Surmises and surmises, each uglier than the last, thronged into Parker's mind. He took up a photograph of Cathcart with which Wimsey had supplied him, and looked at it long and curiously. It was a dark, handsome face; the hair was black, with a slight wave, the nose large and well shaped, the big, dark eyes at once pleasing and arrogant. The mouth was good, though a little thick, with a hint of sensuality in its close curves; the chin showed a cleft. Frankly, Parker confessed to himself, it did not attract him; he would have been inclined to dismiss the man as a “Byronic blighter,” but experience told him that this kind of face might be powerful with a woman, either for love or hatred.
George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, later George Gordon Noel, 6th Baron Byron, FRS (22 January 1788 – 19 April 1824), commonly known simply as Lord Byron, was an English poet and a leading figure in the Romantic movement. Among Byron's best-known works are the brief poems "She Walks in Beauty", "When We Two Parted", and "So, we'll go no more a roving", in addition to the narrative poems Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and Don Juan. He is regarded as one of the greatest British poets and remains widely read and influential.He travelled to fight against the Ottoman Empire in the Greek War of Independence, for which Greeks revere him as a national hero.] He died at 36 years old from a fever contracted while in Missolonghi in Greece.Byron was celebrated in life for aristocratic excesses including huge debts, numerous love affairs, rumours of a scandalous incestuous liaison with his half-sister, and self-imposed exile. It has been speculated that he suffered from bipolar I disorder, or manic depression.
Coincidences usually have the air of being practical jokes on the part of Providence. Mr. Parker was shortly to be favored—if the term is a suitable one—with a special display of this Olympian humor.
The Greek gods were notorious for playing games with humans
As a rule, that kind of thing did not happen to him; it was more in Wimsey's line. Parker had made his way from modest beginnings to a respectable appointment in the C.I.D. rather by a combination of hard work, shrewdness, and caution than by spectacular displays of happy guess-work or any knack for taking fortune's tide at the flood.
a line from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in a speech by Brutus in Act IV: "There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood leads on to fortune...".
This time, however, he was given a “leading” from above, and it was only part of the nature of things and men that he should have felt distinctly ungrateful for it.
He finished his report, replaced everything tidily in the desk and went round to the police-station to arrange with the Prefect about the keys and the fixing of the seals.
The seals placed on the doors to ensure that no one goes in.
It was still early evening and not too cold; he determined, therefore, to banish gloomy thoughts by a café-cognac in the Boul' Mich', followed by a stroll through the Paris of the shops.
The Boulevard Saint-Michel is one of the two major streets in the Latin Quarter of Paris (the other being the Boulevard Saint-Germain). It is a tree-lined boulevard which runs south from the pont Saint-Michel on the Seine river and the Place Saint-Michel, crosses the boulevard Saint-Germain and continues alongside the Sorbonne and the Luxembourg gardens, ending at the Place Camille Jullian just before the Port-Royal train station and the avenue de l'Observatoire. It was created by Baron Haussmann to run parallel to the rue Saint-Jacques which marks the historical north-south axis of Paris.The boulevard serves as a boundary between the 5th and 6th arrondissements of Paris; odd-numbered buildings on the eastern side are in the 5th arrondissement and even numbers on the western side are in the 6th. It has a length of 1380 m, an average width of 30 m and takes its name from the pont Saint-Michel. In slang, the boulevard is sometimes referred to as the Boul'Mich.As the central axis of the Latin Quarter, it has long been a hotbed of student life and activism, but tourism is also a major commercial focus of the street and designer shops have gradually replaced many small bookshops. The northern part of the boulevard is now the most frequented, due to its bookstores (such as Gibert Joseph and the Gibert Jeune), cafés, cinema and clothes shops......The main buildings of the boulevard are the Musée de Cluny, the lycée Saint-Louis, the École des Mines, and the cité universitaire, the university area of the Sorbonne.
Being of a kindly, domestic nature, indeed, he turned over in his mind the idea of buying something Parisian for his elder sister, who was unmarried and lived a rather depressing life in Barrow-in-Furness. Parker knew that she would take pathetic delight in some filmy scrap of lace underwear which no one but herself would ever see. Mr. Parker was not the kind of man to be deterred by the difficulty of buying ladies' underwear in a foreign language; he was not very imaginative. He remembered that a learned judge had one day asked in court what a camisole was, and recollected that there had seemed to be nothing particularly embarrassing about the garment when explained.
A camisole is a sleeveless undergarment for women, normally extending to the waist. The camisole is usually made of satin, nylon, or cotton.Historical definitionHistorically, camisole referred to jackets of various kinds, including overshirts (worn under a doublet or bodice), women's négligées and sleeved jackets worn by men
He determined that he would find a really Parisian shop, and ask for a camisole. That would give him a start, and then mademoiselle would show him other things without being asked further.
Accordingly, towards six o'clock, he was strolling along the Rue de la Paix with a little carton under his arm.
He had spent rather more money than he intended, but he had acquired knowledge. He knew for certain what a camisole was, and he had grasped for the first time in his life that crêpe-de-Chine had no recognisable relation to crape, and was astonishingly expensive for its bulk.
Crape or crepe (Anglicized versions of the Fr. crêpe) is a silk, wool, or polyester fabric of a gauzy texture, having a peculiar crisp or crimpy appearance. (The word crape is also used as an Anglicized spelling of crêpe (pancake).)Silk crape is woven of hard spun silk yarn in the gum or natural condition. There are two distinct varieties of the textile: soft, Canton, or Oriental crape, and hard or crisped crape. Thin crêpe is called crêpe de Chine ("Chinese crêpe").The wavy appearance of Canton crape results from the peculiar manner in which the weft is prepared, the yarn from two bobbins being twisted together in the reverse way. The fabric when woven is smooth and even, having no crape appearance, but when the gum is subsequently extracted by boiling, it at once becomes soft, and the weft, losing its twist, gives the fabric the waved structure which constitutes its distinguishing feature. Canton crapes are used, either white or colored, for scarves and shawls, bonnet trimmings, etc.The crisp and elastic structure of hard crape is not produced either in the spinning or in the weaving, but is due to processes through which the gauze passes after it is woven. In 1911, the details of these processes were known to only a few manufacturers, who so jealously guarded their secrets that, in some cases, the different stages in the manufacture were conducted in towns far removed from each other.Commercially they are distinguished as single, double, three-ply and four-ply crapes, according to the nature of the yarn used in their manufacture. They are almost exclusively dyed black and used in mourning dress.In Great Britain, hard crapes are made at Braintree in Essex, Norwich, Yarmouth, Manchester and Glasgow. The crape formerly made at Norwich was made with a silk warp and worsted weft and is said to have afterwards degenerated into bombazine. A very successful imitation of real crape is made in Manchester of cotton yarn and sold under the name of Victoria crape.