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‘..But cedar is a damn funny wood. It does never cure at all.’ The new timber was brought in. It was cedar. ‘No tongue and groove,’ Mr Maclean said. Mr. Biswas said nothing. Mr. Maclean understood. He had seen this apathy overcome the builders of houses again and again. The back bedroom was walled. The door to the partially floored drawing room was built and hung. The door to the non-existent front bedroom was built and nailed into the doorway: ‘To prevent accident,’ Mr Maclean said, ‘in case you want to move in right away.’ Mr. Biswas had wanted doors with panels; he got planks of cedar nailed to two cross bars. The window was built in the same fashion and hung; the new black bolts gleamed on the new wood. ‘It coming along nice,’ Mr. Maclean said. Into Mr. Biswas’s busy, exhausted mind came the thought: “Hari blessed it. Shama made him bless it. They gave the galvanized iron and they blessed it.’” V.S. Naipaul, A House for Mr. Biswas , p. 271.



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