“More tea Hartford?” Lottie inquired to the polar bear with a red bowtie. Hartford continued to ogle the small ceramic teapot hovered over his cup and saucer. Lottie poured the tea “You’re very welcome Hartford. Do just help yourself to crumpets as you please.”
Lottie turned her bonnet covered head to her next guest. “Oatmeal, more tea Ma’am?” Half of Oatmeal’s face was covered by a long ear so it was particularly hard to grasp whether or not she needed a refill. Lottie smiled pleasantly as she had seen her mother do many times in similar situations and resumed being the ideal hostess.
“Luvabul you are quite dashing this morning you must have risen hours before the sun itself. I see you’ve finished your scone, care for another?” Luvabuls’ belly was distended and bumped the pink lace tablecloth gently- but not enough to set it off balance yet; this may change if he continued gorging himself on scones- so he declined. Luvabul was an interesting creature to lay eyes upon- intimidating at first with long horns and beady eyes but his demeanor more comforting when chatting.
“Daisy darling it’s a pleasure to see you this morning and your eyes so bright; you must share with me your secret.” Lottie made conversation with the wide eyed younger gal of the event. “More tea?” She began replenishing Daisy’s empty teacup. Her smile seemed permanent upon a short snout in her glee of socializing. Daisy’s horns were bright tailored and far daintier than Luvabuls.
“Now that we are all settled” Lottie began topping off her own cup of tea then replacing the vessel upon its doily. “Anyone with any news to share this morning?”
“The London Daily Post printed a front page article on Jack the Ripper claiming another young woman’s life this morning.” Luvabul bellows in his deep voice. “Quite tragic. You fine ladies here best never leave home without an escort.” He adds a nod for emphasis reaching predictably for another scone.
“Now Luvabul let’s not have such ghastly conversation over morning tea; it is far too early for such nonsense.” Oatmeal reprimands him. She tucks a loose blonde strand behind her ear redirecting her attention to Daisy. “Daisy how on earth do you get your eyes to sparkle such a clear blue like that? I feel as though I could topple straight into your irises.” Oatmeal compliments.
“Oatmeal you are too kind.” Daisy bats a long thick lash taking a sip of her tea and replacing the cup to her saucer. “Belladonna you see. It’s all the rage now; makes one’s eyes beautiful they say. Any woman can attract the attention of any reputable suitor with eyes like these.” She blushes at the reveal and giggles lightly covering her mouth with a silk covered hand lacking a ring.
“How interesting.” Oatmeal only has to say.
“Surely you’re far too young to be considering suitors already Daisy?” Lottie questions- after all they are only girls.
“Never too early to start taking into account your future Lottie.” Daisy responds puffing out her corseted chest in defiance. Luvabul and Hartford exchange glances over their teacups obviously uncomfortable with the topic.
“Now ladies let us save our gossip for when the men take their leave, shall we?” Lottie interjects in an attempt to resume the merry having for all parties involved. Expertly switching the topic she brings up an add she had read this morning in the paper. “Has anyone present had the opportunity to attempt road skating yet? I hear it is quite enjoyable.”
“I saw a girl whom lives a mere few blocks away zooming by on a pair of road skates. Her nanny hadn’t the capability to keep up!” Hartford contributes. “Why I could nearly see her petticoats! Unladylike behavior indeed.” Hartford took a man’s bite from a crumpet allowing crumbs to fall onto the plate below.
“Oh my” Oatmeal says. Daisy giggles. Luvabul harrumphs. Lottie nearly slips off the end of her chair raising her back up straighter.
“I read a young boy was injured whilst on holiday with his parents. A tree bough crashed right through his tent! The article stated he was still in serious condition at the hospital. What they don’t mention is that he is ill likely to make it the week.” Daisy natters.
“Your morbidity and inappropriateness are quite exhausting Daisy.” Luvabul has no reservations of placing daisy.
She turns a deep read and pats her unpainted lips with a lace trimmed cloth napkin. “I must powder my nose. Please excuse me.” Her black and white skirts following behind her swishing in her haste.
Lottie grins friendly to each of her visitants in turn and again offers more tea to all. Hartford and Luvabul respectfully decline nodding at each other. Oatmeal accepts a top off.
“I believe Luvabul and I will retire to the parlor for a morning smoke.” Hartford declares removing a cigar from his inner suit pocket.
“Of course.” Lottie pardons the two. Remaining for morning pleasantries are only Lottie and the seasoned Oatmeal.
“Well I wish my invitees would depart as quickly at my gatherings. I’m always torn between poise and urges to sweep everyone out with the dust.” Oatmeal chuckles amusingly.
Lottie also chortles at the honest disclosure. “I only wish the news would spread more positivity than fear now a days. It seems as though all the world cares for is who died last night and what misfortune will be bestowed upon us tomorrow” She tops her tea and places one of the few remaining scones upon her dish.
“Yes well I fear that will be the case forevermore Lottie. Such is the way of humans: always looking to make themselves feel better by comparing their ordeals to another’s’ tribulation.” Oatmeal wisely weighs in.
“Regrettable.” Lottie responds.
Daisy returns with grinning from ear to ear. Oatmeal and Lottie exchange a glance as Daisy seats herself back in her chair. “You won’t even imagine the scandal that I just overheard just now when returning from the powder room.” Lottie inwardly sighs. “The guests are arriving for your mothers’ high tea Lottie and the domestic servants are hurriedly blundering about. Well one guest seemed to arrive early. Guess who it was?” Daisy excitedly looks from Oatmeal to Lottie.
“Who was it, Daisy?” Lottie asks exhausted by this story already- but always well-mannered incapable of ceasing the onslaught of hearsay.
“The doctor, Lottie!” Daisy exclaims. “He came to give an unregistered prescription of cocaine toothache drops to one of your staff.”
“That’s absurd Daisy. I will hear of no such nonsense.” Oatmeal protests. “You should be ashamed of yourself.” She turns up her nose and nibbles a crumpet.
“But-“ Daisy begins just as Lottie’s mother appears in the doorway.
“Lottie, Pet” Her mother glances from Daisy to Oatmeal to Lottie nervously. “It is time for high tea now. We have guests. Please join us in the drawing room.” Lottie’s mother smooth’s her hands down the front of her skirts eloquently folded.
“Yes Mother of course.” Lottie answers back. “One moment please ladies.” Lottie rises and appears at her Mothers’ side tugging on her skirts; her mother bends down to her level. “I’m just finishing up tea here with my guests as you can see. Might I invite Oatmeal to join us so that I may have someone to converse with?”
Lottie’s Mother places her palm delicately between Lottie’s shoulder blades and whispers hushed like her daughters voice, “No my sweet. I do believe my friend brought her daughter with her as well for your companionship. Please dismiss your guests with the grace I have taught you is required of an ideal hostess and come downstairs promptly. I’ll not be having my guests awaiting the arrival of a tardy daughter.”
“Yes, Mother, I shall do so presently.”
“Good girl.” Lottie’s Mother exchanges looks with Oatmeal and Daisy again then takes her leave downstairs.
“Daisy, Oatmeal, I am afraid that my presence is required elsewhere and I must end our visit earlier than I would have preferred. I do hope you both enjoyed yourselves and will call again soon.”
“That would be delightful Lottie. Thank you for entertaining this morning.” Oatmeal adieus.
Daisy points a trim finger at her eye. “Keep an eye out for that Doctor.” She warns. Lottie only nods back.
Oatmeal and Daisy both raise kiss Lottie’s cheeks in turn and bid their farewells. They all make plans to enjoy some brunch that coming weekend after shopping for new hats.