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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

 

He remembered a poem he had read months before: 

 

 

"Oh staunch old heart who toiled so long for me, 

I waste my years sailing along the sea--" 

 

Yet he had no sense of waste, no sense of the present hope that waste 

implied. He felt that life had rejected him. 

 

"Rosalind! Rosalind!" He poured the words softly into the half-darkness 

until she seemed to permeate the room; the wet salt breeze filled 

his hair with moisture, the rim of a moon seared the sky and made the 

curtains dim and ghostly. He fell asleep. 

 

When he awoke it was very late and quiet. The blanket had slipped partly 

off his shoulders and he touched his skin to find it damp and cold. 

 

Then he became aware of a tense whispering not ten feet away. 

 

He became rigid. 

 

"Don't make a sound!" It was Alec's voice. "Jill--do you hear me?" 

 

"Yes--" breathed very low, very frightened. They were in the bathroom. 

 

Then his ears caught a louder sound from somewhere along the corridor 

outside. It was a mumbling of men's voices and a repeated muffled 

rapping. Amory threw off the blankets and moved close to the bathroom 

door. 

 

"My God!" came the girl's voice again. "You'll have to let them in." 

 

"Sh!" 

 

Suddenly a steady, insistent knocking began at Amory's hall door 

and simultaneously out of the bathroom came Alec, followed by the 

vermilion-lipped girl. They were both clad in pajamas. 

 

"Amory!" an anxious whisper. 

 

"What's the trouble?" 

 

"It's house detectives. My God, Amory--they're just looking for a 

test-case--" 

 

"Well, better let them in." 

 

"You don't understand. They can get me under the Mann Act." 

 

The girl followed him slowly, a rather miserable, pathetic figure in the 

darkness. 

 

Amory tried to plan quickly. 

 

"You make a racket and let them in your room," he suggested anxiously, 

"and I'll get her out by this door." 

 

"They're here too, though. They'll watch this door." 

 

"Can't you give a wrong name?" 

 

"No chance. I registered under my own name; besides, they'd trail the 

auto license number." 

 

"Say you're married." 

 

"Jill says one of the house detectives knows her." 


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