Open Main Event: The Party
#46
"Oh!" And he turned to observe the strange wine arrangement. "You ought to give it a try, I will if you will." Smiling encouragingly, then went up to the larger bowl where the wine was kept and ventured to dip a smaller greek one into it. "It's very queer, I'm not certain what the direction behind it is..." Taking a sip very carefully of a small amount altogether.
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#47
Philomena was feeling quite adventurous as she accompanied Mr. Morin to the largish bowl that brimmed with a lovely, deep red wine – well, not as much as it did when the party first began, but there was still ample supply of the beverage. She grinned a bit mischievously as Anatole made the first essay, dipping and sipping with caution but with no ungainly incident of spills or drips.

She smiled in a rather conspiratorial manner and took one of the drinking bowls by its handles, and scooped up some wine from the larger vessel. If they all continued to do so throughout the evening, she did not like to think of the cross contamination of its contents. However, ethanol was known to have a good antiseptic effect so they’d probably at least be safe from passing along germs. Philly regarded the wine with no great enthusiasm for either its taste or its intoxicating effect. She was typically a teetotaler, much to her family’s disgust. Nevertheless, she’d never used a kalyx before. So with that being her primary motivation, she tilted the bowl up genteelly and took a sip.

“I wonder what Violetta would say if we initiated a game of kottabos,” she said, with a smug look. ”We could use that insipid Dresden shepherdess to hold the plastinx.” She nodded at a porcelain figurine on a nearby table. Then she looked at Anatole, to see if the man had any sense of fun in his soul. ”I think I’d quite enjoy throwing wine all over some of the people here – wouldn’t you?”

Her eyes darted to her father in a pointed way.
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#48
"Oh, what sort of game is that?" He had only a vague idea of what the bowls were, and nothing about the Ancient Greeks other than what French philosophers appropriated and reworked for the modern world. And also the stories of male lovers. But that was surely wicked. "If it involves throwing wine..." He, too, cast a cursory glance at the eldest guest and his daughter. "I just hope everyone else is game."
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#49
She should not have been surprised by the party's lackluster nature, nor was she, but Claudia could not help but be disappointed by it. "Indeed it is," Claudia replied, glancing around the room. All the men were occupying themselves in small groups of conversation, reminding Claudia more of boys than the gentlemen they should at least attempt to be. Sighing, feeling she must make up for what she'd brought her friend to, Claudia turned back to Harriet Kempa and offered her hand. "I suppose if you are to be my Romeo, we might begin the dancing? Perhaps others will join once we do." One could only hope.
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#50
She grinned, quite thankful indeed that Miss Gillingham was not alarmed by her choice in garment. "I should be happy to oblige, my lady." And she held out her hand, hoping she might be able to fake her way through a dance. The sort they did in the dance hall were surely nothing like what these folk here were accustomed to. The waltz, the minuet. Was minuet a dance? She occasionally would attend the Irish dances that the Featherstons organized. They were a very large family. But their sort of music was quite wily.
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#51
Philly smiled, mischief mingled with mockery. ”Oh, I’m sure we are all far too genteel for such mayhem.” In a lower voice, almost to herself, she added, ”The Greeks had it right…” – although, admittedly, they only felt that men were worth the time effort and expense of putting on such entertainments. It seemed the more things changed, the more they stayed the same. She sighed, resigned to accepting the fact that neither Vi nor Lady Madswitte were likely to condone the flinging about of wine all over the room. She gave Anatole a sweeter smile – for bearing with her – and nodded towards the windows.

”I dare say the staff are flinging a bit of alcohol hither, thither and yon…” she said, rather wistfully, thinking the women and girls outside would not be excluded from such riotous revelries. Working class women were even worse off than their more well heeled sisters when it came to basic human rights; but, they at least had the liberty to over indulge when the occasion presented itself. Not that Philly liked drink, or its effects. She was too much of a control maven for that. But she’d appreciate at least the right to be as wild as a Sicilian ass – as the men were – and not have to be thinking of her ‘reputation.’

Her gaze came back to Anatole, but then swiveled to beyond his Byronic, dark wavelets, and she grinned. ”Well there are two to take a lesson from!” she said merrily, her eyes taking in the sight of Ms. Gillingham and Ms Kempa beginning to dance – and a lovely Romeo and Juliet they made – at least by Madswitte Castle standards.
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#52
Anatole observed Lady Philomena with an interest, not in the realm of courtly love, but the curiosity of one who spied a gasket near to breaking point. And with that, sympathy overcame him. She was rather a black sheep, and he wished not to see her paddocked this way.

When she took note of the two ladies dancing, his mouth hung agape at them. That attire was terribly bold, and he found himself less shocked than envious of such bravery. Momentarily distracted from Lady Muzuran, though he managed to reply, albeit too late, "From the sound of it, the servants are having quite a bit more fun than we." He was nervous about asking her to dance. For he wasn't exactly adept on his feet. But if it must come to it, he'd muster through. But for now hoped to delay...
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#53
As Miss Kempa offered her hand, Claudia smiled at her gratefully, and took it quite readily. For a moment, she was a little unsure who should lead. Surely Miss Kempa, as Romeo, would be the obvious leader, but she seemed mildly uncertain of the dance, which left it to Claudia. A moment of trepidation -this was not at all what she had come to Madswitte for, and dear Mama would have palpitations at the way Harriet was dressed- and Claudia began to lead them in a simple waltz, one suited to most tempos. "I must say, this feels rather odd," she admitted. "Not at all in a bad way, but I've never lead in a waltz before."
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