Книга вторая
Глава I. Radiant час

После того, как две недели Энтони и Глория начал заниматься в "практических дискуссий" , как называли эти сеансы , когда под видом сурового реализма они шли в вечном свете луны.

"Не так много , как я тебя," критик беллетристики будет настаивать. "Если вы действительно любили меня вы хотели бы каждый знать."

делаю," возразила она; "Я хочу, чтобы стоять на углу улицы как бутерброд человека, сообщая все прохожие."

"Тогда скажите мне все причины , почему вы собираетесь выйти за меня замуж в июне."

"Ну, ... , Потому что ты такой чистый Ты вроде ветреный чистый, как я Там в два вида, вы знаете Один как Дик: он чист , как полированных кастрюлях Вы и я чист , как потоки и ветры я.. могу сказать, когда я вижу человека, является ли он чист, и если да, то какой вид чистой он ".

"Мы близнецы" .

Восторженные мысль!

"Мама говорит" - она колебалась неуверенно - "мать говорит , что две души иногда создаются вместе и - и в любви , прежде чем они родились."

Bilphism получил свой самый легкий новообращенный .... Через некоторое время он поднял голову и расхохотался беззвучно к потолку. Когда его глаза вернулись к ней, он увидел, что она сердится.

"Почему же ты смеешься?" воскликнула она, "как вы сделали это дважды. Там нет ничего смешного наше отношение друг к другу. Я не против играть в дурака, и я не против того, вы будете это делать, но я терпеть не могу, когда мы вместе."

сожалею."

"О, не говори , что тебе жаль! Если вы не можете придумать ничего лучше , чем это, просто молчать!"

люблю тебя."

не забочусь."

Там был пауза. Энтони был подавлен .... на расстоянии вытянутой Глория пробормотал:

сожалею , что я был скуп."

"Вы не были. Я был один."

Мир был восстановлен - последующие моменты были настолько более сладким и острым и горьким. Они были звезды на данном этапе, каждый из которых играет на аудиторию двух: страсть их притворства создал актуальность. Вот, наконец, была квинтэссенцией самовыражение - все же это было вероятно, что по большей части их любовь выражается Глория, а не Энтони. Он чувствовал, часто нравится едва переносимую гостем на вечеринке она дает.

Рассказывая миссис Гилберт был смущенный вопросом. Она сидела заправленные в маленьком стуле и слушал с интенсивным и очень мигающего рода концентрации. Она должна была знать это - в течение трех недель Глория не видел никого другого - и она, наверное, заметили, что на этот раз была подлинная разница в отношении ее дочери. Она была предоставлена ​​специальные поставки в должность; она прислушалась, как и все матери, кажется, прислушаться, то сюда конец телефонных разговоров, замаскированы, но все еще довольно warm--

--Yet Она деликатно исповедовали удивление и объявил себя безмерно рад; она, несомненно, была; так были герани растения цветущие в оконные коробки, и так были извозчики, когда влюбленные искали романтическое уединение двуколок - заманчивую устройство - и степенный законопроект о тарифах, по которым они исписанных "вы знаете, что я делаю," толкая его над для другого, чтобы увидеть.

Но между поцелуями Энтони и эта золотая девочка поссорилась беспрерывно.

"Теперь, Глория," он будет плакать, "пожалуйста , дайте мне объяснить!"

"Не объяснить. Поцелуй меня."

не думаю , что это правильно. Если я повредить ваши чувства , которые мы должны обсудить это. Я не люблю этот поцелуй и забыть."

"Но я не хочу спорить. Я думаю , это замечательно , что мы можем поцеловать и забыть, и когда мы не можем это будет время , чтобы спорить."

В свое время некоторые паутинка разница достигли такого массу, возникшую Энтони и пробитое себя в пальто - на мгновение оказалось , что сцена предыдущего февраля должна была быть повторена, но , зная , как глубоко она была перемещена , он сохранил свое достоинство с его гордость, и в настоящее время Глория всхлипывала в его руках, ее прекрасное лицо несчастными, как испуганная маленькая девочка.

В то же время они продолжали разворачивания друг к другу, не желая, любопытные реакции и уловок, с помощью distastes и предрассудков и непреднамеренных намеки прошлого. Девушка была гордо неспособным ревности и, потому что он был очень ревнив, эта добродетель задето его. Он сказал ей, неясные случаи его собственной жизни с целью вызвать некоторую искру его, но безрезультатно. Она обладала его сейчас - при этом она не желает мертвых лет.

"О, Энтони," она говорила, "всегда , когда я для вас значит я сожалею позже. Я отдал бы свою правую руку , чтобы спасти вас боль один маленький момент."

И в тот же миг ее глаза блестели , и она не знала , что она озвучивая иллюзию. Тем не менее, Энтони знал, что бывали дни, когда они причиняют боль друг другу нарочно - принимая почти восторг в тяге. Непрерывно она озадачила его: один час настолько интимное и обаятельная, стремясь отчаянно по направлению к unguessed, трансцендентного союза; следующий, тихо и холодно, по-видимому, равнодушна к любым рассмотрение вопроса об их любви или все, что он мог сказать. Часто он в конечном итоге проследить эти знаменательные недоговоренности в какой-то физический дискомфорт - из них она никогда не жаловалась, пока они не были закончены - или в какой-то невнимательности или самонадеянности в него, или к неудовлетворительному блюдо на ужин, но даже тогда средства, которыми она созданные бесконечные расстояния, она раздвинула о себе было загадкой, где похоронены еще в те двадцать два года недрогнувшей гордости.

"Почему ты любишь Мюриель?" он потребовал один день.

не очень много."

"Тогда почему ты ходишь с ней?"

"Просто .. Для некоторых из них пойти с Они ничем не нагрузки, эти девушки Они сортируют верить всему , что я говорю им , - но я скорее как Rachael я думаю , что она мило. - И так чистый и гладкий, не вы ? Раньше у других друзей - в Канзас-Сити и в школе. - случайные, все они, девушки, которые просто мелькали в моем диапазоне и из него никогда больше не потому, что мальчики взяли нас ставит вместе они не сделали интересует меня после того, как окружающая среда перестал бросать нас вместе Теперь они в основном женаты Что делает это дело -.. они все были просто люди ".

"Вы любите мужчин лучше, не так ли?"

"О, гораздо лучше. У меня есть разум человека."

"Вы получили ум , как у меня. Не сильно гендерно так или иначе."

Позже она рассказала ему о начале своей дружбе с Bloeckman. Однажды в Делмонико годов, Глория и Rachael пришли на Bloeckman и г-н Жильбер, имеющий трапеза и любопытство заставило ее сделать это партия из четырех человек. Она любила его - скорее. Он был облегчение от более молодых мужчин, удовлетворены, как он был так мало. Он потакал ее, и он рассмеялся, понял ли он ее или нет. Она встретила его несколько раз, несмотря на открытое неодобрение ее родителей, и в течение месяца он просил ее выйти за него замуж, тендерный ей все от виллы в Италии к блестящей карьере на экране. Она рассмеялась ему в лицо - и он тоже засмеялся.

Но он не сдался. Ко времени прибытия Энтони на арене он добивается устойчивого прогресса. Она относилась к нему, а также - за исключением того, что она называла его всегда с помощью оскорбительной прозвище - восприятия, между тем, что он образно следуя рядом с ней, когда она шла через забор, готовый поймать ее, если она должна упасть.

Ночь перед участие было объявлено , что она рассказала Bloeckman. Это был тяжелый удар. Она не просветить Энтони, о деталях, но она подразумевает, что он не решался спорить с ней. Энтони понял, что интервью было прекращено на бурном ноте, с Глория очень крутая и неподвижному лежала в углу дивана и Джозефа Bloeckman из "фильмов" Превосходство Par стимуляцией ковер с прищурился и опущенной головой. Глория была жалость к нему, но она судить, что лучше не показывать. В заключительном порыве доброты она пыталась заставить его ненавидеть ее, там в последний. Но Энтони, понимая, что равнодушие Глория была ее сильнейшей привлекательность, судить, насколько бесполезно это должно быть. Он задавался вопросом, довольно часто, но совершенно случайно, о Bloeckman - наконец-то он забыл его целиком.

расцвет

Один во второй половине дня они нашли передние сиденья на солнечной крыше автобуса и поехал в течение нескольких часов с замиранием площади вдоль пятналась реки, а потом, как паразитные лучи бежали на запад улицы, поплыли вниз по напыщенный авеню, потемнение со зловещими пчел из универмаги. Трафик был сгустками и зажатой в patternless вареньем; автобусы были упакованы четыре глубокие, как платформы над толпой, как они ждали стоном свистка движения.

"Не это хорошо!" воскликнула Глория. "Посмотрите!"

А вагон мельника, застывший белый с мукой, движимый мучнистой клоуна, прошел перед ними за белой лошади и его черного партнера по команде.

"Какая жалость!" она жаловалась; "Они выглядят так красиво в сумерках, если только обе лошади были белыми. Я могучий счастлив только в эту минуту, в этом городе."

Энтони покачал головой в знак несогласия.

думаю , что город это шарлатан. Всегда изо всех сил , чтобы приблизиться к огромным и впечатляющим учтивость , предписанную ему. Стараясь быть романтически митрополита."

не. Я думаю , что это впечатляет."

"Моментально. Но это действительно прозрачный, искусственный вид зрелища. У него есть свои пресс-agented звезды и его надуманные, unenduring мизансцены , и я признаю, самая большая армия надставках когда - либо assembled--" Он сделал паузу, коротко рассмеялся , и добавил: "Технически отлично, может быть, но не убедительно."

"Я буду держать пари , полицейские думаю , что люди дураки," задумчиво сказала Глория, когда она смотрела на большой , но трусливая дама помогают через дорогу. "Он всегда видит их пугается и неэффективна и старые - они", добавила она. А потом: "... Нам лучше выйти я сказал маме, что я должен был бы ранний ужин и лечь спать, она говорит, что я усталый, черт побери"

хотел бы мы были женаты," пробормотал он трезво; "Там не будет ни спокойной ночи, то и мы можем сделать так же, как мы хотим."

"Не будет ! Это хорошо , я думаю , мы должны много путешествовать , я хочу поехать в Средиземноморье и Италии И я хотел бы пойти на сцене некоторое время -... Говорят около года"

"Вы ставите. Я напишу пьесу для вас."

"Не будет , что будет хорошо , и я буду действовать в нем , а затем какое - то время , когда у нас есть больше денег!" . - Смерть старого Адама был всегда таким образом , чтобы тактично намекал - "мы будем строить великолепное имение, выиграл ' т мы? "

"О, да, с частными бассейнами."

"Десятки из них. И частные реки. О, я бы это было сейчас" .

Одд совпадение - он только что желая ту самую вещь. Они погрузились, как водолазы в темную толпу с вихревыми и возникающих в прохладной пятидесятых побрел праздно домой, бесконечно романтичный друг с другом ... и шли один в равнодушном саду с призраком найденного во сне.

