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.My friend Smith looked depressed, so while the all too-vigorous "Jazz" band was playing a one-stop we adjourned to the buffet. I'am growing too old for one-steps; and He on his part did not seem to be in the onestep mood. -."'■; "This winter's dances sadden me." he confessed. "I'm nearly always overcome with the secret gnawing re-> gret of my clasß." "Your class?"

"I belong to a large class of Londoners, and I suppose there are plenty of us in the provinces also, I'm not really. ashamed of my class. Most of "oe' have slaved through the war. We have - sincerely tried to be honest in the matter ,of doing our bit. We didn't shirk. But for one good reason or ■ another, we stayed at home." "My dear fellow, yoxi don't mean to sa.y that idiots fling that 'sneer at you??"' •■■ "No. And I'm not afraid of fools. Nor do I dread the hypothetical infant's question, 'AVhat did you do in the great war, daddy?' But. when, on a night like this, I see the cliaps who did go. „". well, I'm sick with jealousy. Their home-coming ! That's what I've' missed.

' "Sentimental, surely?" . "Old man, did you notice that girl in blue dancing with an officer who wears pince-nez ? He'is not wildly handsome, now, is ho ? Nor a particularly clever dancer? No. But-did you see the way the 'girl looked, at him ? Adoring! Dash it, if ever the words 'the, love-light in her. eyes' meant anything at all, they apply^to the expression on that girl's face. "An engaged couple, probably. "They've been married for. eight years.'' But he's been at the "front. And he's come back." . Smith .sighed. "As you know," he said, "I'm happily married. Been mar-, ried eight years, too. But do you think that when I dance to-night with my wife she'll wear that look of ecstasy? We haven't been separated by the war end then reunited for a second

honej ,ilOoiit' j Smith sighed again. '•'thfii," he went on, ' tho iellows who've fought have su<h a lot to talk about among themselvos. At a dance like this it invariably happens that men meet who've run across each other at the front Giouns of 3 dragsters draw aside to gossip and guffaw ovt?r their' mutual reminiscences. What adventures- they've had 3 What escapes ! What jokes and what tragedies they've known ! What strange countries they; have- visited. They'll go on swapping reminiscences to the end of their lives.'' . ■ "Becoming smoke-room bores." I "suggested. "Maybe," said Smith, "But how I envy them .'"—'("Daily. Mail/)

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Bibliographic details

CAUSE FOR ENVY., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9601, 5 May 1919

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CAUSE FOR ENVY. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9601, 5 May 1919

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