Thursday, January 23, 2014

Go Not Gently by Cath Staincliffe (Robinson 1997)

On our journey to the Infirmary I told Agnes about the business and family links between the three doctors.  ‘Mr Simcock is on the board of directors there and Mrs Goulden is the Managing Director so that could be one reason why we saw Dr Goulden at the hospital – he’s got business connections with Simcock.’

Silence. ‘Agnes?’

‘Let me get this right. Mr Simcock is on the board of the company?’


‘And Dr Montgomery?’

‘Yes. And what’s more, Mrs Goulden, who works there, is actually the sister of Dr Montgomery too. It’s very incestuous.’

‘I don’t like it,’ she said sharply.

‘It stinks,’ I agreed, ‘and there are too many coincidences flying around. All these people have been involved in Lily’s treatment – is that just because it’s a specialised area? Is it just nepotism, the old boy network, or is there something else going on?’ I was speculating aloud.

Agnes shook her head.

‘You’d think one well-paid job would satisfy,’ she remarked, ‘with all this unemployment.’

‘It might be greedy but it’s not illegal,’ I pointed out. ‘Besides, they’re directors of the business – they employ people to work there.’

‘And money makes money. Always has done. What about them?’ She pointed towards a cluster of youths who were gathered outside a local off-licence. ‘Nothing, no hope. Even in the thirties there was hope, the belief that things could change. Now…all this talk about moral standards and the fabric of society. A return to Victorian values. Huh,’ she snorted, ‘Victorian values were savage, smothered in hypocrisy.’

I was fazed at her outburst and I’d no idea what had set her off. I said nothing. We arrived at the hospital.

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