Smoothly he asked Winslow if he had been to any Christmas parties.
'Certainly not, my dear Orbell.'
'Have you really neglected everyone?'
'I gave up going to my colleagues' wives' parties before you were born, my dear young man,' Winslow said.
He added: 'I have no small talk.'
He made the remark with complacency, as though he had an abnormal amount of great talk.'