April 2, 2018

E is for Emily and English

        "Did you know Emily Mannering well?" Hedger asked Ms English.
        "No no.  Not at all.  But she was always quite polite to me, as I noticed she was not to everybody.  But she really was such an elegant young woman.  We had dinner together once, when I was able to give her an introduction to a rather famous producer who was interested in supporting the sculpture garden she was promoting at the time.  So funny to see what they decide to do with their money, I always think.  I imagine if Dick ever actually went to that garden, he'd discover he'd got his name on something quite different from what he thought.  I'm sure he imagined Greek athletes and Rodin lovers everywhere making the place all classy and romantic.  I've seen the garden, and the sculpture's thoroughly modern and unrecognizable.  How you can tell something's a mother and child with all those angles, I'll never know.  Anyway, I was supposed to be telling you about Emily, but you see I really know very little about her.  Her mother had died young… well, I mean young compared with me.  Emily must have been seventeen or so.  She never got along well with her father, so she took her share of the mother's money and moved out.  That was after she went to college.  Of course her father sent her to a good college.  She majored in English, I think, which wasn't any problem because she came from such a wealthy family and could've done without any job if she'd had to.  Of course girls nowadays are all expected to do something, and marriage just doesn't count anymore, which, from my experience, doesn't seem like such a bad change.  She's lived in New York her whole life, I'm sure, but travelled a lot, and she speaks quite complacently about Paris and the Alps.  Skiing.  Not any more, of course.  I think her brother's a lawyer, but he's much older and she never saw him any more than her father.  That is, she did mention something about his having a stroke, the father, not the brother, and how she'd seen him in the hospital, but I bet that was the first time in five years.  There, I'm sure that really is all I know, except for her cat, which lived better than many men I've seen, which always seems very confused to me.  That she could pass the homeless by on the street and feed Auguste specially prepared salmon at a dollar a can.  Still, when you consider that it was the only companion she had.  Auguste as in Renoir, by the way, though he's not at all the round, cozy kind of cat Renoir would've painted, and pastels would never do him justice.  More of the panther in him than the puffball.  But maybe when he was a kitten.  Which reminds me, what is going to happen to the cat?  I can't imagine her family would want it.  I can't say I want it either, but I'd rather take it in than see it starve, much as the poor creature would think it'd come down in the world.  You check up on the poor beast and see that it's taken care of, will you?  Now, is there anything
else I can help you with?  Have some more tea.  I'm sorry I know so little about the affair.  I saw, of course, in the paper this morning and was really quite astonished.  You hear so much about shootings in parking lots and tenement buildings and Emily was that type of person who never seems to get touched by any of the problems of the world, so self-contained and secure."  And then she fell silent.
        Connie English and Emily Mannering from The Seventh Floor, an unpublished cozy mystery (excerpt from Chapter 3).
[Picture: Emily Mannering?  Butterick Fast & Easy Sewing Pattern, 1994 (Image from HoneymoonBus).]

A-Z Challenge, all posts for the letter E.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

I thought that was from a pattern. All of these books sound so interesting. Maybe after the A to Z I will get to read some.