The day I was visiting some friends and leaving in the mid forenoon I had to make my farewells to the master of the house after breakfast.
“Let me see,” he said. “I have to go to Glasgow by such a train. Could not you arrange to go through at the same time and I would look after you at the Central.”
“Look after me,? “ I echoed. “ Have you yet to learn that I can look after myself perfectly.”
“But wouldn’t you be the better of a man looking after your luggage between the low level and the high level?”
“Not a bit of it,” I replied. “He would only be in the way bothering me with the thought that I would have to be polite and smile and be gratified and all the rest of it. Besides I always see after my own luggage.
(In explanation of my defiant attitude I may explain that we had been having arguments on the woman’s place in the world and he had been trying to make me see that women are sweet helpless creatures who cannot get along at at all without the aid of a man’s strong arm and a man’s powerful brain).
“So you see,” I went on, “there is no reason why I should change my convenient train for a more inconvenient connection in order to be troubling you with my bits of bags.”
“But,” he said in desperation for a persuasive argument, “Don’t you think you should take the chance of a man’s company when you get the offer of it.”
“No!” A man’s company had no special fascination for me. Why should it have? I liked my own sex a little better. Besides there were always the porters if I really felt I could not manage without male assistance.
“Very well then. Goodbye.” And he shook hands smiling in whimsical defeat.
I could see it in his eye that he meant to change his train to suit mine but I was too cute for him; I changed my train too.
Later I was recounting this incident to another male friend and I wound up with the exclamation , “The complacent audacity of you men! Imagine him suggesting it would be a treat for me to have his company because of the elemental fact he was of the male sex. Surely men are in the last ditch now? ”
“Ah, that was the wrong way of putting it, “ answered my friend, soothingly and gallantly. “He should have asked if he might have the honour of accompanying you.”