Even her brother hated Hilda. Tho, reasons for saying that he always expected her to come to a sticky end still escape me.
‘Well,’ said Andrew, ‘she and I didn’t hit it off – ever. I thought she was an unmitigated pain in the neck from the moment I began to think about her at all.’
‘And when was that?’
‘Well, we were brought up together as kids, of course, but otherwise I didn’t actually see much of her until just after she married George Lambert. I’d been abroad, you see. But I suppose I’d better start at the beginning. My old man, rest his soul, was devout. He had a lot of qualities, I dare say, but he was a narrow-minded fanatical old bigot. He was a Methodist, God help him. Mother wasn’t much better. It was an unbelievable household – teetotal, vegetarian, nonsmoking, Sabbatarian and bloody dull.’
He caught his wife’s eye.
‘So it was, darling – bloody dull. I couldn’t stand it. We had a lot of rows, and when I was sixteen I got a job with an oil company and went out to Burma. I stayed there till I was twenty-two and then I got some lousy tropical disease and had to come home. Hilda had just got married – she was three years older than me. I liked George, but I just couldn’t stand her. She seemed too much like the old man. Result of toeing the line all those years, I suppose.’
Dullness is not a good reason for wishing someone dead.