Elephants can remember – Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie – Elephants Can Remember
CHAPTER I A Literary Luncheon
Mrs. Oliver looked at herself in the glass. She gave a brief, sideways look towards the clock on the mantelpiece, which she had some idea was twenty minutes slow. Then she resumed her study of her coiffure. The trouble with Mrs.
Oliver was–and she admitted it freely–that her styles of hairdressing were always being changed. She had tried almost everything in turn. A severe pompadour at one time, then a wind-swept style where you brushed back your locks to display an intellectual brow, at least she hoped the brow was intellectual. She had tried tightly arranged curls, she had tried a kind of artistic disarray. She had to admit that it did not matter very much today what her type of hairdressing was, because today she was going to do what she very seldom did–wear a hat.
On the top shelf of Mrs. Oliver’s wardrobe there reposed four hats. One was definitely allotted to weddings. When you went to a wedding, a hat was a “must.” But even then Mrs.
Oliver kept two. One, in a round bandbox, was of feathers. It fitted closely to the head and stood up very well to sudden squalls of rain if they should overtake one unexpectedly as one passed from a car to the interior of the sacred edifice, or as so often nowadays, a registrar’s office.
The other, and more elaborate, hat was definitely for attending a wedding held on a Saturday afternoon in summer. It had flowers and chiffon and a covering of yellow net attached with mimosa, The other two hats on the shelf were of a more all-purpose character. One was what Mrs. Oliver called her country house hat, made of tan felt suitable for wearing with tweeds of almost any pattern, with a becoming brim that you could turn up or turn down.
Mrs. Oliver had a cashmere pullover for warmth and a thin pullover for hot days, either of which was suitable in color to go with this. However, though the pullovers were frequently worn, the hat was practically never worn. Because, really, why put on a hat just to go to the country and have a meal with your friends?
The fourth hat was the most expensive of the lot and it had extraordinary advantages about it. Possibly, Mrs. Oliver sometimes thought, because it was so expensive. It consisted of a kind of turban of various layers of contrasting velvets, all of rather becoming pastel shades which would go with anything.
Mrs. Oliver paused in doubt and then called for assistance.
“Maria,” she said, then louder, “Maria. Come here a minute.” Maria came. She was used to being asked to give advice on what Mrs. Oliver was thinking of wearing.
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