1939 • Esperance

39-09-15-B esperance Lesley child SMALLER

Lesley as a child

She was once, child-Lesley, one hot summer on the southern coast, a visitor in Esperance. A bright young girl with what the doctor called a weak chest. Her dark hair snipped around a pudding bowl. A good girl, for she’d not got wicked yet. She’ll spend a year, aged seven, turning eight, with her cousins, between the desert and the Bight. [RED, page 113]

39-09-15-A Ada O'Toole SMALLER

Lesley’s mother Ada O’Toole

And although in truth she hasn’t come this far, all the way to Wylde Street, still she always might. But surely she won’t now. Not now she’s dead—quite dead—inexorably and satisfyingly. Or else perhaps—might her mother reach her still? Lesley squeezes up the telegram that’s damp with sweat. Might she still come? Not by car, perhaps. She’ll come by dreams. And will her mother, freshly dead, continue visiting? A ghost of accusations past? Lesley, answer me. [RED, page 113]

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