Car 6

Mrs Beverly Tompset

Outward appearance

Worn, middle-aged woman, grey face, bright red hair, green overcoat,black jeans, loafers. Reading The English Verb . Thelettering is 3-D and emerges from the distance, like the opening ofStar Wars . LTP, it says, as if thatwere something thrilling.

Inside information

Lecturer in commercial sociology at BruenwaltInternational. Her foreign students tend to speak textbook English. They cannot fathom English verbs, which are modified out ofrecognition by prepositions. 'To beat' is different from 'to beat up'. Beverly is yet to find a textbook that adequately explains this.

What she is doing or thinking

She is thinking of Attila, the homeless Big Issuesalesman outside Waterloo. She wants him to lecture her students onEnglish. He's a Cossack but his English is flawlessly American andcolloquial. Perhaps he could explain prepositional verbs to them. As ithappens, there is a lad on the course from the old Soviet Republics. Beverly is sure that it would be a relief for Attila to talk to someonefrom home.

She thinks of her lovely, plump, pallid husband. How can she explain tohim or herself that she is love with wild Cossack who worked manyyears on American merchant vessels? Beverly has spent her lifebanishing romance, all that novelettish stuff. She can banish it again.

But for now, surely it's all right to dream a little bit of being swept upin firm, brown, young arms? She lowers the book and sighs.

In the meantime, she can at least get him work. Again, she lifts upThe English Verb .

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