Chapter 3 Summary

The ball following the opera is to be held at the Beaufort’s home, the most extravagant house in New York. The ballroom is a large room decorated with gilded chairs and crystal chandeliers. It remains closed during every other day of the year, and only on this one night does it come to life. As if to demonstrate the efficiency of their servants, the Beauforts always hold their annual ball on the night after the opera. They leave the opera only thirty minutes before the ball is to begin, in confidence that everything will be ready. Everyone knows they have a well-managed and very reliable staff.

There is speculation, however, as to the source of the Beauforts’s money. Mrs. Beaufort had been penniless when she...

(The entire section is 616 words.)