Книга первая
Глава III. Ценитель поцелуев

С его студенческие годы в качестве редактора Harvard Crimson Ричард Карамель желал писать. Но, как старший он поднял прославленного иллюзию того, что некоторые люди были отложены на "сервис" и, входя в мир, должны были выполнить смутное yearnful нечто такое, что бы среагировать либо в вечной награды или, по крайней мере, в личное удовлетворение от того, стремится для наибольшего блага для наибольшего числа людей.

Этот дух уже давно потрясли колледжей в Америке. Она начинается, как правило, во время immaturities и легковесных впечатления от первокурсникам - иногда еще в подготовительной школе. Обеспеченные апостолы известны своей эмоциональной актерской идти в обход университетов и, пугающей любезный овец и притупляя учащение интереса и интеллектуального любопытства, который является целью всего образования, перегоняется таинственное убеждение греха, возвращаясь в детство преступлений и к вездесущей угрозы "женщин." Для того, чтобы эти лекции идут на отвратительные молодежь, чтобы подбодрить и пошутить и застенчив, чтобы глотать таблетки вкусные, которые были бы безвредны, если вводить фермеров жен и благочестивых наркоторговцев клерков, но весьма опасны лекарство для этих «будущих лидеров мужчин."

Этот осьминог был достаточно силен , чтобы ветер волнообразный щупальце о Richard Кармель. Через год после его окончания он назвал его в трущобах Нью-Йорка, чтобы слоняться с недоуменные итальянцами в качестве секретаря «чуждый молодых мужчин ассоциации спасения." Он трудился на него за год до того, как однообразие начал утомлять его. Иностранцы приходили неисчерпаемо - итальянцы, поляки, скандинавы, чехи, армяне - с теми же обидах, те же исключительно рожи и очень те же запахи, хотя ему казалось, что они становились все более обильное и разнообразны, как шли месяцы. Его возможные выводы о целесообразности службы были туманны, но относительно его собственного отношения к нему они были резкими и решающим. Любой любезный молодой человек, его голова звонит с последней крестового похода, могли бы достичь столько, сколько он мог с обломками Европы - и это было время для него, чтобы написать.

Он жил в понижающей городе YMCA, но когда он оставил задачу создания свиноматки уха кошельков из ушей свиноматок, он двигался вверх города и пошел на работу сразу в качестве репортера The Sun. Он держал на это в течение года, делая бессистемное писать на стороне, с небольшим успехом, а затем Однажды несчастный инцидент безапелляционно закрыл свою газету карьеру. На второй половине дня февраля он был назначен, чтобы сообщить парад эскадрилья А. Снег угрожает, он пошел спать вместо того, чтобы перед горячим огнем, а когда он проснулся, сделал плавный колонку о приглушенных ударов копыт в снегу. .. Это он передал в следующее утро с пометкой копия документа был направлен вниз в городской редактор с нацарапал. Примечание: "Огонь человека, который написал это." Казалось, что эскадрилья также видел снег угрожающей - было отложено парад до другого дня.

Неделю спустя он начал "Демон Lover." ...

В январе, в понедельник месяца, нос Ричарда Caramel был синий постоянно, сардонический синий, смутно наводит на мысль о пламени , облизывая вокруг грешника. Его книга была почти готова, и, как она росла в полноте, казалось, растут и в своих требованиях, подрывая его, пересиливая его, пока он не шел изможденный и победил в его тени. Мало того, чтобы Энтони и Мори он излил свои надежды и хвастовство и нерешительностью, но и к любому, кто мог бы быть уломал слушать. Он призвал вежливых, но растерянных издателей, он обсуждал это с его случайным визави в Гарвардском клубе; он даже утверждал, Энтони, что он был обнаружен, однажды в воскресенье вечером, обсуждая перестановку второй главе с литературным билетной сборщика в озноба и мрачных закоулках станции метро Гарлеме. И последнее среди его наперсниц миссис Гилберт, который сидел с ним в час, и чередовались между Bilphism и литературой в интенсивном перекрестный огонь.

"Шекспир был Bilphist" , она заверила его через неподвижный улыбкой. "О, да! Он был Bilphist. Это было доказано."

В этом Дика будет выглядеть немного пустым.

"Если вы читали 'Гамлет' , вы не можете не видеть."

"Ну, он - он жил в более доверчивой возрасте - более религиозная возраста."

Но она потребовала всю буханку:

"О, да, но вы видите Bilphism не является религией. Это наука о всех религий». Она вызывающе улыбнулась ему. Это был остр`ота ее веры. Существовал что-то в расположении слов, захвативших ее ум так определенно, что заявление стало выше любого обязательства определить себя. Не исключено, что она приняла бы любую идею, заключенная в этой лучистой формулы - которая была, возможно, не формула; это было доведение до абсурда всех формул.

Тогда в конце концов, но пышно, придет очередь Дика.

"Вы слышали о новом движении поэзии. У вас нет? Ну, это очень много молодых поэтов, которые отрываясь от старых форм и делать много хорошего. Ну, что я собирался сказать, что мой книга собирается начать новое движение прозы, своего рода ренессанс ".

уверен , что это будет" , балочные миссис Гилберт. уверен , что это будет. Я пошел к Дженни Мартин в прошлый вторник, хиромант, вы знаете, что каждый сходит с ума о. Я сказал ей , что мой племянник был занят на работе , и она сказала , что она знала , что я буду рад услышать что его успех был бы необыкновенный Но она никогда не видела тебя , или знал ничего о вас -. даже не ваше имя ".

После того, как выполнены правильные звуки , чтобы выразить свое удивление в этом поразительном явлении, Дик махнула тему им , как если бы он был произвольным гаишник, и, так сказать, подозвал вперед свой собственный трафик.

поглощен, тетя Кэтрин," он заверил ее, "я на самом деле Все мои друзья joshing меня -.. О, я вижу юмор в этом , и я не волнует , я думаю , что человек должен быть в состоянии принять joshing. Но у меня есть своего рода убеждением ", заключил он мрачно.

"Ты древняя душа, я всегда говорю."

"Может быть , я." Дик достиг той стадии, когда он больше не дрался, но представленный. Он должен быть древняя душа, он воображал гротескно; так стар, чтобы быть абсолютно гнилой. Тем не менее, повторение фразы еще несколько смущало его и послал неудобные дрожи его спину. Он сменил тему.

"Где мой уважаемый кузен Глория?"

"Она на ходу где - то, с кем - то."

Дик остановился, рассмотрел, а затем, морща лицо в то , что, видимо , началось как улыбка , но закончилась как ужасающий нахмурившись, произнес комментарий.

думаю , что мой друг Энтони заплата влюблен в нее."

Миссис Гилберт начал, балочные полсекунды слишком поздно, и вдохнул ее "Действительно?" в тон детективной игры шепотом.

думаю , что это так," поправил Дик тяжело. "Она первая девушка, которую я когда-либо видел его, так много."

"Ну, конечно же ," сказала миссис Гилберт с дотошной невнимательности, "Глория никогда не делает меня ее доверенное лицо Она очень скрытная Между мной и тобой.." - Она наклонилась вперед осторожно, очевидно , определяется , что только небо и ее племянник должен делить ее признание - "между вами и мной, я хотел бы видеть, как она успокоится."

Дик встал и прошелся по полу серьезно, небольшой, активный отдых , уже пухлый молодой человек, засунув руки неестественно в его оттопыренными карманами.

не утверждаю , что я прав, заметьте," он заверил гравюра на стали безгранично-оф-отель , который ухмылялся солидно на него. "Я не хочу сказать ничего, что я хочу знать, Глория Но я думаю, что Mad Anthony заинтересован -.. Чрезвычайно так Он говорит о ней постоянно в кого-то еще, что бы плохим знаком.".

"Глория является очень молодой soul--" начал миссис Гилберт охотно, но ее племянник прервал с торопливым предложением:

"Gloria'd быть очень молодой орех , чтобы не выйти за него замуж." Он остановился и повернулся к ней, выражение его боевую карту линий и углублений, запивая и напряжены до своей конечной шоу интенсивности - это, как будто, чтобы компенсировать его искренности для любого неосмотрительности в его словах. "Глория это дикий, тетя Кэтрин. Она неконтролируемыми. Как она сделала это, я не знаю, но в последнее время она взяла много смешных друзей. Она, кажется, не волнует. И люди, она имела обыкновение идти с вокруг Нью-Йорк were-- "Он сделал паузу, чтобы перевести дыхание.

"Да-да-да," вставила миссис Гилберт, с анемией попыткой скрыть огромный интерес , с которым она выслушала.

"Ну," продолжал Ричард Карамель серьезно, "там. Я имею в виду , что мужчины , она пошла с и люди , она пошла с раньше первого курса. В настоящее время они не являются."

Миссис Гилберт моргнул очень быстро - ее грудь дрожала, завышены, оставался таким на мгновение, и с выдохом ее слова вытекло в потоке.

Она знала, она закричала шепотом; о, да, матери видеть эти вещи. Но что она могла сделать? Он знал, что Глория. Он видел достаточно Глория, чтобы знать, как безнадежно было пытаться справиться с ней. Глория была настолько испорчена - в довольно полной и необычным способом. Она была кормила, пока она не было три года, например, когда она могла бы, вероятно, жевать палочки. Может быть , - никто никогда не знал , - именно это было , учитывая , что здоровье и морозостойкость ко всей ее личности. А потом с тех пор ей было двенадцать лет она имела мальчиков о ней так густо - ох, как толстый не мог двигаться. В шестнадцать лет она стала ходить на танцы на подготовительных школах, а затем пришли колледжи; и везде она пошла, мальчики, мальчики, мальчики. Во-первых, о, пока она не исполнилось восемнадцать лет там было так много, что она никогда не казалась одной больше, чем другие, но потом она начала выделить их.

