Daphne du Maurier 6 страница

Now and again he looked up at me and smiled, and then returned to his letters, the accumulation of the last months I supposed, and I thought how little I knew of his life here at Manderley, of how it went day by day, of the people he knew, of his friends, men and women, of what bills he paid, what orders he gave about his household. The last weeks had gone so swiftly, and I – driving by his side through France and Italy – thought only of how I loved him, seeing Venice with his eyes, echoing his words Daphne du Maurier 6 страница, asking no questions of the past and future, content with the little glory of the living present.

For he was gayer than I had thought, more tender than I had dreamed, youthful and ardent in a hundred happy ways, not the Maxim I had first met, not the stranger who sat alone at the table in the restaurant, staring before him, wrapped in his secret self. My Maxim laughed and sang, threw stones into the water, took my hand, wore no frown between his eyes, carried no burden on his shoulder. I knew him as a lover, as a friend, and during Daphne du Maurier 6 страница those weeks I had forgotten that he had a life, orderly, methodical, a life which must be taken up again, continued as before, making vanished weeks a brief discarded holiday.

I watched him read his letters, saw him frown at one, smile at another, dismiss the next with no expression, and but for the grace of God I thought, my letter would be lying there, written from New York, and he would read it in the same indifferent fashion, puzzled at first perhaps by the signature, and then tossing it with a yawn to the pile of others in Daphne du Maurier 6 страница the basket, reaching for his cup of tea. The knowledge of this chilled me; how narrow a chance had stood between me and what might-have-been, for he would have sat here to his tea, as he sat now, continuing his home life as he would in any case, and perhaps he would not have thought of me much, not with regret anyway, while I, in New York, playing bridge with Mrs Van Hopper, would wait day after day for a letter that never came.

I leant back in my chair, glancing about the room, trying Daphne du Maurier 6 страница to instil into myself some measure of confidence, some genuine realization that I was here, at Manderley, the house of the picture post-card, the Manderley that was famous. I had to teach myself that all this was mine now, mine as much as his, the deep chair I was sitting in, that mass of books stretching to the ceiling, the pictures on the walls, the gardens, the woods, the Manderley I had read about, all of this was mine now because I was married to Maxim.

We should grow old here together, we should sit like this Daphne du Maurier 6 страница to our tea as old people, Maxim and I, with other dogs, the successors of these, and the library would wear the same ancient musty smell that it did now. It would know a period of glorious shabbiness and wear when the boys were young – our boys – for I saw them sprawling on the sofa with muddy boots, bringing with them always a litter of rods, and cricket bats, great clasp-knives, bows-and-arrows.

On the table there, polished now and plain, an ugly case would stand containing butterflies and moths, and another one with birds' eggs, wrapped Daphne du Maurier 6 страница in cotton wool. 'Not all this junk in here,' I would say, 'take them to the schoolroom, darlings,' and they would run off, shouting, calling to one another, but the little one staying behind, pottering on his own, quieter than the others.

My vision was disturbed by the opening of the door, and Frith came in with the footman to clear the tea. 'Mrs Danvers wondered, Madam, whether you would like to see your room,' he said to me, when the tea had been taken away.

Maxim glanced up from his letters. 'What sort of job have they made Daphne du Maurier 6 страница of the east wing?' he said.

'Very nice indeed, sir, it seems to me; the men made a mess when they were working, of course, and for a time Mrs Danvers was rather afraid it would not be finished by your return. But they cleared out last Monday. I should imagine you would be very comfortable there, sir; it's a lot lighter of course on that side of the house.'

'Have you been making alterations?' I asked.

'Oh, nothing much,' said Maxim briefly, 'only redecorating and painting the suite in the east wing, which I thought we would use Daphne du Maurier 6 страница for ours. As Frith says, it's much more cheerful on that side of the house, and it has a lovely view of the rose-garden. It was the visitors' wing when my mother was alive. I'll just finish these letters and then I'll come up and join you. Run along and make friends with Mrs Danvers; its a good opportunity.'

I got up slowly, my old nervousness returning, and went out into the hall. I wished I could have waited for him, and then, taking his arm, seen the rooms together. I did not want to Daphne du Maurier 6 страница go alone, with Mrs Danvers. How vast the great hall looked now that it was empty. My feet rang on the flagged stones, echoing to the ceiling, and I felt guilty at the sound, as one does in church, self-conscious, aware of the same constraint. My feet made a stupid pitter-patter as I walked, and I thought that Frith, with his felt soles, must have thought me foolish.

