In Caught, Mary Howells is the housekeeper in the fire station. One day when Pym returns, he finds her crying at the kitchen table, drinking endless cups of tea. He is too timid to ask her what is wrong, and she does not want to share her private business. It is arranged that she can take a few days off.
Mary is crying because her adult daughter, Brid, has come home to stay. Mary thinks back on her own pregnancy and motherhood, recalling that her husband had “grafted” a baby onto her. In turn, her daughter—referred to as “the fruit of… [Mary’s] body—has been ”grafted by a stranger.” This baby is referred to as a “helpless bundle” who bears a stranger’s name. Mary is said to be in mourning, but not because anything bad has happened to the baby. Rather, she is grieving because Brid has come to live with her.
Mary’s plan is to travel to Doncaster, where Brid’s husband is stationed at the military camp. Although she needs the days off that Pye offers her, she is irked that he thinks she is ill. At age 60, she does not want anyone to think her health is not as good as that of a person 40 years younger. On her way home, Mary imagines the scenario in which she will descend on the “rotten, good-for-nothing, lying ’ound”—meaning hound, or dog—that she considers her son-in-law to be.