Colonel Harris explained that each cable was composed of over five thousand steel wires, and that a shuttle carried the wire back and forth till the requisite strength of cables was obtained. The expense of the bridge was about $15,000,000, which the two cities paid. Its great utility had been abundantly proved by the repeated necessity of enlarging the approaches.
The drive to the Central Park was up Fifth Avenue, home of America’s multi-millionaires. An unending cavalcade of superb family equipages was passing through the entrance at 59th Street. Colonel Harris explained that “Central Park had been planted with over half a million trees, shrubs and vines, and that which was once a waste of rock and swamp, had by skill of enthusiastic engineers and landscape gardeners blossomed into green lawns, shady groves, vine-covered arbors, with miles of roads and walks, inviting expanses of water, picturesque bits of architecture, and scenery, that rival the world’s parks.”
The ride and comments of Mr. Searles afforded the Harris family an opportunity to study their guest, and on returning to the hotel, all agreed that Hugh Searles was thoroughly equipped to protect his English patrons in any deal that he might decide to make. It was planned that all should dine together at eight, and Leo was to join the party by invitation of Lucille.
Evidently the Harrises were well pleased with their English visitor, but their pleasure was also quickened with the bright prospect of several millions of English money for their manufacturing interest. Then after their visit to Europe might follow the long looked-for residence in delightful New York. Already rich Americans, famous authors and artists gravitate as naturally to this new world metropolis, as the world’s elite to London and Paris.
A BAD SEND-OFF
It was almost eight o’clock when the dinner party assembled in the reception-room of the Waldorf. Leo was first to arrive, and Lucille was there to receive him. At ten minutes of eight, solicitor Hugh Searles came; then entered Colonel Harris and his daughters, Alfonso following with his mother. Mrs. Harris wore a black satin dress with jet trimmings and Van Dyke lace. Lucille’s dress of light blue faille silk, garnished with pearls and guipure lace, was very becoming. Leo so told Lucille, and she thanked him but hid behind her lips the thought that Leo never before seemed half so manly. Mr. Searles evidently admired Leo, and he talked to him of Italy’s greatness in literature and art. He sat at Colonel Harris’s right, opposite Mrs. Harris. Leo and Lucille occupied seats at the end of the table, and at their right and left sat Alfonso and Gertrude.
Guests of the hotel and their friends chatted in low conversation at the many tables of the model dining-room. Electric lights shone soft in the ceiling, and under pretty shades at each table, which added much to the general effect.