Puslapio vaizdai

The broad stone arch of the lodge spans a brook of ice, and on the opposite side, in front of the keep, stands a police-guard. Past the gates the road ascends steeply for about half a mile through uncultivated woodland, then comes a level stretch past the race-track, and a few yards farther one gets a view of many cottages set against, and others topping, higher hills. Then the road makes a bend, descends a little, and skirts the edge of the lake. As the sleighs turn the bend, two ice-boats come skimming near, and at the same time one catches sight of the north end of the lake, where a fringe of skaters move like tiny, black specks. A few moments afterward the sleighs draw up in front of the club-house. Many of the new-arrivals go up the steps to the wide, glass-inclosed verandas and

through swinging-doors into the big hall, Drawn by Vernon Howe Bailey

some to make arrangements about luncheon, some to change town coats for sweaters, a few to see about rooms for the night.

But the younger people make straight for back, but still outside, are dwellings, the log-cabin down at the edge of the lake, most of them rather better than those and as quickly as clamps and buckles can found in the average American village; be fastened, become a part of the kaleidobut all the land is owned by the Tuxedo scope on the ice. A little later one gets a Association.

faint echo of screams and laughter as a


toboggan turns over out on the ice a quarter of a mile away. Other groups, not caring for skating, trudge up Tower Hill, dragging bob-sleds or small flexibles for the long coast from the top to the ice-house down at the edge of the little lake, back of the club, and below the fish-hatcheries.

A bird's-eye view of Tuxedo would certainly be of ceaselessly moving human particles: slow ones trudging up the hills dragging sleds; the same ones shooting down again; others darting down the wood paths on skees; others in sleighs, jingling along the lake road, a few on little sleds hitching behind ; dozens whizzing down the toboggan-slide, skating back to the lake's edge, up the toboggan-scaffold, down the slide, and half-way across the lake again.

At half-past one every one appears in the club dining-room; that is, every one who is not lunching at the cottages. After luncheon there is usually a court-tennis or racket match in the tennis building, which a number of people like to watch; otherwise the afternoon is a repetition of the morning.

At five o'clock the club hall is crowded. Girls and boys are standing before the fivefoot logs in the big fireplace or sitting on long, leather sofas drawn out at right angles on each side. The older people prefer duplicate leather sofas, but at cooler distances, against the walls, and every group has a teatable as its center of interest. A few last stragglers, caring more for sport than for tea, arrive as the horn blows for the passengers leaving on the six-o'clock train.

Those left in the club after tea go up to their rooms or to their cottages, the former to rest, perhaps, before dressing for dinner at the homes of the latter.

Occasionally there have been open winters, when the lake has not frozen and the roads have been mud, and when there has been nothing to do but

wade about in rubber boots; but during six winters out of seven all of the traps go on runners the first of December, and sleighing continues without a thaw until the middle of March.

Usually Tuxedo life in winter is a series of weekly circles, of quiet outdoor and domestic pursuits, with Sunday to mark the end of each week with a touch of vivid color. A few of the visitors begin to arrive on Friday evenings, a few more on Saturdays, but the real crowd comes on Sunday or a holiday only for the day.

In March the end of the skating is followed by a period of uneventful domesticity; but by the middle of April, when the woods give their first signs of summer promise, the conversation which used to be of ice and skating, is now of gardens. “The tulips are all up in our borders," “The scilla has been blooming on our terrace for weeks.” The strangers, however, do not arrive until May. Then each day, in through the gates pour trunks, crates, and boxes of incoming spring or summer cottagers, while out through the gates go a duplicate procession-the goods and chattels of departing winter householders. I believe that nowhere else in the world is there a quadruple “season.” Many per


Drawn by Vernon Howe Bailey


Drawn by Version Howe Bailey


sons rent Tuxedo houses for spring or tagers and their visitors sit on hard, autumn, others for the summer only, wooden chairs, in limp muslin and limper others for the winter months.

