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"What's the matter, Amory? Amory's thinking about poetry, about the
pretty birds and flowers. I can see it in his eye."
"No, I'm not," he lied. "I'm thinking about the Princetonian. I ought to
make up to-night; but I can telephone back, I suppose."
"Oh," said Kerry respectfully, "these important men--"
Amory flushed and it seemed to him that Ferrenby, a defeated competitor,
winced a little. Of course, Kerry was only kidding, but he really
mustn't mention the Princetonian.
It was a halcyon day, and as they neared the shore and the salt breezes
scurried by, he began to picture the ocean and long, level stretches of
sand and red roofs over blue sea. Then they hurried through the little
town and it all flashed upon his consciousness to a mighty paean of
"Oh, good Lord! _Look_ at it!" he cried.
"Let me out, quick--I haven't seen it for eight years! Oh, gentlefolk,
stop the car!"
"What an odd child!" remarked Alec.
"I do believe he's a bit eccentric."
The car was obligingly drawn up at a curb, and Amory ran for the
boardwalk. First, he realized that the sea was blue and that there was
an enormous quantity of it, and that it roared and roared--really all
the banalities about the ocean that one could realize, but if any one
had told him then that these things were banalities, he would have gaped
"Now we'll get lunch," ordered Kerry, wandering up with the crowd. "Come
on, Amory, tear yourself away and get practical."
"We'll try the best hotel first," he went on, "and thence and so forth."
They strolled along the boardwalk to the most imposing hostelry in
sight, and, entering the dining-room, scattered about a table.
"Eight Bronxes," commanded Alec, "and a club sandwich and Juliennes. The
food for one. Hand the rest around."
Amory ate little, having seized a chair where he could watch the sea and
feel the rock of it. When luncheon was over they sat and smoked quietly.
"What's the bill?"
Some one scanned it.
"Rotten overcharge. We'll give them two dollars and one for the waiter.
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