Get all the lamps out
Going down the last flight of stairs, to the basement, she felt a little light-headed. She would be better after coffee, and she decided she would have some toast this morning, too. Getting up without lights, and with a storm raging outside required some allowances to be made.
She called to Peter, from the foot of the stairs:
‘Haven’t you found it yet?’
‘No.’ He turned towards her, the light from the torch lighting up the wrinkles on his face, the harsh line of jaw. ‘It is not here. I have checked the mains fuse also. The line must be broken, somewhere outside.’
‘My God, that’s all we needed.’
‘There was a noise in the night. Avalanche, I think.’
‘It didn’t wake me. Look, get all the lamps out of store, and get them lit. We have plenty of kerosene, don’t we? Marie can take one up to each room when she takes the tea, and we can put the rest where they will do most good.’ She listened briefly. ‘It’s still blowing hard. We won’t have any power till the weather clears: even if it’s a minor break, they won’t fix it in this. Plenty of wood inside?’
‘Yes.’ He nodded. ‘I will see to all that.’
Marie had a kerosene lamp burning in the kitchen, which made things look a little better. The solid fuel cooker was made up ready for lighting; she put a match to the paper and heard the comforting roar of combustion.