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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

to stultify herself with such "household arts" as _knitting_ and 

_embroidery_), yet immediately afterward pick up a book and let her 

imagination rove as a formless cloud with the wind. Deepest of all in 

her personality was the golden radiance that she diffused around her. 

As an open fire in a dark room throws romance and pathos into the quiet 

faces at its edge, so she cast her lights and shadows around the rooms 

that held her, until she made of her prosy old uncle a man of quaint and 

meditative charm, metamorphosed the stray telegraph boy into a Puck-like 

creature of delightful originality. At first this quality of hers 

somehow irritated Amory. He considered his own uniqueness sufficient, 

and it rather embarrassed him when she tried to read new interests into 

him for the benefit of what other adorers were present. He felt as if 

a polite but insistent stage-manager were attempting to make him give a 

new interpretation of a part he had conned for years. 

 

But Clara talking, Clara telling a slender tale of a hatpin and an 

inebriated man and herself.... People tried afterward to repeat her 

anecdotes but for the life of them they could make them sound like 

nothing whatever. They gave her a sort of innocent attention and the 

best smiles many of them had smiled for long; there were few tears in 

Clara, but people smiled misty-eyed at her. 

 

Very occasionally Amory stayed for little half-hours after the rest of 

the court had gone, and they would have bread and jam and tea late in 

the afternoon or "maple-sugar lunches," as she called them, at night. 

 

"You _are_ remarkable, aren't you!" Amory was becoming trite from where 

he perched in the centre of the dining-room table one six o'clock. 

 

"Not a bit," she answered. She was searching out napkins in the 

sideboard. "I'm really most humdrum and commonplace. One of those people 

who have no interest in anything but their children." 

 

"Tell that to somebody else," scoffed Amory. "You know you're perfectly 

effulgent." He asked her the one thing that he knew might embarrass her. 


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