Она знала , что была череда дел распространилась в течение примерно трех лет, возможно , десяток из них вообще. Иногда мужчины были старшекурсники, иногда просто из колледжа - они длились в среднем по несколько месяцев каждый, с короткими достопримечательностей между ними. Раз или два они испытали дольше и ее мать надеялась, что она будет заниматься, но всегда новый пришел - новый одно--

Эти мужчины? О, она сделала их несчастными, в буквальном смысле! Был только тот, кто сохранил какой-либо достоинства, и он был просто ребенок, молодой Картер Керби из Канзас-Сити, который был настолько тщеславен все равно, что он просто плавал на его самолюбие один день и уехал в Европу на следующий день с его отец. Остальные были - жалкое. Они никогда не казалось, знал, когда она устала от них, и Глория редко сознательно недобрым. Они будут продолжать звонить, писать ей письма, пытаясь увидеть ее, делая длительные поездки после ее по всей стране. Некоторые из них доверительно миссис Гилберт, сказал ей со слезами на глазах, что они никогда не будут перебираться Глория ... по крайней мере, два из них с тех пор женился, хотя .... Но Глория, казалось, ударил, чтобы убить --to этот день г-н Карстейрс позвонил один раз в неделю, и послал ей цветы, которые она больше не беспокоили отказаться.

Несколько раз, два раза, по крайней мере, миссис Гилберт знал , что он зашел так далеко , как частное взаимодействие - с Tudor Baird и что Holcome мальчика в Пасадене. Она была уверена, что это было, потому что - это не должно идти дальше - она ​​пришла неожиданно и нашел Глория действует, хорошо, очень много занимался на самом деле. Она не разговаривала с дочерью, конечно. Она имела определенное чувство деликатности и, кроме того, каждый раз, когда она ожидала объявление в течение нескольких недель. Но объявление не пришел; вместо этого, новый человек пришел.

Сцены! Молодые люди ходить вверх и вниз по библиотеке, как тигры в клетке! Молодые люди, глядя на друг друга в зале как один пришел, а другой ушел! Молодые люди, вызов по телефону и подвешивали вверх на в отчаянии! Молодые люди, угрожающие Южной Америке! ... Молодые люди пишут самые патетические письма! (Она ничего не сказала этого эффекта, но Дик показалось, что глаза миссис Гилберт видел некоторые из этих писем.)

... И Глория, между слезами и смехом, извините, рад, из любви и в любви, несчастной, нервной, прохладном, среди прекрасной возвращения подарков, замена фотографий в незапамятные кадров, и принятие горячих ванн и начала снова --with следующий.

Это положение вещей продолжалось, предполагается воздух постоянстве. Ничто не пострадал Глория или изменить ее или переместить ее. А потом из ясного неба один день она сообщила матери, что студенты утомили ее. Она была абсолютно собирается не более танцев колледжа.

Это началось изменение - не столько в ее реальных привычек, потому что она танцевала, и было столько "даты" , как всегда , - но они были даты в другом духе. Раньше это было своего рода гордость, вопрос ее собственного тщеславия. Она была, вероятно, самый знаменитый и востребованных молодых красоты в стране. Глория Гилберт из Канзас-Сити! Она накормила на него безжалостно - наслаждаясь толпы вокруг нее, манера, в которой наиболее желательными мужчины выделили ее из; наслаждаясь жестокую ревность других девочек; наслаждаясь сказочным, если не сказать скандальной, и ее мать была рада сказать, совершенно необоснованные слухи о ней - например, что она ушла в Йельском бассейне одну ночь в шифоновое вечернее платье.

И любить его с туалетным столиком, почти мужским - это было в природе торжествующим и ослепительной карьеры - она стала вдруг анестетик к нему. Она удалилась. Она, которая доминировала бесчисленные партии, которые взорван ароматно через много бальных к нежным дани многих глаз, казалось, больше не заботиться. Тот, кто влюбился в нее сейчас был уволен совершенно, почти сердито. Она пошла безучастно с самыми безразличными людьми. Она перекатывались помолвки, а не как в прошлом, от прохладной уверенности, что она была безупречна, что человек, которого она оскорбила бы вернуться, как домашнее животное - но равнодушно, без презрения или гордости. Она редко штурмовали у мужчин больше, - она ​​зевнула на них. Она, казалось, - и это было так странно - она, казалось, ее матери, чтобы быть охладевает.

Ричард Карамель слушал. Сначала он остался стоять, но, как дискурс теткиной вощеной по содержанию - это стоит здесь обрезают наполовину, всех побочных ссылок на молодость души Глории и в собственных ментальных расстройствах миссис Гилберт - он нарисовал стул и присутствовал строго, как она плавала, между слезами и жалобным беспомощности, вниз длинную историю жизни Глории. Когда она пришла к сказке этого в прошлом году, рассказ о концах сигарет оставили во всем Нью-Йорке в маленьких подносах, помеченных "Midnight Шалость" и "Маленький клуб Жюстин Джонсона," начал он медленно кивал головой, а потом все быстрее и быстрее , до тех пор, пока она не закончит на стаккато, она подпрыгивая оживленно вверх и вниз, до абсурда, как проводное голову куклы, выражающий - почти ничего.

В некотором смысле прошлое Глории была старая история с ним. Он последовал за ним глазами журналиста, потому что он собирался написать книгу о ней когда-нибудь. Но его интересы, только в настоящее время, были семейные интересы. Он хотел знать, в частности, кто был этот Иосиф Bloeckman, что он видел ее несколько раз; и эти две девочки, она была с постоянно, "это" Rachael Jerryl и "это" Мисс Кейн - наверняка мисс Кейн не был точно вид можно было бы связать с Глорией!

Но в тот момент прошло. Миссис Гилберт взобравшись холм экспозиции собирался скользят стремительно вниз трамплина коллапса. Ее глаза были похожи на синее небо видно через две круглые, красные оконных переплетов. Плоть о ее рот дрожит.

И в тот момент дверь открылась, допустив в комнату Глория и две барышни в последнее время упоминается.

Две молодые женщины

"Что ж!"

"Как вы делаете, миссис Гилберт!"

Мисс Кейн и мисс Jerryl представлены г - ну Ричарду Кармель. "Это Дик" (смех).

так много слышала о вас," говорит мисс Кейн между хихиканьем и крика.

"Как вы делаете," говорит мисс Jerryl застенчиво.

Ричард Карамель пытается двигаться , как будто его фигура была лучше. Он разрывается между его врожденной сердечностью и тот факт, что он считает, что эти девушки довольно часто - не на всех типа Farmover.

Глория исчезла в спальню.

"Есть ли сесть," лучи миссис Гилберт, который теперь вполне себя. "Снимай вещи." Дик боялся, что она сделает какое-нибудь замечание о возрасте его душе, но он забывает свои сомнения в завершении экзамена добросовестный, романиста двух молодых женщин.

Мюриэль Кейн возник в растущей семье East Orange. Она была короткой, а не маленький, и парил дерзко между округлость и шириной. Ее волосы были черными и тщательно организованы. Это, в сочетании с красивым, а бычьих глаза, и ее более-красные губы, в сочетании, чтобы заставить ее походить на Теда Бара, известный кинофильм актриса. Люди говорили ей постоянно, что она была "вампир", и она им поверила. Она подозревала, что мы надеемся, что они боялись ее, и она делала все, при любых обстоятельствах, чтобы создать впечатление об опасности. Творческий человек мог видеть красный флаг, который она постоянно носил, размахивать дико, умоляюще - и, увы, мало захватывающего безрезультатно. Она также была чрезвычайно своевременным: она знала, что последние песни, все последние песни - когда один из них играли на фонограф она будет подняться на ноги и рок ее плечи назад и вперед и защелкнуть ее пальцы, и если бы не было музыка она будет сопровождать себя напевая.

Ее разговор был также своевременным: "Меня не волнует," она сказала бы, "я должен беспокоиться и потерять свою фигуру" - и снова: " . Я не могу заставить себя мои ноги , когда я слышу эту мелодию О, детка ! "

Ее ногти были слишком длинными и богато, отполированы до розового и неестественной лихорадки. Ее одежда была слишком жесткой, слишком стильный, слишком яркий, ее глаза тоже мошенническим, ее улыбка слишком скромен. Она была почти жалобно переоценена с ног до головы.

Другая девушка была явно более тонкая личность. Она была одета изысканно еврейка с темными волосами и прекрасным млечного бледность. Она казалась застенчивой и расплывчатым, и эти два качества акцентирована довольно тонкое очарование, что плавал о ней. Ее семья была "епископальной", принадлежат три женских магазинов умных вдоль Пятой авеню, и жил в роскошной квартире на Риверсайд-драйв. Казалось, Дик, через несколько мгновений, что она пытается подражать Глории - он задавался вопросом, что люди неизменно выбирали неповторимые людей подражать.

" У нас был самый беспокойный время!" Мюриэл была восклицая с энтузиазмом. "Был сумасшедшая женщина позади нас на автобусе. Она была absitively, posolutely ореховый! Она продолжала говорить себе о чем - то она хотела бы сделать , чтобы кто - то или что - то. Я домашнее животное rified, но Глория просто не выйти ".

Миссис Гилберт открыла рот, правильно благоговением.

"В самом деле?"

"О, она была сумасшедшей. Но мы должны беспокоиться, она нам не помешает. Некрасиво! Милостивый! Человек через дорогу от нас говорит , что ее лицо должно быть на ночной сиделкой в доме для слепых, и мы все выл , естественно, так что человек пытался забрать нас ".

В настоящее время Глория вышла из своей спальни и в унисон каждый глаз повернулся к ней. Две девочки ушли в теневую фоне, неприметно, unmissed.

"Мы говорили о вас," быстро сказал Дик, "--Ваша мать и я"

"Хорошо" , сказала Глория.

Пауза - Мюриэль повернулся к Дику.

"Ты великий писатель, не так ли?"

писатель," признался он застенчиво.

всегда говорю," сказал Мюриэль серьезно, "что если я когда - либо было время , чтобы записать все свои переживания он бы сделал замечательную книгу."

Rachael хихикнула сочувственно; лук Ричарда Caramel был почти величаво. Мюриэль продолжал:

"Но я не понимаю , как вы можете сесть и сделать это. И поэзия! Лорди, я не могу сделать две строки рифмы. Что ж, я должен беспокоиться!"

Ричард Карамель с трудом сдерживали крик смеха. Глория жевательная резинка удивительное дроп и смотрела хмуро в окно. Миссис Гилберт откашлялась и просиял.

