Tantie’s company was loud and hilarious and the intermittent squawk and flurry of the mirth made me think of the fowl-run when something fell into the midst ofthe fat hens. Mr. Gordon was always darting around with a wicked expression on his face, tearing up the fattest of the macomme’s from their chairs to dance and theyfloundered up with much raucous protestation. The children scurried about giddily; sometimes we were coaxed inside to dance; sometimes to our delight, the companyspread over a whole weekend, like at Tantie’s birthday. Then even Mikey was in a consistent humor.
The trouble was only with the Uncles; Tantie upbraided Mikey forslouching through the drawing room without even greeting them with an “good evening, folks”, and Mikey insisted that he always said “good evening, and Tantie asked,“Do you call a grunt in your belly a greeting?”, and Mikey said, “Do you want me to fawn over them?”, and Tantie answered, “By ‘them’, I am talking about Mr. George. Idon’t know by ‘them’ who you are referring to.” And then he took to slouching in through the back door instead. And the rampage that Leila went out of the window andbroke it took place on the night when Uncle Herman had leant back in his chair, taken out a cigarette and said to Mikey firmly, “Well, son, you have never told meif you are in little difficulty or anything, but don’t worry, if there is any problems about job, leave it to me, because the old Homey sure will help fix you up withsome job.”
And Mikey, only on his way through the drawing room, disappeared into his room suddenly muttering shortly, “Know me better, oldie.”