Anna Larson was working at the food stand on a calm Thursday morning
when she recieved a frantic phone call from Mrs. Suzanne Wickon. Suzanne was beside herself with panic, with the Masked
Ball only two days away. Between spurts of screaming and singing, (which were sometimes hard to tell apart) Suzanne
gave Anna a five-page list of fruits and vegetables.
"And I need those here at the Parkington's kitchen by this afternoon.
Absolutely no exceptions." She finished.
"But Mrs. Wickon, we don't have this much food! And I can't go
ask Mother Nature to restock, she's in a very bad mood. We've been having thunderstorms and bugs for the last two weeks
ever since she found out that Father Winter is moving in early." Anna answered, glancing nervously over her shoulder
at the raging river.
"I don't care about silly Mother Nature. You own the food stand, don't you? I just
ordered food. Your job is to bring it to me. Then I pay you. Understand?"
"Yes Mrs. Wickon," Anna
answered, and hung up the phone. She looked at her sisters who had just arrived to bring out the day's vegetables.
"We're going to need to get to work!" Anna announced.
Together, Anna, Kirsten and Britta slowly gathered
all five pages worth of vegetables. After weeding and trimming and fixing up their fields to make Mother Nature happy,
she finally agreed to supply them with the extra crops that they needed and they were able to stuff all of the food into grocery
Lugging two or three bags at a time, Anna slowly delivered all the food
to the Parkington's house where Mrs. Wickon had taken over the kitchen in preparation for her ball's large banquet.
time Anna knocked on the door, she heard either a squeel of glee over a delivery of shrimp or a growl about not recieving
quite enough tomatoes or turnips to complete a certain dish.
After collecting her payment for the many bags of groceries,
Anna hurried home to start working on her costume.
Meanwhile, Suzanne was still twirling and hurrying all over the Parkington's
kitchen, frantically putting together her menu for the banquet. Her ball is known all over Pleasantville as having the
largest, most lavish banquet of all the parties during the entire year.
She couldn't let down her reputation
and have less than five courses, so she had planned a large spread of dishes from around the world, although most of them
were her own Italian specialties.
As soon as she finished the food for the first course, she carried it all carefully
up to the Parkington's bathroom, where she stored it safely away from the rest of the house.
Closing the bathroom door, Suzanne started. She'd forgotten the
order to the printery! Hurrying downstairs, she grabbed the phone, screamed a number at Paul, and got herself connected
immediately to the Wilson Printery.
Suzanna answered the phone in her store, where she'd been trying on her new cat
costume for the Masked Ball. Smiling, she happily wrote down Suzanne's large order for five hundred raffle tickets,
fifty nametags, and fifty costume contest slips.
"That will be $700," she said, cheerfully, as she set her laptop and
started designing the simple costume slips.
"Thank you for being so professional," Suzanne said, sighing. "No
one is being professional these days, honestly. Could you get those to me this afternoon at the Parkington's house?"
course, Mrs. Wickon. That's no problem." Suzanna assured her.
Cristal (and Willow) are busy at work doing everyone's hair for the ball.
The Merrimans have been at the hair salon for several days already, since they all have to have curls and then intricate pearl,
flower and ribbonwork in their hairstyles.
Cristal giggles to herself every time a new customer walks in the door.
"More money for me!" She says, happily.
Next, Suzanne picked up the phone and called Violet's Clothes Boutique
to speak to Angelica Romanakov about her ballgown order.
"How is it coming along, darling? I do hope that you
are being competent and intelligent while working on my precious ballgown you know, because you usually aren't during everyday
"Yes, Mrs. Wickon." Angelica sighed, stitching yet another pearl onto the large, gathered purple skirt.
I do hope that you are following the instructions I gave you. Did you recieve all ten pages of drawings that I sent
"Yes, Mrs. Wickon."
"I'm surprised that you understood them, seeing as I've heard it from a good source
that you failed art in high school. Didn't you fail high school, actually?"
