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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
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
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