Halcyon дни , как лодки , дрейфующих вдоль тихоходных рек; весенние вечера, полные слезной меланхолии, которая сделала прошлое красивый и горький, предлагая цену их оглянуться назад и посмотреть, что любит других лета давно прошли, были мертвы с забытыми вальсов их лет. Всегда самые острые моменты были, когда некоторые искусственный барьер держали их друг от друга: в театре их руки будут воровать вместе, присоединиться, давать и возвращать нежные давления через длинные темные; в тесных помещениях они образуют слова с их губ для глаза друг другу - не зная, что они были, но следуя по стопам пыльных поколений, но постигая смутно, что если истина есть конец жизни счастье является режим его, чтобы быть желанной в своей краткой и дрожащим момент. А потом, одна сказочная ночь, май стал июнь. Шестнадцать дней в настоящее время - пятнадцать - четырнадцать ----

Три Отступление

Как раз до того , как было объявлено участие Энтони подошел к Тэрритауне , чтобы увидеть своего дедушку, который, чуть более сморщенный и гризли , как время играл его конечных посмеиваясь трюков, здороваются новость с глубоким цинизмом.

"О, вы собираетесь выйти замуж, ты?" Он сказал это с такой сомнительной мягкостью и покачал головой вверх и вниз столько раз, что Энтони не был немного подавлен. В то время как он не знал о намерениях своего деда, он предположил, что большая часть денег придет к нему. Хорошее дело пойдет в благотворительные организации, конечно; хорошая сделка, чтобы вести бизнес реформ.

"Ли вы собираетесь работать?"

"Why--" выжидательную Энтони, несколько растерялся. работаю. Вы знаю--"

"Ах, я имею в виду работу," бесстрастно сказал Адам заплаты.

не совсем уверен , но что я буду делать. Я не совсем нищий, Grampa," утверждал , что он с каким - то духом.

Старик считал это с полузакрытыми глазами. Тогда почти извиняющимся он спросил:

"Как много вы сэкономить в год?"

"Ничего так far--"

поэтому после того, как только управление , чтобы получить вместе на ваши деньги , вы решили , что каким - то чудом вы оба можете получить вместе на нем."

"Глория имеет деньги своего собственного. Достаточно , чтобы купить одежду."

"Как много?"

Без рассмотрения этого вопроса дерзким, Энтони ответил.

ста в месяц."

"Это всего около семидесяти пяти сотен в год." Потом он тихо добавил: "Это должно быть достаточно, если у вас есть какой-то смысл оно должно быть много Но вопрос в том, есть ли у вас какой-нибудь или нет..."

полагаю , что это." Это было стыдно быть вынуждены терпеть эту благочестивую от запугивание старика, и его следующие слова были напрягся с тщеславием. "Я могу управлять очень хорошо. Вы, кажется, убеждены, что я совершенно ничего не стоит. Во всяком случае, я пришел сюда, чтобы просто сказать вам, что я женюсь в июне. До свидания, сэр." С этим он отвернулся и направился к двери, не зная, что в тот момент его дед, в первый раз, а его любили.

"Подождите!" называется Адам Patch, "Я хочу поговорить с тобой."

Энтони столкнулся о.

"Ну, сэр?"

"Сидите вниз. Пребывание всю ночь."

Несколько успокоенный, Энтони вернулся на свое место.

сожалею, сэр, но я собираюсь увидеть Глорию вечером."

"Что ее зовут?"

"Глория Гилберт."

"Нью - Йорк девочка? Кто - то вы знаете?"

"Она из Среднего Запада."

"Что бизнес ее отца в?"

целлулоидной корпорации или траста или что - то. Они из Канзас - Сити."

"Вы собираетесь жениться там?"

"Почему . Нет, сэр Мы думали , что брак в Нью - Йорке - довольно спокойно."

"Как и иметь свадьбу здесь?"

Энтони колебался. Предложение не сделал обращение к нему, но это, конечно, часть мудрости, чтобы дать старика, если возможно, имущественный интерес в его семейной жизни. Кроме того Энтони был немного тронут.

"Это очень мило с вашей стороны , Grampa, но не было бы много неприятностей?"

"Все это много хлопот Твой отец был женат здесь -. , Но в старом доме."

"Почему - я думал , что он был женат в Бостоне."

Адам патч рассмотрел.

"Это правда. Он был женат в Бостоне."

Энтони почувствовал смущение на минуту при сделав поправку, и он покрыл его словами.

"Ну, я буду говорить с Глории об этом. Лично я хотел бы, но, конечно , это до Гилберта, вы видите."

Его дед вытащил длинный вздох, наполовину закрыл глаза и откинулся на спинку стула.

спешке?" он спросил в другом тоне.

"Не особенно."

удивляюсь," начал Адам патч, глядя с мягким, добрым взглядом на сиреневых кустов , которые шумели против окон, "Интересно , если вы когда - нибудь думали о жизни после выхода."

"Почему - иногда."

думаю , что многое о жизни после-». Его глаза были тусклыми, но его голос был уверен и ясно. "Я сидел здесь сегодня думать о том, что в засаде для нас, и я почему-то начал вспоминать днем ​​почти шестьдесят пять лет назад, когда я играл с моей маленькой сестрой Энни, там, где это лето дом сейчас ". Он указал на длинную цветника, его глаза дрожанием слезы, его голос дрожал.

начал думать - и мне казалось , что вы должны думать немного больше о жизни после смерти Вы должны быть -. Устойчивее" - он сделал паузу и , казалось , нащупывать о правильное слово - "более трудолюбив - why-- "

Тогда выражение его лица изменился, вся его личность , казалось, притягиваться друг к другу , как в ловушку, и когда он продолжал мягкостью ушел из его голоса.

"--Why, Когда мне было всего два года старше тебя," прохрипел он с хитрой усмешкой, "я послал трех членов фирмы Wrenn и Ханта к богадельне."

Энтони начал смущенно.

"Ну, прощай" , добавил его дед вдруг "вы опоздаете на поезд."

Энтони покинул дом необычайно приподнятое, и странно жалко старика; не потому, что его богатство может купить его "ни молодость, ни пищеварение», а потому, что он попросил Энтони пожениться там, и потому, что он что-то забыл о свадьбе своего сына, что он должен был помнить.

Ричард Карамель, который был одним из приставов, вызвал Энтони и Глория много бедствия в течение последних нескольких недель, постоянно крадет лучи их спот-света. "Демон Любовник" был опубликован в апреле, и он прервал любовную интригу, как это можно сказать, прервали все его автор вступил в контакт с. Это был очень оригинальным, а переписывается часть устойчивого описания, заинтересованного в Дон Жуан из трущоб Нью-Йорка. Как Мори и Энтони говорил раньше, так как более гостеприимные критики говорили тогда, не было ни один писатель в Америке с такой силой, чтобы описать атавистические и нетонкий реакции той части общества.

Книга колебалась , а потом вдруг «пошел». Издания, маленькие сначала, потом больше, толпились друг друга неделя за неделей. Представитель Армии Спасения осудил ее как циничное введение в заблуждение всех поднятием, происходящих в подземном мире. Clever пресс-агентирование распространили необоснованный слух, что "Цыган" Смит начал иск о клевете, потому что один из главных героев был бурлеск себя. Он был отстранен от публичной библиотеки Берлингтон, штат Айова, и Mid-западной обозревателем объявленный инсинуации, что Ричард был Карамель в лечебницу с белой горячки.

Автор, действительно, проводил свои дни в состоянии приятного безумия. Книга была в его разговоре три четверти времени - он хотел бы знать, если кто слышал "последний"; он пошел бы в магазин и громким голосом книг порядка быть порученным ему, чтобы поймать шанс кусочка признания от клерка или клиента. Он знал, что в городе в том, что части страны он продавал лучше всего; он точно знал, что он очистил на каждом издании, и когда он встретил ни одного, кто не читал его, или, как это происходило слишком часто, ничего не слышал об этом, он скончался от капризного депрессии.

Так что это было естественно для Энтони и Глория , чтобы решить, в своей ревности, что он был настолько опухли с самомнением, чтобы быть занудой. К большому неудовольствию Дика Глория публично хвастался тем, что она никогда не читала "Демон Lover" и не собирался, пока каждый не перестал говорить об этом. По сути дела, у нее не было времени читать сейчас, подарки были вливать - сначала рассеяния, то лавина, варьируя от старинными безделушками забытых друзей семьи на фотографиях забытых плохих отношений.

Маури дал им сложный "Питьевые набор" , который включал серебряные кубки, шейкер и открывалки. Вымогательство от Дика был более традиционным - это чайный набор от Тиффани. От Иосифа Bloeckman пришел простой и изысканный путешествия часы, с его картой. Был даже мундштук из Bounds; это прикоснулся Энтони и ему хотелось плакать - на самом деле, любая эмоция короткой истерии казалось естественным в полудюжины людей, которые заметались по этой огромной жертву конвенции. Помещение выделено на площади вдавленный с предложениями, посланных гарвардских друзьями и окружающими его деда, с воспоминаний дней Farmover Глории, и с довольно жалкими трофеев из своего бывшего кавалеров, который в прошлом прибыл с эзотерическими, меланхолия сообщения, написанные на карточках тщательно заправлены внутрь, начиная со слов "Я немного подумал when--" или "Я уверен, что я желаю вам всего happiness--" или даже "Когда вы получите это я буду на моем пути, целью которых"

Наиболее щедр подарок был одновременно самым неутешительным. Это была уступка Адама Patch's - чек на пять тысяч долларов.

Для большинства подарков Энтони было холодно. Ему казалось, что они требуют держать диаграмму семейного положения всех своих знакомых в течение следующей половины столетия. Но Глория ликовал в каждом из них, разрывая на папиросной бумаге и стружку с хищничества собаки рыть для кости, затаив дыхание, захватив ленту или кромку металла и, наконец, выявив всю статью и держа его критически, нет эмоции, кроме увлеченного интереса к ее неулыбчивого лице.

"Смотри, Энтони!"

"Чёрт приятно, это не так !"

Нет ответа до через час , когда она не даст ему тщательно учитывать ее точной реакции на подарок, будь то она была бы улучшена быть меньше или больше, была ли она удивлена при получении его, и, если да, то сколько удивлены.

Миссис Гилберт организовал и переставить гипотетический дом, распространение подарков среди различных номеров, перфорационных статьи как "второй лучший часы" или "серебро , чтобы использовать каждый день" , и неловкое Энтони и Глория по полу-шуточный ссылки на комнату , она называется питомник. Она была довольна подарком старого Адама, а затем имел его, что он был очень древняя душа, "так же, как все остальное." Как Адам патч никогда не решил, упоминается ли она наступающей старостью его ума или в какой-то частной и психической схеме ее собственной, он не может сказать, что ему понравилось. На самом деле он всегда говорил о ней Энтони как "старуха, мать", как если бы она была персонажем в комедии, которую он видел в постановках много раз до этого. Относительно Глория он был не в состоянии сделать свой ум. Она привлекала его, но, как она сама сказала Энтони, он решил, что она была легкомысленной и боялась утвердить ее.