"Yes- I mean, NO Mrs. Wickon!
I'm still in school!" Angelica said, annoyed.
"Alright good. Well you'd better do this job properly or
you might just fail school anyway. I expect the dress to be delivered this afternoon. Goodbye. Beep!"
Suzanne hung up. All was going well.
Upstairs in the clothes boutique was where many masks are being manufactured.
Some of the old masks from last year are being touched up and improved, while completely new ones can be found drying
their glue in corners by windows, and pinned to pieces of newspaper to dry, covered in sparkles.
These masks will go
on sale in the dress shop soon so everyone can find their perfect costume for the masked ball.
"BOO!" Suzanna yelled at her reflection in her wardrobe mirror.
is a really good costume," she said, turning her head to admire her pointy black ears and then to see the side of her tail.
"I'm going to win that costume contest this year, I think. Doesn't it have a money prize?"
"Well, I think mine is pretty clever, I'm so glad you convinced me not
to go as a calculater...." Lisa mused, smoothing out her fluffy pink bathrobe. "Do you think anyone will understand
what I'm being?"
"You should add a sign around your neck that says "I'm not a morning person" and a coffee mug," said
"That's a great idea! ok!" Lisa giggled.
In the little apartment above Violet's Clothes Boutique, Angelica happily
jumped up onto her bed and turned around, modeling her authentic deerskin dress.
"How do I look?" She said, jumping
around in imitation of the shawl dance that Kaya taught her at Laura's birthday years ago.
"You look great,
Angelica! The mask makes you look evil, but that's ok. You'll just scare Mrs. Wickon even more." Said Alison,
appraising her outfit carefully.
"Oh good," giggled Angelica.
"I just hope everyone will be able to tell what we are," Megan said,
putting on her Chinese slippers and tightening the string on her red mask.
"Oh if they don't find out that i'm supposed
to be a scuba diver then I'll just dive into Mrs. Wickon's little pond and show them how it's done," Alison said, guffawing
loudly as she adjusted her inner tube.
"Costumes are so much fun," Megan laughed.
The Larsons pulled on their costumes inside their cabin, glancing at
the clock every now and then.
"We're going to be late!" Britta squeeled from her loft bed, where she was struggling
with her fairy wings since they kept getting stuck in her hair or on her pillow.
"Don't worry about it Britta, we'll
make it there with plenty of time to spare," Lara said, trying once again to pull Peder's green hat back up from where ti
kept falling around his pudgy neck. "Come on Peder, you can't be going to the Masked Ball as a pumpkin if you haven't
got a stem! You must keep your hat on."
"It's alright Lara, if he doesn't have a stem on him, you could always
just be his pumpkin vine," chortled Mr. Larson, observing Lara's costume of greenery.
"I'm SUPPOSED to be Mother Nature,
you know," she grumbled back.
After finally getting her wings on properly, Britta hurried down the
ladder into the main cabin and settled by the fireplace with her two sisters.
"Why are you two being princesses again?
That is so disgustingly boring." Britta sighed, dramatically.
"We've always been princesses!" Kirsten answered,
smiling at Anna. "Every year. We just wear different KINDS of princess costumes. Right, Anna?"
Meanwhile, in the Parkington's mansion, Rebecca is gazing at herself
in her mirror.
"What lovely wings!" She cried, turning from one side to the other to admire her wire wings.
would've guessed that those lace shawls could look so heavenly when used as wings. I must show Samantha."
Mrs. Wickon's preparation is still continueing in the kitchens, and she
has now bustled out of the house without even putting on her coat to place a large order at Clara's sweet shop.
would like 20 boxes of your finest chocolates, that entire candy machine full of candy, stacks and stacks of cream donuts
and as much candy corn as you can get me, please." She said, in what was clearly supposed to be a charming, polite voice,
but which came out as more of a scream.
"Yes Mrs. Wickon, and when do you need all of that?" Clara asked, unnecessarily.
GET TO IT!" She screamed.
