Vile Bodies

Adam sat in front of the fire in a deep armchair.  Outside the rain beat on the double windows.  There were several magazines in the library – mostly cheap weeklies devoted to the cinema.  There was a stuffed owl and a case of early British remains, bone pins and bits of pottery and a skull, which had been dug up in the park many years ago and catalogued by Nina’s governess.  There was a cabinet containing the relics of Nina’s various collecting fevers – some butterflies and a beetle or two, some fossils and some birds’ eggs and a few postage stamps.  There were some bookcases of superbly unreadable books, a gun, a butterfly net, an alpenstock in the corner.  There were catalogues of agricultural machines and acetylene plants, lawn mowers, ‘sports requisites’.  There was a fire screen worked with a coat of arms.  The chimney piece was hung with the embroidered saddle-cloths of Colonel Blount’s regiment of Lancers.  There was an engraving of all the members of the Royal Yacht Squadron, with a little plan in the corner, marked to show who was who.  There were many other things of equal interest besides, but before Adam had noticed any more he was fast asleep.

Evelyn Waugh, Vile Bodies (Penguin: Harmondsworth, 1958) p. 72.