Excerpt from “Travels With My Aunt” by Graham Greene ~~Bored~~

picture-TravelsWithMyAunt-Greene‘Exactly,’ I said, ‘so you see I needn’t make up my mind. I can go next week, or the week after. We can wait and see how things go.’
‘I have always thought that one day we might be together.’
‘Always, Aunt Augusta? We’ve known each other for less than a year.’
‘Why do you suppose I came to the funeral?’
‘It was your sister’s funeral.’
‘Yes, of course. I had forgotten that.’
‘There’s plenty of time to make plans,’ I said. ‘You may not even want to settle here yourself. After all you are a great traveller, Aunt Augusta.’
‘This is my journey’s end,’ Aunt Augusta said. ‘Perhaps travel for me was always a substitute. I never wanted to travel as long as Mr Visconti was there. What is there in Southwood which draws you back?’
The question has been in my mind for several days and now I did my best to answer it. I spoke of my dahlias, I even talked of Major Charge and his goldfish. The rain began to fall, rustling through the trees in the garden: a grapefruit tumbled heavily to earth. I spoke of the last evening with Miss Keene and her sad undecided letter from Koffiefontein. Even the admiral stalked through my memories, flushed with Chianti and wearing a scarlet paper cap. Packages of Omo were left on the doorstep. I felt a sense of relief as a patient must feel under pentothal, and I let my random thoughts dictate my words. I spoke of Chicken and of Peter and Nancy in the Abbey Restaurant in Latimer Road, of the bells of St John’s Church and the tablet to Councillor Trumbull, the patron of the grim orphanage. I sat on the bed beside my aunt and she put her arm round me while I went over the uneventful story of my life. ‘I’ve been very happy,’ I concluded as though it needed an excuse.
‘Yes, dear, yes, I know,’ she said.
I told her how very kind to me Sir Alfred Keene had been, and I told her of the bank and of how Sir Alfred threatened to remove his account if I did not remain as manager.
‘My darling boy,’ she said, ‘all that is over now,’ and she stroked my forehead with her old hand as though I were a schoolboy who had run away from school and she was promising me that I would never have to return, that all my difficulties were over, that I could stay at home.
I was sunk deep in my middle age. All the same I laid my head against her breast. ‘I have been happy,’ I said, ‘but I have been so bored for so long.’

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1 Comment

Filed under Fiction, Literature

One response to “Excerpt from “Travels With My Aunt” by Graham Greene ~~Bored~~

  1. Graham Greene was born in Hertfordshire, England on 2 October 1904, and died on 3 April 1991, aged 86 years. ‘Travels With My Aunt’ was published in 1969.

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