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everybody sort of slashes in at you before you hit the ground--then they
Tom lighted a cigarette.
"I spent a day chasing you all over town, Amory. But you always kept a
little ahead of me. I'd say you've been on some party."
Amory tumbled into a chair and asked for a cigarette.
"You sober now?" asked Tom quizzically.
"Pretty sober. Why?"
"Well, Alec has left. His family had been after him to go home and live,
A spasm of pain shook Amory.
"Yes, it is too bad. We'll have to get some one else if we're going to
stay here. The rent's going up."
"Sure. Get anybody. I'll leave it to you, Tom."
Amory walked into his bedroom. The first thing that met his glance was
a photograph of Rosalind that he had intended to have framed, propped
up against a mirror on his dresser. He looked at it unmoved. After
the vivid mental pictures of her that were his portion at present, the
portrait was curiously unreal. He went back into the study.
"Got a cardboard box?"
"No," answered Tom, puzzled. "Why should I have? Oh, yes--there may be
one in Alec's room."
Eventually Amory found what he was looking for and, returning to his
dresser, opened a drawer full of letters, notes, part of a chain,
two little handkerchiefs, and some snap-shots. As he transferred them
carefully to the box his mind wandered to some place in a book where
the hero, after preserving for a year a cake of his lost love's soap,
finally washed his hands with it. He laughed and began to hum "After
you've gone" ... ceased abruptly...
The string broke twice, and then he managed to secure it, dropped
the package into the bottom of his trunk, and having slammed the lid
returned to the study.
"Going out?" Tom's voice held an undertone of anxiety.
"Couldn't say, old keed."
"Let's have dinner together."
"Sorry. I told Sukey Brett I'd eat with him."
Amory crossed the street and had a high-ball; then he walked to
Washington Square and found a top seat on a bus. He disembarked at
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