "I am, miss. She says you are to call in on her."

 Since she had decided in any case to go to the pictures some other evening, and being tired of her ledger, Eilis changed her dress and put on a cardigan and left the house. She walked along Friary Street and Rafter Street into the Market Square and then up the hill to the cathedral. Miss Kelly's shop was closed, so Eilis knocked on the side door, which led to the upstairs part where she knew Miss Kelly lived. The door was answered by the young girl who had come to the house earlier, who told her to wait in the hall.

 Eilis could hear voices and movement on the floor above and then the young girl came down and said that Miss Kelly would be with her before long.

 She knew Miss Kelly by sight, but her mother did not deal in her shop as it was too expensive. Also, she believed that her mother did not like Miss Kelly, although she could think of no reason for this. It was said that Miss Kelly sold the best ham in the town and the best creamery butter and the freshest of everything including cream, but Eilis did not think she had ever been in the shop, merely glanced into the interior as she passed and noticed Miss Kelly at the counter.

 Miss Kelly slowly came down the stairs into the hallway and turned on a light.

 "Now," she said, and repeated it as though it were a greeting. She did not smile.

 Eilis was about to explain that she had been sent for, and to ask politely if this was the right time to come, but Miss Kelly's way of looking her up and down made her decide to say nothing. Because of Miss Kelly's manner, Eilis wondered if she had been offended by someone in the town and had mistaken her for that person.

 "Here you are, then," Miss Kelly said.

 Eilis noticed a number of black umbrellas resting against the hallstand.

 "I hear you have no job at all but a great head for figures."

 "Is that right?"

 "Oh, the whole town, anyone who is anyone, comes into the shop and I hear everything."

 Eilis wondered if this was a reference to her own mother's consistent dealing in another grocery shop, but she was not sure. Miss Kelly's thick glasses made the expression on her face difficult to read.

 "And we are worked off our feet every Sunday here. Sure, there's nothing else open. And we get all sorts, good, bad and indifferent. And, as a rule, I open after seven mass, and between the end of nine o 'clock mass until eleven mass is well over, there is not room to move in this shop. I have Mary here to help, but she's slow enough at the best of times, so I was on the lookout for someone sharp, someone who would know people and give the right change. But only on Sundays, mind. The rest of the week we can manage ourselves. And you were recommended. I made inquiries about you and it would be seven and six a week, it might help your mother a bit. "

 Miss Kelly spoke, Eilis thought, as though she were describing a slight done to her, closing her mouth tightly between each phrase.

 "So that's all I have to say now. You can start on Sunday, but come in tomorrow and learn off all the prices and we'll show you how to use the scales and the slicer. You'll have to tie your hair back and get a good shop coat in Dan Bolger's or Burke O'Leary's. "

 Eilis was already saving this conversation for her mother and Rose; she wished she could think of something smart to say to Miss Kelly without being openly rude. Instead, she remained silent.

 "Well?" Miss Kelly asked.

 Eilis realized that she could not turn down the offer. It would be better than nothing and, at the moment, she had nothing.

 "Oh, yes, Miss Kelly," she said. "I'll start whenever you like."

 "And on Sunday you can go to seven o'clock mass. That's what we do, and we open when it's over."

 "That's lovely," Eilis said.

 "So, come in tomorrow, then. And if I'm busy I'll send you home, or you can fill bags of sugar while you wait, but if I'm not busy, I'll show you all the ropes. "

 "Thank you, Miss Kelly," Eilis said.

 "Your mother'll be pleased that you have something. And your sister," Miss Kelly said. "I hear she's great at the golf. So go home now like a good girl. You can let yourself out."

 Miss Kelly turned and began to walk slowly up the stairs. Eilis knew as she made her way home that her mother would indeed be happy that she had found some way of making money of her own, but that Rose would think working behind the counter of a grocery shop was not good enough for her. She wondered if Rose would say this to her directly.

 On her way home she stopped at the house of her best friend Nancy Byrne to find that their friend Annette O'Brien was also there. The Byrnes had only one room downstairs, which served as a kitchen, dining room and sitting room, and it was clear that Nancy had news of some sort to impart,

Mreadz. com

Brooklyn-Colm Toibin Сторінка 34 - Читати онлайн.

When she did, the entire front of the bathing suit folded down and, for a moment, until she held the suit up with her two hands, her breasts were exposed.

 "Is this one not all right?" she asked.

 "No, try the others," Miss Fortini said. "Come here and try this one."

 She seemed to be suggesting that Eilis not go behind the curtain again but change from one bathing suit to another beside the chair as she watched. Eilis hesitated.

 "Quickly now," Miss Fortini said.

 As Eilis lowered the suit she put one arm over her breast and bent over as she took it off, facing towards Miss Fortini so she did not feel so exposed. She put her hand out to take the suit, but Miss Fortini had lifted it and the other one that she had not tried, holding them up for perusal.

 "Maybe I should go behind the curtain," Eilis said. "If one of the security men comes in."

 She took both bathing suits and brought them into the cubicle and pulled the curtain. She was aware that Miss Fortini had been watching her carefully as she moved. She hoped that this would be over quickly and they would choose one of the suits and she hoped also that Miss Fortini would not say anything else about shaving.

 Having put on the next suit, which was a bright pink, she opened the curtain and appeared again. Miss Fortini seemed immensely serious, and there was in the way she stood and gazed at her something clear that Eilis knew she would never be able to tell anyone about.

