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MAKING FRIENDS WITH YOUR RELATIVES
"Well, Well, My Dear !><>>. This Is an Unexpected Pleasure." LAST week ? de< ?ded to gel out c the rut a bit, and call on some ? my relatives. Meeting people, always say, broadens one's horizoi Friends are all righl as a steady diet but one must see new faces occasion ally. One owes it lu one's self t<> visi , ? leas! an uncle a year, and if one i ever to become worldly wise, an evening with a maiden aunt I have found ver instructive. It's hard for me, as I'm rather timid and it lakes me a long time to gel ac cu8tomed to strangers. My friends al ways scold me aboul it. and I know ij I'm to get on in the world I must lean approach folks. If I could onl.v have three evenings in a row with am given aunt. 1 guarantee \ e'd he ?mitt chummy. The trouble is one can't neg? lect one's friends, and go gadding aboul town with relatives one hardly know.*?. Besides, it's pretty wearing after a hard day at the office to sit through a formal evening with a i ranger. Last week I decided, however, that I really must pet aboul more an something of people. 1 decided on I'nek' ' Ned. I'd been putting him off ever since I entered high -? hool on the ground that I was rushed to death, and outside of dance*- and public dinners and concerts. and a show now and then, kept my nose ty well to the grindstone. Mother had been making my excuses for me every week for the past ten years, and last week she revolted. She said thai unless 1 went that very evening she'd tell Uncle Xed the truth: I had so little to do that I had given tip keeping a diary for lack of material. I didn't mind going very much, as everywhere I went i heard people talk about Uncle and his folks. From hear? say, t!??' ( Hovers seemed to be ver cent people, and it'd b, a nice home to have an entrance to. Not that they were very wealthy, or anything, but, as my mother said, her brother Ned cam" >f very pood stock. The Baby of the family Faces the Situation Calmly 1 didn't relish the idea of butting recklessly into the well ordered family life of strangers. It was a pretty sai? guess, too, that 1 couldn't live up to what they'd expect, considering thai 1 was the baby of the family, and my mother and father had been going to Uncle Ned's regularly each week for dinner. My mother I ? needn't worry about his knowing me; all I'd have to do would he to remind him that his ms'' r's husband was my father, and he'd recall who I was. Blood is no thicker than wat? r. I decided not to wear full dress. I'd just breeze in, as if I were an ??Id friend of the family, and had just dropped in to have an hour's fun. My nonchalance would probably disarm them, and they'd forget all about formality. It'd he very nice, mother said; Aunt Amelia had three daughters; the eldtest was on the staff of her finishing school piper. That would give us something in comme Uncle Ned himself used to do son writing; he was secretary of his ledfl Resides, he was a big man in the ro] and twine business, and maybe he cou me in the way of a big story. I walked with calculated ease into tl lobby of Uncle Ned's apartment lions and assured the hallman that 1 was e: pected, had been, in fact, for the la; live years. I spent some terrible m? ment s when I was popped out of tr elevator face to face with Apartmer 4A. Maybe I ought at least to hav vorn a tuxedo. After all. if 1 didn maintain ;i certain dignity and reserv? they'd jusl set me down as one of thos fresh young reporters. I'd let ther make all the advances. The door opened, a dazzling youn; lady surveyed me a moment, and threv lier arms about my neck. "My dear cousin." she purred ecstat ically, "it feels so good to see you." Reflect ?tins While a Pair of Cous inly Arms Enfold One 1 fell gond too, but a little em barrassed. I had been calling on girl for years, and there were ai least two o them who were always glad to see me But none of them ever made me feel s< certain of it as my cousin?what wa* her name, again?.?Elsa. She had ex (piisite eves of deep blue, and I wasn't going to let my prim ideas interfere with her amusements. It just shower what frigid, conventional girls I hac lveen associating with. By the time I had taken off my wraps. Cousin Elsa and I were on very intimate terms. There wasn't a thing about her I didn't know. Some day when she was through. I promised my? . I'd grow confidential about myself. Maybe, if she came to a comma. I'd get a chance that very night. That hope was wrecked almost imme? diately, however. Elsa's three younger sist. ra fell around my neck, and we had a glorious, albeit a warm reunion. It seemed a shame t? rumple my particu? larly combed hair and form-fitting col? lar before Ende Ned and Aunt Amelia had a chance to see them. .Maybe they did it to save them the trouble. At least I didn't have to worry about formality. With these four ardent girls about there wouldn't be any ice to break. When I disentangled myself I walked into the parlor to pay my respects to I nele Xed and Aunt Amelia. "Well, well, my dear boy," boomed the voice of Uncle Ned, who seemed to con? trol his emotions better than any of his tour daughters, "this is an unexpected pleasure. Your mother has been telling us you're rushed to death." "Why didn't you come to dinner'.'" asked Aunt Amelia, whose face I dimly remembered having seen somewhere be? fore. "We had just what you like, creamed cauliflower." She clasped me in her arms, and I shuddered to think what was happening to my once form-fitting collar. Well, if Strangers were all as ojien hearted as // Really ?s Not So Difficult, Requiring Merely Good Nerve, (rood Digestion and Strength to Listen to Uncle Ned (Hopeand Twine Business) When He Tells What Started the War By IRWIN EDMAN this, I was sorry I hadn't gone into tin insurance or magazine subscription business. For a few minutes the aonversation went along very Bmoothly. Aunt Anadia asked me what I had been doing, and told me the answer minutely. I could see my mother's deft embroidery in her tale. Uncle Ned listened pa? tiently, and when Aunt Amelia left to . ee that we got something to eat? i reamed caul' lower, I guessed nervous? ly?he began. .My father had told me that, for a business man. Ende Ned was particularly well versed in current af? fairs. ' ncle Ned Sprays a Barrage Fire f>f Conversation "My boy," Ende Ned began, "I've been wanting to discuss the European situation with you for a long tune. The last time you were here was back in 1912, 1 believe. Now you're a journal? ist, and you must have a loi of inside information about the war." I assured him that now with the cen? sorship and everything I hardly knew more than any one else. "Well. I'm only in the rope and twine business." Uncle Ned apologized, "and you know how it is with the business men. We don't get a chame to read very much, and what we do read, we can't digest. So my opinion isn't worth very much. Hut the way I see the causes of the war is this: Since 1ST" there has been a commercial ri? valry" For the next hour Uncle S<?i\ gave a complete account of the causes and eon duct of the war. He hadn't seen me since August. 1914, and he wanted to make sure that we liad some common back ground to start with. 1 kept worryinj. about Aunt Amelia; she must have goni cut hunting creamed cauliflower. "Of course." he ended at a quarter ti ten, "I'm only in the rope and twin? business, and 1 may be all wrong. Nevertheless it's been a great treat, tc talk it over with you: you gel so much more chance to read and think these things over than I do. If you come over some night. I'll give you my own private opinion. Well. I won't keep you young folks any more. Elsa will never forgive me, I'm sure, but I did want to talk the war over with some one close to the neves." Elsa, the girl with the deep blue eves, had reappeared. I blushed a little to think how well we had known each other v.av back over an hour ago, before Ende Ned had started the war. "Have you been to the Riverside this week'.'" she began, and seemed suddenly to recall that she must keep the conver? sation in more literary channels. "I suppose you don't wast" your time on vaudeville and movies, though. You journalists must lead a fascinating lib. I like it immensely from the little I've seen of it : I'm on my school paper." Inside Stuff on the (treat Subject of Journalism "Papers are much the same," 1 as? sured her. "Thai's what I tdl mother, but she says our school paper is nothing com? pared to the life of a professional writer. It must be nice to be a dra? matic critic; getting ['we tickets for all the show.-.. Of course, it doesn't mean -e. much to a girl, as the fellows always pay for the tickets anyhow." Credit Where Credit Is Due (From tin Youth's Companion, 1894) Y ? ~*.. a-v"/'?. '? ddv/eC/e'S/"*/? /?. /ty...S ^/.C?Cm f?fw?~S ^..^f,n/./'?,?/.? tf? y tCJJL tkUu /. . run- thai MLLLINS FOOD ha I used with Il b t result, in reanag thr German Princes tac MELLIN'S food chOdm euttysthett ut the best t?teniteneut et MELLIN'S FOOD. * ??-"? ^e*2p?1ilatJatetlmm*m DOLIBER-GOODALE CO.. Boston. Mass. 71 HE secret is out. and there /> no dodging it. Second onl\ to the Kaiser and the Kaiserin. America must shtmldcr responsibility for the whole Hohen /ollem brood. It was :tn \merican baby food which "with the best results" piloted the (ierman princes through the critical periods of infantile progress. I heir grateful parents freely express appreciation and thanks. I .mi Cousin Elsa. Who Sees All the Movies, Leads An Intellectual Chat Cousin Elsa within the next forty minutes turned up some of the ob? scurer corners of her life, which for some reason she had overlooked in the impassioned interlude when I had first come in. She told me how the life of leisure was beginning to be empty and futile; how. after all, movie shows were much alike, and how she envied girls who had some definite purpose in life. Still, she helped her mother with the management of the household, and of course 1 knew how that cut into one's forenoons. Down in the southeast corner of my vest my watch ticked away relentlessly. and as Elsa babbled on I kept wondering how far I could have been in "Jean Christophe" by this time. It was three volumes, eighteen hundred pages, and I wanted to finish it before summer. 1 was up to the place where Jean-Chris tophe plays before the Grand Duke, very absorbing, and seventeen hundred pages to go. Elsa Grows Confidential, Down Grade, W ithout Brakes When I came back to myself. Elsa was still rambling on. While I had been dreaming with Jean-Christophe she had been growing more and more confi? dential. I simply would have to stop it. even at the risk of being rude. After all. the difficulties they had with their maid were much too private a matter to be my business. "Have you got around to 'lean Christophe' yet?" I asked. "No; it's at the Rialto, isn't it? It's by the author of 'Joan, the Woman.' Erank Binkley told me about it ; his father is in the movie business in Massachusetts. Erank is at college; he's a terribly bright boy. Writes well too; you ought to see the piece about him in the Year Hook. Mother thinks Erank comes here too often, but I see no harm in it, do you?" "Not if he doesn't." 1 said gravely. I don't know how much more intimate we would have become. Elsa's three younger sisters appeared again just as 1 was learning how things stood between young Binkley and herself, she wouldn't have told it to any one, but I was her cousin, after all, and she hadn't seen me in live years. Aunt Amelia insisted that we come in for a bite. It. would have been a bite, if ! had had any moral courage. Hut you couldn't very well spurn an orange that Elsa peeled with the pieces stretched (ait like a fan on a base of orange peel. And Elsa's little sister Rhoda carved an apple that I simply had to eat; the harder you work the more you must 'ook out for your health. Aunt Amelia insisted. She evidently thought 1 was quite capable of looking out for it my? self, for she did her best to wreck it. Maybe she was just testing me. There was cake which she herself had baked. and a rarebit that the second daughter made in a dialing dish right on the table, and apple dumplings that Uncle Ned's mother had sent all the way fro the country. At this point Aunt Amelia her? began to perform on the chafing dis and just as a point of family honor, soon found myself at the eml of my thi rarebit. My folks had presentad tl (hating dish to her on her last weddii anniversary, and I wanted to show h what a tine instrument I considered I She might think I had picked it on I had paid my r?sped s to ever, one's hobby in the way of food, and lu allowed each one in turn to practise h specialty on me. if they started out i a second round I was goinn to ris?' i publicly disown the whole crowd. I arose solemnly, thanked them 1 their tender solicitations, gave one ai look at the clock and said 1 must going. -The four slender Yalkyri moaned in protest. Their dear com who came only once in five years *a going already. "You couldn't possibly expect to? any more work at this hour," Am Amelia exclaimed. "Don't you ever take an hour off! asked Cousin Elsa, solicitously "Yes. indeed. I do." I said, rail nation in my voice, "but my workfa the night's only begun. 1 stop for ta coffee about a quarter to three." "I'm glad you reminded me." Ata Amelia gasped. "I wanted to show yo our new alcohol percolator. It'll jus take a minute." Unless I begin to get the courage c my convictions. I'll never get throufl those three volumes of "Jean-Chn tophe." It took just thirty minutest? get the alcohol right, and somewh?r near one I was guzzling my fourth ca| of coffee and protesting that it was tl* best cup of coffee I had ever had out0 a twelve dollar and forty-nine cent ako hoi percolator. I grew quite reckless, begged for more. "Let's call it a day!" I shouted jul? lantly. "I'll call oil' work for tonight That live thousand word article I in tended to finish this evening can wiit* Ell get up early in the morning and fin? ish it." The Percolator Brittas the El* imj to a Close When I had drained the percolator 1 rose again, determined this tune to le*? Ende Ned asked me to ho sure to COB? and continue the war discussion *m him; Cousin Elsa feil around my neck again and asked me not to forget toUk? 1er to see "Jean-Christophe." The thru younger cousins wept on my should and said I must come again so.ni?a?* lake them to the movies. It took me about three days to g** back into working condition. Meeting people may broaden one's horizon, W it's a terrific nervous strain. I would*?* want to dissipate that way every nijd?* Em going to spend my evenings at nu* quiet, bachelor dinners or liberal Cm (lances. Perhaps once a ?? -*r' mit myself a wild jaunt. Then I Uncle Ned's family, say. on .Vvv Year? Eve.