Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Girl in the Decorated Room

Finch, returning to the small town where he spent his teenage years, falls under the spell of a young student, home from Oxford for the summer. He becomes a mentor to the girl, who is struggling to put an end to a strange and damaging affair with another older man, the proprietor of a shop selling antiques and knick-knacks, for whom she is working during the holidays. Finch investigates the other man and is disturbed to discover the true nature of the relationship between the girl and her employer.

Finch uses this information to keep the shopkeeper away from the girl, forcing him to sell up and move away. The girl discovers Finch's actions, though not the reason for them, and confronts him. Finch refuses to reveal the shopkeeper's secret, and he too is obliged to leave town. Driving back to the city he reflects that one can never really know what's going on between two people who live together, and that often one or other of them may not know everything. He resolves never again to involve himself in such things.

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