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.Susan sat with her elbows on the table, delicately nibbling round the slice of pickled cucumber that embellished her sandwich, the frilled sleeve of her blouse framing her birdlike wrists prettily.‘What do you think of the Manton’s bombshell?’‘Not much of a bombshell, really.Now, if she’d said a rota——’Susan giggled at once.‘Oh, Lor’, that was fun! The way Cramm fell for it! I’ll never forget the way she looked—as though her chin would drop off——’‘She wouldn’t have missed it if it had.She’s got three more where that one came from.’ Daphne picked up her own slice of cucumber and gave it to Susan.‘Here, you have this——’‘Ooh, can I? I do adore pickled cucumbers—you are a darling.But honestly, Daph, what do you think about it?’‘To put it elegantly, lovey, I think it’s a load of old cod’s wallop—amateur psychiatry.That’s the trouble with these wallahs who’ve been mental trained.They’re all a bit touched, and they think everyone else is.’‘Oh, I don’t know.’ Susan looked serious.‘P’raps there’s something in it.I mean, I don’t give a good goddam about staff relationships and all that.My nurses are fine and happy, because I leave them alone.If I started to go around building positive relationships they’d have a fit.’‘She does like that word, doesn’t she? Positive, positive, whose got the positive?’‘No, I mean it.I’m all for leaving the nurses alone.They do a better job if you do——’‘You’re just lazy, monkey.’‘I’m not!’ Susan protested.‘Really I’m not.It’s just that—well, it’s always so noisy in O.P.—the only reason I stay there is the off duty.But listen, Daph, what she was saying about self understanding—wouldn’t that be interesting?’‘Don’t you understand yourself then, Pip? Never mind, lovey, I do.If you want to know what makes you tick, come and ask your Auntie Daphne——’‘Will you be serious for a moment?’‘You do look funny when you’re being severe—like a little girl playing mummies and daddies—all right, I’ll be serious.What do you think about the idea?’‘I think it might be worth doing—for ourselves.Never mind the business about staff relationships—what about our own?’‘Our own?’‘Mmm.Take us, for example.We’re friends—real friends, aren’t we?’‘I hope so.’‘Well, of course we are.But why? Had you ever thought about that?’Daphne looked at her sharply, but Susan was licking the last crumbs of grated cheese from her plate with a wet finger.‘Why should we think about it? If you’re friends, you are—there’s no need to think about it.’‘Oh, I do sometimes.I’ve always been rather lonely, really.I mean, I had friends of a sort when I was training, but never anyone I could really get close to, not like I am to you——’‘We like the same things.We laugh at the same jokes, I suppose.Do you think there’s any more to it than that?’‘Don’t you? I do—I mean, you really understand me, and I’m so—grateful for that——’‘Oh, Pip, you are funny, lovey, really you are! So I understand you! So what? You don’t have to be grateful.’‘Well, I am.And I’m interested, in an abstract sort of way.Why is it some people are able to understand others? Why do some people have friends and others don’t? Take old East, now——’‘You take her.I don’t want her,’ Daphne said promptly.Susan laughed.‘Nor do I.But haven’t you ever wondered why? Why she’s the sort of person she is? I’d love to know about things like that, as well as about myself, and about you——’Daphne sat silent for a moment, then she said slowly, ‘I suppose you could be right.It might be interesting.Mind you, you mightn’t like what you find out—about me, for example.’‘Ooh, have you got a fearful secret? Will it all come out if we join in this group discussion? Marvellous! That settles it, then.I’m all for it!’‘No, I’m being serious now.I’m a bit dubious about stirring things up.Sometimes it’s better just to accept things as they are.It could be that really knowing too much about yourself could be a bad thing.If you don’t like what you find out?’‘I can’t imagine that! I don’t see you or me—or any of us come to that—as Jekylls and Hydes.It’s just interesting——’‘I don’t suppose anything much will come of it, anyway,’ Daphne said with a return of cheerfulness.‘Short of giving us all a shot of pentothal and making us reveal what happened when we were two years old, how could it? Mind, it’s always possible that Manton’s a dab hand at hypnosis [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]