"Но вы видите," она сказала в своего рода универсальной экспозиции, "ты не древняя душа - как Ричард."

Древняя Душа вдохнул вздох облегчения - это было наконец.

Затем , как будто она рассматривает его в течение пяти минут, Глория сделал неожиданное заявление:

собираюсь дать вечеринку."

"О, я могу прийти?" воскликнула Мюриэл с шутливой смелостью.

«А ужин семь человек:. Мюриэль и Rachael и я, и ты, Дик, и Энтони, и что человек по имени Нобл - он мне понравился - и Bloeckman."

Мюриэль и Rachael вошел в мягкие и мурлыча экстазах энтузиазма. Миссис Гилберт моргнул и просиял. С видом небрежностью Дик прервала с вопросом:

"Кто этот парень Bloeckman, Глория?"

Чуя слабую враждебность, Глория повернулась к нему.

"Джозеф Bloeckman? Он подвижное изображение человека. Вице-президент" Films Пар Excellence. Он и отец сделать много бизнеса ".

"Ой!"

"Ну, вы все пришли?"

Они бы все пришли. Дата, была организована в течение недели. Дик встал, скорректированный шляпу, пальто, и глушитель, и выдавал общую улыбку.

"По-мимо," сказала Мюриэль, махнув рукой , весело, "называть меня какое - то время."

Ричард Карамель покраснела за нее.

Плачевное Конец шевалье О'Киф

Это был понедельник и Энтони взял Джеральдин Берк обеде в Beaux Arts - потом они поднялись в его квартиру , и он выкатил маленькую качению таблицу , которая держала его запас спиртного, выбирая вермут, джин и абсент для надлежащего стимулятора ,

Джеральдина Бёрк, возвестить на Кит, был развлечением нескольких месяцев. Она потребовала, так мало, что он любил ее, так как для плачевно дела с дебютантка предыдущего лета, когда он обнаружил, что после того, как полдюжины целует предложение, как ожидается, он настороженно относился к девушкам своего класса. Это было слишком легко превратить критический взгляд на их несовершенства: какие-то суровость или общий недостаток личного лакомства - но девочка, которая была вступить в Кит подошел с другим отношением. Можно было бы терпеть качества в интимной камердинера, который был бы непростительно в простом знакомстве на социальном уровне своего.

Джеральдина, свернувшись у подножия гостиной, считал его с узкими раскосыми глазами.

"Вы пить все время, не так ли?" вдруг сказала она.

"Почему, я полагаю так," ответил Энтони с некоторым удивлением. "Не так ли?"

". Нету я хожу на вечеринки иногда - вы знаете, примерно раз в неделю, но я только принимать два или три напитка Вы и ваши друзья продолжают пить все время я думаю , что вы бы испортить ваше здоровье..."

Энтони был несколько тронут.

"Почему ты не сладко беспокоиться обо мне!"

"Ну, я делаю."

не пью так очень много," заявил он. "В прошлом месяце я не трогали ни капли в течение трех недель. И я только получить действительно туго примерно раз в неделю."

"Но у вас есть что - то , чтобы пить каждый день , и вы всего двадцать пять лет. Разве вы какой - либо амбиции? Подумайте , что вы будете в сорок лет?"

искренне верю , что я не буду жить так долго."

Она прищелкнула языком с ее зубами.

"Вы CRA-Azy!" она сказала, как он смешал еще один коктейль - а затем: "Вы какое-либо отношение к Адаму Patch"

"Да, он мой дед."

"В самом деле?" Она явно взволнован.

"Абсолютно."

"Это смешно. Мой папа имел обыкновение работать на него."

"Он странный старик."

"Является ли он хорошо?" она требовала.

"Ну, в частной жизни он редко излишне неприятны."

"Расскажи нам о нем."

"Почему" Энтони считается "--he все усохшие и у него есть остатки какой - то седые волосы , которые всегда выглядит так , как будто ветер были в нем. Он очень морально."

"Он сделал много хорошего" , сказал Джеральдин с интенсивным действием силы тяжести.

"Rot!" издевался Энтони. "Он благочестивый осел - это chickenbrain."

Ее разум оставил эту тему и мелькали на.

"Почему ты не живешь с ним?"

"Почему бы мне не сесть в методистской пасторате?"

"Вы CRA-Azy!"

Опять же она сделала небольшой звук щелчка , чтобы выразить неодобрение. Энтони думал, как морально был этот маленький беспризорник в сердце - как полностью морально она все равно будет после того, как неизбежная волна пришла, что бы помыть ее от песков респектабельности.

"Есть ли ты его ненавидишь?"

удивляюсь. Я никогда не нравился. Вы никогда не похожи на людей , которые делают вещи для вас."

" Есть ли ненавидеть он вас?"

"Мой дорогой Джеральдин," запротестовал Энтони, нахмурившись юмористически, "действительно есть еще один коктейль. Я раздражают его. Если я выкурить сигарету , он входит в комнату нюхают. Он педант, скука, и что - то лицемер. Я , наверное , Wouldn 'т быть говорю вам это, если бы не было несколько напитков, но я не думаю, что это имеет значение ".

Джеральдин настойчиво интересовался. Она держала свой стакан, untasted, между большим и указательным пальцами и смотрел на него глазами, в которых было прикосновение благоговением.

"Как вы имеете в виду лицемер?"

"Ну," сказал Энтони нетерпеливо, "может быть , он не так . Но ему не нравится то , что мне нравится, и так, насколько я понимаю, он неинтересен."

"Хм." Ее любопытство, казалось, на расстоянии вытянутой, удовлетворены. Она опустилась на диван и потягивала коктейль.

"Ты забавный," прокомментировала она задумчиво. "Кто хочет жениться на тебе все потому, что твой дедушка богат?"

"Они don't - но я не должен винить их , если они сделали Тем не менее, вы видите, я никогда не собираюсь жениться." .

Она презирали это.

"Вы влюбляетесь когда - нибудь О, вы . - Я знаю." Она мудро кивнула.

"Было бы быть идиотским быть самонадеянными. Это то, что испортил Шевалье О'Киф."

"Кто он?"

«А существо моего великолепного ума. Он мой одно творение, шевалье».

"CRA-а-Azy!" она пробормотала приятно, используя неуклюжего веревочную лестницу, с которой она мостовом все пробелы и забрался после ее психического начальства. Подсознательно она чувствовала, что он устранен расстояния и принес человек, чье воображение ускользает от ее обратно в пределах диапазона.

"О, нет!" возразил Энтони, "О, нет, Джеральдина. Вы не должны играть психиатра на Шевалье. Если вы чувствуете, что не в состоянии понять, что я не подведет его. К тому же, я должен чувствовать определенное беспокойство из-за его прискорбной репутации ".

предполагаю , что я могу понять все , что есть какой -то смысл к нему," ответил Джеральдин немного раздраженно.

этом случае существуют различные эпизоды в жизни Шевалье , который может оказаться отклоняющего."

"Что ж?"

"Это был его несвоевременное конец , который заставил меня думать о нем и сделал его по поводу в разговоре. Я ненавижу представить его конец всего, но это кажется неизбежным , что Шевалье должен вернуться в вашу жизнь."

"Ну, что о нем? Ли он умереть?"

"Он сделал Таким образом , он был ирландец, Джеральдина, полу-вымышленный ирландец -. Дикий сорт с благородном и" акцентом рыжеватые волосы. Он был изгнан из Эрина в конце дней рыцарства и, конечно же, перешел к Франции. Теперь шевалье О'Киф, Джеральдин, была, как и я, одна слабость. Он был чрезвычайно восприимчив ко всем видам и условиям женщин. Кроме того, чтобы быть сентиментальным он был романтиком, тщеславный человек, мужчина диких страстей, немного слеп на один глаз и почти каменным слепом в другой. Теперь мужчина роуминг мир в таком состоянии, как беспомощен, как лев без зубы, а в последствии Шевалье был сделан совершенно несчастными в течение двадцати лет рядом женщин, которые ненавидели его, использовал его, ему надоела, усугубило его, претила ему, тратил деньги, сделал его дураком - вкратце, так как мир имеет его, любила его.

"Это было плохо, Джеральдина, и как Шевалье, за исключением этой одной слабости, это превышает восприимчивость, был человеком проникновения, он решил , что он будет спасать себя раз и навсегда от этих стоков на него. С этой целью он пошел в очень известном монастыре в Шампани под названием - ну, анахронически известный как Сент-Вольтера Это было правилом в Сент-Вольтера, что ни один монах не мог спуститься на землю историю монастыря до тех пор, как он жил, но должен существовать заниматься. молитва и созерцание в одном из четырех башен, которые были названы после четырех заповедей правила монастыря: бедности, целомудрия, послушания и молчания.

"Когда пришел день , который был свидетелем прощания шевалье к миру он был совершенно счастлив. Он отдал все свои греческие книги к его хозяйке, и его меч он послал в золотой оболочке для короля Франции, и все его сувениры из Ирландия он дал молодому гугенотов, который продал рыбу на улице, где он жил.

"Затем он выехал в Санкт - Вольтера, убил своего коня у дверей, и представил тушу монастырского повара.

пять часов ночи он почувствовал, впервые, бесплатно - навсегда свободна от секса Ни одна женщина не могла войти в монастырь;. Ни один монах не мог опуститься ниже второго этажа Так как он поднялся по винтовой лестнице , которая привела к. его клетка на самом верху башни целомудрия он сделал паузу на мгновение у открытого окна, которые смотрели вниз на пятьдесят футов на дорогу ниже. все это было так красиво, подумал он, этот мир, что он уходит, то золотой дождь от солнца сбивал на длинных полях, брызги деревьев на расстоянии, виноградники, тихом и зеленом, освежающих широкие мили перед ним. Он облокотился на створке окна и смотрел на извилистой дороге.

"Теперь, как это случилось, Therese, крестьянская девушка лет шестнадцати из соседней деревни, в тот момент , проходящей по этой же дороге , которая проходила перед монастырем. За пять минут до, маленький кусочек ленты , которая держится чулок на ее довольно левой ноге была изношенная и сломаны. Будучи девушка редкой скромности она думала, что ждать, пока она не приехала домой, прежде чем ремонтировать его, но он беспокоил ее до такой степени, что она чувствовала, что она могла вынести это уже не так. , когда она проходила мимо башни целомудрия, она остановилась и с красивым жестом задрала юбку - как можно меньше, будь то сказал ей кредита - отрегулировать ее подвязку.

