lusts, those of strangers who wrote their desires on the walls in public lavatories. He knew the moves, he'd never played the game.' (116).
He calls his lawyer Prewitt for advice. Both he and Rose are underage but if there was a legal loophole, Prewitt would know what it was. Prewitt comes and gives him advice. Indeed there is a way around it. "We'll see our young friend spliced yet." (119). Whilst Prewitt hunts in the soap-dish for his consultation fee, Pinkie finds Spicer, as alive as ever, packing his case to leave for Nottingham. "I got away... " he says. 'His words wilted out like a line of seaweed, along the edge of the Boy's silence, indifference and purpose." (120).
Ida, also, is driven with resolute purpose: "I'm going to work on that kid every hour of the day until I get something," she says, referring, of course, to Rose. 'She rose formidably and moved across the restaurant, moving formidably like a warship going into action' and, of course, 'a warship on the right side' (120, my italics). She pursues Rose to her bedroom above the restaurant. Rose wedges the door shut but Ida breaks in with her single-minded philosophy, 'When you were life-saving you must never hesitate, so they taught you, to stun the one you rescued' (122). Once inside the room she unleashes the broadsides of 'Right and Wrong': "I'm your friend... but don't you understand - he's wicked... You're young... romantic. I was like you once. You'll grow out of it. All you need is experience." Rose is as defiant as Pinkie in his interview with Colleoni:
'"You don't know a thing... I don't care"... The Nelson Place eyes stared back at her without understanding. Driven to her hole the small animal peered out at the bright and breezy world; in the hole were murder, copulation, extreme poverty, fidelity and the love and fear of God, but the small animal had not the knowledge to deny that only in the glare and open world outside was something which people called experience.' (122- 123)
Pinkie is more successful in his purpose. 'The Boy looked down at the body, spread-eagled like Prometheus, at the bottom of Frank's stairs. (123). Spicer is dead, finally. Pinkie makes it look like an accident, that the banister broke and he fell to his death. He also succeeds in manipulating Prewitt to support him. It would not look good, after all, if a respectable lawyer were present, fishing for money in a soap-dish, at the scene of a murder. Pinkie goes out to find Rose. His resolution has hardened with the murder of Spicer. He goes to Snow's and finds Rose and Ida at war. Ida is still delivering her broadsides of Righteousness and Rose is defiantly staying in her hole. Just as Pinkie was on alien territory when he met Colleoni in The Cosmopolitan, the arrival of Pinkie puts Ida on foreign ground. Pinkie and Rose representing the spiritual world - of Good and Evil - unite against the prophetess of worldly 'Right and Wrong'. 'She was good, [Pinkie had] discovered that, and he was damned: they were made for each other... .Good and evil lived in the same country, spoke the same language', a country to which Ida was foreign, a country in which she was 'nothing' (126-7). Ida leaves, her mission unfulfilled. Pinkie leaves a little later, engaged to Rose, his mission fulfilled.
Pinkie, Dallow and Cubbitt go to the Queen of Hearts, the 'best road-house this side of London' (131). They meet the late Spicer's woman. Pinkie seduces her - or, more accurately, she seduces Pinkie - but he fails to consummate their encounter. It is not that he feels any pang of guilt in sleeping with her (you get the feeling that this, in fact, compels him) but rather that he is scared. He is scared in his inexperience, like a small animal in a hole peering out at the 'glare and open world outside... that people called experience'. His fear drives him to turn against his plan to marry Rose. When they return, she is there but when he tells her that their marriage is off, she surprises him with her shrewdness. She has a newspaper in her hand. It contains the story of Spicer's death and on the front page is the photograph taken of him on the sea front. '"Do you think," she said, "I ought to take this - " she held out the paper to him - "to the police?"' (138). The marriage is back on. Pinkie goes to Nelson Place, back to the nightmare territory of his childhood, to ask her father's permission to marry her. He grants it, after a certain amount of negotiation. She is sold for fifteen guineas. In contrast to the poverty of Nelson Place, Ida is enjoying the fruits of her gamble on Black Boy with a chocolate éclair and a suite at The Cosmopolitan.
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