'It's very big, isn't it?' I said, too brightly, too forced, a schoolgirl still, but he answered me in all solemnity.

'Yes, Madam, Manderley is a big Daphne du Maurier 6 страница place. Not so big as some, of course, but big enough. This was the old banqueting hall, in old days. It is used still on great occasions, such as a big dinner, or a ball. And the public are admitted here, you know, once a week.'

'Yes,' I said, still aware of my loud footsteps, feeling, as I followed him, that he considered me as he would one of the public visitors, and I behaved like a visitor too, glancing politely to right and left, taking in the weapons on the wall, and the pictures, touching the carved staircase with Daphne du Maurier 6 страница my hands.



A black figure stood waiting for me at the head of the stairs, the hollow eyes watching me intently from the white skull's face. I looked round for the solid Frith, but he had passed along the hall and into the further corridor.

I was alone now with Mrs Danvers. I went up the great stairs towards her, and she waited motionless, her hands folded before her, her eyes never leaving my face. I summoned a smile, which was not returned, nor did I blame her, for there was no purpose to the smile, it was a Daphne du Maurier 6 страница silly thing, bright and artificial. 'I hope I haven't kept you waiting,' I said.

'It's for you to make your own time, Madam,' she answered, 'I'm here to carry out your orders,' and then she turned, through the archway of the gallery, to the corridor beyond. We went along a broad, carpeted passage, and then turned left, through an oak door, and down a narrow flight of stairs and up a corresponding flight, and so to another door. This she flung open, standing aside to let me pass, and I came to a Daphne du Maurier 6 страница little ante-room, or boudoir, furnished with a sofa, chairs, and writing-desk, which opened out to a large double bedroom with wide windows and a bathroom beyond. I went at once to the window, and looked out. The rose-garden lay below, and the eastern part of the terrace, while beyond the rose-garden rose a smooth grass bank, stretching to the near woods.

'You can't see the sea from here, then,' I said, turning to Mrs Danvers.

'No, not from this wing,' she answered; 'you can't even hear it, either. You would not know the sea was Daphne du Maurier 6 страница anywhere near, from this wing.'

She spoke in a peculiar way, as though something lay behind her words, and she laid an emphasis on the words, 'this wing', as if suggesting that the suite where we stood now held some inferiority.

'I'm sorry about that; I like the sea,' I said.

She did not answer; she just went on staring at me, her hands folded before her.

'However, it's a very charming room,' I said, 'and I'm sure I shall be comfortable. I understand that it's been done up for our return."

'Yes,' she Daphne du Maurier 6 страница said.

'What was it like before?' I asked.

'It had a mauve paper, and different hangings; Mr de Winter did not think it very cheerful. It was never much used, except for occasional visitors. But Mr de Winter gave special orders in his letter that you would have this room.'

'Then this was not his bedroom originally?' I said.

'No, Madam, he's never used the room in this wing before.'

'Oh,' I said, 'he didn't tell me that,' and I wandered to the dressing-table and began combing my hair. My things were already unpacked, my brushes Daphne du Maurier 6 страница and comb upon the tray. I was glad Maxim had given me a set of brushes, and that they were laid out there, upon the dressing-table, for Mrs Danvers to see. They were new, they had cost money, I need not be ashamed of them.

'Alice has unpacked for you and will look after you until your maid arrives,' said Mrs Danvers. I smiled at her again. I put down the brush upon the dressing-table.

'I don't have a maid,' I said awkwardly; 'I'm sure Alice, if she is the housemaid, will look after me all Daphne du Maurier 6 страница right.'

She wore the same expression that she had done on our first meeting, when I dropped my gloves so gauchely on the floor.

'I'm afraid that would not do for very long,' she said; 'it's usual, you know, for ladies in your position to have a personal maid.'

I flushed, and reached for my brush again. There was a sting in her words I understood too well. 'If you think it necessary perhaps you would see about it for me,' I said, avoiding her eyes; 'some young girl perhaps, wanting to train.'

'If you Daphne du Maurier 6 страница wish,' she said. 'It's for you to say.'

There was silence between us. I wished she would go away. I wondered why she must go on standing there, watching me, her hands folded on her black dress.

'I suppose you have been at Manderley for many years,' I said, making a fresh effort, 'longer than anyone else?'

