Issue 148, Fall 1998
Mrs. Willoughby woke, because of an insinuating pressure on her thigh. Hearing her stir on the other side of the thin wall that separated her room from mine, I went to her. “My sleep was disturbed,” she said. “By someone who entered through the French windows without invitation and stood— there, at the foot of the bed. He stood a long time, watching me sleep, with his hand clutching my thigh. Don’t ask me how I know.”
“Perhaps you dreamed it,” I suggested.
She lifted her nightdress so that I might regard five small bruises on an otherwise immaculate leg.
I regarded them gladly.
“One doesn’t expect a nightmare mauling to leave marks!”
she replied tartly.
“Was any further harm done you?” I asked, turning away to conceal my anxiety.
She was silent a moment, taking stock. Out in Kilindini Harbor, a hippo snorted. A hyena laughed somewhere in the night. She shook her head and sighed, “It is always so when Mr. Willoughby is out seeing to his affairs.”
Mr. Willoughby managed the Ugand…