P. G. Wodehouse: The Man Upstairs and Other Stories

1. THE MAN UPSTAIRS (continued)

'Do you remember that story of the people on the island who eked out a precarious livelihood by taking in one another's washing?' he asked, casually.

'Go away!' cried Annette.

'I've always thought,' he said, 'that it must have drawn them very close together--made them feel rather attached to each other. Don't you?'

'Go away!'

'I don't want to go away. I want to stay and hear you say you'll marry me.'

'Please go away! I want to think.'

She heard him moving towards the door. He stopped, then went on again. The door closed quietly. Presently from the room above came the sound of footsteps--footsteps pacing monotonously to and fro like those of an animal in a cage.

Annette sat listening. There was no break in the footsteps.

Suddenly she got up. In one corner of the room was a long pole used for raising and lowering the window-sash. She took it, and for a moment stood irresolute. Then with a quick movement, she lifted it and stabbed three times at the ceiling.

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