'Not so long as Frith,' she said, and I thought how lifeless her voice was, and cold, like her hand when it had lain in mine; 'Frith was here when the old gentleman was living, when Mr de Winter was a boy.'

'I Daphne du Maurier 6 страница see,' I said; 'so you did not come till after that?'

'No,' she said, 'not till after that.'

Once more, I glanced up at her and once more I met her eyes, dark and sombre, in that white face of hers, instilling into me, I knew not why, a strange feeling of disquiet, of foreboding. I tried to smile, and could not; I found myself held by those eyes, that had no light, no flicker of sympathy towards me.

'I came here when the first Mrs de Winter was a bride,' she said, and her voice, which Daphne du Maurier 6 страница had hitherto, as I said, been dull and toneless, was harsh now with unexpected animation, with life and meaning, and there was a spot of colour on the gaunt cheek-bones.

The change was so sudden that I was shocked, and a little scared. I did not know what to do, or what to say. It was as though she had spoken words that were forbidden, words that she had hidden within herself for a long time and now would be repressed no longer. Still her eyes never left my face; they looked upon me with a curious mixture Daphne du Maurier 6 страница of pity and of scorn, until I felt myself to be even younger and more untutored to the ways of life than I had believed.

I could see she despised me, marking with all the snobbery of her class that I was no great lady, that I was humble, shy, and diffident. Yet there was something beside scorn in those eyes of hers, something surely of positive dislike, or actual malice?

I had to say something, I could not go on sitting there, playing with my hair-brush, letting her see how much I feared and mistrusted her.

'Mrs Danvers,' I Daphne du Maurier 6 страница heard myself saying, 'I hope we shall be friends and come to understand one another. You must have patience with me, you know, because this sort of life is new to me, I've lived rather differently. And I do want to make a success of it, and above all to make Mr de Winter happy. I know I can leave all household arrangements to you, Mr de Winter said so, and you must just run things as they have always been run; I shan't want to make any changes.'

I stopped, a little breathless, still uncertain of Daphne du Maurier 6 страница myself and whether I was saying the right thing, and when I looked up again I saw that she had moved, and was standing with her hand on the handle of the door.

'Very good,' she said; 'I hope I shall do everything to your satisfaction. The house has been in my charge now for more than a year, and Mr de Winter has never complained. It was very different of course when the late Mrs de Winter was alive; there was a lot of entertaining then, a lot of parties, and though I managed for her, she Daphne du Maurier 6 страница liked to supervise things herself.'

Once again I had the impression that she chose her words with care, that she was feeling her way, as it were, into my mind, and watching for the effect upon my face.

'I would rather leave it to you,' I repeated, 'much rather,' and into her face came the same expression I had noticed before, when first I had shaken hands with her in the hall, a look surely of derision, of definite contempt. She knew that I would never withstand her, and that I feared her too.

'Can I do anything more for you Daphne du Maurier 6 страница?' she said, and pretended to glance round the room. 'No,' I said. 'No, I think I have everything. I shall be very comfortable here. You have made the room so charming' – this last a final crawling sop to win her approval. She shrugged her shoulders, and still she did not smile. 'I only followed out Mr de Winter's instructions,' she said.

She hesitated by the doorway, her hand on the handle of the open door. It was as though she still had something to say to me, and could not decide upon the words, yet Daphne du Maurier 6 страница waited there, for me to give her opportunity.

I wished she would go; she was like a shadow standing there, watching me, appraising me with her hollow eyes, set in that dead skull's face.

'If you find anything not to your liking you will tell me at once?' she asked.

'Yes,' I said. 'Yes, of course, Mrs Danvers,' but I knew this was not what she had meant to say, and silence fell between us once again.

'If Mr de Winter asks for his big wardrobe,' she said suddenly, 'you must tell him it was impossible to move Daphne du Maurier 6 страница. We tried, but we could not get it through these narrow doorways. These are smaller rooms than those in the west wing. If he doesn't like the arrangement of this suite he must tell me. It was difficult to know how to furnish these rooms.'

'Please don't worry, Mrs Danvers,' I said. 'I'm sure he will be pleased with everything. But I'm sorry it's given you so much trouble. I had no idea he was having rooms redecorated and furnished. He shouldn't have bothered. I'm sure I should have been just as happy Daphne du Maurier 6 страница and comfortable in the west wing.'

