Enter Fate with a Flat

A rollicking bit of satirical comedy by the man who wrote “Pigs is Pigs ”

ELLIS PARKER BUTLER June 1 1930

Enter Fate with a Flat

A rollicking bit of satirical comedy by the man who wrote “Pigs is Pigs ”

ELLIS PARKER BUTLER June 1 1930

Enter Fate with a Flat

A rollicking bit of satirical comedy by the man who wrote “Pigs is Pigs ”

ELLIS PARKER BUTLER

SIX women, by threes, were sitting on the verandah of the Sideway Inn. Three sat at one end of the verandah and three sat at the other end, and the three at this end did not think very highly of the three at that end. Neither did the three at that end have a very high opinion of the three at

this end, the trouble being that one three were eager bridge players but played only auction, while the three at the other end were never really happy except when playing bridge, but they scorned anything but contract.

They were all rather elderly women, most easily assorted as two widows and four unmarried, and for two weeks they had been as uneasy as six fish in a canary cage, for neither of the three had been able to find a fourth to make up a table; and whenever there are three ardent bridge players together, they hunger and thirst for a fourth with all the yearning nervousness of a liquor-loving meat eater stranded in a vegetarian temperance hotel.

When Marjorie Jackman arrived they had pounced upon her like six cats after one mouse; and when she said she had never played bridge and did not think she cared to learn, but thank you ever so much, the six went back to their chairs like cats that had discovered the mouse was grey flannel stuffed with cotton.

Marjorie Jackman now sat in the exact middle of the verandah on a chair of the Windsor type with rockers, enduring the state of being left severely alone, and enduring it with great complacency. Six antique bridgeplaying ladies meant no more to her than the one antique chair in which she was sitting; which meant practically nothing to Marjorie.

In her opinion—and she was from Montreal— the six women were too evidently like the chair, handmade from native wood.

When the six ladies had made their rush at Marjorie they had been prepared, within reason and reserving the right to change their opinions, to consider her a dear sweet thing; but when she practically scoffed at bridge, even scorning the willingness to admit a beginner to the sacred whist tables, it was at once evident to all six that she showed far too much knee, that the pale green dress was nothing less than scandalous, and that anyone could see she was one of those mannerless young snips.

“There she sits,” said Miss Martha Grinch with a sniff, “right in that chair at the top of the steps, and you don’t need to tell me why she does it. Every blessed person that goes by . . . ”

As a matter of fact, Marjorie did not sit at the top of the verandah steps so that every person that went by could see her knees. Except in a normal and approving way she was not conscious of her knees, and if she had been, not every person that went by the Sideway Inn could see them. The one jest of Mrs. Ella Prince’s life had been the naming of her Sideway Inn—and she explained it to everyone who would listen; for, as she said, the Inn stood endwards to the road, and as every town and village in the province had a Wayside Inn, stip just thought she would call hers something different; so she called it the Sideway Inn.

Thus the verandah, as it should, faced the noble view of the green valley and the mountains beyond, a panorama of many miles and exquisite beauty and—although

it will amaze many to hear it—Marjorie Jackman, from Montreal, was actually thrilled by the view, and as she sat and looked at it she felt her heart swell and was happy.

On this particular day in late July, however, she was sitting at the top of the steps for another reason also. It was understood that a lady and her little boy were to arrive by the three o’clock train, and Marjorie hoped the little boy would be big enough to play tennis, or if not tennis to play croquet at least. She was eighteen and she liked little boys unless they were saucy, and the three days she had spent at the Sideway Inn had not been especially nice. The six bridge players were extremely chilly to Marjorie.

