neglected to dust that morning

AlexanderIII

Senior Member
Russian
Dear all,
this from the sketch 'Professional Youth' (1923) by Dorothy Parker.

If at any time you entertained the idea of painting your district red they aren’t really the boys that you would call in to help you out with the job. They are scarcely the logical persons that you would select for the post of trying out new steps on the table or holding up any silk hats to be kicked. They seem to be always rather low in their minds, and there is a general air about them as if the chambermaid had neglected to dust that morning
.

I wonder if neglected to dust that morning means
1) to dust the premices they live in and they had to quarrel with her and that's why they are so exasperated or
2) the chambermaid had neglected to dust them themselves that is they look sloppy
.
My guess is 1). Is it correct?

What foxes me is the past perferct in the last sentence -- I cannot see the past indefinite it should be tied to. Could you explain please?
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    2. is the better: "as if the chambermaid had neglected to dust that morning." describes the "general air"
     
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