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Successful Love .


1938-1958 Vaudeville for a Princess and Other Poems The World is a Wedding Genesis.Books by Delmore Schwartz Summer Knowledge: New and Selected Poems. Book I Shenandoah In Dreams Begin Responsibilities .


Successful Love and other stories by Delmore Schwartz CORINTH BOOKS New York 1961 .

New York 3. "The Fabulous Twenty-Dollar Bill" appeared in Kenyon Review "An American Fairy Tale" appeared in Commentary." "Successful Love" appeared in Avon Book of Modern Writing Number 2. "A . Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 32 West Eighth Street.S. New York 11. New York Printed in the U. 61-14981 Published by corinth books.A. Colossal Fortune" and "The Hartford Innocents" have not been published previously. "The Track Meet" appeared in The New Yorker. 222 Park Ave South. the following appeared originally in Partisan Review: "Tales from the Vienna Woods" and "The Gift.. New York .Copyright © 1961 by Delmore Schwartz Of the stories in this volume. Distributed by the citadel press. inc.

To Sidney Hook and to Robert Penn Warren .


Contents Successful Love page 3 Tales from the Vienna Woods page 37 The Fabulous Twenty-Dollar page 54 Bill The Track Meet page 82 An American Fairy Tale page 99 The Gift page 109 A Colossal Fortune page 118 The Hartford Innocents page 182 .


the soul of kindness. in and Mummy would convince him that they would not be or ill-advised to let their quite the least mistaken attractive daughter go to art school in New York and live in New York City instead of going to college. She was one in a it But it was Mummy who was really keen. she really was. very sophisticated. lot. for he that Susan become a deep-sea diver or a had been under the impression that she . although he did make sour remarks sometimes. million. Something was definitely wrong with career girls and career women. but seventeen was not the bib-and-diaper stage some parents thought it was. She was just seventeen. like New Yorker cartoons. not laugh. She was older than seventeen in the ways of a woman else and the world which was more important than anything for a woman to be if she was a girl. but he certainly did not want her to be a bookworm him City: if even if he did want her to go to college.Successful Love Susan Calhoun thought that Daddy was an old dear. what was to be a girl Daddums was very sweet too. the darlingest dear. Daddy liked to read books a and he was very clever. she understood in 1950. which made you smile. She had overheard by first accident what he had said when Mummy talked to about her going to art school and living in New York less Daddums had said that he would have been surprised Mother had proposed flagpole sitter.

were truly fascinating as Miss Fisher said in the art history course at Miss Beaumont's last year. since she clearly girl. nor like. as it ends in a premature is will tend to because the child the soul of if respectability: she would certainly get married too soon at she were not free of the sense of respectability which living home pre- made cisely unavoidable. he had cut his lives of the painters girl. and was an innocent old- Susan's sense of the opinion of other girls might lead to the same disastrous result. and she was absolutely into marriage. do be patient with me. positively would not rush She was going . like the Rolls Royce. She did too know who ear off because of a beautiful Van Gogh and the was. how had she guessed? Mother's remark left Daddy speechless then. lived in a Mother explained to him that girls at college community almost as much as they did at home. is is a going to have an is no matter what we do. All that we can do affair to keep her from becoming so serious that the marriage. fashioned Susan did not think she was quite as innocent as thought she was. "contemplating a world I never made. she did not think she was at quite the contrary: that she all Mummy certain to see old-fashioned. but since the affair was in the future." Mother said make me then. Mother had paused before telling Daddy that Susan probably wanted to have an affair. nor trust. and about which no one has ever consulted me. trying her hardest to be diplomatic. "Roger. way he always was times you edition of just before he became dreadfully "Some- feel just as I feel when I read the Sunday The New York Times" Daddy said then. nor desired. How had Mother guessed? She was certainly clever and keen.4 SUCCESSFUL LOVE probably thought Van Gogh was a foreign car. She natural lovable and loving child and she affair. which was the sarcastic." And when Daddy wanted to know why a young lady it of seventeen could not have an affair at college as well as at art school in ticularly since New York City and* par- seemed to be quite customary among many college girls. I've given Susan a good deal of thought.

and the man was beautiful too and been seen registering honestly: as But her mother found hotel with a out and wrote her a perfectly awful letter about in a New York how she had man and sisters: what would people think of her and her brothers and if anyone gave a hoot. he understood what it was like to be a girl in 1950. No man who had not lost his marbles expected his bride to be a virgin in 1950. absolutely nothing. Honestly! How could anyone think and talk like that in 1950! Janet did not tell her mother that she had already had a per- fectly glorious affair. one ought not to get married and spoil something which should be inherently beautiful and meaningful. but she did not want to be: if you thought too much about things. bly Janet Ross's father was just like Mother. he took Janet for a drive during Xmas week when and now. Marion and the . But what Mother probameant was that she was not shrewd. too. you never had any fun. If until one really felt like that. but Papa had been quite impossible: he had shouted at Marion right in front of her young man that she seemed to think her father's house was a third-rate hotel. and still did not know that he was behaving as if we were still in the middle ages. Nothing had been going on. like Daddums. a real have an affair pain. not after the way he had been playing around before getting ready to march up the aisle with a member of the fair sex. or just because they did. 5 and be a woman of the world. And Marion Campbell's father had been like Janet's mother. and one felt like that. She was a horror from way back. first term at Fairfield would be to right for her to have an affair she knew how handle but did she? Janet's mother was just the opposite. when Marion brought her young man for a visit to their summer place on the Cape. too. told her that if she was it home from her all it. It was monstrous: and Janet's father was an art critic. if She told Janet that she ought not to even a lot of the other girls did have affairs. nor clever. except a little heavy necking. as Mother truly was. one ought to get married. and a very beautiful one also meaningful.SUCCESSFUL LOVE life first. except worse.

So Susan's desire to live in New York City could mean only one thing. and premature mother- own misfortune. The dear child if had a date with caught in the toils herself. a child. her and throes of a premature marriage (which was likely enough). Now was the time to be intelligent.SUCCESSFUL LOVE young man had been in the fall. She also wanted to go to art school or some kind of school: it was clearly a pretext. but Susan must not perceive that her pretense was transparent. . But Nancy had not expected the next stage so very soon. but been it was too late now to brood about as that. She had terrified terrified by her parents' absence their departure. that necking did get very boring very soon. She had said last summer. wanted to live either in her own apartment or in an apartment with other girls whom she knew slightly. that her beautiful darling lamb of a daughter wanted to have an affair. a date which she would not keep hood. She had always been more of a her daughter Susan baby than most children. and perhaps she had been babied too much. now that Susan wanted to go to live in New York City. it was broken off but no one knew that then: miserel Nancy Calhoun had given a good deal of patient thought to who was seventeen and very pretty and entirely an infant. surprising her mother with an attitude wholly unlike the child. however brief to however great her attachment the servants. secretly engaged too. Which would affair with probably occur she stayed at home and had an one of the boys who comprised the local talent and whom Nancy had been at pains to scrutinize sharply. Nancy wanted to be a more intelligent mother than other wealthy doting parents. Susan was an only child. In 1950 the right kind of affair would not hurt Susan and might help her very much: provided she learned of herself to take care and did not take the if affair too seriously. Motherhood was even more likely.

not a matter of good manners and a glib tongue. he expected the behavior only a native or a veteran needed. It was best so that little it should be in so. And like all fathers and husbands. to ral to be persuaded. It was just barely possible that the dear child had already yielded to one of the young men who . they were natuin the zoo. was more likely that she chosen the great city to provide the young man. it was not at It all probable that she had already chosen her young man. persiflage and flirtation. the animals behavior of the stock market and the necessity of suburban commuting. yet so unworldly. But Roger was entitled and a follies like everyone else. when she knew what she wanted in a man because she had been close enough to know how it was a round-the-clock weeklong yearlong lifelong problem. then when she knew what men were like. Dear Roger! Had there ever been in man so intelligent.. clever. Roger would have would be be quickly ended the end. Like strangers. having seen enough of them.SUCCESSFUL LOVE for Susan 7 would turn to motherhood too soon when astonished bliss of the and disappointed that the forever and ever. in proved unwise. so civilization? much the noble savage wickedness of Intent and intense as Susan had been about far living in New had York City. he . the so foolish. and well-educated. or even deftness in the bed- room. the phenomena to him all like summer. The dear desires man all his wife's and decisions. The best persuasion to present Susan's departure as a trial if it which might assented. insisted upon the masquerade of deference to his paternal position without it any prior or regular attentiveness to his foibles was really tiresome.. like all tourists. It honeymoon did not affairs. persist would be best for her to to have a few Then she would be able keep her date with herself. a plenitude of young men. There would be so much chance and necessity Susan's choice of a husband that the simple lamb could hardly help but benefit by being swamped in variety.

And this was precisely the key to the child: that it might be true. it or merely his paternal all sentimentality. her dear darling daughter was simple and naive. point of view impinged upon him as coldblooded hut perhaps it was merely her and all. that Ralph Cox had come over and asked both of them just exactly what one did when one's daughter began to sleep with innumerable young men? Ben who had two sons and three daughters answered immediately that one club with did nothing: what could one do? Ralph Cox went off shaking his head. tone. eminently respectable. Still was always too easy to be too coldblooded. and there was no sign or difference whatever. silent. to be blunt about it. calculating. and rational about questions of the heart. Ben had spoken to them of his nephew Arthur . profoundly conventional. it was the freedom and the anonymity of New York: would protect her by giving her. Her respectability was her weakness. innocent and old-fashioned. regarded in Nancy's light? It was hardly a year since. Nancy's and calculating. It showed what she was really like.8 SUCCESSFUL LOVE had been taking her to dances during the past year. he certainly about what was like to be a knew nothing whatever now young lady in 1950. Her innocence was partly impatience: she are. she had surrendered. while having a quiet drink at the Ben Stanton. Whether or not she was. But was it a question of the heart. suburb or at a school in a Roger Calhoun thought as a that his wife was probably right about of Susan. If was impetuous too as only the innocent anything would protect Susan from her own impetuous innocence. sexual satisfaction on a regular basis! She could not have in a this arrange- ment with complete impunity small town. he was certainly wrong: since young man he had known nothing of the young lady it the era of his youth. the worst part of her innocence.

I beg your pardon!" Arthur had good friend of Arthur's. fied. The brother requested the tired young man to join his one ever tury. but Roger recognized that the cause was the same: he was equally disturbed by the New Deal and the dalliance of his to daughters. sister in her bedroom." Ben had concluded. nice girls and early in the twentieth century. if not a typical young man.SUCCESSFUL LOVE 9 who was nothing being typical. He had bad also remarked Roger that when they had there known youth. His tone was a little grandiloquent. "We can't halt the course of history. She was profoundly practical and her proposal had a practical purpose: his middle-aged feelings must . said. as it He worked in the to at Now happened Arthur had recently been sister on a week-end house party with his it. mortified. Nancy was probably right about Susan. A young lady was to afraid to hurt the young man's feeling's by refusing into jump into bed with him: she had only one justifiable and acceptable reason for refusing. which showed clearly the conception of family duty and honor which prevailed. the fact that she was jumping bed with some other young man. his When Ben remained dissatis- nephew added that he himself had successfully pursued the sisters of his friends: protest would be preposterous and no felt moved to protest: this was not the nineteenth cenOne chap had been furious because his sister had been left on the hook by her young man who was too tired and too drunk. which was precisely his resigned third comment when Roosevelt had been elected for the and the fourth time. Nancy was not at all unconventional and she would not advocate unconventional behavior on Susan's part. girls: had been had been now the double standard succeeded by open house. he had entered the wrong bedroom (flagrantly delighted! sister in flagrante delicto said Ben caus- tically) with a young man who was a "Oh. and turned and shut the bedroom door carefully and quietly. Arthur had said in an offhand way that no gentleman would act otherwise. Questioned by his uncle. and midst of find his carelessly.

"You send me. reading licking ice he had heard Susan midnight with her beau on the porch first swing. but was ridiculous fifteen. Roger would have been delighted by it in a novel. When the "So long. in a way. purity directly connected with morbidity of feeling. he "Hi!" said Susan. he had apologized to her for listening. you have a beautiful pair of knockers!" the young was beau man declared very soon. When a second during the same week told his daughter that she had quite a milk fund. "Golly. he argued with himself that of speech. supported He had continued to ter's listen. He had to misgivings about Susan's being generous and intimate it with more than one man. as he knew very well. A beautiful pair of knockers a delightful phrase." breathless one of Susan's four beaux avowed on a brilliant . "Hi!" said arrived. him most of all the previous summer when." and Susan chirped: "See you!" Who would have believed that the two had been intimate all evening. said: young man when he young man departed. least.10 SUCCESSFUL LOVE it be mistaken: was much at like the strangeness which had shocked in his study. But his daughthe curiosity in disavowal which astonishment awakened and perplexity intensified him. of speech it was merely a question Among had been the young men of his own generation. uneasy about eavesdropping. the that summer Roger Calhoun had been unable to imagine what the young people found to converse assuming that conversation ever occured. then beginas if ning to spoon with no prelude of flirtation the spooning were part of a mechanical routine. the two of them cream cones. concerned with beautiful knockers and prolonged kisses? After Roger had listened for the first time to his daughter and her beau on the porch swing. his utterance inspired by the concrete- ness of immediate experience. Susan answered him that she did not mind at in the which once reassured and astonished him. to expect her be fixed upon her true love at Doubtless the child thought of herself as trying to be fair and impartial! At the beginning of about.

His youth had been his point of view. and the patient perplexed father that he must entertain the possibility of the wrongness of was most amused when a young lady was a leading character in the story: it was then that she was most likely to declare that the story was not only delirious. The theme of the hotel was popular. knights in mail and clanking armor. "Honestly." the beau began. He had soon remarked that Susan paralyzed by tormented shyness.SUCCESSFUL LOVE 11 summer there night. I am not." Susan and her young man were then mastered by convulsions of mirth. "No." sweetly. I never sleep with Indians!' says the man. "Don't keep me suspended." her witty knight countered. lady." Susan said with heat. a romantic snob. He was what he had been. "clerk asks: 'Want a room with running water?' 'No. send me. impatient and triumphant." the young man said. kind sir." said the young man. get a big kick out Sometimes was a mock clash of egos: taunting and teasing preceded the comparative silence of petting: "You are a complete cluck. "Then neither am and repartee. "Beautiful lady." Susan declared. Roger Calhoun concluded that his feelings were foolish. long since his middle-aged He had way to shuddered." the young man replied conviction of his in a tone of greater heat which suggested a conversation own brilliance of wit During the course of the summer." the beautiful "Man goes into hotel.' says the clerk. "And I you. answered. "arrives at a hotel. you will have to bathe yourself!' felt " Susan was overwhelmed. 'but." Susan responded of you.' 'You can have a room. the I. "You just murder me!" she said on the eve of Labor Day in the course of entertaining the most comical of her young men. Says to desk clerk: 'I would like a room and a bath. the blessed damozel. The young man arrived with jokes as with bouquets or boxes of candy. had you grown more extended and complex. "Wait Susan until hear this one. adoring if outmoded: he let himself go mind would give the expectation that Susan's suitors would arrive on horseback. armed with ardent and courtly poems in the . "So are you. but devastating.

12 best chivalric modes. SUCCESSFUL LOVE He had been angelic sixteen when he first re- gretted that knighthood was in flower no more. Some people were very strange. It must be quite enthralling in the when model posed nude: how did a girl feel when for the time she posed in the beautiful looking straight altogether. though he did not seem strange way: if to mind but smiled at her in a very she had been in the bathroom and he had there. She knew almost nothing like to look at paintings. the devotion and dedication very shy young man. at the purity and unattainable. were not stupid and to sit in a life class stuffy about a girl first it. were interesting people. but she did was most enjoyable. and they knew that making love was one of the most important things in life. angelic and cherubic because she was simple and naive. she would have died right then and instead of smiling in that peculiar way. opened the door. long past fifty. and had interesting parties. it about painting. and now. But she was certainly intrigued with the prospect of knowing artist's painters. Gloria's cousin Phoebe had at shocked her whole family and everyone offered to pose in the school when she nude in the art class one day when the . of a and seriousness. to judge Artists by what she had heard about an life. very clever and but they amusing. revived the mores of his adolescent reveries in which the blessed damozel had infinite looked down from an azure distance. The idea of going to art school in New York City was quite definitely enchanting to Susan Calhoun. in front of so at many men who were life her? She was sure that she herself would be quite embarrassed class merely when she was just a student in a as embarrassed as the and a girl stood nude in front of the class. his daughter's countenance. She would probably be almost first time that she opened the bathroom al- door in Gloria's house and saw Gloria's father urinating.

she definitely patient. the a man more than thirty made love very idea disgusted her. but he was very experienced. it's all to respond. and forgot told Gloria that sex about modeling and all it Phoebe It was not was cracked or stu- up to be. if She would probably vomit to her. her whole belly shook with delicious quivers just shivers. right after the first five because you see that you might just as well be an old wornout sofa to everyone staring at you. But Phoebe said that young . to be her grandfather. She said to Gloria quite seriously that he played her like a piano. and it was credible that any girl not a nympho should hands on her. so of sex at it was for something if Phoebe did not think all several days because she usually thought of nothing else. old enough nursing. at that was how Phoebe had met him: piano He was a pianist and Phoebe claimed that only a man of that age had you while the men of your own age are over practically before you've begun the experience to teach just jackrabbits. Personally Susan herself would rather stay ignorant. Gloria said that Phoebe said that the best thing in a that after way was for the making you did not think of sex felt next few days at least and you good at the full same time.SUCCESSFUL LOVE model did not used to it 13 that arrive. was quite enjoyable but nothing affair. shocking her family Phoebe did get used to the and decided to become a more. But Phoebe changed her mind very rapidly when she had her second this time with a man who practically had one shoulder in the grave. Gloria said that Phoebe said you get minutes. Phoebe and told Gloria. very of energy. and Phoebe's experiences. terrific pendous. almost immediately. nude so quickly that she had her first affair lost interest still nurse. and Phoebe was obsessed with sex and when Susan heard about felt obsessed with sex too. and she hardly knew love like that what she was doing. let a man as old and decrepit as that put his to say nothing of Phoebe's great enthusiasm about him. she all: was not joking lessons. girls at Some in- school said that Phoebe was a nympho. but soon after Phoebe with a middle-aged man all of thirty-eight. good about everything.

She sometimes had too much of but usually she liked close so much that she had had some pretty escapes and nothing really important happened not because she stopped but because the boy stopped. She would give herself exactly three months: at art school first none of the painters her. she was so excited by his kisses. she truckdriver that whistled at would go out and pick up the and she would not tell him the facts to begin with because truckdrivers might be honorable like Southerners too. he had said May I? before he even touched her each time. all and you never found out any- thing from other girls at the bull sessions at school: you did something about pleasing a man. That boy from the South had stopped and said been so that it would be dishonorable not to stop and he had polite. There were eight million human beings in New York City and it was hardly possible that she would not to take find at least one real and attractive man there willing if her on. Susan was intensely piercingly bored with stop: it this having to was an awful nuisance. They were five years older than Susan. Susan was installed in a New York apartment and at art school when the winter term began. no matter what Phoebe it. it just adored necking sometimes. two girls The apartment was inhabited by who were studying art and archetheir apartment. which was the reason that Mother had chosen They . took an interest in her. ology at Columbia. Rita and Consuelo. and which gave all concerned the wonderful unbelievainsisted that ble feeling you never got from necking. Phoebe it necking was nothing: just made you nervous.14 SUCCESSFUL LOVE as little men knew find out as girls did. but not about pleas- ing yourself: which was basically what a it man wanted. Susan said. and the Lord knows he had taken so long to ask permission that she thought she would blow up. believe or not.