Пять дней - танцующая платформа возводится на лужайке у Тэрритауне. Через четыре дня - специальный поезд был зафрахтован, чтобы передать гостям и из Нью-Йорка. Три дня!----

Дневник

Она была одета в голубой шелковой пижаме и , стоя у ее кровати, положив руку на свет , чтобы поместить в комнату в темноте, когда она изменила свое мнение и открытие ящика стола достал маленькую черную книгу - "линия в день " дневник. Это она хранится в течение семи лет. Многие из записей карандашом были почти неразборчивым и были примечания и ссылки на ночи и после обеда давно забыто, ибо он не был интимный дневник, несмотря на то, что началось с незапамятных времен "Я буду вести дневник для моих детей." Тем не менее, когда она нажала над страницами глазах многих людей, казалось, смотрели на нее из их наполовину стерты имена. С одной она отправилась в Нью-Хейвене впервые - в 1908 году, когда ей было шестнадцать лет, и накладными плечами были модными в Йельском университете - она ​​была польщена, потому что "Касание" Мишо "бросились" ее весь вечер. Она вздохнула, вспомнив взрослую атласное платье она была так горд и оркестр играет "Яма-Яма, My Yama Man" и "Джунгли-Town». Так давно - имена: Eltynge Рирдон, Парсонс, "Кудрявая" McGregor, Кеннет Коуэн, "рыбий глаз" Фрай (с которым она нравилась за то, что так некрасиво), Картер Кирби - он отправил ей подарок ; так был Tudor Baird; - Марти Reffer, первый человек, которого она была влюблена в течение более чем за один день, и Стюарт Holcome, который сбежал с ней в своем автомобиле и попытался заставить ее выйти за него замуж силой. И Ларри Фенвик, которого она всегда восхищался, потому что он сказал ей, что однажды ночью, что если она не будет целовать ему, что она могла выйти из машины и идти домой. Какой список!

... И, в конце концов, устаревший список. Она была влюблена сейчас, набор для вечной романтики, которая должна была быть синтезом всех романтики, но печально для этих людей и эти подрабатывает и для «острых ощущений», она имела - и поцелуи. Прошлое - ее прошлое, о, какая радость! Она была избыточно счастлива.

Обращаясь по страницам ее глаза остановились на праздно рассеянных записей за последние четыре месяца. Она читала последние несколько тщательно.

"Апрель 1 - ый .-- Я знаю , что Билл Карстейрс ненавидит меня , потому что я был настолько неприятен, но я ненавижу быть sentimentalized над иногда. Мы поехали в Rockyear Country Club и самый замечательный луна продолжали светить сквозь деревья. Мое серебро платье получать запятнали Забавно, как человек забывает другие ночи в Rockyear. - с Кеннетом Коуэн, когда я любила его так!

"Апрель 3 - ий .-- После двух часов Шредера , который, они сообщают мне, миллионы, я решил , что этот вопрос прилипание к вещам носит одну из них , особенно когда дела заинтересованные мужчины. Там нет ничего , так часто преувеличена и от . сегодня я клянусь быть позабавило Мы говорили о "любви" - как бы банально с, сколько людей я говорил о любви!?

"Апрель 11 - е .-- патч на самом деле призван день! И когда он отрекся меня около месяца назад он довольно бушевали за дверь. Я постепенно теряет веру в любого человека , будучи восприимчивым к смертельным травмам.

"Апрель . Двадцатую .-- Провели день с Энтони Может быть , я выйду за него какое - то время я вроде как его идеи -. Он стимулирует всю оригинальность во мне Blockhead приходил около десяти в своей новой машине и взял меня. . Riverside Drive мне понравился его вечером: он так внимателен он знал, что я не хочу говорить, чтобы он было тихо во время езды..

"Апрель 21 - ого .-- Проснулся мышления Энтони и достаточно , чтобы он позвонил и звучал сладко по телефону. - Так что я сломал дату его сегодня я чувствую , я сломаю что - нибудь для него, в том числе десять заповедей и моя шея. Он приходит в восемь, и я буду носить розовые и выглядят очень свежими и накрахмаленные ---- "

Она сделала паузу здесь, вспомнив , что после того, как он ушел в ту ночь она разделась с дрожащего воздуха потокового апреля в окнах. Тем не менее, казалось, что она не чувствовала холода, согревает глубоких банальностей горящих в ее сердце.

Следующая запись произошла через несколько дней:

"Апрель 24 - е .-- Я хочу жениться на Энтони, потому что мужья так часто" мужья " , и я должен жениться на любовника.

"Там находитесь четыре основных типа мужей.

"(1) Муж , который всегда хочет остаться в вечером, не имеет пороков и работает за зарплату. В целом нежелательно!

"(2) атавистическим мастер , чья хозяйка одна, ждать его удовольствия. Такого рода всегда считает каждой хорошенькой женщины неглубокую 'своего рода павлин с задержкой развития.

"(3) Далее идет молящегося, Идолопоклонник своей жены и все , что его, к полному забвению всего остального. Такого рода требует эмоциональную актрису для жены. Бог! Это должно быть напряжение , чтобы его считали праведным.

"(4) и Энтони - временно страстный любитель с мудростью достаточно , чтобы понять , когда он летал и что он должен летать И я хочу , чтобы выйти замуж за Энтони..

"То , что grubworms женщины ползать по - пластунски через бесцветных браки Брак был создан , чтобы не быть фоном , но нуждаться одна шахта собирается быть выдающимся Он не может, не должна быть установка -!.. Это будет . быть производительность, живой, прекрасный, гламурно производительность, и мир должен быть декорации я отказываюсь посвятить свою жизнь потомкам Конечно один должен столько, сколько нынешнему поколению, как к своим нежеланных детей Что судьба -.. в растут пухлый и неприлично, чтобы потерять свою любовь к себе, чтобы думать в терминах молока, овсяные хлопья, медсестра, подгузники .... Дорогие дети мечтают, насколько больше ты прекрасна, ослепительные маленькие существа, которые флаттера (все дети мечтают должны развеваться ) на золотых, золотыми крыльями ----

"Такие дети, однако, бедные дорогие дети, имеют мало общего с супружеской государства.

"Июнь 7 - я .-- Нравственное вопрос: Было ли это неправильно сделать Bloeckman любить меня , потому что я действительно сделать его Он был почти сладко грустно ночи Как это было уместно , что мое горло распухло Plunk вместе и слезы были легко?.. набраться Но он просто прошлое -. похоронена уже в моем обильном лаванды.

"Июнь . 8 - я .-- А сегодня я обещал не жевать свой рот Ну, я не буду, я полагаю , - но если бы он только спросил меня , не есть!

"Выдувания пузырей -. Это то, что мы делаем, Энтони и меня , и мы взрывали такие красивые из них в день, и они взрываются , а затем мы будем дуть все больше и больше, я думаю - пузыри так же , как большой и так же красиво, пока все мыло и вода не расходуется ".

На этой ноте дневник закончился. Ее глаза блуждали страницу, на протяжении 8-го июня 1912-х годах, 1910, 1907 Самый ранний вход был нацарапал в пухлой, луковичные рука шестнадцать-летней девочки - это было имя, Боб Ламар, и слово она не могла расшифровать. Потом она знала, что это было - и, зная, что она обнаружила, что ее глаза туманной со слезами. Там в седых размытости была запись ее первого поцелуя, выцветшие, как интимная днем, на дождливую веранде семь лет назад. Она, казалось, что-то вспомнить один из них сказал, что день, и все же она не могла вспомнить. Ее слезы быстрее, пока она не могла едва увидеть страницу. Она плакала, сказала она себе, потому что она могла вспомнить только дождь и мокрые цветы во дворе, и запах мокрой травы.

... Через некоторое время она нашла карандаш и держа его нетвердой обратил три параллельные линии под последней записи. Затем она печатается Finiš в больших столицах, положил книгу обратно в ящик, и прокрался в постель.

Дыхание пещеры

Назад в своей квартире после свадебного обеда, Энтони отрезал его огни и, чувствуя безличный и хрупкая , как кусок фарфора ждет на подающем столе, лег в постель. Это была теплая ночь - лист был достаточно для комфорта - и через его широко открытые окна пришел звук, недолговечны и летний, живой с дистанционным ожиданием. Он думал, что молодые годы позади него, полые и красочные, были жили в легкому и колеблющейся цинизма на записанном эмоции мужчин длинной пыли. И там было что-то сверх того; Теперь он знал. Там было объединение своей души с Глории, чей сияющий огонь и свежесть был живым материалом, из которого был сделан мертвым красота книг.

Из ночи в его высокими стенами комнаты пришел, упорно, что мимолетную и растворяя звук - что - то город был подбрасывая и обратный вызов снова, как ребенок играет с мячом. В Гарлеме, Бронксе, Gramercy Park, а также вдоль водных фронтов, в небольших кабинетах или на галечных усыпанной, луны залитый крыш, тысячи любителей делали этот звук, плакать маленькие фрагменты его в воздух. Весь город играл с этим звуком там в синем летнем темноте, бросали его и назвав его обратно, пообещав, что через некоторое время, жизнь была бы прекрасна, как рассказ, обещая счастье - и это обещание давая ему , Это дало надежду на любовь в своем собственном выживании. Он не мог сделать больше.

Это было тогда , что новая нота раздражающе отделилась от мягкого вопиющего ночи. Это был шум от Приямок в сотне футов от его заднего стекла, шум от смеха женщины. Он начал низко, непрестанное и нытье - некоторые служанка со своим парнем, подумал он, - а затем он вырос в объеме и истерику, пока он не напомнил ему о девушке, которую он видел преодолеть с нервным смехом в водевиле исполнении. Потом он затонул, отступала, только расти снова, и включают в себя слова - грубая шутка, некоторые немного неясного возню он не мог различить. Это нарушило бы на мгновение, и он бы просто поймать низкий гул мужской голос, а затем начать снова - нескончаемо; сначала раздражает, то странно ужасно. Он задрожал, и вставая с кровати подошел к окну. Он достиг высшей точки, напряглась и подавил, почти качество крика - тогда он перестал и оставил за ним молчание пустым и грозным, как более накладные расходы молчания. Энтони стоял у окна на мгновение дольше, прежде чем он вернулся в свою постель. He found himself upset and shaken. Try as he might to strangle his reaction, some animal quality in that unrestrained laughter had grasped at his imagination, and for the first time in four months aroused his old aversion and horror toward all the business of life. The room had grown smothery. He wanted to be out in some cool and bitter breeze, miles above the cities, and to live serene and detached back in the corners of his mind. Life was that sound out there, that ghastly reiterated female sound.

"Oh, my God !" he cried, drawing in his breath sharply.

Burying his face in the pillows he tried in vain to concentrate upon the details of the next day.

