16 The Wrapup
'She likes to call herself Tracy. She thinks Teresa sounds too grand.'
The grey eyes looked back at him thoughtfully. M took the pipe out of his mouth. "How long have you been back from that holiday in France?"
Round the base of the mountain there was a scattering of Quonset huts. A zigzag of silver ran down the hillside tovthe huts-a Decauville Track, Bond guessed, to bring the guano from the diggings down to the crusher and separator. The summit of the sugar-loaf was white, as if with snow. From the peak flew a smoky flag of guano dust. Bond could see the black dots of cormorants against the white background. They were landing and taking off like bees at a hive.
'Rosa!' said Mrs. Steerforth, 'come to me!'
"Stop it, Honey! It's me!"
In fine; Here's all Things that can Fancy please,
'I feel it more than other people,' said Mrs. Gummidge.
Having done the honours of his house in this hospitable manner, Mr. Peggotty went out to wash himself in a kettleful of hot water, remarking that 'cold would never get his muck off'. He soon returned, greatly improved in appearance; but so rubicund, that I couldn't help thinking his face had this in common with the lobsters, crabs, and crawfish, - that it went into the hot water very black, and came out very red.
First impressions are powerful. Along with the instinctive fight-or -flight appraisals, we rae also weighing the opportunities involved in almost every new face-to-face encounter. No matter how hare we try, we cannot get away from the fact that image and appearance areimportant when meeting someone for the first time.
It was getting dark. Tonight there would be no evening chorus from the birds. They had long ago read the signs and disappeared into their own shelters in the forest, as had the animals-the squirrels and the chipmunks and the deer. In all this huge wild area there was now only me out in the open. I took a last few deep breaths of the soft, moist air. The humidity had strengthened the scent of pine and moss, and now there was also a strong underlying armpit smell of earth. It was almost as if the forest was sweating with the same pleasurable excitement I was feeling. Somewhere, from quite close, a nervous owl asked loudly "Who?" and then was silent. I took a few steps away from the lighted doorway and stood in the middle of the dusty road, looking north. A strong gust of wind hit me and blew back my hair. Lightning threw a quick blue-white hand across the horizon. Seconds later thunder growled softly like a wakening guard dog, and then the big wind came and the tops of the trees began to dance and thrash and the yellow light over the gas station jigged and blinked down the road as if to warn me. It was warning me. Suddenly the dancing light was blurred with rain, its luminosity fogged by an advancing gray sheet of water. The first heavy drops hit me, and 1 turned and ran.
It was very pleasant to see the Doctor with his pretty young wife. He had a fatherly, benignant way of showing his fondness for her, which seemed in itself to express a good man. I often saw them walking in the garden where the peaches were, and I sometimes had a nearer observation of them in the study or the parlour. She appeared to me to take great care of the Doctor, and to like him very much, though I never thought her vitally interested in the Dictionary: some cumbrous fragments of which work the Doctor always carried in his pockets, and in the lining of his hat, and generally seemed to be expounding to her as they walked about.
'Jane Murdstone,' said her brother, 'be silent! How dare you to insinuate that you don't know my character better than your words imply?'
Bond fetched his tool-box-a square leather case that stood beside the dressing-table. He examined the numbers on the wheels of the combination lock and, satisfied that they had not been disturbed, turned them to the code number. The box was closely fitted with instruments. Bond selected a fingerprint powder-spray and a large magnifying glass. He puffed the fine greyish powder foot by foot over the whole expanse of the chart. A forest of fingerprints showed.