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"You're all fine now, and I feel glorious. Give me a cigarette. You've
never seen me smoke, have you? Well, I do, about once a month."
And then that wonderful girl and Amory raced to the corner like two mad
children gone wild with pale-blue twilight.
"I'm going to the country for to-morrow," she announced, as she stood
panting, safe beyond the flare of the corner lamp-post. "These days are
too magnificent to miss, though perhaps I feel them more in the city."
"Oh, Clara!" Amory said; "what a devil you could have been if the Lord
had just bent your soul a little the other way!"
"Maybe," she answered; "but I think not. I'm never really wild and never
have been. That little outburst was pure spring."
"And you are, too," said he.
They were walking along now.
"No--you're wrong again, how can a person of your own self-reputed
brains be so constantly wrong about me? I'm the opposite of everything
spring ever stood for. It's unfortunate, if I happen to look like what
pleased some soppy old Greek sculptor, but I assure you that if it
weren't for my face I'd be a quiet nun in the convent without"--then
she broke into a run and her raised voice floated back to him as he
followed--"my precious babies, which I must go back and see."
She was the only girl he ever knew with whom he could understand how
another man might be preferred. Often Amory met wives whom he had known
as debutantes, and looking intently at them imagined that he found
something in their faces which said:
"Oh, if I could only have gotten _you!_" Oh, the enormous conceit of the
But that night seemed a night of stars and singing and Clara's bright
soul still gleamed on the ways they had trod.
"Golden, golden is the air--" he chanted to the little pools of water.
... "Golden is the air, golden notes from golden mandolins, golden
frets of golden violins, fair, oh, wearily fair.... Skeins from braided
basket, mortals may not hold; oh, what young extravagant God, who would
know or ask it?... who could give such gold..."
AMORY IS RESENTFUL
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