Things Getting Worse Before They Get Better

“Silas,” asked Dorcas Lightfoot, “can you remember how to wash dishes?”

Silas did not regard himself as every time the sharpest knife in the box, but he thought he detected trouble in this question. He could see that kind of indefinable glitter in his wife’s eyes that meant things would get worse before they got better. He wondered what was wrong.

“Yes,” he replied, cautiously.

Silently, she twitched the dish-towel from the drying-rail in front of the stove and held it out to him. He realised, she meant these dishes; now.