The trip to Norfolk

Chapters 13 to 15

Rodney borrows a car from a local farm worker so that they can take their trip to Norfolk. When they arrive they decide to eat in a local café. Rodney and Chrissie talk about meeting Martin an old friend from The Cottages who is now a carer. This is something which is generally frowned upon as the students are not meant to associate with the carers.

Once again Chrissie and Rodney start talking about how lucky Kathy, Ruth and Tommy are to be ex Hailsham students and they mention one ex student who is believed to work in a shop. They then start asking about 'deferrals'. Chrissie and Rodney believe all Hailsham students are told about 'deferrals' before they leave the school. Kathy realises that the main reason Chrissie and Rodney invited Ruth to Norfolk was so that they could question her about 'deferrals'. Tommy is quick to point out that he knows nothing about 'deferrals'. Ruth humiliates Tommy by claiming that he is not like other students who went to Hailsham and that therefore Chrissie and Rodney should take no notice of him. Ruth wishes to appear knowledgeable so tries to give the impression that she knows all about the 'deferral' system.

The group later go for a walk in order to look for Ruth’s possible and they spot her in the glass fronted office. From a distance she looks like a 50-year-old version of Ruth. When the possible leaves the office, the group of friends follow her into an art gallery. When they see the woman close up, they are forced into the realisation that she cannot be Ruth’s possible as she bears only the smallest resemblance to her. Ruth also concludes that they never use women like the one they followed to clone from. Ruth claims the people who usually allow themselves to be cloned, are, Junkies, prostitutes, winos, tramp. Convicts, maybe, just so long as they aren’t psychos.

Chrissie and Rodney take Ruth to meet their friend Martin but Tommy decides to stay with Kathy. He reminds her that they are in Norfolk, which in Hailsham had always been described as the lost corner of England and therefore the place to find lost property. He tells her he wants to try to find her another copy of her lost Judy Bridgewater tape, Songs After Dark. After looking in several second hand shops Kathy finds a copy of the tape and Tommy buys it for her. They do not tell Ruth about finding the tape. Tommy begins to worry that the 'deferral' system might exist and that he might be excluded from it because he was useless at art. He remembers that the best art work of the Hailsham students was taken away to be put in Madame’s Gallery as Miss Emily claimed the work revealed the ’souls’ of the students.

Tommy begins drawing imaginary animals in the hope of proving that he has artistic ability. Kathy admits to Tommy that she looks at adult magazines in case she spots her possible.