Once upon a Time there was a Bright Young Lawyer of ordinary Good Looks and Modest Bank Account who regarded the so-called Smart Set with scorching Contempt.
Our Hero, whose name was Albert, refused to fall for the Parlor Game.
Now there resided in this Town a certain High Priestess of the Socially Elect and a Queen Bee of the Cotillion Tribe. Whatever she said, Went. No one could lay claim to any Class in this Town until he had seated himself at one of her Dinners, with the $28,000 Gold Service in front of him, and dissected a French Artichoke right down to the Foundation.
One Evening while Albert was burning up the Local Aristocracy he made the Crack that, if he wanted to go in for such Tommy-rot, he could be Dining with the aforesaid Dowager Duchess within a Year. His Friends hooted at the Suggestion and the Outcome of the Controversy was a Wager. Albert was to storm the Citadel and land inside before the Expiration of Twelve Months or else blow the whole Gang to a high- priced Feed.
Next Sunday he began to take Part in the High Church Ceremonies and wait on the Steps to make a Fuss over the Women whose Names appeared on the List of Patronesses.
He ignored the Buds and Debutantes and worked overtime to Solidify himself with the Matrons.
Whenever there was anything Doing that required the Services of a Hand-Shaker or Errand Boy he was right there with the Dark Cutaway and a fresh Gardenia.
In a Month he had a Foothold and was serving on Committees with Colonial Dames and Relatives of the American Revolution.
He was Dependable. Any time an Extra Man was needed he came bursting in with Kind Words for all the Elderly People. He made Party Calls and left his Card and told the Secrets of his Heart to Women who were old enough to Understand.
Consequently he had eighteen or twenty Boosters working for him.
At the end of Six Months he was a Regular at some of the Best Homes and was beginning to send Regrets to those below Class A.
Looking down from his Serene Elevation he realized that he had made a Mistake in camping so long in the Valley.
When the Year was up he was acting as Volunteer Secretary and Whispering Soothsayer to the Queen Bee and had won his Bet by a Mile.
His Former Associates stood ready to make Good on the Food, but, when they asked him to name an Evening, he looked them over and could not find them entered in the Blue Book, so he turned them down cold and pulled the Old One about a Previous Engagement.
MORAL: One never can tell from the Sidewalk just what the View is to some one on the Inside, looking out.