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This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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and to find a person who could mention Keats without stammering, yet
evidently washed his hands, was rather a treat.

"Ever read any Oscar Wilde?" he asked.

"No. Who wrote it?"

"It's a man--don't you know?"

"Oh, surely." A faint chord was struck in Amory's memory. "Wasn't the
comic opera, 'Patience,' written about him?"

"Yes, that's the fella. I've just finished a book of his, 'The Picture
of Dorian Gray,' and I certainly wish you'd read it. You'd like it.
You can borrow it if you want to."

"Why, I'd like it a lot--thanks."

"Don't you want to come up to the room? I've got a few other books."

Amory hesitated, glanced at the St. Paul's group--one of them was the
magnificent, exquisite Humbird--and he considered how determinate the
addition of this friend would be. He never got to the stage of making
them and getting rid of them--he was not hard enough for that--so he
measured Thomas Parke D'Invilliers' undoubted attractions and value
against the menace of cold eyes behind tortoise-rimmed spectacles that
he fancied glared from the next table.

"Yes, I'll go."

So he found "Dorian Gray" and the "Mystic and Somber Dolores" and the
"Belle Dame sans Merci"; for a month was keen on naught else. The world
became pale and interesting, and he tried hard to look at Princeton
through the satiated eyes of Oscar Wilde and Swinburne--or "Fingal
O'Flaherty" and "Algernon Charles," as he called them in precieuse jest.
He read enormously every night--Shaw, Chesterton, Barrie, Pinero, Yeats,
Synge, Ernest Dowson, Arthur Symons, Keats, Sudermann, Robert Hugh Benson,
the Savoy Operas--just a heterogeneous mixture, for he suddenly
discovered that he had read nothing for years.

Tom D'Invilliers became at first an occasion rather than a friend.
Amory saw him about once a week, and together they gilded the ceiling of
Tom's room and decorated the walls with imitation tapestry, bought at an
auction, tall candlesticks and figured curtains. Amory liked him for
being clever and literary without effeminacy or affectation. In fact,
Amory did most of the strutting and tried painfully to make every remark
an epigram, than which, if one is content with ostensible epigrams,
there are many feats harder. 12 Univee was amused. Kerry read "Dorian
Gray" and simulated Lord Henry, following Amory about, addressing him as
"Dorian" and pretending to encourage in him wicked fancies and attenuated
tendencies to ennui. When he carried it into Commons, to the amazement
of the others at table, Amory became furiously embarrassed, and after
that made epigrams only before D'Invilliers or a convenient mirror.

One day Tom and Amory tried reciting their own and Lord Dunsany's poems
to the music of Kerry's graphophone.

"Chant!" cried Tom. "Don't recite! Chant!"

Amory, who was performing, looked annoyed, and claimed that he needed a
record with less piano in it. Kerry thereupon rolled on the floor in
stifled laughter.

"Put on 'Hearts and Flowers'!" he howled. "Oh, my Lord, I'm going to
cast a kitten."

"Shut off the damn graphophone," Amory cried, rather red in the face.
"I'm not giving an exhibition."

In the meanwhile Amory delicately kept trying to awaken a sense of the
social system in D'Invilliers, for he knew that this poet was really more
conventional than he, and needed merely watered hair, a smaller range of
conversation, and a darker brown hat to become quite regular. But the
liturgy of Livingstone collars and dark ties fell on heedless ears;
in fact D'Invilliers faintly resented his efforts; so Amory confined
himself to calls once a week, and brought him occasionally to 12 Univee.
This caused mild titters among the other freshmen, who called them
"Doctor Johnson and Boswell."

Alec Connage, another frequent visitor, liked him in a vague way, but was
afraid of him as a highbrow. Kerry, who saw through his poetic patter
to the solid, almost respectable depths within, was immensely amused and
would have him recite poetry by the hour, while he lay with closed eyes
on Amory's sofa and listened:

"Asleep or waking is it? for her neck
Kissed over close, wears yet a purple speck
Wherein the pained blood falters and goes out;
Soft and stung softly--fairer for a fleck . . ."

"That's good," Kerry would say softly. "It pleases the elder Holiday.
That's a great poet, I guess." Tom, delighted at an audience, would
ramble through the "Poems and Ballades" until Kerry and Amory knew them
almost as well as he.

Amory took to writing poetry on spring afternoons, in the gardens of the
big estates near Princeton, while swans made effective atmosphere in the
artificial pools, and slow clouds sailed harmoniously above the willows.
May came too soon, and suddenly unable to bear walls, he wandered the
campus at all hours through starlight and rain.

* * * *


The night mist fell. From the moon it rolled, clustered about the spires
and towers, and then settled below them, so that the dreaming peaks
were still in lofty aspiration toward the sky. Figures that dotted the
day like ants now brushed along as shadowy ghosts, in and out of the
foreground. The Gothic halls and cloisters were infinitely more
mysterious as they loomed suddenly out of the darkness, outlined each by
myriad faint squares of yellow light. Indefinitely from somewhere a bell
boomed the quarter-hour, and Amory, pausing by the sun-dial, stretched
himself out full length on the damp grass. The cool bathed his eyes and
slowed the flight of time--time that had crept so insidiously through the
lazy April afternoons, seemed so intangible in the long spring twilights.
Evening after evening the senior singing had drifted over the campus
in melancholy beauty, and through the shell of his undergraduate
consciousness had broken a deep and reverent devotion to the gray walls
and Gothic peaks and all they symbolized as warehouses of dead ages.

The tower that in view of his window sprang upward, grew into a spire,
yearning higher until its uppermost tip was half invisible against
the morning skies, gave him the first sense of the transiency and
unimportance of the campus figures except as holders of the apostolic
succession. He liked knowing that Gothic architecture, with its upward
trend, was peculiarly appropriate to universities, and the idea became
personal to him. The silent stretches of green, the quiet halls with an
occasional late-burning scholastic light held his imagination in a strong
grasp, and the chastity of the spire became a symbol of this perception.

"Damn it all," he whispered aloud, wetting his hands in the damp and
running them through his hair. "Next year I work!" Yet he knew that
where now the spirit of spires and towers made him dreamily acquiescent,
it would then overawe him. Where now he realized only his own
inconsequence, effort would make him aware of his own impotency and

The college dreamed on--awake. He felt a nervous excitement that might
have been the very throb of its slow heart. It was a stream where he was
to throw a stone whose faint ripple would be vanishing almost as it left
his hand. As yet he had given nothing, he had taken nothing.

A belated freshman, his oilskin slicker rasping loudly, slushed along the
soft path. A voice from somewhere called the inevitable formula, "Stick
out your head!" below an unseen window. A hundred little sounds of the
current drifting on under the fog pressed in finally on his consciousness.

"Oh, God!" he cried suddenly, and started at the sound of his voice in
the stillness. The rain dripped on. A minute longer he lay without
moving, his hands clinched. Then he sprang to his feet and gave his
clothes a tentative pat.

"I'm very damn wet!" he said aloud to the sun-dial.

* * * *


The war began in the summer following his freshman year. Beyond a
sporting interest in the German dash for Paris the whole affair failed
either to thrill or interest him. With the attitude he might have
held toward an amusing melodrama he hoped it would be long and bloody.
If it had not continued he would have felt like an irate ticket-holder
at a prize-fight where the principals refused to mix it up.

That was his total reaction.

* * * *


"All right, ponies!"

"Shake it up!"

"Hey, ponies--how about easing up on that crap game and shaking a mean

"Hey, _ponies!_"

The coach fumed helplessly, the Triangle Club president, glowering
with anxiety, varied between furious bursts of authority and fits of
temperamental lassitude, when he sat spiritless and wondered how the
devil the show was ever going on tour by Christmas.

"All right. We'll take the pirate song."

The ponies took last drags at their cigarettes and slumped into place;
the leading lady rushed into the foreground, setting his hands and feet
in an atmospheric mince; and as the coach clapped and stamped and tumped
and da-da'd, they hashed out a dance.

A great, seething ant-hill was the Triangle Club. It gave a musical
comedy every year, travelling with cast, chorus, orchestra, and scenery
all through Christmas vacation. The play and music were the work
of undergraduates, and the club itself was the most influential of
institutions, over three hundred men competing for it every year.

Amory, after an easy victory in the first sophomore Princetonian
competition, stepped into a vacancy of the cast as Boiling Oil, a Pirate
Lieutenant. Every night for the last week they had rehearsed "Ha-Ha
Hortense!" in the Casino, from two in the afternoon until eight in the
morning, sustained by dark and powerful coffee, and sleeping in lectures
through the interim. A rare scene, the Casino. A big, barnlike
auditorium, dotted with boys as girls, boys as pirates, boys as babies;
the scenery in course of being violently set up; the spotlight man
rehearsing by throwing weird shafts into angry eyes; over all the
constant tuning of the orchestra or the cheerful tumpty-tump of a
Triangle tune. The boy who writes the lyrics stands in the corner,
biting a pencil, with twenty minutes to think of an encore; the business
manager argues with the secretary as to how much money can be spent on
"those damn milkmaid costumes"; the old graduate, president in ninety-
eight, perches on a box and thinks how much simpler it was in his day.

How a Triangle show ever got off was a mystery, but it was a riotous
mystery, anyway, whether or not one did enough service to wear a little
gold Triangle on his watch-chain. "Ha-Ha Hortense!" was written over
six times and had the names of nine collaborators on the programme. All
Triangle shows started by being "something different--not just a regular
musical comedy," but when the several authors, the president, the coach
and the faculty committee finished with it, there remained just the old
reliable Triangle show with the old reliable jokes and the star comedian
who got expelled or sick or something just before the trip, and the
dark-whiskered man in the pony-ballet, who "absolutely won't shave twice
a day, doggone it!"

