² "So youre commtted that far?" Her mother's voice was anxious.''Housekeeping to whom? A man?" Kim nodded. But darling, do you know he's to be trusted?""Come off it. Mother," her son exclaimed, "this is the latter of the twentieth century. No one talksabout a 'trustworthy¶ man these days, where women are concerned*"Kim gave her brother a scathing look. "Speak for yourself Perry we all know what your morals arelike. I've ² spoken to some of your girlfriends who visit your flat."HER BROTHER looked annoyed. "Have you? Which ones? I'll have to give them a sten warning notto tell tales."Kim turned disgustedly from her brother to her mother, I read the advertisment in a very respectablewomen's magazine while I was at the dentist's the other day. 'Widower with young daughter¶µrequires housekeeper-gardener-cook. Must like children.¶ ""Doesn¶t want much, does he?" Perry commented. "What's the salary?" He spoke mincingly."Commensurate with the resposibility?""I don¶t know," replied Kim, "and what's more, I don't care much.""You can't take a job that isn't properly paid, Kim." her father protested, giving up waiting to beserved with the rest of his meal and wandering into the kitchen to find it. His was immediately sprangup and told him to sit down. "Apple pie, darling. I'll get it. Kim made it."Perry made a noise of brotherly disapprobation."But that's one thing Kim can do," her father commented."She can cook."Perry looked at his sister thoughtfully. "Maybe she's right to contemplate housekeeping, even if it isonly as a fill-in. You never know," he paused, "widower, did you say? He might even marry youhimself!""Don't be silly, Perry!" His mother's voice was sharp." We don't want Kim marrying a man old enoughto be her father!""But," Kim told her, "He can't be that old. The advertisement said, 'young daughter, must likechildren.' ""There you are then," her brother grunted, tucking into his apple pie, "there's the answer to your problem. Marriage to your boss. What's his job?""I don't know. I'll have to ask at the interview, won't I?"Kim kept her word and next day asked the lady interviews the nature of the advertiser's occupation.Seconds later, she wished with all her heart that she had not done so."Let me see," the woman said, flicking through some documents, "Mr. Owen Lang. Er - he's ascientist, a researh chemist. Responsible position, head of a large division in internationally-knownchemical firm. Financially, very stable."Kim lowered her head to her hand. Another scientist! It could not be true. It had to be a joke, a baddream, a nightmare. Of all things - a research chemist, like her father and her brother! And her mother, too - a teacher of chemistry in a large comprehensive school.The interviewer, looking worried, asked. "Is there some thine wronw. Miss Paton?"With difficulty, Kim recovered herself. "No, nothing wrong. Am I permitted to ask Mr. Lang's age?""His age?" The woman hesitated. "Well, I suppose there¶s no objection to that, although its not reallyrelevant. He¶s - Er - thirty-six. His wife died, let me see, five years ago. "Kim grew a little warm under the high neck of her sweater."He¶s well- just a little younger than I anticipated."The interviewer looked at her closely and her concern changed into something very like suspicion."I've been instucted by Mr Lang to inform every woman who applies for this post, regardless of age,type, colouring, background, looks or shape- his words is that he has no plans whatsoever for re-marriage. He¶s absolutely adamant about it, and wishes me to emphasise the fact in no uncertainterms." She read from a letter on the file. He says, µThe position being advertised is for ahousekeeper only, and not a potential marriage partner.I do not wish to be regarded by any female, designing or otherwise, as µfair game" in that respect. Infact, to be frank, and in closest confidence- oh," she stopped, "perhaps I'd better not go on"."Please," Kim implored, "please go on. It would at least help to clarify the whole position.'