Mrs. Christy's Bridge Party

Language: English
Published: 6 days ago
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Mrs. Reginald Norman walked into Sherry's and sank down at a small table with the calm assurance of one conscious of being both beautiful and perfectly gowned. There were no defects for the critical world to take up and magnify. Her gown fitted flawlessly, was built by the highest court of appeal on Parisian fashions, and suited her to perfection.

There is nothing like such a latent consciousness to impart poise to the wearer. Dainty little Ethel Danielson followed, dropping into the opposite chair.

"It was awfully nice of you to set this time for me to meet and lunch with you," said Mrs. Danielson, leisurely drawing off her long gloves. "Really, if you do not set definite hours you never see your friends at all; this last whirl before Lent has been frightful, hasn't it? I'm worn to a shred!"

"Yes, I shall be glad of a rest. You must go to things—if for no other reason than to prove you are asked. I haven't seen any of my family for over a week. I saw your husband a moment or two at the Opera last night with the Goodhue Livingstons," returned Mrs. Norman, as she loosened her veil.

"Oh, did you? Poor Harry—how was he? He has been having the grip or something, his valet told me a couple of days ago," answered Mrs. Danielson carelessly. "Well, my dear, to change the subject—are you going to the Christy's bridge party? I'm simply dying of curiosity to know! I thought of you the minute I opened the cards and wondered what you would do—you have said so much about them."

"Don't mention bridge to me!" burst out Mrs. Norman emphatically. "Look at my hair—did you ever behold such a vision in your life? The parlor-maid did it, after much persuasion and an ample tip. I'm perfectly discouraged—Therése has gone!"

"Gone? That maid you brought from Paris! Why you told me that nothing but fire or the sword would separate you from that girl," ejaculated Mrs. Danielson in surprise; "wasn't she satisfactory after all?"

"Perfectly satisfactory—perfectly, my love. I never had a maid who so thoroughly understood my style and what I could and could not wear. I was forced to let her go; every one of the eleven servants would have left. The housekeeper told me it was policy to dismiss her," said Mrs. Norman, thrusting her fork into a soft shell crab with great vehemence.

"Might one ask why they objected to her? Certainly, her nationality wasn't a ground for such a demand, for half your servants are French, aren't they?" questioned Mrs. Danielson with much interest.

"Oh, it wasn't that. She didn't play bridge! She just made the twelfth one, and her not playing spoiled the third table—they would not have her," explained Mrs. Norman dubiously.

"What are we coming to!" Mrs. Danielson exclaimed in despair; "I don't wonder you're discouraged—you have to be so careful how you are gotten up. You look so stunning in some things and so—well, you understand—one must study one's style! Now tell me, what are you going to do about the Christy's bridge? Everyone is wild over it! I've heard nothing else for days—it's to be quite the event of the season. Shall you go?"

"No. I have thought it all out. It seems to me some of us must take a stand. If we accept invitations from the Christys' why the harm is done—they will be in society before we know it! There are enough queer people in our set already without adding them....