There was one brilliant place in "Ha-Ha Hortense!" It is a Princeton
tradition that whenever a Yale man who is a member of the widely
advertised "Skull and Bones" hears the sacred name mentioned, he must
leave the room. It is also a tradition that the members are invariably
successful in later life, amassing fortunes or votes or coupons or
whatever they choose to amass. Therefore, at each performance of "Ha-Ha
Hortense!" half-a-dozen seats were kept from sale and occupied by six of
the worst-looking vagabonds that could be hired from the streets, further
touched up by the Triangle make-up man. At the moment in the show where
Firebrand, the Pirate Chief, pointed at his black flag and said, "I am
a Yale graduate--note my Skull and Bones!"--at this very moment the six
vagabonds were instructed to rise _conspicuously_ and leave the theatre
with looks of deep melancholy and an injured dignity. It was claimed
though never proved that on one occasion the hired Elis were swelled by
one of the real thing.

They played through vacation to the fashionable of eight cities. Amory
liked Louisville and Memphis best: these knew how to meet strangers,
furnished extraordinary punch, and flaunted an astonishing array of
feminine beauty. Chicago he approved for a certain verve that
transcended its loud accent--however, it was a Yale town, and as the
Yale Glee Club was expected in a week the Triangle received only divided
homage. In Baltimore, Princeton was at home, and every one fell in love.
There was a proper consumption of strong waters all along the line;
one man invariably went on the stage highly stimulated, claiming that
his particular interpretation of the part required it. There were three
private cars; however, no one slept except in the third car, which was
called the "animal car," and where were herded the spectacled wind-
jammers of the orchestra. Everything was so hurried that there was no
time to be bored, but when they arrived in Philadelphia, with vacation
nearly over, there was rest in getting out of the heavy atmosphere of
flowers and grease-paint, and the ponies took off their corsets with
abdominal pains and sighs of relief.

When the disbanding came, Amory set out post haste for Minneapolis,
for Sally Weatherby's cousin, Isabelle Borge, was coming to spend the
winter in Minneapolis while her parents went abroad. He remembered
Isabelle only as a little girl with whom he had played sometimes when he
first went to Minneapolis. She had gone to Baltimore to live--but since
then she had developed a past.

Amory was in full stride, confident, nervous, and jubilant. Scurrying
back to Minneapolis to see a girl he had known as a child seemed the
interesting and romantic thing to do, so without compunction he wired
his mother not to expect him . . . sat in the train, and thought about
himself for thirty-six hours.

* * * *


On the Triangle trip Amory had come into constant contact with that great
current American phenomenon, the "petting party."

None of the Victorian mothers--and most of the mothers were Victorian--
had any idea how casually their daughters were accustomed to be kissed.
"Servant-girls are that way," says Mrs. Huston-Carmelite to her popular
daughter. "They are kissed first and proposed to afterward."

But the Popular Daughter becomes engaged every six months between sixteen
and twenty-two, when she arranges a match with young Hambell, of Cambell
& Hambell, who fatuously considers himself her first love, and between
engagements the P. D. (she is selected by the cut-in system at dances,
which favors the survival of the fittest) has other sentimental last
kisses in the moonlight, or the firelight, or the outer darkness.

Amory saw girls doing things that even in his memory would have been
impossible: eating three-o'clock, after-dance suppers in impossible cafes,
talking of every side of life with an air half of earnestness, half of
mockery, yet with a furtive excitement that Amory considered stood for a
real moral let-down. But he never realized how wide-spread it was until
he saw the cities between New York and Chicago as one vast juvenile

Afternoon at the Plaza, with winter twilight hovering outside and faint
drums down-stairs . . . they strut and fret in the lobby, taking another
cocktail, scrupulously attired and waiting. Then the swinging doors
revolve and three bundles of fur mince in. The theatre comes afterward;
then a table at the Midnight Frolic--of course, mother will be along
there, but she will serve only to make things more secretive and
brilliant as she sits in solitary state at the deserted table and thinks
such entertainments as this are not half so bad as they are painted,
only rather wearying. But the P. D. is in love again . . . it was odd,
wasn't it?--that though there was so much room left in the taxi the
P. D. and the boy from Williams were somehow crowded out and had to go in
a separate car. Odd! Didn't you notice how flushed the P. D. was when
she arrived just seven minutes late? But the P. D. "gets away with it."

The "belle" had become the "flirt," the "flirt" had become the "baby
vamp." The "belle" had five or six callers every afternoon. If the
P. D., by some strange accident, has two, it is made pretty uncomfortable
for the one who hasn't a date with her. The "belle" was surrounded
by a dozen men in the intermissions between dances. Try to find the
P. D. between dances, just _try_ to find her.

The same girl . . . deep in an atmosphere of jungle music and the
questioning of moral codes. Amory found it rather fascinating to feel
that any popular girl he met before eight he might quite possibly kiss
before twelve.

"Why on earth are we here?" he asked the girl with the green combs one
night as they sat in some one's limousine, outside the Country Club in

"I don't know. I'm just full of the devil."

"Let's be frank--we'll never see each other again. I wanted to come out
here with you because I thought you were the best-looking girl in sight.
You really don't care whether you ever see me again, do you?"

"No--but is this your line for every girl? What have I done to deserve

"And you didn't feel tired dancing or want a cigarette or any of the
things you said? You just wanted to be--"

"Oh, let's go in," she interrupted, "if you want to _analyze_. Let's not
_talk_ about it."

When the hand-knit, sleeveless jerseys were stylish, Amory, in a burst of
inspiration, named them "petting shirts." The name travelled from coast
to coast on the lips of parlor-snakes and P. D.'s.

* * * *


Amory was now eighteen years old, just under six feet tall and
exceptionally, but not conventionally, handsome. He had rather a young
face, the ingenuousness of which was marred by the penetrating green eyes,
fringed with long dark eyelashes. He lacked somehow that intense
animal magnetism that so often accompanies beauty in men or women; his
personality seemed rather a mental thing, and it was not in his power to
turn it on and off like a water-faucet. But people never forgot his face.

* * * *


She paused at the top of the staircase. The sensations attributed to
divers on spring-boards, leading ladies on opening nights, and lumpy,
husky young men on the day of the Big Game, crowded through her. She
should have descended to a burst of drums or a discordant blend of themes
from "Thais" and "Carmen." She had never been so curious about her
appearance, she had never been so satisfied with it. She had been
sixteen years old for six months.

"Isabelle!" called her cousin Sally from the doorway of the dressing-room.

"I'm ready." She caught a slight lump of nervousness in her throat.

"I had to send back to the house for another pair of slippers. It'll be
just a minute."

Isabelle started toward the dressing-room for a last peek in the mirror,
but something decided her to stand there and gaze down the broad stairs
of the Minnehaha Club. They curved tantalizingly, and she could catch
just a glimpse of two pairs of masculine feet in the hall below.
Pump-shod in uniform black, they gave no hint of identity, but she
wondered eagerly if one pair were attached to Amory Blaine. This young
man, not as yet encountered, had nevertheless taken up a considerable
part of her day--the first day of her arrival. Coming up in the machine
from the station, Sally had volunteered, amid a rain of question, comment,
revelation, and exaggeration:

"You remember Amory Blaine, of _course_. Well, he's simply mad to
see you again. He's stayed over a day from college, and he's coming
to-night. He's heard so much about you--says he remembers your eyes."

This had pleased Isabelle. It put them on equal terms, although she
was quite capable of staging her own romances, with or without advance
advertising. But following her happy tremble of anticipation, came a
sinking sensation that made her ask:

"How do you mean he's heard about me? What sort of things?"

Sally smiled. She felt rather in the capacity of a showman with her more
exotic cousin.

"He knows you're--you're considered beautiful and all that"--she paused--
"and I guess he knows you've been kissed."

At this Isabelle's little fist had clinched suddenly under the fur robe.
She was accustomed to be thus followed by her desperate past, and it
never failed to rouse in her the same feeling of resentment; yet--in
a strange town it was an advantageous reputation. She was a "Speed,"
was she? Well--let them find out.

Out of the window Isabelle watched the snow glide by in the frosty
morning. It was ever so much colder here than in Baltimore; she had not
remembered; the glass of the side door was iced, the windows were shirred
with snow in the corners. Her mind played still with one subject.
Did _he_ dress like that boy there, who walked calmly down a bustling
business street, in moccasins and winter-carnival costume? How very
_Western!_ Of course he wasn't that way: he went to Princeton, was a
sophomore or something. Really she had no distinct idea of him. An
ancient snap-shot she had preserved in an old kodak book had impressed
her by the big eyes (which he had probably grown up to by now). However,
in the last month, when her winter visit to Sally had been decided on,
he had assumed the proportions of a worthy adversary. Children, most
astute of match-makers, plot their campaigns quickly, and Sally had
played a clever correspondence sonata to Isabelle's excitable
temperament. Isabelle had been for some time capable of very strong,
if very transient emotions. . . .