"Up в башне новейший прибытия в древнем монастыре святого Вольтера, как будто тянут вперед гигантским и непреодолимого рукой, подался из окна. Далее он наклонился и дальше , пока вдруг один из камней не ослабла под его тяжестью, сломал от его цементом с мягким мучнистой звуком - и, в первую очередь с головой, затем кубарем, наконец, в огромной и внушительной революции упали шевалье О'Киф, направляющийся в твердой земле и вечного проклятия.

"Therese был настолько расстроен , что появления она бежала всю дорогу домой и в течение десяти лет провел час в день в тайной молитве за душу монаха , чьи шеи и клянется были одновременно сломана в тот злополучный воскресенье днем.

шевалье О'Киф, подозревается в самоубийстве, не был похоронен в освященной земле, но упал в поле рядом, где он , несомненно , улучшили качество почвы в течение многих лет после этого. Таков был конец несвоевременное очень храбрый и галантный джентльмен. Что ты думаешь, Джеральдин? "

Но Джеральдина, потерял задолго до того , мог только улыбнуться лукаво, взмахнет первый палец на него, и повторить ее мост-все, ей объяснить все остальные случаи :

"Псих!" сказала она, "ты CRA-а-Azy!"

Его тонкое лицо было любезно, подумала она, и глаза его довольно нежный. Она любила его, потому что он был высокомерен, не будучи тщеславным, и потому, что, в отличие от мужчин, с которыми она встречалась о театре, у него был ужас того, чтобы быть заметным. Какая странная, бессмысленная история! Но она пользовалась часть о чулке!

После пятого коктейля он поцеловал ее, и между смехом и подтрунивания ласк и наполовину подавил вспышки страсти они проходили через час. В четыре тридцать она утверждала, что помолвка, и, войдя в ванную, она переставить ее волосы. Отказываясь позволить ему заказать ей такси она стояла на мгновение в дверях.

"Вы поженимся" , она настаивала, "вы подождать и посмотреть."

Энтони играл с древней теннисный мяч, и он осторожно отлетел на пол несколько раз , прежде чем он ответил с soupçon кислотности:

"You're a little idiot, Geraldine."

She smiled provokingly.

"Oh, I am, am I? Want to bet?"

"That'd be silly too."

"Oh, it would, would it? Well, I'll just bet you'll marry somebody inside of a year."

Anthony bounced the tennis ball very hard. This was one of his handsome days, she thought; a sort of intensity had displaced the melancholy in his dark eyes.

"Geraldine," he said, at length, "in the first place I have no one I want to marry; in the second place I haven't enough money to support two people; in the third place I am entirely opposed to marriage for people of my type; in the fourth place I have a strong distaste for even the abstract consideration of it."

But Geraldine only narrowed her eyes knowingly, made her clicking sound, and said she must be going. It was late.

"Call me up soon," she reminded him as he kissed her goodbye, "you haven't for three weeks, you know."

"I will," he promised fervently.

He shut the door and coming back into the room stood for a moment lost in thought with the tennis ball still clasped in his hand. There was one of his lonelinesses coming, one of those times when he walked the streets or sat, aimless and depressed, biting a pencil at his desk. It was a self-absorption with no comfort, a demand for expression with no outlet, a sense of time rushing by, ceaselessly and wastefully--assuaged only by that conviction that there was nothing to waste, because all efforts and attainments were equally valueless.

He thought with emotion--aloud, ejaculative, for he was hurt and confused.

"No idea of getting married, by God !"

Of a sudden he hurled the tennis ball violently across the room, where it barely missed the lamp, and, rebounding here and there for a moment, lay still upon the floor.

Signlight and Moonlight

For her dinner Gloria had taken a table in the Cascades at the Biltmore, and when the men met in the hall outside a little after eight, "that person Bloeckman" was the target of six masculine eyes. He was a stoutening, ruddy Jew of about thirty-five, with an expressive face under smooth sandy hair--and, no doubt, in most business gatherings his personality would have been considered ingratiating. He sauntered up to the three younger men, who stood in a group smoking as they waited for their hostess, and introduced himself with a little too evident assurance--nevertheless it is to be doubted whether he received the intended impression of faint and ironic chill: there was no hint of understanding in his manner.

"You related to Adam J. Patch?" he inquired of Anthony, emitting two slender strings of smoke from nostrils overwide.

Anthony admitted it with the ghost of a smile.

"He's a fine man," pronounced Bloeckman profoundly. "He's a fine example of an American."

"Yes," agreed Anthony, "he certainly is."

--I detest these underdone men, he thought coldly. Boiled looking! Ought to be shoved back in the oven; just one more minute would do it.

Bloeckman squinted at his watch.

"Time these girls were showing up ..."

--Anthony waited breathlessly; it came--

"... but then," with a widening smile, "you know how women are."

The three young men nodded; Bloeckman looked casually about him, his eyes resting critically on the ceiling and then passing lower. His expression combined that of a Middle Western farmer appraising his wheat crop and that of an actor wondering whether he is observed--the public manner of all good Americans. As he finished his survey he turned back quickly to the reticent trio, determined to strike to their very heart and core.

"You college men? ... Harvard, eh. I see the Princeton boys beat you fellows in hockey."

Unfortunate man. He had drawn another blank. They had been three years out and heeded only the big football games. Whether, after the failure of this sally, Mr. Bloeckman would have perceived himself to be in a cynical atmosphere is problematical, for--

Gloria arrived. Muriel arrived. Rachael arrived. After a hurried "Hello, people!" uttered by Gloria and echoed by the other two, the three swept by into the dressing room.

A moment later Muriel appeared in a state of elaborate undress and crept toward them. She was in her element: her ebony hair was slicked straight back on her head; her eyes were artificially darkened; she reeked of insistent perfume. She was got up to the best of her ability as a siren, more popularly a "vamp"--a picker up and thrower away of men, an unscrupulous and fundamentally unmoved toyer with affections. Something in the exhaustiveness of her attempt fascinated Maury at first sight--a woman with wide hips affecting a panther-like litheness! As they waited the extra three minutes for Gloria, and, by polite assumption, for Rachael, he was unable to take his eyes from her. She would turn her head away, lowering her eyelashes and biting her nether lip in an amazing exhibition of coyness. She would rest her hands on her hips and sway from side to side in tune to the music, saying:

"Did you ever hear such perfect ragtime? I just can't make my shoulders behave when I hear that."

Mr. Bloeckman clapped his hands gallantly.

"You ought to be on the stage."

"I'd like to be!" cried Muriel; "will you back me?"

"I sure will."

With becoming modesty Muriel ceased her motions and turned to Maury, asking what he had "seen" this year. He interpreted this as referring to the dramatic world, and they had a gay and exhilarating exchange of titles, after this manner:

MURIEL: Have you seen "Peg o' My Heart"?

MAURY: No, I haven't.

MURIEL: ( Eagerly ) It's wonderful! You want to see it.

MAURY: Have you seen "Omar, the Tentmaker"?

MURIEL: No, but I hear it's wonderful. I'm very anxious to see it. Have you seen "Fair and Warmer"?

MAURY: ( Hopefully ) Yes.

MURIEL: I don't think it's very good. It's trashy.

MAURY: ( Faintly ) Yes, that's true.

MURIEL: But I went to "Within the Law" last night and I thought it was fine. Have you seen "The Little Cafe"?...

This continued until they ran out of plays. Dick, meanwhile, turned to Mr. Bloeckman, determined to extract what gold he could from this unpromising load.

"I hear all the new novels are sold to the moving pictures as soon as they come out."

"That's true. Of course the main thing in a moving picture is a strong story."

"Yes, I suppose so."

"So many novels are all full of talk and psychology. Of course those aren't as valuable to us. It's impossible to make much of that interesting on the screen."

"You want plots first," said Richard brilliantly.

"Of course. Plots first--" He paused, shifted his gaze. His pause spread, included the others with all the authority of a warning finger. Gloria followed by Rachael was coming out of the dressing room.

Among other things it developed during dinner that Joseph Bloeckman never danced, but spent the music time watching the others with the bored tolerance of an elder among children. He was a dignified man and a proud one. Born in Munich he had begun his American career as a peanut vender with a travelling circus. At eighteen he was a side show ballyhoo; later, the manager of the side show, and, soon after, the proprietor of a second-class vaudeville house. Just when the moving picture had passed out of the stage of a curiosity and become a promising industry he was an ambitious young man of twenty-six with some money to invest, nagging financial ambitions and a good working knowledge of the popular show business. That had been nine years before. The moving picture industry had borne him up with it where it threw off dozens of men with more financial ability, more imagination, and more practical ideas...and now he sat here and contemplated the immortal Gloria for whom young Stuart Holcome had gone from New York to Pasadena--watched her, and knew that presently she would cease dancing and come back to sit on his left hand.

He hoped she would hurry. The oysters had been standing some minutes.

Meanwhile Anthony, who had been placed on Gloria's left hand, was dancing with her, always in a certain fourth of the floor. This, had there been stags, would have been a delicate tribute to the girl, meaning "Damn you, don't cut in!" It was very consciously intimate.

"Well," he began, looking down at her, "you look mighty sweet to-night."

She met his eyes over the horizontal half foot that separated them.

"Thank you--Anthony."

"In fact you're uncomfortably beautiful," he added. There was no smile this time.

"And you're very charming."

"Isn't this nice?" он посмеялся. "We actually approve of each other."

"Don't you, usually?" She had caught quickly at his remark, as she always did at any unexplained allusion to herself, however faint.

He lowered his voice, and when he spoke there was in it no more than a wisp of badinage.

"Does a priest approve the Pope?"

"I don't know--but that's probably the vaguest compliment I ever received."

"Perhaps I can muster a few bromides."

"Well, I wouldn't have you strain yourself. Look at Muriel! Right here next to us."

