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Word Count: 508
In The Daughters Of The Late Colonel we meet two sisters of an uncertain age in the week after the death of their father It is possible to estimate their ages at around the early fifties because they have a grown-up nephew This is the story of two lives which have been distorted by a tyrannical father It is not only a story of the lost opportunities in the lives of two women in the literal sense but a story of a deprived existence both physical and mental When the story opens the sisters are talking from their seperate beds in one room-they have since childhood shared a room and Josephine remembers similar nights when as children they had giggled in the night Thye have never worked for a living and barely know how to take care of themselves When they discuss dismissing Kate the servant they are excited at the prospect of finding food for themselves but also worry what that food might be What should we live on Jug Oh eggs in various forms said Jug lofty againAnd besides there are all the cooked foods Presumably they liveexist on their fathers army pension which at a time when labour was cheap enables them to employ a servant and a nurse for their father in his final days but there is little money to spare Their poverty is illustrated when they bought a cake and meringues for their nephew Cyril These were purchased at some personal sacrifice Josephines winter gloves or the soling and heeling of Constancias only respectable shoes Even in death their father is with them not just as a haunting memory but deep in their day-to-day consciousness At his funeral Josephine had a moment of absolute terror when she thought they were burying him without permission They are unable to deal with his personal effects because they fear he is lurking in his bedroom warderobe
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