"Now, now! What's the matter with you, Joe? I told you that Iwanted to ask you a febitcoin wert kurs indexw questions. That's all."Garson leaped to his feet again resolutely, then faltered, andultimately fell back into the chair with a groan, as theInspector went on speaking.
Declining the usual invitation to raise his hands, he had pulled out his own gun with such celerity, acardano zombie chainnd used it to such effect, that the police had been subsequently called upon to do no more than remove one dying and two seriously wounded men, while his own injuries had been confined to a grazed cheek and an abbreviation of the-little finger of the left hand, which had been shot off at the upper joint.He spoke excellent English, with a slight pleasant Southern-States drawl; and though he insisted on pronouncing schedule with a k, for which authority can be advanced, it is improbable that he ever expressed approval of a fellow-man by describing him as a swell guy.
His daughter Irene, a vivaciously attractive, rather impulsive girl of nineteen or twenty years, an only and motherless child, had left college at her urgency, and to his own satisfaction, when he had been appointed to his present position, so that she could accompany him to England.On arriving in that country, she had made it a primary occupation to discover descendants of her Father's Scottish ancestors, or living relatives of her mother, who was traditionally connected with the Shropshire Charlings.In this pursuit she had done no more for her father than to identify his family with that of an Alexander Thurlow who was the proprietor of a general store in a small village near Haddington. The man was of dubious character, and less than dubious sobriety, and the relationship had been left unclaimed, after her father's inclinations had been expressed with as much freedom of emphasis as he would often allow himself to use in his daughter's presence.But she had been more successful, at least to her own, if not to the ambassador's, mind in her search for her mother's kin. They proved to be numerous, of a good average respectability, and including some of more than average social status. Considered broadly, they were a family in which charm of manner and speech, a resilient optimism, and an opportunist ability to avoid the impact of adverse circumstance, were conspicuous above the more solid and pedestrian virtues, though it would be uncharitable to suggest that these may not have been also present.Among them, William Kindell, cousin of Lord Sparshott, who had been living in London, with more evidence of leisure than occupation, had shown some disposition to accept the generous Embassy hospitality which Mr. Thurlow had offered to the family of his dead wife, and which he had lacked excuse to withdraw when he had observed, with some inward dissatisfaction, that the young man appeared to be gaining an exceptional measure of his daughter's regard, especially as he could not detect anything in his conduct either open to criticism in itself or suggesting that he regarded Irene with more than the friendliness natural to their ages and dispositions, and to the blood-relationship that existed between them.
Now Irene broke a short silence to ask, in the pseudo-casual voice of one who is self-conscious of speaking too often on a subject which fills the mind, and yet cannot resist the inclination to do so, "Did you notice that Will Kindell's been here since yesterday?" To which he answered with a vague illogical feeling of grievance (for the H?tel Splendide was equally open to all who dressed in the right way, avoided public disgrace, and could pay its bills): "Kindell? I wonder whatever he's doing here. I suppose he's not following us?"Irene would have liked to feel that the supposition was wrong, but she had some reluctant reason for a different opinion. She said: "No. I don't think he knows we're here. It's more likely to be something to do with a Professor Blinkwell, or some name like that, on the floor below. I saw him talking last night to the Professor's daughter, unless she's his wife, a fat Jewish-looking woman, but he didn't notice me as I passed."two or more melodies sounding together
Hilde sat up in bed. That was the end of the story of Sophie and Alberto. But what had actually happened?Why had her father written that last chapter? Was it just to demonstrate his power over Sophie's world?Deep in thought, she took a shower and got dressed. She ate a quick breakfast and then wandered down the garden and sat in the glider.She agreed with Alberto that the only sensible thing that had happened at the garden party was his speech. Surely her father didn't think Hilde's world was as chaotic as Sophie's garden party? Or that her world would also dissolve eventually?
Then there was the matter of Sophie and Alberto. What had happened to the secret plan?Was it up to Hilde herself to continue the story? Or had they really managed to sneak out of it?
