Back at Claridges they tried Mrs Gunning's suite again. No joy. I sat in the lounge and read the Standard. A loud cross-section of rich America trailed back and forth from the door to the desk.
I crossed my legs a lot. Nothing much was happening in the papers, a wages gang had got away with £89,000 in Pinner, London's new Labour bosses were planning radical moves but not now, an old widow had been raped and strangled in Camden Town, David Frost had a new girl, Battersea basements had been flooded by a cloudburst, new revelations were rocking the White House, the London football managers were again guaranteeing brighter soccer to bring back the missing millions, Centre Point was still empty, a teenager had been stabbed to death on his own doorstep, more old buildings were to come down to make way for more empty office blocks, London airport customs had pounced on cannabis worth £800,000 while London airport police were looking for a stolen consignment of diamonds worth £300,000. Oh yes, and our trade figures were the best for ten years. Or the worst, I can't remember.
Seeing it was dry again I went out and had a stroll round the interior of Mayfair. Wealthy middle-aged people brayed to each other in the entrances to restaurants that didn't have price menus outside. There's class for you. Uniformed chauffeurs relaxed with cigarettes in their masters' Rolls-Royces. A covey of bright young things in society gear whinnied on a balcony.
I knew they couldn't be real society. I mean, nobody hangs around dreary London in August, Jeremy. They didn't even chuck plovers' eggs at me.