утро

In the gray light he found that it was only five o'clock. He regretted nervously that he had awakened so early--he would appear fagged at the wedding. He envied Gloria who could hide her fatigue with careful pigmentation.

In his bathroom he contemplated himself in the mirror and saw that he was unusually white--half a dozen small imperfections stood out against the morning pallor of his complexion, and overnight he had grown the faint stubble of a beard--the general effect, he fancied, was unprepossessing, haggard, half unwell.

On his dressing table were spread a number of articles which he told over carefully with suddenly fumbling fingers--their tickets to California, the book of traveller's checks, his watch, set to the half minute, the key to his apartment, which he must not forget to give to Maury, and, most important of all, the ring. It was of platinum set around with small emeralds; Gloria had insisted on this; she had always wanted an emerald wedding ring, she said.

It was the third present he had given her; first had come the engagement ring, and then a little gold cigarette-case. He would be giving her many things now--clothes and jewels and friends and excitement. It seemed absurd that from now on he would pay for all her meals. It was going to cost: he wondered if he had not underestimated for this trip, and if he had not better cash a larger check. The question worried him.

Then the breathless impendency of the event swept his mind clear of details. This was the day--unsought, unsuspected six months before, but now breaking in yellow light through his east window, dancing along the carpet as though the sun were smiling at some ancient and reiterated gag of his own.

Anthony laughed in a nervous one-syllable snort.

"By God!" he muttered to himself, "I'm as good as married!"

The Ushers

Six young men in CROSS PATCH'S library growing more and more cheery under the influence of Mumm's Extra Dry, set surreptitiously in cold pails by the bookcases.

THE FIRST YOUNG MAN: By golly! Believe me, in my next book I'm going to do a wedding scene that'll knock 'em cold!

THE SECOND YOUNG MAN: Met a debutante th'other day said she thought your book was powerful. As a rule young girls cry for this primitive business.

THE THIRD YOUNG MAN: Where's Anthony?

THE FOURTH YOUNG MAN: Walking up and down outside talking to himself.

SECOND YOUNG MAN: Lord! Did you see the minister? Most peculiar looking teeth.

FIFTH YOUNG MAN: Think they're natural. Funny thing people having gold teeth.

SIXTH YOUNG MAN: They say they love 'em. My dentist told me once a woman came to him and insisted on having two of her teeth covered with gold. No reason at all. All right the way they were.

FOURTH YOUNG MAN: Hear you got out a book, Dicky. 'Gratulations!

DICK: ( Stiffly ) Thanks.

FOURTH YOUNG MAN: ( Innocently ) What is it? College stories?

DICK: ( More stiffly ) No. Not college stories.

FOURTH YOUNG MAN: Pity! Hasn't been a good book about Harvard for years.

DICK: ( Touchily ) Why don't you supply the lack?

THIRD YOUNG MAN: I think I saw a squad of guests turn the drive in a Packard just now.

SIXTH YOUNG MAN: Might open a couple more bottles on the strength of that.

THIRD YOUNG MAN: It was the shock of my life when I heard the old man was going to have a wet wedding. Rabid prohibitionist, you know.

FOURTH YOUNG MAN: ( Snapping his fingers excitedly ) By gad! I knew I'd forgotten something. Kept thinking it was my vest.

DICK: What was it?

FOURTH YOUNG MAN: By gad! By gad!

SIXTH YOUNG MAN: Here! Here! Why the tragedy?

SECOND YOUNG MAN: What'd you forget? The way home?

DICK: ( Maliciously ) He forgot the plot for his book of Harvard stories.

FOURTH YOUNG MAN: No, sir, I forgot the present, by George! I forgot to buy old Anthony a present. I kept putting it off and putting it off, and by gad I've forgotten it! What'll they think?

SIXTH YOUNG MAN: ( Facetiously ) That's probably what's been holding up the wedding.

( THE FOURTH YOUNG MAN looks nervously at his watch. Laughter. )

FOURTH YOUNG MAN: By gad! What an ass I am!

SECOND YOUNG MAN: What d'you make of the bridesmaid who thinks she's Nora Bayes? Kept telling me she wished this was a ragtime wedding. Name's Haines or Hampton.

DICK: ( Hurriedly spurring his imagination ) Kane, you mean, Muriel Kane. She's a sort of debt of honor, I believe. Once saved Gloria from drowning, or something of the sort.

SECOND YOUNG MAN: I didn't think she could stop that perpetual swaying long enough to swim. Fill up my glass, will you? Old man and I had a long talk about the weather just now.

MAURY: Who? Old Adam?

SECOND YOUNG MAN: No, the bride's father. He must be with a weather bureau.

DICK: He's my uncle, Otis.

OTIS: Well, it's an honorable profession. ( Laughter. )

SIXTH YOUNG MAN: Bride your cousin, isn't she?

DICK: Yes, Cable, she is.

CABLE: She certainly is a beauty. Not like you, Dicky. Bet she brings old Anthony to terms.

MAURY: Why are all grooms given the title of "old"? I think marriage is an error of youth.

DICK: Maury, the professional cynic.

MAURY: Why, you intellectual faker!

FIFTH YOUNG MAN: Battle of the highbrows here, Otis. Pick up what crumbs you can.

DICK: Faker yourself! What do you know?

MAURY: What do you know?

LICK: Ask me anything. Any branch of knowledge.

MAURY: All right. What's the fundamental principle of biology?

DICK: You don't know yourself.

MAURY: Don't hedge!

DICK: Well, natural selection?

MAURY: Wrong.

DICK: I give it up.

MAURY: Ontogony recapitulates phyllogony.

FIFTH YOUNG MAN: Take your base!

MAURY: Ask you another. What's the influence of mice on the clover crop? ( Laughter. )

FOURTH YOUNG MAN: What's the influence of rats on the Decalogue?

MAURY: Shut up, you saphead. There is a connection.

DICK: What is it then?

MAURY: ( Pausing a moment in growing disconcertion ) Why, let's see. I seem to have forgotten exactly. Something about the bees eating the clover.

FOURTH YOUNG MAN: And the clover eating the mice! Haw! Haw!

MAURY: ( Frowning ) Let me just think a minute.

DICK: ( Sitting up suddenly ) Listen!

( A volley of chatter explodes in the adjoining room. The six young men arise, feeling at their neckties. )

DICK: ( Weightily ) We'd better join the firing squad. They're going to take the picture, I guess. No, that's afterward.

OTIS: Cable, you take the ragtime bridesmaid.

FOURTH YOUNG MAN: I wish to God I'd sent that present.

MAURY: If you'll give me another minute I'll think of that about the mice.

OTIS: I was usher last month for old Charlie McIntyre and----

( They move slowly toward the door as the chatter becomes a babel and the practising preliminary to the overture issues in long pious groans from ADAM PATCH'S organ .)

Anthony

There were five hundred eyes boring through the back of his cutaway and the sun glinting on the clergyman's inappropriately bourgeois teeth. With difficulty he restrained a laugh. Gloria was saying something in a clear proud voice and he tried to think that the affair was irrevocable, that every second was significant, that his life was being slashed into two periods and that the face of the world was changing before him. He tried to recapture that ecstatic sensation of ten weeks before. All these emotions eluded him, he did not even feel the physical nervousness of that very morning--it was all one gigantic aftermath. And those gold teeth! He wondered if the clergyman were married; he wondered perversely if a clergyman could perform his own marriage service....

But as he took Gloria into his arms he was conscious of a strong reaction. The blood was moving in his veins now. A >

Gloria

So many, such mingled emotions, that no one of them was separable from the others! She could have wept for her mother, who was crying quietly back there ten feet and for the loveliness of the June sunlight flooding in at the windows. She was beyond all conscious perceptions. Only a sense, colored with delirious wild excitement, that the ultimately important was happening--and a trust, fierce and passionate, burning in her like a prayer, that in a moment she would be forever and securely safe.

Late one night they arrived in Santa Barbara, where the night clerk at the Hotel Lafcadio refused to admit them, on the grounds that they were not married.

The clerk thought that Gloria was beautiful. He did not think that anything so beautiful as Gloria could be moral.

"Con Amore"

That first half-year--the trip West, the long months' loiter along the California coast, and the gray house near Greenwich where they lived until late autumn made the country dreary--those days, those places, saw the enraptured hours. The breathless idyl of their engagement gave way, first, to the intense romance of the more passionate relationship. The breathless idyl left them, fled on to other lovers; they looked around one day and it was gone, how they scarcely knew. Had either of them lost the other in the days of the idyl, the love lost would have been ever to the loser that dim desire without fulfilment which stands back of all life. But magic must hurry on, and the lovers remain....

The idyl passed, bearing with it its extortion of youth. Came a day when Gloria found that other men no longer bored her; came a day when Anthony discovered that he could sit again late into the evening, talking with Dick of those tremendous abstractions that had once occupied his world. But, knowing they had had the best of love, they clung to what remained. Love lingered--by way of long conversations at night into those stark hours when the mind thins and sharpens and the borrowings from dreams become the stuff of all life, by way of deep and intimate kindnesses they developed toward each other, by way of their laughing at the same absurdities and thinking the same things noble and the same things sad.

It was, first of all, a time of discovery. The things they found in each other were so diverse, so intermixed and, moreover, so sugared with love as to seem at the time not so much discoveries as isolated phenomena--to be allowed for, and to be forgotten. Anthony found that he was living with a girl of tremendous nervous tension and of the most high-handed selfishness. Gloria knew within a month that her husband was an utter coward toward any one of a million phantasms created by his imagination. Her perception was intermittent, for this cowardice sprang out, became almost obscenely evident, then faded and vanished as though it had been only a creation of her own mind. Her reactions to it were not those attributed to her sex--it roused her neither to disgust nor to a premature feeling of motherhood. Herself almost completely without physical fear, she was unable to understand, and so she made the most of what she felt to be his fear's redeeming feature, which was that though he was a coward under a shock and a coward under a strain--when his imagination was given play--he had yet a sort of dashing recklessness that moved her on its brief occasions almost to admiration, and a pride that usually steadied him when he thought he was observed.

The trait first showed itself in a dozen incidents of little more than nervousness--his warning to a taxi-driver against fast driving, in Chicago; his refusal to take her to a certain tough cafe she had always wished to visit; these of course admitted the conventional interpretation--that it was of her he had been thinking; nevertheless, their culminative weight disturbed her. But something that occurred in a San Francisco hotel, when they had been married a week, gave the matter certainty.

It was after midnight and pitch dark in their room. Gloria was dozing off and Anthony's even breathing beside her made her suppose that he was asleep, when suddenly she saw him raise himself on his elbow and stare at the window.

"What is it, deare st?" пробормотала она.

"Nothing"--he had relaxed to his pillow and turned toward her--"nothing, my darling wife."

"Don't say 'wife.' I'm your mistress. Wife's such an ugly word. Your 'permanent mistress' is so much more tangible and desirable.... Come into my arms," she added in a rush of tenderness; "I can sleep so well, so well with you in my arms."

