Catherine referred to most of the people living in the immediate vicinity, between Susan and whom a fierce feud had existed for some months. It was born of envy and nurtured by malice, and Susan knew that well. She dressed better than most of the girls in the lane, she lived in a “front house,” while most of them had to be content with ordinary yard-rooms. She frequently went for rides on the electric cars, whereas they could only afford such pleasure on Sundays and on public holidays. She carried herself with an air of social superiority which was gall and wormwood to the envious; and often on walking through the lane she had noticed the contemptuous looks of those whom, with greater contempt, she called the common folks and treated with but half-concealed disdain. On the whole, she had rather enjoyed the hostility of these people, for it was in its way a tribute to her own importance. But now a discomforting development had taken place in the manner in which the dislike of the neighbourhood habitually showed itself. This evening Susan sat by one of the windows of the little house in which she lived, and which opened on the lane. It contained two tiny rooms: the inner apartment was her bedroom, her two sisters sleeping with her; the outer one was a sitting-room by day and a bedroom at night, when it was occupied by her father and mother. The house had originally been painted white and green, but the dust of Kingston had discoloured the painting somewhat; hence its appearance was now shabby and faded, though not as much so as that of the other buildings on either side of it. Opposite was an ancient fence dilapidated and almost black; behind this fence were two long ranges of rooms, in which people of the servant classes lived. The comparison between these and Susan’s residence was all in favour of the latter; and as this house overlooked the lane, and was detached from the buildings in the yard to which it belonged, its rental value was fairly high and its occupants were supposed to be of a superior social position. The gutters on both sides of the lane ran with dirty soap-water, and banana skins, orange peel and bits of brown paper were scattered over the roughly macadamized ground. Lean dogs reclined in the centre of the patch, or prowled about seeking scraps of food which they never seemed to find. In the daytime, scantily-clad children played in the gutters; a few slatternly women, black and brown, drawled out a conversation with one another as they lounged upon the doorsteps; all during the long hours of the sunlight the sound of singing was heard as some industrious housewives washed the clothes of their families and chanted hymns as they worked; and now and then a cab or cart passed down the lane, disturbing for a little while the peaceful tenor of its way.