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. For more sober enterprises you need only go
clockwise ninety degrees to Threadneedle Street.
No sign of proctors, no sign of Gwen.
She had promised to meet me at the exit. Or had she? No, not quite. Her
exact words were, "I won't be long, dear." I had inferred that she expected to
find me at the restaurant's exit to the street.
I've heard all the old chestnuts about women and weather, La donna e
mobile, and so forth-I believe none of them. Gwen had not suddenly changed her
mind. For some reason- some good reason-she had gone on without me and now would
expect me to join her at her home.
Or so I told myself.
If she had taken a scooter, she was there already; if she had walked, she
would be there soon-Tony had said, 'Twenty minutes ago." There is a scooter
booth at the intersection of ring thirty and Petticoat Lane. I found an empty,
punched in ring one-oh-five, radius one-thirty-five, six-tenths gravity, which
would take me as close as one can get by public scooter to Gwen's compartment.
Gwen lives in Gretna Green, just off Appian Way where it crosses the Yellow
Brick Road-which means nothing to anyone who has never visited Golden Rule
habitat. Some public relations "expert" had decided that habitants would feel
more at home if surrounded by place names familiar from dirtside. There is even
(don't retch) a "House at Pooh Comer." What I punched in were coordinates of the
main cylinder: 105, 135, 0