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Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/155

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Baldwin or Harry Stevens to skate or snowshoe or what not, you ought to thrill a few other young ladies by calling on them. Now and then I would even resign myself to your absence from luncheon or dinner. It's quite wrong for you to be so backward or indifferent, Floyd. After all, to be socially awkward is never anything to a man's credit."

"I'm sorry., Grandmother," Floyd said, quite seriously. "But beside you and Grandfather—well, I am the ugly duckling sure."

"My dear, I refuse to admit it," replied Mrs. Halket, "and even if it were so, you would still be the whole brood. And whether you like it or not, you will some day have social duties to perform. I don't suppose it's very much fun really for me, but it's the penalty of position. Here was this week's programme: Monday, a dinner of twenty old people; Tuesday, a dinner for sixteen young ones, and afterwards the ball that I gave for Ann Phelps's little girl; Wednesday, another small dinner in honor of the New York publisher, Mr. Stark, who spent two days with us; Thursday, the Assembly; Friday, theatre party and supper, besides one or two luncheons and minor episodes. You may as well make up your mind to it, Floyd; some time you'll have to face that sort of thing—or your wife will have to. And you ought, at least, to be getting acquainted with the people of your own town. Why, you know hardly anybody here. Wherever I go, my ears are afflicted with that doleful cry, 'Are n't we ever going to meet Floyd, Mrs. Halket? Is n't he ever going anywhere? Why does he hate us?'"

Floyd laughed. "Only let me have the rest of the year," he said, "and next winter you can treat me like any debutante. When I 'm busy through the week at New Home, I want to spend Sunday in my own way. I don't think I take much interest in girls."

"Possibly that is why they have an interest in you," replied Mrs. Halket dryly. "Well, if you prefer to post-