Back at the mansion, Samantha had just finished putting on her long pink
princess gown and tying on her mask, so she started towards the bathroom to have a look at herself in the mirror and to brush
out her bangs.
However, her progress was impeded by a sea of fine cuisine spread out
over the entire bathroom floor.
"What is this?" Samantha cried, "The food is taking over the house!
Oh but that does look yummy...."
Upstairs, Elizabeth awoke from a lovely nap on her pink canopy bed to
find her bedroom floor completely taken over with food for the masked ball as well.
"Mmmmm turkey for my slippers,
green beans for my socks, what's wrong with the maids today?" Elizabeth mumbled, surveying the many steaming dishes
of good-smelling food.
Back from the sweet shop and dragging Clara's entire candy machine with
her, Suzanne started preparing the dessert courses, setting plate upon plate with fine arrangements of mints, candy corn,
donuts and chocolates.
"The kitchen is a MESS." Elsa grumbled, peeking in through the doors.
wouldn't worry about it yet, Elsa," Sunny said, coming to her side, "maybe we won't have to be involved at all. We can
By the time that Suzanne had completed the food, it covered not only
Elizabeth's bedroom floor and the bathroom floor, but several countertops and tables in the kitchen, including the stove and
the sideboard for the dining room.
Food dishes were labeled by course and by name, so Mrs. Hawkins could announce them
correctly when the banquet began.
"Now, maids. Come in here please. Since you are working for
ME at MY masked ball, I must insist that you all wear costumes to be consistent with the theme of the party. Take off
those maid uniforms and put these on. They are the leftover sheep costumes from Cristal's little sisters last year.
They'll do," Suzanne said, bustling into the room with two handfuls of white fluff and two black masks.
I'm not wearing that," Elsa said, a frantic look in her eyes as she halted in the act of untying her white apron.
yes you are!" Suzanne said gleefully. "Or else you're FIRED! Teeheehee!"
There was no other protest.
"Now, about you two, Mr. and Mrs. Hawkins." Suzanne rounded on
the two of them.
"We already have found costumes ma'am," Mrs. Hawkins answered, her head protruding from Elizabeth's
old table costume.
"Ah, very good! You will be very helpful in serving dishes of food with a costume like that,"
Mrs. Hawkins grunted in reply.
In the green parlour, poor Sonja was having a terrible time trying to
decide upon a good seating plan for the banquet.
Every time she got a certain group of people right, she realized
another set of people who would be offended or that should be included, or would realize that two people should not be seated
next to each other because of social status, bad manners, or a general history of misconduct.
"Oh what shall I do,"
she sighed, crossing out Celine Windmill's name for the seventh time and seating her next to Anders Larson rather than Francisca
Montoya or Pierre le Fox.
Finally, after many revisions and little screams of outrage and plenty
of running her fingers through her bangs in anxiety, she came up with a plan that could work for everybody.
best handwriting, she wrote out everyone's names on the placecards printed at the printery, and reserved places along the
long banquet table that was still awaiting place settings and tablecloths.
"Suzanne had better recognize me for all
of the hard work that i'm doing this year," Sonja whispered to herself, "for last year she didn't even mention me at
all and I was distraught."
After everything had been set up and she'd checked to make sure there
wasn't anything else she could do to help (there never was, anyway because Cristal and Suzanne always thought she wasn't old
enough to help with ANYTHING), Sonja took up a position in the Parkington's music room on the bay window seat to look out
the window for approaching guests or musicians.
The daylight slowly faded away as she watched activity on the streets
nearby, and activity in the house increased, as did the level of noise coming from the kitchens.
In the kitchen, Suzanne was informing Mrs. Hawkins of the last minute
details about every single dish, so she would be sure to announce it correctly during the banquet.
"And this is called
Tarte el Salmon," she said, indicating a dish next to her. Remember to say it tar-TAY, not tart. It's Italian."
"tarTAY el SALmon," Mrs. Hawkins repeated.
