★★ What came through the window was too damp to do much about the stuffiness. Clouds clotted together for a while but the brightness came through. Come lunchtime, facing south, there was no way to be sure whether any thin clouds were left or if there was just the column of haze thickening up into the glare. Even in the shade, the breeze felt like an old damp sponge dragged over the skin. Hot fumes seethed in the more pleasant-looking cross streets. The sky dimmed faster than the oncoming evening. A big blue cloud headed upriver, rearing up a little, and a gull flew strenuously the other way. The wind began keening under the door, louder and louder, till it was time to shut the windows against the oncoming rain.