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In this world we often make mistakes of judgment. We do not as a rule get out of them sound and whole, but sometimes we do.

One Scotchman was claiming that the peasantry of Scotland pronounced it three, his adversaries claimed that they didn't—that they pronounced it 'thraw'.

At dinner yesterday evening-present, a mixture of Scotch, English, American, Canadian, and Australasian folk—a discussion broke out about the pronunciation of certain Scottish words. This was private ground, and the non-Scotch nationalities, with one exception, discreetly kept still.

But I am not discreet, and I took a hand. I didn't know anything about the subject, but I took a hand just to have something to do. At that moment the word in dispute was the word three.

One Scotchman was claiming that the peasantry of Scotland pronounced it three, his adversaries claimed that they didn't—that they pronounced it 'thraw'.

The solitary Scot was having a sultry time of it, so I thought I would enrich him with my help. In my position I was necessarily quite impartial, and was equally as well and as ill equipped to fight on the one side as on the other.

So I spoke up and said the peasantry pronounced the word three, not thraw. It was an error of judgment. There was a moment of astonished and ominous silence, then weather ensued. The storm rose and spread in a surprising way, and I was snowed under in a very few minutes. It was a bad defeat for me—a kind of Waterloo.

It promised to remain so, and I wished I had had better sense than to enter upon such a forlorn enterprise. But just then I had a saving thought—at least a thought that offered a chance.

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