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"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?"
"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 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
"I really don't know what to think about you," she began, in a feeble,
perverse attempt at conciliation. "You're so funny."
"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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