The Gold Diggers

October 15 Friday 1926

Tonight Clarence took me to see The Gold Diggers at the Lyric Theatre which was a rather silly show. Then we had supper at a tiny little place in Mayfair. We were as cosy as could be. It was raining when we came out so he took me home in a big black cab. I felt like a queen as we pulled through the sparkling wet streets watching the poor suckers caught in the rain squealing and running for cover.
When we got to my place Clarence opened his huge umbrella and as he walked me to the door he slipped his arm around my waist. On the doorstep he pulled me to him and kissed me.

Then he said, ‘Why don’t I come inside and help you warm up your room?’
I swayed my hips and said very coquetishly, ‘Well I don’t know, what would you give me if I said yes?’
He chuckled and rubbed his nose against mine and said, ‘Well what do you want my little minx?’
To which I replied, still very playfully,’I don’t know, perhaps you could just give me money and I could use it to buy what ever I fancy’.

His face suddenly dropped and a nasty look came into his eyes. I thought maybe the beef stew he’d wolfed down at dinner had unsettled his stomach. But no.
He pulled away all stiff and said that that was entirely inappropriate. And ‘what kind of girl am I?’ And then he was off in his cab with his chin jutting out and his mean lips pressed together. Just like that.
So there it is. It’s quite alright to ask for ‘gifts’, but cash is not on the menu.

Already angry at the world I open the door to my room and discover that the damned skylight is leaking rain water all over the floor. I want to go and scream at Mrs Pankhurst who is no doubt in bed asleep right now. Then I remember that I need to keep her on my side. Besides there is nothing she can do at this hour of the night.  I’ve positioned a bucket under the leak and it is catching most of the water.

London is washing itself and my room is the drain. I am beneath Clarence, I am beneath the street and beneath contempt.

I listen to the drip drip drip of dirty water falling into the ugly bucket and vow to myself that one day the only bucket in my boudoir will be full of ice and champagne.

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