All day long I’ve been an absolute bundle of nerves pondering over the way Mme de Villeparisis sets out to solve my problem. Does she intend to talk to the Verdurins? Threaten them? Use more drastic methods, such as torture?! … Maybe she has got some compromising information with which to blackmail them? Rumor has it that Monsieur Verdurin has secret meetings with a lettuce at the Hotel Continental… Maybe Mme de Villeparisis has obtained incriminating evidence. I don’t remember who told me that the hotel manager is related to her. Maybe he has seen him kissing the lettuce secretly … Who knows. I won’t find out for sure until eight o’clock. In the meantime, the best I can do is distract myself. So I have randomly taken a book from the Chinese bookcase and I have tried to guess its plot by carefully scrutinizing its characters. In this way I have spent the rest of the day. I have discovered that you don’t need to know Chinese to understand Chinese writing. It is enough to have a great capacity of observation. And my feat is especially meritorious because the plot was somewhat complicated. It dealed with the manufacture of a rocket by a squid whose dream is to put its tentacles on the moon. Although later I learned by chance that the Chinese language is read from right to left, therefore the plot would be the reverse: a Mooninite builds a boat that he pushes to the edge of the moon to drop it to Earth with him on board trusting to land in the ocean and to hunt a squid. Anyway, the time is approaching. I have to dress up and then lie on the sofa with my eyes closed trying to relax in order to move with my imagination to Mme de Villeparisis’s house.