19. Male Mannequin Arm (P No. 876556)

Dear Mr. Spendwrith,

Please find enclosed one requisition chit for a male mannequin arm, part number 876556 (debonair pipe-smoker), as cited in the Brooks and Burberry fittings catalogue for gentlemen tailors.

The store has been broken into – again.

What is it with this lower-class trash? Though I am glad of the omission, why might you suppose these vicious thieves consistently take the arm from a mannequin, but leave the clothes it’s wearing?  Always one arm – it makes it so difficult to replace.

The particular mannequin in question has gained the unseemly nickname of One-handed Bob, and I have found myself barraged with more than one ‘Giver us an ‘and, auld Vickey!’ from the passing coal trimmers, cat-calling on their way down to the engine rooms.

Despite my utmost desire to the contrary, I shall keep the shop open, and await your prompt response in this delicate matter, though please do not again mention that there might be a delay as you are ‘short-handed’.

I did, of course, notice your unseasoned and boorish wit.

Yours, Bertram Vickers, Esq.

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