Drusilla with a Million
The next morning Drusilla found herself unconsciously waiting for the rising bell
that called the inmates of the Doane home from their slumbers, and when she
opened her eyes she could not realize for a moment where she was. Instead of
the plain white walls of her room, she saw the soft gray tints of silk and the sheen
of silver, and her hands touched a silken-covered eiderdown quilt. She closed
her eyes in sheer happiness, and then opened them again to be sure that it was
not all a mirage. At last, not being used to lying in bed, she arose and, putting on
the dressing-gown, went to one of the windows and raised the shade to look out.
She stopped with her hand still on the shade, looking in wonder at the beauty just
outside her window. A great copper beach was flaunting its gorgeous colors in
the clear morning air; beyond it a clump of blue spruce seemed a background for
the riotous autumn tints. At one side of the house was an Italian garden, with
terrace after terrace falling toward the river. Across the river, the Palisades rose
sheer and steep, their reddish-brown rocks covered with the glow of the morning
Drusilla did not know it, but she was looking at one of the most beautiful of the
many beautiful places along the Hudson, a place on which hundreds of
thousands of dollars had been spent with a lavish hand. Drusilla drew up a chair
and sat by the window, watching the changing shades as the sun became
brighter. Then she became interested in the life of the place as it gradually awoke
to its morning's work. First a gardener crossed the lawn and began working
around the plants; then another came with a rake and commenced raking up the
dying leaves; another man wandered down toward the river. A man, evidently a
house servant, came across the lawn and, seeing her at the window, went hastily
into the house. Soon there was a light knock at the door, and in answer to her
"come in," Jeanne, the maid, entered.
"Oh, Madame," she said, "why did, you not ring? I did not know you were up."
She bustled about the room, raising shades, and then rang for a man to come
and make the fire in the grate. The house seemed warm to Drusilla.
"Do I need a fire?" she asked. "It's warm in here."
"Just a little fire, Madame," said Jeanne; "it makes the room more cheerful."
Drusilla laughed. It seemed to her that nothing could make that exquisite room
The maid went to the bedroom and soon returned to announce: "The bath is
ready for Madame."
Drusilla wondered why she was expected to take another bath, as she had had
one the night before. But evidently it was expected of her, and she went into the
bathroom and again reveled in the warm, perfumed water. When she returned to
the bedroom her clothing of the night before was arranged ready for her to put
on, and as she dressed she felt for the first time the coarseness of the linen and
the ugliness of the plain black dress.
"Would Madame like her breakfast here," the maid asked, "or will she go to the