Saturday, 9 May 2015

Emotion is extremely exhausting, and Emma makes very nice fish-cakes

She went on telling Miss Silver everything she knew. It gave her the most extraordinary sense of relief. When she had finished she felt weak, and empty, and quiet.
Miss Silver coughed in a very kind manner and said briskly, 'And now, my dear, we will have some breakfast. Emma will have it ready for us. Fish-cakes – and do you prefer tea or coffee?'
'Oh, Miss Silver, I couldn't!'
Miss Silver was putting the knitting away in a flowered chintz bag. She said with great firmness, 'Indeed you can, my dear. And you will feel a great deal better when you have had something to eat. Emotion is extremely exhausting, and Emma makes very nice fish-cakes. And perhaps you would like to wash your face.'
Ivory Dagger (1953)
Patricia Wentworth

Note: I love Miss Silver - the knitting, the cough*, the spinster saved from poverty by her own wits. This is quite a weak entry in the Miss Silver canon, mostly because the heroine-victim (not the young lady above) is all pale and spineless and totally without the spirit to rescue herself. 

* From the preface to Catherine Wheel: "To those readers who have so kindly concerned themselves about Miss Silver’s health. Her occasional slight cough is merely a means of self-expression. It does not indicate any bronchial affection. She enjoys excellent health. P.W."

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