24 January 2010

from Busman's Honeymoon, chapter VI, Back to the Army Again (Dorothy L. Sayers)

'Do,' said Harriet. 'I'll come in a moment.'

She let them go and turned to Peter, who stood motionless, staring down at the table. Oh, my God! she thought, startled by his face, he's a middle-aged man — the half of life gone — he mustn't —

'Peter, my poor dear! And we came here for a quiet honeymoon!'

He turned at her touch and laughed ruefully.

'Damn!' he said. 'And damn! Back to the old grind. Rigor mortis and who-saw-him-last, blood-prints, finger-prints, footprints, information received and it-is-my-dooty-to-warn-you. Quelle scie, mon dieu, quelle scie!'

A young man in a blue uniform put his head in at the door.

'Now then,' said Police-constable Sellon, 'wot's all this?'

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