It was the last day of the school term, their second-last ever, and the three girls were celebrating at the tea-house just out-of-bounds. It was, in fact, their regular tea-house, where they could be found most days after school, and often when they should have been in the classroom.
Peep-Bo and Pitti-Sing had pulled their chairs close together, and although Yum-Yum couldn't see for herself, she knew that there were hands in places where they shouldn't be – or at least not when those hands were in public. Yum-Yum, of course, was used to this.
'Did you happen to read the newspaper yesterday?' Yum-Yum said carelessly.
'Of course not!' said Pitti-Sing. 'Did you?'
'Actually, no,' admitted Yum-Yum, 'but I have heard people talking about the latest decree from the Mikado.'
'Is it something we might care about?' asked Peep-Bo.
In her artless Japanese way, Yum-Yum sipped her cup of tea before answering. 'Persons who flirt,' she said eventually, 'shall be condemned to death.'
'Well, why should that concern us?' said Pitti-Sing, leaning over to kiss Peep-Bo's cheek. 'You, my dear Yum-Yum, are more likely to offend against this law, particularly given the rather obvious intentions of your guardian.'
All three girls shuddered dramatically. 'Horrid little man,' they chorused.
'My dear,' said Yum-Yum, 'Do you honestly think that your games of footsie and your pawing at each other's breasts, and your little kisses here and there don't count as flirting?'
Peep-Bo looked pityingly at Yum-Yum. 'My dear Yum-Yum, we're both women. The Mikado won't even be able to comprehend the idea that we could flirt with each other. We – unlike you – are perfectly safe.'
'How horribly unfair,' pouted Yum-Yum, as Pitti-Sing and Peep-Bo kissed in full view of the entire clientèle of the tea-house, including their shocked headmistress, and the newly-hired Second Trombone.