The cab stopped before a small tobacconist's on the south side of the road.
'Have I got to live here?' thought Thyme.
Through the open door a narrow passage led to a narrow staircase covered with oilcloth. She raised her bicycle and wheeled it in. A Jewish-looking youth emerging from the shop accosted her.
"Your gentleman friend says you are to stay in your rooms, please, until he comes."
His warm red-brown eyes dwelt on her lovingly. "Shall I take your luggage up, miss?"
"It's the first floor," said the young man.
The little rooms which Thyme entered were stuffy, clean, and neat. Putting her trunk down in her bedroom, which looked out on a bare yard, she went into the sitting-room and threw the window up. Down below the cabman and tobacconist were engaged in conversation. Thyme caught the expression on their faces--a sort of leering curiosity.
'How disgusting and horrible men are!' she thought, moodily staring at the traffic. All seemed so grim, so inextricable, and vast, out there in the grey heat and hurry, as though some monstrous devil were sporting with a monstrous ant-heap. The reek of petrol and of dung rose to her nostrils. It was so terribly big and hopeless; it was so ugly! 'I shall never do anything,' thought Thyme-'never--never! Why doesn't Martin come?'