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“I say, old man!” he expostulated—“no threats -bad form-sneak out of promise-oh, by Jove !"

“Well then, pay some attention to the question in hand,” said Dennison, mollified. "Have we, or

. have we not, resolved to make a move ?"

“We have !" declared Fairfax emphatically. Must make a move !” groaned Adair.

“I ask you both,” went on Dennison,“ does it look well, is it creditable to us as menmen of position, influence, and sufficient wealth—that we should be known in society as the merest appendages to our wives ? Is it decent ?"

“Damned indecent, I think!" said Fairfax hotly.

Adair gazed straight before him with the most woebegone expression.

“Awful lot of fellows—same predicament,” he remarked. “Wife pretty-drags ugly man round -introduces him casually, 'Oh, my husband !'and all Society grins at the poor chap. Wife ugly -goes in for football—asks husband to be spectator-kicks ball his way-says 'Excuse me!then explains to people standing by, ‘My husband !' and the poor devil wishes he were dead. Fact!. Lots of 'em, I tell you! We're not the only ones.” “Of course we're not,” said Dennison. I

never supposed we were. But we are Three-and three of us can show an example to the others. We will give these women a lesson, my boys !~a lesson they'll never forget. Have you made up your minds ?"

I have !” said Fairfax determinedly. “And I


know Adair will be with me-why, he and I were married on the same day, weren't we, Frank?"

Frank smiled mournfully.

“Yes, and didn't the girls look pretty thenyour Belle and my Laura !”

“Ah! who would have thought it!" sighed Fairfax. “Why, my wife was the simplest soul that ever lived then-happy as a bird, full of life and fun, no nonsense of any sort in her head; and as for dogs—well, she liked them, of course, but she didn't worship them; she didn't belong to the Ladies' Kennel Association, or any other association, and she didn't worry herself about prizes and exhibitions. Now it's all dogs-dogs and horses; and as for that little beast Bibi, who has taken more medals than a fighting general, I believe she loves it better than her own boys. It's a horrible craze for a woman to be doggy."

“ It's not so bad as being Pioneery,” said Adair, rousing himself up at this part of the conversation. "Your wife's a very pretty woman, George, and a clever one, but my wife-well—" He broke off

— and waved his hand in a descriptive fashion.

“Yes, I admit it,” said Fairfax respectfully. "Your wife is lovely—a really beautiful creature; no one can deny it.”

“That being the case," continued Adair, “what do you suppose

she can want with the Pioneers ?" The other two Wise Men shook their heads desperately.

“Only yesterday,” resumed Adair, “I went home quite unexpectedly in time for afternoon tea. She was in the drawing-room, wearing a new tea-gown

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and looking charming. 'Oh!' said she, with a cool smile, you home! At this hour!

How strange! Have some tea ?' And nothing more. Presently in came a gaunt woman-short hair, skimped skirt, and man's coat. Up jumps Laura, hugs her, kisses her, cries 'Oh, you dear thing! How sweet of you to come!' She was a Pioneer -and she got kissed. I had no kiss. I was not called a 'dear thing. I've got short hair and a man's coat, but it doesn't go down somehow, on me. It used to, before we were married; but it doesn't now."

"Stop a bit !” interposed Dennison suddenly and almost fiercely. “Think of me! I've been married longer than either of you, and I know a thing or two! Talk of fads! my wife goes in for them all! She's mad on 'em! Wherever there's a faddist, you'll find her. Whether it's the Anti-Corset League, or the Nourishing Bread Society, or the Social Reformation Body, or anything else you like to think of-she's in it. I've got nothing to say against her intentions; she means well, too well, all round; but she is so absorbed in her meetings,' and

councils,' and 'boards,' and what not, that I assure you she forgets me entirely-I don't believe she realises my existence! When I go home of an evening she hands me the papers and magazines with an amiably provoking smile, as if she thought the damned news was all I could possibly want; then she goes to her desk and writes letters-scratch, scratch all the time. She never gives me a word; and as for a kiss !"-here he gave an angry laugh-"God bless my soul ! she never thinks of it!"

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I expect," said George Fairfax seriously, "we are too old-fashioned in our notions, Dennison. Lots of fellows would go and console themselves with other women.”

"Of course they would,” retorted Dennison. “There are plenty of dirty cads about who act that way. And I believe, as it is, we don't get much credit for keeping clean. I daresay our wives think we are as bad as we might be.”

They've no cause to,” said Adair quietly. “And if I had any suspicion that Laura entertained a low opinion of me, I should take the liberty of giving her a piece of my mind.”

Fairfax and Dennison looked at him, gravely at first, then they laughed.

"A piece of your mind," echoed Dennison. “I think I know what it would amount to; just a 'By Jove! too bad !' and you would go to smoke and think it over. No; we cannot offer pieces of our minds' to our spouses on any subject whatsoever, because, you see, we cannot bring any actual cause of complaint against them. They are good women

His friends nodded.
“Good-looking women-"
More nods.
And clever women.”

“Yes !" sighed Adair. “ That's the worst of it. If they had only been stupid

"They would have been dull!” interposed Fairfax.

"And they might have grown fat,” murmured Adair, with a shudder.

“Well,” went on Dennison, “they are not stupid, they are not dull, and they are not fat. We have agreed that they are good, good-looking, and clever. Yet, with these three qualities, something is wrong with them. What is it?"

“I know," said Adair. “It is want of heart."

“Indifference to home and home-affections," said Fairfax sternly.

“All comprised in one glaring fault,” declared Dennison; "a fault that entirely spoils the natural sweetness of their original dispositions. It is the want of proper respect and reverence for Us; for Us as men; for Us as husbands !"

Nothing could have been more majestically grandiloquent than Dennison's manner while making this statement, and his two friends gazed admiringly at him in speechless approval.

This state of things,” he went on, “must be remedied. All the unloved, miserable, hysterical women who have lately taken to cackling about their rights and wrongs, are doing it, I believe, out of sheer malice and envy, in an effort to make happy wives discontented. The upheaval and rending of home-affections must be stopped. Our wives, for example, appear to have no conception of our admiration and affection for them

"Perhaps," interposed Fairfax," they think that we have no conception of their admiration and affection for us !"

“Oh! I say, that won't do, old fellow," murmured Adair. "Admiration for us is no go! You don't suppose Laura, for instance, admires me? Not much; though I believe she used to. Of course Mrs. Fairfax may admire you"

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