Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 3, September, 1999 Page: 165
The Writings of Fannie Amelia Dickson Darden
what would be called a handsome man. He was
broad and square built, but possessing the most
genial and laughter-loving face imaginable.
We did not dress for the ball until after
our arrival. My dress consisted of an elegant
crimson damask silk, made low off the shoul-
ders, with large puffed sleeves, reaching nearly
to the elbow, edged with a deep flounce of edged
lace. I had feather cushions inside of them to
make them stand out. A white ribbon rosette with
long, streaming ends drooped from my left shoul-
der. My hair was done up in the fashion of the
day, the chignon at the back held firm by a high
elaborately carved tortoise shell comb. My front
hair was parted in the middle, with curls on each
side. The skirt of my dress was narrow, and just
long enough not to hide what was then called a
very pretty foot, encased in delicate slippers.
Long agate ear-drops hung from my ears and
nearly touched my shoulders. A long, massive
gold chain, with locket attached, wound twice
around my neck, and hanging to my waist,
complimented my attire. I have been thus par-
ticular in describing my dress in order to give
you an idea of the fashions in those days, which
I considered far more beautiful than the present
fashions, with its little dress cap bonnets and
Grecian benders. Ah! a bonnet was the work of
artistic skill in those days and a pretty face looked
doubly pretty when set in an elegant frame work
of silks, laces and flowers.
Clara's dress was simplicity itself. It
consisted of a plain white silk, with no ornaments
save a few natural flowers, while the light brown
hair hung in most exquisite natural ringlets to her
waist. On this night she was surpassingly beau-
tiful, and as I looked at her the thought of Bowie's
indifference struck me with indignation. How
unnatural, I thought, that he should be so devoted
a worshipper at the shrine of liberty who will no
doubt desert him when her work is accomplished,
when here is one endowed with all the sweet
attributes with which Beauty and Love have
been able to invest her-one who is willing to be
his companion, nay, his almost adoring slave,
through the vicissitudes of life-and he has no
responsive feeling-no loving word for her. Cold!
selfish! but even as these words passes my lips,
conscience reproached me, for I knew he had
not the faintest suspicions of the emotions which
love had awakened for him.
Most of the guests were assembled when
we entered the ball room, and I flattered myself
that either my presence or fashionable attire had
made a decided impression, as there was a
hushed silence during the few minutes that we
traversed the room. To this day it seems to me
that it was an unusually delightful ball. There was
a novelty in the whole affair that gave it peculiar
zest, and I remember that I danced with more
than usual sprightliness.
Bowie was not there when we first en-
tered, and I noticed that Clara seemed sad and
abstracted until his arrival; when her whole man-
nz; changed, and from that time she surprised
me by what appeared an unnatural gaiety and
exuberance of spirits. I noticed that Bowie was
more attentive than usual, and there was a depth
of feeling in his face and a light in the expression
of his eyes that I had never seen in him before.
Can it be? I thought to myself, that the enthusi-
astic patriot, Bowie, has at last had his eyes
opened to the work of the blind little god? and if
so, have one of those fatal little shafts in his own
heart been the means of his awakening?
Running along the front of the house was
one of those usual appendages to Texas houses-
a gallery, or piazza, as it is sometimes called.
Majestic oaks spread their shadowy branches
over and before it; through which the moon shed
its golden, shimmering light, and although the
season was winter, it was one of those delight-
fully warm evenings which summer sometimes
sends to remind us of her in order that she may
not be forgotten. This long gallery was used as a
promenade by those who were fatigued with
dancing and I observed that Bowie and Clara
were there. The ball room had charms enough
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 3, September, 1999, periodical, September 1999; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151407/m1/37/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.