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Only there wasn't any of that; her father, absentminded scholar that he was, had drawn steadily on his capital for years now, and her mother, her dear, charming mother, hadn't economised; she had tried, with the best will in the world, but she had no idea how to set about it, and if Celine suggested that they should have a casserole instead of roast pheasant or salmon trout, her parent always had a ready answer, even if an illogical one.

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Celine got off the swing and strolled back to the house and opened the door in the kitchen garden wall and went through to see how things were growing. Thomas, the very old gardener, did very little now, but he was still paid his full wages, it would never have entered anyone's head to have done otherwise, but they badly needed help. Celine did her best, but she was still the veri est amateur. The expensive boarding school she had been to and the.

Expensive clothes too, Jaeger and the better class boutiques, and Raynes or Gucci for shoes. And she hadn't given it a thought; her father had lived all his life in the old house, and his father and grandfather before him, and heaven knows how many forebears, she had rather taken it for granted that there was money enough, and when occasionally she had mentioned the leaky roof and the peeling paint, her father had looked vaguely surprised for a moment and had remarked that he really must do something about them.

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But he never had; she realised with a shock of surprise that she had been home for three years; it was only during the last few months that she had begun to notice things. Old Barney was still with them, but then he had been her father's batman during the war, and Angela, their cook, who had always been there too, but when Joan the maid had left to get married, she had been replaced by Mrs Stokes from the village who obliged twice a week, and several bedrooms had been shut up.


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She bent and pulled a couple of radishes, rubbed the earth off them, and. She should have done something about it, of course, and she felt bitterly ashamed.

Here she was, twenty-two years old, nicely up in the social graces but a complete stranger to shorthand and typing, nursing, teaching the young, or even serving in a shop, and without any of these skills how was she to get money, because money was what was needed; her home had to be kept from falling to the ground. It was a pity that she had refused the wholesale manufacturer of cotton goods who had wanted to marry her; he was a rich man.

Indeed, now she came to think about it, she had refused several comfortably off young men, under the impression--mistaken, she now saw--that one should marry for love. She whistled to Dusty, stretched out on the grass path, and turned back to the house. Mr Timms, the family solicitor, was coming to see her father that morning; her mother had mentioned it and looked worried, but when Celine had asked what was the matter, she wasn't told anything. That was the trouble, she thought unhappily; she had been born unexpectedly when her parents were verging on middle age, and they still thought of her as a child to be shielded from anything unpleasant.

Not that they had spoiled her, but she had been brought up in a kind of effortless comfort; money was never mentioned and she hadn't bothered over-much about it. She loved her home dearly. If she hadn't perhaps she would have trained for something and got a. She went in through the kitchen door, stopped to talk to Angela whose elderly feet were hurting her, then went through the stone-flagged passage to the hall; there were flagstones here, too, and panelled walls and oak rafters and narrow latticed windows.

She stopped to smell the lilac standing in a great vase in one corner and went into the dining room. Her mother and father were already there, her mother, a small, pretty woman with bright blue eyes, busy with her post, her father, tall and thin and scholarly, behind his newspaper. Celine kissed them in turn and took her seat at the table. Her father didn't answer; she turned her lovely grey eyes on her mother, who looked up briefly.

We'd better have him to lunch. I've never bothered about it, I'm afraid, but now I think I ought to be told.

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She interrupted him gently. Father, are we broke? It is true there isn't a great deal of money left, and unfortunately I made one or two investments a couple. Her insides were cold, she could hardly get the next question out for very fright. It's falling down. I mean, couldn't we patch it up a bit where it needs it most?

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Her mother was a darling, but she was impractical, she had no idea how to be economical, and it was a little too late in life to begin now. She wondered what Mr Timms would have to say. Whatever Mr Timms had to say was for her father's ears alone, it seemed. The two gentlemen retired to the Colonel's study as soon as he had arrived and didn't emerge until it was almost time to have lunch, when they joined Mrs Baylis and Celine in the drawing room; low-ceilinged, panelled walls, and shabby but still grand furniture.

They drank their sherry and made polite conversation, then they crossed the hall to the dining room, equally low-ceilinged but a good deal smaller, its chintz curtains faded to the pale pastel colours of the Savonnerie carpet, its dark oak furniture adequately dusted but unpolished. The lunch was excellent; Angela was a good cook, and Celine, who had learned to cook to Cordon Bleu standard at the finishing school, had whipped up a delicate souffle to follow the pate and toast with a fruit tart to follow.

But however excellent the fare, it did nothing to dispel Mr Timms' severe gloom; even the Chablis the Colonel had fetched from the cellar hadn't helped. Celine, taking her part in the talk, bided her time.


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She had her opportunity presently, when after a decent interval drinking coffee, Mr Timms prepared to leave. He had taken the village taxi from the station, but now Celine said quickly: "I'll run you down in the car, Mr Timms," and was on her way to the garage before anyone could object.

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There were two cars--a far from new but beautifully kept Jaguar and a Mini. The Jag soaked up petrol, but somehow she couldn't see Mr Timms squashed into the Mini. As she turned out of the gates at the bottom of the short drive she asked:. And I'm not just being curious; Father has hinted.. They can't change their ways now, you know, but perhaps there's something to be done.

She was a lovely girl, her enormous eyes beseeched him. For once he stifled his professional feelings. The hand written price list states only baht per night, and at 67 baht to the pound that makes for a room that's under Harry Steel.


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The husband, an industrial chemist, was a prisoner of war in Germany. His wife, Jeanne, looked after the three children as well as her mother-in-law, old Granny Chevillon, with her pebble glasses , her down-at-heel shoes, and her heavy body. Pamela Haines, The dream seemed interminable: always the monsters, always an Ivor, always the swaying corridor beneath the feet.

Once Mr Thewless turned his head and behind him saw the bearded man with pebble glasses , in his hand a bludgeon Michael Innes, Roland McHugh, Mr Taylorwassitting at his desk marking exercise books, his pebble glasses stuckontheend ofhis nose.

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He looked up, smiled at Alexand told himtositdown, he would bewith himina moment. Mr Taylor continued to work, ignoring Alex, who sat Lynda La Plante, I hadn't experienced this self-reliance before. Even when I fished for lobsters in my late teens off Rottingdean beach, my mentor, Dave Hennessy, a heavyset man with large pebble glasses Dominick Jones, Thedriver, elderly with pebble glasses , didn't even glance in their direction.

Jackslumped histrionically to his knees, groaning. You and me have nochance of getting a lift. Raffaella Barker, Tall and ruggedly handsome, with his black-framed pebble glasses and shock of white hair, he usually dressed in loose-fitting white khadi With his thick pebble glasses , he's the image of the young Michael Foot you get in all those political biographies. Then there's batty Aunt Dahlia. Behind pebble glasses , his podgy face was a picture of moist desperation.

The front of his shirt was stained and insufficiently tucked into the He was then "livid" when some "hippie with long hair and pebble glasses " commandeered it on TV.