even when she was quite old. A short time before she died
she was in Venice with my mother, her daughter, and one day
floating up some canal in their gondola, they saw a little
palazzo of pink marble, and my mother said," I don't believe anyone
lives there, what about trying to see the inside?""
"So they rang the bell, and an old servant came and said
that no one had lived there for years, and he would show it to
them if they liked. So they went in and upstairs to a salon which had
three windows looking over the canal and which was
decorated with fifteenth century plasterwork, white on a pale
blue background. It was a perfect room. My grandmother seemed
strangely moved and stood for a long time in silence. At last she said
to my mother,"If in the third drawer of that bureau there
is a filigree box containing a small gold key on a black velvet
ribbon, the house belongs to me.""
"And my mother looked, and there it was, and it did..."
(Nancy Mitford:The Pursuit of Love)