THE Cloisonne vase came the next day. Katherine had the box carried up to her room and opened it herself by the aid of a hammer, taking the treasure out of its innerwrappings of odd Oriental paper. There was an odd Oriental perfume that seemed to breathe not only from the wrappings but from within the vase itself, as if it had been filled with roses and sandalwood — the auctioneer had said it was an old piece. Perhaps some woman's hand had dropped the attar of roses in it once! The perfume gave the subtle sense of mystery which clings to the East and especially to the life behind the curtain — Katherine felt the thrill of it as she sat on the floor gazing dreamily at the vase as it stood, in all its shimmering beauty of blues and greens and interlacing pink, on the inverted box by the prosaic modernness of her mahogany dressing table. Katherine had a childish habit of secretly kissing certain inanimate objects; she kissed the vase now, pressing her soft rose-lips against its hard surface—it seemed to make it more a part of her when she should give it to Remsen — before putting it in the box once more, to be hidden in her closet.
Just for two
By Mary Stewart Doubleday Cutting