pone social duties until next year, I shan't protest. It will make explanations easier when I'm asked the sort of question that Lydia Dunbar put to me to-day."
"What was that?"
"Oh, wondering if she had done anything to offend you, or some such foolishness. 'I've asked him to dinner twice by note and twice over the telephone,' she said, 'and always for a Saturday night. And he's refused every time. He has n't been near me for two months—and I thought I was going to see a lot of him this winter.' I must say I think you might bow and then make an exception in her favor—an engaged girl, with the young man in Paris, is likely to be forlorn."
"Where did you see her?" Floyd asked.
"She came here this afternoon to call. I have an idea she hoped that you would be home early and that she might have a glimpse of you. She said she had things to tell you about Stewart. I asked her to come to luncheon to-morrow, but she had an engagement; she's going out to the Country Club with a party to skate."
"Then I'll probably see her," Floyd said carelessly. "Harry Stevens and I are going out there, too. By the way, speaking of engaged persons, Letty and Hugh Farrell are going to be married in June. Hugh's been promoted to first roller in our turn. They're going to live with Mrs. Bell, so they can't get married till I'm out of the house. I offered to leave at once, but when they found I should be through with the works anyway by June, they insisted I should stay. You'll have to help me on a wedding present for them. Grandmother; I want to give 'em something worth while. I thought of a set of furniture for the parlor,—some time they'll be having a house of their own,—how would that do?"
"You'd better ask them what they would most like," Mrs. Halket suggested. "You must know them well enough for that."
"Oh, do you think so?" Floyd asked, pondering.