Princess Pirouette was trying her hand in a game of Hearts. While she sat at the gaming table, Tata Sous-sus stood directly behind her, contrary to etiquette. On tiptoe Tata would strain to look at her cousin’s cards. If Pirouette had a good hand, Tata would emit a little, joyful cry. “Ooh!” On the other hand, if her cards were unfavorable, Tata would grumble “Curses!” under her breath. It was as though she were deliberately trying to jinx poor Pirouette.
It finally reached the point where Pirouette could no longer tolerate Tata Sous-sus interference. With the greatest discretion, she motioned to her Valet de jeu. In need of no instructions, he approached Tata and taking her by the elbow, whispered in her ear. “Madam is required to step away from Her Royal Highness’ chair.” To her dismay, he fairly pulled her in the direction of a sofa that stood against the far wall. “This way, Madam,” his voice was smooth as silk.