 She stood still with her arms by her sides as Miss Fortini discussed the colour, wondering if it were too bright, and the cut of the suit, which she thought too old-fashioned. Once more, as she walked around, she touched the elastic at the top of Eilis's thighs and let her hand move over the rise of Eilis's bottom, patting her there, allowing her hand to linger.

 "Now try the other," she said and stood where the curtain was, thus preventing Eilis from closing it. Eilis removed the bathing suit as quickly as she could and, in her haste to put on the last one, began to fumble, putting her leg in the wrong place. She had to bend to lift the suit and had to use both her hands to find the right way of putting it on. No one had ever seen her naked like this; she did not know how her breasts would seem, if the size of the nipples or the dark colour around them was unusual or not. She went from feeling hot with embarrassment to feeling almost cold. She was relieved when the suit was on and she was standing up once more being inspected by Miss Fortini.

 Eilis did not think there was any difference between the suits; simply, she did not want the black one or the pink one, but, since the others fitted her and their colours were not extreme in any way, she felt happy to take either of them. Thus when Miss Fortini suggested that she try each of them on again before she finally decided, Eilis refused and said that she would take either and did not mind which. Miss Fortini said that she would send all of them back with a note in the morning to her friend in the nearby store and Eilis could go herself at lunchtime and collect the one she had chosen. Her friend would make sure, Miss Fortini said, that she got a good discount. When Eilis was dressed and ready, Miss Fortini turned off all the lights in the store and they left by a side entrance.

 Eilis tried to eat less but it was hard, as she could not sleep if she was hungry. In the bathroom, when she looked at herself in the mirror, she did not think she was too fat, and when she tried on the bathing suit she had selected she was much more worried about how pale her skin was.

 One evening when she came home from work she found an envelope for her on the side table in the kitchen. It was an official letter from Brooklyn College to say that she had passed her first-year exams in all subjects and if she needed to know her precise grades she could contact them. They hoped, the letter said, that she would be returning the following year, which would begin in September, and they provided dates by which she should register.

 It was a beautiful evening. She thought she would miss supper and walk down to the parish house and show the letter to Father Flood. Once she had left a note for Mrs. Kehoe and made her way into the street, she began to observe how beautiful everything was, the trees in leaf, the people in the street, the children playing, the light on the buildings. She had never felt like this before in Brooklyn. The letter had lifted her spirits, given her a new freedom, she realized, and it was something she had not expected. She looked forward to showing it to Father Flood if he were at home and then, when she saw him the following night as arranged, to Tony, and then to writing home with the news. In one year she would be a qualified bookkeeper and she could start looking for a better job. In a year the weather would grow hotter and unbearable and then the heat would fade and the trees would lose their leaves and then the winter would return to Brooklyn. And that too would dissolve into spring and early summer with long sunny evenings after work until she would again, she hoped, get a letter from Brooklyn College.

 And in all of her dreams, as she walked along, of how this year would be she imagined Tony's smiling presence, his attention, his funny stories, his holding her against him at one of the street corners, the sweet smell of his breath as he kissed her, the sense of his golden concentration on her, his arms around her, his tongue in her mouth. She had all of that, she thought, and now, with this letter, it was much more than she had imagined she would have when she arrived in Brooklyn first. She had to stop herself smiling as she moved along in case people thought that she was mad.

 Father Flood came to the door with a sheaf of papers in his hand. He ushered her into the parlour at the front of his house. As he read the letter he looked worried and even when he handed it back to her he remained serious.

 "You are marvellous," he said gravely. "That is all I have to say."

 She smiled.

 "Most people who come to this house without notice need something or have a problem," he said. "You hardly ever get pure good news."

 "I have saved some money," Eilis said, "and will be able to pay my tuition the second year and then pay you back for last year when I get a job."

 "One of my parishioners paid," Father Flood said. "He needed to do something for mankind so I made him pay your tuition for last year and I'll remind him soon that he needs to cough up for this year. I told him it's a good cause and it makes him feel noble."

 "Did you tell him it was for me?" she asked.

 "No. I gave him no details."

 "Will you thank him for me?"

 "Sure. How's Tony?"

 She was surprised by the question, how casual and unworried it seemed, how freely it suggested that Tony was a regular fixture rather than a problem or an interloper.

 "He's great," she said.

 "Has he taken you to a game yet?" the priest asked.

 "No, but he threatens to all the time. I asked him if Wexford were playing but he did not get the joke."

 "Eilis, here's one piece of advice for you," Father Flood said as he opened the door to see her into the hallway. "Never make jokes about the game."

 "That's what Tony said too."

 "He's a solid man," Father Flood said.

 As soon as she showed Tony the letter when they met the next evening he said that they would have to go to Coney Island the following Sunday to celebrate.

 "Champagne?" she asked.

 "Sea water," he replied. "And then a slap-up dinner in Nathan's afterwards."

 She bought a beach towel at Bartocci's and a sun hat from Diana, who said that she did not want it any more. At supper, Diana and Patty produced their sunglasses for the season, which they had bought on the boardwalk at Atlantic City.

 "I read somewhere," Mrs. Kehoe said, "that they could ruin your eyes."

 "Oh, I do not care," Diana said. "I think they're gorgeous."

 "And I read," Patty said, "that if you do not have them this year on the beach people will talk about you."

 Miss McAdam and Sheila Heffernan fitted them on and, openly ignoring Dolores, passed them to Eilis to try.

 "Well, they are very glamorous, I'll say that," Mrs. Kehoe said.

 "I'll

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