'Yes,' said Maisie Sue nervously. 'There was lots of small print? You know? But I guess it'll work out fine in the end. What do you Brits say? It'll all come out in the wash?'
'I've never been quite sure if coming out in the wash is a good thing or a bad thing,' said Amaryllis. She had been watching Inspector Smith as they spoke, and was poised ready to spring into action when everyone sat back down for the second attempt at speed-dating. 'Do the men move round or the women? Or both?' she asked Jock.
'Search me,' he said. 'I wasn't paying much attention. I only came here because there was nothing on the telly and I thought there might be free drinks. I'd have been better going down to the Queen of Scots.'
'You're just not entering into the spirit of it, are you?' said Amaryllis, grabbing him by the arm. 'What you need to do is plunge into the middle of a bunch of twenty-somethings and see what they make of you. Some women of that age like older men, you know.'
'Oh, ha ha,' said Jock, wresting his arm free. 'I had enough younger women to last me a lifetime when I was teaching - I don't mean that the way it sounds,' he added, realising too late that the general chatter had quietened down just in time for his revelation. In an attempt to restore his reputation he went and sat in the midst of a group of pensioners who seemed to have come along under the impression it was a bingo night.
'All right!' said Sean, waving his arms about. 'I want to see all of you mingle like mad this half. So we'll ask the women to move round clockwise and the men anti-clockwise this time, to make it more difficult for you to cling to your groups. We want everyone to get to know each other. Nobody leaves here tonight without having made at least three new friends.'
Amaryllis pushed past a couple of groups and positioned herself in a chair from where she had calculated she would come face to face with Inspector Smith in just two moves. She guessed that even just seeing her would give him a fright. Interesting to see how he would react. It would have been more effective, of course, if he hadn't been able to see her getting nearer and nearer. On the other hand, the feeling of impending doom would make him even more uneasy. She almost wriggled in anticipation of his discomfort.