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


She did not speak. She sat looking out to sea, past the many-coloured crowd.

He watched her face, but her hat shaded her eyes and he could read nothing in it.

And then, suddenly, without quite knowing how it had got there, he found that her hand was in his, and he was clutching it as a drowning man clutches a rope.

He could see her eyes now, and there was a message in them that set his heart racing. A great content filled him. She was so companionable, such a friend. It seemed incredible to him that it was only yesterday that they had met for the first time.

'And now,' she said, 'would you mind telling me your name?'

* * * * *

The little waves murmured as they rolled lazily up the beach. Somewhere behind the trees in the gardens a band had begun to play. The breeze, blowing in from the blue Mediterranean, was charged with salt and happiness. And from a seat on the promenade, a young man swept the crowd with a defiant gaze.

'It isn't true,' it seemed to say. 'I'm not a jelly-fish.'

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