Ronald Fry and Mervyn Watson, our main protagonists in my jolly jaunt, The Merry Millionaire, have a remarkable habit of being exactly at the right place at the right time.
Knowing their liking for pre dinner tipples, they happen to be present at an auspicious moment, which has since gone down in the annals of hotel legend. The night the male bastion of the Long Bar at Cairo’s Shepheard’s Hotel is invaded by two females for the first and only time in its history.
Miss Lee Miller has already led a most fascinating life, firstly as a famous New York model, appearing on the front cover of publisher Conde Nast’s new fashion magazine ‘ Vogue,’ the story going that the old man saved her from walking out into the oncoming traffic at a busy New York intersection. Thereafter to champion her as the face of ‘Vogue.’
Next comes Paris, where Miller acts as artist and photographer, Man Ray‘s photographic assistant and lover, responsible for many high society photographs that were thought at the time to have been taken by Man Ray himself.
Miss Lee Miller is currently residing in Cairo as the wife of an Egyptian industrial tycoon, and is a member of the fashionable Black Satin and Pearls set.
It is late February on this day in my story, and having taken afternoon tea on Shepheard’s famous terrace, as well as several Pimms, Miss Miller and her sister in law, Mafy, decide to sample the famous cocktails prepared by the chief barman of The Long Bar, Joe Scialom.
It just so happens Ron and Mervyn are seated at the bar, imbibing in a couple of Joe’s ‘Suffering Bar Steward‘ cocktails when the ladies invade. Miss Miller’s outspoken views on women’s rights and her unashamed attitude toward sex results in a hilarious confrontation with our two naïve and unsuspecting protagonists.