Chapter 16 - Unwelcome Company

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"You look so wonderful darling. I love your suit.  How have you been keeping yourself?  So glad you missed the storm.  Everything has been terrible.  Everyone's pulling together so well, though.  Whatever are you doing here honey?  Did you hear about ..."  Arleen's hands quit fluttering as she grabbed the chair next to Blanche's and plopped down.

the great circle, kingfisher designs, chapter 16

Blanche brushed her right cheek with the tip of her well-manicured forefinger.  Anyone who knew her well would have known by this gesture that she was highly annoyed with Arleen. She took a sip of her Julep and thought,  "They'll still let anyone in here.  One more face lift and her knee caps will be up to her chin."

Arleen fluttered her cigarette at Wrenny, who turned away as if he didn't see her.  He knew he would loose the large tip that Blanche customarily left if he were to serve Arleen at Blanche's table.  

"It's so hard to get good service even here."  Arleen.

Blanche mused, "Next she'll be shouting, 'Oh, waiter!'  Who's she kidding with those ruffles and pink has always made her look like a plastic lawn flamingo."

The Commodore of the PYC with a party of five friends entered the room.  They were windblown and still very excited from a great morning of sailing. Blanche knew they had a Shannon 43.  The Shannon was a beauty, but a little hot below with a dark blue hull.  She was speedy with a big Genoa and full main.  The wind and waves from the storm had made for a wild ride.  

Arleen's sweaty hand clutched Blanche's arm as she whispered, "There they are, the McCarthys -- we MUST go join them."  She leaped from the seat smashing the top of her head into the bus boy's tray, which teetered and crashed to the floor depositing a dollop of bleu cheese covered lettuce in Arleen's hair on the way by.

Sara roused herself from her daydreams and her third Julep to notice the uproar.  She looked toward the table, stopped, took a double take, then stared hard at the elegant woman sitting silently near the chaos. 

Blanche winced at the noise and her gaze swept the room.  She looked Sara's direction.  She froze.  Their eyes locked.

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