The telegram Mrs. Prince had received had said: “Will arrive July 23.' Reserve room with two beds for self and son for two weeks,” and had been signed “Frances S. Forbish;” and while Marjorie supposed Mrs. Forbish would be instantly nabbed by one or the other of the bridge trios, she hoped the child would be old enough to be a playmate for her until her father arrived in four or five days. He was coming up to spend two weeks, his doctor having advised him to try the mountains rather than the seashore this time. Marjorie meant to

nab the boy and establish herself as a nice friendly person to play with before her enemies—and she was beginning to think of them as that—could nab Mrs. Forbish and suggest, as they might, that Marjorie was not a nice friendly person for the boy to play with. So, as she heard the clank and rattle of George Peters’ taxi-truck down the road, she pulled the palegreen dress as far down over her knees as it would go, and looked eagerly down the road.

George Peters drove into the driveway and stopped his taxi-truck immediately below Marjorie and tooted his horn twice.

“Hey! Will, Will,” he shouted, “I got some fellows for you!” And Mrs. Prince came to the door and out on to the verandah and called “Willyum, Willyum! Oh, Will!” because there was a trunk in the back of the taxi-truck and George Peters was never known to lift a trunk without help, and Mr. Prince came slouching around the end of the inn.

Marjorie was out of her chair, standing. The passengers on the rear seat to the taxi-truck were not a Mrs. Forbish and her little boy but a middle-aged man and a young man, and the young man was looking up at Marjorie with a bright expectancy that said: “We’re going to be friends, yes?” and “This is better than I guessed.” By the time the six bridge players had swooped forward, the young man was already standing by Marjorie’s side and exclaiming, “Gee! What a view!” and Marjorie was saying, “Yes, isn’t it wonderful?” “Wife?” the young fellow’s father was saying in answer to Mrs. Prince’s question. “I have no wife. My wife’s dead—been dead ten years. Furbush, not Forbish. Francis—I never wrote Frances: c-i-s I wrote, not c-e-s. If you don’t want us here ...”

“But I do. Indeed, I do,” Mrs. Prince cried.

Mr. Furbush was becoming red in the face. He was a small man, inclined to stoutness, and it was evident that he was the sort of man who takes offense easilj and who becomes boiling angry when offended.O had taken off his hat, a derby, and this showed that his cranium was rather large and somewhat flat on top and quite bald there. He wore his hair long on one sidi and combed it up over the baldness, plastering it down and he stood very straight, with his head drawn back and his face was rather that of a stubborn, sullen litti« boy who is going to be naughty if he is not made much of George Peters and Mr. Prince had carried the trunl into the house, and Mr. Furbush handed Peters a dolía bill as he came out, and Peters put two suitcases on ti the verandah. Mr. Prince carried the suitcasesO the Inn and, Mr. Furbush having almost regained hi natural color, Mrs. Prince introduced him to Mrs Nollis and Mrs. Baney as a sufficient introductionO everyone. Mrs. Nollis being sure to introduce her tw auction friends, and Mrs. Baney to see that he kne\ her two contract players. Mrs. Prince turned to intre duce Marjorie, but Marjorie and Walter Furbush wer at the far end of the verandah deciding whether th view from there was better than the view from the to of the steps, and Mr. Furbush said, “Walter!” sharplj and his son answered “Coming, father,” cheerfully, an« said to Marjorie: “I’ll be down in five minutes; yo wait for me.”

"XÆR. FURBUSH had arrived in a light brown busines suit without a wrinkle, and with brown shoes He came down in half an hour with white low shoe trimmed in black, white flannel trousers, a blue serg coat, blue striped shirt and blue and white tie, an carrying a leghorn hat with a scarf-band of blue wit white polka dots. By his attire one knew him instanti as a boardwalk beauty, and that he would be see frequently on the village street standing at the ban

liorner to give the eyes of the yokels a treat. He was immediately surrounded by the six bridge players and íe admitted that he played both auction and contract, ind there is no phrase that so exactly describes the esult as saying that they fawned upon him.

