4oo The Book of Indoor and Outdoor Games
In the centre of the round dining-table was erected a May-pole—in private life it did duty as a mop-handle— wound with pale-green and white ribbons. At its base it was fitted into a block of wood, concealed with green moss, banked up with masses of primroses—pink and white. At the apex were two pennon-shaped flags (one white, one pink), and a foot below was a wreath of white flowers. The invisible support for the wreath was an embroidery frame (a foot in diameter) attached to the pole by stout gilt wires, like the spokes of a wheel to the hub. From each of these spokes hung a rope of flowers, which, sagging a little before falling over the edge of the table, did not intercept the view of one's opposite neighbours at table.
"Ropes of flowers" sounds affluent, but they were of home manufacture, composed of white stock-gillies and the dainty white bells of the deutzia, wound with short lengths of florists' wire about cotton ropes. The flowers are the least costly of their lovely race.
These, with the wreath, were kept in water until within an hour of serving luncheon.
At each cover was a "May-basket," made of straws faid log-cabin fashion, tied with ribbons and filled with arbutus. For more permanent souvenirs of the occasion there were twigs upon which cherry and peach, plum, and pear blossoms bloomed most naturally—evidence of deft Japanese fingers. The name-cards were tied to these, and upon their under side these words: "Ho! the merrie first of Maie Brings the daunce and blossoms gaie To make of lyfe a holiday !"
The menu was as spring-like in its way as the decorations. The first course was of strawberries, served with their hulls on, in tiny flower-pots lined with their