The pallbearers stood in a dark row behind the coffin, like a chorus of elders in a tragedy. Henry was the youngest one. He stood there quietly, his hands folded before him - big, white, scholarly hands, capable and well-kept, the same hands that had dug in Bunny’s neck for a pulse and rolled his head back and forth on its poor broken stem while the rest of us leaned over the edge, breathless, watching. […]
Slowly, slowly, with a drugged, fathomless calm, Henry bent and picked up a handful of dirt. He held it over the grave and let it trickle from his fingers. Then, with terrible composure, he stepped back and absently dragged the hand across his chest, smearing mud upon his lapel, his tie, the starched immaculate white of his shirt.
I stared at him. So did Julian, and Francis, and the twins, with a kind of shocked horror. He seemed not to realise he had done anything out of the ordinary. He stood there perfectly still, the wind ruffling his hair and the dull light glinting from the rims of his glasses.