After Polly's first meeting with Thomas Lynn, they embark on a correspondence. In Tom's first letter, he sets out an imaginary adventure with a giant in a supermarket near his imaginary ironmonger's shop. He gives a role to the disagreeable Edna Piper, whom Polly had made up during their first talk, and asks Polly if she thinks he got her right.
Polly in turn proposes that Edna has a son, Leslie, who is scornful of Thomas Piper, even when he is nice to him. Later they fill out Leslie's description, picturing him as dark, sulky, heavyset, with an earring shaped like a skull with diamonds for eyes.
Eventually they meet a Leslie, but he doesn't look like they pictured him at all.
Except for the earring shaped like a skull. With diamonds for eyes.