"Early in the summer, Melanie stole six untouched Biggles books from his room, smuggled them to a town on a cheap day excursion and sold them at a secondhand bookshop in order to buy a set of false eyelashes with the proceeds. But the false eyelashes made her weep painful tears when she tried to fix them in place and then they refused to stay put but riffled through her fingers onto the dressingtable like baleful, hairy caterpillars with a life of their sinister own. Mutely, they accused her – thief! Thief! Treacherous, they were the wages of sin. Melanie burned them guiltily in her rarely used bedroom hearth. It was obvious to her that they could not be worn because she had stolen to get the money to buy them. She had a well-developed sense of guilt, that summer."
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