He glanced over his shoulder. Muriel was resting her brilliant cheek against the lapel of Maury Noble's dinner coat and her powdered left arm was apparently twisted around his head. One was impelled to wonder why she failed to seize the nape of his neck with her hand. Her eyes, turned ceiling-ward, rolled largely back and forth; her hips swayed, and as she danced she kept up a constant low singing. This at first seemed to be a translation of the song into some foreign tongue but became eventually apparent as an attempt to fill out the metre of the song with the only words she knew--the words of the title--

"He's a rag-picker,
A rag-picker;
A rag-time picking man,
Rag-picking, picking, pick, pick,
Rag-pick, pick, pick."

--and so on, into phrases still more strange and barbaric. When she caught the amused glances of Anthony and Gloria she acknowledged them only with a faint smile and a half-closing of her eyes, to indicate that the music entering into her soul had put her into an ecstatic and exceedingly seductive trance.

The music ended and they returned to their table, whose solitary but dignified occupant arose and tendered each of them a smile so ingratiating that it was as if he were shaking their hands and congratulating them on a brilliant performance.

"Blockhead never will dance! I think he has a wooden leg," remarked Gloria to the table at large. The three young men started and the gentleman referred to winced perceptibly.

This was the one rough spot in the course of Bloeckman's acquaintance with Gloria. She relentlessly punned on his name. First it had been "Block-house." lately, the more invidious "Blockhead." He had requested with a strong undertone of irony that she use his first name, and this she had done obediently several times--then slipping, helpless, repentant but dissolved in laughter, back into "Blockhead."

It was a very sad and thoughtless thing.

"I'm afraid Mr. Bloeckman thinks we're a frivolous crowd," sighed Muriel, waving a balanced oyster in his direction.

"He has that air," murmured Rachael. Anthony tried to remember whether she had said anything before. He thought not. It was her initial remark.

Mr. Bloeckman suddenly cleared his throat and said in a loud, distinct voice:

"On the contrary. When a man speaks he's merely tradition. He has at best a few thousand years back of him. But woman, why, she is the miraculous mouthpiece of posterity."

In the stunned pause that followed this astounding remark, Anthony choked suddenly on an oyster and hurried his napkin to his face. Rachael and Muriel raised a mild if somewhat surprised laugh, in which Dick and Maury joined, both of them red in the face and restraining uproariousness with the most apparent difficulty.

"--My God!" thought Anthony. "It's a subtitle from one of his movies. The man's memorized it!"

Gloria alone made no sound. She fixed Mr. Bloeckman with a glance of silent reproach.

"Well, for the love of Heaven! Where on earth did you dig that up?"

Bloeckman looked at her uncertainly, not sure of her intention. But in a moment he recovered his poise and assumed the bland and consciously tolerant smile of an intellectual among spoiled and callow youth.

The soup came up from the kitchen--but simultaneously the orchestra leader came up from the bar, where he had absorbed the tone color inherent in a seidel of beer. So the soup was left to cool during the delivery of a ballad entitled "Everything's at Home Except Your Wife."

Then the champagne--and the party assumed more amusing proportions. The men, except Richard Caramel, drank freely; Gloria and Muriel sipped a glass apiece; Rachael Jerryl took none. They sat out the waltzes but danced to everything else--all except Gloria, who seemed to tire after a while and preferred to sit smoking at the table, her eyes now lazy, now eager, according to whether she listened to Bloeckman or watched a pretty woman among the dancers. Several times Anthony wondered what Bloeckman was telling her. He was chewing a cigar back and forth in his mouth, and had expanded after dinner to the extent of violent gestures.

Ten o'clock found Gloria and Anthony beginning a dance. Just as they were out of ear-shot of the table she said in a low voice:

"Dance over by the door. I want to go down to the drug-store."

Obediently Anthony guided her through the crowd in the designated direction; in the hall she left him for a moment, to reappear with a cloak over her arm.

"I want some gum-drops," she said, humorously apologetic; "you can't guess what for this time. It's just that I want to bite my finger-nails, and I will if I don't get some gum-drops." She sighed, and resumed as they stepped into the empty elevator: "I've been biting 'em all day. A bit nervous, you see. Excuse the pun. It was unintentional--the words just arranged themselves. Gloria Gilbert, the female wag."

Reaching the ground floor they naively avoided the hotel candy counter, descended the wide front staircase, and walking through several corridors found a drug-store in the Grand Central Station. After an intense examination of the perfume counter she made her purchase. Then on some mutual unmentioned impulse they strolled, arm in arm, not in the direction from which they had come, but out into Forty-third Street.

The night was alive with thaw; it was so nearly warm that a breeze drifting low along the sidewalk brought to Anthony a vision of an unhoped-for hyacinthine spring. Above in the blue oblong of sky, around them in the caress of the drifting air, the illusion of a new season carried relief from the stiff and breathed-over atmosphere they had left, and for a hushed moment the traffic sounds and the murmur of water flowing in the gutters seemed an illusive and rarefied prolongation of that music to which they had lately danced. When Anthony spoke it was with surety that his words came from something breathless and desirous that the night had conceived in their two hearts.

"Let's take a taxi and ride around a bit!" he suggested, without looking at her.

Oh, Gloria, Gloria!

A cab yawned at the curb. As it moved off like a boat on a labyrinthine ocean and lost itself among the inchoate night masses of the great buildings, among the now stilled, now strident, cries and c>

She was silent. She turned her face up to him, pale under the wisps and patches of light that trailed in like moonshine through a foliage. Her eyes were gleaming ripples in the white lake of her face; the shadows of her hair bordered the brow with a persuasive unintimate dusk. No love was there, surely; nor the imprint of any love. Her beauty was cool as this damp breeze, as the moist softness of her own lips.

"You're such a swan in this light," he whispered after a moment. There were silences as murmurous as sound. There were pauses that seemed about to shatter and were only to be snatched back to oblivion by the tightening of his arms about her and the sense that she was resting there as a caught, gossamer feather, drifted in out of the dark. Anthony laughed, noiselessly and exultantly, turning his face up and away from her, half in an overpowering rush of triumph, half lest her sight of him should spoil the splendid immobility of her expression. Such a kiss--it was a flower held against the face, never to be described, scarcely to be remembered; as though her beauty were giving off emanations of itself which settled transiently and already dissolving upon his heart.

... The buildings fell away in melted shadows; this was the Park now, and after a long while the great white ghost of the Metropolitan Museum moved majestically past, echoing sonorously to the rush of the cab.

"Why, Gloria! Why, Gloria!"

Her eyes appeared to regard him out of many thousand years: all emotion she might have felt, all words she might have uttered, would have seemed inadequate beside the adequacy of her silence, ineloquent against the eloquence of her beauty--and of her body, close to him, slender and cool.

"Tell him to turn around," she murmured, "and drive pretty fast going back...."

Up in the supper room the air was hot. The table, littered with napkins and ash-trays, was old and stale. It was between dances as they entered, and Muriel Kane looked up with roguishness extraordinary.

"Well, where have you been?"

"To call up mother," answered Gloria coolly. "I promised her I would. Did we miss a dance?"

Then followed an incident that though slight in itself Anthony had cause to reflect on many years afterward. Joseph Bloeckman, leaning well back in his chair, fixed him with a peculiar glance, in which several emotions were curiously and inextricably mingled. He did not greet Gloria except by rising, and he immediately resumed a conversation with Richard Caramel about the influence of literature on the moving pictures.

магия

The stark and unexpected miracle of a night fades out with the lingering death of the last stars and the premature birth of the first newsboys. The flame retreats to some remote and platonic fire; the white heat has gone from the iron and the glow from the coal.

Along the shelves of Anthony's library, filling a wall amply, crept a chill and insolent pencil of sunlight touching with frigid disapproval Therese of France and Ann the Superwoman, Jenny of the Orient Ballet and Zuleika the Conjurer--and Hoosier Cora--then down a shelf and into the years, resting pityingly on the over-invoked shades of Helen, Thais, Salome, and Cleopatra.

Anthony, shaved and bathed, sat in his most deeply cushioned chair and watched it until at the steady rising of the sun it lay glinting for a moment on the silk ends of the rug--and went out.

It was ten o'clock. The Sunday Times, scattered about his feet, proclaimed by rotogravure and editorial, by social revelation and sporting sheet, that the world had been tremendously engrossed during the past week in the business of moving toward some splendid if somewhat indeterminate goal. For his part Anthony had been once to his grandfather's, twice to his broker's, and three times to his tailor's--and in the last hour of the week's last day he had kissed a very beautiful and charming girl.

When he reached home his imagination had been teeming with high pitched, unfamiliar dreams. There was suddenly no question on his mind, no eternal problem for a solution and resolution. He had experienced an emotion that was neither mental nor physical, nor merely a mixture of the two, and the love of life absorbed him for the present to the exclusion of all else. He was content to let the experiment remain isolated and unique. Almost impersonally he was convinced that no woman he had ever met compared in any way with Gloria. She was deeply herself; she was immeasurably sincere--of these things he was certain. Beside her the two dozen schoolgirls and debutantes, young married women and waifs and strays whom he had known were so many females, in the word's most contemptuous sense, breeders and bearers, exuding still that faintly odorous atmosphere of the cave and the nursery.

So far as he could see, she had neither submitted to any will of his nor caressed his vanity--except as her pleasure in his company was a caress. Indeed he had no reason for thinking she had given him aught that she did not give to others. This was as it should be. The idea of an entanglement growing out of the evening was as remote as it would have been repugnant. And she had disclaimed and buried the incident with a decisive untruth. Here were two young people with fancy enough to distinguish a game from its reality--who by the very casualness with which they met and passed on would proclaim themselves unharmed.

Having decided this he went to the phone and called up the Plaza Hotel.

Gloria was out. Her mother knew neither where she had gone nor when she would return.

It was somehow at this point that the first wrongness in the case asserted itself. There was an element of callousness, almost of indecency, in Gloria's absence from home. He suspected that by going out she had intrigued him into a disadvantage. Returning she would find his name, and smile. Most discreetly! He should have waited a few hours in order to drive home the utter inconsequence with which he regarded the incident. What an asinine blunder! She would think he considered himself particularly favored. She would think he was reacting with the most inept intimacy to a quite trivial episode.

