"The floor above belonged to the landlord who, with a wife who was a great deal smarter than him, and a dog who was a great deal smarter than her always seemed to be on the verge of shouting at someone or something..."
Toby and Rosalind Prowse are a married couple currently residing at 16 Mercer Street, Soho with Tarben Rosendal who rents their converted cellarspace.
TobyEditToby Prowse is a middle-aged chip-shop owner from somewhere down South (possibly Southampton), he and his wife decided, after the war, to rent out their cellar apartment to help with expenses.
Toby very much resembles a potato, both in outward appearance and mental capacity. For Toby there is no worse law than the imposed rationing, which restricts his habitual calorie count horrendously and might force him to shed some weight. Most things frustrate him - not being able to eat, his wife telling him he oughtn't to eat, not being capable of understanding that rationing means less food - and his hot temper takes the form of shouting more often than not. Not the sharpest tool in the shed, Toby is convinced that buying food from Tarben is a smart idea, not realising that the extortionate prices far outstrip his tennant's rent, and that he is therefore paying the man to live with him.
"As for Mrs. Prowse, he neither knew, nor particularly cared where she made a living, so long as it found its way swiftly into his own wallet in exchange for the latest offcuts of exotic herb root and sweet potato from Mauritias."Rosalind, while smarter than her husband, is a daydreamer with the concentration span of a slice of dried guava. Outwitted on many occasions by their dachsund, Kipper, who tricks her into repeated walks daily, she is a great deal shier than Toby in public. She works as a seamstress in a local underwear factory.