"tell me the reason you selected me with I all the beautiful girls and models right in front of your naked eyes. Mr. in a gruff husky voice which was so cute and so attractive that Susan forgot the compliment which she had "I am glad that you did. I'm a man. "I had no reason. been. he had better not her that he had noticed her only because she had gaped at him. powerful-looking shoulders. all week we have long. starry-eyed. to "It's just natural: you're a so girl. but nevertheless had an enormous number of dates." said Tony. looking at his handand thinking he must have a strong physique." He spoke sought. Susan had never before existed in a tinual delight. a tone which thrilled Susan. a cover girl or a Hollywood starlet. "Why in did you ask me her most aloof tone to to lunch. "Call me Tony. Boyd?" Susan asked when they were seated in the lunch- room which he had taken her. one of those guys who have ." the young man said little in a commanding tone." said Susan. eat or we'll starve. judging by his beautiful-looking. I told you. we go to lunch and get acquainted. anyway. She had been afraid that she might get impatient and get involved with her second choice since she had looked at Anthony Boyd rectly in the face all the time in class but he never batted di- an eyelash at her while her second choice kept staring at her as if she were his dream of dreams. "Tony." She glowed.SUCCESSFUL LOVE 15 were highbrows. I'm not to analyze everything all the time." said Susan with a that effort. Since the chick tell be flattered. "whatever your reason may have some face." a "Do had to have to have reason?" said Tony. state of such con- The climax came after only a week at art school when Anthony Boyd who looked like a Greek god except with pitch-black hair asked her for lunch. "Look.

but Susan adored these others traits and thought that some of the must just be jealous because Tony was a real man and very confident and very handsome and the most gifted student. meant she was not a wallflower. the time. she have been. She had long worshiped them from now she knew one of them in person. at the "How about having dinner dutch tonight?" Tony said entrance to the art school. even as a kid in school. Spencer Tracy. mechanics. Tony told Susan during the first week at dinner how he had come to be a painter. but until he was drafted it hadn't occurred to him . but she was too delighted with Tony to refuse and too impatient to play the coquette: anyone would know that Tony at did not fall for that sort of thing. much either. He talked with a Tenth Avenue accent and he had New York slum until drafted by the army. all Susan soon saw Tony almost dinner too." Susan cherished for it this assertion as a compliment of a kind. They thought he was too cocky. they thought he was conceited. the wallflowers who belong on all the wallpaper who all get the over- developed brains: they're fatheads with their fancy talk. at lunch and He was not only very handsome and strong. Susan was afraid that she might seem too eager. All that brainwork is a big waste of time. and gangsters afar. in the flesh. James Cagney. arrogant. gunmen. feeling that the reasons for everything can't do anything else.16 I SUCCESSFUL LOVE keep doing what comes naturally and it just certainly pays off." said in common and felt the same way "It's bet you didn't." said Tony with conviction. Guys who analyze Susan. John stars Garfield. But accent lived in a the tough made him just like George Raft. although so might just as well tech- nically. but he had an absolute confidence in himself which Susan soon perceived was resented by other students. He always liked drawing. far. Humphrey Bogart. all the wonderful who played tough guy in the pictures. and cheeky." "I never liked reading Tony and she had much about "I life. cabdrivers.

like most guys felt most of the time in the service. heard about. the dough. bucks in had won first prize and five thousand a big art show competition. apart from his superb confidence and ambition. "That's for me. where he diddled away for the The magic of being a painter astonished Tony: he had never seen anything like it. no one cares where you come from or how much dough you don't have or if your family did not get a chance to be seasick on the Mayflower: you're an artist. Which the commanding and when the CO. and the funny thing you get so interested sometimes in what you're doing. If that I guy had the commanding kowtowing all him. Besides.SUCCESSFUL LOVE that he 17 in might become a painter himself. you don't make the most of the artist's temperament and hardly ever feel like going on a tear. The guy had been a and had nothing to else to serious painter until drafted. anyway. At the army post I.I. you are you can go anywhere and do anything. if really get a big kick out of painting. was going I be a painter too and get in on the kowtowing. Kansas some other G. so you're it: everyone thinks you're wonderful. or a hipster that it's all charged up: everyone says just the artist's is temperament. told I said to myself when I heard about it. at the I took advantage of the G. and you can act like a dipso on a three-day binge. bill of rights. you are nothing less it: than the cat's pajamas. heard that this well-heeled probably famous bozo was fighting the Axis mainly by peeling potatoes and acting as chauffeur for the Captain's laundry. do with what else was there do with five thousand bucks. that You need talent too. so he bought five thousand simoleons officer worth of war bonds. you're a holy cow. and jumped to chance of getting officer to be a painter to too. he thought it was a disgrace the to the army. and soon had him transferred to duration drawing sketches of the scenes of war. war correspondents corps. But you're a painter. I "As soon as was let out of the army." . deep in the heart of Kansas." he Susan who did not really understand what he was saying.

but after that he did not go much farther than on any other night. But what he said about the artist artist's temperament awakened her hope that as an girl's he would not be impeded by a fault.18 Susan felt let SUCCESSFUL LOVE down by Tony's conclusion. which was enough to make Tony go right ahead before she had the skirt off. and finally she said that she had better take off her skirt. he did not hurry but took his time. Then one night when they were get out of the rain before they got petting in the park there better was a sudden heavy downpour and Tony said they had drowned and how about going back to his rooming house just until the rain stopped. She felt like inviting him apartment because the park was not much good for real policeman might heavy necking. it was her best most expensive one. but she did not ask him for fear that he would think she was bold and forward. someone might pass or a interrupt them. Susan felt like suggesting the apartment again. she assented fervently and joyously. to Central Park after dinner and Susan was not surprised that Tony was wonderful at He was sure of himself. assuring him that she trusted only sorry that she was wearing her best blouse which would probably be ruined. to home that and when Tony took her hesitation as an unwillingness trust herself indoors with him. since Rita and Consuelo might be night. lack of experience. but hesitated at once more. She hardly knew what was happening . but he to the was not too slow. it would be ruined. him and saying she was and skirt They started in where they off had left off in the park and Susan took her blouse which made Tony very and Susan out excited. which was not her Soon enough they were going necking. he just stopped at that point tried to think of what she could possibly do with- making Tony think she was a prostitute or a call girl or a pushover.

"if I "Tony. of Susan's reassurance to left Tony unrelieved. he virgins just all society dames stopped being at the very latest. you would have stopped making to love to me because you are an honorable gentleman. for the word had shocked Tony. Suddenly he handed her blouse and her skirt to her. . it was it was not at all girl at painful." said Susan. paused. were sweet sixteen dearest.SUCCESSFUL LOVE except that over. maybe it made a difference. not even like having a tooth extracted like that said: school had but it did not last long enough. although she remained stretched out resting. but he was in love with her. it it 19 thrilling all was just over too soon. She Tony was shocked I again. marriage in 1950 before making love and going the stopped. but no girl with sense waited until limit. feeling wonderful. and surprised learn that he was a He had long known that society dames were dizzy. Tony's mention of love made Susan think of marriage. told had you was ch flattered a virgin. As she spoke. in bliss Susan lolled as sternly that she should have told Tony stood up abruptly and said him she was a virgin. continued he sat down Tony moved toward upon the the bed. was absolutely marvelous. as she bed and squeezed her hand hard. it was only a bastard wrong thought to start a girl off. He said he hated be a heel. reasoning sweetly. and since he was in love with her." afterglow." Tony was gentleman. Tony pleasure's Susan said. did that. she was such a sweet kid. Susan put her arm she had been sick of being ch (she about his broad strong shoulders and said that he ought not to feel like a heel. "Oh I don't full when they mind. but she wanted to be a true before settling woman of the world down to marriage and babies. although he himself had just said bastard). and she sat up straight and told Tony that although she loved him with all her heart she did not want to get married until she of age: was at least twenty-five years she hoped that he was not shocked. dearest. deliciously drowsy.

condemning them as snobs. They were contemptuous of Tony because of his Tenth Avenue accent and Tony detested them. and bushwah before you were in. pledges the rest of the made no difference to her just as she said. pleased. and if he had not knocked her up. intimate she . He said that they better not get excited all over again until they took the proper precautions. of forever. was so much fun to at the apartment. Susan was soon troubled by the inconvenience and discomfort of making love in a rooming house. Suddenly Tony stood up. She wanted to begin again. it When Tony her stay wake up with him as if they were an old married couple. She had to have an apartment of her own and she would tell her parents that she did not like Rita and Consuelo.20 SUCCESSFUL LOVE but not dizzy enough to dismiss the loss of their sweet treasure so lightly. no one but a bastard would break in a girl. Susan. but he had not known about it and maybe it demanding no big build-up. Tony might have stayed with her all night in her room night for the first time. but Susan did not want those two to know how was with Tony: it was her own private romance which they were utterly incapable of understanding. disappointed. smiling. she asked a sexy kid if she would see him tomorrow that she night. his thoughts passed across his Susan moved nearer Tony as face slowly like Fifth Avenue buses lumbering forward. and soon delighted when Tony said and she sure was going to was certainly see him tomorrow night. was nevertheless to Tony was thoughtful and wanted just protect her. As they left. it was probably all right. But she' was a sweet kid. but she did not want Tony to think that she was insatiable. She did not like to felt all have to get dressed and go home at midnight when she let divinely sleepy and also cuddly. which was certainly true enough. No matter what she said. to be sure.

to I like Greenwich Village very much. how dumb woman get? . five They were disturbed when she took it practically after coming through the door and Susan was her own. "I Dark. She was very worldly but sometimes you would never know Mother thought. But am sure that my daughter will take good care of your belongings and your books. The slightest middle-aged couple who sublet it to her were going to Europe. Whatever the man said in answer. But I want to be sure they are removed gently. she to come after her with and she acted guilty to wondered why. kept it up: he was a professor of philosophy. daughter has taken your apart- am very glad that my ment. Susan found a cute little apartment in Greenwich Village near Washington Square Park." said Nancy Calhoun." Mother said live there myself. "I would like to is high time for the cellophane wrappings to be taken off my daughter. She was not doing anything which it she herself regarded as wrong. so. I feel that it him. just it. Mother spoke them at the phone in the foyer and her voice was very "I clear. Susan is only seventeen: will she be quite safe?" Sometimes Mother made the dumbest most humiliating remarks to total strangers. Susan saw that Daddums was listening too lift although he did not his head from the paper. the husband had then." could a worldly and clever Honestly. She was so scared that she left it. but the Lord knows what he must have "Oh. whatever that was. was hard stupid! understand being ashamed and feeling guilty: how She went home for the weekend and on Sunday morning Mother called the couple who were subletting the apartment. While Father was reading the Sunday New York Times with a sour look upon to his face and Susan was assembling her records. Professor I am a little concerned about the neighborhood. minutes they afraid might have guessed the reason she wanted an apartment of without the key.SUCCESSFUL LOVE 21 Her mother agreed to let her get an apartment without the murmur or comment.

" she said to Tony when she called nothing like "Take a hot shower. I'll be right down. greeting her. and had fashioned a turban about her head. he must be making some sour sarcastic remark to himself about Mother making her life child seem like a pack of Chesterfields. She was in so much of a hurry. 'Tm him. Susan. and she knew Father. "A nice dump!" he declared. New York City and moved to the apartment which would be her very own. in to inspect the bedroom. "Relaxes you: it. had taken a hot and cold shower and was wholly refreshed. She felt bushed: she was eager to see Tony. Hat- boxes and shoetrees stoop. kissing her nose and glancing about. from her hands all she mounted the and when it was in the apartment. but so exhausted by her haste that she hardly felt strong enough to room floor rejoice with him in her own apartment. "You look like a harem dame!" said Tony. it Susan looked about the living room and saw that shoes. dressed in her dressing gown. hurting his as feelings. a bath the living was an awful mess: mat and Harper's Bazaar scattered upon and upon the studio couch against the wall." there's When he appeared. He sprawled upon the large low double bed. testing the mattress by bouncing up and .22 SUCCESSFUL LOVE if Father had heard every word. obedient." said Tony. just plain bushed. "Good enough" and went down upon it. laundry. she was so impatient to get moved that she helped Susan took lots more of her things to with the help of the family chaffeur she the chauffeur to carry fell in things. Father was not supposed to know everything about his daughter's private to all lengths the night before to art and Susan had gone feel make him him that she adored going to school: she told that she knew a student probably as gifted a who had been in the army and was painter as Van Gogh.

"What you father will can't you might as well back. dearest." said Susan." said Tony. She had nice her father's photograph upon the small bureau which faced the bed. dearest." said Susan. continuing that my at come to stare the photograph "It just and ignoring Susan who was now gives entirely stripped. who's that guy?" he "Oh. As she turned the consecration aside of upon the bed to take off her robe. gaped him. he thrust his arms toward her. "But Tony.SUCCESSFUL LOVE 23 He which closed his eyes in the mimicry of slumber and snoring signified profound pleasure. unclipping her bra. that's said. me a funny feeling. Roger Calhoun's studio photograph itself was one in which self-consciousness showed gloom of expression. "All that Daddums wants all is for me to be happy. and eagerly. but old it said Tony. at charmed." fashioned. gladly. standing between the folding doors. "when the can't see him: you the you're superstitious! like a "You faced death brave hero when you were in . drawing her white slip her head and kicking off her shoes. the house might be consummated Tony sat up." "Oh you silly!" said Susan." light is out. as a solemn over "He is very sweet. "Hey. "He looks like a guy. that's what they stop say. tense." "Tony. "Wait a minute. that fully. are you scared looking for you with a shotgun?" "Nah. awkwardly. too ab- sorbed in the movement of the immediate present toward the immediacies of the immediate future to heed Tony's troubled tone." "Sure. set Daddy." said Tony. She leaped toward the bed and fell into his embrace playfully." said Susan." said Tony as he arose and examined Susan's father. Opening his eyes as Susan. "You know I'm not old- makes me feel a little peculiar to have your man staring straight at me when I'm making love to his daughter.

would like to eat you." just hyperbole. Mr." said Tony. said Susan. let's talk. my sweet harmless father's picture gets you in a tizzy. "but that way. feeling heavy and sleepy. making love. just a cute trick?" said had been quickly hurt. "You're the most beautiful lived who ever anywhere!" said Susan. girl "You're the most beautiful in the whole world. The idea his morbid thought of Tony had suggested death and then of her own death to eating .cake." said Tony. "now us talk. kissing "Oh Tony. jumping back into bed.24 SUCCESSFUL LOVE in the tone of recitation." "As you wish. army." let said Susan sometime later moving to one side. "I'm peculiar some way. all I "Is that feelings am. certainly not me." said Tony. that one must but was unable to express the first vernacular and unexpurgated form. gracious "You're a real honey. Anthony Boyd. ate you're so sweet." culiar in "Yup." and playful." she added as Tony turned the photograph face down." She told Tony how to a girl she who wanted sentiment in "Sure. him for the nobility of his I "Oh Tony. Her Tony coyly. She tried its knew said to her boy friend. my lord and master. teasing her." died tonight?" said Susan." "You can't eat your cake and have it too!" said Tony in a judicious tone." said Susan. turning out the light. so just skip the discussion and keep the picture down: maybe I'll get used to it after a while. go to sleep after hold a conversation. "Oh Tony. immediately. but if I you I would not have you tomorrow. "What should we talk about?" "You "Did decide. and no one is let's Everyone is pe- perfect." said girl Tony. "Now. I ever tell you that you are a pretty cute trick?" said Susan sadly. thinking of himself as a chocolate . "what would you do of if I suddenly the her. reaching for Susan.

how can you be Susan. "now that know that that's you want me to do. "That's a good idea. merely because all was dead. But it died. but he was now wholly possessed by which he made breathless escapes from the police over apartment house roofs: he hardly heard Susan's allusion to marriage. Tony. then if so cruel and unfeeling?" said "How can you?" She would have burst into tears right felt she had not so wonderful. "I would beat it the hell out of here in no time at all. I think that tell would only be right for you that to go to my parents and to them after you once loved me very much and hoped lot of marry me you became a famous painter and had a money. I "I would not want you I to kill yourself. hold your I mother's hand. what "Sure I would. "She asks I me question and give her an absolutely hypothetical answer and then she gets sore! until the What do you expect me to do." . remaining bemused. but willing to discuss the question in the lucid light of reason. Tony dearest. and loved you. nor would expect you to live as a bachelor if I alone for the remainder of your days.SUCCESSFUL LOVE 25 Tony sat upright in bed. as he were speaking of Susan an absolutely hypothetical a third person." said Tony. "Oh Tony. stick I around an cops grab me for questioning to and decide that poisoned like you or something." said Tony. hardly mollified by his answer. "That's what I will do if you die: I will go to the funeral." said Susan. and fry "No." tell your mother and father how much "Would you dearest one?" really?" asked Susan." Tony answered. startled by the serious turn the conversation had taken unexpectedly. images of pursuit in the allusion to marriage might have made Tony careful. "Would you I really." Under ordinary circumstances. if "What to a girl!" said Tony. and have go to the chair.

He had winced weeks after hearing his wife speak of his daughter's cellophane wrappings. he . going from the large living room through the small kitchen to the bedroom in back. Tony had fallen asleep while she spoke. sending him for Susan's sketchbooks. for he had grown accustomed surprises. like the inhabitants paternal the shocks and who for live shadow an active volcano. telling him that the child might be afraid fall behind in her art classes." "I will kill myself!" she insisted with passion. reasoned and restored." said Susan. Anthony Boyd. woman. "I don't want to live without in black. I don't want to be a sad-looking I widow I Not only Mr. should think that would make some slight difference to you to know that am not going to live after you're dead and in the grave six feet under — Susan paused. to in was of new. violently sitting up. to Having unlocked the double lock which his wife had installed guard Susan against rape. and asleep curled up near him like a kitten. don't care what you do after am dead! What difference does make to me when I am nothing but a cold corpse." 26 SUCCESSFUL LOVE "If you died. sion of her sentence when she began I it "My God. But the past now possessed a primitive and illusory character. At the threshold of the bedroom. Susan had for the to come home week-end with a sore throat and Nancy had until she persuaded her she would remain was well. "I would myself!" she said. She had not anticipated the concluit. fell Susan kissed his forehead gently. Roger Calhoun's truly first visit to his daughter's first apartment It quickly resulted in a new experience of astonishment. the patient father followed the urge of natural curiosity and walked through the entire apart- ment. He was snoring in his strong and manly way." I said Tony. but kill still fascinated by the drama of death. it you and that. "don't do that.

She had also circled circles Many occurred in the chapter which the authors his dealt with judging the other sex with exactitude: warned against judging anyone when dressed best. stood on the dresser. and her father was pleased that she had been taught the sign note well. often wholly deceptive: appearance was not a reality. per- haps. reading of Successful Love. It was one thing But was to it for a young lady of seventeen to have an affair. and passages of the trip. possible for a simple in and natural child at like Susan engage an affair in this very double bed with her father's image staring directly down her? If Susan were a special and complicated creature.B. making . but it was not a secret book. A new emotion succeeded curiosity. But she was an old-fashioned girl. It was best to judge those to whom one was attracted not in the evening. written by a father and a son and dedicated to the wife of the father and mother of the son. when they were not dressed up nor intent upon making a pleasing impression. fulfilled. little simple and natural. It Roger Calhoun to saw a book appeared be a serious handbook on love and marriage. self-conscious too. and a Upon the desk where Susan's sketchbooks were. entitled Successful Love. facing the long low double bed. Surely Nancy was wrong about Susan's desire for an apartment. would make marriage successful. but in the morning. which. The journey from Pennsylvania Station to the Long Island suburb where he lived took an hour and twenty minutes. removed from all images. conventional and respectable. at Miss other passages. He hesitated a little about borrowing it. incidents. solemn and posed. it was public domain. Susan had circled in the morning. and during this time Roger Calhoum rode in a tunnel of absorption. Susan had marked certain passages N. at in Sunday at a party or at a dance. Such occasions were best misleading. after the dance or in the class- room.SUCCESSFUL LOVE 27 stopped short: his own photograph. The authors undertook married to advise both the unmarried and on the requirements. Beaumont's school.

