Author: Alice Duer Miller
Release Date: February 26, 2004 [eBook #11325] [Date last updated: October 6, 2004]
Character set encoding: Us-ASCII
***Start of the project gutenberg EBOOK the happiest time of their lives ***
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BY ALICE DUER MILLER
Author of “Come Out of the Kitchen,” “Ladies Must Live,” “Wings in the Nights,” etc.
“... and then he added in a less satisfied tone: “But friendship is so uncertain. You don’t make any announcement to your friends or vows to each other, unless you’re at an age when you cut your initials in the bark of a tree. That’s what I’d like to do.”
Little Miss Severance sat with her hands as cold as ice. The stage of her coming adventure was beautifully set—the conventional stage for the adventure of a young girl, her mother’s drawing-room. Her mother had the art of setting stages. The room was not large,—a New York brownstone front in the upper Sixties even though altered as to entrance, and allowed to sprawl backward over yards not originally intended for its use, is not a palace,—but it was a room and not a corridor; you had the comfortable sense of four walls about you when its one small door was once shut. It was filled, perhaps a little too much filled, with objects which seemed to have nothing in common except beauty; but propinquity, propinquity of older date than the house in which they now were, had given them harmony. Nothing in the room was modern except some uncommonly comfortable sofas and chairs, and the pink and yellow roses that stood about in Chinese bowls.
Miss Severance herself was hardly aware of the charm of the room. On the third floor she had her own room, which she liked much better. There was a great deal of bright chintz in it, and maple furniture of a late colonial date, inherited from her mother’s family, the Lanleys, and discarded by her mother, who described the taste of that time as “pure, but provincial.” Crystal and ivories and carved wood and Italian embroideries did not please Miss Severance half so well as the austere lines of those work-tables and high-boys.