"NOT SALmon you idiot!" Suzanne trilled, "just say salmon
like you usually do, without the 'L.'"
"tart el salmon," Mrs. Hawkins tried again.
"tarTAY el salmon!"
"tarTAY el salmon," Mrs. Hawkins repeated, panicked.
"Good now try this one, the beautiful
tarta di cipolle e potate!"
It was time for the ball to begin. The orchestra had arrived and
had struck up some lively waltzes and party music out in the garden, and Mrs. Wickon was forced to leave a frantic Mrs. Hawkins
to her jobs in the kitchen and to join her husband in the garden to begin greeting the guests.
"Oh I'm so glad we found
you that costume, John," Suzanne commented, "It fits your personality so well."
"What am I supposed to be again?
A Scottish Highlander last year was wild enough." John grunted.
"Oh this year you're a circus clown." Suzanne
Cristal arrived first, in her beautiful black and white beaded gown that
she worked on tirelessly the entire month before the party, and waving a black and white fan which complimented her outfit
"I am determined to win "most beautiful" this year," she whispered to herself, floating in past Suzanne
and John and settling among the glittering trees.
Rebecca and Samantha Parkington arrived next, coming in through the front
garden after doubling back around their own house.
They were greeted by Cristal and stood smiling for several minutes
as she complimented them endlessly on their angel and princess costumes.
Cristal was especially complimentary about Rebecca Parkington's beautiful,
intricate hairstyle, which she herself had worked for several hours on during the daytime.
Teresa Berg came dressed as a bluebird, wearing a blue cloak attached
to her wrists so that she appeared to have wings when she raised and lowered her arms.
Her hair was done up in a small bun ringed with beautiful blue blossoms,
with loose curls hanging down from it around her shoulders, as was the fashion for younger girls.
help exclaiming over this hairstyle as well, another one of her own masterpieces.
Seeing the Parkingtons arrive, Sonja hurried out of her hiding place
in the music room window and arrived in style at the front garden gate where she curtsied deeply in front of Mr. and Mrs.
Wickon and floated into the garden after Cristal.
Hearing imaginary "oo"s and "ah"s, she gracefully walked around
the garden, smiling at the guests.
Katherine Purr arrived dressed up as a milkmaid, lugging a heavy wooden
bucket around with her everywhere to complete the outfit.
William and Pierre, inspired by their Latin studies, arrived dressed
as two Roman boys, although Pierre claimed to be Caesar with his wreath of laurels and his Egyptian neckband.
Kaya and Speaking Rain were dressed as John Henry and Johnny Appleseed,
traders and trappers.
Speaking Rain really liked her hammer, which was one of the only words she knew in English besides
When Laura showed up, even her own mother couldn't recognize her under
her shockingly fashionable clothes.
"Darling, who is that?" Suzanne whispered to Cristal as Laura walked
in, bowing low and covering her braided hair with the huge, wide-brimmed fashionable hat.
"I don't know darling, she could be from out of town. Isn't
that Samantha's day dress?" Cristal whispered back.
Laura giggled to herself and snuck into the back of the garden
to laugh out loud with Kaya and Speaking Rain about her excellent disguise.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Windmill was drawing quite a bit of attention
to her strange outfit.
"What are you supposed to be, Celine?" Mrs. Merriman whispered quietly to her sister.
well, I'm Miss New York of course! Do you like my hairdo?"
Mrs. Merriman glanced up at the popsicle sticks forming
the letters "N" and "Y."
"Ah, I see."
Lily turned around to see her nephew, Paul, nervously skirting
around some trees to try and get past her without her noticing.
"And since you are Miss New York, is Paul Mr. America?"
Mrs. Merriman pondered aloud.
"Yep!" Paul said, and scurried away to avoid more attention from the adults.
Heather Windmill proudly waltzed into the gardens sporting a gorgeous
pink ballgown and pink mask. She wondered why everyone whispered about her as she walked in, because it was such a beautiful
"Why is Heather Windmill wearing Suzanne's dress from last year?" Sonja hissed into Cristal's ear, "that is
so unfashionable to wear someone else's gown!"
