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me in the Japanese gardens at the Ritz or at Atlantic City or on the
lower East Side.
"Anyway," he continued, "I haven't the vital urge. I wanted to be a
regular human being but the girl couldn't see it that way."
"You'll find another."
"God! Banish the thought. Why don't you tell me that 'if the girl had
been worth having she'd have waited for you'? No, sir, the girl really
worth having won't wait for anybody. If I thought there'd be another I'd
lose my remaining faith in human nature. Maybe I'll play--but Rosalind
was the only girl in the wide world that could have held me."
"Well," yawned Tom, "I've played confidant a good hour by the clock.
Still, I'm glad to see you're beginning to have violent views again on
"I am," agreed Amory reluctantly. "Yet when I see a happy family it
makes me sick at my stomach--"
"Happy families try to make people feel that way," said Tom cynically.
TOM THE CENSOR
There were days when Amory listened. These were when Tom, wreathed in
smoke, indulged in the slaughter of American literature. Words failed
"Fifty thousand dollars a year," he would cry. "My God! Look at them,
look at them--Edna Ferber, Gouverneur Morris, Fanny Hurst, Mary Roberts
Rinehart--not producing among 'em one story or novel that will last ten
years. This man Cobb--I don't tink he's either clever or amusing--and
what's more, I don't think very many people do, except the editors. He's
just groggy with advertising. And--oh Harold Bell Wright oh Zane Grey--"
"No, they don't even try. Some of them _can_ write, but they won't sit
down and do one honest novel. Most of them _can't_ write, I'll admit.
I believe Rupert Hughes tries to give a real, comprehensive picture of
American life, but his style and perspective are barbarous. Ernest Poole
and Dorothy Canfield try but they're hindered by their absolute lack
of any sense of humor; but at least they crowd their work instead of
spreading it thin. Every author ought to write every book as if he were
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