Come to the War by Leslie Thomas

By Leslie Thomas

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Example text

Igor raised his Russian eyebrows at me. I shrugged. Three It was one in the morning when we reached the Dan Hotel but the city was still brimming with light and people. Igor went to his room, but I changed my clothes and went out again walking in the cool air up through some streets of trees until I came once more to the Dezingov. The clamour and the activity were not slowed. Now I was no longer in the car I knew there was music everywhere along the broad channel of the street, threaded between the people's voices and the coughing and blowing of the cars jammed under the blatant white street lights.

I leave Faith's flat early because her landlady does not like anyone being there all night. God knows why Faith has to live in the City. But she's always been there and she makes a good breakfast even though it's so early. She's very wifely. Her place is in Upper Thames Street which I like because from her bed you can hear the grunting of the ships on the hollow river. Faith is a nice, short, unusual girl, a librarian at the John Colne Music Library. We met about six months ago. When I stay at her flat she gets up with the alarm clock at five-thirty and does the breakfast; then I go up to Cannon Street and get the bus.

She was drinking a Martini. She sighed. 'The war, the war. Everyone talks about it as though it were an accomplished fact, as though it were all definite and done. By one side or the other. ' 'You're English,' I said. I grinned at her. 'Let me see - perhaps a girl ambulance driver in the war. ' She looked at me quietly. ' 'I am sorry,' I said. 'Oh, it's fair if it shows,' she protested holding her hands forward. 'I'm "White Cliffs of Dover" vintage, all right. But you got the other thing wrong.

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