Coming into Gloria's arms had a quite definite meaning. It required that he should slide one arm under her shoulder, lock both arms about her, and arrange himself as nearly as possible as a sort of three-sided crib for her luxurious ease. Anthony, who tossed, whose arms went tinglingly to sleep after half an hour of that position, would wait until she was asleep and roll her gently over to her side of the bed--then, left to his own devices, he would curl himself into his usual knots.

Gloria, having attained sentimental comfort, retired into her doze. Five minutes ticked away on Bloeckman's travelling clock; silence lay all about the room, over the unfamiliar, impersonal furniture and the half-oppressive ceiling that melted imperceptibly into invisible walls on both sides. Then there was suddenly a rattling flutter at the window, staccato and loud upon the hushed, pent air.

With a leap Anthony was out of the bed and standing tense beside it.

"Who's there?" he cried in an awful voice.

Gloria lay very still, wide awake now and engrossed not so much in the rattling as in the rigid breathless figure whose voice had reached from the bedside into that ominous dark.

The sound stopped; the room was quiet as before--then Anthony pouring words in at the telephone.

"Some one just tried to get into the room! ...

"There's some one at the window!" His voice was emphatic now, faintly terrified.

"All right! Hurry!" He hung up the receiver; stood motionless.

... There was a rush and commotion at the door, a knocking--Anthony went to open it upon an excited night clerk with three bell-boys grouped staring behind him. Between thumb and finger the night clerk held a wet pen with the threat of a weapon; one of the bell-boys had seized a telephone directory and was looking at it sheepishly. Simultaneously the group was joined by the hastily summoned house-detective, and as one man they surged into the room.

Lights sprang on with a click. Gathering a piece of sheet about her Gloria dove away from sight, shutting her eyes to keep out the horror of this unpremeditated visitation. There was no vestige of an idea in her stricken sensibilities save that her Anthony was at grievous fault.

... The night clerk was speaking from the window, his tone half of the servant, half of the teacher reproving a schoolboy.

"Nobody out there," he declared conclusively; "my golly, nobody could be out there. This here's a sheer fall to the street of fifty feet. It was the wind you heard, tugging at the blind."

"Oh."

Then she was sorry for him. She wanted only to comfort him and draw him back tenderly into her arms, to tell them to go away because the thing their presence connotated was odious. Yet she could not raise her head for shame. She heard a broken sentence, apologies, conventions of the employee and one unrestrained snicker from a bell-boy.

"I've been nervous as the devil all evening," Anthony was saying; "somehow that noise just shook me--I was only about half awake."

"Sure, I understand," said the night clerk with comfortable tact; "been that way myself."

The door closed; the lights snapped out; Anthony crossed the floor quietly and crept into bed. Gloria, feigning to be heavy with sleep, gave a quiet little sigh and slipped into his arms.

"What was it, dear?"

"Nothing," he answered, his voice still shaken; "I thought there was somebody at the window, so I looked out, but I couldn't see any one and the noise kept up, so I phoned down-stairs. Sorry if I disturbed you, but I'm awfully darn nervous to-night."

Catching the lie, she gave an interior start--he had not gone to the window, nor near the window. He had stood by the bed and then sent in his call of fear.

"Oh," she said--and then: "I'm so sleepy."

For an hour they lay awake side by side, Gloria with her eyes shut so tight that blue moons formed and revolved against backgrounds of deepest mauve, Anthony staring blindly into the darkness overhead.

After many weeks it came gradually out into the light, to be laughed and joked at. They made a tradition to fit over it--whenever that overpowering terror of the night attacked Anthony, she would put her arms about him and croon, soft as a song:

"I'll protect my Anthony. Oh, nobody's ever going to harm my Anthony!"

He would laugh as though it were a jest they played for their mutual amusement, but to Gloria it was never quite a jest. It was, at first, a keen disappointment; later, it was one of the times when she controlled her temper.

The management of Gloria's temper, whether it was aroused by a lack of hot water for her bath or by a skirmish with her husband, became almost the primary duty of Anthony's day. It must be done just so--by this much silence, by that much pressure, by this much yielding, by that much force. It was in her angers with their attendant cruelties that her inordinate egotism chiefly displayed itself. Because she was brave, because she was "spoiled," because of her outrageous and commendable independence of judgment, and finally because of her arrogant consciousness that she had never seen a girl as beautiful as herself, Gloria had developed into a consistent, practising Nietzschean. This, of course, with overtones of profound sentiment.

There was, for example, her stomach. She was used to certain dishes, and she had a strong conviction that she could not possibly eat anything else. There must be a lemonade and a tomato sandwich late in the morning, then a light lunch with a stuffed tomato. Not only did she require food from a selection of a dozen dishes, but in addition this food must be prepared in just a certain way. One of the most annoying half hours of the first fortnight occurred in Los Angeles, when an unhappy waiter brought her a tomato stuffed with chicken salad instead of celery.

"We always serve it that way, madame," he quavered to the gray eyes that regarded him wrathfully.

Gloria made no answer, but when the waiter had turned discreetly away she banged both fists upon the table until the china and silver rattled.

"Poor Gloria!" laughed Anthony unwittingly, "you can't get what you want ever, can you?"

"I can't eat stuff !" she flared up.

"I'll call back the waiter."

"I don't want you to! He doesn't know anything, the darn fool !"

"Well, it isn't the hotel's fault. Either send it back, forget it, or be a sport and eat it."

"Shut up!" she said succinctly.

"Why take it out on me?"

"Oh, I'm not ," she wailed, "but I simply can't eat it."

Anthony subsided helplessly.

"We'll go somewhere else," he suggested.

"I don't want to go anywhere else. I'm tired of being trotted around to a dozen cafes and not getting one thing fit to eat."

"When did we go around to a dozen cafes?"

"You'd have to in this town," insisted Gloria with ready sophistry.

Anthony, bewildered, tried another tack.

"Why don't you try to eat it? It can't be as bad as you think."

"Just--because--I--don't--like--chicken!"

She picked up her fork and began poking contemptuously at the tomato, and Anthony expected her to begin flinging the stuffings in all directions. He was sure that she was approximately as angry as she had ever been--for an instant he had detected a spark of hate directed as much toward him as toward any one else--and Gloria angry was, for the present, unapproachable.

Then, surprisingly, he saw that she had tentatively raised the fork to her lips and tasted the chicken salad. Her frown had not abated and he stared at her anxiously, making no comment and daring scarcely to breathe. She tasted another forkful--in another moment she was eating. With difficulty Anthony restrained a chuckle; when at length he spoke his words had no possible connection with chicken salad.

This incident, with variations, ran like a lugubrious fugue through the first year of marriage; always it left Anthony baffled, irritated, and depressed. But another rough brushing of temperaments, a question of laundry-bags, he found even more annoying as it ended inevitably in a decisive defeat for him.

One afternoon in Coronado, where they made the longest stay of their trip, more than three weeks, Gloria was arraying herself brilliantly for tea. Anthony, who had been down-stairs listening to the latest rumor bulletins of war in Europe, entered the room, kissed the back of her powdered neck, and went to his dresser. After a great pulling out and pushing in of drawers, evidently unsatisfactory, he turned around to the Unfinished Masterpiece.

"Got any handkerchiefs, Gloria?" он спросил. Gloria shook her golden head.

"Not a one. I'm using one of yours."

"The last one, I deduce." He laughed dryly.

"Is it?" She applied an emphatic though very delicate contour to her lips.

"Isn't the laundry back?"

"I don't know."

Anthony hesitated--then, with sudden discernment, opened the closet door. His suspicions were verified. On the hook provided hung the blue bag furnished by the hotel. This was full of his clothes--he had put them there himself. The floor beneath it was littered with an astonishing mass of finery--lingerie, stockings, dresses, nightgowns, and pajamas--most of it scarcely worn but all of it coming indubitably under the general heading of Gloria's laundry.

He stood holding the closet door open.

"Why, Gloria!"

"Какие?"

The lip line was being erased and corrected according to some mysterious perspective; not a finger trembled as she manipulated the lip-stick, not a glance wavered in his direction. It was a triumph of concentration.

"Haven't you ever sent out the laundry?"

"Is it there?"

"It most certainly is."

"Well, I guess I haven't, then."

"Gloria," began Anthony, sitting down on the bed and trying to catch her mirrored eyes, "you're a nice fellow, you are! I've sent it out every time it's been sent since we left New York, and over a week ago you promised you'd do it for a change. All you'd have to do would be to cram your own junk into that bag and ring for the chambermaid."

"Oh, why fuss about the laundry?" exclaimed Gloria petulantly, "I'll take care of it."

"I haven't fussed about it. I'd just as soon divide the bother with you, but when we run out of handkerchiefs it's darn near time something's done."

Anthony considered that he was being extraordinarily logical. But Gloria, unimpressed, put away her cosmetics and casually offered him her back.

"Hook me up," she suggested; "Anthony, dearest, I forgot all about it. I meant to, honestly, and I will to-day. Don't be cross with your sweetheart."

What could Anthony do then but draw her down upon his knee and kiss a shade of color from her lips.

"But I don't mind," she murmured with a smile, radiant and magnanimous. "You can kiss all the paint off my lips any time you want."

They went down to tea. They bought some handkerchiefs in a notion store near by. All was forgotten.

But two days later Anthony looked in the closet and saw the bag still hung limp upon its hook and that the gay and vivid pile on the floor had increased surprisingly in height.

"Gloria!" он плакал.

"Oh--" Her voice was full of real distress. Despairingly Anthony went to the phone and called the chambermaid.

"It seems to me," he said impatiently, "that you expect me to be some sort of French valet to you."

Gloria laughed, so infectiously that Anthony was unwise enough to smile. Unfortunate man! In some intangible manner his smile made her mistress of the situation--with an air of injured righteousness she went emphatically to the closet and began pushing her laundry violently into the bag. Anthony watched her--ashamed of himself.

"There!" she said, implying that her fingers had been worked to the bone by a brutal taskmaster.

He considered, nevertheless, that he had given her an object-lesson and that the matter was closed, but on the contrary it was merely beginning. Laundry pile followed laundry pile--at long intervals; dearth of handkerchief followed dearth of handkerchief--at short ones; not to mention dearth of sock, of shirt, of everything. And Anthony found at length that either he must send it out himself or go through the increasingly unpleasant ordeal of a verbal battle with Gloria.

Gloria and General Lee

On their way East they stopped two days in Washington, strolling about with some hostility in its atmosphere of harsh repellent light, of distance without freedom, of pomp without splendor--it seemed a pasty-pale and self-conscious city. The second day they made an ill-advised trip to General Lee's old home at Arlington.

The bus which bore them was crowded with hot, unprosperous people, and Anthony, intimate to Gloria, felt a storm brewing. It broke at the Zoo, where the party stopped for ten minutes. The Zoo, it seemed, smelt of monkeys. Anthony laughed; Gloria called down the curse of Heaven upon monkeys, including in her malevolence all the passengers of the bus and their perspiring offspring who had hied themselves monkey-ward.

