No shabby tigers

"Peter!"

"My dear?"

"I was just wondering whether I should recognize your voice—your face seems to have got rather remote, somehow."

She saw the comer of his long mouth twitch.

"Not quite the same person?"

"No."

"Don't worry," he said, imperturbably, "it'll be all right on the night."

Too much experience to be surprised, and too much honesty to pretend not to understand. She remembered what had happened four days earlier. He had brought her home after the theater, and they were standing before the fire, when she had said something—quite casually, laughing at him. He had turned and said, suddenly and huskily:

"Tu m'enivres!"*

Language and voice together had been like a lightning flash, showing up past and future in a single crack of fire that hurt your eyes and was followed by a darkness like thick, black velvet . . . . When his lips had reluctantly freed themselves, he had said:

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to wake the whole zoo. But I'm glad, my God! to know it's there—and no shabby tigers either."

"Did you think mine would be a shabby tiger?"

"I thought it might, perhaps, be a little daunted."

"Well, it isn't. It seems to be an entirely new tiger. I never had one before—only kindness to animals."

"My lady gave me a tiger,
A sleek and splendid tiger,
A striped and shining tiger,
All under the leaves of life."


Nobody else, thought Harriet, had apparently suspected the tiger—except of course, old Paul Delagardie, whose ironic eyes saw everything.

Peter's final comment had been:

"I have now completely given myself away. No English vocabulary. No other Englishwoman. And that is the most I can say for myself."

— Dorothy L. Sayers, Busman's Honeymoon

See? Sex through a lace doily. Only lace hews closer to Miss Marple than to Lord Peter and his lady, tho I do not know that a "tough-fibered doily" is really a thing.

Anyway. This Queen Hot Dog is now a full-fledged member of the Dorothy L. Sayers Society, dues paid annually. I can't say what the benefits of membership are exactly, but I will let you know the minute one proper English gent—second son of a duke, educated at Eton and Oxford, collector of incunabula and arcane epigrams, lover of old wines and ornery women, arbiter of justice, gun-shy and shell-shocked, infinitely reasonable, unflaggingly fair, and at times unbearably arch—arrives at my doorstep via parcel post.

*I can only deduce, in a nutshell: "You enflame me."