HOME PLAYS FOR LITTLE PEOPLE 11
The Mysterious House
There was a black box, I remember, standing on another box, with domino steps. It needed a door, and we made it a door of ivory with the double blank of the dominoes, and a portico of three small cylinders of rolled paper—two for pillars and one to lie on the top of the pillars and complete the portico. You have no idea how fine the whole thing looked —like a strong little house of ebony and ivory—a little somber in appearance perhaps, and like a house that has a secret to keep, but quite fine.
The palm-trees we made out of pieces of larch and yew, fastened by plasticine to the tops of elder twigs—and elder twigs have a graceful carriage, not too upright and yet not drooping. They look very like the trunks of tropical trees. But if you have not elders and larches and yew trees to command, you can make trees for your city in other ways. For little trees in tubs we had southernwood stuck in cotton reels —these make enchanting tubs, and there are a good many different shapes, so that your flower tubs are pleasantly varied.
Searching for Materials
You wander round the house seeking beautiful things which look like other beautiful things. It is best when the owner of the house is an enthusiastic member of the building party; then she will grudge nothing.
In the living-room you will find silver candlesticks and a silver inkstand. The candlesticks are like pillars. Put the inkstand across the pillars and you have a gateway of unexampled splendor. If there be a silver-backed blotting-book, take it. It will make the great door of your greatest temple. Silver bowls should not be passed by, nor bronzes. A vase of Japanese bronze set up between two ebony elephants crowns a flat pillared building with splendor. There may be Chinese dragons or Egyptian gods that have lain a thousand years safe in their bronze amid the sands of the desert, cast aside by the foot of the camel, unseen in the shadow of the tent, and now