Bingo! The magic word echoed across the hall, eliciting groans from the other elderly ladies. Emily leaned across the table to her mother, Lady Pultney, and hisses, “Remind me again why we’re here. And why that b***ch with the purple hair keeps winning?”
Her mother hissed back, “Patience, my dear daughter. It’s all in the timing.”
As the purple-haired winner returned to her table, Emily wondered about the purple hair. Was it a bluing rinse gone bad? Or a signal of some other kind? Her musings were cut short by the woman stumbling against her mother.
“Oh, so sorry, dearie,” the woman shrieked. “Just lost my footing there a moment.” She clutched at the table and Emily’s mother, trying to right herself. Lady Pultney helped, and the old woman was soon on her way through the rows of tables.
The next round of bingo was beginning, but Lady Pultney rose and motioned to Emily. They quietly made their way through the hall and out to the parking lot. Once in their vehicle, Emily drew breath to speak, but her mother motioned her to silence. They rode back home without speaking.
Once in her sitting room, Lady Pultney turned triumphantly to Emily, holding a bingo card. “Here we are, my dear. The directions to your young man.”
Emily stared in astonishment. “It was a drop all along? It was set up?”
“Don’t goggle, my dear. Of course it was. You don’t think I have become so decrepit as to actually enjoy bingo?”