Cass Mandeville, gradually stirring from sleep,stretched out an arm and encountered warm bareflesh. She gave it a light tap. When the warm bareflesh in turn shifted and its owner mumblcd, ‘OK,OK,’ Cass raised herself up on one elbow anddropped a playful, nuzzling kiss on the back of her husband’s neck.‘Forty-one today,’ she sang quietly, ‘forty-onetoday . Jack, rolling over onto his back, proddedher in the ribs. ‘I’m forty.’‘I know, but it doesn’t rhyme.’ Cass proddedhim back. ‘And forty’s quite shameful enough.Should an old man like you be lying in bed nakedanyway? Are you sure you wouldn’t be morecomfortable wearing stripy pyjamas and a stringvest?’Jack pinched the tender flesh at the top of her thigh.