Ragged Lady — Volume 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 222 pages of information about Ragged Lady — Volume 2.
it; but it was unconscious, and so far it was typical, it was classic; Mrs. Milray’s Bostonian achieved a snub from her by saying it was like a Botticelli; and in fact it was merely the skirt-dance which society had borrowed from the stage at that period, leaving behind the footlights its more acrobatic phases, but keeping its pretty turns and bows and bends.  Clementina did it not only with tender dignity, but when she was fairly launched in it, with a passion to which her sense of Mrs. Milray’s strange unkindness lent defiance.  The dance was still so new a thing then, that it had a surprise to which the girl’s gentleness lent a curious charm, and it had some adventitious fascinations from the necessity she was in of weaving it in and out among the stationary armchairs and sofas which still further cramped the narrow space where she gave it.  Her own delight in it shone from her smiling face, which was appealingly happy.  Just before it should have ended, one of those wandering waves that roam the smoothest sea struck the ship, and Clementina caught herself skilfully from falling, and reeled to her seat, while the room rang with the applause and sympathetic laughter for the mischance she had baffled.  There was a storm of encores, but Clementina called out, “The ship tilts so!” and her naivete won her another burst of favor, which was at its height when Lord Lioncourt had an inspiration.

He jumped up and said, “Miss Claxon is going to oblige us with a little bit of dramatics, now, and I’m sure you’ll all enjoy that quite as much as her beautiful dancing.  She’s going to take the principal part in the laughable after-piece of Passing round the Hat, and I hope the audience will—­a—­a—­a—­do the rest.  She’s consented on this occasion to use a hat—­or cap, rather—­of her own, the charming Tam O’Shanter in which we’ve all seen her, and—­a—­admired her about the ship for the week past.”

He caught up the flat woolen steamer-cap which Clementina had left in her seat beside Mrs. Milray when she rose to dance, and held it aloft.  Some one called out, “Chorus!  For he’s a jolly good fellow,” and led off in his praise.  Lord Lioncourt shouted through the uproar the announcement that while Miss Claxon was taking up the collection, Mr. Ewins, of Boston, would sing one of the student songs of Cambridge—­no!  Harvard—­University; the music being his own.

Everyone wanted to make some joke or some compliment to Clementina about the cap which grew momently heavier under the sovereigns and half sovereigns, half crowns and half dollars, shillings, quarters, greenbacks and every fraction of English and American silver; and the actor who had given the imitations, made bold, as he said, to ask his lordship if the audience might not hope, before they dispersed, for something more from Miss Claxon.  He was sure she could do something more; he for one would be glad of anything; and Clementina turned from putting her cap into Mrs. Milray’s lap, to find Lord Lioncourt bowing at her elbow, and offering her his arm to lead her to the spot where she had stood in dancing.

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Ragged Lady — Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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