Eventually the bus moved on to Arlington. There it met other busses and immediately a swarm of women and children were leaving a trail of peanut-shells through the halls of General Lee and crowding at length into the room where he was married. On the wall of this room a pleasing sign announced in large red letters "Ladies' Toilet." At this final blow Gloria broke down.

"I think it's perfectly terrible!" she said furiously, "the idea of letting these people come here! And of encouraging them by making these houses show-places."

"Well," objected Anthony, "if they weren't kept up they'd go to pieces."

"What if they did!" she exclaimed as they sought the wide pillared porch. "Do you think they've left a breath of 1860 here? This has become a thing of 1914."

"Don't you want to preserve old things?"

"But you can't , Anthony. Beautiful things grow to a certain height and then they fail and fade off, breathing out memories as they decay. And just as any period decays in our minds, the things of that period should decay too, and in that way they're preserved for a while in the few hearts like mine that react to them. That graveyard at Tarrytown, for instance. The asses who give money to preserve things have spoiled that too. Sleepy Hollow's gone; Washington Irving's dead and his books are rotting in our estimation year by year--then let the graveyard rot too, as it should, as all things should. Trying to preserve a century by keeping its relics up to date is like keeping a dying man alive by stimulants."

"So you think that just as a time goes to pieces its houses ought to go too?"

"Of course! Would you value your Keats letter if the signature was traced over to make it last longer? It's just because I love the past that I want this house to look back on its glamourous moment of youth and beauty, and I want its stairs to creak as if to the footsteps of women with hoop skirts and men in boots and spurs. But they've made it into a blondined, rouged-up old woman of sixty. It hasn't any right to look so prosperous. It might care enough for Lee to drop a brick now and then. How many of these--these animals "--she waved her hand around--"get anything from this, for all the histories and guide-books and restorations in existence? How many of them who think that, at best, appreciation is talking in undertones and walking on tiptoes would even come here if it was any trouble? I want it to smell of magnolias instead of peanuts and I want my shoes to crunch on the same gravel that Lee's boots crunched on. There's no beauty without poignancy and there's no poignancy without the feeling that it's going, men, names, books, houses--bound for dust--mortal--"

A small boy appeared beside them and, swinging a handful of banana-peels, flung them valiantly in the direction of the Potomac.

Sentiment

Simultaneously with the fall of Liege, Anthony and Gloria arrived in New York. In retrospect the six weeks seemed miraculously happy. They had found to a great extent, as most young couples find in some measure, that they possessed in common many fixed ideas and curiosities and odd quirks of mind; they were essentially companionable.

But it had been a struggle to keep many of their conversations on the level of discussions. Arguments were fatal to Gloria's disposition. She had all her life been associated either with her mental inferiors or with men who, under the almost hostile intimidation of her beauty, had not dared to contradict her; naturally, then, it irritated her when Anthony emerged from the state in which her pronouncements were an infallible and ultimate decision.

He failed to realize, at first, that this was the result partly of her "female" education and partly of her beauty, and he was inclined to include her with her entire sex as curiously and definitely limited. It maddened him to find she had no sense of justice. But he discovered that, when a subject did interest her, her brain tired less quickly than his. What he chiefly missed in her mind was the pedantic teleology--the sense of order and accuracy, the sense of life as a mysteriously correlated piece of patchwork, but he understood after a while that such a quality in her would have been incongruous.

Of the things they possessed in common, greatest of all was their almost uncanny pull at each other's hearts. The day they left the hotel in Coronado she sat down on one of the beds while they were packing, and began to weep bitterly.

"Dearest--" His arms were around her; he pulled her head down upon his shoulder. "What is it, my own Gloria? Tell me."

"We're going away," she sobbed. "Oh, Anthony, it's sort of the first place we've lived together. Our two little beds here--side by side--they'll be always waiting for us, and we're never coming back to 'em any more."

She was tearing at his heart as she always could. Sentiment came over him, rushed into his eyes.

"Gloria, why, we're going on to another room. And two other little beds. We're going to be together all our lives."

Words flooded from her in a low husky voice.

"But it won't be--like our two beds--ever again. Everywhere we go and move on and change, something's lost--something's left behind. You can't ever quite repeat anything, and I've been so yours, here--"

He held her passionately near, discerning far beyond any criticism of her sentiment, a wise grasping of the minute, if only an indulgence of her desire to cry--Gloria the idler, caresser of her own dreams, extracting poignancy from the memorable things of life and youth.

Later in the afternoon when he returned from the station with the tickets he found her asleep on one of the beds, her arm curled about a black object which he could not at first identify. Coming closer he found it was one of his shoes, not a particularly new one, nor clean one, but her face, tear-stained, was pressed against it, and he understood her ancient and most honorable message. There was almost ecstasy in waking her and seeing her smile at him, shy but well aware of her own nicety of imagination.

With no appraisal of the worth or dross of these two things, it seemed to Anthony that they lay somewhere near the heart of love.

The Gray House

It is in the twenties that the actual momentum of life begins to slacken, and it is a simple soul indeed to whom as many things are significant and meaningful at thirty as at ten years before. At thirty an organ-grinder is a more or less moth-eaten man who grinds an organ--and once he was an organ-grinder! The unmistakable stigma of humanity touches all those impersonal and beautiful things that only youth ever grasps in their impersonal glory. A brilliant ball, gay with light romantic laughter, wears through its own silks and satins to show the bare framework of a man-made thing--oh, that eternal hand!--a play, most tragic and most divine, becomes merely a succession of speeches, sweated over by the eternal plagiarist in the clammy hours and acted by men subject to cramps, cowardice, and manly sentiment.

And this time with Gloria and Anthony, this first year of marriage, and the gray house caught them in that stage when the organ-grinder was slowly undergoing his inevitable metamorphosis. She was twenty-three; he was twenty-six.

The gray house was, at first, of sheerly pastoral intent. They lived impatiently in Anthony's apartment for the first fortnight after the return from California, in a stifled atmosphere of open trunks, too many callers, and the eternal laundry-bags. They discussed with their friends the stupendous problem of their future. Dick and Maury would sit with them agreeing solemnly, almost thoughtfully, as Anthony ran through his list of what they "ought" to do, and where they "ought" to live.

"I'd like to take Gloria abroad," he complained, "except for this damn war--and next to that I'd sort of like to have a place in the country, somewhere near New York, of course, where I could write--or whatever I decide to do."

Gloria laughed.

"Isn't he cute?" she required of Maury. "'Whatever he decides to do!' But what am I going to do if he works? Maury, will you take me around if Anthony works?"

"Anyway, I'm not going to work yet," said Anthony quickly.

It was vaguely understood between them that on some misty day he would enter a sort of glorified diplomatic service and be envied by princes and prime ministers for his beautiful wife.

"Well," said Gloria helplessly, "I'm sure I don't know. We talk and talk and never get anywhere, and we ask all our friends and they just answer the way we want 'em to. I wish somebody'd take care of us."

"Why don't you go out to--out to Greenwich or something?" suggested Richard Caramel.

"I'd like that," said Gloria, brightening. "Do you think we could get a house there?"

Dick shrugged his shoulders and Maury laughed.

"You two amuse me," he said. "Of all the unpractical people! As soon as a place is mentioned you expect us to pull great piles of photographs out of our pockets showing the different styles of architecture available in bungalows."

"That's just what I don't want," wailed Gloria, "a hot stuffy bungalow, with a lot of babies next door and their father cutting the grass in his shirt sleeves--"

"For Heaven's sake, Gloria," interrupted Maury, "nobody wants to lock you up in a bungalow. Who in God's name brought bungalows into the conversation? But you'll never get a place anywhere unless you go out and hunt for it."

"Go where? You say 'go out and hunt for it,' but where?"

With dignity Maury waved his hand paw-like about the room.

"Out anywhere. Out in the country. There're lots of places."

"Thanks."

"Look here!" Richard Caramel brought his yellow eye rakishly into play. "The trouble with you two is that you're all disorganized. Do you know anything about New York State? Shut up, Anthony, I'm talking to Gloria."

"Well," she admitted finally, "I've been to two or three house parties in Portchester and around in Connecticut--but, of course, that isn't in New York State, is it? And neither is Morristown," she finished with drowsy irrelevance.

There was a shout of laughter.

"Oh, Lord!" cried Dick, "neither is Morristown!' No, and neither is Santa Barbara, Gloria. Now listen. To begin with, unless you have a fortune there's no use considering any place like Newport or Southhampton or Tuxedo. They're out of the question."

They all agreed to this solemnly.

"And personally I hate New Jersey. Then, of course, there's upper New York, above Tuxedo."

"Too cold," said Gloria briefly. "I was there once in an automobile."

"Well, it seems to me there're a lot of towns like Rye between New York and Greenwich where you could buy a little gray house of some--"

Gloria leaped at the phrase triumphantly. For the first time since their return East she knew what she wanted.

"Oh, yes !" воскликнула она. "Oh, yes ! that's it: a little gray house with sort of white around and a whole lot of swamp maples just as brown and gold as an October picture in a gallery. Where can we find one?"

"Unfortunately, I've mislaid my list of little gray houses with swamp maples around them--but I'll try to find it. Meanwhile you take a piece of paper and write down the names of seven possible towns. And every day this week you take a trip to one of those towns."

"Oh, gosh!" protested Gloria, collapsing mentally, "why won't you do it for us? I hate trains."

"Well, hire a car, and--"

Gloria yawned.

"I'm tired of discussing it. Seems to me all we do is talk about where to live."

"My exquisite wife wearies of thought," remarked Anthony ironically. "She must have a tomato sandwich to stimulate her jaded nerves. Let's go out to tea."

As the unfortunate upshot of this conversation, they took Dick's advice literally, and two days later went out to Rye, where they wandered around with an irritated real estate agent, like bewildered babes in the wood. They were shown houses at a hundred a month which closely adjoined other houses at a hundred a month; they were shown isolated houses to which they invariably took violent dislikes, though they submitted weakly to the agent's desire that they "look at that stove--some stove!" and to a great shaking of doorposts and tapping of walls, intended evidently to show that the house would not immediately collapse, no matter how convincingly it gave that impression. They gazed through windows into interiors furnished either "commercially" with slab-like chairs and unyielding settees, or "home-like" with the melancholy bric-a-brac of other summers--crossed tennis rackets, fit-form couches, and depressing Gibson girls. With a feeling of guilt they looked at a few really nice houses, aloof, dignified, and cool--at three hundred a month. They went away from Rye thanking the real estate agent very much indeed.

On the crowded train back to New York the seat behind was occupied by a super-respirating Latin whose last few meals had obviously been composed entirely of garlic. They reached the apartment gratefully, almost hysterically, and Gloria rushed for a hot bath in the reproachless bathroom. So far as the question of a future abode was concerned both of them were incapacitated for a week.

