February 5 1927.
I asked Mrs Pankhurst if she would mind my painting the rusty metal dresser in my room. She pursed her lips and said she didn’t care what I did with it. She told me it belonged to Julia Smith who had rented the room before me. All this time I have been trying to forget about the will and the wedding ring I found in the drawer and suddenly Mrs Pankhurst starts telling me all about the girl who must have owned them. She said she was always out at the 43 Club in Soho where she was probably taking cocaine and running around with all the wrong sort. She had left owing a month’s rent and leaving behind the old dresser and half her clothes.
I couldn’t help but wonder out loud if something dreadful had happened to her. Did Mrs Pankhurst tell the police? Mrs Pankhurst became even more stiff lipped and said ‘girls like that’ come and go all the time.
So I have spent the day painting Julia/Sylvia’s old dresser a deep naughty red. It looks so shiny and new now. I feel very proud and satisfied. Perhaps this is the sort of work I should be doing. I fantasise about running a workshop that paints old things and makes them all spic and span. Women painted trucks and things during the war. But now the men are back there’s no interesting work for women. Maybe the smell of the paint is just making me crazy.
I have to go out. I telephone Dinky and arrange to meet up with him in Leicester Square. I am going to drag him along to the 43 Club in Gerrard street. It is a notoriously wicked place. I think Dinky and I will fit right in. I might ask if anyone has heard of Sylvia Stubs or Julia Smith. Or I might not. Maybe I should let sleeping dogs lie.