In the obscurity I could see he made a gesture of despair.
Then abruptly he sat down before the table, put his head on his arms, and began to sob and weep like a little boy, in a perfect passion of emotion, while I, with a curious forgetfulness of my own recent despair, stood beside him, wondering.
I grew very weary and irritable with the curate’s perpetual ejaculations; I tired of the sight of his selfish despair.
At that discovery I despaired for the first time.
It grew upon my mind, once I could face the facts, that terrible as our position was, there was as yet no justification for absolute despair.
Men on cycles, lean-faced, unkempt, scorched along every country lane shouting of unhoped deliverance, shouting to gaunt, staring figures of despair.
I thought of the poisons in the chemists’ shops, of the liquors the wine merchants stored; I recalled the two sodden creatures of despair, who so far as I knew, shared the city with myself….
I will not tell the needless trouble I had breaking into that house—afterwards I found the front door was on the latch—nor how I ransacked every room for food, until just on the verge of despair, in what seemed to me to be a servant’s bedroom, I found a rat-gnawed crust and two tins of pineapple.