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The Warp

Belinda and Ron

I work all day till in the evening Nell telephones me. She says she has met Julian David by chance on the station platform and in a sudden urge has asked him to stay and how she regrets it already. I am nervous and have a tense sleepless night.

Next evening I go to Belinda Montague’s rooms in a mews off the Fulham Road. She has a teddy boy boyfriend called Ron who is like a wild animal which has only partly been domesticated. He is washing dishes in the narrow kitchen. With her gold hair falling about her round face like seaweed she says, ‘Have you met the new cat? I bought him for two and six off a boy in the street. He’s got a maimed foot.’

Ron says to me, ‘Hermione Jingols wants a new script


writer and I mentioned your name to her. She wants good sort of dirty stuff, but it must be good. I was having a drink with her the other night and she said, ‘I must get me a good script. I need some dirty stuff but it must be good.’

Later to the Kalabosh filled with queers with a queer policeman standing at the door talking to a sailor. Kalaboshes hanging about inside and the waiters with knotted shirts or bare to the waist. Ron is infuriated by it. He keeps saying, ‘Stop fucking jogging me, you set of pansies.’ He also tells me, ‘Keep off the needle, Jeremy, if you want my advice.’

On the way home he goes to a phone box and dials 999 and says, ‘Get over quick, there’s been razor slashings and all sorts, a real fight.’

We wait for him in a nearby street and then Ron is running towards us. ‘That should bring them. I wiped my finger marks off the telephone,’ he says.

We walk down the street and are practically run over by a police car that is swirling round the corner.

We stroll on to the funfair in Battersea Park and pay to watch two girls being periodically tipped out of bed. They lie beneath a greasy blanket in two beds and people pay to throw heavy wooden balls at a target above them. The noise is intolerable and they cower sadly behind their blankets. When the bell rings they tip themselves out onto the stage. One can’t get up from the floor and the other has to help her.

At tea time Edith tells me of a barrow boy recently fined for keeping his horse in the downstairs front room of his basement flat, with a gas fire, furniture, etc. He took it down the steps into the mews every night and a police officer saw its nose poking from the window. ‘I was just teaching it to go up into the bedrooms,’ the man said.


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