Fink, poor fellow, was a widower, and each of his daughters had said that she would rather be dead than live in a dump like Lyndhurst, so he had to live all by himself in the Diamond Hotel, near the office, on the other side of the Market Square. The food at the Diamond, Fink said, was giving him an ulcer in the stomach, so he ate his lunch with Gottlieb, at the Gottliebs' house. Carefully they drove to Gottlieb's house for lunch鈥攐ne day in Gottlieb's car and the next day in Fink's鈥攁nd ate the lunch that Sylvia and Mrs Gottlieb served them both. Then Gottlieb retired to his bedroom with the newspaper and had a little sleep until two o'clock, and Fink did the same in the lounge, with his shoes off and his stockinged2 feet pointing to the ceiling from the end of the sofa.
"It's no life for a man without a wife," Mrs Gottlieb reported to her husband. "He had holes in his socks today."
"Holes in his socks! A fine advertisement for his soft-goods!"3
Mrs Gottlieb was not amused. "It's a shame. I'd offer to darn4 them, but he'd be offended. You know what he's like."
"Very well," Gottlieb nodded. "Poor fellow."
"He'd be hurt that I saw the holes in his socks. He has such terrible pride."
"Fink's pride is a terrible thing. It is eating him away."
Sometimes Riva cast about5 in her mind for a suitable widow for Fink. "It's what he needs," she said. "Then he'll be happy again."
Gottlieb was more cautious. "Perhaps he would be a little happier, and not so proud."
At other times Gottlieb reminded her that the man had three daughters, not one of whom had made it her business to stay in Lyndhurst and look after her father. Instead each one of them, as she had reached maturity of a sort,6 and eligibility without doubt for marriage, had deliberately gone off to Johannesburg in search of the professional man that each had succeeded in marrying. "A girl has to get married," Gottlieb admitted to his wife, "but is it impossible to