Keith Logan had just come out of a busy book shop on the Charing Cross Road and had then decided to turn up towards Tottenham Court Road when, much to his surprise, he spotted Greta Ryan across the other side of the street, standing on the edge of the crowded pavement and staring along it as though in expectation of someone or something to arrive.  Automatically, he waved his hand to attract her attention; for he hadn't seen her since the night she called on him about Thurber, several days ago, and suddenly desired to talk to her again and find out what, if anything, had happened in the meantime.

     Eventually his wave succeeded in its objective, but, to his utter surprise, she blushed violently and quickly turned her face away.  He could scarcely believe his eyes!  Then, just as he was on the verge of calling out her name, a taxi drew up alongside the curb by which she was standing and a man whom he hadn't noticed before suddenly stepped out of the crowd to open its rear door and give the cabby instructions.  His face looked grave and slightly embarrassed, as he fairly pushed Greta into the taxi and quickly got in after her.

     Where had Logan seen that relatively handsome face before?  For there could be no question that he had in fact seen it somewhere.  Then all of a sudden the penny dropped, as the recollection of his having being introduced to Colin Patmore at Hurst's party came back to him, and he realized that it belonged to none other than the editor of 'The Arts', to whose magazine Greta had recently submitted Thurber's art review.  And as the taxi slowly drew away from the curb, it dawned on him that Greta was the price Patmore was demanding for his professional patronage.  Thus Martin Thurber had once more become the direct cause and unwitting dupe of a carnal sacrifice!



LONDON 1980 (Revised 2011)





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