598 The Book of Indoor and Outdoor Games
The drawing-rooms were lavishly decorated with yellow paper chrysanthemums and China asters, and every opportunity to introduce the note of yellow taken advantage of in all the decorations and furnishings.
The host and the hostess, arrayed in the loose garments of large and striking pattern peculiar to the Flowery Kingdom, received their guests under a large Chinese umbrella of kaleidoscopic hues, suspended from the ceiling, at one end of the drawing-room. The handle had been removed and paper lanterns all lighted hung from the end of every rib.
All the other lights were veiled by yellow paper shades.
In different parts of the house Chinese incense was burning, and the music was so oriental in character, with the tom-tom rhythmically beating the time, that one felt very remote from the land of one's every-day experience.
The novelty of the surroundings contributed to the feeling of being agreeably entertained, though, beyond the music and conversation, no further effort was made.
The centrepiece on the supper-table was a Chinese pagoda standing on a mound of flowers. I learned subsequently that it was formed of copper wire bent into shape covered thickly with paper frills that looked like tiny flowers. At each point and projection a miniature paper lantern was hung, each with its light. The main dishes were of Chinese ware, and certain dainties, palatable to the Mongolian taste, were served by way of curiosity, having been procured from the shops that import foreign edibles. All were supplied with chop-sticks, and amused themselves by trying to master the difficulties of their manipulation.