“That was an excellent feast yesterday,” Aemelia Vole said. She preened her whiskers in satisfaction.
“Mrs Hudson did us proud,” agreed Mouselet. She rubbed her tummy appreciatively. “Those cheese bites were delicious, and three different cheeses, just perfect.”
“I was very taken with the Red Leicester. It had a very nice taste.”
“I couldn’t make up my mind.”
“Which was why you had to try several pieces of all three, I suppose.”
“That’s right,” Mouselet said with a smile. “Did you decide whether you preferred the pastry for the mince pies or the sausage rolls?”
“No, I couldn’t. Both had things to recommend them, but although I tried very hard, I couldn’t decide which I liked better.”
“And then the Christmas cake …”
“Mmm,” Aemelia agreed. “I’m not sure what was in it, but I did feel rather sleepy after eating all that dried fruit.”
“I enjoyed the marzipan, too. Do you think we should see if there’s anything left for lunch?”
“Good idea. Bessie will be up soon, so it would be wise to see what we can find. There may even be enough to put some by for supper.”
“Not a bad lunch,” Mouselet said, somewhat later.
“Indeed it wasn’t,” Aemelia agreed. “And now perhaps we should get down to making our outfits for the New Year’s Ball.”
“Yes, we should. Are you determined to wear black? Only I’ve found this adorable dove grey, which I think would suit you perfectly.”
Aemelia looked at the material Mouselet was showing her. “That would be lovely. Do you think it would suit me?”
“Definitely. If you wear two petticoats underneath it, it will stand out perfectly. And it will only need a little decoration on the bodice.”
“Well, if you’re sure. But what about you? What colour dress do you want?”
“I really like this pale lemon,” Mouselet said thoughtfully, “But the colour doesn’t go with my fur.” She held up the material to demonstrate.
Aemelia considered the material and then shook her head. “I’m afraid you’re right, and I can’t see anything we could pair it with.” She hopped inside the box which contained all the scraps of material. “But wait a minute, what about this?” She held up a pale rose pink for Mouselet to see.
“Oh, that’s perfect. Do you think there’ll be enough of it?” Mouselet said.
“You didn’t eat that much yesterday! There’s not enough for a very full skirt, but plenty for one of the new-fashioned more slimline versions. And I have some deep pink silks which will go beautifully with it; I was thinking embroidered roses in outline.”
Mouselet was so taken with the idea she stood smiling contentedly, until she realised Aemelia was waiting for an answer. “I’d love that,” she replied.
“In which case, we had better get started,” Aemelia said.
Mouselet scampered off to collect their sewing kit and the two friends settled down to an afternoon of happy activity.