The creaking of the upstairs back door dissolved into bells that belonged elsewhere, not the dark corridor that led to the water closet. She could not tell if it was a carnival or a church where they originated, if it was the light tap of a xylophone from a schoolhouse music hour or a clanging call to dinner in a half-ruined but still-palatial mansion. This was the thought, made of lightning and rain, when she accidentally struck the gramophone man, and falling, saw the silvery anklet of a bare-footed girl. The girl called out something as she left. A deep voice, but in the staccato words of another language. The whispers of the shopkeepers hissed so loud as to drown out all meaning.