Page:Miss Mapp.djvu/256

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would all see what crimson-lake looked like when it decked a suitable wearer and was not parodied on the other side of a card-table. How true, as dear Major Benjy had said, that one woman could wear what another could not.... And if there was a woman who could not wear crimson-lake it was Diva.... Or was Mr. Wyse really ashamed to let his sister see Diva in the crimson-lake? It would be just like him to be considerate of Diva, and not permit her to make a guy of herself before the Italian aristocracy. No doubt he would ask her to lunch some day, quite quietly. Or had... Miss Mapp bloomed with pretty conjectures, like some Alpine meadow when smitten into flower by the spring, and enjoyed her lunch very much indeed.

The anxiety and suspense of the morning, which, instead of being relieved, had ended in utter gloom, gave Diva, a headache, and she adopted her usual strenuous methods of getting rid of it. So, instead of lying down and taking aspirin and dozing, she set out after lunch to walk it off. She sprinted and splashed along the miry roads, indifferent as to whether she stepped in puddles or not, and careless how wet she got. She bit on the bullet of her omission from the dinner-party this evening, determining not to mind one atom about it, but to look forward to a pleasant evening at home instead of going out (like this) in the wet. And never​—​never under any circumstances would she ask any of the guests what sort of an evening had been spent, how Mr. Wyse announced the news, and how the Faradiddleony played bridge. (She said that satirical word aloud, mouthing it to the puddles and the dripping hedge-rows.) She would not evince the slightest interest in it all; she would cover it with spadefuls of oblivion, and when next she met