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Richard Dehan

The Villa Of The Peacock, And Other Stories

It stands in a fashionable suburb of the gayest and prettiest watering-place in all the Kingdom of Donda, San Silvestro on the Bahia, close to the northern frontier. Of cream-white stone, quaintly designed and beautifully built, its high-pitched roofs sheathed with the deep chocolate-brown tiles of Donda North-West, its shutters, casements, balconies, doors, verandahs, enamelled lizard-green, the sumptuous villa standing in carefully-tended grounds full of palms and tree-ferns, mimosa, syringa, magnolia, and the white-blossomed acacia, Persian lilac and jasmine, white, pink and yellow, embowered in its thickets of roses, its verdant lawns adorned with beds of seasonable flowers, seemed a fit setting for a mistress as handsome as the sardinemerchant's wife. On the level of the drawing-room balcony between the long windows, a ten-foot high plaque of magnificent majolica representing a peacock in all the glory of his displayed plumage had been built into the wall.

The peacock has gone, leaving a long scar upon the masonry.
257 printed pages

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