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"Catastrophe in Le Touquet"


When Michel first saw Sophia Christiane he was totally mesmerised. Henri had said she was ‘very attractive’ and that had to be the understatement of the year. Sophia was stunning and Michel could not take his eyes of her as he followed Henri to the sales counter where she stood. Her blonde, shoulder length hair was beautifully fashioned and her makeup was light and enhancing. Michel guessed that she was about forty as she had that look of supreme confidence that a rich woman of that age exudes from her very being. Sophia stood with her mink coat open, one hand on her hip and clutching several expensive looking carrier bags in the other. As Henri approached she held up the carrier bags and said, in a wonderfully deep and commanding voice “Henri, my heel has broken.”

“Oh, Madame Christiane, I’m so sorry, I’ll put the matter right immediately I   

“You cannot, Henri, all the damage is done” she interrupted.

“Mon Dieu! Have you been hurt, Madame?” he enquired earnestly.

“Desperately” she replied loudly and everyone in the shop stopped talking and listened.

“Mon Dieu! What happened?” Henri asked as he tried to imagine the size of the impending legal action. When Sophia was sure that she had everyone’s rapturous attention she continued.

“My heel broke last night as I was coming out of the casino in the pouring rain!” Henri was struck dumb with fear at that and Michel began to realise the significance of the situation.

“I then fell down the steps into a puddle and ruined my dress, one of the latest creations from Paris by Givenchy, I wish you to know.” Henri groaned and held onto the counter to steady himself before giving Elaine an imploring look. Elaine looked pale but unflustered.

“Madame, what can I do to     

“Nothing, Henri” she interrupted “as I said, the damage is done, and on top of that, I was left struggling and hobbling about in the rain for all to see, like a drunken peasant woman in torn clothing, trying to get into my Mercedes.” ‘She knows how to hurt’ thought Michel and he smiled gently at the lovely woman before him and he fancied there was a flicker of a smile directed back.




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