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AMORY, SON OF BEATRICE
SPIRES AND GARGOYLES
THE EGOTIST CONSIDERS
NARCISSUS OFF DUTY
THE DEBUTANTE
EXPERIMENTS IN CONVALESCENCE
YOUNG IRONY
THE SUPERCILIOUS SACRIFICE
THE EGOTIST BECOMES A PERSONAGE

coldness and lack of affection, amounting sometimes to cruelty... a 

shifting sense of honor... an unholy selfishness... a puzzled, furtive 

interest in everything concerning sex. 

 

There was, also, a curious strain of weakness running crosswise through 

his make-up... a harsh phrase from the lips of an older boy (older boys 

usually detested him) was liable to sweep him off his poise into surly 

sensitiveness, or timid stupidity... he was a slave to his own moods 

and he felt that though he was capable of recklessness and audacity, he 

possessed neither courage, perseverance, nor self-respect. 

 

Vanity, tempered with self-suspicion if not self-knowledge, a sense of 

people as automatons to his will, a desire to "pass" as many boys as 

possible and get to a vague top of the world... with this background did 

Amory drift into adolescence. 

 

***** 

 

PREPARATORY TO THE GREAT ADVENTURE 

 

The train slowed up with midsummer languor at Lake Geneva, and Amory 

caught sight of his mother waiting in her electric on the gravelled 

station drive. It was an ancient electric, one of the early types, and 

painted gray. The sight of her sitting there, slenderly erect, and 

of her face, where beauty and dignity combined, melting to a dreamy 

recollected smile, filled him with a sudden great pride of her. As they 

kissed coolly and he stepped into the electric, he felt a quick fear 

lest he had lost the requisite charm to measure up to her. 

 

"Dear boy--you're _so_ tall... look behind and see if there's anything 

coming..." 

 

She looked left and right, she slipped cautiously into a speed of two 

miles an hour, beseeching Amory to act as sentinel; and at one busy 

crossing she made him get out and run ahead to signal her forward like a 

traffic policeman. Beatrice was what might be termed a careful driver. 

 

"You _are_ tall--but you're still very handsome--you've skipped the 

awkward age, or is that sixteen; perhaps it's fourteen or fifteen; I can 

never remember; but you've skipped it." 

 

"Don't embarrass me," murmured Amory. 


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