After Daisie and her friend had left, Maisie sat back and considered the situation. The bonnets were mislaid, not lost. The girls knew when they last had worn them and they were quite sure that they had been left in the taxi after arriving at Charlotte’s house. It was now necessary to find the taxi in which they had been left.
The two girls had been so worried that Maisie couldn’t bring herself to tell them just how upset she was at the loss. And one of the bonnets didn’t belong to her. Although she knew that Juliet, the owner of the other mislaid bonnet, would take the loss in her stride, she was determined to do all she could to find them
First a cup of tea and Jackson was summoned to produce one. Then Maisie set to work to find the bonnets. She thought it would be a simple matter to find the taxi company and a telephone was brought to her so that she could start. But it wasn’t that simple. Oh there was a central booking service that handled requests for a taxi but most of the taxis were individually owned. And many of the owners didn’t use the central service. And while the girls thought they had ordered a regular London cab they couldn’t be sure. They might have been in a minicab one of the thousands of unlicensed and unregulated cabs that operate in the city.
After an hour and seemingly endless calls, Maisie was no closer to finding the taxi or the bonnets. She decided to enlist help. Another call to her best friend, Juliet (after whom she had named her only daughter) brought reinforcements. Juliet duly arrived clutching her cellphone and so they now had two phone lines to use. And really what was becoming such a dreary exercise suddenly became so much more fun when she had a friend with whom to share it.
More tea and cakes were called for as Juliet hadn’t had her afternoon tea before being summoned to Maisie’s side. Then suitably refreshed the two women set about their task.
Another call to central booking was made, this time by Juliet, who managed to elicit a fairly full list of possible taxi owners and indeed, a number for property left in taxis. It seemed fairly obvious to Juliet that this latter was the place to start. However, no luck there but the very helpful person on the other end of the line suggested that it might be a day or two before the bonnets were handed in.
Anther hour passed without success, but as she expected, it was much better now that Maisie had a chum to talk to in between the phone calls.
By now it was 5 pm and the ladies decided that a little drink would be appropriate as payment for their hard work and they decided to continue their search the next day. Again, Jackson was called into service and produced two very large G & Ts for the ladies.
And so began a very pleasant evening, starting with the drinks and ending several hours later with dinner in the company of Juliet’s husband at
a nearby restaurant. The two women couldn’t resist laughing at their exploits in a totally different establishment some years ago.**
To be continued….
**For more about this click here
And some utterly useless information on gin and tonic – According to various sources, the gin and tonic was an invention of the employees of the British East India company, who were quaffing bitter tonic water as a prophylactic against malaria. The story goes that gin—a Dutch medicinal invention of grain spirits flavored with juniper berries—was added to the tonic water to improve the taste (!?). Did they perhaps add the lime to ward off scurvy?
- Shall we have the other half? (metafilter.com)
- Found at last (growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com)
- Gin and Tonic: A Short History of a Stiff Drink (activehistory.ca)