Sheila quickly remembered the disasters of the previous inspection and declared, ‘We had better think about what that we are going to say, or if all fails, I say that we just answer the questions that he speaks to us truthfully and-‘ ‘Do be quiet, PLEASE. We are all in enough trouble as it is, thanks to the phone call to the police.’ Birling turned his face, lifted his eyebrows and stared at Gerald and added slowly and clearly, ‘But what is done is done.’
Gerald rapidly lost the previous respect that he had had for Birling and realised that there was not enough time to impress. He answered firmly back to the criticism that he received from him. ‘We are all in this together, Mr Birling, and I do not like your speech or your tone of your voice when solely blaming me for this coming of the second inspection.’ Birling replied instantly and again very aggressively, feeling disrespected. ‘How dare you speak to me like that? I am the one person whom everyone regards and looks up to around this area!’
‘Looks down at more like!’ replied Eric quietly with a cheeky and arrogant comment to his father. Birling’s answer was sharp and forthwith, ‘Get out of my sight before I do something I regret, go on- get out.’ Seconds later he thumped his fist firmly down on the delicate mahogany dinning table, knocking one of the precious silver candle holders over, and gazed at Eric firmly and blasted out, ‘NOW!’ Eric looked fearful and slowly strolled to the door, while he shook his head from side to side a couple of times. He slammed the door behind him, making a loud, unpleasant sound.
Mrs Birling interrupted the stillness and glanced at her fuming husband and declared, ‘I cannot cope with this nonsense any longer, and I have got an early start tomorrow and-and many appointments with the ladies in the institution and-.’ ‘We are going nowhere squabbling like this and I just can not take any more of this too! I am off upstairs to wash off my worries away in the bath,’ declared Sheila, boldly, while she interrupted her mother. They both departed the dining table swiftly and left Gerald and Birling to deal with the second agonising police inquiry.
Gerald and Birling just looked and each other, speechless. The beautiful old silver clock was heard peacefully as the seconds ticked pass. Birling took a large sip of his whisky when the thumping of the door interrupted him. They looked at one another in disbelief, shock and horror, feeling defenceless.