Unnamed Husband of Former Prostitute

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Unnamed Husband of Former Prostitute
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Unnamed Husband of Former Prostitute
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In The Mansion the story of the dead man who was married to the former prostitute in Goodyhay's congregation is told in matter-of-fact terms in a couple pages by Albert, a member of the congregation. Albert says nothing about how he married his wife, but describes how he decided to kill himself during the fighting at the start of the Second World War. He is a Lieutenant in command of an infantry platoon falling back as part of the confused retreat in "Malaya" (a British colony on the Malay Peninsula, 305). During a night on picket duty in a foxhole he is joined by an untrained and "new" Negro supply soldier whom he leaves alone "to report to the p.c. or something" (306). In his absence the soldier is killed and beheaded by the Japanese; as soon as possible after that, when the retreat is at least temporarily halted, the Lieutenant "puts his pistol barrel in his mouth" (307).