I’m posting a section a day of my epistolary romance novella The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo. You can read it online for free here (click on the “Perilous Life of Jade Yeo” category to access the other posts), or you can buy the ebook at Smashwords or Amazon. The ebook contains the complete 23,000-word novella.
Monday, 8th November 1920
Disaster: Hardie is here. I opened the newspaper this morning, thinking of looking for a cartoon and seeing if I could make out its meaning, and there in the letters section was his face staring up at me.
Blast the man! What is he doing, turning up in every corner of the world one thinks of visiting? You would think following Aunt Iris to Paris to carry her bags and watch her try on an endless series of hideous dresses would be enough to propitiate the gods. And yet here Hardie is, to give some talk or other at a loathsome Institute. The next thing I know, when I think of doing so much as sitting down on a comfortable sofa, it will turn out to be Hardie on his hands and knees, with a figured cloth and some cushions laid on him.
It is ridiculous!
I will not be disturbed. There’s absolutely no reason why I should see him. Paris is a city of some considerable size, and I am not very large. I shall sink into the crowd. Probably he has forgotten all about his kisses and his silly talk. But it does not matter even if he hasn’t, because I shan’t see him.
Ravi writes, “I enjoyed your description of the charms of Paris. I have never been, but I must acquire an aunt of means and prevail upon her to take me there. I feel I should be at home: as with Paris, what you might call a leisurely approach to excrement disposal, and a consequent distinctive aroma, were characteristic features of my hometown.”
It is such a comfort to have a friend who does not mind talking about these matters. At home one’s digestive system was the property of every passing aunt and uncle; here in Europe one never ever speaks of such things.