Would you be kind enough to review my guesswork concerning the interpretation of three words which focused my attention when reading Frank Hardy’s “The Returned Soldier”?
“Yet she was right; I must find work. To pay the bills, the rent especially, to get some good tucker and clothes; to get the sewing machine back”
“Outside, he stood as though undecided in which direction to turn, then crossed the road and walked down the opposite footpath with tentative strides.”
”But you have no sign outside. You must need a good man. Tope-line tradesman. Good references.”
1. tucker (n) = one that tucks, especially an attachment on a sewing machine for making tucks
tuck (v) = to store in a safe spot; save: tuck away a bit of lace; tuck away millions
phrasal verb “tuck away / into” = to consume (food) heartily
You may draw a conclusion: tucker = food so “for tucker and clothes” = for food and clothes; for back and belly
2. tentative (a) = uncertain; hesitant
with tentative strides = hesitantly, undecided
3. top-line = first-rate
Thank you for your efforts.