chapter
24 Pages

5

ByJenny Rees, Diana Trilling

By this stage of my father’s life, very definite traits had emerged in Mr Nobody which were never to leave him. The dazzlingly brilliant start that he had made had, if imperceptibly, already begun to show signs of slipping away: while his contemporaries were setting off on the paths of their chosen careers – diplomats, politicians, academics – my father still seemed to be enjoying himself gambolling about in the green fields of freedom, like a young animal put out to pasture in the spring. It had not gone unnoticed: Shiela’s mother had pronounced Rees not suitable as ‘husband material’ for her daughter and some of his friends, while continuing to delight in his company, were beginning to wonder where he was going. Others, by then, accustomed to his ways, simply waited to see what would happen next. In later years, when navigating choppy waters, my father used to say that something would turn up. Plenty turned up in 1935.