Athalie (Chapter 8, page 1 of 8)

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Chapter 8

Before February had ended C. Bailey, Jr., and Athalie Greensleeve had
been to more than one play, had dined and supped together more than
once at the Regina.

The magnificence of the most fashionable restaurant in town had
thrilled and enchanted Athalie. At close range for the first time she
had an opportunity to inspect the rich, the fashionable, and the
great. As for celebrities, they seemed to be merely a by-product of
the gay, animated, beautifully gowned throngs: people she had heard
of, people more important still of whom she had never heard, people
important only to themselves of whom nobody had ever heard thronged
the great rococo rooms. The best hotel orchestra in America played
there; the loveliest flowers, the most magnificent jewels, the most
celebrated cuisine in the entire Republic--all were there for Athalie
Greensleeve to wonder at and to enjoy. There were other things for her
to wonder at, too,--the seemingly exhaustless list of C. Bailey,
Jr.'s, acquaintances; for he was always nodding to somebody or
returning salutes wherever they were, in the theatre, or the street,
in his little limousine car, at restaurants. Men sometimes came up and
spoke and were presented to Athalie: women, never.

But although she was very happy after her first evening out with C.
Bailey, Jr., she realised that a serious inroad upon her savings was
absolutely necessary if she were to continue her maiden's progress
with this enchanting young man. Clothing of a very different species
than any she had ever permitted herself was now becoming a necessity.
She made the inroad. It was worth while if only to see his surprise
and his naive pride in her.

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