Reginald had all the attributes of a successful school boy, highly respected prefect, and future scion of the intellectual empire of the West. He had almost no inner life, and so no hesitations, no conflicts, no doubts. Everything was unconscious, everything assumed; he had all the fate of defenses disguised as instincts.
Tom, on the other hand, was quite often wracked with doubt. His relationship to rules, for instance – unlike Reginald’s – was complex. One day, at boarding school, Tom vaulted the iron fence over to the sanatorium to retrieve an errant soccer ball, and on return had been met by a grim-faced group of prefects. His brother lurked in the background.
“Attaboy, Tom,” said Edward the Head Prefect, a fresh-faced boy of glassy, soulless perfection. “Not many new boys have the guts ...... Read more