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However, blood being thicker than broth, he was pulled through.
The Blaines were attached to no city. They were the Blaines of Lake
Geneva; they had quite enough relatives to serve in place of friends,
and an enviable standing from Pasadena to Cape Cod. But Beatrice grew
more and more prone to like only new acquaintances, as there were
certain stories, such as the history of her constitution and its many
amendments, memories of her years abroad, that it was necessary for
her to repeat at regular intervals. Like Freudian dreams, they must be
thrown off, else they would sweep in and lay siege to her nerves. But
Beatrice was critical about American women, especially the floating
population of ex-Westerners.
"They have accents, my dear," she told Amory, "not Southern accents
or Boston accents, not an accent attached to any locality, just an
accent"--she became dreamy. "They pick up old, moth-eaten London accents
that are down on their luck and have to be used by some one. They talk
as an English butler might after several years in a Chicago grand-opera
company." She became almost incoherent--"Suppose--time in every Western
woman's life--she feels her husband is prosperous enough for her to
have--accent--they try to impress _me_, my dear--"
Though she thought of her body as a mass of frailties, she considered
her soul quite as ill, and therefore important in her life. She had
once been a Catholic, but discovering that priests were infinitely more
attentive when she was in process of losing or regaining faith in Mother
Church, she maintained an enchantingly wavering attitude. Often she
deplored the bourgeois quality of the American Catholic clergy, and was
quite sure that had she lived in the shadow of the great Continental
cathedrals her soul would still be a thin flame on the mighty altar of
Rome. Still, next to doctors, priests were her favorite sport.
"Ah, Bishop Wiston," she would declare, "I do not want to talk of
myself. I can imagine the stream of hysterical women fluttering at your
doors, beseeching you to be simpatico"--then after an interlude filled
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