Treacle and Ink

March 25, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — adrian @ 6:04 pm

I made it! The shop was tremendously busy again yesterday – one never can keep track of all the people coming and going through the doors. (Not to mention the people who’ve been emailing me – some of you seem to think that a mysterious story they’ve received by email is meant for me. But honestly, it makes no sense to me at all.) But after we closed up for the day I suggested to Jacques that I cook a shepherd’s pie for the two of us, to celebrate the Bank Holiday and so on. And even though he pretended to wrinkle his nose and say “I do not know zis ‘shep-herd’s pie”, I could tell he was delighted. By the looks of him, he doesn’t eat a square meal too often. But then, mon dieu, sacre bleu! I had run out of potatoes. Would he be an angel and run to the corner shop to get me some?

While he was gone, I had just enough time to sneak upstairs and take a look in the store room.

I suppose you might be wondering why, since I’m living in one of the bedrooms here, I couldn’t just sneak into the store-room at night. The honest truth is that I’ve been a bit nervous. All these warnings to stay away, I thought at least the floor might be unsafe but it’s more than that. Something about just passing by the door gives me the weirdest feeling. But, as my mother used to say, one cannot live in fear!

I pushed open the door, which creaked appropriately. The room was, indeed, absolutely crammed. Furniture piled one piece on top of another, wardrobes and bureaux and chaise longues and mirrors and books and side tables and scroll-legged chairs and fireplaces and workboxes and glassware and silverware and paintings. There was even a tantalus, still with its bottles full. I can see why Marsh-Ayre, at least, wouldn’t have wanted me coming in here – it’s just too distracting.

I didn’t stay for long; I heard the door open on the floor below and Jacques had returned with potatoes and another two bottles of wine (if I stay here much longer I’m going to develop some bad habits). But, having crossed the threshold, I can see there was nothing to be scared of! I’m going to take another look tonight. Everything’s price-marked, the books look fascinating, and I wonder if we couldn’t sell one or two of them. And there are a few decorative pieces in there that would really brighten up the shop. We might do this elusive Hattie Loon some good; enjoy her pieces and then sell them for her!

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