Mrs Beaten hasn’t been out in the daylight for some time now. She’s living on dried things that do not taste very good. Not that fresh things would taste much better. At night, she makes a dash to the well.
Mrs Beaten is afraid.
Someone posted a poster through her door. It’s just the kind of poster she likes to make. She’s proud of having mastered paper-making, and proud of her opinions. At least, she was.
How many people have seen this?
She does not know.
How many people have seen her laundry, hanging discreetly in the little back garden?
Certainly, her neighbours. She suspects the Jones girl is behind it, the one who only last week said ‘My uncle, Mrs Tidy Jones told me…’
The Jones girl who has clearly been mocking her all along.
But there’s truth in it, for her knickers do not express the best of her standards, and she feels the shame of it keenly.