And when she breathed, something light and sad—no, not sad, exactly—something gentle seemed to move in her bosom.
She had become really quite expert, she thought, at listening as though she didn’t listen, at sitting in other people’s lives just for a minute while they talked round her.
Often people sat on the benches and green chairs, but they were nearly always the same, Sunday after Sunday, and—Miss Brill had often noticed—there was something funny about nearly all of them. They were odd, silent, nearly all old, and from the way they stared they looked as though they’d just come from dark little rooms or even—even cupboards!
The ermine toque was alone; she smiled more brightly than ever. But even the band seemed to know what she was feeling and played more softly…What would she do? What was going to happen now?
Oh, how fascinating it was...It was exactly like a play.
They were all on the stage. They weren’t only the audience, not only looking on; they were acting. Even she had a part and came every Sunday.
“Yes, I have been an actress for a long time.”
“Why does she come here at all—who wants her? Why doesn’t she keep her silly old mug at home?”
“It’s her fu-ur which is so funny,” giggled the girl. “It’s exactly like a fried whiting.”
If there was an almond it was like carrying home a tiny present—a surprise—something that might very well not have been there.
She unclasped the necklet quickly; quickly, without looking, laid it inside. But when she put the lid on she thought she heard something crying.