The matter eventually worked itself out with unhoped-for romance. Anthony ran into the living room one afternoon fairly radiating "the idea."

"I've got it," he was exclaiming as though he had just caught a mouse. "We'll get a car."

"Gee whiz! Haven't we got troubles enough taking care of ourselves?"

"Give me a second to explain, can't you? just let's leave our stuff with Dick and just pile a couple of suitcases in our car, the one we're going to buy--we'll have to have one in the country anyway--and just start out in the direction of New Haven. You see, as we get out of commuting distance from New York, the rents'll get cheaper, and as soon as we find a house we want we'll just settle down."

By his frequent and soothing interpolation of the word "just" he aroused her lethargic enthusiasm. Strutting violently about the room, he simulated a dynamic and irresistible efficiency. "We'll buy a car to-morrow."

Life, limping after imagination's ten-league boots, saw them out of town a week later in a cheap but sparkling new roadster, saw them through the chaotic unintelligible Bronx, then over a wide murky district which alternated cheerless blue-green wastes with suburbs of tremendous and sordid activity. They left New York at eleven and it was well past a hot and beatific noon when they moved rakishly through Pelham.

"These aren't towns," said Gloria scornfully, "these are just city blocks plumped down coldly into waste acres. I imagine all the men here have their mustaches stained from drinking their coffee too quickly in the morning."

"And play pinochle on the commuting trains."

"What's pinochle?"

"Don't be so literal. How should I know? But it sounds as though they ought to play it."

"I like it. It sounds as if it were something where you sort of cracked your knuckles or something.... Let me drive."

Anthony looked at her suspiciously.

"You swear you're a good driver?"

"Since I was fourteen."

He stopped the car cautiously at the side of the road and they changed seats. Then with a horrible grinding noise the car was put in gear, Gloria adding an accompaniment of laughter which seemed to Anthony disquieting and in the worst possible taste.

"Here we go!" закричала она. "Whoo-oop!"

Their heads snapped back like marionettes on a single wire as the car leaped ahead and curved retchingly about a standing milk-wagon, whose driver stood up on his seat and bellowed after them. In the immemorial tradition of the road Anthony retorted with a few brief epigrams as to the grossness of the milk-delivering profession. He cut his remarks short, however, and turned to Gloria with the growing conviction that he had made a grave mistake in relinquishing control and that Gloria was a driver of many eccentricities and of infinite carelessness.

"Remember now!" he warned her nervously, "the man said we oughtn't to go over twenty miles an hour for the first five thousand miles."

She nodded briefly, but evidently intending to accomplish the prohibitive distance as quickly as possible, slightly increased her speed. A moment later he made another attempt.

"See that sign? Do you want to get us pinched?"

"Oh, for Heaven's sake," cried Gloria in exasperation, "you always exaggerate things so!"

"Well, I don't want to get arrested."

"Who's arresting you? You're so persistent--just like you were about my cough medicine last night."

"It was for your own good."

"Ha! I might as well be living with mama."

"What a thing to say to me!"

A standing policeman swerved into view, was hastily passed.

"See him?" demanded Anthony.

"Oh, you drive me crazy! He didn't arrest us, did he?"

"When he does it'll be too late," countered Anthony brilliantly.

Her reply was scornful, almost injured.

"Why, this old thing won't go over thirty-five."

"It isn't old."

"It is in spirit."

That afternoon the car joined the laundry-bags and Gloria's appetite as one of the trinity of contention. He warned her of railroad tracks; he pointed out approaching automobiles; finally he insisted on taking the wheel and a furious, insulted Gloria sat silently beside him between the towns of Larchmont and Rye.

But it was due to this furious silence of hers that the gray house materialized from its abstraction, for just beyond Rye he surrendered gloomily to it and re-relinquished the wheel. Mutely he beseeched her and Gloria, instantly cheered, vowed to be more careful. But because a discourteous street-car persisted callously in remaining upon its track Gloria ducked down a side-street--and thereafter that afternoon was never able to find her way back to the Post Road. The street they finally mistook for it lost its Post-Road aspect when it had gone five miles from Cos Cob. Its macadam became gravel, then dirt--moreover, it narrowed and developed a border of maple trees, through which filtered the weltering sun, making its endless experiments with shadow designs upon the long grass.

"We're lost now," complained Anthony.

"Read that sign!"

"Marietta--Five Miles. What's Marietta?"

"Never heard of it, but let's go on. We can't turn here and there's probably a detour back to the Post Road."

The way became scarred with deepening ruts and insidious shoulders of stone. Three farmhouses faced them momentarily, slid by. A town sprang up in a cluster of dull roofs around a white tall steeple.

Then Gloria, hesitating between two approaches, and making her choice too late, drove over a fire-hydrant and ripped the transmission violently from the car.

It was dark when the real-estate agent of Marietta showed them the gray house. They came upon it just west of the village, where it rested against a sky that was a warm blue cloak buttoned with tiny stars. The gray house had been there when women who kept cats were probably witches, when Paul Revere made false teeth in Boston preparatory to arousing the great commercial people, when our ancestors were gloriously deserting Washington in droves. Since those days the house had been bolstered up in a feeble corner, considerably repartitioned and newly plastered inside, amplified by a kitchen and added to by a side-porch--but, save for where some jovial oaf had roofed the new kitchen with red tin, Colonial it defiantly remained.

"How did you happen to come to Marietta?" demanded the real-estate agent in a tone that was first cousin to suspicion. He was showing them through four spacious and airy bedrooms.

"We broke down," explained Gloria. "I drove over a fire-hydrant and we had ourselves towed to the garage and then we saw your sign."

The man nodded, unable to follow such a sally of spontaneity. There was something subtly immoral in doing anything without several months' consideration.

They signed a lease that night and, in the agent's car, returned jubilantly to the somnolent and dilapidated Marietta Inn, which was too broken for even the chance immoralities and consequent gaieties of a country road-house. Half the night they lay awake planning the things they were to do there. Anthony was going to work at an astounding pace on his history and thus ingratiate himself with his cynical grandfather.... When the car was repaired they would explore the country and join the nearest "really nice" club, where Gloria would play golf "or something" while Anthony wrote. This, of course, was Anthony's idea--Gloria was sure she wanted but to read and dream and be fed tomato sandwiches and lemonades by some angelic servant still in a shadowy hinterland. Between paragraphs Anthony would come and kiss her as she lay indolently in the hammock.... The hammock! a host of new dreams in tune to its imagined rhythm, while the wind stirred it and waves of sun undulated over the shadows of blown wheat, or the dusty road freckled and darkened with quiet summer rain....

And guests--here they had a long argument, both of them trying to be extraordinarily mature and far-sighted. Anthony claimed that they would need people at least every other week-end "as a sort of change." This provoked an involved and extremely sentimental conversation as to whether Anthony did not consider Gloria change enough. Though he assured her that he did, she insisted upon doubting him.... Eventually the conversation assumed its eternal monotone: "What then? Oh, what'll we do then?"

"Well, we'll have a dog," suggested Anthony.

"I don't want one. I want a kitty." She went thoroughly and with great enthusiasm into the history, habits, and tastes of a cat she had once possessed. Anthony considered that it must have been a horrible character with neither personal magnetism nor a loyal heart.

Later they slept, to wake an hour before dawn with the gray house dancing in phantom glory before their dazzled eyes.

The Soul of Gloria

For that autumn the gray house welcomed them with a rush of sentiment that falsified its cynical old age. True, there were the laundry-bags, there was Gloria's appetite, there was Anthony's tendency to brood and his imaginative "nervousness," but there were intervals also of an unhoped-for serenity. Close together on the porch they would wait for the moon to stream across the silver acres of farmland, jump a thick wood and tumble waves of radiance at their feet. In such a moonlight Gloria's face was of a pervading, reminiscent white, and with a modicum of effort they would slip off the blinders of custom and each would find in the other almost the quintessential romance of the vanished June.

One night while her head lay upon his heart and their cigarettes glowed in swerving buttons of light through the dome of darkness over the bed, she spoke for the first time and fragmentarily of the men who had hung for brief moments on her beauty.

"Do you ever think of them?" он спросил ее.

"Only occasionally--when something happens that recalls a particular man."

"What do you remember--their kisses?"

"All sorts of things.... Men are different with women."

"Different in what way?"

"Oh, entirely--and quite inexpressibly. Men who had the most firmly rooted reputation for being this way or that would sometimes be surprisingly inconsistent with me. Brutal men were tender, negligible men were astonishingly loyal and lovable, and, often, honorable men took attitudes that were anything but honorable."

"For instance?"

"Well, there was a boy named Percy Wolcott from Cornell who was quite a hero in college, a great athlete, and saved a lot of people from a fire or something like that. But I soon found he was stupid in a rather dangerous way."

"What way?"

"It seems he had some naive conception of a woman 'fit to be his wife,' a particular conception that I used to run into a lot and that always drove me wild. He demanded a girl who'd never been kissed and who liked to sew and sit home and pay tribute to his self-esteem. And I'll bet a hat if he's gotten an idiot to sit and be stupid with him he's tearing out on the side with some much speedier lady."

"I'd be sorry for his wife."

"I wouldn't. Think what an ass she'd be not to realize it before she married him. He's the sort whose idea of honoring and respecting a woman would be never to give her any excitement. With the best intentions, he was deep in the dark ages."

"What was his attitude toward you?"

"I'm coming to that. As I told you--or did I tell you?--he was mighty good-looking: big brown honest eyes and one of those smiles that guarantee the heart behind it is twenty-karat gold. Being young and credulous, I thought he had some discretion, so I kissed him fervently one night when we were riding around after a dance at the Homestead at Hot Springs. It had been a wonderful week, I remember--with the most luscious trees spread like green lather, sort of, all over the valley and a mist rising out of them on October mornings like bonfires lit to turn them brown--"

"How about your friend with the ideals?" interrupted Anthony.

"It seems that when he kissed me he began to think that perhaps he could get away with a little more, that I needn't be 'respected' like this Beatrice Fairfax glad-girl of his imagination."

"What'd he do?"

"Not much. I pushed him off a sixteen-foot embankment before he was well started."

"Hurt him?" inquired Anthony with a laugh.

"Broke his arm and sprained his ankle. He told the story all over Hot Springs, and when his arm healed a man named Barley who liked me fought him and broke it over again. Oh, it was all an awful mess. He threatened to sue Barley, and Barley--he was from Georgia--was seen buying a gun in town. But before that mama had dragged me North again, much against my will, so I never did find out all that happened--though I saw Barley once in the Vanderbilt lobby."

Anthony laughed long and loud.

"What a career! I suppose I ought to be furious because you've kissed so many men. I'm not, though."

At this she sat up in bed.

"It's funny, but I'm so sure that those kisses left no mark on me--no taint of promiscuity, I mean--even though a man once told me in all seriousness that he hated to think I'd been a public drinking glass."

"He had his nerve."

"I just laughed and told him to think of me rather as a loving-cup that goes from hand to hand but should be valued none the less."

