Amiable with Big Teeth by Claude McKay:
After lunch she went to the Second Avenue apartment and took out of her trunk the envelope with the Emperor’s letter and the photographs and put it in her handbag. She returned to the office to work on the indexing of some lists of names and addresses. But when she placed her bag on the desk, she imagined that it might develop wings and fly out of the room. She imagined that somebody might come in and pounce upon it. She imagined the funniest things and, feeling that the bag was not safe unless she was holding it in her hand, she could not work. Nervous and scared she seized the bag, holding it tightly, as if it were an eel trying to wriggle out of her grasp, and rushed out of the office.