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From Nineteen Hundred my Victorian short story.
Kathryn has just met the new boarder, Mr. Thomas, and given him the benefit of the doubt for his evasive answer about his profession. After dinner she, Mr. Thomas and two others play a game of Whist waiting for midnight and the start of the new century.
At midnight the bells from the church situated behind the house struck twelve.
As the last peal faded, a fireworks display lit up the sky. The group crowded around the window to “ooh” and “aah” at the colorful patterns.
When it ended, Mrs. Hodgson proclaimed, “Well now that was the best showing in years. I expect that the auspiciousness of the occasion is the reason.”
At that, the new epoch officially began and everyone in the room, including the three gentlemen who had returned, shook hands and congratulated one another, as if they all had been personally responsible for the commencement of a new century
When Mr. Thomas wished Kathryn a Happy New Year, the warmth from her hand in his crept up her arm and spread throughout her body.
She felt like a piece of toasted bread; she did not find the sensation disagreeable.