i am going to go down to the store on the corner, catherine announced, to buy a turtle.
a turtle? asked harold. whatever for? and besides, it is pouring rain.
oh, i shall wear my most weather proof rain gear.
that is all very well, but what do you want the turtle for?
to make turtle soup, of course. why else would i want it?
but it is cook’s day off.
i have the cookbook mrs wilson left behind, and it has what appears to be a very workable recipe in it.
oh well, suit yourself, i suppose you know your own mind. i still think you would be better served waiting for cook to make the turtle soup tomorrow - and going to the store herself to buy it, in bright glorious sunshine.
that is all very well, but i am off. wish me luck.
but when catherine opened the front door, who should be standing in front of it, apparently in some sort of daze, but charles. he was not wearing a hat and his umbrella was rolled and tucked under his arm, and the rain was furiously splashing and cascading over his bald head.
charles! catherine exclaimed. whatever are you doing here?
i - i was just thinking - i was thinking of - dash it, now i have lost my train of thought!
i am sorry to hear that. why don’t you come in out of the rain and dry yourself off a bit.
yes, i suppose i might as well.
the servants have the day off, but we have a roaring fire going, and harold might lend you some dry clothes.
i don’t care to wear other people’s clothing.
when charles entered the drawing room, harold looked up from his faithful copy of the newcomes and burst out laughing.
i will be back shortly, catherine told charles, and i will make some delicious turtle soup which will warm you right up.
harold continued to laugh, and to ostentatiously “hold his sides”.
stop laughing, harold, catherine admonished him. it is very uncivilized of you. why don’t you look for the admiral’s old blue suit in the attic and let charles change into it? i will be back in a flash.
and with that, catherine was out the door and on her way.
harold did not make any attempt to retrieve the admiral’s old blue suit from the attic, but he and charles sat in front of the roaring fire and had a long, somewhat contentious argument about the battle of rorke’s drift.
catherine returned a few hours later, quite wet, and without a turtle.
charles and harold refrained from asking her where she had been and what she had been doing.