67. Unluckily Unlocked

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Mr Ambrose's porter apparently was no instant-cleaning wizard. I soon grew tired of waiting for my tailcoat's return. To tell the truth, I felt tired in general – tired and battered and dirty. What I really needed was not just to get my clothes cleaned, but to get myself cleaned, too. To wash the dirt off my skin and all the confusions of the night along with it.

Didn't Mr Ambrose have a powder-room? With a shower? I thought I remembered something of the sort, from when I had to powder my foot. Or had it been my nose?

I got to my feet and waited until that nasty, ill-tempered floor had more or less stopped trying to buck me off. It took some time, but finally it seemed to accept I wasn't just going to be thrown out of the window.

With all the authority I could muster, I pointed a finger at the floor.

"Stay!" I told it. "I'm going to go to powder my little toe now, and you're going to stay right where you are, understood?"

The floor nodded, and I raised my chin in triumph. There! I had gained a complete victory. The little yellow piggies cheered and applauded as I paraded past the desk to the little door behind it.

The powder-room was just as I remembered it. One toilet, one shower, and no powder at all. Not even gunpowder. But then, I had come to shower, not to blow things up, so maybe that was just as well.

It was a little darker in the room than the last time I had been in here, though. For a moment I wondered why, until I remembered.

Of course! It's night-time, and that bright thingy in the sky is missing. What's it called again?

The Sun! Yes, that's what it was called.

So... you need those other thingamies now. Those whatyemaycalit... lamps!

Dear me! I was really quite impressed by my vast memory and intellect. It even led me to suspect that there might be some sort of switch for the lamps beside the door – and voilà, I was right! My fingers found the it and turned it.

Bright light exploded from my left and I gave a little gasp, shielding my eyes from the sudden invasion. After a few seconds of familiarization, I took my hand from my eyes and saw that the room was now bathed in a soft yellow light. Now all I needed was for me to be bathed, too – only with water instead of light.

The shower head protruded from the left wall, over a broad, white, ceramic basin. Of course, it had absolutely no gold ornaments or other adornments like any other decent upper-class British bathroom. This was Mr Ambrose's shower, after all. At the moment, though, I didn't care about ornaments. All I cared about was that water would come out of the pipes.

Closing the door behind me, I strode over to the shower. For some strange reason I felt as though I had forgotten something, but the prospect of the shower was so alluring I put it out of my mind.

The floor in here seemed to be friendlier than the office floor. It only wobbled slightly once or twice as I made my way across the room.

"Good floor," I mumbled, "Nice floor. That's right. Just stay where you are."

The floor obeyed, and soon, I had reached my destination and could grab one of the pipes for support.

I noticed there wasn't just a shower, there were towels, too. Perfect! Though a bit strange, admittedly. Who kept bath towels in his office?

He probably practically lives here.

Well, all the better. I wasn't in the mood to drive and miles to our shower at home, and I needed the calming feel of water on my skin. Maybe my head would feel a little clearer after I sprinkled a little water on it.

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