Polka Dot Scarf

Reading A Strange Commonplace closely made me extra sensitive to mentions of polka dot scarfs. There are two such mentions in Raymond Chandler’s A Long Goodbye, (although these are black polka dots and not the blue polka dots of Strange Commonplace and they are constructed of unstated material while Strange Commonplace’s were made of silk).

Page numbers are from The Library of American Edition of Chandler’s works “Later Novels & Other Writings.” The first passage refers to the very beautiful Eileen Wade, who is the wife of depressive writer of popular romances Roger Wade, the second to the unbalanced associate of Dr. Verringer, “Earl”, the most obvious common thread between them being that they are both fairly dangerous individuals.

490. “She was slim and tall in a white linen tailormade with a black and white polka-dot scarf around her throat. Her hair was the pale gold of a fairy princess. There was a small hat on it into which the pale gold hair nestled like a bird in its nest. Her eyes were a cornflower blue, a rare color, and the lashes were long and almost too pale.”

533. “Earl was a cowpoke tonight, and it had been a cowpoke who brought Roger Wade home the time before. Earl was spinning a rope. He wore a dark shirt stitched with white and a polka-dot scarf knotted loosely around his neck. He wore a wide leather belt with a load of silver on it and a pair of tooled leather holsters with ivory-handled guns in them.”

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