Overwhelmed by mind. like if commandments. Roger Calhoun saw that the dangers of petting and necking had been summarized in an italicized sentence: "In petting there is no Mason-Dixon line. and as the it. Returning to the book. Petting might lead privation auto-eroticism in excess. the before white gates. it Nothing whatever was wrong with auto-eroticism in point: the authors were so determined to was not injurious in a physical sense nor depraved from a moral stand- make this clear that they stated their view in rules or italics and numbered sentences. subtlety and delicacy which seemed Roger Calhoun unexampled. had been used at least fifteen times and Roger Calhoun thought it might be linked in the authors' minds with the word. ficult To this intimate and dif- theme the authors addressed a to tact. he reflected with pleasure that in petting there Bull Run. The train paused at a station: cars at a crossing waited The word.28 her father wonder if SUCCESSFUL LOVE she had seen the inescapable implication of the discussion. such prac- The amorous habits and patterns by means of which autoeroticism was performed might hinder or prevent the supreme joys of marital love. before breakfast. solo or manual. that perhaps the best time to judge another human being was It in the morning. in petting there is a a Gettysburg." This sentence struck the father as a stupendous piece of wit. itself. Petting and neckto ing were inseparable from the mastery of auto-eroticism. which in turn suggested a night in bed with the person in question? was quite logical that the next chapter should be devoted to petting and necking: the choice of a partner raised the question of the propriety of petting. it set off vivid echoes and versions in his into the falling is train triphammered eastward evening. there were grave psychological risks tices. an encounter which . automobile. They continued by declaring in that there were no physical or moral reasons to refrain from autoeroticism. auto-eroticism. but might also lead to an imprudent excess. vehicle which clearly was the theater of much petting and necking.

of physical of the Babe Ruth New York Yankees had been the greatest slugger of all times: he had hit more home runs than any other baseball player. out daily or weekly in street brawls and scenes violence in the sanctity of a church. glanced his wrist watch: how own much home? farther in the brave new world of 1950 would he go before getting to the sanctuary and ancient castle of his Fifteen minutes of sheet-lightning revelation remained: felt he had not as he now felt since he had last taken gas. pausing. as Roger Calhoun soon saw in the chapter devoted to the causes of marital conflict.SUCCESSFUL LOVE is 29 ruinous and indecisive. Stalingrad. although no human being was it perfect. a Verdun. he had struck out far more often than he had hit a homer. also vicious and destructive. suffered tions. many a Caesar Rubicon. and Hiroshima. There is a Marne. a V-E Day. when an impacted wisdom tooth had been extracted from his jaw. Pearl Harbor. Neither war nor love were joking matters. but he had also struck out more times than any other athlete. failure. . neither the authors nor the readers. There must be a phase comparable to the fall of France. and divorce. but since one person cannot be everything. at Roger Calhoun. of love must have said that he had just crossed the many an Empress must have mourned a Pyrrhic perceived that in petting an empire had been overthrown. One of the chief causes of these disasters or catastrophes in other was the tendency to expect perfection human beings. was the prey of an ungovernable temper which broke greatest genius. a Chateau-Thierry. because the most gifted human being. a D-Day. and is may very will lead to a Gettysburg Address. in 1927. the from extraordinary defects and limitaThus Johann Sebastian Bach. a V-J Day. must be an Alsace Lorraine. there If just as surely an Austerlitz and a Verdun. or victory. and what is more. one of the truly great musicians. a Rome had begun as there to fall. The expectation was was natural.

the meaning to of unity. I mean his mother?" it His wife took the book from him and placed in her lap. shifting gears. squeamishness deserved the utmost condemnation: modesty of any kind was a mockery of the beauty of marriage. Success was desirable." kissing her hus- lightly. haggard. pathological inclinations. Too much love. "Susan's book. failure and divorce: was not alcoholism. "Successful Love. respect showed itself chiefly as squeamishness in making all Once the marriage had been consumated. the said Roger Calhoun it a hoarse voice. As the suburban train shuffled last and slowed the station. By a father and son. their wife." said his wife. children console: but there was no real substitute for true respect." such. "How band are you. "Did you know. and circled was caught by a sentence which Susan had it four times: "Although the is not ordinarily thought of as such. "that although is not ordinarily thought of as mind is the first of the erogenous zones?" I "Dear Roger. Dedicated to No. nor any of the other reasons frequently cited in court. in gentle and curious. dear?" said Nancy Calhoun. Yet if too little respect was catastrophic. Roger Calhoun took a his gaze glance at the book on love. he dismounted slowly from the train. mind is the first of the erogenous zones." said Nancy Calhoun. kindness assuage.30 Successful Love conflict. The true cause was at once simple and complicated: husband or wife." he said. it was lack of respect for the other person. dazed. waving vaguely to his wife who awaited him in the old coupe. the oneness of husband and wife. "You look as if it had left you stunned. infidelity. SUCCESSFUL LOVE next analyzed it the chief cause of marital cruelty. the presence of too much respect might also be disastrous." see nothing wrong with that . money might help. bending to the car door and taking the wheel." Rising from his seat. "You look a little He motioned incoherently to the book in his hand.

at in Rome. It was ridiculous milk before except that girls were like that and cried about it spilt was spilled. ." said Roger Calhoun. partly as a result of the special training he had acquired and partly by accident. Tony was recalled partly because of his age. Although at first. Not for a split second did would be killed in Korea: his actuality Tony suppose that he whole being suffused him with a sense of his own and hence immortality. Susan the armed herself vows and sentiments customary on such occasions. He and Susan had been so preoccupied with each other that they hardly knew there was Tony was recalled a war in Korea." Out of the unpredictable and veritable." said Susan. preoccupied with his own emo- "but don't stay too long. When with all the time to say farewell neared. bursting into tears of sorrow and pride. by the army. mild.SUCCESSFUL LOVE 31 remark. or else you will no longer feel at home home. and his draft board's problems. disregarding his wife's question. one Tony about soon told his dearest sweetheart that one must be a man must place one's duty oneself to one's country first. do as the Romans do. in the mist of the and serene summer of their happiness and joy. Did you think the book was not a good book for Susan?" "When tion. literal blue. heartfelt avowals a little Tony found her trying. Susan was grief-stricken and Tony was annoyed these matters. resembling a funeral he had once attended. His avowals were not smug and platitudinous because they were enunciated in a Tenth Avenue accent. to one must not feel exempt from a man's duty his country as a loyal American citizen just because one was a painter. All that she said took it for granted that he was practically dying or dead or was probably going to get killed or at least crippled for life. "You are a hero.

Suspecting a pornographic or recondite meaning. which made She had to it difficult him to follow Susan." said Susan when she arrived at an understanding of the sentence. the mind is the first of the erogenous zones" had perplexed Susan and Tony as well. "It sure is. Now. "and in view of the fact that in love with we full are very much else one another. He had grinned at Susan. I "Although never thought of it as such. they had consulted the dictionary and sought out the meaning "although — of erogenous. how- ever intense the temptation. compelled by her emotions to a hitherto unexercised ingenuity of mind. sweetly serious. in this tragic hour of farewell and departure." said Tony. The sentence which had much impressed Roger Calhoun it is ordinarily not thought of as such." said Susan. She had arrived while rereading Successful Love (returned by her father without her being aware it had been borrowed). Susan. When at last he understood. had concluded with a new version of the sentence sexy the mind was.— 32 SUCCESSFUL LOVE On the night before Tony's departure. She wanted it to tell Tony her for them thoughts. "the . "The mind is very sexy. fidelity Susan swore that she would be faithful to her dearest heart and she expected him to be faithful to her. charmed. the great question of arose. Susan had thought a lot about fidelity. wondering why such thoughts were not stated in plain English. is about how "Since the mind the first most sexy zone. She did not think that to would be difficult be faithful to each other since they truly loved at this conviction each other. our minds are so of thoughts of to each other that we cannot possibly be attracted in a sexy anyone way." Fidelity for had never preoccupied Tony. grinned so widely that Susan to ask him what he was grinning about. make herself clear in vivid physical detail." said Tony. he was very pleased.

reading it again and again. And now the mind had been discussed itself. very pleased. made Susan lonesome and The apartment made her and desire. with them she would She returned into the to their at least not be alone all the time. "and did not figure out. with so much pleasure that the disregarded body asserted Silently. think of Little Tony the time. "and anyway "Well I dearest. making love with the most intense tenderness. little menage. fear. letters and visited her own dear apartment only to look for from Tony. stretched out upon the bed. with pain. is I if I were not so much it would not have been able to figure I out: love an inspiration!" am just as it much in love with you. in love with you. She took his first letters bedroom of their love and lay down upon the bed. disrobed as under a spell. departure felt all immediately all and she worse the time. But at last. thinking of Susan's letters to letters disregarded all personal sentiments except for love and described army life kisses at the end. reaching and surrendering to each other as if for the duration of eternity. more interested in thinking about the truth that love assured fidelity. in a hush inspired by love at once sacred and profane. Tony were full of declarations of love which concluded with the mind as the guardian of fidelity. unashamed of the hot and bitter tears which rolled down her how strong." said Susan modestly. Tony's face. sharpened and intensified by the drama of departure and separation. He and his a boastful unself-conscious way. Tony's blue. as she liked Rita and Consuelo. they went to the bedroom." "You helped me. hypnotized or drugged. sensual sweetness and jubilant joy. you did!" in the question of credit very Susan was not interested she was far much.SUCCESSFUL LOVE heart is 33 you're a pretty cute the first of the sexy zones." said Tony. longing. And chick to figure all this out by yourself. handsome and brave Tony was. own feats in when Susan's of dedi- declarations of eternal love had reached a new summit .

Fig Newtons. He was going by train to San Francisco the next It day. containers of ice cream. and have do something about This was the closest he had ever come to a proposal of marriage. bath. Going north from Wall Street. because the dear child might not have tidied up properly. and Ritz crackers. he questioned the digin nity of his mission. at which some were unable to converse before gulping four martinis and from which Roger Calhoun withdrew overcome by taedium vitae and a contempt for this world to a gymnasium or a Turkish crushed paper napkins were all over. living room and bottles the kitchen were ridden by the ruins of a party: of ginger ale. and root beer. conscious that he wanted to find . he thought. and jars of pickles." he wrote to her. jars of jam. boxes of Cheese-its. be back it. was not likely that he would come back very soon across the Pacific Ocean. Pepsi-Cola. as his daughter's love nest. dirty dishes and The children must have had a veritable bacchanalia. and soon after to Japan and Korea. There was no point." no time at all. however. Roger Calhoun visit to made his second what he regarded. SUCCESSFUL LOVE Tony answered to in a way which would he left give the kid something States.34 cation. I'll then as soon as in we get this Korea cleaned up. in a taxi at times. it being about pompous The or disingenuous about when his curiosity youth in 1950 continually mounted. "if you really mean what feud in we'll you said to in your last. 10 Requested by his wife to look at the apartment which his daughter had ceased to occupy. He went to the bedroom. hang onto after the continental United "Beautiful chick. which had to be compared to the cocktail parties of his own generation.

solemn and posed.SUCCESSFUL LOVE something. It was Tony's communication before departing for proposal of marriage. he to acute relief that there appeared be no need He place. without knowing why. She was It with a very spruce-looking young man. The bedroom was the more extreme than kitchen and Hying room. he thought of the restoration of coffee. his letter. before dinner. Gazing and nervous exhilaration of the hurried hour after work and great avenue in the sparkling. Kicking one of his daughter's dispersed shoes by accident. seated himself on a backless stool at the end of the soda fountain counter. The framed photograph was the the only form of order: disheveled bed resembled the dirty snowdrifts in a city street four days after the worst blizzard of winter. as she so often was. left. and saw his daughter Susan at a distance. a delightful suspicion of his own misgivings. The presence of his face sustained a mild modest pleasure. unable to think of what it 35 was. meet the young man. He must go before she saw him. It was not precisely a it expressed genuine affection and sympathy. He saw it instantly. seated so that she could not see him. went to the first drugstore. brushing the dust from last with a coat sleeve. staring down upon his daughter's bed of sin. was very awkward. Yet. Nancy would have to send the servants to clean the It She had been right again. assuming that he was capable so distant to the of recognizing those sentiments in life a generation felt from himself and the he had lived. but surely Korea. Susan was succeeding in at . He grateful young man. to certain that he felt had been kind to Susan. own heel trod it upon what appeared to be a discarded it He picked up. at the brittle glitter would be difficult to get a taxi unless he walked to Fifth Avenue. glancing at the dresser where his studio photograph presided as before. Perhaps he ought of youth his to if doubt his doubts about the morality and conduct he took pleasure in the innocence which permitted in the intimacy of his daughter's in a state of disorder photograph bedroom.

and talking with much pay intensity to the his young man. "there I is no Mason-Dixon line." If said mind the I first of the erogenous zones. as one mastering something be memorized. But it is oneself far simpler was also true that the simple were extremely complicated. jungle of innocence. one than one often supposes. will explain what that means to you you — Roger Calhoun left as if he were making an escape from a penitentiary and from a period of history. to "In petting." said the young man in a tone clipped and in- timidated. He felt entirely lost in the terror and . drinking her malted milk. might be true that most human beings are much simpler than one commonly supposes them to be." so. He did not want to sucIt know how long it would be before the spruce young man in the first of the ceeded Susan's true love erogenous zones." she said sternly and slowly." not forget or think that am holding out on you and being mean." 36 SUCCESSFUL LOVE once munching her sandwich. You must "Maybe later. his Pausing to check and feeling back was turned to his daughter as the cashier changed his ten-dollar bill. "the just give it is not ordinarily thought is such. furtive. me a chance. "but you have to make up your mind of as sooner or "Although Susan. and in the interval he heard what his daughter was saying to her new young man.

or the conto himself. have more fun than real people." said Tobias Simon the restaurant bar where he called had been only once before. entering It my strength. was The Vienna. When bloomed "I first been there. in pursuit of The walls were decorated by nymphs. and in back. John Hepburn and The White Horse Tavern My father told me and he told me That marriage is true the mystery of joy: But other mysteries my father knew He kept from me because I was a boy — "If only viction of I had the strength of my conviction. the slow warm revery which him as he nursed his second drink had been broken by the loud and jubilant voice of a drunken tossing her head in an effort at bravado girl departing. Woods. there was a dimly lighted cavelike room known he had in as the Grotto. dance floor. and bar. nude and each other.Tales from the Vienna Woods To James Hamilton. and gaiety. behind the dining room. For she had been taunted by some of the men tried to at the bar and she had to answer them by accusing them of not being able ." she said boastfully.

my father threw Mass" Gabriel said. "I was born in Boston teen. "When I was sixme out of the house for running after women. at a table called to Gabriel. so that clearly she was know how to conceive of girl as an effective insult. . a young man who looked at once seedy and boyish. and then I came back here. He saw that it was. or people who drank less than she did. He was big and almost fat and he had a broad heavy face." said a customer at a table near the bar.38 TALES FROM THE VIENNA WOODS to insult speak English. asking for A customer two Tom Collinses. hoping a that she would be there again. brushed back his thick the flat mop of hair with of his hand. Japan. for they were not foreigners. and France. His remark. had been directed at Tobias. for he had often thought since that night of what she had said and wondered if it were really true that she had more fun than real people. "You ought to get bigger bottles so that you will have enough to spill. which was the meaning of the insult. "Are you twenty-one?" Gabriel in the evening. called out to the gray-haired at ten o'clock middle-aged ladies who had just ordered Martinis The ladies who looked like schoolteachers were delighted so much by this gallant query that they blushed. an opening gambit. Tobias thought of the drunken he walked through the little restaurant and into the Grotto. I've had more women than you have hair on your head!" Tobias. I went to Australia. Gabriel looked sharply at Tobias to make sure that the question was a friendly one. impressed. "Where are you from?" Tobias asked Gabriel. China. as he began to prepare He poured it the gin into a jigger with a false aplomb. and they were speaking English too drunk to to her. I was in World War One. spilling get them yourself!" said Gabriel over each time. "Go them. But her intention was so clearly them with a random accusation that they merely laughed at her. "I've been everywhere and I've seen everything." said Gabriel the bartender. England.

She wore a that she tight red dress which declared her plumpness and her roundness." she said without turning to look at the generous customer. It was clear that she was drunk and it was soon clear was angry. Greek.TALES FROM THE VIENNA WOODS "You're right. The customer at the table near the bar called if out and asked her he could buy her a drink. too old. in the he bought me two drinks. "What do you want me silks to prove?" Gabriel thought that his and his suits were radiant. "and then am going over there and impress those A tall plump girl came in and sat down on a bar stool. But let me I you something. But I will build it up again. but in a gentle tone." he continued." said Gabriel. they looked bored and disappointed forever. self-evident things like dia- monds. The women used to come here in droves. "They killed this place when I went away. speaking to Gabriel who had park. "I had a great personal following here." he continued as turned to he had not stopped. down by day I the army." I am going to have two quick ones. "This bar has not been wiped since Noah built the Ark." "What are you trying to prove?" asked Tobias. fellow bought let's me a drink. "Here tell am." I'll tell 39 the He looked at the wetness and decided to ignore it. "I don't want anyone to buy me "A a drink." said Gabriel to I Tobias. "That's a good idea. was a slow and empty Monday evening. this wear silk underwear and have a hundred suits. "forty- five years of age. And you see the way it is now." he remarked just in general. and then he says this ensign at the go sit meet checkroom in the Ritz where ." It Two in well-dressed women who looked like unhappy wives came and sat at a table near the juke box and in the lurid light of the juke box. Then he served if the two drinks he had made and I returned to Tobias. "Now dames. He'll jump at the idea. I just returned to the bar.

"Maybe just the ensign did not to to kick you in the face." said Emma all she were answering the of questions once and for justice and making an exact statement and originality. so drinks and he wants to to him. He wanted have some fun and he just thought you wanted to have some fun. I could see the look in his face." said Emma. I was hurt once and don't intend to he hurt again. It is done the time. and stepped right into the his thoughts. Sorry. "he sit in meant no harm. all Emma. Why should you be different? How was he to know as that if you were different?" all "I hate men. wrong number. "I come from know some pretty girls." But Emma. unable to think of anything else to say. "How just about a girl?" said Paddles the trumpeter who had the dance floor. Or do you hate girls too?" "I don't like girls either." taxi and drove off. Let me buy you a drink and take you to we go to have dinner. "They're fighting for their country and they're lonesome.40 I TALES FROM THE VIENNA WOODS work and he says." "Not want all the time. Not me." "What do you want reasonable." "Sure. "I just like myself. "the cab driver said I was a deadhead when told him." said Tobias. him there with "All he wanted was to be friendly. You picked I wrong customer I time. Nice people get kicked in the face. to We were just on the corner near the cabstand. Let's go sit in the park: imagine that! Two dinner. rocking slightly." in a tone of "What are you after. Be Emma. so leaving said him." said I I the guy buy you dinner. and then he says. then don't "Listen. . nuns?" said Gabriel. "Friendly!" said the girl. and we have another drink. or at least be polite. Everyone goes to the dark. "He wanted to be too friendly. anyway?" asked Gabriel condemnation." said Gabriel." said Tobias. the I said this don't like that. these guys to be. 1 sit in the park. If let you don't want to play house. brother.

