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An Open-Eyed Conspiracy; an Idyl of Saratoga by William Dean Howells
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The day had been very hot under the tall trees which everywhere
embower and stifle Saratoga, for they shut out the air as well as
the sun; and after tea (they still have an early dinner at all the
hotels in Saratoga, and tea is the last meal of the day) I strolled
over to the pretty Congress Park, in the hope of getting a breath of
coolness there. Mrs. March preferred to take the chances on the
verandah of our pleasant little hotel, where I left her with the
other ladies, forty fanning like one, as they rocked to and fro
under the roof lifted to the third story by those lofty shafts
peculiar to the Saratoga architecture. As far as coolness was
concerned, I thought she was wise after I reached the park, for I
found none of it there. I tried first a chair in the arabesque
pavilion (I call it arabesque in despair; it might very well be
Swiss; it is charming, at all events), and studied to deceive myself
with the fresh-looking ebullition of the spring in the vast glass
bowls your goblets are served from (people say it is pumped, and
artificially aerated); but after a few moments this would not do,
and I went out to a bench, of the rows beside the gravelled walks.
It was no better there; but I fancied it would be better on the
little isle in the little lake, where the fountain was flinging a
sheaf of spray into the dull air. This looked even cooler than the
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