Car 4

Miss Josette Parely

Outward appearance

Middle aged woman, thick pebble glasses on a chain, grey overcoat, brogues. Sits reading with ferocious concentration a Beryl the Peril Annual . A young woman next to her reaches across and shakes a pack of licorice allsorts at her. The woman chooses one with great care -- a pink square. "Put the book away," says her companion, and they begin to pack up for Waterloo.

Inside information

Josette suffers from Down's Syndrome. Her family are French. They escaped the Occupation and stayed after the war. Her mother was a trained nurse who devoted herself to raising Josette. Her younger brother took great care of her and defended her if she were teased.

"How cum your sister is funny?" children would ask. "I'm retarded," Josette would answer. She learned how to manage other children. They grew up. She did not.

What she is doing or thinking

Josette wishes she were like Beryl, looking after herself. But she doesn't because she has Down's Syndrome. They are going to visit Mummy, and talk to Mummy and leave her some sweets. You can't replace a Mummy, she goes away and leaves a hole. You want people to hug you, but no one hugs you like Mummy.

They're going to change trains! Josette recognizes the signs in herself, she could get overexcited and silly. She gives Nane a quick hug, and Nane knows what that means. "We'll settle down soon," Nane promises. "Got everything?"

"Except my Mummy," says Josette. But that will solve itself soon because Josette knows Down's Syndrome don't live long. She'll join her soon.

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