" lighting a cigarette. "I hate men." "If I had what you have. get my teeth fixed. Emma." said Emma. who was thin and balding. taking a big gulp and dollars." said Paddles. said Emma. "How about buying me to to a drink?" she said to Tobias. sipping a beer." "No one can have "Buy your own irritation. just one thing. surrendering to Gabriel his But Tobias nodded who proceeded for. herself also by adopting the tone of "My fiance ." said Paddles. meaning I'd $: in hoc signo vince. have it. but perhaps should have occurred to her. "don't you think you let yourself in for this? You could have told the ensign that life." all the dollars I wanted.TALES FROM THE VIENNA WOODS "I want some dollars and then said I 41 want some more dollars. mix said a highball for Emma. had what you have. They just want one thing." "I would rather pay. "I don't expect you to understand that there is something higher in Emma. "I would get nothing. "Now look." "What else is there?" said Paddles." said Emma. and then you would have had no trouble. why I they look fine. take care of my want to die with all my own as teeth in if my head. drinks." said my Emma." said Paddles he had not made teeth fixed for almost the same remark before. I "Baby. money anyway?" "What "To are you holding on to your Gabriel as he gave her the highball. She looked bemused as "I such a course had not occurred to her." said you were going to dinner just for the conversation. "because I I always have them fixed by an expensive teeth because dentist. am engaged to be married." said Paddles patiently." said Gabriel. in a smirking tone but with a deadpan face." "if Emma. pained and disdainful." she said." Emma felt caught in the if toils of this reasonable suggestion. "One hundred and twenty "Your "That's teeth look fine. striving to defend respectability.

" "The guy would be "Is that so!" said better off dead. When you're lonely. you're sorry for yourself. all "I bet you can. he said. over "You may be His tone was sud- denly conciliatory." said Gabriel. because been badly hurt. He stayed up all night with me fell in the hotel and kept did not get back to the ship because he asleep. enraged. you love to you. "but I self half a glass of can think of a lot of things that are worse than being lonesome. out of "Oh "It's no." lonesome.42 is TALES FROM THE VIENNA WOODS quartermaster on the Lafayette." Gabriel admitted judiciously. you pity yourself. scenes." said Gabriel. His leave was taken away because of me. but pity never killed any- one. And I you truly loved me. He arguing with will let me me make all night." . don't expect you to understand that" Nowadays band. at that. the f ing begins with the engagement. don't you drop dead. at that. "Well I I will have you know that that's not love." said Emma. the to He did not want a scene. "and I have a right to." said Paddles pleasantly. Of course. "I pity myself. pouring himwhisky." said Gabriel." "I can say no the time. paraphras- ing a quotation. "you just can't say the time. you would not ask me to. truly love If me. sleep alone." said Emma. "It may be best pensively. "not to sleep alone: That cant be the best thing. That's the only sure trouble. "Why again. Emma. If you said. Besides. He did not like Greek would be annoyed." said Paddles. sullenly." said Tobias to himself." "The rich have company." He spoke way of keeping moved by memory." said I've Emma. enraged right." said Gabriel severely. He had returned again after a spell with the "A girl is bound no all all to say yes some time.

"/ am not like that." said Gabriel." Gabriel called out out what is really trumpeter who was was returning from the men's room." TALES FROM THE VIENNA WOODS "I pity you. scorn. the Greek would go bankrupt in a month." said Gabriel. "I am going somewhere where there left. 43 He did not wholly conceal his "What are you saving it for?" asked Paddles. will "How do you know what the worms and will not appre- ciate. ad- to depart. "That's the way it is." said Paddles. kind and generous being cruel and nasty. but he was curious. "Let's get in on the ground floor. "this guy thinks he has figured wrong with the whole world." Gabriel tired. "Someone hurt her. think of But do you know." she said as she effort is a little more refinemoving with an over-meticulous at dignity." Gabriel said to Paddles." said Tobias pensively." said Paddles as he I sat himself on the bar stool next to Tobias. what "Hey. "not everyone just like that and some people become kind because they after have been hurt. stupidly. and obviously about you're just a heel. "Maybe this guy has something. putting down her drink." said Emma. and everyone else she can." Tobias admitted judiciously. "but am always open to new ideas . Paddles." she added declaratively and justing her dress. "The worms won't appreciate it. commenting on Emma in general." said Gabriel. ment. is if now she is going he is a man. "You're no worm. "If every night were like tonight. maybe we can get rich overnight and get out of this dump. that once was sure I girl Emma made me how I was really knew what was wrong with and truly wrong with the world to the — the world. He had drunk enough to hurt to arrive at the reflective or philosophical phase of drinking. "For the worms!" said Emma." is "That certainly the way it is. and if he does have something. his irony was forced." "Not everyone like that." "I am feeling no pain." "You is are right.

if not be a master mind. C is in love with "We spell it get it. . wishing to appease Paddles I whom "I he saw he had somehow annoyed. "is that A D is in love with B. impatiently. all thought I knew one night when I was drunk. At best!" he added. but you don't have to talk as were a kindergarten!" older I get. 'Now Gabriel. "You can't stay drunk. to the state of he were seeking to move back mind in which D. But it had better be good!" "Look. he had been illuminated by passing and false insight." said Tobias slowly." said Paddles." said Gabriel." " 44 TALES FROM THE VIENNA WOODS and always willing to learn. looking "The as if real trouble with the whole world." said Tobias." in "X is love with Y. first love for the time in kindergarten. I I in a patient tone." said Tobias. but who "Yes. "the more is think that the whole world fell in a kindergarten. as if their appear- ance might have recently improved. pouring himself another drink and looking toward the unhappy wives at the and gorgeous juke box. "I did not say that I knew what was really wrong with the world." said Gabriel is terested. "What?" said Paddles. a faint fond smile in his eyes." said Tobias. "You don't have to out." said was that said Gabriel in a tone of contempt. So now you tell us what is really wrong with the whole world. whole world: how about it?" he added. "keep your big mouth shut while this guy us what he thought was the trouble with the at Tobias. "that's often the who "I is in love with it. "and I will listen attentively. Z is in love with A is "We may "The this get we get it!" said Paddles impatient and annoyed." table near the silent Gabriel replied." he said in a friendly way to Tobias. sadly. "Y in love with Z." said tells Paddles. is in love with E B — is in love with C. B — who had become inZ in love with? A?" case." "That's what's wrong with the whole world.

exactly what she said. right now I want to know what happened to this guy when he fell in love. But then when very the other guy divorced his wife tell and asked her to marry him. but some other time.about made you wet your pants. and nice. she it was the same girl you fell in love with! But never it's too complicated." said Tobias. maybe she would forget about him. his passionate interest in . But I had fallen in love now wanted with a much nicer girl. "and that was else. I don't Hedy LaMarr. reduced to a schoolboy's tone by the nature of the conversation and it. and she said that she would marry me if she ever married anyone at she could not imagine being married to anyone but me." said Paddles sadly. neat was the only one who thought she Everyone else just thought she was I and some did not think she was pretty and mean. pain on his face. the question "She had braces on her teeth." said Tobias." said Paddles to Gabriel. "At but it seemed like that. but and lust. that she was in love with someone all." said Gabriel. How how she if care she grew up to be about it?" he said to Tobias. but just " —And first she must have been in love with some other guy." "Was she just in love with herself?" asked Paddles. directing his question to Tobias. "I'd like to hear." at all. thinking that had been directed at him.TALES FROM THE VIENNA WOODS 45 "Who did you fall in love with?" said Paddles. was a witch. She was very nice and very "No: she was not nice pretty. at all. which was a very nice thing to say and had me in a fine glow for weeks. "Maybe mind that. and came to me that she much to marry me. looking at him sharply but sympathetically. was very pretty or pretty neat. and fondly remembering his childhood ambition in the future. "and her bust was nine years I my wet knees shook when looked at her and once she made me my pants!" "Listen. she refused him.

" said Tobias idly. though not in the same way." said Tobias. He was it interested in the subject. just said?" asked Gabriel." "Greater love hath Onan." said Gabriel. Paddles regarded him with care and symsilent all evening. She hated herself and she hated men." Tobias was pathy." said Tobias. you have had it bad. how about that? had never occurred I that she could have had trench mouth and would not have been any the less eager to kiss her. silent. fire. And when we finished. "Say." said Tobias in a low voice. just like Emma. began to play a famous waltz by Johann Strauss. "This double talk stopped being funny ten years ago." "How did you figure all that out?" "It's not very hard to figure out something like that." said Tobias heedlessly. The juke box. "Have a double still Scotch on the house because / think you have it bad. she jumped up immediately to get Kleenex or paper napkins because she was afraid the bedsheets would get soiled. decided after a time that she was not in love with her- either. "I figured out by thinking about what she did almost every to kiss her: she time I was going went It to the bathroom to brush to her her teeth! Now. but not with Paddles' intensity. "Johann Strauss was a "What's that you "Onan's house was on liar. because she did not know about being in love. still don't get it." "Brother." said also Gabriel." He was thinking of the girl who brushed with so "I much awareness of her physical being's possible foulness. But she did not know that. and because she did not like herself very much. "She was determined to prove that she was better than every other in the girl hay and in every other way. "would you mind if I asked you how this dame was in the hay?" "She was very active and vigorous. "Onan's spouse her teeth was his lyre. more interested than ever." said Gabriel." said Paddles. asked Paddles.46 "For a while "But self I TALES FROM THE VIENNA WOODS I thought that was what was wrong." .

"I did get out of in a way. or he said something like that — "That doctor was just a wise guy." said Tobias. Did you or did you not ever talk. you fell in love with the girl and she liked you . impatient." said Paddles." said Gabriel." tell "Boast score was — you want. it is a question of a toothbrush or the it same kind He said that was strange how so many is beings do not like to use another person's toothbrush: cleaner than another do they think that their own toothbrush person's? he said. disgusted and interested." said Tobias carefully. she said." said I "I was serious." read something interesting by a "Teeth are important." said Gabriel thoughtfully. in love. same idea began to percolate in fashionable schools and one girl told me that she knew what it was to be When you are in love. smiling a "Now look." said Tobias. "You've been walking on the bottom of the river. "here we are having a it very interesting discussion and you have to interrupt with double talk every get out of it?" now and I again. get out of it? Does anyone ever get out of it?" "Probably yes and probably no." "How did you get out of it?" asked Paddles. was not talking double it. "but us what the final "The game has gone "But look." "Brother." all if said Paddles.TALES FROM THE VIENNA WOODS 47 "Emma "she is thinks about her teeth too. "Or did you little. because I went and all fell in love with another girl who was very nice and not at like the toothbrush girl and who liked me very much. "the remarkable thing was that the for girls. you don't mind using as the the same toothbrush man you're in love with. I Viennese doctor once about the unreasonable feelings which human human beings have when of thing. always going to the dentist to get them fixed." said Gabriel. have another on the house. "and toothbrushes are also important. if you boys will forgive me for boasting a little." said Tobias. "Never mind him. Tobias did not carefully. into extra innings. but in a way.

"Are you hungry?" asked Gabriel. "What happened when you were Gabriel patiently. as he went fell in his glance growing abstracted girl I down to the past in his mind. "that this is I think I know what happened and not one of my intelligent nights." said Tobias." said Paddles. "Oh." said Gabriel. "then you clam up on us!" not trying to keep anything back. Gabriel poured the whisky in Tobias' glass after putting two cubes of ice in it. is How about another Scotch on the rocks? Swiss cheese full of holes. "What happened in the ninth inning?" the "The girl's father hit a homer with the bases loaded. no. give." said Tobias." he said. below the stepping out of the batter's box. troubled." said Tobias. but you've blown sounds important!" up until everything "Give. I would have to tell you what hapto pened when interested: was three years of age and you would not be like no one except proud parents hear stories about children. "take us off the hook!" "Four years ago. you can't be hungry: first you give us a blow-by-blow description. sending game into extra innings.48 TALES FROM THE VIENNA WOODS very much. "but "I if I am tried to make I sense. don't. —Not any more they said all the pictures distressed and perplexed. man. "I took the nice love with to see to my mother." he added pointlessly. "Ordinarily I three years of age?" asked f don't give a about what happened this to anyone before the age of consent. what went wrong? That's the way end " —" Paddles. "He swung from belt." to tell "Look. "are you or are you not going us what happened and finish the story?" "It is only once in a while." said Gabriel." "Does he want us to coax him?" said Paddles to Gabriel in disgust and irritation. are you sure that you want hear this story?" ." said Tobias. Look.

"but it it better be good or you are going to have to explain kindly also omit the double talk. He played the way of begging for money. although I turned out that he was a home and to dead drunk. This was supposed to be the inside story of what I was really like. for mother. and unhappy. and don't forget that my mother had never before known and talked with Isabel. mother would tell me that this boy When I was three." said Tobias. wiggling his ears a "Sure we want to hear the story. The story was about how when was the wall — me a story about the oil painting on "A story inside a story inside a story —" is said Gabriel. to us. will try to get to the end of the endless story The oil painting was on the wall as my mother told Isabel the story and it was near enough to be seen in the slim. but he did not seem to be home. I I was taking my best girl to see I my won't try to tell that happened. which he held in his hand. "That's the way I it has to be because this an endless story." "I will try. my whom she had named Tony . during the evening my mother blew in a lamp. There were no fuses house. flickering light of the candles." said Paddles. not that that makes much I difference. all the lights in her apartment when she plugged We sat in the dark for a moment and then my mother lighted in the candles and looked for a new it fuse.TALES FROM THE VIENNA WOODS "Brother. And fairly "You can you all see that this was a and important occasion. but anyway. "But quickly." said Tobias. While about was gone I my was mother was telling my girl Isabel a story me when three years of age. little. went out I to buy new fuse and I I had walk several blocks before came to a store." said Gabriel. and he looked very violin as a pathetic. so I went to look for the superintendent. It was a sentimental painting of a barefoot boy who played the violin. except to three. I 49 am all ears. she often told me. dis- appointed. don't know out if I could. cold.

He had been brave and I was a coward. This if made me suppose because immediately thought that I my older brother had died in early youth. "You cannot serve God and he added under his breath. my explanation might very well be wrong. "I will explain the story to you. I am It is a dumb-bell. The more I cried." as "Gabriel. you sometimes talk like a complete dumb-bell." said Gabriel. the more my mother kept telling me the story I and comparing not. but to be. he had been a I very good boy." said Tobias politely." said Gabriel. But when I cried." "Please omit the double talk." "All right." Tobias replied. since after was a coward for a long mother said and I was all my older brother Tony I had died and he had been a good boy which "Is that the inside story?" asked Paddles." he added. I had died before I I was born. might die too and fairly soon." "Just be patient. and he had never had a pair of shoes while had all the shoes I needed. it at the we better call a night. my mother just called me a cry- baby and told me that Tony had never cried. is no crime to be a dumb-bell. pained in several senses." "I can't explain the story. "not right now. responding . but not right now. "It is was not — an important part of the inside of the inside story. But all I want a simple explanation of the story from one of you guys. I wish you would explain to it me what "much it means and why you think I is so important. for afraid that believed what my would die." 50 TALES FROM THE VIENNA WOODS was my older brother and he cry. although he stood bar holding his "I guess glass. Mama. And even if I could." said Paddles to Gabriel. knew that was not what anyone would want And it turned out that my I mother was I time after that. bemused. "Is that the end of the story? If it is. for I a coward was. He had been I a good boy and I was me to Tony. looking at Tobias who had withdrawn suddenly. "lots of people are dumb-bells. it did not know what right." said Paddles. respect you." said Gabriel.

one Ethel." he added absent-mindedly. think that I'd better walk home. also the "I don't know where I am going. is one remember always the greatest is born of the greatest danger. The kingdom of love is kingdom of death. one for the Danish girl. one for Isabel." said who felt that he liked the . that courage never to forget with the real people. brandy for hope and beer for nervousness. "How about one for the road?" Tobias extended his glass and Paddles said that he had enough of a load for the time being. one for frustration. A make one love and a case to get away from the guilt one cannot face after the great wild flower of the sunset has gone down and left alone in the isolation and condemnation of the night. for Tobias' lips had been moving as in unmeant prayer. darkness of fear amid electric to despair. one is for cowardice and brandy for courage. and the dancing daemons of heaven and hell. to himself. "but thanks anyway. said one for the fog. one for the sphinx. Martinis to eat and whisky to sleep. one pint to desperation. one for the power moves the sun. two to to be warm and a few to have something to say. better One for love. one for Arabel. and one for the jinx. Hatred within you. remaining at a distance. "I Gabriel.TALES FROM THE VIENNA WOODS to the 51 mood and the silence of Tobias and Paddles. born of one how hope One is a way of being alive for and living for Emma. but dutch courage than none at all. of joy: God is love. one for self-pity and two for resentment. one to be calm." "Come again. fear. "Are you going my way?" asked Paddles who saw that Tobias had just finished his drink and who had been regarding him with curiosity and sympathy. and he had been looking at his own drawn face in the broad looking-glass above the long bar. One for the strength never is one to to be near the hope which that born of desperate courage fear." said Tobias. One Tobias for the road. and the other stars. This is the doctrine of the master that is death. and one for be gay. one for the past and one for the future. the light.

and the guys telling because of the dames and the dames because of the guys. "Next time straight in the eye I stranger. Tobias moved through the restaurant bar of the Vienna Woods awkwardly. to a f then I go to the f n whistlestop town and go n . before. It was easy to forgive others. even though he will tell you a very funny story about what the housewife did when the milkman looked her " and said: 'Do you have the time?' Tobias smiled vaguely and left. said Gabriel sadly. Which reminds me. at himself in the Paddles made no comment. for out. despairingly. stop A soldier is another soldier about what he did on his one-day leave the day I f n bus to get out of the f n camp.' she says. "a lot of guys are all "Do you know. saying that he would come again during the week and knowing that Gabriel wished to tell him the funny story immediately probably in the friendly for- hope of cheering him up and making him forget himself or give himself. 'but he's away all day!' " Gabriel answered his friend but listlessly and tiredly. after reaching coat. too. so that he did not sound self-amused or gay. it was half dark. his first "and no one else!" two wives as he looked and balding image. where one learns to care and not "What's the story?" asked Paddles. looking "In God I trust.52 TALES FROM THE VIENNA WOODS was certainly strange." f ed up." he said He was thinking chiefly of critically at his thin darkened jewel of the looking-glass above the bar. it was very difficult to forgive oneself. He reached the door and went is walking toward the hope which on the other side of to care. but one had to forgive oneself or one would never be truly able to forgive others. a lot of guys and a lot of dames me. for his hat "What does the housewife do? What does she say?" "She likes? pulls him through the doorway and asks him what he 'My husband owns a pistol. despair. 'First If you heard take a this one. putting his trumpet case under his arm and as Gabriel turned out the lights.

