wants to come.”

I rolled on my back and looked at the three of them. They were all sitting on the turf around me. Despite the jibes, they looked devastated. Their hands, where they had paid out the rope, were lolling limply on their knees, red raw. Their heads hung. Their faces wore the drained and haggard look of men in shock who had been far too close to another’s near death. They stared back, unable to do more.

“Thanks, partners,” I said tenderly. “I’m glad you didn’t leave me down there. I would never have wanted to be on your consciences.”

“Think nothing of it,” said one of them, smiling. I cannot even remember now which of them it was.

Вы читаете One Virgin Too Many
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