The effect of this adulation on Mr. Furbush was not ■o cause him to unbend and become light and gay. He ¡tiffened, for that is the nature of such men; self-adniration, which makes them inwardly rage when they ire ignored, causes them to assume a lordly attitude vith servants and adorers. In three days Mr. Furbush îad become a sort of bantam sultan of the Sideway Inn. iVhen he walked across the meadow to see the view rom Big Rock, six twittering ladies flocked with him, ixclaiming when he spoke, clucking their admiration vhen he deigned to point out an exceedingly apparent nountain with his cane, and whispering to each other ¡hat he was such a nice man, such a clever man, such i well-informed man.

“Aow! What a pretty bird,” Miss Timmis chirped, jeering at a kingbird through her lorgnette. “What is it, Hr. Furbush?”

“It’s a bird,” said Mr. Furbush.

“Aow! You’re such a tease,” gurgled Miss Timmis. ‘Cath’rin, I awsked Mr. Furbush what that bird was md he said it was a bird.”

“ He-he-he,” giggled Miss Miffis.

A man at an Inn where there are three bridge-playing adies and no other available player is a king; at an Inn vhere there are three who play auction and three who jlay contract, he is the Grand Mogul. Mr. Furbush made ¡he chair in which Marjorie Jackman had been seated vhen he arrived his throne. Like a monarch he gave mly such time as he chose to his subjects. He made in idvance no agreements to play cards. He walked down nto town when he chose and he let the ladies wait. íe made them come to him and ask him, on their verbal cnees, to play with them. They came to him where he ¡at in his chair, and the chair became “Mr. Furbush’s :hair,” and was sacred to him.

“Where is Mr. Furbush?”

“He is sitting in his chair.”

Even Mrs. Prince recognized the throne and conducted herself accordingly.

“Have the Montreal papers come?”

“I put them on your chair, Mr. Furbush.”

To Mr. Furbush this was all incense and mead and nectar and he was enjoying his vacation most fully, and by the same third day Walter Furbush was thinking more about chairs than he had ever thought in his life.

“Don’t sit in that one; I’ll get you this other one,” he was saying to Marjorie, and he carried a straw cushion when they went to sit on Big Rock, and he spread out

his coat when she sat on the grass. He helped her over stiles as if she were made of delicate glass with flesh of jelly encased in a skin of tissue paper, although a few minutes before she had been jumping about the tennis court like a Lenglen and sending tennis balls at him with the velocity of six-inch shells.

They were already holding hands when they walked the wood paths, Walter having taken her hand to help her over a stone wall and somehow not releasing it, and there was a tree—Walter said he guessed it was a beech, but it was in fact an alder—on which he had carved M. J. and W. F. and which they said was always to be their tree.

“Every year, Walter,” Marjorie said, “no matter where we are, we will cóme back to our tree, won’t we?”

It was the tree beside which they were standing when they first kissed. That was the second day. On the third day:

“We ought to cut a mark on our tree for every kiss,” Walter said, and Marjorie giggled.

“There wouldn’t be room on it,” she said, and they both laughed like a couple of conspirators, because although they were in love as no two had ever been in love before, and were engaged as seriously as any two had ever been engaged, there was a bit of worry in their minds.

“I do hope my father will like your father,” Marjorie said anxiously. “My father is so . . . well, he has likes and dislikes, Walter.”

“Yes, I know what you mean; my father is that way, too. When he doesn’t like a person he’s pretty rough about it. But, look here, Marjorie, that isn’t going to make any difference with us. I guess my father married who he wanted to, and I’ve got a right to marry who I want to. Right now, of course . . . well, naturally I never thought of getting married until I met you, but I know a job I can get . . . well, if a fellow buckles right down to business and . . . well, I guess in a couple of years, maybe in a year, say—”

“Yes, but Walter—

“I mean even if my father doesn’t like your father—”

“Yes, but Walter, it’s my father I’m thinking of.

Old men ... I mean men like my father; he’s over fifty you know . . . well, when a girl hasn’t had a mother since she was hardly born—”

“You poor kid!”