He remembered that during the previous month his janitor, to whom he had delivered a rather muddled lecture on the "brother-hoove man," had come up next day and, on the basis of what had happened the night before, seated himself in the window seat for a cordial and chatty half-hour. Anthony wondered in horror if Gloria would regard him as he had regarded that man. Him--Anthony Patch! Horror!

It never occurred to him that he was a passive thing, acted upon by an influence above and beyond Gloria, that he was merely the sensitive plate on which the photograph was made. Some gargantuan photographer had focussed the camera on Gloria and snap !--the poor plate could but develop, confined like all things to its nature.

But Anthony, lying upon his couch and staring at the orange lamp, passed his thin fingers incessantly through his dark hair and made new symbols for the hours. She was in a shop now, it seemed, moving lithely among the velvets and the furs, her own dress making, as she walked, a debonair rustle in that world of silken rustles and cool soprano laughter and scents of many slain but living flowers. The Minnies and Pearls and jewels and jennies would gather round her like courtiers, bearing wispy frailties of Georgette crepe, delicate chiffon to echo her cheeks in faint pastel, milky lace to rest in pale disarray against her neck--damask was used but to cover priests and divans in these days, and cloth of Samarand was remembered only by the romantic poets.

She would go elsewhere after a while, tilting her head a hundred ways under a hundred bonnets, seeking in vain for mock cherries to match her lips or plumes that were graceful as her own supple body.

Noon would come--she would hurry along Fifth Avenue, a Nordic Ganymede, her fur coat swinging fashionably with her steps, her cheeks redder by a stroke of the wind's brush, her breath a delightful mist upon the bracing air--and the doors of the Ritz would revolve, the crowd would divide, fifty masculine eyes would start, stare, as she gave back forgotten dreams to the husbands of many obese and comic women.

One o'clock. With her fork she would tantalize the heart of an adoring artichoke, while her escort served himself up in the thick, dripping sentences of an enraptured man.

Four o'clock: her little feet moving to melody, her face distinct in the crowd, her partner happy as a petted puppy and mad as the immemorial hatter.... Then--then night would come drifting down and perhaps another damp. The signs would spill their light into the street. Who knew? No wiser than he, they haply sought to recapture that picture done in cream and shadow they had seen on the hushed Avenue the night before. And they might, ah, they might! A thousand taxis would yawn at a thousand corners, and only to him was that kiss forever lost and done. In a thousand guises Thais would hail a cab and turn up her face for loving. And her pallor would be virginal and lovely, and her kiss chaste as the moon....

He sprang excitedly to his feet. How inappropriate that she should be out! He had realized at last what he wanted--to kiss her again, to find rest in her great immobility. She was the end of all restlessness, all malcontent.

Anthony dressed and went out, as he should have done long before, and down to Richard Caramel's room to hear the last revision of the last chapter of "The Demon Lover." He did not call Gloria again until six. He did not find her in until eight and--oh, climax of anticlimaxes!--she could give him no engagement until Tuesday afternoon. A broken piece of gutta-percha clattered to the floor as he banged up the phone.

Black Magic

Tuesday was freezing cold. He called at a bleak two o'clock and as they shook hands he wondered confusedly whether he had ever kissed her; it was almost unbelievable--he seriously doubted if she remembered it.

"I called you four times on Sunday," he told her.

"Did you?"

There was surprise in her voice and interest in her expression. Silently he cursed himself for having told her. He might have known her pride did not deal in such petty triumphs. Even then he had not guessed at the truth--that never having had to worry about men she had seldom used the wary subterfuges, the playings out and haulings in, that were the stock in trade of her sisterhood. When she liked a man, that was trick enough. Did she think she loved him--there was an ultimate and fatal thrust. Her charm endlessly preserved itself.

"I was anxious to see you," he said simply. "I want to talk to you--I mean really talk, somewhere where we can be alone. May I?"

"Что вы имеете в виду?"

He swallowed a sudden lump of panic. He felt that she knew what he wanted.

"I mean, not at a tea table," he said.

"Well, all right, but not to-day. I want to get some exercise. Let's walk!"

It was bitter and raw. All the evil hate in the mad heart of February was wrought into the forlorn and icy wind that cut its way cruelly across Central Park and down along Fifth Avenue. It was almost impossible to talk, and discomfort made him distracted, so much so that he turned at Sixty-first Street to find that she was no longer beside him. Он огляделся по сторонам. She was forty feet in the rear standing motionless, her face half hidden in her fur coat collar, moved either by anger or laughter--he could not determine which. He started back.

"Don't let me interrupt your walk!" она позвала.

"I'm mighty sorry," he answered in confusion. "Did I go too fast?"

"I'm cold," she announced. "I want to go home. And you walk too fast."

"I'm very sorry."

Side by side they started for the Plaza. He wished he could see her face.

"Men don't usually get so absorbed in themselves when they're with me."

"I'm sorry."

"That's very interesting."

"It is rather too cold to walk," he said, briskly, to hide his annoyance.

She made no answer and he wondered if she would dismiss him at the hotel entrance. She walked in without speaking, however, and to the elevator, throwing him a single remark as she entered it:

"You'd better come up."

He hesitated for the fraction of a moment.

"Perhaps I'd better call some other time."

"Just as you say." Her words were murmured as an aside. The main concern of life was the adjusting of some stray wisps of hair in the elevator mirror. Her cheeks were brilliant, her eyes sparkled--she had never seemed so lovely, so exquisitely to be desired.

Despising himself, he found that he was walking down the tenth-floor corridor a subservient foot behind her; was in the sitting room while she disappeared to shed her furs. Something had gone wrong--in his own eyes he had lost a shred of dignity; in an unpremeditated yet significant encounter he had been completely defeated.

However, by the time she reappeared in the sitting-room he had explained himself to himself with sophistic satisfaction. After all he had done the strongest thing, he thought. He had wanted to come up, he had come. Yet what happened later on that afternoon must be traced to the indignity he had experienced in the elevator; the girl was worrying him intolerably, so much so that when she came out he involuntarily drifted into criticism.

"Who's this Bloeckman, Gloria?"

"A business friend of father's."

"Odd sort of fellow!"

"He doesn't like you either," she said with a sudden smile.

Anthony laughed.

"I'm flattered at his notice. He evidently considers me a--" He broke off with "Is he in love with you?"

"I don't know."

"The deuce you don't," he insisted. "Of course he is. I remember the look he gave me when we got back to the table. He'd probably have had me quietly assaulted by a delegation of movie supes if you hadn't invented that phone call."

"He didn't mind. I told him afterward what really happened."

"You told him!"

"He asked me."

"I don't like that very well," he remonstrated.

She laughed again.

"Oh, you don't?"

"What business is it of his?"

"None. That's why I told him."

Anthony in a turmoil bit savagely at his mouth.

"Why should I lie?" she demanded directly. "I'm not ashamed of anything I do. It happened to interest him to know that I kissed you, and I happened to be in a good humor, so I satisfied his curiosity by a simple and precise 'yes.' Being rather a sensible man, after his fashion, he dropped the subject."

"Except to say that he hated me."

"Oh, it worries you? Well, if you must probe this stupendous matter to its depths he didn't say he hated you. I simply know he does."

"It doesn't wor----"

"Oh, let's drop it!" she cried spiritedly. "It's a most uninteresting matter to me."

With a tremendous effort Anthony made his acquiescence a twist of subject, and they drifted into an ancient question-and-answer game concerned with each other's pasts, gradually warming as they discovered the age-old, immemorial resemblances in tastes and ideas. They said things that were more revealing than they intended--but each pretended to accept the other at face, or rather word, value.

The growth of intimacy is like that. First one gives off his best picture, the bright and finished product mended with bluff and falsehood and humor. Then more details are required and one paints a second portrait, and a third--before long the best lines cancel out--and the secret is exposed at last; the planes of the pictures have intermingled and given us away, and though we paint and paint we can no longer sell a picture. We must be satisfied with hoping that such fatuous accounts of ourselves as we make to our wives and children and business associates are accepted as true.

"It seems to me," Anthony was saying earnestly, "that the position of a man with neither necessity nor ambition is unfortunate. Heaven knows it'd be pathetic of me to be sorry for myself--yet, sometimes I envy Dick."

Her silence was encouragement. It was as near as she ever came to an intentional lure.

"--And there used to be dignified occupations for a gentleman who had leisure, things a little more constructive than filling up the landscape with smoke or juggling some one else's money. There's science, of course: sometimes I wish I'd taken a good foundation, say at Boston Tech. But now, by golly, I'd have to sit down for two years and struggle through the fundamentals of physics and chemistry."

She yawned.

"I've told you I don't know what anybody ought to do," she said ungraciously, and at her indifference his rancor was born again.

"Aren't you interested in anything except yourself?"

"Not much."

He glared; his growing enjoyment in the conversation was ripped to shreds. She had been irritable and vindictive all day, and it seemed to him that for this moment he hated her hard selfishness. He stared morosely at the fire.

Then a strange thing happened. She turned to him and smiled, and as he saw her smile every rag of anger and hurt vanity dropped from him--as though his very moods were but the outer ripples of her own, as though emotion rose no longer in his breast unless she saw fit to pull an omnipotent controlling thread.

He moved closer and taking her hand pulled her ever so gently toward him until she half lay against his shoulder. She smiled up at him as he kissed her.

"Gloria," he whispered very softly. Again she had made a magic, subtle and pervading as a spilt perfume, irresistible and sweet.

Afterward, neither the next day nor after many years, could he remember the important things of that afternoon. Had she been moved? In his arms had she spoken a little--or at all? What measure of enjoyment had she taken in his kisses? And had she at any time lost herself ever so little?

Oh, for him there was no doubt. He had risen and paced the floor in sheer ecstasy. That such a girl should be; should poise curled in a corner of the couch like a swallow newly landed from a clean swift flight, watching him with inscrutable eyes. He would stop his pacing and, half shy each time at first, drop his arm around her and find her kiss.

She was fascinating, he told her. He had never met any one like her before. He besought her jauntily but earnestly to send him away; he didn't want to fall in love. He wasn't coming to see her any more--already she had haunted too many of his ways.

