“Come downstairs with me,” she said, waving her sisters along. “I’m sure there are last-minute things to do.”
She led the way into the dining parlor, which was empty except for their long mahogany table with its white linen tablecloth dangling so low on each side as to sweep against the floor. Everything was spectacularly in place, and even the beryl-green wallpaper seemed to shine. Mary eyed her place, which would be to the right of Mrs. Crowninshield, and recognized the porcelain plates, crystal goblets, and freshly polished silverware as her family’s very best.
“There’s plenty of room for two more places,” Sarah whispered, drawing Mary out of her reverie. She didn’t bother to answer, hypnotized by the afternoon sun streaming through the windows and glinting off two silver candelabras in the center of the table and crystal wine glasses at each place.
“Come, Sarah,” she said, realizing everything had been thoroughly taken care of already. “It appears there aren’t any last-minute things to do after all, and Mother wants us in the parlor when our guests arrive.”
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