Angels. and n hotel. " 'Then we had intercourse for the rest of the night. — n " ' Gabriel paused for "Man. bored and "Who posed to said it was funny?" said Gabriel. what happened then?" asked Paddles. once more. as night. They moved through the door and shivered a Woods and of saying closed the dead street of after-midnight.' " said Gabriel in a tone which was sweet. "Are all stories sup- be funny?" the darkened Vienna little in Paddles said nothing. arise Before the fission foams up to the sky's White upon white upon light and untouched snow: Now let your trumps declare. and soft. and tender. " 'Next morning we the the f f left the f n room. blow Your trumpets. and immediately thereafter resumed his previous tone. harsh and contemptuous. interested in part by the intense harshness of Gabriel's tone.TALES FROM THE VIENNA WOODS bar and pick up a hotel f f 53 f n piece of gash and take her to a and get us a n room effect. "What's so funny about that story?" asked Paddles. once more! is That love the fulfilling of the law! . "Man. and arise. I kissed the to this f I f n dame good-by and took n bus back f n camp and now get out of this f I have to wait a tion n month before again!' " n concentra- camp tired." said Paddles to Gabriel "some one of these days you a way good are going to have to blow that horn!" At the round sky's imagined circles.

another of the member committee which chose the painter who was to give the annual Winslow Homer lectureship in the history of American . in the evening when he had to meet his classes the But during the afternoon Professor Robbins had conversed at length with Professor Anderson." her husband replied. lift- ing his fourth highball of the evening and gulping his drink as his irritation would be reduced by the speed with which he is drank. well why I don't like him." "The if strain is great on everyone. "he has never had the recognition he deserves. "and now I know very "He has a hard upon painters is." a very It good example of was a wet Sunday evening in early May. and you know how great the strain these days. "The strain is great on me." said Professor Robbins to his wife." time. and this kind of an incident it.The Fabulous Twenty -Dollar Bill "I never liked him. Indeed he had often expressed the sternest disapproval of any teacher who drank next day. and of an is the Robbins' living room was enclosed in the hush munity on a Sunday when the weather twenty years it academic com- poor. For the past would have been quite unlikely that on a Sunday evening Professor Robbins would have been doing anything other than preparing for tomorrow's lecture." said his wife mildly.

an academic community. Leonard Pierce had been one of the leading candidates among the younger three years. Professor Robbins had first sought to reassure him by telling him that this year he was list of the younger men. gulping his highball again. knowing not. Pierce had asked Anderson if it was indeed true. had recently told the unhappy painter that he was first on the list of the younger candidates. declaring that several other candidates were just as gifted. their work." Knowing how disappointed he has been. and needed the money as Pierce did Robbins. Knowing on the Pierce's anxiety and eagerness. the older men being those who had they were appointed. there were a dozen other one member of the candidates committee had argued against Pierce. the older men and men." Professor Robbins said to "If I I "You see the consequences of attempting to be kind to an insecure and gifted human his wife.THE FABULOUS TWENTY-DOLLAR BILL Painting. It and otherwise distracted from to ask was cus- tomary each year one of the older men and when he refused. for his wife was rich. as he had . as he had been for the past three years. had not told him that he was a leading candidate. and he men for to was very much afraid that he was going be disappointed again. you ought not to be surprised or wounded by "But what does Anderson think of me. to turn to the younger men. Leonard Pierce who has been humiliated his behavior. However. "It for years. already achieved a national reputation which would assure the university prestige it and honor in if was likely each year that the older men would not want to spend an entire year lionized. being." "You have is not been humiliated." said his wife patiently. now that Pierce has gone to question him?" asked Professor Robbins impatiently. Professor how eager and anxious Pierce was to get the lectureship. painter. would not have been humiliated. lecturing. For it was customary the younger to have two sets of candidates. However. 55 One and of the leading candidates was the well-known Leonard Pierce.

Robbins. insisting that the fact that Pierce's wife to owns a lily-cup factory ought not have anything to do with our choice. in which his mind moved. any further speculation would merely aggravate her husband's emotional plight." right to suppose Pierce thinks not tell "I imagine. Robbins considered in her own mind this felt the question of said. "that I've made a special and strenuous at effort to get Pierce the appointment." said Mrs. but she why Anderson had in told her husband what Pierce to was too experienced. had caused Robbins' you is state "My dear. and it was Anderson's report of this inquiry. as whatever. tired by her husband's mood and the way although she loved him very much. Anderson had nothing to gain which he had not already secured. Now. as a result of I my do efforts. Anderson's attitude toward not influenced by the behavior of unhappy artists. "Don't forget." said Professor Robbins. any case. which of profound irritation. by now." Mrs. Professor Robbins had often expressed a principled scorn for the kind of academic politics in which Anderson engaged for no reasonable motive sake. She level was difficult enough to live life on the to of complication and anxiety which was natural her husband. and I don't see why you care very much. "that Anderson is not sure anyone in tells the truth. what Anderson thinks. before he was established. Mrs." said Mrs. Moreover. during the afternoon when they had encountered each other in the street and spoken briefly.56 THE FABULOUS TWENTY-DOLLAR BILL been told by Robbins. her husband's tormented waken further suspicion that it mind. Robbins. I argued vehemently each meeting of the committee. that he was the leading candidate among the younger men. Robbins watched her husband go to the table where the . Anderson has every the truth. except that perhaps he enjoyed academic politics for their own a kind of amusing game. One could perhaps explain his behavior by supposing that he had concontracted the habit of playing politics during his youth.

much to expect moral goodness in men of genius." "You've said that Pierce is very gifted. but the strength of character which marks a good man or profession in itself!" is something else again: it is a career . his shoulders hunched." Professor Robbins answered. he talked himself free of the to when he was upset emotion which had disturbed him by going beings involved so severely that he himself extremes in dis- cussing the matter with his wife. sodden with little. his wife's formulation. neglected. Moral perception." he said. tired- ness and wishing to revive herself a She felt that she must continue to argue patiently with her husband. "and you know like. and he became angry just. but one ought not to require it. plagued as sugar attracts by all the creative flies." she said. would be very if it were present. It is one thing to expect a genius to be a genius: why do think that he has to be the you also embodiment of moral goodness?" "You're right. as if he were speaking to a hall of students. "and I do not see ex- why I should continue to support anyone who has openly pressed his distrust of me. "is certainly necessary. Sometimes or angered. as well as anyone what men of genius have been life attracts to itself They have been the ills diseased.THE FABULOUS TWENTY-DOLLAR BILL whiskey stood and that he fix 57 she noticed himself a fresh highball. And had made I his highball very strong again. by condemning the felt human what an excess (what a caricature!) he had committed. on the other hand. patronized. and fear during the long years of married "I do not like to be distrusted." he added. Sometimes." his wife replied. Isabel. at his wife because of her mild effort to be judicious and Robbins brought wife had their his wife a highball and seated himself in his armchair. a sign of the tenseness his come to recognize life. "I think will have one too. his anger was merely intensified. touched "it is too It by the strength of pleasant.

The truth was Robbins did not permit other younger members of the department to take over . "You are right. and he should get the appointin his ment. scrupulous man. he is very gifted. — He has been like that all his life and he is not going to change now. "but it would be useless to tell him. One of his leagues said to his wife col- —no one would have dared to speak directly to Professor Robbins. the man and an exhausted one. she sighed. He has a hard time." Having said this. and since he was a conscientious. Robbins. Robbins had succeeded in soothing her husband by invoking the one sympathy in her husband's mind which surpassed his concern with moral probity: his admiration of genius and his feeling that the history of art was full of the persecution of great artists. in which. nor would it be unjust to do so. the method of custom in the indirect communication was a favored academic community one of his colleagues told his devoted wife that her husband was driving himself too much and that it would not be impossible to pass on some of his burdens to another and younger man." he said again to his wife as he rose to go to is bed. toward the small hours when the heart is pitiless and the mind an inquisitor." said Mrs. At boom in education had in- creased his academic duties. and in any case.58 THE FABULOUS TWENTY-DOLLAR BILL Mrs. "I know. and silently reflected that Professor upon her sigh. he might ask himself why Anderson had reported Pierce's preinto the labyrinth of sleep. Professor Robbins was a great the end of World War Two. "the question of Pierce's behavior quite irrelevant." left And he touched his wife's shoulder with affection as he the stairs to the the living room and mounted bedroom from which he would hurl himself some turn. he performed them with a care and an intensity which his colleagues considered unnecessary. at posterous mistrust of him. It may help him work.

did not appear in the the less fearful that on each make him any new occa- sion something might go to his wife wrong unless he made efforts which looked nervous or hysterical or desperate. it might be said that he did not them. At times. Robbins thought that her husband did not really trust himself or think well of himself: what other expla- nation was there for the haste and the fear which she observed in portant or trivial? afraid that he him when he prepared a lecture or undertook any task. a spellbinder.THE FABULOUS TWENTY-DOLLAR BILL some of his burdens because 59 he did not think well of most trust human beings. The fact that he had never done any such thing and the more present and more vivid fact that he was esteemed the most brilliant least to man in America. the efforts is of a man who trying to complete an invention or scientific discovery before rivals elsewhere. Professor Robbins' fame was such that distinguished visitors to the university if were flattered when he entertained them. in his subject. . at first perplexed by him. Moreover. wife it was trying and forced. he was at ease with his students only after the first two months of each scholastic year. Mrs. For knew this truth. as alone knew. In the he was. came in the end to admire him so much that they mistook his failings or his weak days as cunning devices and pedagogic methods. who are certainly on the same track. In fact. Professor of the time). who were was a equally The entertainment it of visitors nervous hardship to Professor Robbins. and all he was the host of one he had to be the host of distinguished. imHe seemed to her to behave as if he were might suddenly stop in the midst of his prepa- ration or in the midst of his lecture and not complete the work at all. was a distraction his wife from his work. in a way. he was never at ease with strangers (although his Robbins did not know it much same way. when their open admiration of him and their obvious concentration upon what he had to say finally reassured him once again. succeed in anticipating him. so much in love with his subject and with teaching and with being clear and interesting that the students.

however. only was the way he knew of relaxing with strangers. he had hardly known the need to relax. his principles and and opinions by which he certainly His opinion of drinking changed as his obligations mounted. During the past four years. "It reduces my his. as the number of strangers he had to meet increased." in he had said in late youth. and these obligations the Second his classes as a host and teacher increased sharply to and suddenly when the government began send veterans of to World War to school. "I believe all being It conscious and drinking means blunting one's consciousness. and arrogantly. and by Thursday. saying that there His wife had dissented to was no need as being too be conscious all the time. lived. had answered that such friendship was false: of interest as true friendship ought to be based upon a community and not upon chemical agents. Professor Robbins lectured on Monday and Wednesday. then scious. very tired. or reading novels the time. he had driven himself by what he thought of social as will-power." tactfully. and drinking helped human beings to be friendly with one another. very was a visiting lecturer or distinguished visitor whom Pro- . efficiency by about fifty percent the next day. he was unable to respond very well even to those things he cared about very there much. It Professor Robbins had begun to drink too much. Her husband. sighed and ceased to argue with her husband about being con- He merely became the principles irritated and he regarded all his un- questionable success as a confirmation of opinions. now. like sleeping all morning. Robbins. which meant that he had to prepare his lectures with characteristic furious meticu- lousness on Sunday and Tuesday night. in the pride and insensitivity of his late youth. As a young man. there was such a thing conscious. and he had spoken with their contempt of those who made drinking a habitual part of life.60 THE FABULOUS TWENTY-DOLLAR BILL Strangers were not students. By Wednesday he was often. Mrs. is a kind of cowardice.

Tuciano was pleased by America. he must house that Pro- and entertain." Two weeks was a very after Professor Robbins had been persuaded by Leonard Pierce. Thus it was on Thursday and Friday fessor Robbins drank too much. Nevertheless his bewilderment . but who are further constricted by the suspicious regard of the police. Certainly to bewilderment was not new him. since he as to introduce his wife to overlook the failings of gifted human being. and he had lived in the narrow and narrowing confines of a colony of exiles who are not only foreigners. and one of his strongest resources as an author was his power to make the most of his bewilderment in the face of experience (his leading characters were often lost in a strange city). The physician whom Robbins visited every six months for what is known as a routine check- up. Their energy was intensified by to and frustration. his privilege. his patient for twenty-two to years. yet to university. Pietro Tuciano came from say that he was able. This mixture of emotions was not new to him. and they were compelled be self- righteous by the very nature of their situation. and he said to the lecture hall audience. Pietro Tuciano. Italian would be crude classification. but he had it known all. a surveillance that they exile made necessary by the fact were political exiles. and he knew that was better for Robbins drink too much than not to drink at if which was probably what would occur he was given medi- cal advice to the effect that drinking blighted his health and reduced his "working ability. it was Robbins' duty. who had come a to give a public lecture at the Italy. but he was also bewildered by it. however unavoidin For Tuciano had grown up France during the years of the Fascist regime in Italy. perceived that Robbins was drinking too much.THE FABULOUS TWENTY-DOLLAR BILL fessor 61 Robbins felt that. as an inevitable duty.

just as he was under the illusion that most of his audience was capable of understanding what he was saying and cared intensely about whether or not they understood him. although he spoke English well. and she too was bewildered. he was some- times a good influence for the novelist wrong reasons —because the had misunderstood philosophical doctrine and trans- formed it into something personal. One great difficulty stand why America was for her that she did not underlike not more England. And sometimes he was a bad influence because an author had understood Croce very well to and let the philosopher's doctrines as to what a novel ought in efforts be make him engage which falsified his native gift or mutilated his natural idiom and inspiration. and furthermore. in fluence. and Priscilla was an English girl new to his wife who had married husband revealed and this Pietro in Paris in 1945. although she concealed her feelings just as much was as her them. difficulty was complicated by her impression that some Ameriand failing cans were trying to behave like Englishmen dreadfully that one was left so how is it possible to respond adequately to human beings who are trying to be what they are not and do not know how utterly they stupefied by the question: have failed? Pietro was a poor lecturer. His in- general.62 in THE FABULOUS TWENTY-DOLLAR BILL America was something new too. He was very nervous and he suffered from the common delusion that his listeners perceived how nervous he felt on the lecture platform. Tuciano's lecture was about the influence of Croce's philosophy of art and literature point. As he lectured. upon that the Italian novel since 1900. Tuciano thought that what he had to say was almost too obvious and platitudinous to be worth an entire lecture. he saw the look of perplexity on that his re- some of his listeners' faces and supposed wrongly nervousness and his imperfect command of English were . to him (for this was indeed the new world and Priscilla not merely a strange city). was sometimes Croce was a good sometimes he was not. Before his lecture began.

she had heard what her is husband had natural in all to say on the subject several times before. with the As husband. Since Priscilla Tuciano had no interest whatever in crime or in criminals. Tuciano departed with Professor Robbins. Yet Mrs. Besides. being drowsy after the train trip from New York. Neverthe- most of the found the hour quite pleasant and In addiof relaxing. Since this audience knew almost nothing about Croce and precisely nothing about the the lecturer less Italian novel." although she had scarcely listened to him. and were more interested in criminals than novelists. thin. who told him that he had done "rather well. crowd through the lobby of the lecture Mrs. obviously very sensitive. remarked to himself that the Italian was striving to elucidate a set of observations which were perhaps too compli- cated for a single lecture before a public audience consisting of undergraduates. listened carelessly to the intro- duction. seemed some of the more advanced and deprived were "very passionate. Tuciano's lack . and some of the young ladies thought that the foreigner was fascinating tion it — to pale. idlers harassed and overworked young instructors. rejoining his wife Priscilla. wife and professor moved hall. which had to do with the question of whether the novelist was related to the famous gangster Lucky Luciano. Tuciano heard two students discussing the curious fact that the novelist's name was Luciano. as interesting and interested marriages. seated benignly on the plat- form. old ladies who lived near the university.THE FABULOUS TWENTY-DOLLAR BILL sponsible for the perplexed looks of 63 some of his listeners. the gulf between and his audience listeners was huge and invisible." the young ladies that Tuciano's eyes When politely the lecture had ended and the audience had applauded novelist's auto- and several students had requested the graph. Dur- ing the lecture. a mistaken impression which had been caused by the fact that they sat in the balcony. and who came because they had nothing to do at three o'clock in the afternoon. Professor Robbins. she had never heard of Luckv Luciano and she did not understand in the least the overheard conversation.

Just before Professor Robbins came home with the Tucianos. since the lecture would probably be boring and cocktail party probably would be amusing. This excuse was resented by Mrs. for she had the the Andersons might have found something . that Mrs. end. prepared encounter at every turn. Robbins had decided that a reception or a cocktail party was unnecessary. At the Robbins household. tail for the Ordinarily there would have been a reception or a cock- party —or a cocktail party disguised as a reception or a reception used as a pretext for a cocktail party lecturer. And it was. and then paid tion to the lecturer. for was just the kind of surd and perplexity which had to her. — for the visiting But there had been so many cocktail parties recently. know very well. and conceal her feeling that more desirable to do (otherwise Professor Anderson might have come by himself). since his wife was ill. for one of the habits of the academic lecture but to for the community was not to go to the pary which was being given the lecturer.64 THE FABULOUS TWENTY-DOLLAR BILL it of understanding did not trouble her. Robbins. atten- not know at all. Anderson was very seldom ill. Those who came come to the cockail to the cocktail party after infelicity of the lecture having absented themselves from the apologies about other engagements. Mrs. but she knew that she must accept the rudeness politely. It probably would have made more trouble. and Mrs. in a way. Professor Anderson called Mrs. Robbins saying that he would be unable to come to meet her guests. Robbins prepared visitors. a to made America a bewilderment bewilderment which she was now. to and so few people knew about Tuciano or wished and the spring term was so near its meet him. little made which was of course a waste of time. or did and who was consequently much less interesting they did not whom than the other guests.

Robbins apologized to the Tucianos for not having been able to come to the lecture. had come to expect only in the it one thing: surprise and bewilderment. Priscilla thought that this question. and they had no reason to expect anything else. Robbins felt that she ought to ask meet the Tucianos. Mrs. to like much because he was how naturally Mrs. since her . and situation. from the was very from hour from place and from street to street: this had been their continuous experience from the moment they had landed in the Canadian port of Halifax. New World. she would have perceived that the Tucianos would not be offended at all either by the lack of a cocktail party or by the absence of another couple. having been America for six weeks." said Priscilla. She tried to think of some couple to who would be sensible enough or humble enough not meet the be offended by being invited at very short notice. in the labyrinth of misunderstand- ing in which this small but truly international occasion was located. It was like asking if he or she liked or disliked the child of the family: he regarded the offspring as a monster or a beautiful charmer. "Americans do drink a good deal. it They were Old World. was very rude. but she was afraid that to ask some other couple to it would be rude anyone at short notice. could Mrs. of the Tucianos. which she to if had had a visitor answer often before. and Professor Robbins immediately very gave the Tucianos the highballs they had come to expect and Tuciano had learned very nervous. if the Tucianos arrived with Professor less agitated Mrs. a question which she answered by saying briefly that she liked it very much. Before she was able to decide on what couple would difficult require- ments of the Robbins. Robbins had been by what seemed to her the probable rudeness of the Andersons. Mrs. Robbins have understood the actual attitude in who. And yet how. different was very different to hour. to place. Robbins asked Priscilla Tuciano she liked America.THE FABULOUS TWENTY-DOLLAR BILL constitution 65 and the vitality of lady wrestlers and the cowgirls of a third-rate rodeo show.

absentmindedly. "I suppose so it is American life which makes for much drinking. she had spoken was shocked by the quality of her remark. Robbins thought that he wanted to change the subject of the conversation and asked what book he was working on like to discuss now? Tuciano did not any book of his own. it noon every day when he was working very hard on in to and any case the question of time was important. and lame. "We did hear a great deal about that when we were in Paris. if con- Pietro Tuciano as very strange indeed." Priscilla Tuciano added. and he still certainly did not like to discuss a book on which he was at work.66 THE FABULOUS TWENTY-DOLLAR BILL to silence. answer had led only of the drinking habits of Americans. Tuciano it was unaware of how impossible was for Mrs." The idea twenty-four hours were It not enough struck illogical. and at times have that a day of twenty-four hours was not long enough fact." said Professor Robbins who was drinking his first highball too rapidly because he was eager to get the second one. In living way that anyone could we had of gracious as a and of the academic community that sheltered retreat seems as distant as our grandmothers' era. bemused and Mrs. but we had no idea of what it was really like." "We have been under an unusual strain in recent years. Robbins. He himself slept a novel. was sidered literally. so him. "Since the war. often sleep or twelve. Mrs. Robbins to know that her remark had impinged upon her the press of guest's sensibility as rude. the old sense for the performance of our duties in the regard as adequate. Hence he shifted quickly from himself to another Italian ." said Pietro Tuciano self-involved. which was inspired by her resentment after she A moment of the question directed at her by Mrs. only when one had to get to a I seemed train. until if taken as an irony. I "Even when until eleven am at home working on a novel. I we have felt all had more work than ever before.

