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SPARK, Muriel

A Far Cry from Kensington'

The Cypriot husband and his English wife in the house next door to Milly's were having a row. It was two in the morning. They had started the rumpus in the garden but had gone indoors to continue it.

Now the first half-flight of Milly's stairs led to a small landing with a window from which you could see straight through the opposite window into the next-door house, three feet away; if you sat on the second half-flight of Milly's stairs you could see the exact equivalent of landing and half-flight next door.

I had been to bed but the fearfulness of the noise on this occasion had brought me down to Milly who was already up in her dressing-gown. The wife next door was screaming. Should we do something? Should we ring the police? We sat on the stairs and watched through the landing windows. Our stair-light was out but theirs was on. Apart from the empty piece of staircase we could see nothing as yet. The rest of our house was quiet, everybody asleep or simply ignoring the noise.