‘…and then,’ she was saying, ‘this first husband of hers used to come back at four o’clock in the morning and turn on the gramophone. As a regular thing. She told me herself.’
‘Some women think one has nothing better to do than to lie awake listening to anecdotes about their first husband,’ said Stringham. ‘Milly Andriadis was like that – no doubt still is – and I must say, if one were prepared to forgo one’s beauty sleep, one used to hear some remarkable things from her. Playing the gramophone is another matter. Your friend had a right to complain.’
‘That was what the judge thought,’ said Mrs Maclintick.
‘What used he to play?’ asked Priscilla.
‘Military marches,’ said Mrs Maclintick, ‘night after night. Not surprising the poor woman had to go into a home after getting her divorce.’
‘My mother would have liked that,’ said Stringham. ‘She adores watching troops march past. She always says going to reviews was the best part of being married to Piers Warrington.’
‘Not in the middle of the night,’ said Priscilla. ‘He might have chosen something quieter. Tales from Hoffman or Handel’s Cradle Song.’
‘Nonsense,’ said Moreland. ‘Aut Sousa aut Nihil has always been my motto in cases of that sort. Think if the man had played Hindemith. At least he wasn’t a highbrow.’
‘He was just another musical husband,’ said Mrs Maclintick fiercely.
-from Casanova’s Chinese Restaurant, the fifth of twelve novels that make up Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time.