Encouraged by Sylvia's response to the doves, Jeremy presented Miss Purefoy-McKinlay with a large African Grey parrot as a means of beginning a conversation when they encountered each other strolling outside the Crystal Palace at Penge.
Lucinda was enchanted, and it is said that within hours she had thrust Harrods into a state of momentary non-plus by asking for cuttlefish 'by the yard, and as fast as you can dry it!'
The bird's history caused her some little inconvenience however, for it had once been owned by a certain Hugh Smollette, a retired sea-captain late of the Tasman sea. In consequence the bird would punctuate long, gloomy silences with the word 'Scrotum!' screamed in baleful and demonic tones, a practice which caused passing pedestrians to blanch when Lucinda promenaded along Bond Street with the parrot perched regally upon her shoulder.
Upon one such occasion she attempted to remonstrate with the bird by tapping it firmly upon the beak, at which it retaliated by nipping off the lobe of her ear and fouling her jacket.
Galvanised by pain she flung the parrot from her, all the while blaming Jeremy for her 'atrocious pain and embarrassment', and threatening a series of lawsuits which were eventually settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.
Jeremy, now thirty-six, was despondent. 'I shall give no more birds as love tokens,' he confided to a breathless and wheezing Lenoir, 'for upon balance they have brought me nothing but pain, degradation and disgrace. My love of them has turned to hate, and the distraction of both has affected my search for a breakthrough.'