One possible answer follows...
With the sheets turned down
With the evidence undisturbed by honeymooners or anyone else, and a feast of fingerprints upon the cactus pot (fishing line still attached), it took Superintendent Kirk little enough time to get his man. With the financial gentlemen eying up the furniture - Peter put in a discreet word on behalf of the settle - the leaking copper, choked chimney, and absence of such necessities as cutlery, soon lead to mutual agreement that it was a delightful house, but not, all things considered, the best moment to move in. The bridal couple decamped to spend the afternoon at the vicarage, and Bunter, fortified by a good lunch in the pub (Whifflets had been a sore point in the village for some time, and the Superintendent had taken the opportunity to have a word), put in a couple of hours in the Post Office arranging ferry tickets and suitable accommodations. Evening found the weary party drawing up outside the Lord Warden (Bunter having observed the bride’s hastily concealed response to the suggestion of the night boat, and tactfully found passage unobtainable at any price), in eager anticipation of a quiet supper and comfortable beds.
Mervyn Bunter screwed the greasy newspaper into a ball and kicked it accurately into a rubbish bin. He had foregone the quite decent supper the hotel offered to servants in favour of a long walk along away from the port along the beach, and fish and chips and a bottle of ginger beer. With the lights of the hotel before him, he disciplined a slight tendency to unruliness of the imagination in composing a letter to his mother concerning the events of the past two days. The car was in the hotel garage for the duration, the port in the vicarage cellar, and some fresh air and exercise followed by a nightcap promised a good night’s rest before the journey to the Mediterranean. The Superintendent had managed his business with considerable tact and evident enjoyment at being able to demonstrate his prowess to such an observer as his lordship, and the gardener had been picked up making a dash for it at the Broxford station. With the house uninhabitable due to murder and creditors, individual failings over cutlery took their proper place, and his lordship had been most appreciative of the hastily-assembled travel plans. After the hustle of the last month, a few weeks by the sea would be just what the doctor ordered. And at forty-seven he could be justly proud of his figure in his new bathing suit.
Lady Peter Wimsey, enjoying the amenities of the Lord Warden’s best bathroom, reflected that country simplicity was all very well, but the Hotel Gigantic certainly had something going for it. She had stifled horror at the thought of the night boat for Peter’s sake, but was suitably grateful for, if not entirely convinced by, Bunter’s regretful failure to secure a cabin. In the blissful torpor induced by the combination of gallons of hot water, central heating, and some excellent brandy, one felt that luxury might not be so very difficult to accustom oneself to after all. One ought, perhaps, to be thinking a little more of Peter’s embrace than that of the sofa on which one now reclined with an idle hairbrush, but it was so very comfortable. Dear Peter! One hoped he, too, was not regretting the change of plan. Murders and bankruptcy notwithstanding, one still felt a little responsible, and though Oxford had been delightful one St George’s Hanover Square would have had the same result with less travelling, albeit more Helen. Perhaps one had not inflicted the worst on Peter after all. He was being an awfully long time, though the clock showed only ten o’clock. The heavy doors and thick carpeting afforded no clue as to whether he had reached the post-bathroom stage. No doubt he was shaving, having suffered the morning mortification of having to appear at the police station unshaven for twenty-four hours. One was grateful for this, but hoped he wouldn’t take too long about it. Harriet’s eyes closed.
The new-wedded lord, though more accustomed than his bride to the excellent bathrooms possessed by very big hotels, was nonetheless equally appreciative. He had indeed shaved, after a vigorous bath followed by – after a moment’s thought as he carolled songs in the French language – a blisteringly cold shower. If it was a pity to have to leave one’s own roof without even being able to sleep under it, there were compensations in old-fashioned comfort and old-fashioned beds, and waiting brides within them. He tapped lightly on the door of the adjoining room, and entered. Harriet was sitting curled on the sofa on the far side of the room, legs tucked up with one bare foot peeking from the hem of a dull gold dressing gown. She watched him silently from beneath half-closed eyes as he crossed the room, a little shy after all, perhaps? Well, one could soon mend that. He dropped to his knees before her.
‘Harriet – ’ She stirred, eyelids lifting on dark eyes wide with -
‘Wha?’ The eyes flickered closed again, and her head slumped gracelessly to one side. Perhaps if one waited a moment she would perk up. He slipped onto the sofa and pulled her against him. This produced a promising arm around his waist and a quiet sigh of ‘Peter’, but nothing further. Indeed, she had a decided air of settling in for the night, and whilst one was more than willing to expend considerable time and effort making the previous night’s disasters up to Harriet, it could not be denied that it was disappointing to find oneself doing so by stripping her merely of her dressing gown and tucking the bedclothes carefully over the delectable features half-revealed, through which procedure she remained blithely unconscious, and crawled in beside her. Half-an-hour later, horribly awake with the smell of her hair in his nostrils, agonisingly sensitive to the warmth and weight of her body against his even as she snored gently into his left ear, and acutely aware that his darling was out for the count, he took himself off to the other room with its cool kindliness of uninhabited sheets and set the alarm clock for early next morning.