Main  Contacts  
Table of contents
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

that we realize it is really absolving us from being a prey to it. But 

the truth is that sex is right in the middle of our purest abstractions, 

so close that it obscures vision.... I can kiss you now and will. ..." 

He leaned toward her in his saddle, but she drew away. 

 

"I can't--I can't kiss you now--I'm more sensitive." 

 

"You're more stupid then," he declared rather impatiently. "Intellect is 

no protection from sex any more than convention is..." 

 

"What is?" she fired up. "The Catholic Church or the maxims of 

Confucius?" 

 

Amory looked up, rather taken aback. 

 

"That's your panacea, isn't it?" she cried. "Oh, you're just an old 

hypocrite, too. Thousands of scowling priests keeping the degenerate 

Italians and illiterate Irish repentant with gabble-gabble about the 

sixth and ninth commandments. It's just all cloaks, sentiment and 

spiritual rouge and panaceas. I'll tell you there is no God, not even 

a definite abstract goodness; so it's all got to be worked out for the 

individual by the individual here in high white foreheads like mine, and 

you're too much the prig to admit it." She let go her reins and shook 

her little fists at the stars. 

 

"If there's a God let him strike me--strike me!" 

 

"Talking about God again after the manner of atheists," Amory said 

sharply. His materialism, always a thin cloak, was torn to shreds by 

Eleanor's blasphemy.... She knew it and it angered him that she knew it. 

 

"And like most intellectuals who don't find faith convenient," he 

continued coldly, "like Napoleon and Oscar Wilde and the rest of your 

type, you'll yell loudly for a priest on your death-bed." 

 

Eleanor drew her horse up sharply and he reined in beside her. 

 

"Will I?" she said in a queer voice that scared him. "Will I? Watch! 

_I'm going over the cliff!_" And before he could interfere she had 

turned and was riding breakneck for the end of the plateau. 

 

He wheeled and started after her, his body like ice, his nerves in a 

vast clangor. There was no chance of stopping her. The moon was under a 

cloud and her horse would step blindly over. Then some ten feet from 


Page 15 from 18:  Back   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14  [15]  16   17   18   Forward