Lord Henry Wotton, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
It was already late at night and the atmosphere of the party was at its peak when he arrived at the house. It was supposed to be the party of the year he had heard, every important person of the town would be there. He usually wouldn’t attend this kind of event but he had urgently been called by his brother, the host of the party.
He quickly hurried through the orange courtyard towards the hidden door beneath the staircase, opens it and steps over the threshold into the vast main staircase. Although he had been here many times the opulent concrete stair takes his breath for a second. The party noises that he had already heard from the courtyard are distinct now. He steps forward towards the stair, a broken glass crunches under his shoe on the white stone tiles of the floor. Half empty glasses and bottles are scattered on the stairs and the floor and the music of the party echos from the steel columns on the wall.
He steps closer to the big staircase and looks up to see where the party was continuing at this time of the night. The mirror on the wall reflects the outline of a drunk couple stumbling up the steel stairs towards the private rooms of the building. Through the large round opening up in the wall he sees shadows on the ceiling of the adjacent room, the party must be continuing in the hostesses private wintergarden.
He suddenly recalls the urgence of his visit and quickly turns around to pass the massive handrail towards the short cut into the wintergarden. An opening in the concrete of the stair reveals a small cave like room. A group of young men and women seemed to have found a more quite place here to animatedly discuss the current political situation, although their speeches were also already clearly slurring. They tried to involve him into the conversation when he walked towards the landing of the steep spiral staircase but he politely declined and made his way up the stairs into the center of the party.
The wintergarden full of people was reflected in the black glass tiles on the wall. The party was getting more exuberant with every hour that passed. Some guests opened the windows and were climbing down into the courtyard. It took him a while to spot his brother standing in a more quite corner under the gallery where his wife usually put her paintings.
She was standing on the other side of the wall up on the landing of the main staircase. She had to steady herself on the soft tissue like walls, her hands were trembling. She still didn’t understand how it could have happened, it only took a second.
She had finally seen her husbands brother arrive downstairs, it felt like an eternity that she waited her gaze on the mirror on the wall. When he arrived a couple was walking up the stairs so he didn’t directly see her. She send them back down, no one was allowed to come up here tonight, no one could know what she did.
In the corner of the wintergarden under the gallery her husband was waiting. When his brother arrived she saw them quietly discussing the situation. She was almost startled when they suddenly both looked up at her and nodded. They vanished from her sight and reappeared though the passage in the wall to join her. Only then fell some of the great tension from her body. She knew she could trust them and she knew they would find a solution to her crime.