The Magic Toyshop
Simon & Schuster: 1967. First edition. Hardcover in a jacket. Near fine. A single pen stroke perpendicularly marks the bottom edge of the text block.
"And am I as beautiful as that? she thought, startled, under the pearls and flowers.
She opened her mother's wardrobe and inspected herself in the long mirror. She was still a beautiful girl. She went back to her own room and looked at herself again in her own mirror to see if that said different, but again, she was beautiful. Moonlight, white satin, roses. A bride. Whose bride? But she was, tonight, sufficient for herself in her own glory and did not need a groom.
'Look at me!' she said to the apple tree as it fattened its placid fruit in the country silence of the night.
'Look at me!' she cried passionately to the pumpkin moon, as it smiled, jovial and round-faced as a child's idea of itself.
A fresh little grass-scented wind blew through the open window and stroked her neck, stirring her hair. Under the moon, the country spread out like a foreign and enchanted land, where the corn was orient and immortal wheat, neither sown nor reaped, terra inciognita, untrodden by the foot of man, untouched by his hand. Virgin.
I shall go down into the garden. Into the night."