10% "you are old, Maury," he agreed at length. "The first signs of a very dissolute and wabbly senescence--you have spent the afternoon talking about tan and a lady's legs." Maury pulled down the shade with a sudden harsh snap. "Idiot!," He cried, "that from you! Here I sit, young Anthony, as I'll sit for a generation or more and watch gay souls as you and Dick and Gloria Gilbert go past me, dancing and singing and loving and hating one another and being moved, being eternally moved. And I am moved only by my lack of emotion. I shall sit and the snow will come--oh, for a Caramel to take notes--and another winter and I shall be thirty and you and Dick and Gloria will go on being eternally moved and dancing by me and singing. But after you've all gone I'll be saying things for new Dicks to write down, and listening to the disillusions and cynicisms and emotions of new Anthonys--yes, and talking to new Glorias about the tans of summers yet to come." The firelight flurried up on the hearth. Maury left the window, stirred the blaze with a poker, and dropped a log upon the andirons. Then he sat back in his chair and the remnants of his voice faded in the new fire that spit red and yellow along the bark. "After all, Anthony, it's you who are very romantic and young. It's you who are infinitely more susceptible and afraid of your calm being broken. It's me who tries again and again to be moved--let myself go a thousand times and I'm always me. Nothing--quite--stir me." 39% "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." 46% After 15 minutes filled with estimable brilliancies, Gloria appeared, fresh in starched yellow, bringing atmosphere and an increase of vitality. 'I want to be a successful sensation in the movies,' she announced. 'I hear that Mary Pickford makes a million dollars annually.' 'You could, you know.' said Blöckman. 'I think you'd film very well.' 'Would you let me, Anthony? If I only play unsophisticated roles?' As the conversation continued in stilted commas, Anthony wondered that to him and Blöckman both this girl had once been the most stimulating, the most tonic personality they had ever known--and now the three sat like over-oiled machines, without conflict, without fear, without elation, heavily enameled little figures secure beyond enjoyment in a world where death and war, dull emotion and noble savagery were covering a continent with the smoke of terror. 47% Listlessly Anthony dropped into a chair, his mind tired--tired with nothing, tired with everything, with the world's weight he had never chosen to bear. He was ineffectual and vaguely helpless here as he had always been. One of those personalities who, in spite of all their words, are inarticulate, he seemed to have inherited only the vast tradition of human failure--that, and a sense of death. "I suppose I don't care." He answered. 66% A darkling figure, he attained tragedy in leaving the life that had used him so shabbily. Three young gunmen came in one night, tied him up and left him on a pile of coal in the cellar while they went through trunk room. When the janitor found him next morning he had collapsed from chill. He died of pneumonia 4 days later. 71% Anthony's affair with Dorothy Raycroft was an inevitable result of his increasing carelessness about himself. He did not go to her desiring to possess the desirable, nor did he fall before a personality more vital, more compelling than his own, as he had done with Gloria 4 years before. He merely slid into the matter through his inability to make definite judgments. 75% "I want to die," she said, as if moulding each word carefully in her heart. "Dot," he whispered uncomfortably, "you'll forget. Things are sweeter when they are lost. I know--because once I wanted something and got it. It was the only thing I ever wanted so badly, Dot. And wen I got it it turned to dust in my hands." "All right." Absorbed in himself, he continued: "I've often thought that if I hadn't got what I wanted things might have been different with me. I might have found something in my mind and enjoyed putting it in circulation. I might have been content with the work of it, and had some sweet vanity out of the success. I suppose that at once time I could have had anything I wanted, within reason, but that was the only thing I ever wanted with any fervor. God! And that taught me you can't have anything, you can't have anything at all. Because desire just cheats you. It's like a sunbeam skipping here and there about a room. It stops and gilds some inconsequential object, and we poor fools try to grasp it--but when we do the sunbeam moves on to something else, and you've got the inconsequential part, but the glitter that made you want it is gone--" he broke off uneasily. She had risen and was standing, dry-eyed, picking little leaves from a dark vine. "Dot--" "Go away," she said coldly. "What? Why?" "I don't want just words. If that's all you have for me you'd better go." "Why, Dot--" "What's death to me is just a lot of words to you. You put'em together so pretty." 85% His voice faded slowly off, harassed by a fixed and contemptuous stare from his unwilling prey. For another minute he struggled on, increasingly sensitive, entangled in his own words. His confidence oozed from him in great retching emanations that seemed to be sections of his own body. 91% All very rich and racy and savory, like a dish by a provident French chef that one could not help enjoying, even though one knew that the ingredients were probably left-overs. ... Finishing her first drink, Gloria got herself a second. After slipping on a negligee and making herself comfortable on the lounge, she became conscious that she was miserable and that the tears were rolling down her cheeks. She wondered if they were tears of self-pity, and tried resolutely not to cry, but this existence without hope, without happiness, oppressed her, and she kept shaking her head from side to side, her mouth drawn down tremulously in the corners, as though she were denying an assertion made by someone, somewhere. She did not know that this gesture of hers was years older than history, that, for a hundred generations of men, intolerable and persistent grief has offered that gesture, of denial, of protest, of bewilderment, to something more profound, more powerful than the God made in the image of man, and before which that God, did he exist, would be equally impotent. It is a truth set at the heart of tragedy that this force never explains, never answers--this force intangible as air, more definite than death.