They drew up at a spreading, white-stone building, set back from the
snowy street. Mrs. Weatherby greeted her warmly and her various younger
cousins were produced from the corners where they skulked politely.
Isabelle met them tactfully. At her best she allied all with whom she
came in contact--except older girls and some women. All the impressions
she made were conscious. The half-dozen girls she renewed acquaintance
with that morning were all rather impressed and as much by her direct
personality as by her reputation. Amory Blaine was an open subject.
Evidently a bit light of love, neither popular nor unpopular--every
girl there seemed to have had an affair with him at some time or other,
but no one volunteered any really useful information. He was going to
fall for her. . . . Sally had published that information to her young
set and they were retailing it back to Sally as fast as they set eyes
on Isabelle. Isabelle resolved secretly that she would, if necessary,
_force_ herself to like him--she owed it to Sally. Suppose she were
terribly disappointed. Sally had painted him in such glowing colors--
he was good-looking, "sort of distinguished, when he wants to be,"
had a line, and was properly inconstant. In fact, he summed up all the
romance that her age and environment led her to desire. She wondered
if those were his dancing-shoes that fox-trotted tentatively around the
soft rug below.

All impressions and, in fact, all ideas were extremely kaleidoscopic to
Isabelle. She had that curious mixture of the social and the artistic
temperaments found often in two classes, society women and actresses.
Her education or, rather, her sophistication, had been absorbed from the
boys who had dangled on her favor; her tact was instinctive, and her
capacity for love-affairs was limited only by the number of the
susceptible within telephone distance. Flirt smiled from her large
black-brown eyes and shone through her intense physical magnetism.

So she waited at the head of the stairs that evening while slippers
were fetched. Just as she was growing impatient, Sally came out of the
dressing-room, beaming with her accustomed good nature and high spirits,
and together they descended to the floor below, while the shifting
search-light of Isabelle's mind flashed on two ideas: she was glad she
had high color to-night, and she wondered if he danced well.

Down-stairs, in the club's great room, she was surrounded for a moment
by the girls she had met in the afternoon, then she heard Sally's voice
repeating a cycle of names, and found herself bowing to a sextet of black
and white, terribly stiff, vaguely familiar figures. The name Blaine
figured somewhere, but at first she could not place him. A very confused,
very juvenile moment of awkward backings and bumpings followed, and every
one found himself talking to the person he least desired to. Isabelle
manoeuvred herself and Froggy Parker, freshman at Harvard, with whom
she had once played hop-scotch, to a seat on the stairs. A humorous
reference to the past was all she needed. The things Isabelle could
do socially with one idea were remarkable. First, she repeated it
rapturously in an enthusiastic contralto with a soupcon of Southern
accent; then she held it off at a distance and smiled at it--her
wonderful smile; then she delivered it in variations and played a sort of
mental catch with it, all this in the nominal form of dialogue. Froggy
was fascinated and quite unconscious that this was being done, not for
him, but for the green eyes that glistened under the shining carefully
watered hair, a little to her left, for Isabelle had discovered Amory.
As an actress even in the fullest flush of her own conscious magnetism
gets a deep impression of most of the people in the front row, so
Isabelle sized up her antagonist. First, he had auburn hair, and from
her feeling of disappointment she knew that she had expected him to
be dark and of garter-advertisement slenderness. . . . For the rest,
a faint flush and a straight, romantic profile; the effect set off by a
close-fitting dress suit and a silk ruffled shirt of the kind that women
still delight to see men wear, but men were just beginning to get tired

During this inspection Amory was quietly watching.

"Don't _you_ think so?" she said suddenly, turning to him, innocent-eyed.

There was a stir, and Sally led the way over to their table. Amory
struggled to Isabelle's side, and whispered:

"You're my dinner partner, you know. We're all coached for each other."

Isabelle gasped--this was rather right in line. But really she felt
as if a good speech had been taken from the star and given to a minor
character. . . . She mustn't lose the leadership a bit. The dinner-
table glittered with laughter at the confusion of getting places and then
curious eyes were turned on her, sitting near the head. She was enjoying
this immensely, and Froggy Parker was so engrossed with the added sparkle
of her rising color that he forgot to pull out Sally's chair, and fell
into a dim confusion. Amory was on the other side, full of confidence
and vanity, gazing at her in open admiration. He began directly, and so
did Froggy:

"I've heard a lot about you since you wore braids--"

"Wasn't it funny this afternoon--"

Both stopped. Isabelle turned to Amory shyly. Her face was always
enough answer for any one, but she decided to speak.

"How--from whom?"

"From everybody--for all the years since you've been away." She blushed
appropriately. On her right Froggy was _hors de combat_ already,
although he hadn't quite realized it.

"I'll tell you what I remembered about you all these years," Amory
continued. She leaned slightly toward him and looked modestly at the
celery before her. Froggy sighed--he knew Amory, and the situations that
Amory seemed born to handle. He turned to Sally and asked her if she was
going away to school next year. Amory opened with grape-shot.

"I've got an adjective that just fits you." This was one of his favorite
starts--he seldom had a word in mind, but it was a curiosity provoker,
and he could always produce something complimentary if he got in a tight

"Oh--what?" Isabelle's face was a study in enraptured curiosity.

Amory shook his head.

"I don't know you very well yet."

"Will you tell me--afterward?" she half whispered.

He nodded.

"We'll sit out."

Isabelle nodded.

"Did any one ever tell you, you have keen eyes?" she said.

Amory attempted to make them look even keener. He fancied, but he was
not sure, that her foot had just touched his under the table. But it
might possibly have been only the table leg. It was so hard to tell.
Still it thrilled him. He wondered quickly if there would be any
difficulty in securing the little den up-stairs.

* * * *


Isabelle and Amory were distinctly not innocent, nor were they
particularly brazen. Moreover, amateur standing had very little value in
the game they were playing, a game that would presumably be her principal
study for years to come. She had begun as he had, with good looks and an
excitable temperament, and the rest was the result of accessible popular
novels and dressing-room conversation culled from a slightly older set.
Isabelle had walked with an artificial gait at nine and a half, and
when her eyes, wide and starry, proclaimed the ingenue most. Amory was
proportionately less deceived. He waited for the mask to drop off,
but at the same time he did not question her right to wear it.
She, on her part, was not impressed by his studied air of blase
sophistication. She had lived in a larger city and had slightly an
advantage in range. But she accepted his pose--it was one of the dozen
little conventions of this kind of affair. He was aware that he was
getting this particular favor now because she had been coached; he knew
that he stood for merely the best game in sight, and that he would
have to improve his opportunity before he lost his advantage. So they
proceeded with an infinite guile that would have horrified her parents.

After the dinner the dance began . . . smoothly. Smoothly?--boys cut
in on Isabelle every few feet and then squabbled in the corners with:
"You might let me get more than an inch!" and "She didn't like it either--
she told me so next time I cut in." It was true--she told every one so,
and gave every hand a parting pressure that said: "You know that your
dances are _making_ my evening."

But time passed, two hours of it, and the less subtle beaux had better
learned to focus their pseudo-passionate glances elsewhere, for eleven
o'clock found Isabelle and Amory sitting on the couch in the little den
off the reading-room up-stairs. She was conscious that they were a
handsome pair, and seemed to belong distinctively in this seclusion,
while lesser lights fluttered and chattered down-stairs.

Boys who passed the door looked in enviously--girls who passed only
laughed and frowned and grew wise within themselves.

They had now reached a very definite stage. They had traded accounts of
their progress since they had met last, and she had listened to much she
had heard before. He was a sophomore, was on the Princetonian board,
hoped to be chairman in senior year. He learned that some of the boys
she went with in Baltimore were "terrible speeds" and came to dances in
states of artificial stimulation; most of them were twenty or so, and
drove alluring red Stutzes. A good half seemed to have already flunked
out of various schools and colleges, but some of them bore athletic names
that made him look at her admiringly. As a matter of fact, Isabelle's
closer acquaintance with the universities was just commencing. She had
bowing acquaintance with a lot of young men who thought she was a "pretty
kid--worth keeping an eye on." But Isabelle strung the names into a
fabrication of gayety that would have dazzled a Viennese nobleman.
Such is the power of young contralto voices on sink-down sofas.

He asked her if she thought he was conceited. She said there was a
difference between conceit and self-confidence. She adored self-
confidence in men.

"Is Froggy a good friend of yours?" she asked.


"He's a bum dancer."

Amory laughed.

"He dances as if the girl were on his back instead of in his arms."

She appreciated this.

"You're awfully good at sizing people up."

Amory denied this painfully. However, he sized up several people for
her. Then they talked about hands.

"You've got awfully nice hands," she said. "They look as if you played
the piano. Do you?"

I have said they had reached a very definite stage--nay, more, a very
critical stage. Amory had stayed over a day to see her, and his train
left at twelve-eighteen that night. His trunk and suitcase awaited him
at the station; his watch was beginning to hang heavy in his pocket.

"Isabelle," he said suddenly, "I want to tell you something." They had
been talking lightly about "that funny look in her eyes," and Isabelle
knew from the change in his manner what was coming--indeed, she had been
wondering how soon it would come. Amory reached above their heads and
turned out the electric light, so that they were in the dark, except for
the red glow that fell through the door from the reading-room lamps.
Then he began:

"I don't know whether or not you know what you--what I'm going to say.
Lordy, Isabelle--this _sounds_ like a line, but it isn't."

"I know," said Isabelle softly.

"Maybe we'll never meet again like this--I have darned hard luck
sometimes." He was leaning away from her on the other arm of the lounge,
but she could see his eyes plainly in the dark.

"You'll meet me again--silly." There was just the slightest emphasis
on the last word--so that it became almost a term of endearment. He
continued a bit huskily:

"I've fallen for a lot of people--girls--and I guess you have, too--boys,
I mean, but, honestly, you--" he broke off suddenly and leaned forward,
chin on his hands: "Oh, what's the use--you'll go your way and I suppose
I'll go mine."

