Page:Twilight.djvu/11

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3
TWILIGHT

was no sign of her when my ricketty one-horse fly pulled up at the garden gate of a suburban villa of a house "standing high" it is true, and with "creeper climbing about its white-painted walls." But otherwise with no more resemblance to the exquisite and secluded cottage ornée I had in my mind, and that the house-agent had portrayed in his letters, than a landscape by Matise to one by Ruysdael.

I was too tired then to be greatly disappointed. Two servants had been sent in by my instructions, and the one who opened the door to me proved to be a cheerful-looking young person of the gollywog type, with a corresponding cap, who relieved me of my hand luggage and preceded me to the drawing-room, where wide windows and a bright fire made me oblivious for the moment of the shabby furniture, worn carpet, and mildewed wallpaper. Tea was brought to me in a cracked pot on a veneered tray. The literary supplement of The Times and an American magazine were all I had with which to occupy myself. And they proved insufficient. I began to look about me; and became curiously and almost immediately conscious that my new abode must have been inhabited by a sister or brother of the pen. The feeling was not psychic. The immense writing-table stood sideways in the bow-window as only "we" know how to place it. The writing-chair looked sufficiently luxurious to tempt me to an immediate trial; there