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seems to me I've been a fish out of water in too many outworn systems.
I was probably one of the two dozen men in my class at college who got
a decent education; still they'd let any well-tutored flathead play
football and _I_ was ineligible, because some silly old men thought we
should _all_ profit by conic sections. I loathed the army. I loathed
business. I'm in love with change and I've killed my conscience--"
"So you'll go along crying that we must go faster."
"That, at least, is true," Amory insisted. "Reform won't catch up to
the needs of civilization unless it's made to. A laissez-faire policy is
like spoiling a child by saying he'll turn out all right in the end. He
will--if he's made to."
"But you don't believe all this Socialist patter you talk."
"I don't know. Until I talked to you I hadn't thought seriously about
it. I wasn't sure of half of what I said."
"You puzzle me," said the big man, "but you're all alike. They say
Bernard Shaw, in spite of his doctrines, is the most exacting of all
dramatists about his royalties. To the last farthing."
"Well," said Amory, "I simply state that I'm a product of a versatile
mind in a restless generation--with every reason to throw my mind and
pen in with the radicals. Even if, deep in my heart, I thought we were
all blind atoms in a world as limited as a stroke of a pendulum, I and
my sort would struggle against tradition; try, at least, to displace
old cants with new ones. I've thought I was right about life at various
times, but faith is difficult. One thing I know. If living isn't a
seeking for the grail it may be a damned amusing game."
For a minute neither spoke and then the big man asked:
"What was your university?"
The big man became suddenly interested; the expression of his goggles
"I sent my son to Princeton."
"Perhaps you knew him. His name was Jesse Ferrenby. He was killed last
year in France."
"I knew him very well. In fact, he was one of my particular friends."
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