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Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/170

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MRS. HALKET

"Would you invite him to your house?"

"I have done so."

"And you know what he is?"

"I don't think Tom Gary has very much character to conceal," replied Mrs. Halket. "Yes, I know all about him. But you must remember, Floyd, that his mother is an old friend of mine, and that we've always been very intimate; and if I slighted Tom, it would make trouble between us, and not only between us, but with the Tracys and the Shaws; all the Gary connection are so clannish. I invite him only to the big things, where it would be rude to leave anybody out."

"I don't see," said Floyd in his most downright manner, "how you can have him in the house."

"One must make compromises," Mrs. Halket defended herself. "Besides, in society, it is gratuitous to look beyond manners and into morals."

"It's his manners I object to most. Well, I hope you're not going to give anything 'big.' What snobs girls are, are n't they!"

"It is very hard for a girl to escape being a snob," admitted Mrs. Halket. "But why that observation?"

Floyd repeated to her some of the comments of his partner of the night before. "I won't tell you who she is," he said, "but I guess a good many girls are like that."

"Yes, I'm afraid that at a certain age most of them are snobs," his grandmother replied. "But also most of them outgrow it. Don't judge them as harshly as they judge others. That's part of being young and having been brought up in ignorance of everything except a few paltry external details. In spite of all that, when you come to know them, you will find that some of them, anyway, are pretty nice girls."

"But this one was vulgar as well as snobbish," Floyd insisted.

"Then I think merely that you were unusually unfortunate," declared his grandmother, with spirit. "The girls