Tuesday, October 04, 2011

A Saucerful of Secrets

Madame le Pardo twirled the inverted cup three times over the saucer and took it away, careful not to spill the dregs of Tetley left in the Royal Doulton Sundance dish. She put the cup to one side.

“I thought you read the ones left in the cup?” Mrs Armitage patted her lips with a napkin, craning her neck to see inside the porcelain.

That's just for amateurs.” Madame le Pardo blew over the top of the tea to help it evaporate. She fixed her client in a stare. “It's what the cup won't tell you that's important.”

“Oh? I didn't know that.” She shifted her view to the saucer. “Can't you just pour the dregs away? I'd have taken that last sip if I'd known.”

“No.” Beryl put the saucer on the table. “You has to let it dry naturally. See the wind moving across the tea leaves. That sort of thing. The spirits will tell us when its ready.”

“I see it! It's like a pyramid! Am I going to Egypt for me' 'oliday then? Or am I the reincarnation of Queen Nefertiti?”

“No.” Beryl sighed. “It means our Bethany used teabags again.”

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