By Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul
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Additional resources for A House for Mr. Biswas
What about –’ ‘Yes, yes. My calf. ’ ‘I will remember you for this, Dhari. ’ ‘Savage! ’ He spat out the hibiscus leaf on to a flowerbed. ‘I just wanted to tell you that these wicked men will come again. ’ There was no one Bipti could ask for help. She distrusted the police, and Raghu had no friends. Moreover, she didn’t know who might be in league with Dhari. That night they gathered all Raghu’s sticks and cutlasses and waited. Mr Biswas closed his eyes and listened, but as the hours passed he found it hard to remain alert.
It’s all right, it’s all right,’ he said, but the words were useless, and he went back to his father’s room. Just in time, for at that moment Sadhu, the very old man who lived two houses away, came and asked what was wrong, his words whistling through the gaps in his teeth. Dehuti continued to scream. Mr Biswas put his hands into his trouser pockets and, through the holes in them, pressed his fingers on his thighs. Sadhu led Dehuti away. Outside, from an unknown direction, a frog honked, then made a sucking, bubbling noise.
Raghu went back to his bonfire at the front. Mr Biswas slipped through the hibiscus fence, crossed the narrow, shallow gutter, grey-black and squelchy with the ashy water from the washing-up stand and the muddy water from Pratap’s bath, and made his way to the small back verandah where there was a table, the only piece of carpenter-built furniture in the hut. From the verandah he went into his father’s room, passed under the valance of the bed – planks resting on upright logs sunk into the earth floor – and prepared to wait.
A House for Mr. Biswas by Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul