The guests must be greeted.
By the time the Deans returned, most of Bird Song's guests had scattered off to the continuing Fourth of July happenings.
Once she was certain Cade and his guests were comfortable, she retreated to her room with a book.
They had nothing to eat themselves, and they were wiser than to think that apologies could supply the place of food to their guests; so they drew their belts tighter and said nothing about it.
And Jim never has met any of his dinner guests beforehand.