“Yes, but I mean when her father has just ruled her, as you might say, and his every word has been her law ... I mean you don’t know my father, Walter. He’s

just terrible when he’s provoked. Oh, I do hope he likes your father.”

So then she began to cry. She felt almost instinctively that her father would not like Mr. Furbush because, although she would not have told Walter so for worlds, she felt that Mr. Furbush was the sort of man no other man ever would like, and her father was the sort of man who disliked almost every other man. He might not even like Walter. As far as Marjorie had seen or heard, the only men her father ever did like were the head waiter at his club, Sir Wilfrid Laurier and William Makepeace Thackeray, and the two latter were dead and had been for quite a while and Mr. Jackman had never met either personally. If he had he might not have liked them.

“You poor kid!” Walter said again, and put his arm around her.

“But you don’t understand, Walter,” Marjorie sobbed. “My father is just terrible when he dislikes anyone. He wouldn’t, wouldn’t, wouldn’t let me marry you if he didn’t like your father. He wouldn’t, Walter.”

Fortunately, Walter did not know that Mr. Jackman could bear only Albert at the club, W. M. Thackeray and Sir Wilfrid Laurier, or he might have been considerably downcast. Mr. Furbush was not at all like Sir Wilfrid Laurier and he did not resemble W. M. Thackeray in the slightest particular, and to have known that he was remarkably like Albert, the head waiter at Mr. Jackman’s club, might not have cheered Walter much. A man may be almost passionately fond of his head waiter as a head waiter and still not want his son’s father-in-law to look like that.

“Anyway,” said Walter, “my father likes you, sweetheart.”

“Does he?” asked Marjorie doubtfully; “I didn’t know, Walter.”

“He hasn’t said he doesn’t,” Walter said. “He usually says when he doesn’t like anybody. Your father is coming tomorrow, isn’t he, Marjorie?”

“Yes.” •

“What—what is he like?” Walter asked, hoping for some ray of cheerfulness, and Marjorie thought for a

moment, trying to find words with which to make a picture of her father that Walter could understand. “Is he a small man?” Walter asked.

“Small? No,” Marjorie said. “I’ll tell you, Walter,” she said, suddenly inspired. “Do you know Lorber N. Cutting, the man who—”

“Oh, gosh!” Walter exclaimed, turning pale. “Gosh!” “What’s the matter, Walter?” Marjorie asked. “You aren’t sick, are you?”

“Gosh!” Walter exclaimed again. “Listen, Marjorie,

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he isn’t tall like Lorber N. Cutting, is he? He isn’t red-faced like him, is he? He hasn’t got one of those little white billygoat beards, has he?”

“Why, yes, Walter. I don’t see—”

“Oh, gosh!” Walter repeated. “Marjorie, he doesn’t swell out in front and scowl and say hrrumph, hrrumph! and‘One minute—one minute, my good man!’ does he?”

“Why, yes, Walter. I said he was like Lorber N. Cutting, didn’t I? That was what I meant, Walter; he’s like him.”

“Gosh!” said Walter again but more gloomily. Mr. Furbush was an employee of the city of Montreal and unfortunately Mr. Lorber N. Cutting was one of those reformers. One day when he was out reforming he had gone into Mr. Furbush’s office and had asked for a copy of the Assessment Roll, Schedule 453, or something of that kind, and Mr. Furbush had said: “And who are you?” and Mr. Cutting had said “hrrumph, hrrumph! By the time I am through with you, my good man, you will know who I am.” And presently Mr. Cutting was pounding on a desk with his cane and Mr. Furbush was shaking his fist and both were shouting. For months after that Mr. Cutting’s reformation was concentrated on trying to have Mr. Furbush discharged from his position on the grounds of incompetency, illiteracy, dishonesty, impudence, high, low, Jack and the game, and general turpitude, depravity and baseness, mental, moral and physical. Mr. Furbush did not like Lorber N. Cutting. “Gosh!” said Walter, almost with awe.

