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"I'm sorry. I thought our relations had been quite--ah--pleasant. You
seemed to be a hard worker--a little inclined perhaps to write fancy
"I just got tired of it," interrupted Amory rudely. "It didn't matter a
damn to me whether Harebell's flour was any better than any one else's.
In fact, I never ate any of it. So I got tired of telling people about
it--oh, I know I've been drinking--"
Mr. Barlow's face steeled by several ingots of expression.
"You asked for a position--"
Amory waved him to silence.
"And I think I was rottenly underpaid. Thirty-five dollars a week--less
than a good carpenter."
"You had just started. You'd never worked before," said Mr. Barlow
"But it took about ten thousand dollars to educate me where I could
write your darned stuff for you. Anyway, as far as length of service
goes, you've got stenographers here you've paid fifteen a week for five
"I'm not going to argue with you, sir," said Mr. Barlow rising.
"Neither am I. I just wanted to tell you I'm quitting."
They stood for a moment looking at each other impassively and then Amory
turned and left the office.
A LITTLE LULL
Four days after that he returned at last to the apartment. Tom was
engaged on a book review for The New Democracy on the staff of which he
was employed. They regarded each other for a moment in silence.
"Good Lord, Amory, where'd you get the black eye--and the jaw?"
"That's a mere nothing."
He peeled off his coat and bared his shoulders.
Tom emitted a low whistle.
"What hit you?"
Amory laughed again.
"Oh, a lot of people. I got beaten up. Fact." He slowly replaced his
shirt. "It was bound to come sooner or later and I wouldn't have missed
it for anything."
"Who was it?"
"Well, there were some waiters and a couple of sailors and a few stray
pedestrians, I guess. It's the strangest feeling. You ought to get
beaten up just for the experience of it. You fall down after a while and
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