The terrible Tramp Major met us at the door and herded us into the bathroom to be stripped and searched.He was a gruff, soldierly man of forty, who gave the tramps no more ceremony than sheep at the dipping-pond, shoving them this way and that and shouting oaths in their faces. 'Well, that's bloody bad luck, guv'nor,' he said, 'that's bloody bad luck, that is.' And thereafter he took it into his head to treat me with compassion, even with a kind of respect. All the indecent secrets of our underwear were exposed; the grime, the rents and patches, the bits of string doing duty for buttons, the layers upon layers of fragmentary garments, some of them mere collections of holes, held together by dirt.This was Scotty, a little hairy tramp with a bastard accent sired by cockney out of Glasgow.His tin of cigarette ends fell out of his sock at the wrong moment, and was impounded. An official at the gate entered our names and other particulars in the register and took our bundles away from us.
It took us five minutes to gulp down the cheap, noxious food.When we had bathed our own clothes were taken away from us, and we were dressed in the workhouse shirts, grey cotton things like nightshirts, reaching to the middle of the thigh.Then we were sent into the dining-room, where supper was set out on the deal tables.You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg Australia Licence which may be viewed online.THE SPIKE (1931) A HANGING (1931) BOOKSHOP MEMORIES (1936) SHOOTING AN ELEPHANT (1936) DOWN THE MINE (1937) (FROM “THE ROAD TO WIGAN PIER”) NORTH AND SOUTH (1937) (FROM “THE ROAD TO WIGAN PIER”) SPILLING THE SPANISH BEANS (1937) MARRAKECH (1939) BOYS’ WEEKLIES AND FRANK RICHARDS’S REPLY (1940) CHARLES DICKENS (1940) CHARLES READE (1940) INSIDE THE WHALE (1940) THE ART OF DONALD MCGILL (1941) THE LION AND THE UNICORN: SOCIALISM AND THE ENGLISH GENIUS (1941) WELLS, HITLER AND THE WORLD STATE (1941) LOOKING BACK ON THE SPANISH WAR (1942) RUDYARD KIPLING (1942) MARK TWAIN–THE LICENSED JESTER (1943) POETRY AND THE MICROPHONE (1943) W B YEATS (1943) ARTHUR KOESTLER (1944) BENEFIT OF CLERGY: SOME NOTES ON SALVADOR DALI (1944) RAFFLES AND MISS BLANDISH (1944) ANTISEMITISM IN BRITAIN (1945) FREEDOM OF THE PARK (1945) FUTURE OF A RUINED GERMANY (1945) GOOD BAD BOOKS (1945) IN DEFENCE OF P. WODEHOUSE (1945) NONSENSE POETRY (1945) NOTES ON NATIONALISM (1945) REVENGE IS SOUR (1945) THE SPORTING SPIRIT (1945) YOU AND THE ATOMIC BOMB (1945) A GOOD WORD FOR THE VICAR OF BRAY (1946) A NICE CUP OF TEA (1946) BOOKS VS.