I grinned at her with my head on one side. She flushed. Her hot black eyes looked mad. ‘I don’t see what there is to be cagey about,’ she snapped. ‘And I don’t like your manners.’
‘I’m not crazy about yours,’ I said. ‘I didn’t ask to see you. You sent for me. I don’t mind your ritzing me or drinking your lunch out of a Scotch bottle. I don’t mind your showing me your legs. They’re very swell legs and it’s a pleasure to make their acquaintance. I don’t mind if you don’t like my manners. They’re pretty bad. I grieve over them during the long winter evenings. But don’t waste your time trying to cross-examine me.’
She slammed her glass down so hard that it slopped over on an ivory cushion. She swung her legs to the floor and stood up with her eyes sparking fire and her nostrils wide. Her mouth was open and her bright teeth glared at me. Her knuckles were white.
‘People don’t talk like that to me,’ she said thickly.
I sat there and grinned at her. Very slowly she closed her mouth and looked down at the spilled liquor. She sat down on the edge of the chaise-lounge and cupped her chin in one hand.
‘My God, you big dark handsome brute! I ought to throw a Buick at you.’
I snicked a match on my thumbnail and for once it lit. I puffed smoke in the air and waited.
‘I loathe masterful men,’ she said. ‘I simply loathe them.’