A Lovely School for Ugly Pickpockets

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School is in session

T’is time, It was my turn to look away from his smirking gaze.

I took a sip of my Irish and looked out over the dancefloor.

It looked like something out of the ballroom scene from Shaw’s ‘Pygmalion’( Or My Fair Lady)

I was looking for some in particular, a certain lady actually!

I soon saw her, and after watching for a few wistful seconds, I raised my glass and pointed her out to my drinking mate.

“That lass in the green is pretty,” I remarked, nodding in a direction by the far corner of the floor to where a rather petite, jittery appearing, lady with black hair, prettily clad in a shiny bit of a green gown. She was wearing large black glasses that were owlishly perched on her nose. She also was flaunting a rather nice little set of shimmering emeralds!

The petite lass was dancing with a bird-like bloke wearing, of all things, a scarlet red vest.

“Whotcher looking at Guv?” he asked, interest peaking up as he began eagerly scanning the room to see what I was on about.!

“That lass in greens satin, dancing with robin redbreast by the mirrors!” I pointed out, the added…

“Personally, I like the way her emerald jewelry sets off against her gown!”

He caught sight of them as the danced by one of the big reflective mirrors that lined the dance floors’ west wall.

He took the view in, and I noticed he had nearly drained his highball in one gulp and had set it down without a kind word, like say, thank you for buying..!

He was on his way to a real bender if he kept up with that pace I thought, eyeing the two other, empty glasses, already collected at his elbow on the bar top!

Which is right where we needed him to be! I thought as I nodded again to the barkeep to bring another round…

I looked back at my drinking buddy, I could see his shifty eyes flitting about.

“Whas’at” he finally stated sourly, “You like that gangly four-eyed bird dancing with cock robin? He snorted at his own ‘witty’ remark.

Then looking at me for a long second, he continued on...

“Like her jewels do ya than mate?” He said not bothering to hide the snide meaning in his comment! “Meself, Guv, I notice more than a sweetie’s bloody jewels!”

He again chuckled dryly at his presumed wit, I did not choose to join in, just sat there smiling to myself before speaking again.

“Occupational hazard I guess, noticing Jewels, I mean.”

I admitted, choosing not to expound on my drinking partner’s opinion.

“I own a small jewelry shoppe on a village green.” “Nothing much, but it pays one’s rent.”

That opened him up, just a wee bit…

“I guess than a gent like you would prattle on about jewels” “Is that what brings you alone here this evening?” “I ain’t seen you out dancing with anyone.”

There was definitely insinuation behind his voice and though I would for the world like to put this bugger in his place, my responses to him would continue treading along a delicate path. I had to mince words if I didn’t want my emerging scheme blowing up in my face.

Which is why I would not be giving any quick replies!

So, after the observation was spoken, I let him continue on in his dry, sniping tone that I was beginning to realize was his normal manner of speech! For the upper class education this twit had had, he certainly had not grasped the proper way of speaking. Professor Henry Higgins would have had a field day with this bloke!

Let this nitwit lead himself into the trap, I thought to myself, this may prove easier then we thought!

So, I just smiled in acknowledgment as he spoke further…

“So, you just want a bit of a peek at what you sell guv!” he snorted, elbowing me before continuing on…

“Myself, I just like looking at the whole bleeding curvy package, ’iffin you get my drift ! Though your green bird wearing them shiny bits you like, is a bit underdeveloped in my opinion! ”

Giving me a weaselly little grin, he again nudged me with his elbow, editing a mirthless cackling laugh!

Then, taking the last long gulp of his drink, wiping his mouth on a tux sleeve, he turned his attention raptly back onto the thronging occupants of the dance floor.

He didn’t signal for another round, which was probably because he was too cheap to repay me in kind!

So I again caught the Barkeep’s eye, we were becoming rather acquainted with one another, he came back over, and I indicated a refill for my friend, indicating I was still good with mine.

I believed I had now spotted the opening I had been trying to lead him around to! I took a deep breath and delved into the breach.

For our ploy, it was now sink or swim time!


Next Up

Chapter 4

History Lesson

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