‘Never mind. They know me at Winks and Pinks,’ she replied inconsequently. Agatha apparently has an idea that blotting-paper is only sold in small quantities to persons of known reputation, who may be trusted not to put it to dangerous or improper uses. After walking some two hundred yards she began to feel that her tea was of more immediate importance than my blotting-paper.

‘What do you want blotting-paper for?’ she asked suddenly. I explained patiently.

‘I use it to dry up the ink of wet manuscript without smudging the writing. Probably a Chinese invention of the second century before Christ, but I’m not sure. The only other use for it that I can think of is to roll it into a ball for a kitten to play with.’

‘But you haven’t got a kitten,’ said Agatha, with a feminine desire for stating the entire truth on most occasions.

‘A stray one might come in at any moment,’ I replied.

Anyway I didn’t get the blotting-paper.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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