Silence for a moment. Isabelle was quite stirred; she wound her
handkerchief into a tight ball, and by the faint light that streamed over
her, dropped it deliberately on the floor. Their hands touched for an
instant, but neither spoke. Silences were becoming more frequent and
more delicious. Outside another stray couple had come up and were
experimenting on the piano in the next room. After the usual preliminary
of "chopsticks," one of them started "Babes in the Woods" and a light
tenor carried the words into the den:

"Give me your hand
I'll understand
We're off to slumberland."

Isabelle hummed it softly and trembled as she felt Amory's hand close
over hers.

"Isabelle," he whispered. "You know I'm mad about you. You _do_ give a
darn about me."


"How much do you care--do you like any one better?"

"No." He could scarcely hear her, although he bent so near that he felt
her breath against his cheek.

"Isabelle, I'm going back to college for six long months, and why
shouldn't we--if I could only just have one thing to remember you by--"

"Close the door. . . ." Her voice had just stirred so that he half
wondered whether she had spoken at all. As he swung the door softly shut,
the music seemed quivering just outside.

"Moonlight is bright,
Kiss me good night."

What a wonderful song, she thought--everything was wonderful to-night,
most of all this romantic scene in the den, with their hands clinging and
the inevitable looming charmingly close. The future vista of her life
seemed an unending succession of scenes like this: under moonlight and
pale starlight, and in the backs of warm limousines and in low, cosy
roadsters stopped under sheltering trees--only the boy might change,
and this one was so nice. He took her hand softly. With a sudden
movement he turned it and, holding it to his lips, kissed the palm.

"Isabelle!" His whisper blended in the music, and they seemed to float
nearer together. Her breath came faster. "Can't I kiss you, Isabelle--
Isabelle?" Lips half parted, she turned her head to him in the dark.
Suddenly the ring of voices, the sound of running footsteps surged toward
them. Quick as a flash Amory reached up and turned on the light, and
when the door opened and three boys, the wrathy and dance-craving Froggy
among them, rushed in, he was turning over the magazines on the table,
while she sat without moving, serene and unembarrassed, and even greeted
them with a welcoming smile. But her heart was beating wildly, and she
felt somehow as if she had been deprived.

It was evidently over. There was a clamor for a dance, there was a
glance that passed between them--on his side despair, on hers regret,
and then the evening went on, with the reassured beaux and the eternal
cutting in.

At quarter to twelve Amory shook hands with her gravely, in the midst of
a small crowd assembled to wish him good-speed. For an instant he lost
his poise, and she felt a bit rattled when a satirical voice from a
concealed wit cried:

"Take her outside, Amory!" As he took her hand he pressed it a little,
and she returned the pressure as she had done to twenty hands that
evening--that was all.

At two o'clock back at the Weatherbys' Sally asked her if she and Amory
had had a "time" in the den. Isabelle turned to her quietly. In her
eyes was the light of the idealist, the inviolate dreamer of Joan-like

"No," she answered. "I don't do that sort of thing any more; he asked me
to, but I said no."

As she crept in bed she wondered what he'd say in his special delivery
to-morrow. He had such a good-looking mouth--would she ever--?

"Fourteen angels were watching o'er them," sang Sally sleepily from the
next room.

"Damn!" muttered Isabelle, punching the pillow into a luxurious lump and
exploring the cold sheets cautiously. "Damn!"

* * * *


Amory, by way of the Princetonian, had arrived. The minor snobs, finely
balanced thermometers of success, warmed to him as the club elections
grew nigh, and he and Tom were visited by groups of upper classmen who
arrived awkwardly, balanced on the edge of the furniture and talked of
all subjects except the one of absorbing interest. Amory was amused at
the intent eyes upon him, and, in case the visitors represented some club
in which he was not interested, took great pleasure in shocking them with
unorthodox remarks.

"Oh, let me see--" he said one night to a flabbergasted delegation,
"what club do you represent?"

With visitors from Ivy and Cottage and Tiger Inn he played the "nice,
unspoilt, ingenuous boy" very much at ease and quite unaware of the
object of the call.

When the fatal morning arrived, early in March, and the campus became a
document in hysteria, he slid smoothly into Cottage with Alec Connage and
watched his suddenly neurotic class with much wonder.

There were fickle groups that jumped from club to club; there were
friends of two or three days who announced tearfully and wildly that
they must join the same club, nothing should separate them; there were
snarling disclosures of long-hidden grudges as the Suddenly Prominent
remembered snubs of freshman year. Unknown men were elevated into
importance when they received certain coveted bids; others who were
considered "all set" found that they had made unexpected enemies, felt
themselves stranded and deserted, talked wildly of leaving college.

In his own crowd Amory saw men kept out for wearing green hats, for
being "a damn tailor's dummy," for having "too much pull in heaven," for
getting drunk one night "not like a gentleman, by God," or for
unfathomable secret reasons known to no one but the wielders of the
black balls.

This orgy of sociability culminated in a gigantic party at the Nassau Inn,
where punch was dispensed from immense bowls, and the whole down-stairs
became a delirious, circulating, shouting pattern of faces and voices.

"Hi, Dibby--'gratulations!"

"Goo' boy, Tom, you got a good bunch in Cap."

"Say, Kerry--"

"Oh, Kerry--I hear you went Tiger with all the weight-lifters!" "Well,
I didn't go Cottage--the parlor-snakes' delight."

"They say Overton fainted when he got his Ivy bid--Did he sign up the
first day?--oh, _no_. Tore over to Murray-Dodge on a bicycle--afraid it
was a mistake."

"How'd you get into Cap--you old roue?"


"'Gratulations yourself. Hear you got a good crowd."

When the bar closed, the party broke up into groups and streamed, singing,
over the snow-clad campus, in a weird delusion that snobbishness and
strain were over at last, and that they could do what they pleased for
the next two years.

Long afterward Amory thought of sophomore spring as the happiest time of
his life. His ideas were in tune with life as he found it; he wanted
no more than to drift and dream and enjoy a dozen new-found friendships
through the April afternoons.

Alec Connage came into his room one morning and woke him up into the
sunshine and peculiar glory of Campbell Hall shining in the window.

"Wake up, Original Sin, and scrape yourself together. Be in front of
Renwick's in half an hour. Somebody's got a car." He took the bureau
cover and carefully deposited it, with its load of small articles,
upon the bed.

"Where'd you get the car?" demanded Amory cynically.

"Sacred trust, but don't be a critical goopher or you can't go!"

"I think I'll sleep," Amory said calmly, resettling himself and reaching
beside the bed for a cigarette.


"Why not? I've got a class at eleven-thirty."

"You damned gloom! Of course, if you don't want to go to the coast--"

With a bound Amory was out of bed, scattering the bureau cover's burden
on the floor. The coast . . . he hadn't seen it for years, since he and
his mother were on their pilgrimage.

"Who's going?" he demanded as he wriggled into his B. V. D.'s.

"Oh, Dick Humbird and Kerry Holiday and Jesse Ferrenby and--oh about five
or six. Speed it up, kid!"

In ten minutes Amory was devouring cornflakes in Renwick's, and at
nine-thirty they bowled happily out of town, headed for the sands of
Deal Beach.

"You see," said Kerry, "the car belongs down there. In fact, it was
stolen from Asbury Park by persons unknown, who deserted it in Princeton
and left for the West. Heartless Humbird here got permission from the
city council to deliver it."

"Anybody got any money?" suggested Ferrenby, turning around from the
front seat.

There was an emphatic negative chorus.

"That makes it interesting."

"Money--what's money? We can sell the car."

"Charge him salvage or something."

"How're we going to get food?" asked Amory.

"Honestly," answered Kerry, eying him reprovingly, "do you doubt Kerry's
ability for three short days? Some people have lived on nothing for
years at a time. Read the Boy Scout Monthly."

"Three days," Amory mused, "and I've got classes."

"One of the days is the Sabbath."

"Just the same, I can only cut six more classes, with over a month and a
half to go."

"Throw him out!"

"It's a long walk back."

"Amory, you're running it out, if I may coin a new phrase."

"Hadn't you better get some dope on yourself, Amory?"

Amory subsided resignedly and drooped into a contemplation of the
scenery. Swinburne seemed to fit in somehow.

"Oh, winter's rains and ruins are over,
And all the seasons of snows and sins;
The days dividing lover and lover,
The light that loses, the night that wins;
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in green underwood and cover,
Blossom by blossom the spring begins.

"The full streams feed on flower of--"

"What's the matter, Amory? Amory's thinking about poetry, about the
pretty birds and flowers. I can see it in his eye."

"No, I'm not," he lied. "I'm thinking about the Princetonian. I ought
to make up to-night; but I can telephone back, I suppose."

"Oh," said Kerry respectfully, "these important men--"

Amory flushed and it seemed to him that Ferrenby, a defeated competitor,
winced a little. Of course, Kerry was only kidding, but he really
mustn't mention the Princetonian.

It was a halcyon day, and as they neared the shore and the salt breezes
scurried by, he began to picture the ocean and long, level stretches of
sand and red roofs over blue sea. Then they hurried through the little
town and it all flashed upon his consciousness to a mighty paean of
emotion. . . .

"Oh, good Lord! _Look_ at it!" he cried.


"Let me out, quick--I haven't seen it for eight years! Oh, gentlefolk,
stop the car!"

"What an odd child!" remarked Alec.

"I do believe he's a bit eccentric."

The car was obligingly drawn up at a curb, and Amory ran for the
boardwalk. First, he realized that the sea was blue and that there was
an enormous quantity of it, and that it roared and roared--really all the
banalities about the ocean that one could realize, but if any one had
told him then that these things were banalities, he would have gaped in

"Now we'll get lunch," ordered Kerry, wandering up with the crowd.
"Come on, Amory, tear yourself away and get practical."

"We'll try the best hotel first," he went on, "and thence and so forth."

They strolled along the boardwalk to the most imposing hostelry in sight,
and, entering the dining-room, scattered about a table.

"Eight Bronxes," commanded Alec, "and a club sandwich and Juliennes.
The food for one. Hand the rest around."

Amory ate little, having seized a chair where he could watch the sea and
feel the rock of it. When luncheon was over they sat and smoked quietly.

"What's the bill?"

Some one scanned it.

"Eight twenty-five."

"Rotten overcharge. We'll give them two dollars and one for the waiter.
Kerry, collect the small change."

The waiter approached, and Kerry gravely handed him a dollar, tossed two
dollars on the check, and turned away. They sauntered leisurely toward
the door, pursued in a moment by the suspicious Ganymede.

"Some mistake, sir."

Kerry took the bill and examined it critically.

"No mistake!" he said, shaking his head gravely, and, tearing it into
four pieces, he handed the scraps to the waiter, who was so dumfounded
that he stood motionless and expressionless while they walked out.

"Won't he send after us?"

"No," said Kerry; "for a minute he'll think we're the proprietor's sons
or something; then he'll look at the check again and call the manager,
and in the meantime--"

They left the car at Asbury and street-car'd to Allenhurst, where they
investigated the crowded pavilions for beauty. At four there were
refreshments in a lunch-room, and this time they paid an even smaller per
cent on the total cost; something about the appearance and savoir-faire
of the crowd made the thing go, and they were not pursued.

"You see, Amory, we're Marxian Socialists," explained Kerry. "We don't
believe in property and we're putting it to the great test."

"Night will descend," Amory suggested.

"Watch, and put your trust in Holiday."

They became jovial about five-thirty and, linking arms, strolled up and
down the boardwalk in a row, chanting a monotonous ditty about the sad
sea waves. Then Kerry saw a face in the crowd that attracted him and,
rushing off, reappeared in a moment with one of the homeliest girls Amory
had ever set eyes on. Her pale mouth extended from ear to ear, her teeth
projected in a solid wedge, and she had little, squinty eyes that peeped
ingratiatingly over the side sweep of her nose. Kerry presented them

"Name of Kaluka, Hawaiian queen! Let me present Messrs. Connage, Sloane,
Humbird, Ferrenby, and Blaine."

The girl bobbed courtesies all around. Poor creature; Amory supposed she
had never before been noticed in her life--possibly she was half-witted.
While she accompanied them (Kerry had invited her to supper) she said
nothing which could discountenance such a belief.

"She prefers her native dishes," said Alec gravely to the waiter, "but
any coarse food will do."

All through supper he addressed her in the most respectful language,
while Kerry made idiotic love to her on the other side, and she giggled
and grinned. Amory was content to sit and watch the by-play, thinking
what a light touch Kerry had, and how he could transform the barest
incident into a thing of curve and contour. They all seemed to have
the spirit of it more or less, and it was a relaxation to be with them.
Amory usually liked men individually, yet feared them in crowds unless
the crowd was around him. He wondered how much each one contributed to
the party, for there was somewhat of a spiritual tax levied. Alec and
Kerry were the life of it, but not quite the centre. Somehow the quiet
Humbird, and Sloane, with his impatient superciliousness, were the centre.

Dick Humbird had, ever since freshman year, seemed to Amory a perfect
type of aristocrat. He was slender but well-built--black curly hair,
straight features, and rather a dark skin. Everything he said sounded
intangibly appropriate. He possessed infinite courage, an averagely good
mind, and a sense of honor with a clear charm and _noblesse oblige_ that
varied it from righteousness. He could dissipate without going to pieces,
and even his most bohemian adventures never seemed "running it out."
People dressed like him, tried to talk as he did. . . . Amory decided
that he probably held the world back, but he wouldn't have changed him.
. . .

He differed from the healthy type that was essentially middle class--
he never seemed to perspire. Some people couldn't be familiar with a
chauffeur without having it returned; Humbird could have lunched at
Sherry's with a colored man, yet people would have somehow known that it
was all right. He was not a snob, though he knew only half his class.
His friends ranged from the highest to the lowest, but it was impossible
to "cultivate" him. Servants worshipped him, and treated him like a god.
He seemed the eternal example of what the upper class tries to be.

"He's like those pictures in the Illustrated London News of the English
officers who have been killed," Amory had said to Alec. "Well," Alec
had answered, "if you want to know the shocking truth, his father was a
grocery clerk who made a fortune in Tacoma real estate and came to
New York ten years ago."

Amory had felt a curious sinking sensation.

This present type of party was made possible by the surging together of
the class after club elections--as if to make a last desperate attempt to
know itself, to keep together, to fight off the tightening spirit of the
clubs. It was a let-down from the conventional heights they had all
walked so rigidly.

After supper they saw Kaluka to the boardwalk, and then strolled back
along the beach to Asbury. The evening sea was a new sensation, for all
its color and mellow age was gone, and it seemed the bleak waste that
made the Norse sagas sad; Amory thought of Kipling's

"Beaches of Lukanon before the sealers came."

It was still a music, though, infinitely sorrowful.

Ten o'clock found them penniless. They had suppered greatly on their
last eleven cents and, singing, strolled up through the casinos and
lighted arches on the boardwalk, stopping to listen approvingly to all
band concerts. In one place Kerry took up a collection for the French
War Orphans which netted a dollar and twenty cents, and with this they
bought some brandy in case they caught cold in the night. They finished
the day in a moving-picture show and went into solemn systematic roars of
laughter at an ancient comedy, to the startled annoyance of the rest of
the audience. Their entrance was distinctly strategic, for each man as
he entered pointed reproachfully at the one just behind him. Sloane,
bringing up the rear, disclaimed all knowledge and responsibility as
soon as the others were scattered inside; then as the irate ticket-taker
rushed in he followed nonchalantly.

They reassembled later by the Casino and made arrangements for the night.
Kerry wormed permission from the watchman to sleep on the platform and,
having collected a huge pile of rugs from the booths to serve as
mattresses and blankets, they talked until midnight, and then fell into
a dreamless sleep, though Amory tried hard to stay awake and watch that
marvellous moon settle on the sea.

So they progressed for two happy days, up and down the shore by
street-car or machine, or by shoe-leather on the crowded boardwalk;
sometimes eating with the wealthy, more frequently dining frugally at the
expense of an unsuspecting restaurateur. They had their photos taken,
eight poses, in a quick-development store. Kerry insisted on grouping
them as a "varsity" football team, and then as a tough gang from the East
Side, with their coats inside out, and himself sitting in the middle on
a cardboard moon. The photographer probably has them yet--at least,
they never called for them. The weather was perfect, and again they
slept outside, and again Amory fell unwillingly asleep.

Sunday broke stolid and respectable, and even the sea seemed to mumble
and complain, so they returned to Princeton via the Fords of transient
farmers, and broke up with colds in their heads, but otherwise none the
worse for wandering.

Even more than in the year before, Amory neglected his work, not
deliberately but lazily and through a multitude of other interests.
Co-ordinate geometry and the melancholy hexameters of Corneille and
Racine held forth small allurements, and even psychology, which he had
eagerly awaited, proved to be a dull subject full of muscular reactions
and biological phrases rather than the study of personality and
influence. That was a noon class, and it always sent him dozing.
Having found that "subjective and objective, sir," answered most of the
questions, he used the phrase on all occasions, and it became the class
joke when, on a query being levelled at him, he was nudged awake by
Ferrenby or Sloane to gasp it out.

Mostly there were parties--to Orange or the Shore, more rarely to New
York and Philadelphia, though one night they marshalled fourteen
waitresses out of Childs' and took them to ride down Fifth Avenue on top
of an auto bus. They all cut more classes than were allowed, which meant
an additional course the following year, but spring was too rare to let
anything interfere with their colorful ramblings. In May Amory was
elected to the Sophomore Prom Committee, and when after a long
evening's discussion with Alec they made out a tentative list of class
probabilities for the senior council, they placed themselves among the
surest. The senior council was composed presumably of the eighteen most
representative seniors, and in view of Alec's football managership and
Amory's chance of nosing out Burne Holiday as Princetonian chairman,
they seemed fairly justified in this presumption. Oddly enough, they
both placed D'Invilliers as among the possibilities, a guess that a year
before the class would have gaped at.

All through the spring Amory had kept up an intermittent correspondence
with Isabelle Borge, punctuated by violent squabbles and chiefly
enlivened by his attempts to find new words for love. He discovered
Isabelle to be discreetly and aggravatingly unsentimental in letters,
but he hoped against hope that she would prove not too exotic a bloom to
fit the large spaces of spring as she had fitted the den in the Minnehaha
Club. During May he wrote thirty-page documents almost nightly, and sent
them to her in bulky envelopes exteriorly labelled "Part I" and "Part II."

"Oh, Alec, I believe I'm tired of college," he said sadly, as they walked
the dusk together.

"I think I am, too, in a way."

"All I'd like would be a little home in the country, some warm country,
and a wife, and just enough to do to keep from rotting."

"Me, too."

"I'd like to quit."

"What does your girl say?"

"Oh!" Amory gasped in horror. "She wouldn't _think_ of marrying . . .
that is, not now. I mean the future, you know."

"My girl would. I'm engaged."