What delicious romance! His true reaction was neither fear nor sorrow--only this deep delight in being with her that colored the banality of his words and made the mawkish seem sad and the posturing seem wise. He would come back--eternally. He should have known!

"This is all. It's been very rare to have known you, very strange and wonderful. But this wouldn't do--and wouldn't last." As he spoke there was in his heart that tremulousness that we take for sincerity in ourselves.

Afterward he remembered one reply of hers to something he had asked her. He remembered it in this form--perhaps he had unconsciously arranged and polished it:

"A woman should be able to kiss a man beautifully and romantically without any desire to be either his wife or his mistress."

As always when he was with her she seemed to grow gradually older until at the end ruminations too deep for words would be wintering in her eyes.

An hour passed, and the fire leaped up in little ecstasies as though its fading life was sweet. It was five now, and the clock over the mantel became articulate in sound. Then as if a brutish sensibility in him was reminded by those thin, tinny beats that the petals were falling from the flowered afternoon, Anthony pulled her quickly to her feet and held her helpless, without breath, in a kiss that was neither a game nor a tribute.

Her arms fell to her side. In an instant she was free.

"Don't!" she said quietly. "I don't want that."

She sat down on the far side of the lounge and gazed straight before her. A frown had gathered between her eyes. Anthony sank down beside her and closed his hand over hers. It was lifeless and unresponsive.

"Why, Gloria!" He made a motion as if to put his arm about her but she drew away.

"I don't want that," she repeated.

"I'm very sorry," he said, a little impatiently. "I--I didn't know you made such fine distinctions."

She did not answer.

"Won't you kiss me, Gloria?"

"I don't want to." It seemed to him she had not moved for hours.

"A sudden change, isn't it?" Annoyance was growing in his voice.

"Is it?" She appeared uninterested. It was almost as though she were looking at some one else.

"Perhaps I'd better go."

No reply. He rose and regarded her angrily, uncertainly. Again he sat down.

"Gloria, Gloria, won't you kiss me?"

"No." Her lips, parting for the word, had just faintly stirred.

Again he got to his feet, this time with less decision, less confidence.

"Then I'll go."

Молчание.

"All right--I'll go."

He was aware of a certain irremediable lack of originality in his remarks. Indeed he felt that the whole atmosphere had grown oppressive. He wished she would speak, rail at him, cry out upon him, anything but this pervasive and chilling silence. He cursed himself for a weak fool; his clearest desire was to move her, to hurt her, to see her wince. Helplessly, involuntarily, he erred again.

"If you're tired of kissing me I'd better go."

He saw her lips curl slightly and his last dignity left him. She spoke, at length:

"I believe you've made that remark several times before."

He looked about him immediately, saw his hat and coat on a chair--blundered into them, during an intolerable moment. Looking again at the couch he perceived that she had not turned, not even moved. With a shaken, immediately regretted "good-by" he went quickly but without dignity from the room.

For over a moment Gloria made no sound. Her lips were still curled; her glance was straight, proud, remote. Then her eyes blurred a little, and she murmured three words half aloud to the death-bound fire:

"Good-by, you ass!" она сказала.

Panic

The man had had the hardest blow of his life. He knew at last what he wanted, but in finding it out it seemed that he had put it forever beyond his grasp. He reached home in misery, dropped into an armchair without even removing his overcoat, and sat there for over an hour, his mind racing the paths of fruitless and wretched self-absorption. She had sent him away! That was the reiterated burden of his despair. Instead of seizing the girl and holding her by sheer strength until she became passive to his desire, instead of beating down her will by the force of his own, he had walked, defeated and powerless, from her door, with the corners of his mouth drooping and what force there might have been in his grief and rage hidden behind the manner of a whipped schoolboy. At one minute she had liked him tremendously--ah, she had nearly loved him. In the next he had become a thing of indifference to her, an insolent and efficiently humiliated man.

He had no great self-reproach--some, of course, but there were other things dominant in him now, far more urgent. He was not so much in love with Gloria as mad for her. Unless he could have her near him again, kiss her, hold her close and acquiescent, he wanted nothing more from life. By her three minutes of utter unwavering indifference the girl had lifted herself from a high but somehow casual position in his mind, to be instead his complete preoccupation. However much his wild thoughts varied between a passionate desire for her kisses and an equally passionate craving to hurt and mar her, the residue of his mind craved in finer fashion to possess the triumphant soul that had shone through those three minutes. She was beautiful--but especially she was without mercy. He must own that strength that could send him away.

At present no such analysis was possible to Anthony. His clarity of mind, all those endless resources which he thought his irony had brought him were swept aside. Not only for that night but for the days and weeks that followed his books were to be but furniture and his friends only people who lived and walked in a nebulous outer world from which he was trying to escape--that world was cold and full of bleak wind, and for a little while he had seen into a warm house where fires shone.

About midnight he began to realize that he was hungry. He went down into Fifty-second Street, where it was so cold that he could scarcely see; the moisture froze on his lashes and in the corners of his lips. Everywhere dreariness had come down from the north, settling upon the thin and cheerless street, where black bundled figures blacker still against the night, moved stumbling along the sidewalk through the shrieking wind, sliding their feet cautiously ahead as though they were on skis. Anthony turned over toward Sixth Avenue, so absorbed in his thoughts as not to notice that several passers-by had stared at him. His overcoat was wide open, and the wind was biting in, hard and full of merciless death.

... After a while a waitress spoke to him, a fat waitress with black-rimmed eye-glasses from which dangled a long black cord.

"Order, please!"

Her voice, he considered, was unnecessarily loud. He looked up resentfully.

"You wanna order or doncha?"

"Of course," he protested.

"Well, I ast you three times. This ain't no rest-room."

He glanced at the big clock and discovered with a start that it was after two. He was down around Thirtieth Street somewhere, and after a moment he found and translated the

[Illustration: S'DLIHC] [Transcribers note: The illustration shows the word "CHILD's" in mirror image.]

in a white semicircle of letters upon the glass front. The place was inhabited sparsely by three or four bleak and half-frozen night-hawks.

"Give me some bacon and eggs and coffee, please."

The waitress bent upon him a last disgusted glance and, looking ludicrously intellectual in her corded glasses, hurried away.

God! Gloria's kisses had been such flowers. He remembered as though it had been years ago the low freshness of her voice, the beautiful lines of her body shining through her clothes, her face lily-colored under the lamps of the street--under the lamps.

Misery struck at him again, piling a sort of terror upon the ache and yearning. He had lost her. It was true--no denying it, no softening it. But a new idea had seared his sky--what of Bloeckman! What would happen now? There was a wealthy man, middle-aged enough to be tolerant with a beautiful wife, to baby her whims and indulge her unreason, to wear her as she perhaps wished to be worn--a bright flower in his button-hole, safe and secure from the things she feared. He felt that she had been playing with the idea of marrying Bloeckman, and it was well possible that this disappointment in Anthony might throw her on sudden impulse into Bloeckman's arms.

The idea drove him childishly frantic. He wanted to kill Bloeckman and make him suffer for his hideous presumption. He was saying this over and over to himself with his teeth tight shut, and a perfect orgy of hate and fright in his eyes.

But, behind this obscene jealousy, Anthony was in love at last, profoundly and truly in love, as the word goes between man and woman.

His coffee appeared at his elbow and gave off for a certain time a gradually diminishing wisp of steam. The night manager, seated at his desk, glanced at the motionless figure alone at the last table, and then with a sigh moved down upon him just as the hour hand crossed the figure three on the big clock.

мудрость

After another day the turmoil subsided and Anthony began to exercise a measure of reason. He was in love--he cried it passionately to himself. The things that a week before would have seemed insuperable obstacles, his limited income, his desire to be irresponsible and independent, had in this forty hours become the merest chaff before the wind of his infatuation. If he did not marry her his life would be a feeble parody on his own adolescence. To be able to face people and to endure the constant reminder of Gloria that all existence had become, it was necessary for him to have hope. So he built hope desperately and tenaciously out of the stuff of his dream, a hope flimsy enough, to be sure, a hope that was cracked and dissipated a dozen times a day, a hope mothered by mockery, but, nevertheless, a hope that would be brawn and sinew to his self-respect.

Out of this developed a spark of wisdom, a true perception of his own from out the effortless past.

"Memory is short," he thought.

So very short. At the crucial point the Trust President is on the stand, a potential criminal needing but one push to be a jailbird, scorned by the upright for leagues around. Let him be acquitted--and in a year all is forgotten. "Yes, he did have some trouble once, just a technicality, I believe." Oh, memory is very short!

Anthony had seen Gloria altogether about a dozen times, say two dozen hours. Supposing he left her alone for a month, made no attempt to see her or speak to her, and avoided every place where she might possibly be. Wasn't it possible, the more possible because she had never loved him, that at the end of that time the rush of events would efface his personality from her conscious mind, and with his personality his offense and humiliation? She would forget, for there would be other men. Он поморщился. The implication struck out at him--other men. Two months--God! Better three weeks, two weeks----

He thought this the second evening after the catastrophe when he was undressing, and at this point he threw himself down on the bed and lay there, trembling very slightly and looking at the top of the canopy.

Two weeks--that was worse than no time at all. In two weeks he would approach her much as he would have to now, without personality or confidence--remaining still the man who had gone too far and then for a period that in time was but a moment but in fact an eternity, whined. No, two weeks was too short a time. Whatever poignancy there had been for her in that afternoon must have time to dull. He must give her a period when the incident should fade, and then a new period when she should gradually begin to think of him, no matter how dimly, with a true perspective that would remember his pleasantness as well as his humiliation.

He fixed, finally, on six weeks as approximately the interval best suited to his purpose, and on a desk calendar he marked the days off, finding that it would fall on the ninth of April. Very well, on that day he would phone and ask her if he might call. Until then--silence.

After his decision a gradual improvement was manifest. He had taken at least a step in the direction to which hope pointed, and he realized that the less he brooded upon her the better he would be able to give the desired impression when they met.

In another hour he fell into a deep sleep.