And where were they now?A thought suddenly struck her. If Alberto and Sophie really had managed to sneak out of the story, there wouldn't be anything about it in the ring binder. Everything that was there, unfortunately, was clear to her father.Could there be anything written between the lines? There was more than a mere suggestion of it. Hilde realized that she would have to read the whole story again one or two more times.* * *
As the white Mercedes drove into the garden, Alberto dragged Sophie with him into the den. Then they ran into the woods in the direction of the major's cabin."Quickly!" cried Alberto. "It's got to happen before he starts looking for us.""Are we beyond the major's reach now?""We are in the borderland."
They rowed across the water and ran into the cabin. Alberto opened a trapdoor in the floor. He pushed Sophie down into the cellar. Then everything went black.In the days that followed, Hilde worked on her plan. She sent several letters to Anne Kvamsdal in Copenhagen, and a couple of times she called her. She also enlisted the aid of friends and acquaintances, and recruited almost half of her class at school.
In between, she read Sophie's World. It was not a story one could be done with after a single reading. New thoughts about what could have happened to Sophie and Alberto when they left the garden party were constantly occurring to her.On Saturday, June 23, she awoke with a start around nine o'clock. She knew her father had already left the camp in Lebanon. Now it was just a question of waiting. The last part of his day was planned down to the smallest detail.
Later in the morning she began the preparations for Midsummer Eve with her mother. Hilde could not help thinking of how Sophie and her mother had arranged their Midsummer Eve party. But that was something they had done. It was over, finished. Or was it? Were they going around right now, decorating everywhere?Sophie and Alberto seated themselves on a lawn in front of two large buildings with ugly air vents and ventilation canals on the outside. A young couple came walking out of one of the buildings. He was carrying a brown briefcase and she had a red handbag slung over one shoulder. A car drove along a narrow road in the background."What happened?" asked Sophie."We made it!""But where are we?""This is Oslo."
"Are you quite sure?""Quite sure. One of these buildings is called Chateau Neuf, which means 'the new palace.' People study music there. The other is the Congregation Faculty. It's a school of theology. Further up the hill they study science and up at the top they study literature and philosophy."
"Are we out of Hilde's book and beyond the major's control?""Yes, both. He'll never find us here."
"But where were we when we ran through the woods?""While the major was busy crashing the financial adviser's car into an apple tree, we seized the chance to hide in the den. We were then at the embryo stage. We were of the old as well as of the new world. But concealing ourselves there was something the major cannot possibly have envisaged."
"Why not?""He would never have let us go so easily. As it was, it went like a dream. Of course, there's always the chance that he was in on it himself.""What do you mean?""It was he who started the white Mercedes. He may have exerted himself to the utmost to lose sight of us. He was probably utterly exhausted after everything that had been going on . . ."
By now the young couple were only a few yards away. Sophie felt a bit awkward, sitting on the grass with a man so much older than herself. Besides, she wanted someone to confirm what Alberto had said.She got up and went over to them"Excuse me, would you mind telling me the name of this street?"
But they ignored her completely.Sophie was so provoked that she asked them again.
"It's customary to answer a person, isn't it?"The young man was clearly engrossed in explaining something to his companion:
"Contrapuntal form operates on two dimensions, horizontally, or melodically, and vertically, or harmonically.There will always be two or more melodies sounding together . . .""Excuse me for interrupting, but. . .""The melodies combine in such a way that they develop as much as possible, independently of how they sound against each other. But they have to be concordant. Actually it's note against note."
How rude! They were neither deaf nor blind. Sophie tried a third time, standing ahead of them on the path blocking their way,She was simply brushed aside."There's a wind coming up," said the woman.
Sophie rushed back to Alberto.'They can't hear me!" she said desperately--and just as she said it, she recalled her dream about Hilde and the gold crucifix.
"It's the price we have to pay. Although we have sneaked out of a book, we can't expect to nave exactly the same status as its author. But we really are here. From now on, we will never be a day older than we were when we left the philosophical garden party.""Does that mean we'll never have any real contact with me people around us?"