feathers. Why does it always rain during By June 1, the summer season is in full horse-shows? swing. The center of social life now re- The next event in the Tuxedo year is volves about the tennis-courts. The bath- Fourth of July. On this day the park is ing-beach also has its hour every day when thrown wide open to the villagers and children duck and splash and swim-or their friends. The celebration begins with small ones pretend to be ducks and pre- trotting-races, the horses being cheered on tend to swim. There may be found a to utmost endeavor by the strains of the water-chute, a raft or two, and the usual local band until one o'clock, when every number of anxious mothers of very young one adjourns to the lawn in front of the children who do not want to go in or can- children's annex of the club-house. A not be made to come out.

huge collation is given to all who care to When the five-o'clock train comes in, come. Afternoon is one continuous march the men go to the tennis courts for a game, of festivities, the firemen's parade, pofollowed by a swim in the outdoor pool licemen's parade, Fourth of July address (a different place from the bathing-beach) by a local political celebrity, and athletic or a plunge, with a rub-down, in the contests by the various employees. In the Turkish baths. In the evenings, especially evening the band and fireworks uphold through the month of June, dinners are tradition. given by the various cottagers every night The Fourth being a "domestic" day, as in the week. The height of the spring it were, there are not many strangers in season is marked at Tuxedo, as in many Tuxedo. The time when Tuxedo welother places, by a horse-show, where cot- comes strangers, her best foot forward and with a company smile, looking not at all supposition. Tuxedo people are indifferher usual self, is at the annual autumn ent to strangers, but no more so than any ball. At this the débutantes of the com- Northern or Eastern community. There ing New York winter make their first was a time, when the place was very small, appearance, and every train brings a veri- when outsiders must have found Tuxedo table swarm of people, more than half of inhospitable. Though there is little change whom are strangers. By tea-time the hall in this respect to-day, there is this differof the club is wedged so full of tables that ence: it does not matter nowadays whether not even a fashion-plate figure could John Smith and his family, taking a cotsqueeze between.

Girls and boys, girls tage for the summer or for the winter, and boys, are everywhere.

know any one in the “A” group of peoThe ball is a crush (three rows of co- ple or not. If they do not know any tillion-chairs), and in the following two one in the “C” group, they surely will days Tuxedo's usual population is trebled. know, and like, some of the “D's" or After the ball Tuxedo settles down for “B’s." the winter season. Those who have taken In other words, it is just like any other houses arrive, and the circle of the year is place. People of wide social acquaintance made. During the Christmas and New- find themselves among friends wherever Year holidays the club is again crowded; they may go; people of limited acquainbut this is Tuxedo's own holiday. The tance must seek to make new friends in New-Year's ball is a very informal affair, every new place, and those of this latter where half of the boys and girls go coast- class, if they are clean and well-mannered, ing, and the musicians play to an almost simple and decent, or whatever may stand empty room.

for a definition of “gentle folk," will find There is a fixed idea in the mind of the congenial friends in Tuxedo as readily as general public that Tuxedo is inhabited anywhere else. It is no longer a closed by a stiff-necked, snobbish, and equally community to the general public; a man, gay set of people, whose chief fear is that not a member of the club, may rent a some one from the outside may evade the house for a season, and during that season ceaseless vigilance of the guard at its gates be accorded the privileges of the club withand enter the citadel.

out becoming a member. At the end of a There is a certain foundation for this year, if the householder wishes to stay on

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longer, it is customary to join the club - if he can.

Some people have called Tuxedo a social half-way house to Newport. This is a great mistake. The social climber would, I think, make much better headway in Newport than in Tuxedo. Old Tuxedoites are very conservative. Unlike the Newporters (I am now speaking of the Newport so-called "smart set"), Tuxedo people are not living from excitement to excitement. The fact that some one can and will give marvelous entertainments does not interest them in the least. Newport loves to be entertained; Tuxedo does not care a bit. The men who go to Newport and Bar Harbor run up for a holiday, and are not only ready, but eager, to do things all day long. Tuxedo men are hard-working business

who take a 7:40 or an 8:15 train

every morning of the week.

As for the sophistication of grown girls and young men: a visitor, driving the other day through the woods, found a horse and runabout belong. ing to an engaged girl

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