Miriam was led into the studio proper and seated in a high-backed Craftsman chair. But this was no ordinary chair, and the thought came home to her with the force of revelation—this was a Frank Lloyd Wright chair. She was sitting in a Frank Lloyd Wright chair, a masterpiece designed by the Master himself! There was genius here, genius invested in the design that lent verticality to the horizontal lines of the room, in the cut and mold and finish of the wood. In the decor, the walls, the rugs, the hangings. It was as if she’d been ushered into the salon of Des Esseintes himself.

The assistant—he had the face of an acolyte, stooped shoulders, pursed lips, mole-colored hair swept across his brow—had pulled out the chair for her as if performing some holy rite. He’d offered to take her cape, but she’d declined.

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