It’s 2am, and thus time for Anna and Peter to make their long-awaited escape attempt.
“Peter was pulling a blunt cutlery knife out of his overalls.”
I’ve never heard it called that before. Well, at least it’ll come in handy if they need to butter any rolls.
Anna and Peter climb into the tunnel behind the grate, and then it’s time for a one paragraph lazy change of perspective to check up on Evil Mrs Pincent. She’s desperate to get back to Grange Hall so that Peter can be killed and have his stem cells harvested. You see, the secret of this series is that Soylent Green, er, Longevity, is people! But looking at Wikipedia seems to indicate that this won’t even become a plot point until book three. Oh, and that thyroxine stuff in science class was probably bullshit.
Anna and Peter crawl through fifty metres of tunnel,and even though I said this was a long chapter yesterday, it turns out that much of it is tedious description that my eyes slid over. As someone who gets mildly claustrophobic, I was little concerned for them getting stuck in the tunnel, but of course that would have derailed the plot so after a little scrabbling around they unblock a mud-filled tunnel and make it to the fabled Outside.
Anna is overwhelmed by this brave new world, but Peter is just being moody and angry as usual. They pass Mrs Sharpe’s house, which is an event flag if ever there was one.
“’You’re hurt,’ she said flatly. ‘Peter, you’re hurt.’
‘So what if I am?’ Peter snapped.”
Yes, it turns out that Peter ripped his leg open in the tunnel, and now he wants to be all brave and manly and keep going in spite of the intense, crippling pain. Anna suggests staying at Mrs Sharpe’s.
“’I just thought-’
‘Yeah, well don’t, OK? I’ll do the thinking,’ Peter said angrily.”
Fuck you, Peter. Stop being such a fucking prick.
Fortunately, Anna stands up for herself, and with dawn rapidly approaching they decide to take shelter in Mrs Sharpe’s conveniently abandoned summerhouse. I hope there’s some fresh water in there to wash out Peter’s wound before it gets infected.
Anna happens to know from her previous stay that Mrs Sharpe hides both her gate key and summerhouse key inside fake rocks, so they let themselves in. What could possibly go wrong?