Miss Araminta loves to darn. Also she loves pretty clothes in a way that is truly pitiful, not having the means to get them, and she has about as much idea how to have her few things made as a Comanche Indian has of vers-libre. If she would wear those that suited her style she would look dear, but she wears clothes of many colors made, as she thinks, in the prevailing fashion, and of course she is a sight for all beholders. While I was reading Pendennis out loud I was wondering at the same time what Miss Araminta was going to wear to the reception Judge and Mrs. Maclean are going to give to their two married daughters and their husbands on the 17th of August, which is the big thing of the year for Twickenham Town; but of course I couldn’t ask her. I knew she had nothing suitable or that had not been the subject of nudges and remarks under the breath, and smiles that could be heard. And I also knew nothing could keep her away, for she dearly loves to go to parties and is not often invited, being of an inconvenient age for entertainments, and I wished something could come to pass that would be to her interest.
As I read I poked around in my mind trying to think what might be done, and suddenly something came to me, and after a while I put the book down and began to talk of the different things that were going on in town and the many visitors who were already there, and then I asked Miss Araminta if she didn’t think lavender was a lovely color. She said it was the one she loved best and all her life she had longed for a lavender satin with everything to match, but she knew now she would never have it and she rarely let herself wish for things any more. And she sighed the softest little sigh, like a mother whose baby had died a long time ago, but who always kept it in her heart, and I said to myself, “Go up-stairs, Kitty Canary, and think out a way,” and up-stairs I went.
August is The Season in Twickenham Town, and there is hardly a family in it that doesn’t have company or boarders, or whose sons and daughters don’t come home for their holiday, and Miss Bettie Simcoe says it’s perfectly scandalous, the flirting that goes on. Miss Bettie thinks anything matrimonial is close to scandalous, and she is continually raising her eyebrows and making a half moon of her mouth at what she says is the forwardness and freeness of present-day young people. Miss Susanna always has a crowded house in August. A Doctor Macafee and his wife and two daughters are here from Florida, and a Miss LeRoy from New Hampshire, and Judge Lampton and his wife from Alabama, and how she manages to put them away is known only to herself.