And trousseau clothes are quite unlike other clothes—not prettier, often uglier—but different. Your shoes and stockings match, not yet having begun that uneven race which, starting from the same mole, ends with a fawn-colored shoe and a grey blue stocking. Your hats go with your dresses and your sunshades with both. You have an appropriate garment for all occasions, instead of always being—as you once were and soon will become again—short of something. Altogether, there is no other word for it—you are equipped.
And then you feel exhilarated and responsible—your jewels are still new and so is the strange, beautifully embroidered monogram on your handkerchiefs and underclothes. Also, for the first time in your life, you have a jet evening dress with a train and your maid calls you “Madam.”
Lucy was extremely pleased about all of these things. She was pleased, too, to have married a foreigner, to be sailing away into a new milieu, where she would be surrounded by the strange exciting faces of her husband’s friends. It would be delightful to have nothing to do, but make yourself liked, to be automatically disentangled from all of your own complicated, complicating relationships with nothing around you but a new world to conquer. And how thrilled and curious every one must be about her. What sort of a woman had succeeded in catching dear old Tony! Tony, who was so delightfully, so essentially, a man’s man. There had been Vivian, of course, but no one quite knew the rights and the wrongs of that and it was over anyway. Tony was so deuced unsusceptible (Lucy prided herself on being able to think in English), unsophisticated, too, about women, but with a sense of self-preservation like an animal’s. And now he had gone and married an American and a Bostonian. Americans, one knew, were heiresses and Bostonians were blue-stockings. The lady, it appeared, was not very rich, but of course, Tony would never have married for money. It was all very puzzling.
And then, Lucy imagined herself walking into a room full of strange, curious faces and some one murmured, “That is Tony’s wife,” and every one looked up. She was wearing a shimmering, silvery blue dress and she was looking her very, very best. An old lady told her that she ought still to be in school and a young man told her that she was a jolly lucky woman and Tony a jolly lucky man, by Jove.
Lucy was sure that that was the way Englishmen talked.
And on their way home, people agreed that they could understand any man’s falling in love with her. Tony talked a lot about his men friends. Women meant nothing to him. He had, Lucy knew, once been engaged to a woman—Vivian, she had been called—rumour had woven a pattern of legends about it, but he had never seemed anxious to discuss it. People said he had behaved badly—but how was one to tell? Those things were always so complicated. Usually, every one ended by behaving badly. At any rate, the girl had made a brilliant marriage, which might or might not mean a broken heart. It was, Lucy thought tenderly, so characteristic of Tony to have sown such legitimate wild oats. An engagement contracted and broken off in gusty fits of honour.