The Promised Island
In summertime it came from the veranda: the sound of her typewriter,
echoing a distant machine-gun in a former war. The repeater mechanism
was not altogether controlled by will, as it produced and reproduced terrible things:
The weather was gloriously fine, and it would be great fun. They went to asked her mother.
- Well, what do you think, she said turning to her husband.
- If they want to they can, he said. They won't have a chance to, soon.
They stared at the smiling man, confused.
- My dears, we have had a marvellous offer for the island! A man wants to buy it, and make it into a proper holiday place! What do you think of that?
She gave a curious choke. Her eyes burned as if on fire.
- Mother! You can't sell my island! I won't let it be sold.
Her father frowned.
- Don't be silly, he said. It isn't really yours. You know that. It belongs to your mother, and naturally she would like to sell if she could. We need the money badly. You will be able to have a great many nice things once we sell the island.
- I don't want nice things, she cried. My island is the nicest thing I could ever have. Mother, mother! You know you said I could have it. You know you did! And I believed you.
She wrote Five on a Treasure Island in 1942. Then she wrote another twenty. It looked like a ritual sacrifice. The machinery of texts, the massacre of words - the vultures of Literature could smell the carcass in the wind. Then, in 1968, a final chapter was written; or so they thought. How wrong they all were.