50 Essays Second Edition

The terrible Tramp Major met us at the door and herded us into the bathroom to be stripped and searched.

He was a gruff, soldierly man of forty, who gave the tramps no more ceremony than sheep at the dipping-pond, shoving them this way and that and shouting oaths in their faces. 'Well, that's bloody bad luck, guv'nor,' he said, 'that's bloody bad luck, that is.' And thereafter he took it into his head to treat me with compassion, even with a kind of respect. All the indecent secrets of our underwear were exposed; the grime, the rents and patches, the bits of string doing duty for buttons, the layers upon layers of fragmentary garments, some of them mere collections of holes, held together by dirt.

Littered on the grass, we seemed dingy, urban riff-raff.

We defiled the scene, like sardine-tins and paper bags on the seashore.

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Title: Fifty Orwell Essays Author: George Orwell * A Project Gutenberg of Australia e Book * e Book No.: 0300011Language: English Date first posted: August 2003 Most recent update: April 2019 This e Book was produced by: Colin Choat Production notes: Author's footnotes appear at the end of the paragraph where indicated.

It was the invariable spike meal, always the same, whether breakfast, dinner or supper—half a pound of bread, a bit of margarine, and a pint of so-called tea.

It took us five minutes to gulp down the cheap, noxious food.

The woman was sent off to the workhouse, and we others into the spike.

It was a gloomy, chilly, limewashed place, consisting only of a bathroom and dining-room and about a hundred narrow stone cells.

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