Join date: Jun 15, 2022


He inclined his head towards her, walked out of the drawing-room, across the hall and up the stairs. This was the first time he had been upstairs and he guessed it would be the last

After closing the bathroom door behind him he stood looking about him in amazement. A full length iron bath stood on four ornamental legs. At one end of it were two shining brass taps, at the foot was a shelf and, on it, an array of coloured bottles and fancy boxes. To the left stood a wash basin, and to the left of that again a towel rack on which hung gleaming white towels. In the wall opposite the bath was a door, and when he slowly pushed this open he found he was looking down into a porcelain toilet, not a dry midden as outside the cottage, or a bucket in a lean-to on the waterfront, but something that looked too shiningly clean to be put to the use it was intended for.

A few minutes later as he stood washing his hands, not from any idea of hygiene, but simply because he wanted to see the bowl fill with water, he thought, I m a blasted fool. That s what I am, a blasted fool. I could use this every day. I could eat downstairs in that dining-room every day. I could sit in that drawing-room, aye, and smoke every day. And I could sleep up here in one of these rooms every . . . He did not finish the sentence but dried his hands, gave one last look around the bathroom, then went downstairs.

The meal was over and once again they were sitting in the drawing-room.

He had hardly opened his mouth from the moment he had entered the dining-room until he left it. Talk about arms and legs; he could have been a wood louse, and he felt sure he had appeared just about as much at home too at that table as one might have done. Nor had it helped matters that she had been quiet an all. She usually kept the conversation going, even giving herself the answers, and now here they were and the game had come to an end, the cards were face up.


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