Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle
Part 5, Chapter 1 (annotations forthcoming)

I, Van Veen, salute you, life, Ada Veen, Dr. Lagosse, Stepan
Nootkin, Violet Knox, Ronald Oranger. Today is my ninety-
seventh birthday, and I hear from my wonderful new Everyrest
chair a spade scrape and footsteps in the snow-sparkling
567.05 garden, and my old Russian valet, who is deafer than he thinks,
pullout and push in nose-ringed drawers in the dressing room.
This Part Five is not meant as an epilogue; it is the true intro-
duction of my ninety-seven percent true, and three percent
likely, Ada or Ardor, a family chronicle.
567.10 Of all their many houses, in Europe and in the Tropics, the
château recently built in Ex, in the Swiss Alps, with its pillared
front and crenelated turrets, became their favorite, especially
in midwinter, when the famous glittering air, le cristal d’Ex,
“matches the highest forms of human thought—pure mathe-
567.15 matics & decipherment” (unpublished ad).
At least twice a year our happy couple indulged in fairly
long travels. Ada did not breed or collect butterflies any more,
but throughout her healthy and active old age loved to film
them in their natural surroundings, at the bottom of her garden
567.20 or the end of the world, flapping and flitting, settling on flowers

[ 567 ]

or filth, gliding over grass or granite, fighting or mating. Van
accompanied her on picture-shooting journeys to Brazil, the
Congo, New Guinea, but secretly preferred a long drink under
a tent to a long wait under a tree for some rarity to come
568.05 down to the bait and be taken in color. One would need another
book to describe Ada’s adventures in Adaland. The films—and
the crucified actors (Identification Mounts)—can be seen by
arrangement at the Lucinda Museum, 5, Park Lane, Manhattan.

[ 568 ]

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