4.On the twenty-seventh of July, in the second year of my going out with Audrey, it came about that I decided not to go to the prayer meeting at church, because of my oppressive conscience and my inability to pray.Because of feelings of guilt, I sometimes used to go to prayer meetings and get very bored, or even go to sleep in the actual prayer session, because I could not “enter into” the meeting. This Thursday, the usual day for prayer meetings, I decided that there would not be much point in my even going, so I decided to stay away. Perhaps I had been “•-ing” again, or had committed some such “sin”, and so couldn’t “come to the light” for shame.
5.Instead, I decided to catch the bus and go to the Woods’ house 6.and wait for them to come home after the prayer meeting.
7.But they delayed for such a long time that I began to get anxious. 8.Some time later, about an hour, being roused by impatience, I arose and walked to the church.
9.Now at that time there was a lad with protrusive teeth who had started to attend our church. (Trevor and I used the words “Teeth in Motion” in connection with him, from the pop song San Francisco, current at that time, which contained the words “People in motion”.)As I turned left into the now-dark Lowther Road, the people were just emerging from the doorway; and there were Audrey and her Mum, walking towards me! I went straight up to Audrey and demanded what was going on. But it was her mother who lost her temper and answered me sharply, rebuking me for being so angry and informing me that the reason why they were so late was that there had been an outburst in the meeting and a consequent exorcism of demons.
10.This boy greatly admired a girl,* handsome† and full-figured; but she was believed to be demon-possessed and unwilling to have it exorcised.
11.Unbeknown to me, these two had caused a disturbance during the prayer meeting, which had caused the meeting to be prolonged.
12.I was indignant because of the delay; but when I showed it, 14a.my indignation was matched by that of Audrey’s mother, who, 13.coming out of the building with the others after the meeting had finished, 14b.spoke to me with angry words, “You don’t know what went on in the meeting; for your information demons were being cast out.”
15.And this served to cool me down a little.
* A girl: she was called Dot. I forget the toothy lad’s name.
† Handsome: she had an attractive face, but she couldn’t be called quite beautiful.
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