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Still in circulation is the pleasant little story of an energetic House dance chairman, and his attempts to have the last House dance of the year go down in history. It has, indeed, attained wide celebrity, but not quite in the manner intended by the publicity-conscious chairman.
A Boston reporter was inveigled out to Cambridge to interview the committeeman. This gentleman proved to be obliging and presented him with a dazzling galaxy of names which represented the delegation of fair charmers which Beacon Hill was sending to the dance. Having exhausted his memory, and trailing off, as he thought, to a weak conclusion, he was beginning to chew the curds of disappointment when lo!, he had a flash of inspiration.
"Oh, by the way", he said casually, "I am taking Miss. . . . . .", mentioning the name of one of Boston's most popular debutantes. The interviewer's pencil fairly quivered when he noted down this declaration, for this, at last, was real news.
In the ensuing hustle and bustle of preparations for the dance, the committee chairman was very busy. Time passed quickly, but finally he was able to snatch a few minutes off to glance at a newspaper. There, on the society page, was a story blazoned in caps (the reporter had done his job well) which related in detail how the popular debutante was to grace the forth-coming Cambridge festivities.
Friends assert to this day that the chairman hung up a new unofficial ten-foot record in his dash to the telephone. Unfortunately the paper was hot off the griddle, and a coldly polite voice answered in that mournful refrain of "Miss Otis regrets. . . . . . . .".
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