“I work as a clerk in the local bank, and make a decent income, enough to keep a wife and family. At least, I’m a cut above the laborers, carpenters, butchers, longshoremen, and chalk-diggers that are typically available to a girl like Emmy, in a place like Thurrock, Essex, where the Thames widens its mouth before drifting towards the sea.
I’m going into this marriage with my eyes open, and I’ve insisted on a couple of things. For example, I told Emmy not to go around giving out our address to people she doesn’t know, especially anyone trying to register voters, and the like. Then I had to put my foot down about having a phone.
“What do you need a phone for, Emmy, dear?” I said one day, in response to her tentative request. “You’ve got your mother and father not a stone’s throw away, not to mention all your brothers and sisters.”
Her large brown eyes looked up into mine. “I thought it would be a convenience.”
Usually those eyes would have the effect of making me give in, but not today.
“It would be an intrusion,” I countered. “It would be more money than we can afford. You know that.”
Emmy, like the good girl she is, dropped the matter, and that was that.
[To be continued.]