It was generally admitted in the Family—and perhaps outside it— that if any one wanted to discuss the Family, or hear news of the Family, or give advice to the Family, or make laws for the Family, it was all to be done at Mrs. Golightly's over the tea. And the Family—as the Golightlys understood the term —was a large, unlimited body, not subject to arbitrary laws and conditions: any one might belong to it, provided only that the any one was in some way or other, whether by accident or necessity or marriage or any other mysterious cause, on speaking terms with the immediate representatives or distant connexions of the Golightly stock.
On one particular afternoon, therefore—a warm, bright afternoon in May—a small party was assembled in Mrs. Golightly's drawing-room. The party consisted of that lady herself, her husband, her step-son, Lady Hemingway, and Mrs. Godfrey Provence.
"Fancy!" said Lady Hemingway, "Grace has been married three years to-day."
"And where is Godfrey?" said George Golightly.
Grace started a sigh, but checked it and smiled instead. The smile was both touching and interesting: touching because forced, interesting because it implied an arrière pensée. At least this was George's