When at length she gave out her intention, as a matter already decided, the announcement fell among friends and relatives like the bursting of a bomb. Nobody had dreamt of such a career for ‘Auntie Char.’
Captain Walker pressed two buttons on the side of his telephone. One of them switched on a tape recorder for the use of his department, the other alerted one of the duty officers in the Action Room of the Special Branch at Scotland Yard that he should listen to the conversation, trace the call, and at once put a tail on the caller. It was now up to Captain Walker, who was in fact an extremely bright ex-prisoner-of-war interrogator from Military Intelligence, to keep the subject talking for as near five minutes as possible. He said, "I'm afraid I don't know either of these two people. Are you sure you've got the right number?"
Once again, as so often over the past two years, she wondered why she loathed this splendid body, and once again she vaguely tried to analyse her revulsion. Perhaps this time she would get rid of feelings which she felt guiltily certain were much more unprofessional than the sexual desire some of her patients awoke in her.
Kronsteen sat looking up at the ceiling, the tips of his fingers joined in front of him. He was indifferent to the condescension in the woman's voice. The pulse of concentration beat in his temples.
'I was very happy, very. But, as years went on, my dear boy would have wearied of his child-wife. She would have been less and less a companion for him. He would have been more and more sensible of what was wanting in his home. She wouldn't have improved. It is better as it is.'
At the Toilet, I was as ignorant a Spectator as a Lady is an Auditor at an Act-Sermon in the University, which is always in Latin; for I was not capable to distinguish which Dress became which Face; or whether the Italian, Spanish, or Portugal Red, best suited such or such Features; nor had I a Catalogue of the Personal or Moral Defects of such or such Ladies, or Knowledge of their Gallantries, whereby to make my Court to the Present, at the Cost of the Absent; and so to go the World round, 'till I got thereby the Reputation of ingaging and agreeable Company. However, it was not often that the whole Mystery of the Toilet, was reveal'd to my Country Capacity; but now and then some Aunt, or Governess, would call me to a Dish of Chocolate, or so; whilst the Lady and her officious Madamoiselle, were putting on those secret Imbellishments which illustrated her Beauties in the Eyes of most of the fine bred Beholders. But some petulant, antiquated Tempers, despised such Ornaments, as not having been used in good Queen Bess's Days; nor yet in the more Modern Court of Oliver Cromwel. As to myself, I was like a Wild Ass in a Forest, and liv'd alone in the midst of this great Multitude, even the great and populous City of London.