Author: Douglass Sherley
Release Date: February 1, 2005 [EBook #14855]
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** Start of this project gutenberg EBOOK A few short sketches ***
Produced by Kentuckiana Digital Library, David Garcia,
and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net.
[Transcriber’s Note: unusual spellings have been retained as in the original.]
By Douglass Sherley
John P. Morton & Co.
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A.
COPYRIGHTED BY DOUGLASS SHERLEY, 1892
THOSE RUSSIAN VIOLETS
There had been a brilliant reception at the house of Mrs. Adrian Colburn in honor of her guest—a most attractive young woman—from the East. The hours were brief, from five to seven. I had gone late and left early, but while there had made an engagement with Miss Caddington for the large ball to be given that night by the Boltons.
Miss Caddington was a debutante. She had been educated abroad, but had not lost either love of country or naturalness of manner. During the short but fiercely gay season from October to Christmas she had made many friends, and found that two or three lovers were hard to handle with much credit to herself or any real happiness to them.
She was not painfully conscientious, nor was she an intentional trifler; therefore she was good at that social game of lead on and hold off.
“Call at nine,” she said, “and I will be ready.”
But she was not ready at nine. The room where I waited was most inviting. There were several low couches laden with slumber-robes and soft, downy pillows, all at sweet enmity with insomnia. The ornaments were few but pleasing to the eye. Art and her hand-maiden, Good Taste, had decorated the walls. But there was a table, best of all, covered with good books, and before it, drawn in place, an easy-chair. An exquisite china lamp, with yellow shade, shed all the light that was needed. Everywhere there were feminine signs—touches that were delightful and unmistakable.
From somewhere there came a rich oriental odor. It intoxicated me with its subtle perfume. I picked up “After-Dinner Stories” (Balzac), then a translation from Alfred de Musset, an old novel by Wilkie Collins, “The Guilty River;” but still that mysterious perfume pervaded my senses and unfitted me for the otherwise tempting feast spread before me. I looked at the clock; it was nine