But a quarter to one the next day saw her in all the splendour of her “purple body,” standing before her mirror, trying to make up her mind whether to wear her big hat or her little one. The little hat was smarter and had cost more money, but the big hat put a becoming shadow over her eyes, and hid those little lines that were straying from the corners.... For the first time Joanna had begun to realize that clothes should have other qualities besides mere splendour. Hitherto she had never thought of clothes in any definite relation to herself, as enhancing, veiling, suggesting, or softening the beauty which was Joanna Godden. But to-day she chose warily—her hat for shadow, her shoes for grace, her amber necklace because she must have that touch of barbarism which suited her best—an unconscious process this—and her amber earrings, because they matched her necklace, and because in the mirror she could see the brighter colours of her hair swinging in them. At the last minute she changed her “purple body” for one of rich chestnut-coloured silk. This was so far her best inspiration, for it toned not only with the amber beads, but with her skin and hair. As she turned to leave the room she was like a great glowing amber bead herself, all brown and gold, with rich red lights and gleams of yellow ... then just as she was going out she had her last and best inspiration of all. She suddenly went back into the room, and before the mirror tore off the swathe of cream lace she wore round her throat. The short thick column of her neck rose out of her golden blouse. She burned to her ears, but walked resolutely from the room.
Her young man was waiting for her in the lounge, and she saw his rather blank face light up when she appeared. She had been successful, then ... the realization gave her confidence, and more beauty. During the meal which followed, he re-cast a little of that opinion he had formed of her the night before. She was younger than he had thought, probably only a little over thirty, and far better looking than he had gathered from a first impression. Joanna was that rather rare type of woman who invariably looks her best in sunshine—the dusk had hidden from him her really lovely colouring of skin and eyes and hair; here at her little table by the window her face seemed almost a condensation of the warm, ruddy light which poured in from the sea. Her eyes, with the queer childlike depths behind their feminine hardness, her eager mouth and splendid teeth, the scatter of freckles over her nose, all combined to hold him in a queer enchantment of youth. There was a curious, delightful freshness about her ... and she was a damn fine woman, too.
The night before he had gathered that she was of overwhelming respectability, but now he had his doubts about that also. She certainly seemed of a more oncoming disposition than he had thought, though there was something naive and virginal about her forwardness. Her acquaintance might prove more entertaining than he had supposed. He fixed his eyes on her uncovered throat; she blushed deeply, and put her hand up.