She looked at me curiously, and began twisting the handle of the door. 'Mr de Winter said you would prefer to be on this side,' she said, 'the rooms in the west wing are very old. The bedroom in the big suite is twice as large as this; a very beautiful room too, with a scrolled ceiling. The tapestry chairs are very valuable, and so is the carved mantelpiece. It's the most beautiful room in the house. And the windows look down across the lawns to the sea.'

I felt uncomfortable, a Daphne du Maurier 6 страница little shy. I did not know why she must speak with such an undercurrent of resentment, implying as she did at the same time that this room, where I found myself to be installed, was something inferior, not up to Manderley standard, a second-rate room, as it were, for a second-rate person.

'I suppose Mr de Winter keeps the most beautiful room to show to the public,' I said. She went on twisting the handle of the door, and then looked up at me again, watching my eyes, hesitating before replying, and when she spoke her Daphne du Maurier 6 страница voice was quieter even, and more toneless, than it had been before.

'The bedrooms are never shown to the public,' she said, 'only the hall and the gallery, and the room below.' She paused an instant, feeling me with her eyes. 'They used to live in the west wing and use those rooms when Mrs de Winter was alive. That big room, I was telling you about, that looked down to the sea, was Mrs de Winter's bedroom.'

Then I saw a shadow flit across her face, and she drew back against the wall, effacing herself, as a step sounded outside Daphne du Maurier 6 страница and Maxim came into the room.

'How is it?' he said to me. 'All right? Do you think you'll like it?'

He looked round with enthusiasm, pleased as a schoolboy. 'I always thought this a most attractive room,' he said. 'It was wasted all those years as a guest-room, but I always thought it had possibilities. You've made a great success of it, Mrs Danvers : I give you full marks.'

'Thank you, sir,' she said, her face expressionless, and then she turned, and went out of the room, closing the door softly behind her Daphne du Maurier 6 страница.

Maxim went and leant out of the window. 'I love the rose-garden,' he said: 'one of the first things I remember is walking after my mother, on very small, unsteady legs, while she picked off the dead heads of the roses. There's something peaceful and happy about this room, and it's quiet too. You could never tell you were within five minutes of the sea, from this room."

'That's what Mrs Danvers said,' I told him.

He came away from the window, he prowled about the room, touching things, looking at the pictures, opening wardrobes, fingering my Daphne du Maurier 6 страница clothes, already unpacked.

'How did you get on with old Danvers?' he said abruptly.

I turned away, and began combing my hair again before the looking-glass. 'She seems just a little bit stiff,' I said, after a moment or two; 'perhaps she thought I was going to interfere with the running of the house.'

'I don't think she would mind your doing that,' he said. I looked up and saw him watching my reflection in the looking-glass, and then he turned away and went over to the window again, whistling quietly, under his breath, rocking Daphne du Maurier 6 страница backwards and forwards on his heels.

'Don't mind her,' he said; 'she's an extraordinary character in many ways, and possibly not very easy for another woman to get on with. You mustn't worry about it. If she really makes herself a nuisance we'll get rid of her. But she's efficient, you know, and will take all housekeeping worries off your hands. I dare say she's a bit of a bully to the staff. She doesn't dare bully me though. I'd have given her the sack long ago if she had tried.'

'I Daphne du Maurier 6 страница expect we shall get on very well when she knows me better," I said quickly; 'after all, it's natural enough that she should resent me a bit at first.'

'Resent you? Why resent you? What the devil do you mean?' he said.

He turned from the window, frowning, an odd, half angry expression on his face. I wondered why he should mind, and wished I had said something else.

'I mean, it must be much easier for a housekeeper to look after a man alone,' I said. 'I dare say she had got into the way of doing Daphne du Maurier 6 страница it, and perhaps she was afraid I should be very overbearing.'

'Overbearing, my God...' he began, 'if you think...' and then he stopped, and came across to me, and kissed me on the top of my head.

'Let's forget about Mrs Danvers,' he said; 'she doesn't interest me very much, I'm afraid. Come along, and let me show you something of Manderley.'

I did not see Mrs Danvers again that evening, and we did not talk about her any more. I felt happier when I had dismissed her from my thoughts, less of an interloper, and Daphne du Maurier 6 страница as we wandered about the rooms downstairs, and looked at the pictures, and Maxim put his arm around my shoulder, I began to feel more like the self I wanted to become, the self I had pictured in my dreams, who made Manderley her home.

