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The Desert Castle

The Desert Castle

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Published by mana_hada

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Published by: mana_hada on Jun 03, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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When her mother, rather highhandedly,arranged for her to go out to work for GregoryRandall in Amman, Marion Shirley wasuncertain about her feelings. Although that part of the world was bound tobe fascinating, perhaps Gregory himself mightbe too fascinating for her peace of mind.
The man had no right to be there. Marion Shirley watched him idly frombeneath her eyelashes,wondering why he should have gate-crashed her class. It was practicallythe end of term, so it was
unlikely that he had enrolled as a student. Besides, he hadn’t shown the
slightest interest in anythingshe had said all evening. He had just sat there, making her nerves tingleand distracting her attention
from the lesson in hand. It was a good thing she knew tonight’s subject
backwards, she reflectedgrimly, or she might have come to a shuddering stop long since under theweight of that lazy starewith which he had favoured her whenever he had not been tapping hisfingers on the desk in time tosome imaginary tune or, worse still, had gone off into a daydream with aninexpressibly bored look written large on his face.
 ‘So we see,’ she said, ‘wall paintings are far from always being true
frescoes, which is a veryspecialised technique, where the paint is laid on
plaster, so that itpenetrates it and marries intoone substance with it. In many instances Byzantine wall paintings wereexecuted in glue or a temperamedium, laid upon hard plaster, in much the same way as they were puton the gesso background of apanel. Over the centuries, the plaster sets to a rock-like hardness. Thenature of the plaster variesfrom district to district, of course, but when making up your mind what waspainted where, the
stylistic evidence is far more important than the technical.’ 
She drew a deep breath, glad that the evening was coming to an end. ‘Anyquestions?’ she snapped
 outThe man tipped his chair forward and Marion had a sudden, nervous fearthat he was about to ask 

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