“I don’t think you need to swear about it, Walter,” Marjorie said rather resentfully. “My father is proud to look like Lorber N. Cutting.”

“Well, I don’t care who he looks like,” Walter said. “I’d love you if he looked like—well, like anybody. You don’t think maybe he’s cut off his goatee, do you, Marjorie? Marjorie, you don’t think you could telegraph him not to come here, do you? Tell him there’s . . . that there’s typhoid in the water, or something? I mean, tell him to go to Jasper or Banff or somewhere? Telegraph him: ‘Inn infected, go to—’ ”

“I’d have to go, too,” Marjorie said, her clever little mind guessing that her father wasn’t the sort of man Walter’s father particularly cared for. “Do you want me to go, Walter?”

“It would break my heart,” Walter said, and for minutes he and Marjorie were locked in each other’s arms, enduring a period of most delicious woe. There is nothing much more delightful, if the despair is deep enough and the hopelessness complete, than such minutes of misery and gloom. It is only then that young lovers discover what a kiss really is, and Marjorie and Walter strolled toward the Inn—when Marjorie’s tears had been wiped away—resolved to fight against Fate. They found Mr. Jackman seated in the Windsor rocker at the top of the verandah steps, three auction ladies on one side of him and three contract ladies on the other. His appearance was that of a stout and petted retired colonel with a white goatee delivering a lecture on The Three Georges to an infatuated audience and loving it.

Mr. Jackman had arrived a day ahead of time as a surprise for Marjorie, and he had immediately enthroned himself as Sultan of Whist, Ahkoond of Sideway and Grand Mogul of the Verandah.

“Yes, madam, I play auction, and I play it well,” he replied to Mrs. Nollis in a deep reverberating voice. “Yes, madam, I play contract, and I am not ashamed of my game.” Whereupon he seated himself in Mr. Furbush’s chair. “That,” he said, “is a view.” As if the landscape had been up to that time nothing at all, but with his permission

might now begin to exist. “This is j pleasant country.”

When the adulatory ladies had drawr their chairs near to Mr. Jackman’s chaii Mr. Jackman knew he was going tc enjoy his two weeks in Berkbridge. Hi was, he believed, the only man guest al the Inn. Here were six ladies and neithei three could play bridge unless he madt the fourth at the table, and he would bt courted and subserved. As he sat in thi Windsor chair he did not see Mrs. Prince come to the Inn door and look out at him with a frightened face. He did not see Mr. Furbush coming up the road, swinging his cane with the air of a rightful ruler of the universe.

Mr. Furbush reached the foot of the verandah steps and looked up and saw Mr. Jackman occupying his chair, but he did not frown. His mouth tightened a little but he looked past Mr. Jackman as he walked up the steps. He said “Ladies!” in a general greeting and walked past Mr. Jackman and into the Inn.

“Who is that?” asked Mr. Jackman, as one might ask, “What sort of rat is that?”

“Why, that’s Mr. Furbush,” said Mrs. Baney, who was stout and effusive and had a loud voice. “He’s a guest here.” “Such a nice man! Such a nice man!” whispered Mrs. Nollis. “Such a gentleman !”

“Hrrumph,” said Mr. Jackman. “He looks like a waiter. He looks like Albert; for a minute I thought he was Alberthead waiter at my club. Who is he?” “He’s a Montreal city official,” said Miss Miffis. “He plays a splendid game. Yesterday, when he was my partner. I held ace, jack, nine and four of—” “Hrrumph,” said Mr. Jackman. “And he bid no trumps.”

“Why, yes,” exclaimed Miss Miffis. “How did you guess?”

“That sort of—hrrumph—man,” said Mr. Jackman scornfully, “always bids no trumps.”

