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Tales of Chinatown

The Dance Of The Veils
I
THE HOUSE OF THE AGAPOULOS
Hassan came in and began very deliberately to light the four lamps. He muttered
to himself and often smiled in the childish manner which characterizes some
Egyptians. Hassan wore a red cap, and a white robe confined at the waist by a
red sash. On his brown feet he wore loose slippers, also of red. He had good
features and made a very picturesque figure moving slowly about his work.
As he lighted lamp after lamp and soft illumination crept about the big room,
because of the heavy shadows created the place seemed to become
mysteriously enlarged. That it was an Eastern apartment cunningly devised to
appeal to the Western eye, one familiar with Arab households must have seen at
once. It was a traditional Oriental interior, a stage setting rather than the
nondescript and generally uninteresting environment of the modern Egyptian at
home.
Brightly coloured divans there were and many silken cushions of strange pattern
and design. The hanging lamps were of perforated brass with little coloured glass
panels. In carved wooden cabinets stood beautiful porcelain jars, trays, and
vessels of silver and copper ware. Rich carpets were spread about the floor, and
the draperies were elegant and costly, while two deep windows projecting over
the court represented the best period of Arab architecture. Their intricate carven
woodwork had once adorned the palace of a Grand Wazir. Agapoulos had
bought them in Cairo and had had them fitted to his house in Chinatown. A
smaller brass lamp of very delicate workmanship was suspended in each of the
recesses.
 
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