Tremor

Tremor by Winston Graham Page A

Book: Tremor by Winston Graham Read Free Book Online
Authors: Winston Graham
in Venice, but not Rona. Her mind was too logical; too cool; it had command of her feelings. And to tell the truth, if he could make enough to live on without her, he would be quite content.
    If he faced up to the facts, looked at himself in the mirror, weighed life up, he was quite relieved to be out of the married state for a while. He was gregarious, didn’t like to be alone, but it was good to have no ties. After all he was not leaving a little wife who depended upon him for support – the very reverse! Rona might miss his lively company, but she would enjoy not having to spend half her salary on him.
    He wondered what sort of a temperament Mlle Deschamps possessed. (A glance at the register had told him her name. Nadine Deschamps – some address in Paris.) She was very beautiful. He thought it likely she was connected with the stage or high-class modelling. But alone? She surely had no need to be. Between engagements? Between lovers? Would she have any feelings to spare for him? Perhaps today or tomorrow some dark-chinned young Frenchman would turn up and claim her.
    His feet touched sand, and he ploughed out of the water, shaking his head like a dog to rid himself of surplus moisture.
    The current and his own energy had taken him well north towards the port. Some Moroccan boys were heading and dribbling a ball. It came towards him and he dribbled it back, tricking a couple of the boys before falling in a heap just short of their improvised goalposts. They giggled and he had another go, forcing it past the grinning lad in goal. Dusting sand as he got up, he waved to them and went on. Some older lads, fishing, eyed him speculatively but clearly concluded that in his bathing trunks he would not have a cigarette to give them. The old town clustered in the shelter of the hill with the Kasbah like a fort on the summit. A dark cloud haze obscured the sky behind; it might have been smog except that there was no industry to create it.
    A yellow dog was rolling in the sand, perhaps to rid itself of fleas. When it saw Matthew it stood up and came towards him, tail wagging. He had seen two other dogs of similar size and colour playing around in the sand. They seemed to have no owners but they looked neither ill-fed nor ill-treated. Being welcomed and patted, this one decided to follow Matthew for about half a mile before finding some other interest and trotting off towards the sea.
    Then Matthew saw the girl. She had just come onto the beach and was spreading her towel under an umbrella. She also had chosen an umbrella as far away from the rest as possible, but in a different direction from his own. She was wearing a white bikini, and her slender limbs were already lightly tanned as if not unaccustomed to the sun. He picked up his own towel and, since there were still umbrellas to spare, walked over and chose one about twenty yards from her. His intention had been to go in and ring Edouard de Blaye, but that could wait.
    The heat was so considerable that his body had dried completely on the way back; his hair was only just damp at the base of the neck. He clasped his knees and watched the French girl go in to swim. What a walk! One supposed she had been taught, but it simply looked elegant and wonderfully assured. His mind drifted off to imagine some emergency in which he could be of incalculable service to her and so begin a friendship in which she was eagerly grateful to him and anxious to be his friend. But could you, dare you try something on with a woman with a walk like that?
    A shadow moved across his sunbed. ‘Hi, Matt, enjoying the view? Nice bit of stuff over there, isn’t she. Gor, makes you feel you’ve been wasting your life!’
    Jack Frazier. In white slacks which looked as if they’d never been on before, short-sleeved scarlet shirt, floppy sunhat. Matthew had noticed earlier that they were in adjoining bedrooms on the second floor. Frazier’s thin brown aquiline face looked darker

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