The train departs
The guard’s whistle was blown and the engine chuffed into life. The train moved out of the station’s gloom into the brighter ambience of the city’s dusk. Overhead the sky was deep, almost violet blue; ahead the horizon was lemon and orange. They rattled past along rows of little houses bordering the railway line, newly built or still building, and out into the country as the twilight darkened. In fields close by, dim shapes of cattle grazed while horses, more nervous, ran from the fiery monster as it approached.
Mrs Jelain read a magazine by the oil lamp’s light, while Mr Jelain dozed in the opposite corner. Sarnia had no desire to read and was too excited for sleep. She thought of Mrs Wilkinson at her never-ending never-rewarded tasks in Red Lion Square. All of that came from her decision to accept an offer of marriage. There could be no decision in a woman’s life more crucial.