The Dowager Countess and the American Girl

9780217036528: The Dowager Countess and the American Girl

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1903. Excerpt: ... Chapter VIII SIR JOHN had seen many beautiful women in his day, but when Edith Cavendish swept into the white drawing-room at Cawdor that night before dinner the old man fairly gasped. Her gown was, indeed, flame-colored--every color of flame, from orange-red to buff, made of shimmering chiffon over satin, and so cunningly arranged that with every movement the jets blazed up afresh. Iridescent ornaments sparkled mysteriously whenever the colors changed, and seemed like the blue tips which waver upward from a fire of driftwood. Made by a less cunning artist or worn by a less refined woman, the dress would have been loud. But, as it was, Edith's graceful slenderness changed it from a blaze to an illumination. Nevertheless, the whole thing fairly leaped at you and took your imagination captive. While she was within sight you could look at no other woman and think of no other gown. Her arms were bare to the shoulders. Her white neck was hung with chains of topaz, and her hands were heavy with rings. She wore no gloves, nor even carried them as an affectation. Her fan was of carved amber and brilliant with plumage of a myriad of tropical birds of every shade from orange to ruby. Her glorious red hair was dressed high and was guiltless of a single ornament. From the delicate tendrils which curled at the nape of her warm neck to the wave as it swept from her low brow, it was a head upon which nature had done so much that art could add nothing to its beauty or its regal poise. Her eyes flashed like stars, and when Lady Mary Goddard, a few moments later, entered, several made the inward comment that she looked pale. But she was no paler than usual. It was that the brilliant American girl had absorbed all. the color there was anywhere, and had en veloped herself in...

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