Dusty Ermine


It's heaven. It's Wormwood Scrubs.

Same thing.

Two pillow cases.

And two of the Irish linen sheets.


And, Goldie, you'd better get him

a hot water bottle.

Oh, yes, mum. It'll be a real dip for him

after what he's been used to.

You've laid a fire in his room, Goldie?

Yes, mum.

That's good, that's good.

And Goldie, this time do remember to screw

the top security on the hot water bottle.

Oh, yes, mum.

Hello, mum.

Hello, dear. Where have you been?


I hope you haven't been extravagant.

Darling, even a K.C. can afford muffins.


Uncle Jim's favorite food, don't you remember?


No, no, I can't possibly receive you here today.

No, my brother's coming home

after a long stay in...


How much are the roses?

Six pence each coming up.

Lovely day, isn't it?

Not so nice as it was yesterday.

That's where you're wrong.

It's a much nicer day that yesterday

and nicer than the day before.

In fact, it's the nicest day in four years.

Hey, you gave me half a crown.


What is it now?

They won't bring him back in a Black Maria,

will they?

Well, Emily!

What would the neighbors say?

Don't worry, mother.

The police are very thoughtful.

They're sure to deliver him in a plain van.

Oh, do you think so, dear?

There he is.

It isn't he at all. It's Gilbert.


In a taxi.

Taxi? I'd take a bus.

I'd walk.

I'd stay at home.

Hello, everybody.

Gilbert, darling, where have you been?

I've been ringing up to your studio and getting no answer.

I've been quite worried, dear.

What do you mean by disappearing like this

without a word?

Hello, darling.


I, er... I've been hard at work.


Painting isn't work.

Now let me tell you...

Will you lend me five bob, father?

What for?

The taxi, I've only got a pound.

Better change it.

As a matter of fact I haven't got a pound.

I'm broke.

Broke? Why you had a year's allowance

only three months ago.

Yes, I know. But it's very expensive in Paris.

Paris? What were you doing in Paris?

Improving my technique.

How's the Follies Bergre?

Not very folly, but still very bare.

How dare you joke about your expenses!

I'm not...

Now, dear, dear, please!

It's all very well to say that, but...

I'm sure you are both hungry,

come along...

What about my five bob?


Oh, well, there.

There's four and six.

Come along, darling.

Excuse me, officer, but can you tell me

what bus will take me to Kensington?

27, 14 or 59, sir.

And they all go to Kensington, do they?

Yes, sir.

If I like, I can get on to one.

If I don't like, I don't have to, eh?

I beg your pardon?

If I like, I can go to... Richmond.

Or Edmond, or China.

If you like, you can go to...

Thank you, sergeant. Thank you a thousand times.


If you hope to make a living by selling those things

it's fortune that brought you back.

Look Here, we may as well get one thing straight.

I'm not going into your office.


I'd sooner starve, I'd sooner go to jail.


Gilbert, darling, I wish

you'd keep off that subject.

And your uncle Jim's coming home today, too.

Not too late, my dear. I'm here.

Uncle Jim, darling, how lovely to see you.

Are you really tired, Jim?

Not when I see you, Emily.

Well, Jim, I hope you've had a pleasant er...

Oh, Jim, dear, I...

Yes, I'm out. Like the leprechauns.

You've grown.

What did you expect?

After all, you've been away...

Yes, four years.

Less six months for good conduct.

Dear, you must be starving.

Now come along. What will you start with?

I've been having quite regular meals.

Nonsense, I know what the food's like in those places.

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Neil Grant

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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