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fire. Monsignor was growing a trifle stouter and his personality had
expanded even with that, and Amory felt both rest and security in
sinking into a squat, cushioned chair and joining him in the middle-aged
sanity of a cigar.
"I've felt like leaving college, Monsignor."
"All my career's gone up in smoke; you think it's petty and all that,
"Not at all petty. I think it's most important. I want to hear the whole
thing. Everything you've been doing since I saw you last."
Amory talked; he went thoroughly into the destruction of his egotistic
highways, and in a half-hour the listless quality had left his voice.
"What would you do if you left college?" asked Monsignor.
"Don't know. I'd like to travel, but of course this tiresome war
prevents that. Anyways, mother would hate not having me graduate. I'm
just at sea. Kerry Holiday wants me to go over with him and join the
"You know you wouldn't like to go."
"Sometimes I would--to-night I'd go in a second."
"Well, you'd have to be very much more tired of life than I think you
are. I know you."
"I'm afraid you do," agreed Amory reluctantly. "It just seemed an easy
way out of everything--when I think of another useless, draggy year."
"Yes, I know; but to tell you the truth, I'm not worried about you; you
seem to me to be progressing perfectly naturally."
"No," Amory objected. "I've lost half my personality in a year."
"Not a bit of it!" scoffed Monsignor. "You've lost a great amount of
vanity and that's all."
"Lordy! I feel, anyway, as if I'd gone through another fifth form at St.
"No." Monsignor shook his head. "That was a misfortune; this has been
a good thing. Whatever worth while comes to you, won't be through the
channels you were searching last year."
"What could be more unprofitable than my present lack of pep?"
"Perhaps in itself... but you're developing. This has given you time to
think and you're casting off a lot of your old luggage about success and
the superman and all. People like us can't adopt whole theories, as you
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