A House for Mr. Biswas by Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul

By Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul

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Sample text

Everybody knows you lost your calf. But that was an accident. What about –’ ‘Yes, yes. My calf. ’ ‘I will remember you for this, Dhari. ’ ‘Savage! ’ He spat out the hibiscus leaf on to a flowerbed. ‘I just wanted to tell you that these wicked men will come again. ’ There was no one Bipti could ask for help. She distrusted the police, and Raghu had no friends. Moreover, she didn’t know who might be in league with Dhari. That night they gathered all Raghu’s sticks and cutlasses and waited. Mr Biswas closed his eyes and listened, but as the hours passed he found it hard to remain alert.

He went to the doorway and looked. It was Dehuti. From the nail on the wall she had taken down his shirt and two vests and was pressing them to her face. ‘Sister,’ he whispered. She heard and saw, and her sobs turned to screams. Mr Biswas didn’t know what to do. ‘It’s all right, it’s all right,’ he said, but the words were useless, and he went back to his father’s room. Just in time, for at that moment Sadhu, the very old man who lived two houses away, came and asked what was wrong, his words whistling through the gaps in his teeth.

Savage! ’ He spat out the hibiscus leaf on to a flowerbed. ‘I just wanted to tell you that these wicked men will come again. ’ There was no one Bipti could ask for help. She distrusted the police, and Raghu had no friends. Moreover, she didn’t know who might be in league with Dhari. That night they gathered all Raghu’s sticks and cutlasses and waited. Mr Biswas closed his eyes and listened, but as the hours passed he found it hard to remain alert. He was awakened by whispers and movement in the hut.

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