But Heather, oblivious to the rules of fashion, kept on beaming and
feeling pretty as she went to go and find her friends, Megan and Alison.
Mei Mei arrived with a slight variation on last year's costume.
Last year she was Soy Sauce.
This year she has gone even farther and impersonated one of her other favorite seasonings
- Hoisin Sauce.
Elinor came as a tiger, sporting the handy tiger ears that she
picked up at Violet's Clothes Boutique.
Angelica's Indian costume was a hit.
Everyone there either
exclaimed over what a good idea it was, or ran away from her thinking that she was actually Kaya or one of Kaya's sisters.
"This is fun being an Indian!" Angelica thought to herself as Sonja, Cristal and Suzanne scurried away from her.
It had taken Alex way too long to figure out what to wear as a
She had finally grabbed herself a purple dress and thrown on a grape mask and called it a costume.
"Meow!" Suzanna said as she ducked through the front gate and greeted
Mr. and Mrs. Wickon.
"How are you this fine evening, Suzanna Wilson? Thank you ever so much for your speedy manufacturing
of my papers this afternoon. I hope you are well?"
"Meow, meow and... meow." Suzanna answered.
Right after Suzanna came Lisa, slumping along in her fluffy pink
slippers and bathrobe, looking very sleepy and tired.
"I am not a ... morning person..." read John Wickon slowly from
her sign as she walked by.
"What does - oh!" he chortled, slowly understanding what she meant.
When Alison arrived, everyone was so confused what she was, ("Is
she an alien? An astronaut? A skiier?") that she jumped right into the pond in the garden and started swimming around with
her flippers and snorkel.
"AhA! She's a fish!" said Mr. Larson happily.
Alison sighed. "Oh well, I guess maybe
they'll understand eventually."
After a very long time cooped up in her room by her tiny mirror,
Francisca finally emerged with a very beautiful hairstyle to match her handmade ballgown and red mask.
She had pulled
her hair to the side and then wound it up and through her hair in braids and curls and twists until her hair looked like a
Just like in her daydreams, she heard "oo"s and "aaah"s as she walked by, and felt her vanity puff up
to the size of a large calabaza.
Unlike Francisca, Josefina had been picking herbs and stocking
her storecupboard all the way up to the last few hours before the Masked Ball, so she had run down to Violet's Clothes Boutique,
and bought the last costume she could find that would match her dress- Mei-Mei's old Soy Sauce sign and mask.
Heather's costume was very easy to make, but made her look so beautiful
and mysterious that most people spent quite a bit of time wondering what she was supposed to be.
"I thought that I
would be a little mermaid," she said simply, smiling up at them as they asked.
Suddenly a loud noise came from outside the garden fence. It sounded
like someone sneezing with a bad head cold.
In through the gates came what looked like a llama in a dress.
Behind the llama and tied to it's forelegs and head, was Rebecca Montoya, moving her favorite pet ahead of her and taking
"This way llama can share the party with me!" She said to her shocked Mama, as she adjusted
the mask that stretched over both her head and Llama's.
Antonio's costume caused the entire party to turn and stare when he first
Juan was the first to fall to the ground laughing.
"You have dressed as a fat man!" He giggled,
pointing at his brother. "Now you will be rich!"
(It must be explained that Juan and Antonio have decided in
their absent-minded wonderings to each other that rich people are fat, because they can afford lots of food. This has
made it their lifelong goal to become fat and rich, so they can buy more food.)
"Si!" Antonio exclaimed, "So
now I will get lots of food!"
"And what are you being?" Antonio turned to his younger brother
and tried to look at his outfit over his fat belly.
"I have decided that I am Paul Revero!" Said Juan, once again
revealing his brilliance.
"I even have a saddle for Paul Revero's ride. The black belts are coming! The
black belts are coming!"
The Larsons arrived in their colorful costumes to general applause.
