Conversations in the Dining Room
Emma Knytleigh brought the tape recorder to London to record the auction proceedings. By mistake, other proceedings were also captured on tape...
At the Savoy (evening, 2 September 1999)
Ann: I cant believe we got her! Shes so beautiful! The frame is in rough shape, but we can have that restored, and the canvas can be cleaned and
Chester: Good job!
Emma: Its amazing what you can buy if you have some money to spend.
Chester: But it was ever so cheap. Well below the estimate. Well done!
Emma: Well, Im shattered. Too much excitement, and wine, for me. Heres my stop. Breakfast downstairs at half past eight?
Ann: Yeah, that sounds great.
Emma: Chester, arent you staying on this floor too?
Chester: Im just going to help Ann carry the painting back to her room.
Emma: Fine. Oh, Ann, can you take the tape recorder? Im afraid Ill drop it or something. Oh, damn, Ive been recording all of this. (tape stops)
Ann: hope I didnt break anything. Let me have a look.
Chester: Leave it Ann.
Ann: This has been the most exciting day! What shall we do to celebrate? Could you face another drink? Id like a nightcap.
Chester: Mmmm. Yes, a nightcap sounds like just the thing.
Ann: Let me see what Ive got is Scotch alright?
Chester: I fancy a G&T. Is that too demanding?
Ann: No, thats fine. Here you are.
Chester: Great. Thanks very much.
Ann: Cheers. Lets have another look at her. Oh, Chester, shes great!
Chester: So beautiful
Ann: Yeah, she really is. Beautiful and mysterious.
Chester: Ann, I wasnt talking about the painting just now. I was talking about you. Come here, I have an idea
Ann: Chester? Did you hear something? I think I might have turned the tape on by mistake.
Chester: Oh, Ann. Forget about the tape. I want to turn you on (long pause)
Ann: No, no, stop. Chester, please. Oh, no. (sound of giggling).
Chester (quite loudly): Ann! Stop laughing. Whats so funny?
Ann: Im sorry. Oh dear. Oh, really, I am. You just caught me by surprise.
Chester: And my kissing you was funny?
Ann: Dont get all defensive. Im sorry. Its just you and me kissing in front of Fanny. Sort of incestuous.
Chester: Incestuous? Hardly. Go on, kiss me again. (longish pause).
Ann: (Giggles.) No, no. Weve got to stop this. I cant. Whats come over you?
Chester: Nothings "come over" me. Give us another kiss
Ann: No, seriously Chester. This isnt right. Stop it.
Chester: Oh Ann, I think you wanted this too. (singing) Savoy the home of true romance. Da da, give happy feet the chance to dance Dance with me Ann. Isnt this what you hoped for when you invited me to come up to the auction and spend the night?
Ann: No! I wanted you to come because youre a friend, because you like this sort of thing. I dont know how you could have thought.... Really Chester, this is absurd.
Chester: Do you think its absurd that Im in love with you?
Ann: Youre in love with me? Wait a minute. Since when? What?
Chester: I think since I met you that day in Puckering. When we talked over breakfast about your work, about medieval history and about Stoney Grove. I thought you felt something too, but didnt want to pursue it, not then. As long as you and Simon were together, I never would have said anything, but now
Ann: Now-- what? Simon and I are still together.
Chester: Well, er, technically, but youre not really together, are you?
Ann: Chester, hang on. How do you know whats going on between me and Simon? What possible business is it of yours?
Chester: Of course its my business, damn it! I just told you that I was in love with you. Is that so incredible?
Ann: No. No, its not. Its quite sweet.
Chester: And youve got to admit, Simons not the sort of bloke youll be happy with. I think in your heart, youve admitted that.
Ann: No I havent! Why should I? Whats wrong with Simon and me?
Chester: Oh come off it, Ann. Stop playing with me. Youve been fighting, youve moved into a separate bedroom for Gods sake, and I think you made it pretty clear to everyone that he was on the way out when you asked me to come up to London with you. Did you really have no intentions of making love to me tonight?
Ann: Really, I didnt.
Chester: Why not?
Ann: Because Im in love with Simon. I always have been.
Chester: Thats just crap. Dont use Simon as an excuse. You cant be in love with him. Hes so
Ann: So what?
Chester: Socommon. He doesnt give a toss about anything really meaningful. Hes botched up the house, hes not serious about things, he didnt even care about the painting. You cant love him.
Ann: Chester, I think youd better leave.
Chester: No, listen
Ann: Chester, dont push me. Get out. Now.
Chester: Alright then. Well talk tomorrow. Good night.
Ann: Dont hold your breath. Good night.
Ann: Oh, shit. (tape shuts off).