“But the time had gone flying by, and the afternoon was now over…*

*From: Alias Grace (1996), by Margaret Atwood:

…As I came back up the drive I saw Mr. Kinnear standing on the verandah, and looking at me with his telescope; and as I approached the back door, he walked around the side of the house, and said, Good afternoon, Grace.

I returned it, and he said, Who was that man with you in the orchard? And what were you doing with him?

I could hear in his voice what sort of suspicions he was entertaining; and I said it was only young Jamie Walsh, and we were making daisy chains because it was my birthday. And he accepted that, but was none too pleased all the same. And when I went into the kitchen to begin the preparations for supper, Nancy said, What is that wilted flower doing in your hair? It looks very silly.

There was one, which had got caught when I was taking off the daisy necklace.

But these two things together took some of the innocence out of the day.

So I set about cooking the supper; and when McDermott came in later with an armful of wood for the stove, he said in a sneering manner, So, you were rolling about in the grass, and kissing the errand boy, he should have his brains knocked out for that, and I’d do it for him myself if he wasn’t such a baby. It’s clear you prefer the boys to the men, such a fine cradle-robber you are. And I said, I was doing no such thing. But he did not believe me.

I felt as though my afternoon had not been mine at all, and not a kind and private thing, but had been spied upon by every one of them – with Mr. Kinnear included, which I did not think he would have stooped so low – exactly as if they’d all been lined up in a row at the door of my chamber, and taking turns at looking through the keyhole; which made me very sad, and also angry.”

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