Love Stories. A Secret Place by Dewey Edward Chester… The glass was transparent, reflecting the room’s mahogany sleigh bed.
A Secret Place.
On top of a gate-leg table, a crystal paperweight gleamed out of half darkness. The glass was transparent, reflecting the room’s mahogany sleigh bed; the gate leg table, and a Grandfather clock that was standing in a corner.
Her life had become a part of the sequestered world of this crystal, with Rosemary coral at its heart.
She lit a fire in the hearth and set a pan of water on to boil. She held a bag of coffee and turned to look at the clock’s face that told her Lover would be coming at nine.
Folly, folly, her heart kept saying: conscious, gratuitous folly! Of all the crimes a woman could commit, this one was scandalous.
The idea of a secret place first floated through her mind the night she arrived and stopped in front of a store. Inside, she bought the paperweight now resting on the table. The elderly Mr. Brown made no difficulty about renting his extra room in the attic above; he was glad to receive her money.
He was not shocked that she wanted the room for a rendezvous and spoke in generalities, with so delicate an air as to give the impression he was invisible.
Everyone needed a place where they could share Love, Mr. Brown told her…. and when they found that place, it was common courtesy for those who knew of it to keep the knowledge to themselves.
Mr. Brown nearly faded from sight, adding that there were two entries to her secret room: one through the back courtyard.
She peeked out the window when she heard someone singing a song, and discovered the bright cobblestone, below. A monstrous Black woman, solid as a cast iron pillar, with brawny, black forearms and wearing a sacking apron, was stumping back and forth between a washtub and clothesline, pegging out a series of clean white diapers.
Whenever the woman’s mouth was not corked with pegs, she sang out in a powerful contralto:
“A place in thy memory, Dear One,
Is all that I claim,
To pause and look back when thou
The sound of my name—-!”