HOUSE_OF_MIRRORS- 1 -HOUSE OF MIRRORSChapter 1he early morning sunlight filtered into the bedroom through the lacy curtains atthe window, and cast weird patterns on the bare wooden flor which hadrecently been stripped of its carpet. The smooth top of the chest of drawers wascluttered with an odd assortment of possessions ranging from a pile of much handledbooks, down to a porcelain eggcup in the shape of a chirpy, newly-hatched chick.The dressing-table top was in equal disarray, and a leather armchair provided acushioned recess for a disorderly pile of records, a portable typewriter, a stack of neatly bound files, and several family photograph albums.Birds fluttered in the trees outside the window, and some distance from thefarm house a dog barked furiously, but Liz Holden was oddly reluctant to meet thechallenge of this new day. She slid farther beneath the sheets, and buried her face inthe pillow with a groan on her lips. She had worked until late the previous evening,sorting through possessions which had been gathered over a lifetime, discarding theuseless, packing the necessary, and setting aside those which could possibly be addedto the list for the public auctioneer. It was an unpleasant task, but one whichcircumstances had forced her to take upon herself. With Pamela in Canada, and Stacyin the final stages of her first pregnancy, Liz had no option but to cope with theheartrending task of vacating the home she had known since childhood.The telephone rang shrilly in the hall, shattering the tranquil silence in thelarge house, and Liz muttered a few uncomplimentary phrases as she scrambled out of bed and thrust her arms into the sleeves of an old cotton housecoat.
“I‟m coming, I‟m coming,” she grumbled irritably, not bothering to put
anything on her feet as she rushed from her room. In the hall she accidentally kickedher foot against a wooden crate which stood in her way and, cursing loudly, she
leaned over it and lifted the receiver off the hook. “Yes, who is it?” she snapped into
the mouthpiece, at the same time lifting her foot to nurse her injured toe with gentlefingers.
“You‟re in a foul mood on this bright sunny morning, I must say,” Stacy‟s
disgustingly cheerful voice piped over the telephone.
“I was still in bed,” Liz informed her in
a less aggressive tone.
“Good heavens! At eight
thirty in the morning?” Stacy exclaimed in mock horror. “I‟ve been up simply ages.”
“Well, good for you, but I only got to bed at two.”
“I must have been some party!”
Surrounded by the evidence of her backbreaking efforts the day before, Liz
said cuttingly, “That‟s not funny.”
“Sorry.” Stacy sobered at once. “Don‟t lose you sense of humour, Liz.”
Liz lowered her foot gingerly to the floor and sighed inwardly. “I‟m tryingnot to.”
“Look, darling, what I‟m actually phoning about is to tell you that Angus and I
had a long chat last night, and we would be simply delighted if you would move in
with us until you‟ve decided what you‟re going to do.”
“That‟s very king of you both, but
“No „buts‟, Liz,”
Stacy interrupted in her warm, musical voice. “Angus said Iwas to insist if you decided to act stubborn, and I‟m insisting. Heaven knows there‟s