Excerpt from “Kangaroo” by D.H.Lawrence ~~Torestin~~

picture-Kangaroo-Lawrence“R.L. SOMERS! All right, you get in, sir and madam. You get in. Where d’you want to go? Station?”
“No. Fifty-one Murdoch Street.”
“All right, all right, I’ll take you. Fairish long way, but we’ll be there under an hour.”
Mr. Somers and his wife got into the cab. The cabby left the doors flung wide open, and piled the three bags there like a tower in front of his two fares. The hat-box was on top, almost touching the brown hairs of the horse’s tail, and perching gingerly.
“If you’ll keep a hand on that, now, to steady it,” said the cabby.
“All right,” said Somers.
The man climbed to his perch, and the hansom and the extraneous tower began to joggle away into the town. The group of workmen were still lying on the grass. But Somers did not care about them. He was safely jogging with his detested baggage to his destination.
“Aren’t they VILE!” said Harriet, his wife.
“It’s God’s Own Country, as they always tell you,” said Somers. “The hansom-man was quite nice.”
“But the taxi-drivers! And the man charged you eight shillings on Saturday for what would be two shillings in London!”
“He rooked me. But there you are, in a free country, it’s the man who makes you pay who is free–free to charge you what he likes, and you’re forced to pay it. That’s what freedom amounts to. They’re free to charge, and you are forced to pay.”
In which state of mind they jogged through the city, catching a glimpse from the top of a hill of the famous harbour spreading out with its many arms and legs. Or at least they saw one bay with warships and steamers lying between the houses and the wooded, bank-like shores, and they saw the centre of the harbour, and the opposite squat cliffs – the whole low wooded table-land reddened with suburbs and interrupted by the pale spaces of the many-lobed harbour. The sky had gone grey, and the low table-land into which the harbour intrudes squatted dark-looking and monotonous and sad, as if lost on the face of the earth: the same Australian atmosphere, even here within the area of huge, restless, modern Sydney, whose million inhabitants seem to slip like fishes from one side of the harbour to another.
Murdoch Street was an old sort of suburb, little squat bungalows with corrugated iron roofs, painted red. Each little bungalow was set in its own hand-breadth of ground, surrounded by a little wooden palisade fence. And there went the long street, like a child’s drawing, the little square bungalows dot-dot-dot, close together and yet apart, like modern democracy, each one fenced round with a square rail fence. The street was wide, and strips of worn grass took the place of kerb-stones.
The stretch of macadam in the middle seemed as forsaken as a desert, as the hansom clock-clocked along it.
Fifty-one had its name painted by the door. Somers had been watching these names. He had passed “Elite” and “Tres Bon” and “The Angels’ Roost’ and “The Better ‘Ole'”. He rather hoped for one of the Australian names, Wallamby or Wagga-Wagga. When he had looked at the house and agreed to take it for three months, it had been dusk, and he had not noticed the name. He hoped it would not be U-An-Me, or even Stella Maris.
“Forestin,” he said, reading the flourishing T as an F. “What language do you imagine that is?”
“It’s T, not F,” said Harriet.
“Torestin,” he said, pronouncing it like Russian. “Must be a native word.”
“No,” said Harriet. “It means ‘To rest in’.” She didn’t even laugh at him. He became painfully silent.



1 Comment

Filed under Fiction, Literature

One response to “Excerpt from “Kangaroo” by D.H.Lawrence ~~Torestin~~

  1. D.H. Lawrence was born in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, England on 11 September 1885, and died on 2 March 1930, aged 44 years.
    ‘Kangaroo’ was published in 1923, having been written during Lawrence’s visit to Australia in 1922.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s