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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

through dinner. 

 

"Isabelle," he began rather testily, as they arranged themselves in the 

car, bound for a dance at the Greenwich Country Club, "you're angry, and 

I'll be, too, in a minute. Let's kiss and make up." 

 

Isabelle considered glumly. 

 

"I hate to be laughed at," she said finally. 

 

"I won't laugh any more. I'm not laughing now, am I?" 

 

"You did." 

 

"Oh, don't be so darned feminine." 

 

Her lips curled slightly. 

 

"I'll be anything I want." 

 

Amory kept his temper with difficulty. He became aware that he had not 

an ounce of real affection for Isabelle, but her coldness piqued him. He 

wanted to kiss her, kiss her a lot, because then he knew he could leave 

in the morning and not care. On the contrary, if he didn't kiss her, it 

would worry him.... It would interfere vaguely with his idea of himself 

as a conqueror. It wasn't dignified to come off second best, _pleading_, 

with a doughty warrior like Isabelle. 

 

Perhaps she suspected this. At any rate, Amory watched the night that 

should have been the consummation of romance glide by with great moths 

overhead and the heavy fragrance of roadside gardens, but without those 

broken words, those little sighs.... 

 

Afterward they suppered on ginger ale and devil's food in the pantry, 

and Amory announced a decision. 

 

"I'm leaving early in the morning." 

 

"Why?" 

 

"Why not?" he countered. 

 

"There's no need." 

 

"However, I'm going." 

 

"Well, if you insist on being ridiculous--" 

 

"Oh, don't put it that way," he objected. 

 

"--just because I won't let you kiss me. Do you think--" 

 

"Now, Isabelle," he interrupted, "you know it's not that--even 

suppose it is. We've reached the stage where we either ought to 

kiss--or--or--nothing. It isn't as if you were refusing on moral 

grounds." 

 

She hesitated. 

 

"I really don't know what to think about you," she began, in a feeble, 

perverse attempt at conciliation. "You're so funny." 

 

"How?" 

 

"Well, I thought you had a lot of self-confidence and all that; remember 

you told me the other day that you could do anything you wanted, or get 


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