We run this show for cosiness
‘We like to turn the thing into a sort of family party, up at the chalet,’ Hamilton said. ‘With only a few guests, and pretty well isolated, one more or less has to. I’ll tell you whom you’ll be meeting. The Deepings, to start with. He’s in business – something to do with textiles. They’ve got a couple of boys with them, but they’re no trouble.’
‘Nor do I, provided they behave themselves. Anyway, the Deepings are only staying a couple more days. Then we have the Graingers. He’s a surgeon, plastic type. Puts on new noses, lifts the sagging breast. Remarkably cheerful with it. And she’s a sweetie. The other two are sisters. A Mrs Winchmore, and a Miss Blackstone. But the Mrs is a widow. Very pleasant, on the quiet side. The younger one’s got plenty of life, though. A good crew, all round.’
Hamilton finished his drink, and exhaled heavily. ‘As I say, we run this show for cosiness. It works, most of the time.’
‘I’m sure it does, Mr Hamilton.’
‘George. George and Mandy.’ His smile was at once cheerful and peremptory. ‘We insist on that.’
‘Of course. I’m Douglas.’
He was inwardly dubious about this crash-programme approach to familiarity, and wondered for a moment if the whole thing had not been a mistake.