Oh dear. The Waugh phase. I read everything by him – Decline and Fall, Vile Bodies,etc. Waugh is really very good for fifteen-year-old girls. I understood his world of dark glamour and sardonic humour (sarcasm was my thing), and I loved the way he quietly laughs at everyone and invites you to join him. This story shocked me with its horribly brutal, funny ending. I read it again recently, and although I didn’t find it quite as amazing as I did then, I still love the innocent description of the girl on the bike and Mr Loveday’s naïve yet secretive smile.
First published 1935. Collected in Mr Loveday’s Little Outing and Other Early Stories, Penguin Classics, 2011 and The Penguin Book of English Short Stories, Penguin, 1967