A/fR. FURBUSH in the Inn had gone straight to Mrs. Prince. He had brought the afternoon mail from the post-office and he thumped it down on the desk. His eyeballs had almost miraculously become bloodshot and his face was red.

“Who’s that—that person?” he asked. “It’s Mr. Jackman, Mr. Furbush,” Mrs. Prince said: “Miss Marjorie’s father. He came a day sooner—”

“Is that the only chair he . . . I’ve been sitting in that chair ...”

“I know; I mean to speak to . .

When he understands . . . He’s only just come—” Mrs. Prince fluttered.

“Understands! You can’t make a man like that understand anything. I know his sort. Swelled-up overbearing show-offs—”

“I mean to speak to him; when he understands—”

Mr. Furbush turned on his heel and walked up the stairs to his room. It was then that Marjorie and Walter came around the end of the Inn and Marjorie saw her father. She uttered a cry of pleasure and ran to greet him, and kissed him rapturously, and turned to Walter and said: “Father, this is Walter; this is Walter Furbush.” And Mr. Jackman looked at the young man and said “Hrrumph! How do you do?”

“Did you have a pleasant trip up, sir?” Walter asked, but before Mr. Jackman could answer him Mrs. Prince came backward out of the Inn, pulling a large cane rocker after her. She dragged it close to Mr. Jackman and swung it around, and Mrs. Nollis moved back. Mr. Jackman looked up questioningly. Then he deigned to smile, thinking the cane chair was for Marjorie.

“Thank you, madam,” he said.

“I thought you might find this chair nore comfortable,” Mrs. Prince said. 'If you will try it—”

“I like this chair very well ... a nost comfortable chair. Thank you. Marjorie—”

“I know you’ll like this chair,” said \Irs. Prince. “This will be your own special chair, Mr. Jackman.”

“I know I like this chair,” said Mr. ackman, the hairs of his goatee seeming o stiffen. “Thank you. This will be my iwn especial chair, if I must have one.” “The fact is,” said poor Mrs. Prince, 'Mr. Furbush has been sitting in that hair. He—”

“He can sit where he pleases, hrrumph,” aid Mr. Jackman, scowling. “I am itting in this chair, and I shall continue

0 sit in this chair. This is an inn, a lublic inn, and this is a chair that was a ■acant chair. I am not in the least conerned about where Mr. Furbush sits or at or did not sit. When I am not sitting n this chair—”

“Father, dear—” Marjorie began.

“But at present, my dear madam, I m sitting in this chair,” Mr. Jackman ontinued, growing angrier each moment.

If you do not want me as a guest at his inn—”

“But, father, dear—” Marjorie pleaded. “Stop ‘pawing’ me,” cried Mr. Jackaan pettishly.

“Is father back from the post-office?” Valter asked Mrs. Prince.

“But, father, dear,” Marjorie said, he racking of her brain yielding a posible if only temporary interruption,

1 want you to see my room. I don’t like ay room; they gave me the worst room.”

Mr. Jackman immediately got out f the chair. He moved a step or two oward the door and then he turned o Walter.

“Are you this—this man’s son?” he emanded. “You are, are you? Then, j: your father comes out here, you tell im I have chosen this chair. Do you nderstand that?”

Mr. Furbush stepped out upon the erandah. He knew he had himself :nder complete control; he was sure of his because his hands were trembling s if he had the ague.

' “If ... he began, walking in front f Mr. Jackman, but from the road there ame a sound like the explosion of a annon, followed by a scream of brakes nd a crash of glass. From the verandah huge limousine could be seen, a rear ire flat, and behind it a small car that .ad crashed into the big car when it topped so suddenly. The chauffeur was >ut of the big car instantly, and he was ollowed by a man and a woman, and a a an got out of the small car.

“Thirty dollars,” he was saying. ‘Thirty dollars is what it will cost me,” rid the owner of the larger car handed lim money.

