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"All right," Amory interrupted. "Now go back to yourself."
"Well, I will. I'm one of those people who go through the world giving
other people thrills, but getting few myself except those I read into
men on such nights as these. I have the social courage to go on the
stage, but not the energy; I haven't the patience to write books; and I
never met a man I'd marry. However, I'm only eighteen."
The storm was dying down softly and only the wind kept up its ghostly
surge and made the stack lean and gravely settle from side to side.
Amory was in a trance. He felt that every moment was precious. He had
never met a girl like this before--she would never seem quite the same
again. He didn't at all feel like a character in a play, the appropriate
feeling in an unconventional situation--instead, he had a sense of
"I have just made a great decision," said Eleanor after another pause,
"and that is why I'm here, to answer another of your questions. I have
just decided that I don't believe in immortality."
"Really! how banal!"
"Frightfully so," she answered, "but depressing with a stale, sickly
depression, nevertheless. I came out here to get wet--like a wet hen;
wet hens always have great clarity of mind," she concluded.
"Go on," Amory said politely.
"Well--I'm not afraid of the dark, so I put on my slicker and rubber
boots and came out. You see I was always afraid, before, to say I didn't
believe in God--because the lightning might strike me--but here I am and
it hasn't, of course, but the main point is that this time I wasn't any
more afraid of it than I had been when I was a Christian Scientist, like
I was last year. So now I know I'm a materialist and I was fraternizing
with the hay when you came out and stood by the woods, scared to death."
"Why, you little wretch--" cried Amory indignantly. "Scared of what?"
"_Yourself!_" she shouted, and he jumped. She clapped her hands and
laughed. "See--see! Conscience--kill it like me! Eleanor Savage,
materiologist--no jumping, no starting, come early--"
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