All this time the lounge had been slowly filling with people, and a hum of conversation had come into being all round. Outside in the tram-shaken street Hammersmith roared and swirled on its own furious and meaningless course. As meaningless and obscurely motivated as that crowd and chaos surrounding them were the relationships of these four respectively to each other: yet to the onlooker, who heard them laugh, they gave a perfect impression of unity and exclusiveness, of close friendship even, at any rate of having raised the banner of their common personality against a critical and watchful world. Many glances and stares were excited by Jenny’s prettiness and freshness, and the males were envied as if they were her possessors. So erring are the fleeting judgments made in public places.
— from Patrick Hamilton’s Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky trilogy, from the “Jenny” section, The Siege of Pleasure. Jenny Taylor, recently hired as a servant by a trio of elderly Dickensian characters, is out on the town of London with her factory friend Violet when picked up by Andy and Rex. Jenny has her first glass of port during this scene. It gets a lot worse for her: “a single drink had been known to lead to ruin.”