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Zelda Dameron

Meredith Nicholson

213 pages
Library of Alexandria
“She’s like Margaret; she’s really one of us,” remarked Mrs. Forrest to her brother. “She carries herself as Margaret did in her girlhood, and she’s dark, as we all are.” “I hope she’s escaped the Dameron traits; they’re unattractive,” said Rodney Merriam. “She’s taller than Margaret; but Margaret was bent at the last,—bent but not quite broken.” Mrs. Forrest and Zelda Dameron, her niece, who were just home from a five years’ absence abroad, had, so to speak, stepped directly from the train into Mrs. Carr’s drawing-room. The place was full of women, old and young, and their animated talk blended in a great murmur, against which the notes of a few stringed instruments in the hall above struggled bravely. Mrs. Carr was forcing the season a trifle—it was near the end of September—but the dean of a famous college for women had come to town unexpectedly, and it was not Mrs. Carr’s way to let heat or cold interfere with her social inclinations. Mrs. Forrest and her brother had ceased talking to watch their niece. The girl’s profile was turned to them, and the old gentleman noted the good points of her face and figure. She was talking to several other girls, and it seemed to him that they showed her a deference. Mrs. Forrest was eager for her brother’s approval, and Rodney Merriam was anxious to be pleased; for the girl was of his own blood, and there were reasons why her home-coming was of particular interest to him. Rodney Merriam was annoyed to find that he must raise his voice to make his sister hear him, and he frowned; but there was a quaver about his lips and a gentle look in his black eyes. He was a handsome old gentleman, still erect and alert at sixty. His air of finish and repose seemed alien, and he was, indeed, a departure from the common types of the Ohio Valley. Yet Rodney Merriam was born within five minutes’ walk of where he stood.