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Laurence Meynell

The Evil Hour

Collins 1947
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Laurence Meynell

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THIS is a romantic tale and it is a pity therefore that I should have to start it with mention of a saucepan. But a saucepan it was, new, authentic and, in these matter-of-fact days, highly desirable, as it gleamed in the half darkness of my tiny hall. Yes, the saucepan was the first thing that I noticed about her. " I'm frightfully sorry to trouble you," she said. . . . Trouble me! She was saving me, only she didn't know it. Stella de Winton can't often, I am sure, have been regarded as a visitor sent direct from heaven, unless indeed the celestial courts are faintly redolent with Molyneux's Numero Cinq, but that was how I regarded her on that early evening in the month of March in the year of marvels and astonishments one thousand nine hundred and forty-seven. It was the hour, sufficiently after half-past six but not yet seven, which civilised man has agreed in calling the best, the culminating part of the day. The hour when the bath-water is hot and the cocktail glasses prepared;

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