The Time Heiress

The Time Heiress by Georgina Young- Ellis Read Free Book Online

Book: The Time Heiress by Georgina Young- Ellis Read Free Book Online
Authors: Georgina Young- Ellis
else to say, and looked out the window as the coach jolted and bounced along the cobblestone roads. It was dark—the streets lit only by an occasional gas lamp, and few other vehicles passed them now that they were off the avenue. Dim candlelight shone from the windows of the homes lining the streets of the residential neighborhood they were passing through. She was grateful that the novelty of the sites kept Evie quiet for the time being. She needed to gather her wits about her.
    Soon the carriage turned left onto Fifth Avenue, where the houses loomed grand and opulent. Theimposing brownstone buildings, three and four stories high, were all similar in style, some ornamented tastelessly with statues and gargoyles, great wrought-iron gates of complex design guarding their entrances. Others were somber, the tall front windows swathed from within with heavy drapes; no glimpse was allowed into this world. The smoke that curled from their chimneys gave a mere hint at the lives of the privileged occupants. Cassandra imagined a woman of her own age, curled up on a divan, reading a selection from her vast library, or perhaps, locked in some inner struggle with the boredom and uselessness of her life, pacing in her parlor, waiting for the return of her husband who had left her neglected as he enjoyed a night of billiards with—
    “Oh look!” Evie called out as she pointed to a handsome home. Cassandra craned to look while the coach turned right onto the more modest Waverly Place.
    Within moments they were pulling up in front of a gray, stone building, two lamps flanking the entrance, an iron fence enclosing a thin strip of flower garden where newly emerged tulips slept, waiting to bloom. A wooden, painted sign over the arched front doors proclaimed DYLAN HOTEL . The coachmen leapt down and opened the carriage door. Once the ladies emerged, he pulled down their luggage, and Cassandra fished money out of her bag.
    “How much, sir?”
    “Twenty-five cents, please.”
    Practiced in handling the money, Cassandra quickly extracted the coin, plus an extra nickel for a tip.
    “Thank y’ kindly, ma’am.” The driver took it and hurried into the hotel. Moments later he emerged with a bellman who snatched up the bags two at a time and carried them inside. They waited while he came out for the rest, then said goodnight to the coachman.
    The hotel entryway was quietly elegant. The floor was made up of green and white marble tiles. Candles in a chandelier burned above their heads, and a front desk of red mahogany reflected its light. Behind the desk stood a thin, elderly man, looking at the travelers expectantly. The bellman put their bags down near the desk and stared at the two women while the clerk addressed them.
    “How may I help you this evening, ladies?” His accent was refined.
    Cassandra spoke as Evie looked about at the surroundings. “We need a room for two, long term, possibly a month.”
    “We have the finest set of rooms in the hotel available,” he said brightly. “They are on the third floor, two bedrooms, a sitting room, a dining area, and a private bath. I think you will find them to your liking.” 
    “It sounds perfect,” said Cassandra with great relief. “We shall take it, at least for tonight. In the morning, may we confirm the length of our stay?”
    “Yes, of course.” He paused. “May I ask for the balance of the night’s stay in advance? It is ten dollars.”
    “Certainly,” she answered. She removed the money from the bag, securing in her hand a tip for the clerk and the bellman. She paid for the room, and the bellman started hauling the bags up the green marble staircase on their right.
    “Will you be requiring refreshment this evening, ma’am?”
    She looked at Evie, who nodded. “Yes, whatever you have will be fine. Something very light before bedtime.”
    “I shall have a bit of supper sent up immediately.”
    “Thank you so much.”
    “Thank you,” Evie said. They were the first words

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