He has very how do you say it? high ideals and standards. doubting to say that he himself was not certain that such an explanation of anyone's cyncism was of necessity true. he says in one of his books: 'Cast your bread upon the may very well be the you will ever see of And in another. and partly because Costello was very unlike him and possessed certain literary qualities which Tuciano would fine talent. "He fable. if one of his characters says.' maxim last or folk proverb. "he is profoundly religious. " cheek." said Tuciano. first rate. "On the contrary. Guido Costello. but that does not appease your bellicose punch him in the nose." said Professor Robbins in a questioning." said like to have possessed in his own right. "and he should be will suffer in in America. writes a kind of story which is at once real life and a And each fable when scrutinized carefully will contain Biblical some sharp inversion of a waters and that it." Tuciano replied. "I do not think that am being charitable. I know this is true in his own life too. of a novelist is he?" inquired Professor Robbins would lead unaware of how far this leading question Tuciano." "What kind politely. For example.' "He seems rather cynical. 'Turn the other opponent. whom Tuciano felt to be extremely good. for Costello was clearly so critical of everyone that he would certainly be critical of I Professor Robbins. — — and this makes for an ironic bitterness. although his books translation. for when I said to him once: 'You are very modest. an author in fact. He felt vaguely disturbed by Tuciano's admiration of Costello's mind and art. hug- ging his highball and not in the least amused. as if a very charitable interpretation of Mr. very "He is a very much liked Tuciano.THE FABULOUS TWENTY-DOLLAR BILL novelist of his 67 own generation. is "and it is true enough that Costello far from being a saintly . Costello's cynicism." remarked Professor Robbins.' he answered: 'No: just disappointed!' " "You have tone.

up. one does not use it "When one novelist." uses one's mind. "seems be one of those intellectuals who think too much. or a Casanova." Professor Robbins was not appeased. then is it is that another character corrects him and if says that fiction written for a variey of reasons.— 68 THE FABULOUS TWENTY-DOLLAR BILL his man. But he understand to use it as a means in of insight. "Mr. And when one of the characters in his novels declares with over-emphatic irony that the only reason is why anyone writes fiction — short stories or novels that they are afraid to gossip about other people's lives and can do so with some safety in the medium or in the disguise of fiction. or a spaniel. and in his feeling spirit and Tuciano were more generous than he was. what Costello himself has said to very intelligent critics who have accused him would agree with you be too intellectual of reducing his spontaneity I by relying too greatly upon the powers of the intellect. In the back of his mind was his sense of guilt about his attitude toward that Costello Leonard Pierce. — well. "That's understood as an affront by Professor Robbins." and one can be "Is he at all like Pirandello. or an exhibitionist. and he writes that both suspicion and hope are major modes of the imagination. but he also believes hope. own cynicism sufficiently to be able Thus he believes in suspicion. to judge by the sudden frozenness of expression on his precisely face. annoyed because he too was an But then. he would seem to be promiscuous. another the feeling of love for other human beings which the infatuated author has to restrain beis cause he afraid of appearing sentimental or because he is is bashful or in love with so many human beings that if he expressed his love openly. the Nobel Prize winner?" asked . Costello. if I am sure that he understand you correctly." Tuciano intellectual replied sharply. One can insufficiently intellectual. but only further dis- turbed by this explanation. as he perceived that his remark had been he added. who use their minds too much." he said to in expression of his distress. and is sup- pressed gossip is one.

trying to change the subject on the off-chance that irritation would be less likely. "the only resemblances are those inevitable to authors of the same nation and two consecutive generations who have written during the same period of time. "I know him quite At to did not like him." said Tuciano. The theme. She knew very well that her husband was always disturbed by human beings. knocks the time. perhaps you if I can judge the resemblance for yourself tell you the leading as usual. But as I He seemed rude and came to know him very a very theatrical about well. answered Pietro Tuciano.THE FABULOUS TWENTY-DOLLAR BILL 69 Professor Robbins." "al- though I hear that he is extremely good." "Have you met Signor Costello?" asked Mrs. ex- pressed in passing by means of certain inverted and augmented proverbs and maxims: 'Opportunity knocks but once. like the beating of the heart and the flickering of the pulse." is "Jonathan Swift English. while the worst scoundrels are . Costello's work resemble his?" asked to Professor Robbins. 'We are all scoundrels. in the conversation vague but powerful discomfort and the attitudes which had been suggested. but remaining too curious and interested to be able to depart from Costello entirely. "I have never read Swift. "Yes. is theme of one of his best novels. sens- ing the effort to shift the topic of discussion. until they are dead. and authors such as Costello. who continued and a drink too fast because of tiredness. although at her the question well. however. a genuine love of them. "Not really. Robbins. Opporall tunism. understood or misunderstood. so to speak. I came understand that the severity with which he satirized beings came in some human way from the warm feeling about hu- man in beings." answered Priscilla Tuciano. But those who know they are scoundrels may repent from time to time. his feelings. nervousness. However. seeking to be exact.' in the eyes of God. supreme example of such an author Does Mr. had been directed first I husband.

is crudely and platitudiously.' at feeling of guilt and dismay being a satirical fictionist that Costello is attacking in this masterpiece. listened. if desiring some state of mind superior to put it to satire —how — shall I put it? the state of mind of love." said Mrs. And even if he had observed his host's that as he how could he have known summarized the to plot of the novel. For he would not question his attitude of satire. so self-righteous. he defends himself. Robbins. or rather should say villain. one might say. that he does in fact prevent his friend from getting the job he wants. Thus the attitude of unwillingness to accept to human nature's nature leads hero's distrust utter disaster. the more. But the more he attacks himself. and so severe." Tuciano answered. the of himself. And the protagonist is so much turbed by the suggestion that he is not entirely trustworthy.' last: And a great Clearly who live many stones it is his own in glass at houses should be sure to have excellent hand and throwing arms." Tuciano had spoken so rapidly and with so much absortion in what he was saying that he did not notice how sullen and distressed Professor Robbins had become as he distress.— 70 those THE FABULOUS TWENTY-DOLLAR BILL who do 'Those not know or admit at least to themselves that they are scoundrels at any time. delighted to be asked. he did not possess an attitude of in a serious sense. is offended by the fragmentary report of a remark which has been made about him by one of his best friends. This friend has inquired as to whether the hero or villain really wants him is to get the dis- job he has been seeking. "it is as . Professor Robbins thought of how cruel and vain he had been about Leonard Pierce's inquiry as worthy? "It's whether he himself was trust- somewhat over my head. in impulse or in action. "The hero. a broken friendship. he so vain. —made curious by Tuciano's passionate defense plot is I "The rather simple." "But what bins the plot of this novel?" asked Professor Robof Costello.

"just as own terms. and perhaps the same proportion Priscilla or division. Costello say about this subject?" asked . except what Tuciano had creased again. Robbins had Robbins understood very well in his and was extremely Tuciano thought he understood what had been said and answered marked. as being sponit taneously and genuinely what he or she or as being. Prolife Robbins had been foolish throughout adult in certain important respects. since she was unfamiliar with his ways of formulation and had never been subjected perfectly to the influence of had Professor Robbins. did not understand what Tuciano's answer had Freud. eight hours of sleep and sixteen hours of being awake. 71 who has always disturbed me by his unwillingness to admit that any person or thing is ever to be taken at face-value. I presented if itself find that life cannot be lived very well. in times when we must be awake. necessary.THE FABULOUS TWENTY-DOLLAR BILL complicated as our American novelist. just said. as there are certain times certain And I think that just so there are when we must sleep. "I believe in consciousness and in unconsciousness. Neither been. and he had been unconscious of sake of others. Rob- bins. and Tuciano was his right. but he concealed fessor indirectly. under ordinary circumstances. Mrs. his own motives when he should have been conscious of them. Henry James. He had ) tried to be conscious at the wrong times and tried (alas! to be unconscious or spontaneous at the wrong times too." now understood what was it in question. however. said. He had been conscious and not spontaneous too often in dealing with his students and his colleagues. and important. Professor irritated. both for his own sake and the "What would Mr. it one makes assumptions about Priscilla which complicate it immensely." he reI believe that being awake and being asleep are pleasant. If but he understood his irritation in- just it. for her husband had formulated in terms familiar to her." Tuciano did not understand a word of what Mrs.

like the draining of the Zuyder Zee. self-deception or or habitual blindness which makes them sick. But Tuciano had a trained mind. think as he does as a consequence of his influence. she took such matters for granted. and his metaphor that reclamation work. conquerer of the Africa and jungle-like world of the unconscious mind — and we I were both delighted by one of his metaphors. Robbins. art where he describes the to in- purpose of his and science of psychoanalysis. I to feel that "I think that Costello would agree with me. is insomnia." said Professor Robbins. but he . to give the consciousness of human beings the strength and power to understand all much that is unconscious. she was English. if he was unguarded. they were an instinctive part of her being. if I remember correctly. total conscious- Tuciano agreed with Professor Robbins that ness and insomnia were deplorable and to be avoided. he tended he ought to stick to the point. unhappy. Total consciousness. incapable. and hence she never had to think about them. all the ignorance. Both of us have studied the work of Sigmund Freud —we call him Sigismundo Freud. He it is says. Tu- Priscilla Tuciano wondered just what it was that her hostess and husband agreed about." "That sounds very well. twenty-four hours a day. For if one follows the doctrine to to its conclusion. is He says that the therapeutic aim of psychoanalysis crease the extent of consciousness. but do agree with you. In fact. that where unconsciousness is this: was." said Mrs. partly to conceal his ever-growing irritation partly to get rid of the subject entirely by making Tuciano in conversa- speak of other aspects of Costello's life and work." "How ciano. "but the metaphor logical is misleading. which ultimate can't quote exactly. so that even tion.72 THE FABULOUS TWENTY-DOLLAR BILL Professor Robbins. "I never thought I of the matter in that light. among other disabling things. however." very interesting. there consciousness shall be. one would have believe in total con- sciousness. as he was when he drank. Mr.

she just did not under- stand her own mind unless she had suddenly changed her mind. Pietro. at the moment. 'but I think that we really must go. "We must "Do watch the time. but the result of a variety of emotions which the sleepless human being did not understand. Robbins politely. Professor Robbins was annoyed further because his wife agreed with Tuciano and especially since he did not think that she actually did agree with her guest. but he always obeyed be his wife's wishes. he thought to himself. and Robbins had often re- . which was very unlikely. politely and with an effort at not seeking to argue where there should be a discussion." "Thank you very much. what time he got back what he took husband. that insomnia was not the result of consciousness." he said." Pietro wished to stay and he did not care. stay for dinner. Perhaps." Robbins' irritation had by this time turned to suspicion of Tuciano. although she naturally wished her visitors would go. to to New York. He disliked what Tuciano had said so much that he felt that what he said might very well be the indication of a shady character.THE FABULOUS TWENTY-DOLLAR BILL 73 remarked. say and to learn from others different background. and he was in any case Mediterranean and European and not American. and was unable to control because he was insufficiently conscious of their causes." said Priscilla who was as well as tired. when he knew what they were and when they seemed consistent with his being her "We must Professor really go. "You can take a later and it has been such a pleasure to have you I feel there is so much more to who have come here from a very here and exchange points of view." said Mrs. "I'm so sorry." said Priscilla. train after dinner. becoming bored. It has been so pleasant and so interesting to us. The later train will bring us back to New York at a very early hour in the morning. Tuciano was Sicilian.

" said Tuciano. There were six copies in his study. Most of the reviews had been favorable. but is so difficult for me to am travelling. and these authors were he admired and would have liked as human copy of his book from his desk and had he known them." Professor Robbins departed to get a copy of his most recent volume of essays." to Robbins said. shamed by his feelings and wishing make a friendly gesture. a practice which he regarded as a secret and low vice dictated by mere vanity. beings whom a and again. he noticed that there was a twenty-dollar to back of the book.74 THE FABULOUS TWENTY-DOLLAR BILL the marked upon systematic duplicity of the Mediterranean mind. "I would like to give you a book of my most recent essays. other He was wholly unaware that of authors did not shrink from the pleasure reading favorable reviews again human beings. which he perceived more often among immigrants than among visiting Europeans. For a moment he was unable remember how it had come to be there and he had acquired the habit. "I do not know your work very volume. hence Professor Robbins had formed the habit of reading them. "That would be very kind of you. although read when I well and I have not read your most recent it I should have. Then he remem- bered what had happened: two weeks before. stashed away in his desk next to a neat folder which contained copies of the reviews of this book. he had taken twenty dollars more than the usual amount from the bank in . common among those who drink too much (as well as others who are distracted and unhappy) of putting things away in a hurry and forgetting where he had put them. fresh if it As he took examined it to see was unmarked and clean of smudge bill in or the fingerprint.

order to buy his wife,



he loved very much, a birthday

present which would be

more expensive than she thought

Mrs. Robbins was very stern about financial matters, as
part of her husband's

indeed she had to be during the

and Professor Robbins knew

that her

pleasure in an


would be disturbed

the price to be extravagant. Nevertheless this

which she had wanted for

if she knew was something four years and Professor Robbins

not spoiled

was determined

that she should have


despite inflation, the

necessity of subterfuge,

and the indignity of disingenuous conbill in

He had

placed the twenty-dollar

the book, thinking that

he would be bound

remember where

was or


when he looked

for his folder of favorable reviews.
irritated very

come upon Now, tired,



much by what

Pietro Tuciano

had been saying (he was profoundly irritated by existence itself, and by the distrust communicated to him gratuitously by Professor
bill in


he was tempted to leave the twenty-dollar
to the

book he was presenting

Tucianos and see what

would happen.
for he
like to


pang of shame winced
was indeed a


for a


saw that


and he himself did not
determine his

have tricks played upon him

in order to

honesty or prove his probity. But immediately he thought of

Leonard Pierce's



him and he thought

of the fact

indeed the Tucianos were honest, they would return the


as soon as they found

in the




not think of two other possible eventualities, that they might
return the

money even


they were not honest

of maintaining



for the sake

they might suspect Profes-

sor Robbins of playing a trick
for after

upon them and thus be offended,
to thinking in

as a novelist,

Tuciano was used


terms of



The unhappy professor



completely that he was risking a twenty-dollar
of satisfying his idle moral curiosity,

for the sake
that his

and he forgot

wife would be very angry with



she learned of the entire


which had indeed begun with an




to leave the twenty-dollar bill in the


for the

sake of seeing

Tuciano and

his wife

were indeed honest

perhaps they were not, given their admiration for the works



author as Costello


Robbins reflected

rapidly, as he

had often before, upon the profound


chance and accident played




had not been, by accident,
so peculiar a way.


the book, he

would not have

thought of examining the character and virtue of Tuciano in


thus shifting his


the idea of

chance (and touching, in his passing thoughts, upon the use
of coincidence, so often unjustly criticized, in
the novels


Thomas Hardy),

Professor Robbins succeeded






the small qualms and


which he would have otherwise been troubled under these


returned with the book. The Tucianos had risen and were

preparing to depart.




point chance indeed might

have played the grandiose and pointless part attributed

by Professor Robbins,
that the bill


was hardly more than an accident

remained unperceived as a

of the size of


book and did not drop

the floor as a consequence of

the fact that the
his left

unhappy Professor was holding the book

and weaker hand, being prepared
handshake of farewell

extend his right


in a cordial

to the Tucianos.

The Tucianos were very pleased by
that the author inscribe

book and they



them, but a taxi was waiting out-

side to take


to the station

and the taxi-driver was blowing



because his





having her

which made him very nervous and im-


this collocation

produced the sad operations of chance, for
inscribed the book, the

and crossing of human lives again if Robbins had

view and perhaps have dropped out. But

would probably have been exposed it was not and it did



The Tucianos

left in

haste at the rude urgency of the taxiat the


one might go so far as to say,

behest of a


moving down the womb), and Pietro clutched the presencopy

one hand, his suitcase in another, while his wife

held the briefcase in which Pietro had kept the notes for his


sooner were the Tucianos in the cab en route to the

railroad station than Pietro took the briefcase from his wife,



and slipped the book



But as he did



the agitation characteristic of him,




travel, the



slipped unnoticed to the floor of the taxi, where

would not have gone unnoticed by the Tucianos, had


daylight and not dusk.



a very

unhappy man," said

Priscilla Tuciano,


think that you

may have

disturbed him.'

"But how?" said her humble husband, "what did

say to



was something about Costello," said



Americans do not

understand the fiction of

Italy very well."

"Alas," said Pietro, "mother mine!"



and then

speaking in English, he paraphrased a remark he had heard
attributed to the great

American President and General, George

Washington: "One cannot please

the people, or


the readers,

the time."

"You mean fool all the readers and all the people, and the remark was made by Grant, who was also a great general and
President of the United States," said his wife.

"Are you sure?" asked her husband.
in a


quite certain," she said. "I

remember seeing


book which

read on shipboard, a history of the United


Soon they were

at the station, they

boarded the

train, their

bewilderment continued as they waited to get a place to eat
dinner in the dining car of the Pullman train, and

was only


Tuciano read with mounting pleasure the

after dinner, as Pietro

book he had been given by Professor Robbins and grunted his approval of Professor Robbins' remarks, made comments on or
explained what the book contained, that the bewilderment of
the foreigners diminished.


a pity


did not read the book before




university," said Pietro Tuciano.
interesting discussion of

might have had a very

with Professor Robbins.




have been able
probably right,


speak of Costello with more



which Mr. Robbins would have understood



probably offended him, as


can see from these

essays and the attitudes he adopts towards his subjects.



not understand that some authors can only express love


means of cynicism, or rather the rhetoric of cynicism, at least some of the time. How innocent these Americans are!" Meanwhile the taxi-driver had found the twenty-dollar bill on the floor of his cab. He remembered that his fares had taken
the train out of

town and he decided
for his







savings account




hoped or


daughter as he expected.
his wife.



good omen. He would

Perhaps the child would turn out

be a great finan-

a mighty tycoon

lions of dollars. If Professor

who made and commanded many milRobbins had known what was to
he might have concluded that
their motivation,


to his twenty-dollar bill,



however doubtful

however high,

low, or evil the motive, might result in fruitfulness, goodness,
joy, higher purchasing power, a sense of the unexpected windfall,

the generosity of the gods,

and better-humored cab-drivers.


week passed, and Pietro Tuciano, having
for his hospitality



reading of Professor Robbins' book, wrote to him and thanked


his book,

which he admired very

much. He described
trivial issues,


his admiration in four closely-written pages,

mentioning, however, his doubt about certain minor points or

and suggested a further elaboration




the topics developed by Professor Robbins.
of a letter

was the kind
a fruitful cor-

which might very well have led






whatever their differences, have a good deal

to learn

from each

Professor Robbins found the letter on the table in the hall-

way when he returned
meeting. Before reading





from a faculty
the letter

he opened

eagerly and quickly,

looking for his twenty-dollar

Then he skimmed

rapidly, overlooking the expressions of admiration


under other circumstances would have pleased him very much

and seeking for some mention of the twenty-dollar
disappointed to find no mention of


He was

and he surprised himself
his wife

by the extent


which he was surprised.

