As Morwena tried as she might to compose herself,the memories of her past just came flooding back like a storm torrent.Her defences seemed weak and feeble,as if she just wanted to give herself up to her memories.She knew that she must find some inner strength to rejoin Gwen Penhaligan and try her best to support Vernon who never found conversation easy,let alone ones that were,by their very nature,traumatic,As she entered the reception room again,she was taken aback by the humanity of Gwen,who seemed genuinely concerned about her welfare.
While she had been composing herself,Gwen had seen to it that the men were served with Brandy ,and they would take tea.Morwena wondered how Vernon would cope with this custom,as he was a Methodist teetotal Christian,but she had been so taken away by the picture,that it hadn’t bothered her too much,and her mind was now on Pierre and his picture.He had often spoken f his wish to paint the harbour in oils,and she had been with him when he had sketched it often enough.Quite often,he had patiently observed her efforts at drawing the fish wives as they waited on the quay to help with their husbands catches of a day,and his passion for art was infectious.Gwen then asked an innocent question:”Do you like drawing Morwena”?Morwena replied that her teacher at elementary school had said that she drew well,but Morwena was careful not to give any more details.Then Gwen,as if she knew a little more of a Morwena and her life than she let on asked if she had ever drawn on Newlyn quay.Morwena ,forever quick witted and knowledgeable of how people could extract information without asking a direct question replied that in her class maybe 10 of her class mates would have ,at one time or another,sketched down on the quay.While this might have been true enough,Morwena had been known to have met Pierre at sunrise ,and stayed him all day unto sunset,but she wasn’t about to volunteer intimate information about her life to anyone,let alone Gwen a Penhaligan.
As luck would have it,Bill and Vernon arrived,with Bill looking pleased with himself,and Vernon looking as if he was in a stupor.Morwena thought he looked very red faced,as well as he might,as he had dompromised and imbibed of Bill’s brandy.This,to Morwena ,was quite out of the ordinary,and she seemed shocked.Vernon,on the other hand,seemed not to have a care in the world,but was ositiveoy glowing and even laughing with Bill.
Morwena had a feeling that Vernon had been duped by Bill,and had not obtained any promises as regards the safety of the mine,or that of the miners for that matter.If it had not been for the Painting,Morwena would have felt that the whole event was a complete waste f time,but the sight of the picture lifted her from her depression,and through those oils,those textures,Pierre had once again communicated to her,reached out to her,rescued her.
Their walk back to the cottage was,as it went,extremely cordial,but Morwena knew better than to ask Vernon if he had obtained any concessions from Bill as regards mine safety,as she knew that it would have been futile.When they arrived home,the affect of the two brandies that Vernon had consumed had had the affect of sending him to sleep right away.This pleased Morwena,as she she sit and think about her Pierre and about their times on Newlyn Quay.her thoughts raced around in her head:Where was Pierre now?Had he gone to London?Had he returned to France?Little did she know that Pierre hadn’t even moved out of the county but had taken up a studio in St Ives.
As she looked at Vernon sleeping ,she thought what a troubled man he was,she thought that he need order,absolute discipline in his life,and she realised that he would always struggle to communicate.She liked it when he was sleeping,as he was often demanding the of her,and she found his roughness and heavy handed ways almost impossible these days.She knew that she shouldn’t forbid him,but she just couldn’t abide him getting near her.So,the night,she lay in their marital bed silently pondering what might have been.Her imagination ,her heart and soul was on the quay at Newlyn,not in the god nags on down the mine,but the day dreams of her Pierre.