64. Little black dress.

His room is still empty – our host’s cabin, that is. I check it every day, in case Incy Wincey should return, but I can only assume he is webbed-up in a funnel – perhaps between the stacks, overhead? Ha!

Today, my latest encounter was with a Rail Magnate. He was an enthusiastic ‘negotiator’…

I am battered and bruised.

Back at my cabin, I had problems getting my key in the lock and had to scrape around the door for a few minutes until I finally found the keyhole and dragged the door open. Fingers numb. No strength. The same process to lock myself in. Tedious, but necessary.

$800 – okay I suppose. Once gutted, I throw the envelope aside.

I noted a couture box lying on my bed. But, instead of immediately looking inside the box, tugging the satin bow on that fine, heavy cardboard, smooth as ivory, I stripped off my clothing and plumped all of it like an over-risen muffin on top of the Champagne bucket. Strange how our upbringing sticks with us like a ghost: not wanting to damage the furnishings, or stain the carpet, and all that.


I slogged into the shower and washed of – washed off my day. Watched it land as marbled craters and run down the plughole in a dark swirl.

Then I washed down the back of the cabin door. Took the bucket and dumped my clothing in to soak under the shower. I’ll walk up and down on it later. My dressing gown is a state, but I had nothing else to wear.

Inside the box was fluttering tissue paper – a gossamer of butterflies – and a dress, black as midnight. The dress was more expensive than anything I’d ever seen in my life.

Little Black Dress

I took a few hours and gutted it with a pair of tailoring scissors I’d been saving – shredding it to crow-feathers.

How dare he!

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