Student or Learner
Hi guys, I'm trying to read the gift of the magi but there are lots of sentences and expressions I can't understand such as "Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim's gold watch that had been his father's and his grandfather's. The other was Della's hair. Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty's jewels and ." I can't get what is meant by airshaft in this context and the rest of the sentence. Can anyone help me with that?
I would guess that the building in question was constructed as four sides of a hollow square or rectangle, with the space in the middle being referred to as the "airshaft". Della's flat was on one side of the airshaft, and the Queen of Sheba's putative residence was on the opposite side. I would also suggest that Della's hair was so magnificent that the sight of it would make the Queen of Sheba's fabulous jewels look cheap.
I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....