By Beryl Bainbridge
Joseph comes to a decision to take his mistress and son, including a couple of associates, to stick in a cabin in private Wales for the weekend - with totally disastrous effects. Beryl Bainbridge's reward for deadpan discussion and spare narrative, and her darkly comedian imaginative and prescient of the area, are all in facts during this early novel.
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Extra info for Another Part of the Wood
Doctor Hébert recalled what her husband had said, For a shot of rum, she would do anything. However, it was common usage to keep the storeroom locked wherever there were so many house slaves. Also common usage for the mistress of the house to keep a key. Madame Arnaud put her head to one side and smiled at him with a queer jerk, the style of coquetry one might expect from a marionette on strings. The smile erased itself as quickly as it had appeared, and she rose and moved past him in short tripping steps and left the room.
Four candles in heavy candlesticks were burning on the long table in the main room, and the table was laid with covers of silver and heavy imported faience. Arnaud, standing at the head of the table, indicated to the doctor a place at his right. A slave drew back the chair and then adjusted it once the doctor had seated himself. The slave in the black coat, who seemed to fill some sort of butler’s role, settled Arnaud in the same way, stepped back and waited. Above the table, a circular fan of boards began to move when a boy in a corner pulled a rope.
He hoped most sincerely that he was not taking fever. When the edge of his appetite was blunted, he allowed his eyes to slide around the larger area of the room, though there was little for them to dwell on. Only the other doorways interrupted the walls; there were no pictures and no other ornament except for a large gilt-framed mirror. Toward the door to the gallery some more empty chairs were grouped around a low table made of local wood. “We are very plain here,” Arnaud said. “Perhaps your stay is temporary,” said Doctor Hébert.