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<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-The Awakening by Kate Chopin

full, fragrant roses, yellow and red, abounded. There were silver
and gold, as she had said there would be, and crystal which
glittered like the gems which the women wore.

The ordinary stiff dining chairs had been discarded for the
occasion and replaced by the most commodious and luxurious which
could be collected throughout the house. Mademoiselle Reisz, being
exceedingly diminutive, was elevated upon cushions, as small
children are sometimes hoisted at table upon bulky volumes.

"Something new, Edna?" exclaimed Miss Mayblunt, with lorgnette
directed toward a magnificent cluster of diamonds that sparkled,
that almost sputtered, in Edna's hair, just over the center of her

"Quite new; `brand' new, in fact; a present from my husband.
It arrived this morning from New York. I may as well admit that
this is my birthday, and that I am twenty-nine. In good time
I expect you to drink my health. Meanwhile, I shall ask you
to begin with this cocktail, composed--would you say `composed?'"
with an appeal to Miss Mayblunt--"composed by my father
in honor of Sister Janet's wedding."

Before each guest stood a tiny glass that looked and sparkled
like a garnet gem.

"Then, all things considered," spoke Arobin, "it might not be
amiss to start out by drinking the Colonel's health in the cocktail
which he composed, on the birthday of the most charming of
women--the daughter whom he invented."

Mr. Merriman's laugh at this sally was such a genuine outburst
and so contagious that it started the dinner with an agreeable
swing that never slackened.

Miss Mayblunt begged to be allowed to keep her cocktail
untouched before her, just to look at. The color was marvelous!
She could compare it to nothing she had ever seen, and the garnet
lights which it emitted were unspeakably rare. She pronounced the
Colonel an artist, and stuck to it.

Monsieur Ratignolle was prepared to take things seriously;
the mets, the entre-mets, the service, the decorations, even
the people. He looked up from his pompano and inquired of Arobin
if he were related to the gentleman of that name who formed one of
<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-The Awakening by Kate Chopin

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