Mr Coombes laughed at the sudden happiness he felt. Was he dull? If so, he would not be dull any longer! Unsteadily, he stood up and looked at the world around him with a smile on his face. He began to remember. He had been disagreeable at home earlier because they wanted to be happy. But they were right and I was wrong; life should be as happy as possible. I’ll go home and be less grumpy, he thought. And I’ll take some of this fungus. In fact, I’ll fill my hat with it! So he did. And when his hat was full, he walked off, singing and looking forward to a happy evening…
The three of them – Mr Clarence, Mrs Coombes, and Jenny – were sitting around the fire, looking miserable.
‘You see what I have to put up with, Mr Clarence,’ said Mrs Coombes angrily.
‘He is a bit hasty,’ replied Mr Clarence.
‘All he cares about is his old shop. And if I buy myself something to make myself look nice or spend some of the housekeeping money or have a bit of company, there is an argument. He lies awake at night worrying about money and how to make me do without.’
‘If a man appreciates a woman,’ Mr Clarence said, ‘he must make sacrifices for her.’
‘I agree,’ said Jennie.
‘I should not have married him,’ said Mrs Coombes. A silence fell. Eventually Mrs Coombes got up and made some tea. When she came back, she heard a key turn in the door. Mr Coombes had returned.
‘Here is my Lord and master,’ said Mrs Coombes, sarcastically. ‘He went out like a lion but comes back like a lamb. Just you wait and see.’