Until the first great disillusions of his youth, the Bedelle Foot Regulator and the Mosquito-Proof Socks, had brought a new sentimental need of consolation and understanding, Skippy Bedelle's opinion of the feminine sex had been decidedly monastic. During the first twenty-five years of their existence, he regarded them as unmitigated nuisances, and pondering on them, he often wondered at the hidden purposes of the Creator. Later they might possibly serve some purpose by marrying and adding to the world's supply of boys. In a further progress, a sort of penitential progress, they became more valuable members of society, as maiden aunts who tipped you on the quiet, and grandmothers who mitigated parental severity and knew the exquisite art of ginger snaps, crisp and brown.

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