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Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:40 pm

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An eerie silence hung over the restaurant, it was one of those rare moments when the orchestra was not the strains of the Ice-cream Sailor waltz discourses.

"Did I ever tell you," asked Clovis of his friend, "the tragedy of the music during dinner?

"It was a gala evening at the Grand Sybaris Hotel, and a special dinner was served in the dining room Amethyst. The Amethyst dining room was almost a European reputation, especially that part of Europe, which historically has identified with the Jordan Valley. kitchen was impeccable, and his orchestra was sufficiently highly salaried to be above criticism. Thither came into school the intensely musical and the almost intensely musical, very much, and still greater numbers the merely musical, who know how Tchaikovsky's name is pronounced and may recognize some of Chopin if you give them due warning, eating in the nervous, detached manner of Roebuck feeding in the open, and keep anxious ears cocked towards the orchestra for the first hint of a recognizable melody.

"" Oh yes, Pagliacci, 'they murmur, like the opening strains follow hot soup, and if no contradiction is forthcoming from a more informed quarter they break back into subdued humming by way of supplementing the efforts of the musicians. Sometimes the melody starts on level terms with the soup, in which case the Banqueting plotting a way to hum between the spoons, the expression of enthusiasts who interrupting potage St. Germain with Pagliacci is not pretty, but it should be seen by those who are bent on compliance with all aspects of life. One can not discount the unpleasant things of this world only by looking the other way.

"Besides the species mentioned in the restaurant was visited by a fair sprinkling of the absolutely non-musical, their presence in the dining room can only be explained on the assumption that they had come there to dine.

"The earlier stages of the dinner was off. The wine list was consulted by some with the blank embarrassment of a school-boy suddenly called to a minor prophet found in the tangled hinterland of the Old Testament, by others with strict controls, suggesting that they have visited most of the higher-priced wines in their own homes and probed their family weaknesses. The diners choose their wine in the latter fashion always gave their orders in a penetrating voice, with an extensive set Stage directions. By insisting on having your bottle pointing north when the cork is pulled, and called the waiter Max, you can induce an impression on your guests which hours of heavy proud to be powerless to achieve . For this purpose, but guests must be chosen carefully as the wine.

"Standing apart from the revelers in the shade of a massive pillar was an interested spectator who was sure of the party, and yet not. Monsieur Aristide Saucourt was the chief of the Grand Hotel Sybaris, and if he had an equal in his profession he had never accepted fact in his own domain he was a potentate, hedged around with the cold brutality that Genius expects rather than excuses in her children. he never forgave, and those who served him were careful that there should be few. forgive In the outer world, the world that his creations devoured, he was an influence, how deep or how shallow an influence he has never tried to guess it is the punishment and the protection of the genius that they themselves calculated by Troy weight in a . world that measures by vulgar cwts.

Once in a way the great man would be seized with a desire to effect his master's efforts to look like the leading brains of Krupp would want at a supreme moment to penetrate the line of fire of an artillery duel . And such an opportunity was present. For the first time in the history of the Grand Sybaris Hotel, he presents to his guests the dish he had brought to the pitch of perfection which almost amounts to scandal. Canetons a la mode d'Amel. In thin gilt lettering on the creamy white of the menu, how little those words conveyed to the bulk of the imperfectly educated diners. And yet how much specialized effort was richly, how much carefully treasured lore had ungarnered before those six words could be written. In the Deux-Sèvres ducklings had lived peculiar and beautiful lives and died in the odor of saturation on the main theme of the dish to be provided, mushrooms, even a purist for Saxon English would have hesitated to tackle like mushrooms, had contributed their languorous atrophied bodies to the garnishing, and a sauce devised in the twilight reign of the Fifteenth Louis had been summoned back from the imperishable past to take part in the wonderful confection. Until now, human effort, working to achieve the desired result, the rest was left to human genius - the genius of Aristide Saucourt.

"And now the moment had arrived for the service of the dish, the dish, the world weary Grand Dukes and the money market obsessed magnaten considered their finest memories. And at the same time something else happened. The leader of the very salaried orchestra placed his violin to his chin affectionately, dropped his eyelids, and floated in a sea of ​​melody.

"" Hark! " said most of the dinners, "he plays" The Rosary. "

"They knew it was" The Rosary "because they had heard played by lunch and afternoon tea, and at dinner the night before, and had not had time to forget.

"Yes, he plays" The Rosary, "" they reassured each other. The overall vote was unanimous on the subject. The orchestra had already played it eleven times that day, four times the wish and seven times from force of habit, but the familiar strains were greeted with the absorption due to a revelation. A murmur of much humming rose from half the tables in the room, and some of the more overwrought listeners down fork and knife in order to burst into loud clapping at the earliest permissible moment.

"And the Canetons a la mode d'Ambleve? In sedated, nauseous wonder Aristide watched them cold to grow in total neglect, or suffer the almost worse humiliation of perfunctory pecking and listless munching while Banquet lavished their approval and applause on the music-makers. Calves' liver and bacon with parsley sauce, could hardly libelous have invented entertainment of the evening. And as the master of culinary art leaned back against the sheltering pillar, choking with a horrible brain-searing rage they have no way to find her agony, the orchestra leader bow his acknowledgments of the hand-clapping in a storm rose around him. What his colleagues he nodded the signal for an encore. But before the violin was again lifted in position was emerged from the shadow of the pillar an explosive negative.

"" Noh! Noh! You do not play thot again! "

"The musician turned in furious astonishment. Was he warning from the look in the eyes of the other man that he would have acted differently. But the admiring applause was ringing in his ears, and he snapped sharply," That's for me to to decide. "

"" Noh! You Thoth play ever again, "cried the head cook, and the next moment he threw himself violently on the hated creature that he had repressed in respect of the world. A large metal tureen, filled to the brim with steaming soup was just a side table in readiness for a late party of diners, before the waiting staff or the guests had time to realize what was happening, had Aristide dragged his struggling victim to the table and stuck his head deep into the almost boiling contents of the terrine. At the further end of the room the diners were still spasmodically applauding in view of an encore.

"Whether the leader of the orchestra died from drowning by soup, or the shock of his professional vanity, or was scalded to death, the doctors were never quite able to accept. Saucourt Monsieur Aristide, who now lives in complete retirement, always inclined to the drowning theory. "

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Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:45 am

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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:03 pm
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nice



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