Page:Twilight.djvu/241

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233
TWILIGHT

could not find the meaning. Presumably, however, she allowed him to lead her back to the subject.

"I have in my mind sometimes a little old house in Westminster, built in the seventeenth or eighteenth century, with panelled walls and uneven floors. And hunting for furniture in old curiosity shops. It mustn't be earlier than the eighteenth century, by the way. Not too early in that; or my Staffordshire won't look well. In the living-room with the eighteenth-century chintz I see all little rosebuds and green leaves. A few colour prints on the walls."

Gabriel had spoken of his collection of old prints. He said he would set about looking for the house at once. He told her there were a few such still standing, they were snapped up so eagerly.

Soon, quite excitedly they were both planning, talking of old oak, James I. silver, William and Mary walnut. Of all their happy hours this I think was the happiest they ever spent. Their tastes were so congenial, Gabriel's knowledge so far beyond her own; the home they would build so essentially suited to them. There Margaret would write and play, hold something of a salon. He would see that all her surroundings were appropriate, dignified, congenial. She would be the centre of an ascending chorus of admiration. He would, as it were, conduct the band. With adoring eyes he would watch her effects, temper this or straighten that,