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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

drove alluring red Stutzes. A good half seemed to have already flunked 

out of various schools and colleges, but some of them bore athletic 

names that made him look at her admiringly. As a matter of fact, 

Isabelle's closer acquaintance with the universities was just 

commencing. She had bowing acquaintance with a lot of young men who 

thought she was a "pretty kid--worth keeping an eye on." But Isabelle 

strung the names into a fabrication of gayety that would have dazzled 

a Viennese nobleman. Such is the power of young contralto voices on 

sink-down sofas. 

 

He asked her if she thought he was conceited. She said there was 

a difference between conceit and self-confidence. She adored 

self-confidence in men. 

 

"Is Froggy a good friend of yours?" she asked. 

 

"Rather--why?" 

 

"He's a bum dancer." 

 

Amory laughed. 

 

"He dances as if the girl were on his back instead of in his arms." 

 

She appreciated this. 

 

"You're awfully good at sizing people up." 

 

Amory denied this painfully. However, he sized up several people for 

her. Then they talked about hands. 

 

"You've got awfully nice hands," she said. "They look as if you played 

the piano. Do you?" 

 

I have said they had reached a very definite stage--nay, more, a very 

critical stage. Amory had stayed over a day to see her, and his train 

left at twelve-eighteen that night. His trunk and suitcase awaited him 

at the station; his watch was beginning to hang heavy in his pocket. 

 

"Isabelle," he said suddenly, "I want to tell you something." They had 

been talking lightly about "that funny look in her eyes," and Isabelle 

knew from the change in his manner what was coming--indeed, she had been 

wondering how soon it would come. Amory reached above their heads and 

turned out the electric light, so that they were in the dark, except 

for the red glow that fell through the door from the reading-room lamps. 

Then he began: 

 

"I don't know whether or not you know what you--what I'm going to say. 

Lordy, Isabelle--this _sounds_ like a line, but it isn't." 


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