"Are you really?"

"Yes. Don't say a word to anybody, please, but I am. I may not come
back next year."

"But you're only twenty! Give up college?"

"Why, Amory, you were saying a minute ago--"

"Yes," Amory interrupted, "but I was just wishing. I wouldn't think of
leaving college. It's just that I feel so sad these wonderful nights.
I sort of feel they're never coming again, and I'm not really getting
all I could out of them. I wish my girl lived here. But marry--not a
chance. Especially as father says the money isn't forthcoming as it used
to be."

"What a waste these nights are!" agreed Alec.

But Amory sighed and made use of the nights. He had a snap-shot of
Isabelle, enshrined in an old watch, and at eight almost every night he
would turn off all the lights except the desk lamp and, sitting by the
open windows with the picture before him, write her rapturous letters.

. . . Oh it's so hard to write you what I really _feel_ when I
think about you so much; you've gotten to mean to me a _dream_ that
I can't put on paper any more. Your last letter came and it was
wonderful! I read it over about six times, especially the last
part, but I do wish, sometimes, you'd be more _frank_ and tell me
what you really do think of me, yet your last letter was too good
to be true, and I can hardly wait until June! Be sure and be able
to come to the prom. It'll be fine, I think, and I want to bring
_you_ just at the end of a wonderful year. I often think over what
you said on that night and wonder how much you meant. If it were
anyone but you--but you see I _thought_ you were fickle the first
time I saw you and you are so popular and everthing that I can't
imagine you really liking me _best_.

Oh, Isabelle, dear--it's a wonderful night. Somebody is playing
"Love Moon" on a mandolin far across the campus, and the music
seems to bring you into the window. Now he's playing "Good-by,
Boys, I'm Through," and how well it suits me. For I am through
with everything. I have decided never to take a cocktail again,
and I know I'll never again fall in love--I couldn't--you've been
too much a part of my days and nights to ever let me think of
another girl. I meet them all the time and they don't interest me.
I'm not pretending to be blase, because it's not that. It's just
that I'm in love. Oh, _dearest_ Isabelle (somehow I can't call you
just Isabelle, and I'm afraid I'll come out with the "dearest"
before your family this June), you've got to come to the prom,
and then I'll come up to your house for a day and everything'll be
perfect. . . .

And so on in an eternal monotone that seemed to both of them infinitely
charming, infinitely new.

* * * *

June came and the days grew so hot and lazy that they could not worry
even about exams, but spent dreamy evenings on the court of Cottage,
talking of long subjects until the sweep of country toward Stony Brook
became a blue haze and the lilacs were white around tennis-courts,
and words gave way to silent cigarettes. . . . Then down deserted
Prospect and along McCosh with song everywhere around them, up to the
hot joviality of Nassau Street.

Tom D'Invilliers and Amory walked late in those days. A gambling fever
swept through the sophomore class and they bent over the bones till three
o'clock many a sultry night. After one session they came out of Sloane's
room to find the dew fallen and the stars old in the sky.

"Let's borrow bicycles and take a ride," Amory suggested.

"All right. I'm not a bit tired and this is almost the last night of the
year, really, because the prom stuff starts Monday."

They found two unlocked bicycles in Holder Court and rode out about
half-past three along the Lawrenceville Road.

"What are you going to do this summer, Amory?"

"Don't ask me--same old things, I suppose. A month or two in Lake Geneva--
I'm counting on you to be there in July, you know--then there'll be
Minneapolis, and that means hundreds of summer hops, parlor-snaking,
getting bored--But oh, Tom," he added suddenly, "hasn't this year been

"No," declared Tom emphatically, a new Tom, clothed by Brooks, shod
by Franks, "I've won this game, but I feel as if I never want to play
another. You're all right--you're a rubber ball, and somehow it suits
you, but I'm sick of adapting myself to the local snobbishness of this
corner of the world. I want to go where people aren't barred because
of the color of their neckties and the roll of their coats."

"You can't, Tom," argued Amory, as they rolled along through the
scattering night; "wherever you go now you'll always unconsciously apply
these standards of 'having it' or 'lacking it.' For better or worse
we've stamped you; you're a Princeton type!"

"Well, then," complained Tom, his cracked voice rising plaintively,
"why do I have to come back at all? I've learned all that Princeton has
to offer. Two years more of mere pedantry and lying around a club aren't
going to help. They're just going to disorganize me, conventionalize me
completely. Even now I'm so spineless that I wonder how I get away with

"Oh, but you're missing the real point, Tom," Amory interrupted. "You've
just had your eyes opened to the snobbishness of the world in a rather
abrupt manner. Princeton invariably gives the thoughtful man a social

"You consider you taught me that, don't you?" he asked quizzically,
eying Amory in the half dark.

Amory laughed quietly.

"Didn't I?"

"Sometimes," he said slowly, "I think you're my bad angel. I might have
been a pretty fair poet."

"Come on, that's rather hard. You chose to come to an Eastern college.
Either your eyes were opened to the mean scrambling quality of people,
or you'd have gone through blind, and you'd hate to have done that--
been like Marty Kaye."

"Yes," he agreed, "you're right. I wouldn't have liked it. Still,
it's hard to be made a cynic at twenty."

"I was born one," Amory murmured. "I'm a cynical idealist." He paused
and wondered if that meant anything.

They reached the sleeping school of Lawrenceville, and turned to ride

"It's good, this ride, isn't it?" Tom said presently.

"Yes; it's a good finish, it's knock-out; everything's good to-night.
Oh, for a hot, languorous summer and Isabelle!"

"Oh, you and your Isabelle! I'll bet she's a simple one . . . let's say
some poetry."

So Amory declaimed "The Ode to a Nightingale" to the bushes they passed.

"I'll never be a poet," said Amory as he finished. "I'm not enough of a
sensualist really; there are only a few obvious things that I notice as
primarily beautiful: women, spring evenings, music at night, the sea;
I don't catch the subtle things like 'silver-snarling trumpets.' I may
turn out an intellectual, but I'll never write anything but mediocre

They rode into Princeton as the sun was making colored maps of the sky
behind the graduate school, and hurried to the refreshment of a shower
that would have to serve in place of sleep. By noon the bright-costumed
alumni crowded the streets with their bands and choruses, and in the
tents there was great reunion under the orange-and-black banners that
curled and strained in the wind. Amory looked long at one house which
bore the legend "Sixty-nine." There a few gray-haired men sat and talked
quietly while the classes swept by in panorama of life.

* * * *


Then tragedy's emerald eyes glared suddenly at Amory over the edge of
June. On the night after his ride to Lawrenceville a crowd sallied to
New York in quest of adventure, and started back to Princeton about
twelve o'clock in two machines. It had been a gay party and different
stages of sobriety were represented. Amory was in the car behind;
they had taken the wrong road and lost the way, and so were hurrying
to catch up.

It was a clear night and the exhilaration of the road went to Amory's
head. He had the ghost of two stanzas of a poem forming in his mind.
. . .

So the gray car crept nightward in the dark and there was no life
stirred as it went by. . . . As the still ocean paths before the
shark in starred and glittering waterways, beauty-high, the
moon-swathed trees divided, pair on pair, while flapping
nightbirds cried across the air. . . .

A moment by an inn of lamps and shades, a yellow inn under a
yellow moon--then silence, where crescendo laughter fades . . . the
car swung out again to the winds of June, mellowed the shadows
where the distance grew, then crushed the yellow shadows into
blue. . . .

They jolted to a stop, and Amory peered up, startled. A woman was
standing beside the road, talking to Alec at the wheel. Afterward he
remembered the harpy effect that her old kimono gave her, and the cracked
hollowness of her voice as she spoke:

"You Princeton boys?"


"Well, there's one of you killed here, and two others about dead."

"_My God!_"

"Look!" She pointed and they gazed in horror. Under the full light of
a roadside arc-light lay a form, face downward in a widening circle of

They sprang from the car. Amory thought of the back of that head--
that hair--that hair . . . and then they turned the form over.

"It's Dick--Dick Humbird!"

"Oh, Christ!"

"Feel his heart!"

Then the insistent voice of the old crone in a sort of croaking triumph:

"He's quite dead, all right. The car turned over. Two of the men that
weren't hurt just carried the others in, but this one's no use."

Amory rushed into the house and the rest followed with a limp mass that
they laid on the sofa in the shoddy little front parlor. Sloane, with
his shoulder punctured, was on another lounge. He was half delirious,
and kept calling something about a chemistry lecture at 8:10.

"I don't know what happened," said Ferrenby in a strained voice. "Dick
was driving and he wouldn't give up the wheel; we told him he'd been
drinking too much--then there was this damn curve--oh, my _God!_ . . ."
He threw himself face downward on the floor and broke into dry sobs.

The doctor had arrived, and Amory went over to the couch, where some one
handed him a sheet to put over the body. With a sudden hardness, he
raised one of the hands and let it fall back inertly. The brow was cold
but the face not expressionless. He looked at the shoe-laces--Dick had
tied them that morning. _He_ had tied them--and now he was this heavy
white mass. All that remained of the charm and personality of the Dick
Humbird he had known--oh, it was all so horrible and unaristocratic and
close to the earth. All tragedy has that strain of the grotesque and
squalid--so useless, futile . . . the way animals die. . . . Amory was
reminded of a cat that had lain horribly mangled in some alley of his

"Some one go to Princeton with Ferrenby."

Amory stepped outside the door and shivered slightly at the late night
wind--a wind that stirred a broken fender on the mass of bent metal to
a plaintive, tinny sound.

