Ruth RendellBuy a Copy of this Book
In those days I had never given a thought to poisoning and I can be sure of this, that I had nothing to do with our mother's death. I was even upset by it, though not as upset as Spinny who cried and sobbed. It was our grandmother who told us she was dead. We must have looked like one of those Victorian paintings that tell a story, 'The Long Engagement' or 'The Awakening of Conscience', only ours would have been called 'Poor Motherless Children', Grandmother with Spinny on her lap and her arm about me, drawing my head against her shoulder, whispering to us what had happened. Though I had nothing to do with it, it was no surprise to me. I knew she would die from the moment I overheard her telling Luke she would not have the operation, she would rather die than be mutilated. Instead she went to a naturopath who made her eat nothing but raw vegetables. Luke said the word alone was enough for him, 'naturopath', a bastard hybrid of Latin and Greek. I knew the cancer would not mind raw vegetables, would be scornful of them even, as an animal despises a trap set with unalluring bait.
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