The Interval

Nevertheless, though, as the days passed, the glory of her hair dimmed perceptibly for him and in a year of separation might have departed completely, the six weeks held many abominable days. He dreaded the sight of Dick and Maury, imagining wildly that they knew all--but when the three met it was Richard Caramel and not Anthony who was the centre of attention; "The Demon Lover" had been accepted for immediate publication. Anthony felt that from now on he moved apart. He no longer craved the warmth and security of Maury's society which had cheered him no further back than November. Only Gloria could give that now and no one else ever again. So Dick's success rejoiced him only casually and worried him not a little. It meant that the world was going ahead--writing and reading and publishing--and living. And he wanted the world to wait motionless and breathless for six weeks--while Gloria forgot.

Two Encounters

His greatest satisfaction was in Geraldine's company. He took her once to dinner and the theatre and entertained her several times in his apartment. When he was with her she absorbed him, not as Gloria had, but quieting those erotic sensibilities in him that worried over Gloria. It didn't matter how he kissed Geraldine. A kiss was a kiss--to be enjoyed to the utmost for its short moment. To Geraldine things belonged in definite pigeonholes: a kiss was one thing, anything further was quite another; a kiss was all right; the other things were "bad."

When half the interval was up two incidents occurred on successive days that upset his increasing calm and caused a temporary relapse.

The first was--he saw Gloria. It was a short meeting. Both bowed. Both spoke, yet neither heard the other. But when it was over Anthony read down a column of The Sun three times in succession without understanding a single sentence.

One would have thought Sixth Avenue a safe street! Having forsworn his barber at the Plaza he went around the corner one morning to be shaved, and while waiting his turn he took off coat and vest, and with his soft collar open at the neck stood near the front of the shop. The day was an oasis in the cold desert of March and the sidewalk was cheerful with a population of strolling sun-worshippers. A stout woman upholstered in velvet, her flabby cheeks too much massaged, swirled by with her poodle straining at its leash--the effect being given of a tug bringing in an ocean liner. Just behind them a man in a striped blue suit, walking slue-footed in white-spatted feet, grinned at the sight and catching Anthony's eye, winked through the glass. Anthony laughed, thrown immediately into that humor in which men and women were graceless and absurd phantasms, grotesquely curved and rounded in a rectangular world of their own building. They inspired the same sensations in him as did those strange and monstrous fish who inhabit the esoteric world of green in the aquarium.

Two more strollers caught his eye casually, a man and a girl--then in a horrified instant the girl resolved herself into Gloria. He stood here powerless; they came nearer and Gloria, glancing in, saw him. Her eyes widened and she smiled politely. Ее губы шевелились. She was less than five feet away.

"How do you do?" he muttered inanely.

Gloria, happy, beautiful, and young--with a man he had never seen before!

It was then that the barber's chair was vacated and he read down the newspaper column three times in succession.

The second incident took place the next day. Going into the Manhattan bar about seven he was confronted with Bloeckman. As it happened, the room was nearly deserted, and before the mutual recognition he had stationed himself within a foot of the older man and ordered his drink, so it was inevitable that they should converse.

"Hello, Mr. Patch," said Bloeckman amiably enough.

Anthony took the proffered hand and exchanged a few aphorisms on the fluctuations of the mercury.

"Do you come in here much?" inquired Bloeckman.

"No, very seldom." He omitted to add that the Plaza bar had, until lately, been his favorite.

"Nice bar. One of the best bars in town."

Anthony nodded. Bloeckman emptied his glass and picked up his cane. He was in evening dress.

"Well, I'll be hurrying on. I'm going to dinner with Miss Gilbert."

Death looked suddenly out at him from two blue eyes. Had he announced himself as his vis-a-vis's prospective murderer he could not have struck a more vital blow at Anthony. The younger man must have reddened visibly, for his every nerve was in instant clamor. With tremendous effort he mustered a rigid--oh, so rigid--smile, and said a conventional good-by. But that night he lay awake until after four, half wild with grief and fear and abominable imaginings.

Weakness

And one day in the fifth week he called her up. He had been sitting in his apartment trying to read "L'Education Sentimental," and something in the book had sent his thoughts racing in the direction that, set free, they always took, like horses racing for a home stable. With suddenly quickened breath he walked to the telephone. When he gave the number it seemed to him that his voice faltered and broke like a schoolboy's. The Central must have heard the pounding of his heart. The sound of the receiver being taken up at the other end was a crack of doom, and Mrs. Gilbert's voice, soft as maple syrup running into a glass container, had for him a quality of horror in its single "Hello-o-ah?"

"Miss Gloria's not feeling well. She's lying down, asleep. Who shall I say called?"

"Nobody!" он крикнул.

In a wild panic he slammed down the receiver; collapsed into his armchair in the cold sweat of breathless relief.

Serenade

The first thing he said to her was: "Why, you've bobbed your hair!" and she answered: "Yes, isn't it gorgeous?"

It was not fashionable then. It was to be fashionable in five or six years. At that time it was considered extremely daring.

"It's all sunshine outdoors," he said gravely. "Don't you want to take a walk?"

She put on a light coat and a quaintly piquant Napoleon hat of Alice Blue, and they walked along the Avenue and into the Zoo, where they properly admired the grandeur of the elephant and the collar-height of the giraffe, but did not visit the monkey house because Gloria said that monkeys smelt so bad.

Then they returned toward the Plaza, talking about nothing, but glad for the spring singing in the air and for the warm balm that lay upon the suddenly golden city. To their right was the Park, while at the left a great bulk of granite and marble muttered dully a millionaire's chaotic message to whosoever would listen: something about "I worked and I saved and I was sharper than all Adam and here I sit, by golly, by golly!"

All the newest and most beautiful designs in automobiles were out on Fifth Avenue, and ahead of them the Plaza loomed up rather unusually white and attractive. The supple, indolent Gloria walked a short shadow's length ahead of him, pouring out lazy casual comments that floated a moment on the dazzling air before they reached his ear.

"Ой!" she cried, "I want to go south to Hot Springs! I want to get out in the air and just roll around on the new grass and forget there's ever been any winter."

"Don't you, though!"

"I want to hear a million robins making a frightful racket. I sort of like birds."

"All women are birds," he ventured.

"What kind am I?"--quick and eager.

"A swallow, I think, and sometimes a bird of paradise. Most girls are sparrows, of course--see that row of nurse-maids over there? They're sparrows--or are they magpies? And of course you've met canary girls--and robin girls."

"And swan girls and parrot girls. All grown women are hawks, I think, or owls."

"What am I--a buzzard?"

She laughed and shook her head.

"Oh, no, you're not a bird at all, do you think? You're a Russian wolfhound."

Anthony remembered that they were white and always looked unnaturally hungry. But then they were usually photographed with dukes and princesses, so he was properly flattered.

"Dick's a fox terrier, a trick fox terrier," she continued.

"And Maury's a cat." Simultaneously it occurred to him how like Bloeckman was to a robust and offensive hog. But he preserved a discreet silence.

Later, as they parted, Anthony asked when he might see her again.

"Don't you ever make long engagements?" he pleaded, "even if it's a week ahead, I think it'd be fun to spend a whole day together, morning and afternoon both."

"It would be, wouldn't it?" She thought for a moment. "Let's do it next Sunday."

"All right. I'll map out a programme that'll take up every minute."

He did. He even figured to a nicety what would happen in the two hours when she would come to his apartment for tea: how the good Bounds would have the windows wide to let in the fresh breeze--but a fire going also lest there be chill in the air--and how there would be clusters of flowers about in big cool bowls that he would buy for the occasion. They would sit on the lounge.

And when the day came they did sit upon the lounge. After a while Anthony kissed her because it came about quite naturally; he found sweetness sleeping still upon her lips, and felt that he had never been away. The fire was bright and the breeze sighing in through the curtains brought a mellow damp, promising May and world of summer. His soul thrilled to remote harmonies; he heard the strum of far guitars and waters lapping on a warm Mediterranean shore--for he was young now as he would never be again, and more triumphant than death.

Six o'clock stole down too soon and rang the querulous melody of St. Anne's chimes on the corner. Through the gathering dusk they strolled to the Avenue, where the crowds, like prisoners released, were walking with elastic step at last after the long winter, and the tops of the busses were thronged with congenial kings and the shops full of fine soft things for the summer, the rare summer, the gay promising summer that seemed for love what the winter was for money. Life was singing for his supper on the corner! Life was handing round cocktails in the street! Old women there were in that crowd who felt that they could have run and won a hundred-yard dash!

In bed that night with the lights out and the cool room swimming with moonlight, Anthony lay awake and played with every minute of the day like a child playing in turn with each one of a pile of long-wanted Christmas toys. He had told her gently, almost in the middle of a kiss, that he loved her, and she had smiled and held him closer and murmured, "I'm glad," looking into his eyes. There had been a new quality in her attitude, a new growth of sheer physical attraction toward him and a strange emotional tenseness, that was enough to make him clinch his hands and draw in his breath at the recollection. He had felt nearer to her than ever before. In a rare delight he cried aloud to the room that he loved her.

He phoned next morning--no hesitation now, no uncertainty--instead a delirious excitement that doubled and trebled when he heard her voice:

"Good morning--Gloria."

"Good morning."

"That's all I called you up to say-dear."

"I'm glad you did."

"I wish I could see you."

"You will, to-morrow night."

"That's a long time, isn't it?"

"Yes--" Her voice was reluctant. His hand tightened on the receiver.

"Couldn't I come to-night?" He dared anything in the glory and revelation of that almost whispered "yes."

"I have a date."

"Oh--"

"But I might--I might be able to break it."

"Oh!"--a sheer cry, a rhapsody. "Gloria?"

"Какие?"

"I love you."

Another pause and then:

"I--I'm glad."

Happiness, remarked Maury Noble one day, is only the first hour after the alleviation of some especially intense misery. But oh, Anthony's face as he walked down the tenth-floor corridor of the Plaza that night! His dark eyes were gleaming--around his mouth were lines it was a kindness to see. He was handsome then if never before, bound for one of those immortal moments which come so radiantly that their remembered light is enough to see by for years.

He knocked and, at a word, entered. Gloria, dressed in simple pink, starched and fresh as a flower, was across the room, standing very still, and looking at him wide-eyed.

As he closed the door behind him she gave a little cry and moved swiftly over the intervening space, her arms rising in a premature caress as she came near. Together they crushed out the stiff folds of her dress in one triumphant and enduring embrace.