This jogged my memory and I took the pretty zircon pendant out of my purse and showed it to
her. I had carried the pendant with me since I had brought it back from the Dreamland Ballroom.
I loved twisting it in my fingers and watching it sparkle so prettily.
Helen reached across the table and I dropped the pendant into her outstretched hand.
“OH! It’s so pretty,” she exclaimed, “Where did you get it?”
“I really can’t remember,” I lied convincingly, “Some old boyfriend… or Sugar Daddy,” and I
“Yeah right,” said Helen, “It looks like one of those really sweet Czechoslovakian glass jeweler
pieces. However, the chain looks expensive. You would not want to lose that. It looks as if it
could be gold.”
“I think it’s a semiprecious stone… a zircon or something. More wine, or shall we have our
“Make it coffee,” said Helen. “I've got to rush. I am due for a re-tint at the hairdressers, and I
have to do this earring thingy. Where did you say the jeweler’s was located?”
“I didn't, but I’ll show you.”
“We’ll be quick, then,” said Helen. “Then I must dash.”
We finished our coffees and paid the bill. “Let’s go,” I said.
“Smashing,” she replied.
Helen thinks she is so English. Helen was born in England, but came to the USA when she was
three years old. We found the jeweler’s shop and Helen explained to the assistant about her
damaged earring; handed it over; paid the deposit, and rushed out.
“Ta! Ta!” she called out in her best English accent, so that everybody could hear.
I waved, and called after her, “Bye, Helen. See you next month.”
I like Helen a lot, but she can be a little overbearing, but in this instance, I was so glad that she
had left me alone in the shop. The girl behind the counter asked if she could help me and I explained that I loved the pendant but that I had broken the chain by fiddling with it. I handed the pendant, with the broken chain to the girl.
She excused herself, saying “I’ll show it to our Mr. Soames,” and she went through a doorway
into the back of the shop.
I waited patiently, walking along beside the glass-topped counter; comparing the jewels there
with the lovely diamonds I had worn during my two previous journeys. The door leading from the
back of the store opened and a rather grand man came out, closely followed by the assistant who
had served me earlier. The assistant was carrying my pendant, with the broken chain, on a black
“Madame,” said the grand gentleman, “May I introduce myself, I am Matthew Soames; manager
and owner of this establishment. Would Madame care to take a seat?”
I do not think I had been addressed like that before, or since; neither as “Madame” in such a posh
manner; nor in the Third Person Singular. “You” I could cope with, but “she” and “Madam”
were a bit out of my league.
I did not have the slightest idea of what was going on, but I thought, as I had at the Dreamland
Ballroom, if you think you’re dealing with a celebrity, or at least, someone with loads of money,
then a celebrity is what you are going to get.
“Yes,” I said, “One would be pleased to take a seat.”
Madame was shown a seat and Madame sat. Madame wondered what was going on.
Mr. Matthew Soames now spoke carefully and beautifully: “Madame’s charming pendant has been
looked at carefully. In addition, the chain was not broken. The chain of Madame’s pendant
simply had a faulty link. We at Matthew Soames, Jewelers, have considered the matter. We
would like to inform Madame that we would repair the chain at absolutely no cost to Madame.
I could not believe my ears, or my eyes, for that matter. I sat stock still, with my mouth closed;
my mind racing.
“One would only hope that, if in future Madame should ever require the experience, the tact, the
expertise, the experience, of this establishment, then one would be charmed and honored if
Madame would deal with Matthew Soames, Jewelers, solely. And one would hope that Madame
would also recommend our services to Madame’ friends and family”.
I still sat there; dumbfounded. I actually considered grabbing my zircon pendant and running for
the door. Someone was barking mad, and I did not know if that someone was Matthew Soames,
me, or both of us.
“Would it be impolite if one were to ask…?” he continued, “Is the pendant a family heirloom or
a recent investment? One would love to be acquainted with its provenance.”
I was beginning to lose the plot. All I could think of saying was, “Oh, It’s been in the family for
This seemed to satisfy Mr. Soames.
Then, taking my courage in both hands, and with my heart thumping so hard I am sure that he
and the assistant could hear it from where they stood, at a deferential distance:
“Why, do you ask? May I... er...? May one ask?”
“Because, Dear Lady,” said Mr. Soames, “this is most probably the most perfect and exquisite
diamond it has ever been one’s pleasure to have seen; let alone touched. It is completely
unflawed and has superb clarity. Moreover, it is one’s favorite cut… the Emerald cut. A
completely superb gem… and one would not want to appear vulgar, but it weighs just less than
My dear zircons… er… my fabulous diamond sparkled on its black velvet cushion. I thought it
almost winked at me.
“I told you so,” it seemed to say.
I almost fell off my chair. I felt like dancing around the shop. I felt like kissing Mr. Matthew
Soames, Jeweler, on his large, serious face. I felt like yelling, “Yahoooo!”
Nevertheless, I said, in my calmest manner, “How nice!”
It was so restrained and so British. Helen would have been proud of me.
Stay tuned for Chapter 4!