Heynes’s, and then he sold it you, and I couldn’t get any more.”
“So it was,” said Diva. “Upset you a bit. There was the wool in the shop. I bought it.”
“Yes, dear; I see you did. But that wasn’t what I popped in about. This coal-strike, you know.”
“Got a cellar full,” said Diva.
“Diva, you’ve not been hoarding, have you?” asked Miss Mapp with great anxiety. “They can take away every atom of coal you’ve got, if so, and fine you I don’t know what for every hundredweight of it.”
“Pooh!” said Diva, rather forcing the indifference of this rude interjection.
“Yes, love, pooh by all means, if you like poohing!” said Miss Mapp. “But I should have felt very unfriendly if one morning I found you were fined—found you were fined—quite a play upon words—and I hadn’t warned you.”
Diva felt a little less poohish.
“But how much do they allow you to have?” she asked.
“Oh, quite a little: enough to go on with. But I daresay they won’t discover you. I just took the trouble to come and warn you.”
Diva did remember something about hoarding; there had surely been dreadful exposures of prudent housekeepers in the papers which were very uncomfortable reading.
“But all these orders were only for the period of the war,” she said.
“No doubt you’re right, dear,” said Miss Mapp brightly. “I’m sure I hope you are. Only if the coal strike comes on, I think you’ll find that the regulations against hoarding are quite as severe as they ever were. Food hoarding, too. Twemlow—such a civil man—tells me that he thinks we shall have plenty of food, or anyhow sufficient for