The Womans Way (Chapter 9, page 1 of 9)


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Chapter 9

Celia was awakened the next morning by the singing of the birds. For a
few minutes she was confused by her strangely luxurious surroundings;
but she soon realized her good fortune, and she leapt out of bed, ran to
the window, and peeped out on the wonderful view. She might have stood
openly at the window, for no building, no human being were in sight. It
seemed to her that she was the only person in that vast solitude of
umbrageous park and wide-stretching heath.

Immediately beneath her lay the velvet lawns of the splendid gardens;
they were irresistible; she had her bath and dressed quickly, and, to
the amazement of the housemaids who were at work in the hall, went out
bare-headed. She felt as if every moment in which she was not enjoying
this wonderful new experience of hers were a lost one; and she wandered
about, stopping occasionally to examine the noble façade of the house, a
quaint sundial, an antique fountain of bronze, some particularly
tasteful arrangement of the flowers.

There was an Italian garden, with marble benches, fawns and dryads,
which was exactly like those depicted in Country Life: and here it
was, and she was free of it! Oh, marvellous! Presently a huge deerhound,
graceful as the forest from which he sprang, came bounding to her; he
stopped and eyed her critically for a moment, then he came forward in
stately fashion and laid his beautiful head in the hands she
outstretched to him. She went down on her knees and hugged him; and he
submitted to the embrace, with his great, loving eyes fixed on hers
approvingly. When the big bell in one of the towers rang for breakfast
the dog followed her into the little room behind the library and flung
himself down at her side, as if he belonged to her.

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