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Scoop by Evelyn Waugh

  
Scoop by Evelyn Waugh

  

Author:Evelyn Waugh [Waugh, Evelyn]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Fiction, Literary, Classics, Satire
ISBN: 9780316926102
Google: h4g-jVUVc-wC
Amazon: 0316926108
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Published: 1999-09-15T05:00:00+00:00


A train of porters carried William’s luggage from the Hotel Liberty. When it was all assembled, it seemed to fill the room. The men stood on the verandah waiting to be paid. William’s own boy had absented himself on the first signs of packing. Frau Dressler drove them off with a few copper coins and a torrent of abuse. “You had better give me anything of value,” she said to William, “the natives are all villains.”

He gave her Corker’s objects of art; she carried them off to her room and stored them safely under the bed. William began to unpack. Presently there was a knock outside. The door opened. William had his back to it. He was kneeling over his ant-proof chest.

“Please,” said a woman’s voice. William turned round. “Please may I have my things?”

It was the girl he had seen the day before at the Swedish mission. She wore the same mackintosh, the same splashed gum boots. She seemed to be just as wet. William jumped to his feet.

“Yes, of course, please let me help.”

“Thank you. There’s not very much. But this one is heavy. It has some of my husband’s things.”

She took her stockings from the end of the bed. Ran her hand into one and showed him two large holes, smiled, rolled them into a ball and put them in the pocket of her raincoat. “This is the heavy one,” she said, pointing to a worn leather bag. William attempted to lift it. It might have been full of stone. The girl opened it. It was full of stone. “They are my husband’s specimens,” she said. “He wants me to be very careful of them. They are very important. But I don’t think anyone could steal them. They are so heavy.”

William succeeded in dragging the bag across the floor. “Where to?”

“I have a little room by the kitchen. It is up a ladder. It will be difficult to carry the specimens. I wanted Frau Dressler to keep them in her room but she did not want to. She said they were of no value. You see, she is not an engineer.”

“Would you like to leave them here?”

Her face brightened. “May I? It would be very kind. That is what I hoped, but I did not know what you would be like. They said you were a journalist.”

“So I am.”

“The town is full of journalists but I should not have thought you were one.”

“I can’t think why Frau Dressler has put me in this room,” said William. “I should be perfectly happy anywhere else. Did you want to move?”

“I must move. You see this is Frau Dressler’s best room. When I came here it was with my husband. Then she gave us the best room. But now he is at work so I must move. I do not want a big room now I am alone. But it would be very kind if you would keep our specimens.”

There was a suitcase which belonged to her. She opened it and threw in the shoes and other woman’s things that lay about the room.



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