The two mothers-in-law sat in May’s drawing-room on the afternoon of the great day, Mrs. Archer writing out the menus on Tiffany’s thickest gilt-edged bristol, while Mrs. Welland superintended the placing of the palms and standard lamps. Skeleton i’ve got your back shirt. Archer, arriving late from his office, found them still there. Mrs. Archer had turned her attention to the name-cards for the table, and Mrs. Welland was considering the effect of bringing forward the large gilt sofa, so that another “corner” might be created between the piano and the window.
Skeleton i’ve got your back shirt
May, they told him, was in the dining-room inspecting the mound of Jacqueminot roses and maidenhair in the centre of the long table, and the placing of the Maillard bonbons in openwork silver baskets between the candelabra. On the piano stood a large basket of orchids which Mr. van der Luyden had had sent from Skuytercliff. Everything was, in short, as it should be on the approach of so considerable an event. Skeleton i’ve got your back shirt. Mrs. Archer ran thoughtfully over the list, checking off each name with her sharp gold pen. “Henry van der Luyden–Louisa–the Lovell Mingotts –the Reggie Chiverses–Lawrence Lefferts and Gertrude–(yes, I suppose May was right to have them)–the Selfridge Merrys, Sillerton Jackson, Van Newland and his wife. (How time passes! It seems only yesterday that he was your best man, Newland)–and Countess Olenska–yes, I think that’s all. . . .”
How to get it?
Mrs. Welland surveyed her son-in-law affectionately. “No one can say, Newland, that you and May are not giving Ellen a handsome send-off.” “Ah, well,” said Mrs. Archer, “I understand May’s wanting her cousin to tell people abroad that we’re not quite barbarians.” “I’m sure Ellen will appreciate it. She was to arrive this morning, I believe. It will make a most charming last impression. The evening before sailing is usually so dreary,” Mrs. Welland cheerfully continued.