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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

at his window. Many nights he lay there dreaming awake of secret cafes 

in Mont Martre, where ivory women delved in romantic mysteries with 

diplomats and soldiers of fortune, while orchestras played Hungarian 

waltzes and the air was thick and exotic with intrigue and moonlight 

and adventure. In the spring he read "L'Allegro," by request, and was 

inspired to lyrical outpourings on the subject of Arcady and the pipes 

of Pan. He moved his bed so that the sun would wake him at dawn that he 

might dress and go out to the archaic swing that hung from an apple-tree 

near the sixth-form house. Seating himself in this he would pump higher 

and higher until he got the effect of swinging into the wide air, into 

a fairyland of piping satyrs and nymphs with the faces of fair-haired 

girls he passed in the streets of Eastchester. As the swing reached its 

highest point, Arcady really lay just over the brow of a certain hill, 

where the brown road dwindled out of sight in a golden dot. 

 

He read voluminously all spring, the beginning of his eighteenth year: 

"The Gentleman from Indiana," "The New Arabian Nights," "The Morals 

of Marcus Ordeyne," "The Man Who Was Thursday," which he liked without 

understanding; "Stover at Yale," that became somewhat of a text-book; 

"Dombey and Son," because he thought he really should read better 

stuff; Robert Chambers, David Graham Phillips, and E. Phillips Oppenheim 

complete, and a scattering of Tennyson and Kipling. Of all his class 

work only "L'Allegro" and some quality of rigid clarity in solid 

geometry stirred his languid interest. 

 

As June drew near, he felt the need of conversation to formulate his 

own ideas, and, to his surprise, found a co-philosopher in Rahill, the 

president of the sixth form. In many a talk, on the highroad or lying 

belly-down along the edge of the baseball diamond, or late at night with 

their cigarettes glowing in the dark, they threshed out the questions of 

school, and there was developed the term "slicker." 

 

"Got tobacco?" whispered Rahill one night, putting his head inside the 


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