Blue Aloes

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: The Leopard PART I It was nine o'clock, and time for the first waltz to strike up. The wide, empty floor of the Falcon Hotel lounge gleamed with a waxen glaze under the brilliant lights, and the dancers' feet were tingling to begin. Michael Walsh, who always played at the Wankelo dances, sat down at the piano and struck two loud arresting bars, then gently caressed from the keys the crooning melody of the Wisteria Waltz. Two by two, the dancers drew into the maze of music and movement, and became part of a weaving rhythmic, kaleidoscopic picture. There was not an ill-looking person in the room. The men were of a tanned, hard-bitten, adventurous brand; the women were nearly all pretty or attractive or both, and mostly young. These are the usual attributes of women in a new country like Rhodesia; for men do not take ugly, unattractive women to share life with them in the wilds, and girls born in such places have a gift all their own of beauty and charm. Many of them were badly dressed, however, for that, too, is an attribute of the wilds, where women mostly make their own clothes, unless they are rich enough to get frequent parcels from England. There wasthis to be noted about the gowns: When they were new, they were patchy affairs, made up at home from materials bought in Rhodesian shops; but when well cut, they were battered and worn. Take, for instance, Mrs. Lisle's gown of pale-green satin and sequins. She had been an actress before she married Barton Lisle and came out to the ups and downs of a mining speculator's life, and all her clothes were richauffees of the toilettes in which she had once dazzled provincial audiences. Gay Liscannon's frock of pale rose-leaf silk, with a skirt that was a flurry of delicious little frills and a bodice of lace, sewn with little p... --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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