Unlocking your bedroom door, you find that a sheet of paper has been slipped under it. The note, written in a bold but elegant hand, reads:
I HAVE SOMETHING OF YOURS. YOU MIGHT LIKE IT BACK.You think about this for a moment before dismissing it as childish nonsense. There has been a great deal of childish nonsense throughout the day.
Clive Montague never liked me particularly. I certainly never liked him. Loud, boorish, with floppy fair hair, there was—there is—nothing to like. This gives rise to two questions:
First. Why, some twenty years ago, did I receive an invitation to the house-party he was hosting at his parents’ country residence in Dorset? Second. Why did I go?
The second question isn’t difficult to answer. Curiosity. Plain and simple. Clive and his public school ‘chums’ inhabited a universe I’d read about in Edwardian novels but thought had long since ceased to exist. It was a world I neither envied nor despised but one which I felt I should witness before its final expiry.
The first question will be answered in due course; I will add a third. I still dislike Clive; meanwhile, in the years since his invitation, Clive’s indifference to me has mutated into loathing. Why then, on occasion, do we find ourselves in each other’s company?
►►► continued ...