By Ruth Rendell

Adam and Eve and Pinch Me went right down to the river to wash; Adam and Eve have been drowned. Who was once saved?' This previous nursery rhyme is a favorite of Jerry Leach (if that's the identify he's utilizing on the time), a good-looking ne'er do good, who sponges off girls. 5 ladies, unknown to one another, are his keen sufferers. One he even married as soon as and deserted, whereas promising to marry one other. yet, with the tough irony he stands out as the first to acknowledge in that nursery rhyme, Jerry, nearly by accident, turns into the sufferer of 1 of his woman prey.

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A big, full-breasted woman with long legs, she had bright blond hair as long as an eighteen-year-old girl’s, but a kind heart. Or so everyone said. Minty lived in fear that a flake of the dark red varnish she wore on her fingernails would chip off and fall in the coffee. Josephine had a Chinese boyfriend who couldn’t speak a word of English and was a cook in a restaurant in Harlesden called the Lotus Dragon. They’d both met Jock when he picked her up after work. “He was a lovely chap,” said Josephine.

The letter that came when she hadn’t heard from Jock for a week had Great Western printed along its top in big sloping letters and it was done on a computer. Well, Laf said it was. It addressed her as Dear Madam and regretted to inform her that her fiancé Mr. John Lewis had been among those traveling in the Gloucester express who were fatally injured. Minty read it standing in the hall at 39 Syringa Road. She went out just as she was, without a coat, letting the door slam behind her, and into next door.

Besides, she couldn’t afford all that rubbish. She was quite proud of the fact that no lipstick had ever soiled her mouth nor mascara her pale eyelashes. Normally, since Auntie passed away, Minty would have walked naked across the narrow expanse of landing into her bedroom, as she might have if only the living Jock had been in the house. It was different altogether with a ghost who was dead and shouldn’t want to look at a nude woman from beyond the grave. She took a clean towel from the cupboard, wrapped it round her and opened the door cautiously.

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