Even though Mrs. Larson continued to insist that she was supposed to be Mother Nature, everyone decided that it was much better
if she just pretended to be Peder's vine.
Everyone kept exclaiming over how cute and sweet Peder was in his
pumpkin costume, as he gooed and gurgled at all the attention.
Mr. Larson hid out of the spotligh under his large fox
mask, slightly embarassed to be at a large party in his pajamas.
Both Rachel and Felicity Merriman arrived, dressed very fashionably and
in beautiful ballgowns with masks. Rachel was dressed as bo peep, in the same costume that Sonja wore to the ball the
year before, something that Sonja was quick to notice and point out to everyone she could.
Felicity dressed as a woodfairy,
but wasn't entirely happy with her costume. "I look too much like a bandit," she complained to her mother.
you hadn't put off making your costume until the day before the ball we probably could have ordered you a mask from Williamsburg,"
Lily Merriman answered, scolding. "But as it is, I think you look alright for now."
Anna, Clara and Nan all grouped together under the sparkling trees to
giggle and talk. They all admired each other's costumes for a little while, but were more interested in investigating
the garden for the hidden top hat that Mrs. Wickon had mentioned would be the place to deposit ballots.
the top hat concealed in a bed of ivy near the far edge of the pond and then happily went off to find where the piano and
organ were set up for Nan to play.
Creme came dressed up as a sock hopper, and made her way through the
crowds to find her new friend, Nan.
Unfortunately she couldn't find her anywhere because she'd already gone
off to find the piano, so Creme contented herself listening to Suzanna and Lisa talk about income tax on groceries for a while.
Once all the guests had arrived and were gathered in the the garden,
Mrs. Wickon stood up to formally thank everyone for coming, and invited them to follow her in to the large banquet awaiting
She took Mr. Wickon's arm and together they swept through the lighted archway into the dining area.
Mr. Merriman held out his arm to Mrs. Merriman and she gracefully accepted it. Slowly, all of the guests made
their way into the other half of the garden, smelling wafts of seasonings and sauces on the wind in the cold night air.
"Alright everyone, the time is here," said Mrs. Hawkins, gathering her
maids into lines as if preparing her troups for battle.
"Don't you dare drop anything, and make sure that your white
costumes stay clean. Ask each and every person individually what they would like and how much, and always stay civil.
Elsa and Sunny hurried to their positions at the doorway to the kitchen and grabbed the first two dishes,
awaiting Mrs. Wickon's dinner bell and Mrs. Hawkins' announcement.
Click here to see all of the food served at this year's Masked Ball Banquet!
Outside in the garden at the head table, Mrs. Wickon reached in front
of her for her little golden bell. She rang it once, and Mrs. Hawkins announced the first course. The maids made
their way out into the garden and began serving the food.
"Who should I give the whole turkey to?" Elsa whispered
in Mrs. Wickon's ear. "JOHN of course! If he isn't happy the entire ball will be a disaster. Make sure to
feed him all of the best food."
As the dishes made their way around the long table, the guests looked
up in anticipation as each new delicious platter of food entered the dining area.
Each guest recieved a litte bit of
everything they asked for and tucked in to a lovely feast that suited every appetite.
"Master Fox, would you like some ham and gravy?" Elsa asked, leaning
over to Pierre's right side to serve him some.
"Miss Heather Windmill, would you care for some Shrimp Caponata?"
Sunny said, competing for announcement time.
"NO, I'm vegetarian, remember?" Heather said exasperatedly, for
the fifth time.
In all the loud talk and happy eating at the end of the table, no one
noticed Antonio taking handfuls of food and stuffing them down the neck of his shirt where he'd hidden a large clay pot
to keep food in amongst all the fluff.
He guffawed to himself as he stuffed a large bread roll and an entire
leg of chicken in without being noticed.
Between courses, everyone looked under their plates to find their voting
sheets for the costume contest.
Looking around them and up and down the table, they silently voted for their
favorites for "most beautiful," "most creative," "most funny," and "most cute."
