Saturday, 22 November 2014

"Incarnadine"

"April 26.  Got some more red enamel paint (red, to my mind being the best colour), and painted the coal scuttle, and the backs of our Shakespeare, the binding of which had almost worn out.

April 27. Painted the bath red, and was delighted with the result.  Sorry to say Carrie was not; in fact, we had a few words about it.  She said I ought to have consulted her, and she had never heard of such a thing as a bath being painted red.  I replied: 'It's merely a matter of taste.'
….

April 29, Sunday.  Woke up with a fearful headache and strong symptoms of a cold.  Carrie, with a perversity which is just like her, said it was 'painter's colic', and was the result of my having spent the last few days with my nose over a paint-pot.  I told her firmly that I knew a great deal better what was the matter with me than she did.  I had got a chill, and decided to have as bath as hot as I could bear it.  Bath ready -- could scarcely bear it so hot.  I persevered, and got in; very hot, but very acceptable.  I lay still for some time.

On moving my hand above the surface of the water, I experienced the greatest fright I ever received in the whole course of my life; for imagine my horror on discovering my hand, as I thought, full of blood.  My first thought was that I had ruptured an artery and was bleeding to death, and should be discovered, later on, looking like a second Marat, as I remember seeing him in Maadame Tussaud's.  My second thought was to ring the bell, but remembered there was no bell to ring.  My third was,  that there was nothing but the enamel paint, which had dissolved in the boiling water.  I stepped out of the bath, perfectly red all over, resembling the Red Indians I have seen depicted at an East-End theatre.  I determined not to say a word to Carrie, but to tell Farmerson to come on Monday and paint the bath white."

The Diary of a Nobody  George & Weedon Grossmith

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