He had been sitting near the French windows; he got to his feet, with Victoria making a show of helping him, and they went outside. The night air was cool after the warmth of the room, but the chill was tempered by small braziers set out at intervals. There was no wind. Candle lanterns, hung from the wooden roof, sent their small flames straight up and burned with a steady light.
Lionel leaned against the wooden balustrade and Victoria stood beside him. Beneath them were the lights of the village, dwarfed by the irregularly patterned block of luminous squares which was the windows of the Hôtel Édouard. To the right of the hotel a faint glow came from the skating rink, itself hidden from view. The night was all lights, each cluster or pinpoint making the invisible world wider, more far-reaching. The lights of Caux, of Glion, across the lake the lights of Bouveret and St. Gingolph. And out in the distance, nestling like stars against the dark clouds of the Alps, the lights of a small French mountain village. Round and about there was the faint shimmer that snow gives on a shrouded moonless night.