brick-red, apparently growing on the
same root. He had never seen anything of the kind before, and he called to
Katharine to come and look at it.
'Look, Katharine! Look at those flowers. That clump down near the
bottom. Do you see they're two different colours?'
She had already turned to go, but she did rather fretfully come back
for a moment. She even leaned out over the cliff face to see where he was
pointing. He was standing a little behind her, and he put his hand on her
waist to steady her. At this moment it suddenly occurred to him how
completely alone they were. There was not a human creature anywhere, not a
leaf stirring, not even a bird awake. In a place like this the danger that
there would be a hidden microphone was very small, and even if there was a
microphone it would only pick up sounds. It was the hottest sleepiest hour
of the afternoon. The sun blazed down upon them, the sweat tickled his
face. And the thought struck him...
'Why didn't you give her a good shove?' said Julia. 'I would have.'
'Yes, dear, you would have. I would, if I'd been the same person then
as I am now. Or perhaps I would -- I'm not certain.'
'Are you sorry you didn't?'
'Yes. On the whole I'm sorry I didn't.'
They were sitting side by side on the dusty floor. He pulled her
closer against him. Her head rested on his shoulder, the pleasant smell of
her hair conquering the pigeon dung. She was very young, he thought, she
still expected something from life, she did not understand that to push an
inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing.
'Actually it would have made no difference,' he said.
'Then why are you sorry you didn't do it?'
'Only because I prefer a positive to a negative. In this game that