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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

 

"But I _have_ to have a soul," he objected. "I can't be rational--and I 

won't be molecular." 

 

She leaned toward him, her burning eyes never leaving his own and 

whispered with a sort of romantic finality: 

 

"I thought so, Juan, I feared so--you're sentimental. You're not like 

me. I'm a romantic little materialist." 

 

"I'm not sentimental--I'm as romantic as you are. The idea, you know, is 

that the sentimental person thinks things will last--the romantic 

person has a desperate confidence that they won't." (This was an ancient 

distinction of Amory's.) 

 

"Epigrams. I'm going home," she said sadly. "Let's get off the haystack 

and walk to the cross-roads." 

 

They slowly descended from their perch. She would not let him help her 

down and motioning him away arrived in a graceful lump in the soft mud 

where she sat for an instant, laughing at herself. Then she jumped to 

her feet and slipped her hand into his, and they tiptoed across the 

fields, jumping and swinging from dry spot to dry spot. A transcendent 

delight seemed to sparkle in every pool of water, for the moon had risen 

and the storm had scurried away into western Maryland. When Eleanor's 

arm touched his he felt his hands grow cold with deadly fear lest he 

should lose the shadow brush with which his imagination was painting 

wonders of her. He watched her from the corners of his eyes as ever he 

did when he walked with her--she was a feast and a folly and he wished 

it had been his destiny to sit forever on a haystack and see life 

through her green eyes. His paganism soared that night and when she 

faded out like a gray ghost down the road, a deep singing came out 

of the fields and filled his way homeward. All night the summer moths 

flitted in and out of Amory's window; all night large looming sounds 

swayed in mystic revery through the silver grain--and he lay awake in 

the clear darkness. 

 

***** 

 

SEPTEMBER 

 

Amory selected a blade of grass and nibbled at it scientifically. 

 

"I never fall in love in August or September," he proffered. 

 

"When then?" 

 

"Christmas or Easter. I'm a liturgist." 


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