Murder on the links – Agatha Christie
‘He disapproves.’ remarked the lady. ‘He disapproves utterly – of me, and my sister – which last is unfair, because he hasn’t seen her!’
I opened my mouth, but she forestalled me.
‘Say no more! Nobody loves me! I shall go into the garden and eat worms! Boohoo. I am crushed!’
She buried herself behind a large comic French paper. In a minute or two, I saw her eyes stealthily peeping at me over the top. In spite of myself I could not help smiling, and in a minute she had tossed the paper aside, and had burst into a merry peal of laughter.
‘I knew you weren’t such a mutt as you looked,’ she cried.
Her laughter was so infectious that I could not help joining in, though I hardly cared for the word ‘mutt’.
‘There! Now we’re friends!’ declared the minx. ‘Say you’re sorry about my sister -‘
‘I am desolated!’
‘That’s a good boy!’
‘Let me finish. I was going to add that, although I am desolated, I can manage to put up with her absence very well.’ I made a little bow.
But this most unaccountable of damsels frowned and shook her head.
‘Cut it out. I prefer the “dignified disapproval” stunt. Oh, your face! “Not one of us”, it said. And you were right there – though, mind you, it’s pretty hard to tell nowadays. It’s not everyone who can distinguish between a ‘demi’ and a duchess. There now, I believe I’ve shocked you again! You’ve been dug out of the backwoods, you have. Not that I mind that. We could do with a few more of your sort. I just hate a fellow who gets fresh. It makes me mad.’