My footsteps no longer sounded foolish on the stone flags of the hall, for Maxim's nailed shoes made far more noise than mine, and the pattering feet of the two dogs was a comfortable, pleasing note.

I was glad, too, because it was the first evening and we had only been back Daphne du Maurier 6 страница a little while and the showing of the pictures had taken time, when Maxim, looking at the clock, said it was too late to change for dinner, so that I was spared the embarrassment of Alice, the maid, asking what I should wear, and of her helping me to dress, and myself walking down that long flight of stairs to the hall, cold, with bare shoulders, in a dress that Mrs Van Hopper had given me because it did not suit her daughter. I had dreaded the formality of dinner in that austere dining-room, and now, because of the Daphne du Maurier 6 страница little fact that we had not changed, it was quite all right, quite easy, just the same as when we had dined together in restaurants. I was comfortable in my stockinette dress, I laughed and talked about things we had seen in Italy and France, we even had the snapshots on the table, and Frith and the footman were impersonal people, as the waiters had been; they did not stare at me as Mrs Danvers had done.

We sat in the library after dinner, and presently the curtains were drawn, and more logs thrown on the Daphne du Maurier 6 страница fire; it was cool for May, I was thankful for the warmth that came from the steady burning logs.

It was new for us to sit together like this, after dinner, for in Italy we had wandered about, walked or driven, gone into little cafés, leant over bridges. Maxim made instinctively now for the chair on the left of the open fireplace, and stretched out his hand for the papers. He settled one of the broad cushions behind his head, and lit a cigarette. 'This is his routine,' I thought, 'this is what he always does: this has been his Daphne du Maurier 6 страница custom now for years.'

He did not look at me, he went on reading his paper, contented, comfortable, having assumed his way of living, the master of his house. And as I sat there, brooding, my chin in my hands, fondling the soft ears of one of the spaniels, it came to me that I was not the first one to lounge there in possession of the chair; someone had been before me, had surely left an imprint of her person on the cushions, and on the arm where her hand had rested. Another one had poured the Daphne du Maurier 6 страница coffee from that same silver coffee pot, had placed the cup to her lips, had bent down to the dog, even as I was doing.

Unconsciously, I shivered as though someone had opened the door behind me and let a draught into the room. I was sitting in Rebecca's chair, I was leaning against Rebecca's cushion, and the dog had come to me and laid his head upon my knee because that had been his custom, and he remembered, in the past, she had given sugar to him there.

Chapter 8

I HAD never realized, of course, that life at Daphne du Maurier 6 страница Manderley would be so orderly and planned. I remember now, looking back, how on that first morning Maxim was up and dressed and writing letters, even before breakfast, and when I got downstairs, rather after nine o'clock, a little flurried by the booming summons of the gong, I found he had nearly finished, he was already peeling his fruit.

He looked up at me and smiled. 'You mustn't mind,' he said; 'this is something you will have to get used to. I've no time to hang about at this hour of the day. Running Daphne du Maurier 6 страница a place like Manderley, you know, is a full-time job. The coffee and the hot dishes are on the sideboard. We always help ourselves at breakfast.' I said something about my clock being slow, about having been too long in the bath, but he did not listen, he was looking down at a letter, frowning at something.

How impressed I was, I remember well; impressed and a little overawed by the magnificence of the breakfast offered to us. There was tea, in a great silver urn, and coffee too, and on the heater, piping hot, dishes of scrambled eggs, of Daphne du Maurier 6 страница bacon, and another of fish. There was a little clutch of boiled eggs as well, in their own special heater, and porridge, in a silver porringer. On another sideboard was a ham, and a great piece of cold bacon. There were scones too, on the table, and toast, and various pots of jam, marmalade, and honey, while dessert dishes, piled high with fruit, stood at either end. It seemed strange to me that Maxim, who in Italy and France had eaten a croissant and fruit only, and drunk a cup of coffee, should sit down to this breakfast Daphne du Maurier 6 страница at home, enough for a dozen people, day after day probably, year after year, seeing nothing ridiculous about it, nothing wasteful.

I noticed he had eaten a small piece of fish. I took a boiled egg. And I wondered what happened to the rest, all those scrambled eggs, that crisp bacon, the porridge, the remains of the fish. Were there menials, I wondered, whom I should never know, never see, waiting behind kitchen doors for the gift of our breakfast? Or was it all thrown away, shovelled into dustbins? I would never know, of course, I would never dare Daphne du Maurier 6 страница to ask.

