It was St. Patrick’s Day in Miami. Bryn Corley was looking in the mirror, deciding whether or not to curl her hair. When she curled it, it came out tight and blonde and emphatic like Jean Harlow’s; when she sleeked it off her face the Grace Kelly came forward.

How she looked tonight was very important. She and Frank Kiernan had been invited to dine at the home of Maggie Bickle, a rich and very well-connected old woman. It was not inconceivable that Robert Mitchum would be there. Bryn thought she would curl her hair.

This could be her big break. She had an idea that if she walked into an office—any office, even in Hollywood—with a good tan they would offer her a job. And she very much wanted to be offered a job. For three years she had been out of the market and out of the country. But even in Europe the women she knew had interesting jobs and were making good salaries.

“I wonder if it’s too late to get in as a starlet?” she asked herself. “I may be thirty-one but I’ve never been prettier. I’m thin and I’m tan and I speak French fluently.”

She knocked over a warm bottle of Sassoon Hair Oil and turned quickly to see if Frank had stirred. He was napping after a day of department stores. He was sixty-five years old and liked to buy her things.