The Magic Lantern: Having a Ball and Christmas Eve

By José Tomás de Cuéllar; Margo Glantz et al. | Go to book overview

III

We entered that house through the kitchen; and we are fond of giving all things their due.

Not all houses are entered through the salon, nor is the salon the principal room in every house. In the house that concerns us, the salon was ordinarily of little importance. But on Christmas Eve, it would become the principal room because there was going to be a ball. Its moment had arrived, and it was to be made anew.

With the liberties granted to authors, we shall continue to give all things their due, and will now proceed from the kitchen to the dining room.

Anselmo the peddler and an army sergeant were arranging cypress boughs on the walls and placing straw all around. The room now had the solemnity of a dark forest, and was well suited for this night of chills and mists, of memories and hopes, and, above all, illusions. The moist air was steeped in the resinous fragrance of evergreens, and it smelled and tasted of Christmas Eve.

There was a room between the dining room and the bedroom that had assumed a variety of uses and services. Here visitors were

-126-

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The Magic Lantern: Having a Ball and Christmas Eve
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Series Editors'' General Introduction vii
  • Introduction xi
  • Notes xxxiii
  • Prologue 3
  • Having a Ball 5
  • I- Preparations for the Ball 7
  • II- How Couples Were Recruited and Guests Invited 15
  • III- About the Machuca Sisters and Others like Them 25
  • IV- In Which, among Other Things, the Girls Who Frequent the Pane Baths Prepare Themselves for the Colonel''s Ball 34
  • V- Concerning What Happened to the Virtue of a Lady Invited to Saldaña''s Ball 45
  • VI- How the Appearances Maintained by These Upstarts Tend to Compromise Any Serious Result 69
  • VII- The Ball Begins 79
  • VII- How the Heat from Candles, Combined with a Santa Barbara Cognac and Other Evils, Can Create Pandemonium at a Ball 100
  • IX- Conclusion 115
  • Christmas Eve - Negatives Exposed from December 24 To December 25, 1882 119
  • I 121
  • II 123
  • III 126
  • IV 129
  • V 133
  • VI 136
  • VII 140
  • VIII 142
  • IX 146
  • XI 156
  • XII 162
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