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The Spike or Victoria University College Review Silver Jubilee 1924

(2) Paddington Station

(2) Paddington Station.

It is late afternoon and the South of Ireland Express stretches her long length at the platform, being due to leave in two minutes. Passengers settling into one compartment are attracted by a noise of voices on the platform and someone says, "Oh look at the poor old lady!" We look, and there on the platform she is, page 32 in the midst of a group that shouts and waves and is engaged in the process of cheering up. The poor old lady tries to smile with the best of them, but she can't manage it and the tears come, and the lines of smiles on her face are twisted into lines of pain and misery. The others become more hilarious and sing and dance about on the platform. And in the midst of it all somebody's old mother is trying hard to stop the tears that stream down her face. One dancer becomes still more gay. She puts her hands on her hips and her feathers wave bravely as she dances and sings. There is only half a minute till train time, but out springs Tommy from the carriage and joins her, his legs performing marvels of steps and capers.

The old refrain of the bus comes back to us—"Oi didn't cry when 'e went away. Oi didn't cry when the train went, oi didn't!"

The train moves out carrying Tommy with it. We pass the group of London faces looking trainwards and giving forth final shouts of joy and banter, but somebody's old mother no longer I SP' tries to hold back her tears.