The book mark
The book is nearly pristine; just the edges of the dustjacket slightly frayed, the pages still bright and clean. There is no mark, little indication that anyone else has thumbed these pages before me. When I read it I feel for that moment that it is my most precious possession - a ridiculous thought - but I am so overwhelminglingly pleased to have it in front of me now.
However the most interesting thing about this book, the thing that fascinates me, is a slip of paper left inside the pages. It is nothing much: just a small slip of gestetner printing: 'To 'C Hamaker'it says at the top. The writing is looped and old-fashioned. The date is 1/10, the time is 11.15. 'While you were out Cassandra Bork Sewell of Bn Am 570 011....'
What did she do? She telephoned. (I know that because the box is ticked - which means she hadn't 'called to see you',or any of the other six possibilities). I imagine she breathed down the telephone in that deep cigarette-tuned voice of hers and then left a message. Maybe her bangles clicked once against the mouthpiece as she held it and whoever took the message could hear some song by the Stones playing faintly in the background. It says underneath what she said - but that would be telling too much. The best thing about telling a story is that you can end it where you please.