'Thank the Lord I haven't a great crowd of relations to inflict upon you,' said Maxim, 'a sister I very rarely see, and a grandmother who is nearly blind. Beatrice, by the way, asks herself over to lunch. I half expected she would. I suppose she wants to have a look at you.'

'Today?' I said, my spirits sinking to zero.

'Yes, according to the letter I got this morning. She won't stay long. You'll like her, I think. She's very direct, believes in speaking her mind. No humbug at all. If she Daphne du Maurier 6 страница doesn't like you, she'll tell you so, to your face.'

I found this hardly comforting, and wondered if there was not some virtue in the quality of insincerity. Maxim got up from his chair, and lit a cigarette. 'I've a mass of things to see to this morning, do you think you can amuse yourself?' he said. 'I'd like to have taken you round the garden, but I must see Crawley, my agent. I've been away from things too long. He'll be in to lunch, too, by the way. You don Daphne du Maurier 6 страница't mind, do you? You will be all right?'

'Of course,' I said, 'I shall be quite happy.'

Then he picked up his letters, and went out of the room, and I remembered thinking this was not how I imagined my first morning; I had seen us walking together, arms linked, to the sea, coming back rather late and tired and happy to a cold lunch, alone, and sitting afterwards under that chestnut tree I could see from the library window.

I lingered long over my first breakfast, spinning out the time, and it was not until I saw Frith Daphne du Maurier 6 страница come in and look at me, from behind the service screen, that I realized it was after ten o'clock. I sprang to my feet at once, feeling guilty, and apologized for sitting there so late, and he bowed, saying nothing, very polite, very correct, but I caught a flicker of surprise in his eyes. I wondered if I had said the wrong thing. Perhaps it did not do to apologize. Perhaps it lowered me in his estimation. I wished I knew what to say, what to do. I wondered if he suspected, as Mrs Danvers had done, that Daphne du Maurier 6 страница poise, and grace, and assurance were not qualities inbred in me, but were things to be acquired, painfully perhaps, and slowly, costing me many bitter moments.

As it was, leaving the room, I stumbled, not looking where I was going, catching my foot on the step by the door, and Frith came forward to help me, picking up my handkerchief, while Robert, the young footman, who was standing behind the screen, turned away to hide his smile.

I heard the murmur of their voices as I crossed the hall, and one of them laughed – Robert, I supposed. Perhaps they were laughing Daphne du Maurier 6 страница about me. I went upstairs again, to the privacy of my bedroom, but when I opened the door I found the housemaids in there doing the room; one was sweeping the floor, the other dusting the dressing-table. They looked at me in surprise. I quickly went out again. It could not be right, then, for me to go to my room at that hour in the morning. It was not expected of me. It broke the household routine. I crept downstairs once more, silently, thankful of my slippers that made no sound on the stone Daphne du Maurier 6 страница flags, and so into the library, which was chilly, the windows flung wide open, the fire laid but not lit.

I shut the windows, and looked round for a box of matches. I could not find one. I wondered what I should do. I did not like to ring. But the library, so snug and warm last night with the burning logs, was like an ice-house now, in the early morning. There were matches upstairs in the bedroom, but I did not like to go for them because it would mean disturbing the housemaids at their work. I Daphne du Maurier 6 страница could not bear their moon faces staring at me again. I decided that when Frith and Robert had left the dining-room I would fetch the matches from the sideboard. I tiptoed out into the hall and listened. They were still clearing, I could hear the sound of voices, and the movement of trays. Presently all was silent, they must have gone through the service doors into the kitchen quarters, so I went across the hall and into the dining-room once more. Yes, there was a box of matches on the sideboard, as I expected. I crossed the Daphne du Maurier 6 страница room quickly and picked them up, and as I did so Frith came back into the room. I tried to cram the box furtively into my pocket, but I saw him glance at my hand in surprise.

'Did you require anything, Madam?' he said.

'Oh, Frith,' I said awkwardly, 'I could not find any matches.' He at once proffered me another box, handing me the cigarettes too, at the same time. This was another embarrassment, for I did not smoke.

'No, the fact is', I said, 'I felt rather cool in the library, I suppose the weather seems chilly Daphne du Maurier 6 страница to me, after being abroad, and I thought perhaps I would just put a match to the fire.'


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