The next course was introduced and everyone tucked their sheets back
down under their plates. This time everyone dug into delicious salads and pies.
"Make sure to give John plenty
of the shepherd's pie!" Mrs. Wickon hissed at Sunny as she walked by with it. "That is his favorite dish of all!"
Across the table from Juan who was still stuffing food down his shirt, Rebecca and
Llama were fighting to get to their food first. "Maybe this wasn't such a good idea," Rebecca grumbled, as Elsa gave
her more potatoes only to have them be eaten right away by a hungry llama.
Third course was served on time, and more and more food steamed and sizzled
as it was carried out into the dining area.
Between courses, they all got back out their voting sheets and tried
to decide on their favorite picks.
It was a very difficult choice, and for a lot of people it meant not hurting
anybody's feelings with it so it took a lot of consideration.
Finally, as everyone finished their voting sheets and folded them decisively
or with furtive looks out from their masks to make sure that no one had peeked at their ballots, the maids brought out the
tea and coffee and the desserts for them to munch on after their large meal.
Everyone was invited then to follow Mr. and Mrs. Wickon into the garden
again to begin th dancing.
Mrs. Merriman stayed at the table for a while to enjoy her cup of coffee and finish
her ballot, which she was having a hard time with. She wanted to give Rachel "most beautiful," but wasn't sure if that
would be considered biased since Rachel was her daughter and also a copy of her own good looks.
Before the dancing was to begin, Nan and Kirsten both stepped up to the
raised stage above the garden and played piano and violin versions of the famous Bach fugue that is heard so often around
They were applauded loudly and appreciatively and took many bows.
As they left the
stage, the orchestra entered and set up, striking up a jolly waltz for the dancing to begin.
Everyone took turns dancing jigs, reels, tangos, waltzes and salsas,
dancing with chosen partners and random ones, going along with whatever type of dance the orchestra decided to play for them.
and Peder turned around the corner in the mix-up dance and found each other to dance with! Since they were partners
at the beginning of the dance, they recieved a prize for meeting up again.
"Hooray!" Anna said, as she curtsied
to Peder and then helped him wobble around in an imitation of the polka they were supposed to be performing.
After the dancing, it was time to announce the contest winners.
The winner of "most funny" went to Antonio Valasquez, who couldn't believe his ears.
"YOU SEE, JUAN?!" He exclaimed,
waving the $100 check in the air, "FAT PEOPLE ARE RICH!"
"'Tonio you are right, you are right!"
For most beautiful, there was a tie between the glamorous Miss Cristal
Purr and the gorgeous Miss Francisca Montoya, who both gracefully took the praise, applause and money that was offered them
as they showed off their dresses to an admiring crowd.
The "most creative" prize went to Elizabeth Cole for the second year
in a row for her disguise as a lamppost, and the "most cute" prize went to Peder Larson... no surprises there.
it was time for John to announce the winner of the raffle for $1200. Taking another one of his top hats full of raffle
tickets purchased by everyone at the ball, he shook it well, and pulled out a random ticket.
he read aloud, slowly and clearly.
"Oh my!" Samantha, exclaimed, going very red. "Why thank you ever so
much! I will assure you that this shall go to good use!"
After all the prizes were given out, everyone started to head for the
garden gates and gathering up their cloaks and hats to make their way home, each stopping by Mr. and Mrs. Wickon to thank
them for the beautiful ball and the delicious banquet.
Then they all trailed off into the darkness towards their various
homes or carriages, waving to each other and humming waltzes and jigs as they went.
After all the guests have left, Cristal and Suzanne turn to each other
and sigh heavily.
"Well it's all over," Suzanne said wistfully to Cristal, taking off her mask and looking around the
deserted, twinkling garden.
"Yes dear, but it was immensely successful, you know that. It'll be the talk of the
town now!" Cristal reassured her.
And together they turned and left the garden to the maids and Mr. Hawkins to
pick up and headed home to their comfortable beds.