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By Evelyn Anthony

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Solitary drivers waited for the strolling prostitutes and whispered invitations to them through the window. Patrols of traffic wardens and police harried them at night, but even in the early morning, there were a few stragglers. Grant brought the car to a stop. He looked in his rear-view mirror, pulled up the handbrake, switched off the engine and checked he was in neutral. Everything he did was methodical and maddening and seemed to take longer than necessary. Davina didn't know why he irritated her more than usual that morning.

If she was in the office and he wanted something done, she showed herself to be prompt and efficient. She never got in his way, or tried to establish a relationship beyond the minimum courtesy between strangers. He had the impression that she knew him as a name but would have been hard pressed to describe his face. She had closed the communicating door, and he had forgotten about her in a few seconds as he concentrated on his own work. Frieda Armstrong came in and out of the office; she took a series of instructions, reminded him of his appointments, glanced malevolently at the private office which she had been moved out of, albeit with a salary increase, and went out again.

He had no interest in country pursuits, and in the winter the English climate depressed him. When he took a holiday, which was usually allied to business, he went to California. ' She came to the door. 'Good morning, Mr Walden. ' He had a very attractive smile. 'You know you don't have to come in unless it's convenient. You're looking very nice this morning. ' She turned to go back into her office. There was a pile of correspondence laid out on her desk. It was Davina's insistence that turned the cover into some semblance of a job.

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