“There’s thirty,” he said, “and here’s ny card. Hrrumph! And my good man, f it costs you more, send me the bill, îmma, here’s an inn here; we might s well stop here for the night.”

“We might as well,” the wife agreed. They entered the Inn gate and walked o the verandah steps.

“Do you know that man?” Mr. Fur>ush demanded of Mr. Jackman. ‘That’s hat infernal nuisance, Lorber N. Cuting, the man who makes all those fool tir-ups about reform.”

“Sir,” said Mr. Jackman, “I am an admirer of Lorber Cutting.”

The entire Inn party had hurried to he end of the verandah to observe the esu’ts of the crash, but Mr. and Mrs. Cutting were now on the verandah, and Mrs. Prince had gene to greet them as he landlady of an inn should. Mrs. Jutting dropped into the cane rocker ind it was evidenv that Mr. Cutting, is soon as he had completed his arrangeants for a suitable room, meant to seat limself in the chair of honor. With a :ommon impulse Mr. Furbush and Mr.

Jackman started toward the chair. As they did so Mr. Cutting sank into it. He leaned back and crossed his legs and took a cigar from his pocket and lighted the cigar. Mrs. Cutting said something to him and he looked down and ran his hand along the arm of the chair.

“Ask her,” he said.

“I love that chair,” Mrs. Cutting said to Mrs. Prince. “It’s an antique, isn’t it? Would you sell it to us?”

“I’ve been asking fifty dollars for it,” said Mrs. Prince.

“You’ve got fifty dollars, Lorber?” Mrs. Cutting asked, and Mr. Cutting put a careless hand in his pocket and gave Mrs. Prince money. Mrs. Cutting leaned back and rocked gently.

The chauffeur now drove the limousine slowly into the Inn yard, and Mr. Cutting spoke to him and the chauffeur came up the steps.

“However,” said Mr. Jackman to Mr. Furbush, “and whether—hrrumph—I admire him or not, I have told Mrs. Prince that ...”

Upon which Mr. Cutting got out of the Windsor chair and the chauffeur picked it up and carried it down the steps and set it down at the rear of the limousine.

“There, sir,” said Mr. Jackman, his face becoming redder than Mr. Furbush’s face, “is an example of these pursepuffed, proud-upped—•”

“You mean pursed up—” said Mr. Furbush.

“I mean proud-puffed—”

“Purse-proud, puffed-up plutocrats,” declared Mr. Furbush. “You and I, sir, being honest common citizens have no rights.”

“And a quick-rich bounder comes . . . You are right, sir.”

Mrs. Baney and Mrs. Nollis and the four other ladies, no longer interested in the two cars, came toward Mr. Jackman and Mr. Furbush.

“There’s time for a rubber before dinner,” said Mrs. Baney, and Mr. Jackman looked at Mr. Furbush.

“Which will you take on, Furbush?” he asked. “Auction or contract?”

“I don’t care, Jackman,” said Mr. Furbush; “make your choice.”

“Suppose, then, I play auction now, and after dinner we’ll change about.” “Good enough! And sometime I want to sit in with you, Jackman. How about the four of us sometime. . . your daughter and my son and the two of us?”

“That will be great, Furbush,” said Mr. Jackman.

At one end of the verandah Mr. Furbush and three ladies played auction. At the other end of the verandah Mr. Jackman and three ladies played contract. At the top of the steps Mr. and Mrs. Cutting sat and looked at the chauffeur change a tire and strap the Windsor chair to the back of the limousine.

“I don’t suppose there’s anyone here to make up a table with us,” said Mr. Cutting.

“I saw a young man and a young woman here,” said Mrs. Cutting. ‘ but I don’t see them now.”

She stretched her neck to look to the left and to the right but she could not see Marjorie and Walter for a very good reason—they had slipped around to the far side of the Inn where there was a hammock under the apple trees.

“I like your father,” Marjorie was saying, and Walter was saying: “I like yours.”

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