e had mentioned an open question. He felt the consciousness of this to be a satisfaction. Some persons might say, "Well, but since the report was false, why not say so?" But Algernon always, and, as it were, instinctively, took refuge in the vague. A clear statement to which he should appear to be bound would have irked him like a tight shoe; and naturally so, since he was conscious that he should flexibly conform himself to circumstances as they might arise, and not stick with stubborn stupidity to any predetermined course of conduct, which might prove to be inconvenient.
After saying "Good night" to his hostess he elbowed his way out of the crowded rooms, and went downstairs side by side with Jack Price. The latter knew everybody present, or thought he did. And as, when he did happen to make a mistake and to greet enthusiastically some total stranger whom he had never seen in his life before, he never acknowledged it, but persisted in declaring that he remembered the individual in question perfectly,