Romeo and Tito

Penelope Gilliatt

When I was ten, in 1942, I won five shillings for the Madame Chiang Kai Shek short-story prize, and went straight to the bank to put the money into my Tito fund, muttering left-wing slogans against the bullying gracious lady of the Orient. I saw her as shrouded in jewels, but not in my five shillings. By the time I was fifteen, when I had considerably added to the fund by writing a radio play on a typewriter swiped every night from my school’s secretarial department, the savings amounted to more than enough to buy the £25 train fare to Belgrade by the Simplon-Orient Express. I wanted sorely to talk to Tito.

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