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Winter Sport
by [?]

“The Sports Club runs everything here,” he began. “It gives you prizes for fancy costumes and skating and so on.”

“Introduce me to the President at once,” cooed Myra, patting her hair and smoothing down her frock.

“Even if you were the Treasurer’s brother,” said Archie, “you wouldn’t get a prize for skating, Simpson.”

“You’ve never seen him do a rocking seventeen, sideways.”

Simpson looked at us pityingly.

“There’s a lot more in it than that,” he said. “The President will introduce you to anybody. One might see–er–somebody one rather liked the look of, and–er—- Well, I mean in an hotel one wants to enter into the hotel life and–er–meet other people.”

“Who is she?” said Myra.

“Anybody you want to marry must be submitted to Myra for approval first,” I said. “We’ve told you so several times.”

Simpson hastily disclaimed any intention of marrying anybody, and helped himself lavishly to champagne.

It so happened that I was the first of our party to meet the President, an honour which, perhaps, I hardly deserved. While Samuel was seeking tortuous introductions to him through friends of Peterhouse friends of his, the President and I fell into each other’s arms in the most natural way.

It occurred like this. There was a dance after dinner; and Myra, not satisfied with my appearance, sent me upstairs to put some gloves on. (It is one of the penalties of marriage that one is always being sent upstairs.) With my hands properly shod I returned to the ball-room, and stood for a moment in a corner while I looked about for her. Suddenly I heard a voice at my side.

“Do you want a partner?” it said.

I turned, and knew that I was face to face with the President.

“Well—-” I began.

“You are a new-comer, aren’t you? I expect you don’t know many people. If there is anybody you would like to dance with—-“

I looked round the room. It was too good a chance to miss.

“I wonder,” I said. “That girl over there–in the pink frock–just putting up her fan—-“

He almost embraced me.

“I congratulate you on your taste,” he said. “Excellent! Come with me.”

He went over to the girl in the pink dress, I at his heels.

“Er–may I introduce?” he said. “Mr.–er–er–yes, this is Miss–er–yes. H’r’m.” Evidently he didn’t know her name.

“Thank you,” I said to him. He nodded and left us. I turned to the girl in the pink frock. She was very pretty.

“May I have this dance?” I asked. “I’ve got my gloves on,” I added.

She looked at me gravely, trying hard not to smile.

“You may,” said Myra.


With a great effort Simpson strapped his foot securely into a ski and turned doubtfully to Thomas.

“Thomas,” he said, “how do you know which foot is which?”

“It depends whose,” said Thomas. He was busy tying a large rucksack of lunch on to himself, and was in no mood for Samuel’s ball-room chatter.

“You’ve got one ski on one foot,” I said. “Then the other ski goes on the foot you’ve got over. I should have thought you would have seen that.”

“But I may have put the first one on wrong.”

“You ought to know, after all these years, that you are certain to have done so,” I said severely. Having had my own hired skis fixed on by the concierge I felt rather superior. Simpson, having bought his in London, was regarded darkly by that gentleman, and left to his own devices.

“Are we all ready?” asked Myra, who had kept us waiting for twenty minutes. “Archie, what about Dahlia?”

“Dahlia will join us at lunch. She is expecting a letter from Peter by the twelve o’clock post and refuses to start without it. Also she doesn’t think she is up to ski-ing just yet. Also she wants to have a heart-to-heart talk with the girl in red, and break it to her that Thomas is engaged to several people in London already.”

“Come on,” growled Thomas, and he led the way up the hill. We followed him in single file.