* * * *


Next day, by a merciful chance, passed in a whirl. When Amory was by
himself his thoughts zigzagged inevitably to the picture of that red
mouth yawning incongruously in the white face, but with a determined
effort he piled present excitement upon the memory of it and shut it
coldly away from his mind.

Isabelle and her mother drove into town at four, and they rode up smiling
Prospect Avenue, through the gay crowd, to have tea at Cottage. The
clubs had their annual dinners that night, so at seven he loaned her to
a freshman and arranged to meet her in the gymnasium at eleven, when the
upper classmen were admitted to the freshman dance. She was all he had
expected, and he was happy and eager to make that night the centre of
every dream. At nine the upper classes stood in front of the clubs as
the freshman torchlight parade rioted past, and Amory wondered if the
dress-suited groups against the dark, stately backgrounds and under the
flare of the torches made the night as brilliant to the staring, cheering
freshmen as it had been to him the year before.

The next day was another whirl. They lunched in a gay party of six in a
private dining-room at the club, while Isabelle and Amory looked at each
other tenderly over the fried chicken and knew that their love was to be
eternal. They danced away the prom until five, and the stags cut in on
Isabelle with joyous abandon, which grew more and more enthusiastic as
the hour grew late, and their wines, stored in overcoat pockets in the
coat room, made old weariness wait until another day. The stag line is
a most homogeneous mass of men. It fairly sways with a single soul.
A dark-haired beauty dances by and there is a half-gasping sound as the
ripple surges forward and some one sleeker than the rest darts out and
cuts in. Then when the six-foot girl (brought by Kaye in your class,
and to whom he has been trying to introduce you all evening) gallops by,
the line surges back and the groups face about and become intent on far
corners of the hall, for Kaye, anxious and perspiring, appears elbowing
through the crowd in search of familiar faces.

"I say, old man, I've got an awfully nice--"

"Sorry, Kaye, but I'm set for this one. I've got to cut in on a fella."

"Well, the next one?"

"What--ah--er--I swear I've got to go cut in--look me up when she's got a
dance free."

It delighted Amory when Isabelle suggested that they leave for a while
and drive around in her car. For a delicious hour that passed too soon
they glided the silent roads about Princeton and talked from the surface
of their hearts in shy excitement. Amory felt strangely ingenuous and
made no attempt to kiss her.

Next day they rode up through the Jersey country, had luncheon in New
York, and in the afternoon went to see a problem play at which Isabelle
wept all through the second act, rather to Amory's embarrassment--though
it filled him with tenderness to watch her. He was tempted to lean over
and kiss away her tears, and she slipped her hand into his under cover of
darkness to be pressed softly.

Then at six they arrived at the Borges' summer place on Long Island,
and Amory rushed up-stairs to change into a dinner coat. As he put in
his studs he realized that he was enjoying life as he would probably
never enjoy it again. Everything was hallowed by the haze of his own
youth. He had arrived, abreast of the best in his generation at
Princeton. He was in love and his love was returned. Turning on all
the lights, he looked at himself in the mirror, trying to find in his
own face the qualities that made him see clearer than the great crowd of
people, that made him decide firmly, and able to influence and follow his
own will. There was little in his life now that he would have changed.
. . . Oxford might have been a bigger field.

Silently he admired himself. How conveniently well he looked, and how
well a dinner coat became him. He stepped into the hall and then waited
at the top of the stairs, for he heard footsteps coming. It was Isabelle,
and from the top of her shining hair to her little golden slippers she
had never seemed so beautiful.

"Isabelle!" he cried, half involuntarily, and held out his arms. As in
the story-books, she ran into them, and on that half-minute, as their
lips first touched, rested the high point of vanity, the crest of his
young egotism.


The Romantic Egotist


The Egotist Considers

"Ouch! Let me go!"

He dropped his arms to his sides.

"What's the matter?"

"Your shirt stud--it hurt me--look!" She was looking down at her neck,
where a little blue spot about the size of a pea marred its pallor.

"Oh, Isabelle," he reproached himself, "I'm a goopher. Really, I'm sorry--
I shouldn't have held you so close."

She looked up impatiently.

"Oh, Amory, of course you couldn't help it, and it didn't hurt much;
but what _are_ we going to do about it?"

"_Do_ about it?" he asked. "Oh--that spot; it'll disappear in a second."

"It isn't," she said, after a moment of concentrated gazing, "it's still
there--and it looks like Old Nick--oh, Amory, what'll we do! It's _just_
the height of your shoulder."

"Massage it," he suggested, repressing the faintest inclination to laugh.

She rubbed it delicately with the tips of her fingers, and then a tear
gathered in the corner of her eye, and slid down her cheek.

"Oh, Amory," she said despairingly, lifting up a most pathetic face,
"I'll just make my whole neck _flame_ if I rub it. What'll I do?"

A quotation sailed into his head and he couldn't resist repeating it

"All the perfumes of Arabia will not whiten this little hand."

She looked up and the sparkle of the tear in her eye was like ice.

"You're not very sympathetic."

Amory mistook her meaning.

"Isabelle, darling, I think it'll--"

"Don't touch me!" she cried. "Haven't I enough on my mind and you stand
there and _laugh!_"

Then he slipped again.

"Well, it _is_ funny, Isabelle, and we were talking the other day about a
sense of humor being--"

She was looking at him with something that was not a smile, rather the
faint, mirthless echo of a smile, in the corners of her mouth.

"Oh, shut up!" she cried suddenly, and fled down the hallway toward her
room. Amory stood there, covered with remorseful confusion.


When Isabelle reappeared she had thrown a light wrap about her shoulders,
and they descended the stairs in a silence that endured through dinner.

"Isabelle," he began rather testily, as they arranged themselves in the
car, bound for a dance at the Greenwich Country Club, "you're angry,
and I'll be, too, in a minute. Let's kiss and make up."

Isabelle considered glumly.

"I hate to be laughed at," she said finally.

"I won't laugh any more. I'm not laughing now, am I?"

"You did."

"Oh, don't be so darned feminine."

Her lips curled slightly.

"I'll be anything I want."

Amory kept his temper with difficulty. He became aware that he had not
an ounce of real affection for Isabelle, but her coldness piqued him.
He wanted to kiss her, kiss her a lot, because then he knew he could
leave in the morning and not care. On the contrary, if he didn't kiss
her, it would worry him. . . . It would interfere vaguely with his idea
of himself as a conqueror. It wasn't dignified to come off second best,
_pleading_, with a doughty warrior like Isabelle.

Perhaps she suspected this. At any rate, Amory watched the night that
should have been the consummation of romance glide by with great moths
overhead and the heavy fragrance of roadside gardens, but without those
broken words, those little sighs. . . .

Afterward they suppered on ginger ale and devil's food in the pantry,
and Amory announced a decision.

"I'm leaving early in the morning."


"Why not?" he countered.

"There's no need."

"However, I'm going."

"Well, if you insist on being ridiculous--"

"Oh, don't put it that way," he objected.

"--just because I won't let you kiss me. Do you think--"

"Now, Isabelle," he interrupted, "you know it's not that--even suppose
it is. We've reached the stage where we either ought to kiss--or--or--
nothing. It isn't as if you were refusing on moral grounds."

She hesitated.

"I really don't know what to think about you," she began, in a feeble,
perverse attempt at conciliation. "You're so funny."


"Well, I thought you had a lot of self-confidence and all that; remember
you told me the other day that you could do anything you wanted, or get
anything you wanted?"

Amory flushed. He _had_ told her a lot of things.


"Well, you didn't seem to feel so self-confident to-night. Maybe you're
just plain conceited."

"No, I'm not," he hesitated. "At Princeton--"

"Oh, you and Princeton! You'd think that was the world, the way you
talk! Perhaps you _can_ write better than anybody else on your old
Princetonian; maybe the freshmen _do_ think you're important--"

"You don't understand--"

"Yes, I do," she interrupted. "I _do_, because you're always talking
about yourself and I used to like it; now I don't."

"Have I to-night?"

"That's just the point," insisted Isabelle. "You got all upset to-night.
You just sat and watched my eyes. Besides, I have to think all the time
I'm talking to you--you're so critical."

"I make you think, do I?" Amory repeated with a touch of vanity.

"You're a nervous strain"--this emphatically--"and when you analyze every
little emotion and instinct I just don't have 'em."

"I know." Amory admitted her point and shook his head helplessly.

"Let's go." She stood up.

He rose abstractedly and they walked to the foot of the stairs.

"What train can I get?"

"There's one about 9:11 if you really must go."

"Yes, I've got to go, really. Good night."

"Good night."

They were at the head of the stairs, and as Amory turned into his room
he thought he caught just the faintest cloud of discontent in her face.
He lay awake in the darkness and wondered how much he cared--how much
of his sudden unhappiness was hurt vanity--whether he was, after all,
temperamentally unfitted for romance.

When he awoke, it was with a glad flood of consciousness. The early wind
stirred the chintz curtains at the windows and he was idly puzzled not
to be in his room at Princeton with his school football picture over
the bureau and the Triangle Club on the wall opposite. Then the
grandfather's clock in the hall outside struck eight, and the memory of
the night before came to him. He was out of bed, dressing, like the wind;
he must get out of the house before he saw Isabelle. What had seemed a
melancholy happening, now seemed a tiresome anticlimax. He was dressed
at half past, so he sat down by the window; felt that the sinews of his
heart were twisted somewhat more than he had thought. What an ironic
mockery the morning seemed!--bright and sunny, and full of the smell
of the garden; hearing Mrs. Borge's voice in the sun-parlor below, he
wondered where was Isabelle.

