Upscale Downscale, Part II

Old Lady Propriety Entailed-Estate, widow of the last Marquess, is pacing the floor of the very grand, and very under-heated family property, Chilblain House, extremely worried about her fool of a son Eustace Entailed-Estate.  From time to time she dabs at her forehead with her lacy handkerchief scented with a touch of Floris’ lavender which she has been wearing ever since she was a girl, sixty years ago.

It must be said that the dabs of lavender are not helping to calm her.  She has just received word from her blithering idiot of a daughter-in-law, Violet Entailed-Estate, that Eustace, her only son and the current Marquess, has been kicking over the traces in Paris again, in a perfectly scandalous fashion!  He has been seen in the company of the shocking new soubrette Imogen “Goldie” Digger, dancing on table tops in Montmartre and mooning over the impossibly vulgar Goldie, who was wearing Golliwog perfume!

It is most egregiously bad news for the Entailed–Estate family, up to its ears in debt as it is, she thinks, wringing her jeweled hands.  The Marquess made quite enough trouble as it was in the last decade, falling for the superannuated grande horizontale  La Bella Stella Cadente, and her miasma of Coty’s Ambre Antique. He actually handed over the Entailed–Estate emeralds, the ass!

Now, Lady Propriety fears that, infatuated once again with this Goldie young person, he will find some other appanage from the family vault, and give it away. The last time this happened, the lady, the emeralds, and the money, all vanished in a puff of Antiquated Amber. The dowager Marchioness vows that this will not happen again!

Back in London, Violet Entailed–Estate is at her wits end and out of L’Heure Bleue, so she is making do with Houbigant’s Coeur de Jeannette instead.  She cannot contact the Marquess, though her onetime suitor, Lord Chesterton Chinless says he saw the old boy frightfully squiffy at the Folies Bergères with young Goldie just after her stage act.  The one where she wears a bunch of grapes.  Or was it two? Dear me, how dreadful!

Below stairs they are all gossiping about it, from Mrs. Crashplatter, who says that all the Entailed-Estate men go off their chumps past forty,  to little Dolly Rocker the scullery maid, who sometimes gets a bit of leftover violet scent from the parlor maids.

“But whay is it wicked to fall in luv, Mrs. Crashplatter?”

“It’s not bad if you’re single, Dolly, but no so good if you’re married and have a family and responsibilities.”

“She means a servant’s hall, Dolly,” says young Mr. Presshirt the valet. “Eh, Mrs. C.? He’s lumbered with the Marchioness and his children, and the Dowager Marchioness, and us!”

“Whay? Is he whot they call a Capitalist?”

“No, Dolly!” says Mr. Treadcarpet, scandalized. “And where did you learn that word?”

“Doan’t know. From the young man talking in the talking corner!”

“Speaker’s Corner, she means!” laughs Mr. Presshirt, who has been known to wear a bit of D’Orsay’s Le Dandy. “You’d better stay out of there if you don’t want to end up a Bolshevik!”

Meanwhile, with the help of the dowager Marchioness, Lady Violet has deputed her son, the Honorable Mr. Hammond Entailed–Estate to go to Paris and fetch his father home.

“And mind you don’t fall for the wiles of that young American Salome, while you are at it!” says the dowager.

“Oh yes, darling, do be careful,” says Lady Violet.  “Paris is such a naughty place! And must  you wear quite so much scent? Why not a little Floris, like Grandmama? A little Special 127?”

Really, Mater! One must live in the twentieth century! Only bounders like Marginbuy wear Floris these days!”

“Oh dear, what are we coming to,” asks Lady Propriety, clutching her handkerchief to her bosom, ”when no one wears Floris anymore?”

(As before, feel free to suggest any further olfactory story twists.)

 

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4 thoughts on “Upscale Downscale, Part II

  1. You have NO IDEA how much I needed the deep, cat-startling, husband-alarming, neighbor-waking gales of guffawing laughter this provoked.

    For the Honorable Mr. Hammond Entailed–Estate, I envision a very nice, large and lumbering, what-ho-jolly-fun kind of landed-gentry vestal virgin who Girl Guides it on weeknights, hunts in proper tweeds and wears Le Trèfle Incarnat because the scent of clover reminds her “so very much of a county gymkhana, don’t y’know.”

    • Oh thank goodness you got a good laugh. Hope you noticed little Dolly Rocker puzzling over her Bolshevism like a first grader over a reader?
      Le Trefle Incarnat is perfection for the horsey set!

        • I always picture Dolly asking her questions with her stomach sticking out ever so slightly in the manner of inquisitive toddlers. Wish I could think of something appropriately floral for her, there were lots of cheap violet things on the market then. Richard Hudnut maybe-except he was American, and Violet Sec would have been too sophisticated for little Dolly.

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