James studied this woman more closely. She appeared at first to be young, of medium height and build with dark red hair and brown eyes. He couldn’t help noticing her pert breasts and suntanned legs. From her age, she should be one of the city’s dolly girls, but her clothes showed she was older and perhaps more experienced. She wore no rings or jewellery, except a small cross around her neck. They were still alone in the compartment, and by now James couldn’t believe his luck.
He was quickly brought back from his daydream by Jessica asking him about his interests in life.
“So, James, what do you do when you are not working?”
“Well, I play a bit of sport, and I like messing about on boats and enjoying a book.”
“Read anything good lately?”
At this James took down his briefcase and handed her a paperback.
“This was published last year. It’s called Mantissa. You must have heard of the author, John Fowles: he wrote the French Lieutenant’s Woman, which is being made into a film. This novel explores the reality and creativity in the relationship between men and women – the battle of sexual insult and strategy.”
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