Over the soup, the Dean's wife apologised for her new Parlourmaid referring to the Archdeacon and his wife as 'the Churchwardens', but the Archdeacon waved her apology away: "please don't give it a thought, Mrs Dean, I'm not one to stand on ceremony, we are all trying to do God's work here on Earth in our own ways and a Churchwarden serves as does the lowly Sexton," but then the Dean's wife asked the question her husband had realized she would ask: "tell me about your idea for a Ceilidh, Archdeacon, what do have planned for it?" and the poor man looked like a startled rabbit, even his wife was looking rather strangely at him, obviously wondering what on Earth the Dean's wife was talking about! which was when the Dean prompted him: "the Ceilidh to commemorate Robert Burns' anniversary on the 25th, Clarence, you suggested to me that the ladies of the Guild might be able to organise it," and the Archdeacon, surprised at being addressed by his Christian name, stammered: "oh, that Ceilidh? oh yes, Robert Burns, yes, of course," desperately trying to recall such a conversation which he was certain had never taken place, but as a vague memory of attending some such occasion at Hogmanay with friends from the Episcopal Church in Scotland while at University half a lifetime ago, drifted into his conscious mind, he manfully ploughed on: "someone will have to address the Haggis, Mrs Dean, and I'm sure I can lay my hands on a volume of Burns, somewhere, and there are Toasts and recitations, followed by dancing and singing, it's not quite my own forte which was why the Guild seemed the obvious ones to organise it, the ladies are so industrious and experienced at functions and such-like," and his wife, who was, like Mrs Dean, a member of the committee, nodded encouragingly, "would we hold it in the Hall?" she asked, and the Dean, now that the thing seemed to have grown legs of it's own, chipped in: "the Church Lads' Brigade has a band, doesn't it, perhaps they could provide the music, what do you think, Mrs Dean?" and his wife, seeming not to be entirely present, lost in her own thoughts, merely nodded, but Mrs Archdeacon was up and running: "and the Church School Choir, I'm sure that Miss MacTavish who conducts them, will have access to song-sheets and music, I'll ask her in the morning, she can summon her cohorts, there are some fine sopranos still among their number," at which the Dean clapped his hands, "yes, yes, a capital idea, just the sort of thing for her to get her teeth into," and he recalled the young music-teacher, with her small, perfect, white teeth and her small, perfect, young body, and wondered if he would dare to ask her for a dance, while his wife was preoccupied with something else: "of course there will needs be some small expenditure and I know that Mrs Dean as Treasurer will steer a safe course between penny-pinching parsimony and extravagant spendthiftery – is that a word? if not then I claim to have coined it!" it was a remarkable turn of events, from everything poised on the rim of an infundibuliform ready to be swallowed including himself, to this: even Mrs Dean was making suggestions, for, after all, it may (just may) have been the Archdeacon's idea (and she seriously doubted that the man was capable of any coherent or concrete idea) but she was not going to let Mrs Archdeacon take the glory of realising it!