"Somehow it doesn't bother me--on the other hand it would, of course, if you'd done any more than kiss them. But I believe you're absolutely incapable of jealousy except as hurt vanity. Why don't you care what I've done? Wouldn't you prefer it if I'd been absolutely innocent?"

"It's all in the impression it might have made on you. My kisses were because the man was good-looking, or because there was a slick moon, or even because I've felt vaguely sentimental and a little stirred. But that's all--it's had utterly no effect on me. But you'd remember and let memories haunt you and worry you."

"Haven't you ever kissed any one like you've kissed me?"

"No," she answered simply. "As I've told you, men have tried--oh, lots of things. Any pretty girl has that experience.... You see," she resumed, "it doesn't matter to me how many women you've stayed with in the past, so long as it was merely a physical satisfaction, but I don't believe I could endure the idea of your ever having lived with another woman for a protracted period or even having wanted to marry some possible girl. It's different somehow. There'd be all the little intimacies remembered--and they'd dull that freshness that after all is the most precious part of love."

Rapturously he pulled her down beside him on the pillow.

"Oh, my darling," he whispered, "as if I remembered anything but your dear kisses."

Then Gloria, in a very mild voice:

"Anthony, did I hear anybody say they were thirsty?"

Anthony laughed abruptly and with a sheepish and amused grin got out of bed.

"With just a little piece of ice in the water," she added. "Do you suppose I could have that?"

Gloria used the adjective "little" whenever she asked a favor--it made the favor sound less arduous. But Anthony laughed again--whether she wanted a cake of ice or a marble of it, he must go down-stairs to the kitchen.... Her voice followed him through the hall: "And just a little cracker with just a little marmalade on it...."

"Oh, gosh!" sighed Anthony in rapturous s>has it!"

"When we have a baby," she began one day--this, it had already been decided, was to be after three years--"I want it to look like you."

"Except its legs," he insinuated slyly.

"Oh, yes, except his legs. He's got to have my legs. But the rest of him can be you."

"My nose?"

Gloria hesitated.

"Well, perhaps my nose. But certainly your eyes--and my mouth, and I guess my shape of the face. I wonder; I think he'd be sort of cute if he had my hair."

"My dear Gloria, you've appropriated the whole baby."

"Well, I didn't mean to," she apologized cheerfully.

"Let him have my neck at least," he urged, regarding himself gravely in the glass. "You've often said you liked my neck because the Adam's apple doesn't show, and, besides, your neck's too short."

"Why, it is not !" she cried indignantly, turning to the mirror, "it's just right. I don't believe I've ever seen a better neck."

"It's too short," he repeated teasingly.

"Short?" Her tone expressed exasperated wonder.

"Short? You're crazy!" She elongated and contracted it to convince herself of its reptilian sinuousness. "Do you call that a short neck?"

"One of the shortest I've ever seen."

For the first time in weeks tears started from Gloria's eyes and the look she gave him had a quality of real pain.

"Oh, Anthony--"

"My Lord, Gloria!" He approached her in bewilderment and took her elbows in his hands. "Don't cry, please ! Didn't you know I was only kidding? Gloria, look at me! Why, dearest, you've got the longest neck I've ever seen. Honestly."

Her tears dissolved in a twisted smile.

"Well--you shouldn't have said that, then. Let's talk about the b-baby."

Anthony paced the floor and spoke as though rehearsing for a debate.

"To put it briefly, there are two babies we could have, two distinct and logical babies, utterly differentiated. There's the baby that's the combination of the best of both of us. Your body, my eyes, my mind, your intelligence--and then there is the baby which is our worst--my body, your disposition, and my irresolution."

"I like that second baby," she said.

"What I'd really like," continued Anthony, "would be to have two sets of triplets one year apart and then experiment with the six boys--"

"Poor me," she interjected.

"--I'd educate them each in a different country and by a different system and when they were twenty-three I'd call them together and see what they were like."

"Let's have 'em all with my neck," suggested Gloria.

The End of a Chapter

The car was at length repaired and with a deliberate vengeance took up where it left off the business of causing infinite dissension. Who should drive? How fast should Gloria go? These two questions and the eternal recriminations involved ran through the days. They motored to the Post-Road towns, Rye, Portchester, and Greenwich, and called on a dozen friends, mostly Gloria's, who all seemed to be in different stages of having babies and in this respect as well as in others bored her to a point of nervous distraction. For an hour after each visit she would bite her fingers furiously and be inclined to take out her rancor on Anthony.

"I loathe women," she cried in a mild temper. "What on earth can you say to them--except talk 'lady-lady'? I've enthused over a dozen babies that I've wanted only to choke. And every one of those girls is either incipiently jealous and suspicious of her husband if he's charming or beginning to be bored with him if he isn't."

"Don't you ever intend to see any women?"

"I don't know. They never seem clean to me--never--never. Except just a few. Constance Shaw--you know, the Mrs. Merriam who came over to see us last Tuesday--is almost the only one. She's so tall and fresh-looking and stately."

"I don't like them so tall."

Though they went to several dinner dances at various country clubs, they decided that the autumn was too nearly over for them to "go out" on any scale, even had they been so inclined. He hated golf; Gloria liked it only mildly, and though she enjoyed a violent rush that some undergraduates gave her one night and was glad that Anthony should be proud of her beauty, she also perceived that their hostess for the evening, a Mrs. Granby, was somewhat disquieted by the fact that Anthony's classmate, Alec Granby, joined with enthusiasm in the rush. The Granbys never phoned again, and though Gloria laughed, it piqued her not a little.

"You see," she explained to Anthony, "if I wasn't married it wouldn't worry her--but she's been to the movies in her day and she thinks I may be a vampire. But the point is that placating such people requires an effort that I'm simply unwilling to make.... And those cute little freshmen making eyes at me and paying me idiotic compliments! I've grown up, Anthony."

Marietta itself offered little social life. Half a dozen farm-estates formed a hectagon around it, but these belonged to ancient men who displayed themselves only as inert, gray-thatched lumps in the back of limousines on their way to the station, whither they were sometimes accompanied by equally ancient and doubly massive wives. The townspeople were a particularly uninteresting type--unmarried females were predominant for the most part--with school-festival horizons and souls bleak as the forbidding white architecture of the three churches. The only native with whom they came into close contact was the broad-hipped, broad-shouldered Swedish girl who came every day to do their work. She was silent and efficient, and Gloria, after finding her weeping violently into her bowed arms upon the kitchen table, developed an uncanny fear of her and stopped complaining about the food. Because of her untold and esoteric grief the girl stayed on.

Gloria's penchant for premonitions and her bursts of vague supernaturalism were a surprise to Anthony. Either some complex, properly and scientifically inhibited in the early years with her Bilphistic mother, or some inherited hypersensitiveness, made her susceptible to any suggestion of the psychic, and, far from gullible about the motives of people, she was inclined to credit any extraordinary happening attributed to the whimsical perambulations of the buried. The desperate squeakings about the old house on windy nights that to Anthony were burglars with revolvers ready in hand represented to Gloria the auras, evil and restive, of dead generations, expiating the inexpiable upon the ancient and romantic hearth. One night, because of two swift bangs down-stairs, which Anthony fearfully but unavailingly investigated, they lay awake nearly until dawn asking each other examination-paper questions about the history of the world.

In October Muriel came out for a two weeks' visit. Gloria had called her o n long-distance, and Miss Kane ended the conversation characteristically by saying "All-ll-ll righty. I'll be there with bells!" She arrived with a dozen popular songs under her arm.

"You ought to have a phonograph out here in the country," she said, "just a little Vic--they don't cost much. Then whenever you're lonesome you can have Caruso or Al Jolson right at your door."

She worried Anthony to distraction by telling him that "he was the first clever man she had ever known and she got so tired of shallow people." He wondered that people fell in love with such women. Yet he supposed that under a certain impassioned glance even she might take on a softness and promise.

But Gloria, violently showing off her love for Anthony, was diverted into a state of purring content.

Finally Richard Caramel arrived for a garrulous and to Gloria painfully literary week-end, during which he discussed himself with Anthony long after she lay in childlike sleep up-stairs.

"It's been mighty funny, this success and all," said Dick. "Just before the novel appeared I'd been trying, without success, to sell some short stories. Then, after my book came out, I polished up three and had them accepted by one of the magazines that had rejected them before. I've done a lot of them since; publishers don't pay me for my book till this winter."

"Don't let the victor belong to the spoils."

"You mean write trash?" He considered. "If you mean deliberately injecting a slushy fade-out into each one, I'm not. But I don't suppose I'm being so careful. I'm certainly writing faster and I don't seem to be thinking as much as I used to. Perhaps it's because I don't get any conversation, now that you're married and Maury's gone to Philadelphia. Haven't the old urge and ambition. Early success and all that."

"Doesn't it worry you?"

"Frantically. I get a thing I call sentence-fever that must be like buck-fever--it's a sort of intense literary self-consciousness that comes when I try to force myself. But the really awful days aren't when I think I can't write. They're when I wonder whether any writing is worth while at all--I mean whether I'm not a sort of glorified buffoon."

"I like to hear you talk that way," said Anthony with a touch of his old patronizing insolence. "I was afraid you'd gotten a bit idiotic over your work. Read the damnedest interview you gave out----"

Dick interrupted with an agonized expression.

"Good Lord! Don't mention it. Young lady wrote it--most admiring young lady. Kept telling me my work was 'strong,' and I sort of lost my head and made a lot of strange pronouncements. Some of it was good, though, don't you think?"

"Oh, yes; that part about the wise writer writing for the youth of his generation, the critic of the next, and the schoolmaster of ever afterward."

"Oh, I believe a lot of it," admitted Richard Caramel with a faint beam. "It simply was a mistake to give it out."

In November they moved into Anthony's apartment, from which they sallied triumphantly to the Yale-Harvard and Harvard-Princeton football games, to the St. Nicholas ice-skating rink, to a thorough round of the theatres and to a miscellany of entertainments--from small, staid dances to the great affairs that Gloria loved, held in those few houses where lackeys with powdered wigs scurried around in magnificent Anglomania under the direction of gigantic majordomos. Their intention was to go abroad the first of the year or, at any rate, when the war was over. Anthony had actually completed a Chestertonian essay on the twelfth century by way of introduction to his proposed book and Gloria had done some extensive research work on the question of Russian sable coats--in fact the winter was approaching quite comfortably, when the Bilphistic demiurge decided suddenly in mid-December that Mrs. Gilbert's soul had aged sufficiently in its present incarnation. In consequence Anthony took a miserable and hysterical Gloria out to Kansas City, where, in the fashion of mankind, they paid the terrible and mind-shaking deference to the dead.

Mr. Gilbert became, for the first and last time in his life, a truly pathetic figure. That woman he had broken to wait upon his body and play congregation to his mind had ironically deserted him--just when he could not much longer have supported her. Never again would he be able so satisfactorily to bore and bully a human soul.