The shades are down.

Which is hardly surprising, really. The war in South Africa had brought the shades down in many houses. And the new tenant of this flat, with his stiff leg and his haunted eyes, has lost his beloved brother – or beloved friend – or something – the char-woman and the grocer’s boy can’t agree.

But it's just possible, when the lamplight falls on the blinds just so, to make out a second silhouette in the shaded room – a taller, straighter blur which sometimes meets and mingles with the first.

But the shades are down, and it’s difficult to tell.