Part the Sixth
Heroically, Elspeth persevered, as her Aunt Maude had always encouraged her to do. (This was the same Aunt Maude who had fallen in love with a dead Russian novelist and, whenever the radio happened to play Rachmaninov, would shake her head sadly, saying with a gentle smile, ‘oh… the Russians,’ before wandering to the kitchen to make more tea.) Elspeth, with her reedy child’s voice, carefully lisped her explanation — she always felt it necessary to feign a speech impediment when explicating, it made the matter so very much clearer to everyone involved. Richard toyed with the loose ends of his cravat, but made no attempt to interrupt.
Finally, Elspeth said clearly, ‘I saw him try! But he’s too stupid — see: it’s right there!’ She pointed. Richard turned very red and remained very silent.