He walked

into the living-room

was reading

a book, greeted her, and gave his wife the letter which he had
just received. Mrs.

Robbins read the


and spoke warmly

of Pietro Tuciano as a very intelligent



young man.

Her husband was tempted
bill in

to tell her of

how he had


the presentation copy. But, although he


sure that a discussion would relieve his disappointment, he
that to

her about


at all

would involve him


an endless

labyrinth of explanation and self-defense.

a very pleasant and sympathetic




Robbins, perceiving that her husband was disturbed.

had known the true reason
have been indignant.

for the look


his face, she



she would have insisted that he con-

sider all the possibilities inherent in the situation in addition

the possibility



Tuciano, being dishonest, had

kept the twenty-dollar


fact that

he could not


his wife

what he had done what he had

made him

see with unpleasant clarity precisely

need for keeping silent. The reason that she was unable to understand that Robbins was in fact glaring at himself and visiting lecturers and Leonard Pierce was that Professor Robbins very seldom behaved as he had behaved about Feeling. am disturbed by Leonard Pierce.80 THE FABULOUS TWENTY-DOLLAR BILL bill in done by placing the at his the book. or he owes me twenty dollars. then he wished there were some way to conceal his action from himself." "I thought that he had been given the lectureship for next year. and on the few occasions when he had come fact close to a like action. "Is it some- thing in Tuciano's letter?" "No. "I must read more carefully. there is nothing in Tuciano's letter." said Professor Robbins. if he had to conceal his behavior from his wife." said Professor Robbins. "but dollars I am afraid that I owe him twenty entirely. the twenty-dollar bill. seeing her hus- seat himself. thinking for the nth time that he did not know what . ashamed of himself. paralyzed by the Robbins glared at his wife. a very pleasant it and intelligent letter. His mind moved quickly: his disappointment in Tuciano's letter vanished in his disgust own action: if he had to be silent. The fact is. "I am sorry. "I let's am afraid that it I have not behaved very well." By uttering this statement. the only being with whom he had ever been intimate. sullen and sulky in his armchair. as he did." he concluded. Robbins." "He has. who despite her long knowledge of her husband did not understand that she was not the cause of his look. But not talk about now. he his wife." he hastened to I add. had successfully concealed the from "Why band are you upset?" asked Mrs. he succeeded in mystifying his wife and at the same time understanding and illuminating himself." he said to his wife. realizing immediately that that part of his mind which was ahead "It is of his conscious mind had just uttered a pun.

Fortunately. ugly. and unfair he had been. putting down the newspaper and reaching for his drink. how wrong. "At any rate. thinking that he would distract himself and about himself by reading the bottom of the about the affairs and crimes of other human beings. "Yes." . and feeling the deepening of his shame and remorse. I would like one very much. nasty for the first time in his life. a retired librarian and volunteer found the $100 in an envelope as she thumbed through old volumes on the shop's shelves. some part of his mind he recognized — so ashamed was he and recognized stupid.— THE FABULOUS TWENTY-DOLLAR BILL had been concluded which made in it 81 possible for him to speak or think with conclusive assurance. probably many times before. His eye was caught by front page: a human interest story at FOUND IN OLD BOOK BY BROWSER three $20 bills and four tens in a fifty The person who hid copy of a novel more than years ago was unknow- ingly helping to celebrate the Opportunity Shop. "I am not the only one. operated by the Community Service Society." said Professor Robbins to himself. and when money was not involved. Miss Amy Valentine. worker in the shop. a second- hand store at 13 Court Street. "Would you like a drink. directly or indirectly. dear?" his wife asked him. or unfortunately. he took hold forget of the evening newspaper on the table beside him." he answered.

was a chap named Edwin Reynolds. because the game was going to . or If it's over their heads. you might This first say. he enjoyed and was excited by everything so much that he thought he understood everything.The Track Meet My visiting only other encounter with the problem of showing a Englishman the sights had been very jolly. moving through the turnstiles. As we were going down the runway to the inside of the stadium. or between the outfielders. or bouncing in front of them. too In the course of showing to a baseball — as if excitement were insight. Indeed. he said that he did not know the rules of baseball. and he found anylife thing and everything in American fascinating. since him around. I suggested that we go it was a purely American phenomenon. or over their heads." I saw that we had to hurry. the ball over their heads and into the stands. good "is seats along the third-base foul "The batter. looking for line. trying to get the ball past the The batter is going to try to hit the ball between the he can just infielders. pitcher. or a homer for short. game. so I explained them briefly." I said. went to see and he was delighted. We two excellent minor-league teams play a doubleheader. hit plain wonderful and known as a home run. although full of visitor minor and trivial complexities.

involving what might even be called antinomy. the pitcher for the 83 already home team was on the mound and making his catcher. and he also trying to tell the pitcher how throw the it ball so that the batter will have a hard time hitting far that the infielders will will I well —not hitting it it so hard or so outfielders be unable it. and throw the it back to the infield as soon as possible. or does bounce. to get to it. and shone immediately in the darkness. For for Edwin a mystery.THE TRACK MEET begin very soon. first. for he found a contradiction in the fact that fielder if if man was on the in- had only to touch the second sack to put him out. Edwin thought it rather unfair that he should have to tag the to runner in the second instance but in the touch second base. "That's the catcher." asked. The if outfielders are trying to catch the ball before it bounces. this inning practically everything was cleared up except for two somewhat important a time. I still don't know why was so utterly is illuminating. except that perhaps anything a rule. rounded and tried make it a double. at first. then the infielder had to tag him out. and of took a time for me to perceive how numerous I were the shortcomings and omissions. and. He wears hit if the mask and it chest protector because the ball may him hard and injure him. He it is trying to catch the ball is the batter misses or lets to go by. took care them one by one as the game continued." to get and the be unable to catch must it say. However. the batter hit a ball to the outfield. "What about that chap with "And the peculiar jacket I mask on his face?" Edwin or what have you?" "Oh. last few warmup throws to the "The infielders are trying to get hold of the ball and throw it to first base before the batter gets to it first base. it The first seemed that would remain a was the double play. and by the seventh points. Finally. but first." answered. . I was rather pleased with little my elucidation. the rules of the I first only had to said to light this if him that this was one of and quickly game. the chest protector.

a rule of the game. if second Perhaps I had been sent less to a concentration camp. after other attempts had proved vain. I did not want to answer. and "quite typically American. to conceive of is not how anything would have served to prepare me and if help me to behave with propriety and dignity this during the painful incidents that occured during visit. time by a touring Englishman." As we the ballpark. This. impossible. but per- The bell of visit my apartment woke was curious from the very beginning. and that settled that. just said that was one of the rules of the game. would have been haps innocent and better prepared. for he mistook emotions for left moving among disgruntled and downcast fans (the home team had been beaten). it so. and it was useless here to invoke the rules rules. The doorme up. trial as lucid to an Englishman as dispose of by jury. in a mild strain. However. and it stopped but started . Edwin declared that it had been a most refreshing and charming experience. is a fly ball is caught allowed to run to the ball is not going to be caught. Edwin would not believe that the game re- was played with passionate seriousness by the players and garded with equal seriousness by the spectators. this did not entirely little the difficulty. or I I had not. I way. lived my childhood and adolescence in a jungle. I said dissuaded him. However. and did not bring about any emotional at all Thus I was not if prepared for what happened when was it visited a second difficult. Because he was the kind of person he was. Lastly. but the ringing was persistent. his gazing politely at America was very pleasant. for Edwin had no if trouble understanding if why a base runner must tag up before running but too. seemed unfair I him.84 THE TRACK MEET it is moreover. that the roar of the He thought crowd and the booing at the umpire was Nothing either a kind of ritual or the fulfillment of an obligation. of the game. and interesting.

. I heard the ping and the sliding sound of a passing car. I if he did not. and I had no desire it to go to a track meet. or intimate. annoyed and feeling sure that was just six. It chill drizzle and although little I was spring. for he was the kind of person who did not even like to leave his house. or tactless things. was as were dreaming. that his name was Reginald Law. I thought I recognized in him a type the kind of person who makes no effort to sustain a conversation and who appears to be not — at all disturbed by the painful have silence that occurs little I when strangers meet and other. and was astonished to hear that he had been to Japan. last. decided immediately that the responsibility was I equally his and that would not say anything. I answered at last. find that they or nothing to say to each In these circumstances. being made panicky by is painful silences and feeling wrongly that the responsibility This time. I always mine. if I It all seemed quite strange to me.THE TRACK MEET again. perhaps during the war Reginald sation Law did not respond to my effort to make conver- by discussing the friend we had in common. The mutual friend was Hippocrates Pappas. have often said foolish. this was drip- the only it way to stop the ringing. a was falling. . in and I asked him to come He did not apologize for his per- sistent ringing. versation. the door. which was it to begin in half an hour. as if 85 sure he was ringing my visitor had paused to make the right bell. We glanced at each other. and I thought he was regarding the fact that was in my dressing gown and pajamas. and he told me that he had two I tickets for a track meet. "You I are Frank Lawrence?" he said at I said that was. But . He sat himself down an armchair and ex- plained that a mutual friend Japan had suggested he look whom he had encountered in me up when he came to New I York. And when opened my visitor told me in. argued mildly with him that couldn't start so early in the morning. There was a curious . and merely to revive con- indiscreet.

him how unkind he was "My hatred of you has turned to pity. I I It must be that crank again. "I wish you would. and then explained that he was travelling on an expense night after night. and even his cribbing was mixed up. after and a hack who had been and inaccurate articles turning in several poor on subjects he knew worse than nothing about (he cribbed from older encyclopedias. he wanted to know if I had a woman with me! hung up I in anger. The telephone began for it was extraordinary the morning. . as we back in the taxi. do you sat mind I if I call you Frank?" he said. when I saw the crowds . back on the hook. and I was astonished again. and heard the receiver the other end being placed . I got dressed and decided to go with Reginald Law and see whatever there was to see. We were soon the high-school stadium where the track meet was to take place. "I say." answered. and again." but he had continued to call and then hang up without speaking. account. in the bed- room.86 THE TRACK MEET I lack of sequence in what had occurred since had been awakened. to use American natural — my at first at least to me —on I was struck again by was quite natural for an name immediately. and disjointed). That was why I thought it was him again. Outside in the street he hailed a cab. and he kept calling. and he replied. but It how all curious his behavior seemed. . and at- tempted to hold a genial and intimate conversation. had been for the past year an editor of a new encyclopedia. Anyway. inaccurate. but it was not at the part of an Englishman. I to ring. So he had called told me at three o'clock in the morning. for anyone at to call me at that hour in answered the telephone. thought that I was the person who had been the cause of his losing his job. although the cloudy spring light that appeared in the windows was real enough. until at last to told wake me up at that hour. fired. which was thought. although he had been silent during the past two weeks. and when I him I was trying I to sleep.

limbering up. as continued to increase. and then to I asked Reginald shake hands with me. I was saw in the distance. hope our parents fixed upon not dreaming. I And then among the track men saw my five brothers. for I our seats. the baseball the stands. and the like. became more and more tense with excitement. were jogging up and down. hurdles. I really thought that I must be dreaming. And yet the field still seemed very much a baseball diamond and not a track. it and turning somersaults. I thought. He's practicing. a finish line. I was was in a state of hallucination. and hoped would not see me. An official who looked like a baseball umpire was firing a gun idly into the air. in a box my mother. "Do you 'want up to be sure that I don't have a gun or a knife my sleeve?" he asked.THE TRACK MEET 87 entering the stadium. and Carolus. for this was not the real world. Nicholas. The crowd. to As we moved wrong. Alphonse. . Edward. was real. certainly And I knew then that someIf I thing must be wrong. did not want to greet her. raising his eyebrows. I pinched myself as we went down the runway. I "I just want to be sure am not dreaming!" I replied. But of thing it occurred to me that this was not the kind field. which looked like a small or diminished version of the Polo Grounds. not Frank) and fected us all this not very much but showed the infinite and foolish us. What was that she that she she doing at a track meet? I And was displeased I was present. something must be very wrong. not imagined. troubled by the irony and dislike in his tone. I was sure that something seat. He did. which required practice. We only had af- been named after the crowned heads of Europe (my own name was actually Franz Joseph. and his hand. conand with a starting line. All over the young men stretch- in track suits ing. diamond there was a cinder track. Leopold. slightly moist. to start off centric with Around the runners.

right. you have no kick coming. but then it occurred to up. called out to my brothers." I I said to Reginald Law." Now. and were an only child. It was the letting vague gesture one makes "Everything happens to a stranger. but they just shrugged their shoulders." What was said that I I to make of this? child. to the field thought of going down and insisting that they speak to me. "They are my brothers." I said to him in anger. if see those I said to my am not dreaming.88 THE TRACK MEET "You base?" We I young men jogging up and down near first English visitor." said the reticent Englishman. I told myself. "You're "Appearing is not reality!" to I shouted at him. "Really?" said Reginald Law." he answered. were named after the crowned heads of Europe. turned. in turn and my pounding heart?" I And now saw that my shouting had made people . who had often told me way that kept egotist. he seemed to that I — —but think that I enjoyed being a hardheaded egotist. know what is happening my head. "I was informed that you had no brothers. As you Americans say. and then was ashamed "You're all of myself. me that perhaps this was some gag they'd thought One of them — it was Carolus to —waved I finally. and if looked at me and then looked blankly at each other. or beneath "How do you my shirt. he will not reply. me. and they turned up at me again. "What do you "I judge merely by your appearance. I me from becoming The idea seemed to angry headed was a hardamuse him. the sentence slip out before I knew what had said. I yelled again. and they stopped. I shrank from asking him who that it was an only knowing might have been in a friendly Hippocrates Pappas. as if I they did not recognize me. or as were some crackpot who was to look I pretending to be a friend of the performers. "You're doing very well." "How do you know?" know about me?" looking very well.

A billboard on the outfield wall advertised the overwhelming merits of an ale. as to show his eagerness. the smoke meant) Still further. and a character attired in . When die. Nicholas!" going to answer me. trying to recognized the mood off I my work off my uneasiness and shake nervousness by making poor jokes. sad-looking. "What difference does it make.THE TRACK MEET look at me. then she looked back at the "I don't care. you will be silent. Behind his back. Silence except for the murmur and avidly. when to like I saw that he was not "You used I me very much. She. A tarpon. Or do they?" I Law ignored this facetious remark. His mask was up. and who had once been very devoted I me. "Look. was in." said desperately and passionately. swordfish. munching peanuts and gazing Law. excitement of the crowd. frowning the foreground. a girl dressed as a peasant was laughing at him. A in spiral of words declared the Purity. further" (I did not fat know for sure what this —and A showed a smoker's billboard and grinning at another showed a scene party." Reginald I remarked idly. the Body. and his a face showed his humiliation. anyway? Why won't you He looked at me and I then turned away. anyway?" I shouted once again at Nicholas. "I am one of the Lawrence boys. dressed as a masquerade young man was by himself in clown." said Reginald looked at them. I "Really. What is going one to me?" here. whom we to all called the Czar. or if some kind of fish leaped from the sea. jogging. "fish don't drink beer. of Another billboard boasted about a cigarette — "Travels face. the Flavor every glass. say hello shouted. the advertisements are quite charming. I cried out. looked at me coldly and without recognition. 89 among them my mother. "Nicholas!" I'm Frank. too. field." I said to myself. "Hey.

in "Maybe it's something he did not eat. his tooth I powder. Some people is flat. "A wise jury. "It's neat paragraphs. "You are too serious. dull. while under insight: little expresses incontestable "life is swell — when poem which you KEEP WELL." he said in an off- hand." I said to Law. to be honest about knew very well how many of my comments were expressions of personal disappointment. "What difference does anything make?" I replied in irrita"You can prove anything or doubt anything. man who had girl. think that nothing exists. so I turned it. . and gloating and sneering. logy feeling comes from a diet Why not try America's super breakfast food?" The panacea this for every is form of melancholia and a social failure. What difference make. girl Nearby. "would convict her of nication or adultery for a look like that. She smiling sweetly." "At least it's not his teeth. deprecatory tone. and dressed as she were rich. The pretty was saying to Mephisto. one wearing a horse's head as a mask. anyway?" tion." I realized that I was jumping about foolishly. A girl foursome near the punch bowl. were also staring and laughing at him.90 THE TRACK MEET was holding a pitchfork toward our the red tights of Mephisto hero. back I to the billboards. a poster showed a looking lasciviously at a hair." Elsewhere. Maybe that lacking in pep. or his lack of an expensive automobile." "You make does it too much of these matters." murmured. I a well-combed head of if She was a very pretty for- thought. The fact is that. matchless cereal represented by a vivid box that ascends it is at the edge of the poster. By the right-field foul line showed a young man standing lady to was a big garish billboard that in back of a beautiful young is whom he has just given a radio. or that the earth Just try to prove to them that they are wrong. the prose elucidated the theme: nothing to clown about.

If you were religious. nor did know why girl what did. "You know about Kierkegaard. and she wearing (his a low-cut gown. But anyway. Kierkethe George to Washington of Denmark." and she holds little her small set as if she were holding a child. What was felt the use of talking to I did said to know why he I as he did. as if he wanted touch her breasts letters the poster — as if he would soon touch them. They admire him very much as a national hero is and never read anything he wrote. "You gaard is are thinking of Sibelius. you were you'd take a sedative." said Law. what wanted to tell He thinks there are three fundamental attitudes to existence — the aesthetic. "or am I wrong?" don't "Righto. very much. by thus pacifying yourself. "The radio draws upon I empyrean just like the oversoul. one of the runners had jogged up the last billboard and was kissing the handsome who had ." not I said." "Righto. In flowing casts the big phrase broad- "My Own the Personal Radio. His right hand. "these things are in the end a question of taste. is resting on her shoulder. that's what he seems be to the Danes encounter in New York. you'd neither kiss the lady nor take the sedative!" said Law. "The Norwegian playwright?" you?" I asked.THE TRACK MEET her blond hair is set 91 is in an upswept hairdo. yourself from the desire to kiss another man's wife. or the wife consulted? Look here. and. Prob- ably as good an illustration as any other would be a situation in which you wanted to kiss the wife of a friend. the ethical. as he stands behind her smile is an innuendo). it you would If kiss her without compunction." he him? I I continued. if any. "Yes?" "At what point. and his to ringers point down. Meanwhile. although he just as entertaining as I Bob Hope and perhaps more you was this: so. At I least. or a barbiturate. If you were aesthetic. would the husband's feelings be considered. and like ethical. and the religious." remarked. the Lithuanian general. an free aspirin.

a gangling young man. think- ing that since everything was utterly ridiculous. "I mean that's not the game. to was pointless harp on any one thing. "That's nepotism." — that's against the rules of "Nature is unfair. his five sets of tennis in'July. and they leaped As I had expected. fast. clapping and roaring as when.92 just THE TRACK MEET been given a radio. making Leopold and went the winner of the hundred-yard dash. As they came toward the tape. Two umpires were now firing pistols repeatedly. That fellow who you seem dictates of to think your brother behaved according to the . his legs kicking up at the knee. "What good does is that do him? The does not And New York rejected. his throat Adam's apple bobbing. and then became it silent. He was kissing with the intensity of one who drinks water after pulsing. and appeared forward." I "But said. The sharp sounds were like thin pieces of wood being The hundred-yard dash was about crouched tensely at the starting to begin. the first runner moved ahead." to take "He cannot be and he does not have much trouble to win her favors. bringing his team from behind and winning the game with one powerful swing of his shoulders." exist. to the difficult actuality. and ran almost even with the runner. I "How girl foolish." I said. in the ninth inning. Two my brothers. said. were tense as the rest. like pistons. Leopold and Carolus first were very tall." that's ridiculous. The pistol cracked out. split. with two men out and the bases loaded. full of real girls." "Perhaps he prefers the poster image said Law. But then Carolus threw himself forward and knocked the tall young man rose to aside. There is too is much pointless pretense. obsessed. in the race." said Law. The crowd its feet wild. "and existence is also unfair. just as Leopold and Carolus. the home-town slugger hits a homer. rising to fair my feet to see what was happening. and ten runners of line.





