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door five minutes after lights.
"I'm coming in."
"Take a couple of pillows and lie in the window-seat, why don't you."
Amory sat up in bed and lit a cigarette while Rahill settled for a
conversation. Rahill's favorite subject was the respective futures of
the sixth form, and Amory never tired of outlining them for his benefit.
"Ted Converse? 'At's easy. He'll fail his exams, tutor all summer at
Harstrum's, get into Sheff with about four conditions, and flunk out in
the middle of the freshman year. Then he'll go back West and raise hell
for a year or so; finally his father will make him go into the paint
business. He'll marry and have four sons, all bone heads. He'll always
think St. Regis's spoiled him, so he'll send his sons to day school in
Portland. He'll die of locomotor ataxia when he's forty-one, and
his wife will give a baptizing stand or whatever you call it to the
Presbyterian Church, with his name on it--"
"Hold up, Amory. That's too darned gloomy. How about yourself?"
"I'm in a superior class. You are, too. We're philosophers."
"Sure you are. You've got a darn good head on you." But Amory knew that
nothing in the abstract, no theory or generality, ever moved Rahill
until he stubbed his toe upon the concrete minutiae of it.
"Haven't," insisted Rahill. "I let people impose on me here and don't
get anything out of it. I'm the prey of my friends, damn it--do their
lessons, get 'em out of trouble, pay 'em stupid summer visits, and
always entertain their kid sisters; keep my temper when they get selfish
and then they think they pay me back by voting for me and telling me I'm
the 'big man' of St. Regis's. I want to get where everybody does their
own work and I can tell people where to go. I'm tired of being nice to
every poor fish in school."
"You're not a slicker," said Amory suddenly.
"What the devil's that?"
"Well, it's something that--that--there's a lot of them. You're not one,
and neither am I, though I am more than you are."
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