The Way Up to Heaven

6050 Words Oct 2nd, 2011 25 Pages
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Roald Dahl (1916-) Roald Dahl was born in South Wales, though his parents were Norwegian. He became a fighter pilot during the Second World War and his first book of short stories, `Over to You' (1942), deals with the tensions of war-time flying. After this carne two very successful collections of short stories, Someone Like You' (1953) and `Kiss Kiss' (1959), from which this story is taken. A later collection was 'Switch Bitch' (1974, and more recently he has written a novel, `My Uncle Oswald' (1979). Dahl is fascinated by the strange and macabre. His own kind of black humour is unique as he uncovers the abnormalities that lie beneath the surface of the most conventional relationship, such as that between a man and his wife.

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One maid was distributing bundles of dust sheets to every room, while another was draping them over the furniture. The butler was bringing down suitcases and putting them in the hall. The cook kept popping up from the kitchen to have a word with the butler, and Mrs Foster herself, in an old-fashioned fur coat and with a black hat on the top of her head, was flying from room to room and pretending to supervise these operations. Actually, she was thinking of nothing at all except that she was going to miss her plane if her husband didn't come out of his study soon and get ready. `What time is it, Walker?' she said to the butler as she passed him. `It's ten minutes past nine, Madam.' `And has the car come?' `Yes, Madam, it's waiting. I'm just going to put the luggage in now.' `It takes an hour to get to Idlewild,'* she said. `My plane leaves at eleven. I have to be there half an hour beforehand for the formalities.* 1 shall be late. I just know I'm going to be late.' `I think you have plenty of time, Madam,' the butler said kindly. `I warned Mr Foster that you must leave at nine-fifteen. There's still another five minutes.' `Yes, Walker, I know, I know. But get the luggage in quickly, will you Please?' She began walking up and down the hall, and whenever the butler carne by, she asked him the time. This, she kept telling herself, was the one plane she must not miss. It had taken months to persuade her husband to allow her to go. If she missed it, he might
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