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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

dark and smelling of old rottenness. He twisted down a long, sinuous 

blackness, where the moonlight was shut away except for tiny glints 

and patches... then suddenly sank panting into a corner by a fence, 

exhausted. The steps ahead stopped, and he could hear them shift 

slightly with a continuous motion, like waves around a dock. 

 

He put his face in his hands and covered eyes and ears as well as 

he could. During all this time it never occurred to him that he was 

delirious or drunk. He had a sense of reality such as material things 

could never give him. His intellectual content seemed to submit 

passively to it, and it fitted like a glove everything that had ever 

preceded it in his life. It did not muddle him. It was like a problem 

whose answer he knew on paper, yet whose solution he was unable to 

grasp. He was far beyond horror. He had sunk through the thin surface of 

that, now moved in a region where the feet and the fear of white walls 

were real, living things, things he must accept. Only far inside his 

soul a little fire leaped and cried that something was pulling him down, 

trying to get him inside a door and slam it behind him. After that door 

was slammed there would be only footfalls and white buildings in the 

moonlight, and perhaps he would be one of the footfalls. 

 

During the five or ten minutes he waited in the shadow of the fence, 

there was somehow this fire... that was as near as he could name it 

afterward. He remembered calling aloud: 

 

"I want some one stupid. Oh, send some one stupid!" This to the 

black fence opposite him, in whose shadows the footsteps shuffled 

... shuffled. He supposed "stupid" and "good" had become somehow 

intermingled through previous association. When he called thus it was 

not an act of will at all--will had turned him away from the moving 

figure in the street; it was almost instinct that called, just the pile 

on pile of inherent tradition or some wild prayer from way over the 

night. Then something clanged like a low gong struck at a distance, 

and before his eyes a face flashed over the two feet, a face pale and 


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