“And are you married, sir?" Mrs Winstanley asked Tom. "Oh no, madam!" said Tom.
"Yes," David reminded him. "You are, you know."
Tom made a motion with his hand to suggest that it was a situation susceptible to different interpretations.
The truth was that he had a Christian wife. At fifteen she had had a wicked little face, almond-shaped eyes and a most capricious nature. Tom had constantly compared her to a kitten. In her twenties she had been a swan; in her thirties a vixen; and then in rapid succession a bitch, a viper, a cockatrice and, finally, a pig. What animals he might have compared her to now no one knew. She was well past ninety now and for forty years or more she had been confined to a set of apartments in a distant part of the Castel des Tours saunz Nowmbre under strict instructions not to shew herself, while her husband waited impatiently for someone to come and tell him she was dead.”
The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories