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From where she sat at the Blairs’ dinner table, Mrs. Sam Gerrish had too good a view of her husband and Lily Lockwood. Did it pay to go out to dinner, in order to be tortured by one’s hus band? Mrs. Gerrish was thirty-six, pretty, but unworldly. Her best friends said she was a dear, and so capable and so public spirited! Until a fortnight ago she had enjoyed her life, a happy blend of connubial bliss and civic service, but now she wasn’t enjoying anything. What was the good of being Alice Gerrish, when Sam now gave every sign of pre ferring a maudlin lightweight like Lily Ixxrkwood? Just look at the way he was sitting, his whole body turned toward Lily, as if to blot out any interruption from his unfortunate dinner partner on the other side. Now this coltishness did not become Sam, who was a serious, earnest fellow, given to hard work, legal battles, and faithful domes All through the meal. Alice suffered as only a wife can, and right after dinner, Horace Watleigh and Joe Withers marched her off to a bridge table. Men liked to play with her. So now, while all the other girls sat around the fireplace talking about progressive education and hairwaves, and Sam and Lily were giggling ' uproariously on the sofa, and all the decent sensible men stood talking politics, she was led off to the bridge table. "Who’s the fourth?” she asked. “Why don’t you get Kathleen?” "No sir,” said Watleigh. "We've got this young man Storm. I met him last year in Chicago. He’s good.” Alice had not met this Mr. Storm, but she was prepared to dislike him. He was Lily Lock wood’s cousin, and guest in tier house, recuperating, so people said, from a divorce, pneu monia and bankruptcy. Alice was sure he was unpleasant. After dinner, he had stood leaning against the mantelpiece, looking as if he were still waiting to be shown. He was rather good-looking, but certainly he exuded disdain for what the room offered. tie rose, ratner gioomuy, ana put her in a chair from which site had an excellent view of Sam and Lily dancing up and down the hall, Lily passionately plastered against Sam’s shoulder. Alice braced herself, flicked the cards, got the deal, and on the first hand made a little slam, bril liantly abetted by Mr. Storm’s bidding. He actually smiled at her. The game was good, tliat night. - They were four ruthless equals, and Storm was a grand partner. When they stopped playing at twelve thirty, Alice and Storm were far ahead. Alice, gathering her handbag and cigarettes, felt Storm looking at her. She met his eyes, and they smiled at each other. He was less intimidating when he smiled. ‘‘Don’t you ever come over to Lily’s?" he asked her. ’ ‘‘When she asks me,” she said. “I’m years older.” “So am I. You play good bridge.” "So do you." ‘ ‘Oh, fair. I used to be good at a lot of other things.” ‘You’ve been ill, haven’t you?” "Yes. I’m supposed to be resting. In Lily’s house.” He grinned at her. "Nice quiet place, Lily's house.” "Does Lily hear from Ted?” "Oh yes. She says he loathes Cali fornia. Lily is by way of being a little crazy this year.” “Lily is fun,” said Alice nobly. What makes apparently sensible and contented husbands fall for the Lily Lockwoods of this world ? by Agnes Burke Hale Illustration by Charles La Salle "PLEASE DON’T," SHE WHISPERED. HE ONLY LAUGHED AND KISSED HER AGAIN ‘‘My husband thinks she's marvelous. She makes him laugh so.” “Habit does it," said Mr. Storm. “Lily’s mother was a giggler. She brought me up, you know; I was an orphan nephew.” He rose with her, as Sam ap proached. "The next time we meet, remember you're my partner,” he ordered. “I’ll remember,” she said. “Oh, hello there, darling. We’ve just fin ished. Hello, Lily. Your cousin and I have had a lovely time.” Lily lobked her cousin over. “How do you feel?” she demanded. “1 hope he told you he has had double pneu monia,” she said to Alice. “I’ve told her everything,” said the young man. "What about taking me home? Or do you want to go on to some dog wagon?” ivo, sweet, me evening s over. She looked at Sam, and laughed, showing her straight white teeth. “I’ve practically killed Sam, Alice. You’ll be grateful to me. I cured him of his hippety-hoppety step.’’ She and Sam burst into wild laughter, and Alice was furious at the insinuation that she, Alice, had ever thought Sam a good dancer. What made her wild was the expression on Sam’s face which conveyed the idea that Lily was a wonder. Alice wanted to knock him hard on the head. In the car, Sam began to talk like a boy coming from a football game. Had she been stuck at that bridge table all evening? Lily Lockwood was crazy about her Cousin Storm, although she said the divorce had been as much his fault as hers. He had caught pneumonia on top of bankruptcy, and the trouble with him was that he was moody. "Oh, I don’t know,” Alice said. “He grows on you.” “Lily is a great little sport. Say, she went to Vassar.” "So did I, Sam.” "Sure. Say, if you ask me, I think Ted Lockwood must be a little hard to live with.” "Everybody’s hard to live with,” she said, “except us. We’re really a very uninteresting couple.' ’ They had stopped at the door of their house. "Are we? Don’t you like us, the way we are?” "I’m satisfied. Sam, are you bored with people your own age?” "Good heavens, no," he said. “I’m not bored except by the people who always bored me.” For a long time after Sam was asleep, Alice lay awake. Her mind played with the familiar tricks by which, as the books said, women won back husbands. Ridiculous. Nothing could change Lily Lock wood, whom no man was to be blamed for desiring. Alice herself couldn't blame Sam. What a thrill for a hard-working man, aged forty two, to find a pal like Lily. There was nothing to virtue, and less to character. Look at Lily, who had driven her family crazy, had thrown away her first husband and was now mistreating her second, and didn’t she have fun! Whereas she, Alice, had always been a good girl, had shone at college, had married romantically, and with the highest motives, took her children seriously, and considered herself not only a wife but a citizen. Which woman did Sam Gerrish seem to prefer? She » fell asleep. The next day, and the next, these hallucinations of unfaithfulness dis appeared. Sunday noon her parents came for dinner; Sam took his children walking; he oiled his guns.