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A Poor Wise Man (Chapter 8)
Lily had known Alston Denslow most of her life. The children of that group of families which formed the monied aristocracy of the city knew only their own small circle. They met at dancing classes, where governesses and occasionally mothers sat around the walls, while the little girls, in handmad e white frocks of exquisite simplicity, their shining hair drawn back and held by ribbon bows, made their prim little dip at the door before entering, and the boys, in white Eton collars and gleaming pumps, bowed from the waist and then dived for the masculine corner of the long room.
No little girl ever intruded on that corner, although now and then a brave spirit among the boys would wander, with assumed unconsciousness but ears rather pink, to the opposite corner where the little girls were grouped like white butterflies milling in the sun.
The pianist struck a chord, and the children lined up, the girls on one side, the boys on the other, a long line, with Mrs. Van Buren in the center. Another chord, rather a long one. Mrs. Van Buren curtsied to the girls. The line dipped, wavered, recovered itself. Mrs. Van Buren turned. Another chord. The boys bent, rather too much, from the waist, while Mrs. Van Buren swept another deep curtsey. The music now, very definite as to time. Glide and short step to the right. Glide and short step to the left. Dancing school had commenced. Outside were long lines of motors waiting. The governesses chatted, and sometimes embroidered. Mademoiselle tatted.