He put back the screwdriver in his pocket and stared at me. I realized then that I shouldn’t have said, “No,” and it made me rather embarrassed.
But I wasn’t sure if I should smoke, under the circumstances—in Mother’s presence. I thought it over; really, it didn’t seem to matter, so I offered the keeper a cigarette, and we both smoked.
To my surprise each of them shook hands with me, as though this night together, in which we hadn’t exchanged a word, had created a kind of intimacy between us.