There was a knock at the door.

"The car will be around at ten minutes of nine, sir."

He returned to his contemplation of the outdoors, and began repeating
over and over, mechanically, a verse from Browning, which he had once
quoted to Isabelle in a letter:

"Each life unfulfilled, you see,
It hangs still, patchy and scrappy;
We have not sighed deep, laughed free,
Starved, feasted, despaired--been happy."

But his life would not be unfulfilled. He took a sombre satisfaction in
thinking that perhaps all along she had been nothing except what he had
read into her; that this was her high point, that no one else would ever
make her think. Yet that was what she had objected to in him; and Amory
was suddenly tired of thinking, thinking!

"Damn her!" he said bitterly, "she's spoiled my year!"

* * * *


On a dusty day in September Amory arrived in Princeton and joined the
sweltering crowd of conditioned men who thronged the streets. It seemed
a stupid way to commence his upper-class years, to spend four hours a
morning in the stuffy room of a tutoring school, imbibing the infinite
boredom of conic sections. Mr. Rooney, pander to the dull, conducted the
class and smoked innumerable Pall Malls as he drew diagrams and worked
equations from six in the morning until midnight.

"Now, Langueduc, if I used that formula, where would my A point be?"

Langueduc lazily shifts his six-foot-three of football material and tries
to concentrate.

"Oh--ah--I'm damned if I know, Mr. Rooney."

"Oh, why of course, of course you can't _use_ that formula. _That's_
what I wanted you to say."

"Why, sure, of course."

"Do you see why?"

"You bet--I suppose so."

"If you don't see, tell me. I'm here to show you."

"Well, Mr. Rooney, if you don't mind, I wish you'd go over that again."

"Gladly. Now here's 'A' . . ."

The room was a study in stupidity--two huge stands for paper, Mr. Rooney
in his shirt-sleeves in front of them, and slouched around on chairs,
a dozen men: Fred Sloane, the pitcher, who absolutely _had_ to get
eligible; "Slim" Langueduc, who would beat Yale this fall, if only he
could master a poor fifty per cent; McDowell, gay young sophomore,
who thought it was quite a sporting thing to be tutoring here with all
these prominent athletes.

"Those poor birds who haven't a cent to tutor, and have to study during
the term are the ones I pity," he announced to Amory one day, with a
flaccid camaraderie in the droop of the cigarette from his pale lips.
"I should think it would be such a bore, there's so much else to do in
New York during the term. I suppose they don't know what they miss,
anyhow." There was such an air of "you and I" about Mr. McDowell that
Amory very nearly pushed him out of the open window when he said this.
. . . Next February his mother would wonder why he didn't make a club
and increase his allowance . . . simple little nut. . . .

Through the smoke and the air of solemn, dense earnestness that filled
the room would come the inevitable helpless cry:

"I don't get it! Repeat that, Mr. Rooney!" Most of them were so stupid
or careless that they wouldn't admit when they didn't understand, and
Amory was of the latter. He found it impossible to study conic sections;
something in their calm and tantalizing respectability breathing
defiantly through Mr. Rooney's fetid parlors distorted their equations
into insoluble anagrams. He made a last night's effort with the
proverbial wet towel, and then blissfully took the exam, wondering
unhappily why all the color and ambition of the spring before had faded
out. Somehow, with the defection of Isabelle the idea of undergraduate
success had loosed its grasp on his imagination, and he contemplated a
possible failure to pass off his condition with equanimity, even though
it would arbitrarily mean his removal from the Princetonian board and
the slaughter of his chances for the Senior Council.

There was always his luck.

He yawned, scribbled his honor pledge on the cover, and sauntered from
the room.

"If you don't pass it," said the newly arrived Alec as they sat on the
window-seat of Amory's room and mused upon a scheme of wall decoration,
"you're the world's worst goopher. Your stock will go down like an
elevator at the club and on the campus."

"Oh, hell, I know it. Why rub it in?"

"'Cause you deserve it. Anybody that'd risk what you were in line for
_ought_ to be ineligible for Princetonian chairman."

"Oh, drop the subject," Amory protested. "Watch and wait and shut up.
I don't want every one at the club asking me about it, as if I were a
prize potato being fattened for a vegetable show." One evening a week
later Amory stopped below his own window on the way to Renwick's, and,
seeing a light, called up:

"Oh, Tom, any mail?"

Alec's head appeared against the yellow square of light.

"Yes, your result's here."

His heart clamored violently.

"What is it, blue or pink?"

"Don't know. Better come up."

He walked into the room and straight over to the table, and then suddenly
noticed that there were other people in the room.

"'Lo, Kerry." He was most polite. "Ah, men of Princeton." They seemed
to be mostly friends, so he picked up the envelope marked "Registrar's
Office," and weighed it nervously.

"We have here quite a slip of paper."

"Open it, Amory."

"Just to be dramatic, I'll let you know that if it's blue, my name is
withdrawn from the editorial board of the Prince, and my short career is

He paused, and then saw for the first time Ferrenby's eyes, wearing a
hungry look and watching him eagerly. Amory returned the gaze pointedly.

"Watch my face, gentlemen, for the primitive emotions."

He tore it open and held the slip up to the light.


"Pink or blue?"

"Say what it is."

"We're all ears, Amory."

"Smile or swear--or something."

There was a pause . . . a small crowd of seconds swept by . . . then he
looked again and another crowd went on into time.

"Blue as the sky, gentlemen. . . ."

* * * *


What Amory did that year from early September to late in the spring was
so purposeless and inconsecutive that it seems scarcely worth recording.
He was, of course, immediately sorry for what he had lost. His
philosophy of success had tumbled down upon him, and he looked for the

"Your own laziness," said Alec later.

"No--something deeper than that. I've begun to feel that I was meant to
lose this chance."

"They're rather off you at the club, you know; every man that doesn't
come through makes our crowd just so much weaker."

"I hate that point of view."

"Of course, with a little effort you could still stage a comeback."

"No--I'm through--as far as ever being a power in college is concerned."

"But, Amory, honestly, what makes me the angriest isn't the fact that you
won't be chairman of the Prince and on the Senior Council, but just that
you didn't get down and pass that exam."

"Not me," said Amory slowly; "I'm mad at the concrete thing. My own
idleness was quite in accord with my system, but the luck broke."

"Your system broke, you mean."


"Well, what are you going to do? Get a better one quick, or just bum
around for two more years as a has-been?"

"I don't know yet . . ."

"Oh, Amory, buck up!"


Amory's point of view, though dangerous, was not far from the true one.
If his reactions to his environment could be tabulated, the chart would
have appeared like this, beginning with his earliest years:

1. The fundamental Amory.

2. Amory plus Beatrice.

3. Amory plus Beatrice plus Minneapolis.

Then St. Regis' had pulled him to pieces and started him over again:

4. Amory plus St. Regis'.

5. Amory plus St. Regis' plus Princeton.

That had been his nearest approach to success through conformity.
The fundamental Amory, idle, imaginative, rebellious, had been nearly
snowed under. He had conformed, he had succeeded, but as his imagination
was neither satisfied nor grasped by his own success, he had listlessly,
half-accidentally chucked the whole thing and become again:

6. The fundamental Amory.

* * * *


His father died quietly and inconspicuously at Thanksgiving. The
incongruity of death with either the beauties of Lake Geneva or with his
mother's dignified, reticent attitude diverted him, and he looked at the
funeral with an amused tolerance. He decided that burial was after all
preferable to cremation, and he smiled at his old boyhood choice, slow
oxidation in the top of a tree. The day after the ceremony he was
amusing himself in the great library by sinking back on a couch in
graceful mortuary attitudes, trying to determine whether he would,
when his day came, be found with his arms crossed piously over his chest
(Monsignor Darcy had once advocated this posture as being the most
distinguished), or with his hands clasped behind his head, a more pagan
and Byronic attitude.

What interested him much more than the final departure of his father
from things mundane was a tri-cornered conversation between Beatrice,
Mr. Barton, of Barton and Krogman, their lawyers, and himself, that took
place several days after the funeral. For the first time he came into
actual cognizance of the family finances, and realized what a tidy
fortune had once been under his father's management. He took a ledger
labelled "1906" and ran through it rather carefully. The total
expenditure that year had come to something over one hundred and ten
thousand dollars. Forty thousand of this had been Beatrice's own income,
and there had been no attempt to account for it: it was all under the
heading, "Drafts, checks, and letters of credit forwarded to Beatrice
Blaine." The dispersal of the rest was rather minutely itemized: the
taxes and improvements on the Lake Geneva estate had come to almost nine
thousand dollars; the general up-keep, including Beatrice's electric and
a French car, bought that year, was over thirty-five thousand dollars.
The rest was fully taken care of, and there were invariably items which
failed to balance on the right side of the ledger.

In the volume for 1912 Amory was shocked to discover the decrease in the
number of bond holdings and the great drop in the income. In the case of
Beatrice's money this was not so pronounced, but it was obvious that his
father had devoted the previous year to several unfortunate gambles in
oil. Very little of the oil had been burned, but Stephen Blaine had been
rather badly singed. The next year and the next and the next showed
similar decreases, and Beatrice had for the first time begun using her
own money for keeping up the house. Yet her doctor's bill for 1913 had
been over nine thousand dollars.

About the exact state of things Mr. Barton was quite vague and confused.
There had been recent investments, the outcome of which was for the
present problematical, and he had an idea there were further speculations
and exchanges concerning which he had not been consulted.

It was not for several months that Beatrice wrote Amory the full

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