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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

 

"I used to come out here alone at night, oh, three months ago, and I 

always stopped at that cross-road we just passed. There were the woods 

looming up ahead, just as they do now, there were dogs howling and 

the shadows and no human sound. Of course, I peopled the woods with 

everything ghastly, just like you do; don't you?" 

 

"I do," Amory admitted. 

 

"Well, I began analyzing it--my imagination persisted in sticking 

horrors into the dark--so I stuck my imagination into the dark instead, 

and let it look out at me--I let it play stray dog or escaped convict 

or ghost, and then saw myself coming along the road. That made it all 

right--as it always makes everything all right to project yourself 

completely into another's place. I knew that if I were the dog or the 

convict or the ghost I wouldn't be a menace to Burne Holiday any more 

than he was a menace to me. Then I thought of my watch. I'd better go 

back and leave it and then essay the woods. No; I decided, it's 

better on the whole that I should lose a watch than that I should turn 

back--and I did go into them--not only followed the road through them, 

but walked into them until I wasn't frightened any more--did it until 

one night I sat down and dozed off in there; then I knew I was through 

being afraid of the dark." 

 

"Lordy," Amory breathed. "I couldn't have done that. I'd have come out 

half-way, and the first time an automobile passed and made the dark 

thicker when its lamps disappeared, I'd have come in." 

 

"Well," Burne said suddenly, after a few moments' silence, "we're 

half-way through, let's turn back." 

 

On the return he launched into a discussion of will. 

 

"It's the whole thing," he asserted. "It's the one dividing line between 

good and evil. I've never met a man who led a rotten life and didn't 

have a weak will." 

 

"How about great criminals?" 

 

"They're usually insane. If not, they're weak. There is no such thing as 

a strong, sane criminal." 

 

"Burne, I disagree with you altogether; how about the superman?" 

 

"Well?" 

 

"He's evil, I think, yet he's strong and sane." 


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