|Had a bit of fun with this prompt: |
John Singer Sargent , A Dinner Table at Night, 1884
“My goodness, Colonel, but I do think that Cook has outdone herself once again.” Lady Willington sipped her cognac and sighed the sigh of one who has just hosted the dinner party of the season.
“Yes, yes! Smashing repast.” The Colonel agreed, puffing his words out from under his great moustaches.
“I shall have to commend her. The duck was perfection. And the soup! Whoever would have thought that walnuts in soup would be so delicious?” Another sip of cognac slip passed her lips.
“Cook is a wizard in the kitchen, alright,” the Colonel said. He reached for his pipe and lit it.
“Yes. It's just too bad that Lady Dobbins-Hobb is allergic. I do hope that she recovers from those nasty hives.”
“Indeed. More cognac, my dear?” The Colonel stood up and retrieved the decanter from the corner of the silver-laden table.
“Thank you, yes.” She held up the crystal snifter to be refilled. “I was a bit dismayed by Mr. Carruthers wee mishap. It's a very good thing that Doctor Timbles was here to stitch up his hand.”
“Damnable inconvenience, that,” the Colonel said. “I've never seen a wine glass shatter that way.”
“Well, perhaps if that Trollope he brought uninvited hadn't knocked over the candelabra and all that hot wax hadn't splattered Mrs. Carrington's face, it wouldn't have happened.”
“Old Carruthers does seem to attract the most undesirable women. I shall have to have a chat with the old boy.” The Colonel drew on his pipe and released a perfect smoke ring into the air.
“Well, we really shouldn't complain. At least Judge Beecroft isn't going to sue us over the chair collapsing and gouging his leg. But I do suppose that we must reimburse him for the trousers.” Lady Willington sighed.
“A man of his bulk has to expect such things, my dear.”
“I'm just thankful that Doctor Timbles managed to get that cherry pit out of Mrs. Beecrofts throat before she expired. That shade of purple she turned clashed so terribly with her turquoise gown. Not that it was a good colour for her anyway.” More cognac vanished from the Lady's glass.
“Yes, she's much to pale to pull off turquoise in any season.” Another smoke ring drifted across the table.
“All-in-all, though, it was a marvelous dinner, don't you think?”
“How could it not be, with such a lovely hostess at the head of the table?”
“Oh, Colonel. You say the sweetest things.” Lady Willinton blushed at her husband's compliment.
“Just stating the facts, my dear.”
“Well, I think I shall retire to my rooms and start on the invitations to next week's dinner party. I'm going to ask Cook to do up her famous Beef Wellinton.”
“Sounds utterly delightful. I'm going to take a stroll in the garden before I go up.”
“Do be careful of that loose brick on the veranda steps. Pastor Giles tripped on it last week and now he's laid up for at least two months with a broken leg.”
“Not to worry, my dear. I'll watch my step.”