Most human beings behave
to themselves."



don't admit

—not even




must admit


feelings were mixed;


touched by Carolus' brotherly action, however unfair.
amplifier in center field

announced the winner and

Carolus for conspicuous honesty and distinguished action, which


as a

most curious choice of words.

Leopold, the winner, was led, like a horse, to the box where


mother was seated, and Carolus came with him. She con-

gratulated Leopold, but she kissed Carolus fervently twice
his cheek.


"You have brought honor
tearful with pleasure

to the family," she said,

and she looked

and happiness.



dream or


said to myself,


wrong with me.



had long since stopped, and now the sun was

trying to break through the cold, cloudy light. Reginald


bought two morning newspapers from a vender of pop, peanuts,
score cards, and other forms of reading matter.


read the news to


in a soft, indifferent voice.



wife had killed her husband after finding two letters from an-


in his pocket.

He had

given her a mink coat that

cost five thousand dollars for her birthday two

weeks before,

but she had stabbed him to death with steak knives, recently
purchased. The couple had two children, twelve and nine.


husband had been very devoted, the neighbors


"She shouldn't have done





"Now He

he's dead. Is she better off


then read a story about a husband

who had



wife, a bride of two months, because she

had come home




Insane jealousy, the newspaper explained. "I killed

her," the husband told the police. "Boy,



loved that gal!"

Law's next choice was the story of a bus that had crashed
through the railing of a canal bridge, drowning the sixteen
children in

and the






"Don't you agree?"


continued to read aloud.


Chicago schoolgirl had adfalse.

mitted that her accusation of rape was

She had entered

the youth's car willingly, she told the police



Massachusetts had committed suicide because she had no

date for the weekend and had had none for four previous weekends. She had left a note which said that she was sorry for
the trouble she

had caused everyone.


faulty gas heater


responsible for the death of three persons in a suburban two-

family house.

"You're making a selection,"





extremely one-




one-sided," he replied, "but these things did

fact occur.

You would

not be able to console any of the

victims by telling them that what had occurred was not by

any means representative."


looked at


with a faint smile. Then he took from his

pocket a small volume, which

saw was the Book of


Prayer, and read aloud, but softly:

"Keep me as the apple of thine eye; hide me under the shadow of thy wings, ". mine enemies compass me round about, to take away my soul. "They are inclosed in their own fat, and their mouth


speaketh proud things.



waiting in our

way on every
. .


watching to

cast us


to the


The mile run
saw that

the feature event


about to





five brothers

were in a huddle, as

they were

playing football, near the starting line, and

wondered what


trick they

were planning now.
out, the


the starter's

gun cracked

crowd uttered a low


runner broke forward, ahead of the

would have.

been surprised by what happened then, had
the surprise in

not exhausted

me, for a very pretty


dressed only in a

bathing suit climbed over the railing



panied her, but the runners jogged patiently and indifferently,

they did not see her)

and crossed the path of the pace and when he would not
stop, she



tried to stop him,

him over

the head with a



This action was received with a kind of studied applause

but vigorous

handclapping the

hometown crowd

awards the pitcher for the visiting team who has been shutting
out the



"That kind of thing

the kind of thing which
"is not


not done,"
effort to

said to

Law, using the phrase




appeal to the English mind.

"What makes you
eyes from the track.
"It spoils the

think so?" said Law, without turning his



said weakly

and without conviction.



no contest

you do not play


the winner

does not feel pride but guilt."


are interested in platitudes," said Law, "but




terested in reality."
reality that interested


at that

moment was

the sight

of the stricken runner stretched out on the grass of the infield

and coming







him with tenderness and sympathy.

A moment

after that,

they were sprawled out on the grass.
"All the world loves a lover,"
attention to

remarked, but


paid no


feeble essay at irony.

Meanwhile, the runners who had been holding back were now moving forward with determined energy. I saw that my five brothers were among them and that they were close to
each other, and


that they

would not





spectator threw a





one of the leading

contestants on the head, and this time the applause was unani-





of conviction.


race, as


to the final quarter mile,

a contest between seven runners, and
that all five of

had become was struck by the fact
Just then a fight
in the face,


brothers were

among them.




hit Carolus, slapping

him hard

Edward turned and knocked Leopold flat with a quick left hook, Carolus kicked Edward in the groin, and when Leopold
rose and tried to continue in the race (although he no longer had any chance of winning, barring more interventions), he was

tripped up

by Nicholas, who



who had

just stopped

turn was slapped hard by and watched until then, and
a hard

who was

himself knocked

down by





delivered by

Edward. In a moment, they were mixed


scrimmage, as

the runner

been tackled


a football

game, trying
roaring and


break through the

and the crowd was
this family riot to the field.

stood up.





by when


going on, and started making
followed me.

my way down


The bell that marked the end of the mile run clanged, and some of the spectators rushed out to congratulate the winner and carry him on their shoulders, but he darted away from them like a clever halfback and kept on running, as if the race were not yet over. The crowd was very much moved and pleased by this, and they applauded him, but their
applause turned to laughter as he continued in deadly seriousness and ever-increasing speed. At
like a senator or the



who looked
heavy, and

governor of a state



signalled with a limp



two policemen with

and they raised

guns and shot the winner down.
"I don't want to be killed,"





to myself,

drawing back.
to join

"Don't you want
boys were

your brothers?" asked Law, for the

struggling on the ground, kicking and punching,

and straining

to get up.

"Don't you think you should?"
to everything.



said, in



dressed as

drum majors pranced forward, shaking

their hips,


and came

to attention in front of the wrestling heap. like



who now looked


chorus line in a musical

comedy, drew forth

and shot


brothers to death, as

they were shooting horses with broken legs.



subsided immediately, the boys collapsed like punctured balloons, and I was terrified, and started to run away. Law caught up with me, seized me by the shoulders, and punched me in the

nose, knocking



cried out,

"What have

ever done to you?"


he didn't answer.
try to


he saw that


was going


up and

run away, he said to



would do

no good,

would not get away, and

said to





just a

dream, nothing more than a dream, and


running away


into the ordinary

day, and the

things and small actions of early morning, since this was just a dream, as he

knew very


make if it is a dream or it is not dream?" he said coldly and sternly as I burst into hysterical, grotesque, and unmanly tears. "It is worse for you it is far
difference does


worse for you

if it is

a dream.


should think that by this time

you would know



stood above me, glaring and looking as




tended to keep

me from


up from the ground where

The dusk was growing above

empty stadium,

and the cold sky looked and
leafless trees.
is it

a distant lake ringed by black

Are you

worse for


if it is


"I detest explanation," said Law.
really sure that

dream and only a dream?" "Do you insist on one?

you don't understand?"

"I often feel that


or nothing,"

said, in a plead-

ing voice, fearful that

would soon awaken, and
just as

that the




awakening would occur

he began to






"The things I read you out of the paper were, more shocking than what has just occurred down


there on the

"you not only know more than you think you know but more than you are willing to admit. then evil that has terrified you is rooted in your own mind and heart. The face I saw was livid and swollen with barbarous anger and unbearable shame. Look at yourself! Just look at yourself!" I tried once more to stand up. Like the rest of us. not at the sky but at the looking glass above the chest of drawers next to my dishevelled bed. and found myself standing up. and awoke. you field what occurred on the were merely imaginary the and unreal and merely your own private hallucination. staring. in a sweat of confusion and dread.98 field. THE TRACK MEET know. You And don't escape if from nightmare by waking up. ." Law said scornfully.

as soon as the business became successful.aAn This is American Fairy Tale tale. and happiness. It is it a story also a which is full of goodness and beauty. it shows that America has to be discovered again and again by is everyone in America. when he was very poor. Naomi Smith. His wife. the parents felt that was a matter of pride to congratulate their progeny by presentof scholastic ing them with a scholastic ring or some other form jewelry as a reward and as a token of their progress in higher education. was a strong and domineering woman who had helped her husband in business from the very start. And since so many other . facturer of scholastic jewelry He was a manuwas it and thus his prosperity was comgirl paratively stable because whenever a young boy or graduated from high school or college. but is true story. Melvin Smith wanted his son to be his junior partner as soon was graduated from high school. But Paul asked his father to give him just one year at college. a fairy not only And it is a success story. Since is the kind of experience which could only occur in America and the kind of a story which has and must have a happy ending. Melvin Smith was a prosperous businessman. and she had become an equal and far from as he silent partner. for America of the always new and always full unknown and undiscovered. innocence. It it is full of purity.

for the sake of their unborn children. like the having been told that one grew to look objects one looked at a great deal. was difficult to deny Paul's The father's feeling for his son was a very strong one. he had purchased a bust of Apollo. This was the one remaining other things he dreg or drag of his shyness. it Paul went to a Midwestern university. looked at it as much as possible for the next few months. just like to cheer up your friends. a men. they wanted something him. placed it in his bedroom. He was plain. that he rushed to he rushed for fear of rejection. delightful vitality made him attractive to girls. happened on dates was tures. exciting. But Paul would not believe He "You thought that his friend was just trying to reassure him. or a sense of importance. for going to college as he had fondly imagined there. or an upset stomach. renewed. What make amorous overand when his haste was . since was only by going out of town that he was able to believe that he was really it. that Paul was not joking. Hence the friend sought to explain to Paul that most girls were not really interested else. Mildred she was a girl and thus did not satisfy the father's need Howard —but he was him —but —and just a little boy. self- convinced and self-dismayed. it boys were also going desire. the friend thought that Paul must be joking. when he asked a dormitory friend if any Then his friend perceived as he supgirl would ever really love him. but he thought that he was too plain for girls to like posed. He was unhappy made his he was afraid of girls. and obtained no results. that he awaited an answer fearful that his doubts would be in good-looking confirmed. In all voice heard. as he felt about his He felt almost as intensely about his son own body when he had a toothache. Paul did not know that his exuberance and his bouncing. for he thought of him as a part of himself. and the father was only able to think of as the baby of the family. refreshed. There were two other children. sense of power." Paul declared. youthful once more. and him very much. but not repellent.100 AN AMERICAN FAIRY TALE to college. Some three years before this time.

It is delicious. he used fourto words (Sylvester was more sensitive than Paul con- ventional mores). an imperative blocked and frustrated by our industrial civilization. Voluble and dogmatic as ever. with his father. "I use four-letter words because existence is full of four-letter facts and pheif nomena! for I refuse to be an ostrich! And it I don't care all the nervous prudes shudder when they hear four! four! four! As me. Paul Smith began become very much People's interested in Marxism. during and durto ing the year before the New Deal began. who like him came from New York. Paul be- refusal. neither Plato's Republic." he shouted to Sylvester. and when if him to speak in a lower voice.AN AMERICAN FAIRY TALE criticized. he became a member which was called YPCL. gentility. of the entire "I face the facts. saying. . Lawrence. nor the works of where the necessity of spontaneity and wholeness of being was shown were to be an imperative of nature. but seemed to And when he walked up Sylvester asked letter the steps of the library with his crony Sylvester. Paul argued with his friend Sylvester about Marxism and Communism and the Soviet Union and he had like arguments. or Young Communist League. No one really charming and knew what he was to some hilarious. It is most enjoyable. and in fact he was loved as a delightful fantast who did many hilarious things. H. He was arrested for drunkenness and he argued with the policeman and the judge to that they had no right judge him because they had studied D. During the first came known to the other students. of academic institu- tions. 101 he concluded that was an absolute judgment and year at this Midwestern university. Paul responded by denouncing the conventions and the squeamishness of middle class. thus forcing all who some intelligent and sensitive to take up hard liquor and it sprees. I like it very much. fore! fore! fore!" the worst part of the great depression When. when of the student political group he went home during holidays. I find delightful.

"You among millions and think you're right and yet millions of human beings: a guy like you ought to want to be something more than a lackey of the lower middle class. the right to the pursuit of human being and not the hypnotized . and the Soviet Union." said Sylvester hope- you're only one "What egotism!" said Paul. but what I want now being a be permitted the right implicit in the Constitution. "a human being and an American: in was born Brooklyn and thus native of is to was fortunate enough to be born a the United States. hopelessly I and hopefully." said Sylvester. "Many lessly. "You of can't tell me that the all one hundred fifty million people to the Soviet Union are wrong!" Paul cried loudly Sylvester. arguing as violently about their political Tightness as he argued in defense of Josef Stalin. Even comrades. Paul refused to admit that his reasons for being a political radical were purely personal and sexual and artistic." Sylvester told Paul that he would change his mind again and again. Karl Marx." "I just want to be a human I being. irritated and triumphant.102 AN AMERICAN FAIRY TALE him that he did not under- Sylvester infuriated Paul by telling Marxism or joinwhen Paul was elected president of the YPCL's. millions of human beings have been wrong again and again and will be wrong again and again. a post he desired for its own sake and in the hope that it would make him more attractive to the girls who were his stand his for being interested in own motives ing the YPCL's. "How reason about you?" said Paul. an American. but Sylvester did not suspect that in twenty years' time Paul would be an ardent and self-righteous defender of Senators McCarthy and Jenner. "What there for your hatred of is Marxism and Communism except the fact that you are a serf of the lower middle class and lack the courage to emerge from your class and place and join the brotherhood of the human race.

instead of ing the traitors and revolutionists who were trying to destroy capitalism and take over the family business. Paul had arguments of a he was the son of a like kind with his father." "Chauvinism. pure chauvinism!" said Paul. progressive. "If I were not a capitalist. "theatrical . he ought to be a capitalist himself. off in During school holidays. Beethoven. "you would not be going to an out-of-town college. a rapid which was made the more win his favor when two factions of his party unit sought to in the by denouncing the other faction as pay of the police. But now he decided that he was against jazz. an accusation entirely untrue of both factions. For a long time he had been delighted by jazz music and he had played the piano very well with a small jazz band on Saturday nights. by capitalist But Paul did not remain a Communist for very long. You can't have your cake and eat capitalist you want indigestion and constipation or unless you are a and can afford to buy more and more cake. join- and join the family business as junior partner. was through with Communism. it. and he quickly decided that he shift His interest in studying classical music came into conflict with his political activity very soon. he detested Jazz was a debased expression of the anxiety and frustration of the creative. stalking ideological indignation. and Brahms." In reply. "Something quite theatrical. Paul denounced him as a vicious and shameless sentimentalist as well as a petty bourgeois blinded lies. become to interested in music like and in He had making music and he decided be a great musician Bach. Melvin Smith told his son with pride that since capitalist." Paul told Sylvester.AN AMERICAN FAIRY TALE 103 puppet of an economical interpretation of history and of human nature. and revolutionary working-class." said Melvin Smith. clerk in the garment center You would be socialist it a shipping and a parlor on Sundays too unless and holidays.

it. and he proposed an elopement. and told them she intended to marry Paul. even though she sometimes was shocked by his foul language. but she was sure that he was a genius: she thought that she was a genius too. And he studied very hard. just as immediately or he would Beethoven had. He said that they really hated art and tried to deform his denunciations. he denounced anyone who seemed to be conscious of the trials and crises of society. Despite the poverty which troubled Paul so much." At the music school where Paul now went to study harmony and counterpoint. Dorothea not only admired Paul very much.104 and AN AMERICAN FAIRY TALE histrionic about their behavior. Paul insisted that Dorothea him immediately. but said nothing else. not the cops. She was also thrilled because Paul was in a hurry. Neither of them had any . he was always in a hurry. Paul's preoccupation with the writing of great was set to one side when Dorothea told him of her parents' refusal to accept Paul as her husband and their son-in-law. and when Dorothea introduced Paul to her parents. Paul and Dorothea were very much in love with each other. since his father refused to do more than pay his tuition fee. Dorothea first was also an ambitious musician and she responded of all to Paul's extravagant vitality and forthrightness. He recognized for the first time that Dorothea was not only very intelligent but that she was very much in love with him: hence all he became even more in love with her than he had been along. about this certainty to Paul or anyone In a short time. and even more thrilled elope with because her parents prohibited her marriage to a genius. The police are called the Cossacks. he kept saying that either the elopement occurred live a celibate's life. It is as if they were acting out the scenario written for them by previous revolutionary movements. Paul was in a hurry and Dorothea was thrilled by the idea of an elopement. they were music horrified. After six weeks of disputation and impatience. Paul and Dorothea eloped and were married. amid and he fell in love with an extremely pretty and extremely self-conscious girl named Dorothea. immediately.

"I know I am right." "I would not love you. His parents and his wife's parents were now very proud of him. He earned a very handsome and he lived very well. "you know that you are my wife and that you love me. who had voiced her suspicion that the dean of the music school was jealous of Paul." Paul was somewhat consoled by these remarks. "You will am right and that you are a great composer. he would not have let some of his best plays remain unpublished during his lifetime. And he found elicit himself resorting to declarations of despair just to re- assurance from Dorothea. And Shakespeare did not know that he was Shakespeare! If he had.AN AMERICAN FAIRY TALE money and Paul had lishers. a reassurance rich in examples and praise which compared him with immortal masters. that's why you see me the way you do. of Cezanne. But he did not least surrender or forget his desire to be a great composer." said Dorothea. in the Soon he was leading his own jazz band. Paul became a very successful jazz band leader and he played once a week on the radio salary. 105 to take a poor job with sheet music pubto live and the newly wedded couple had in a seedy rooming house. "if you were not what you anyone are. "How can it possibly be otherwise. . encouraged him passionately. When you love a person you late know him better than else does." Dorothea answered. bragged about his early success. He began his second symphony and Dorothea." And she supported her hope and admiration for prove that I her husband of un- by drawing forth her inexhaustible fund of examples recognized genius in music and in the other arts as well. No one knew how wonderful they were. Think of the quartets of Beethoven." said Paul reasonably. Soon enough Paul was writing arrangements for jazz bands. and Emily Dickinson. of Keats. of Van Gogh." she "How can genius as original and unique as yours be everyone from the very start?" argued. also. clear to "But dearest. dearest.

but quite content with his lot. howling in the wilderness. took an apartment in a fashionable neighborhood. and persuaded a major orchestra to perform it. Paul told Sylvester that he had really accomplished something new in music. but their was contradicted and denied by and to ever-increasing desire to live well know interesting and gifted people who Paul said." answered Paul. finished his second to symphony. "Shakespeare did it." he declared. depended upon effervescence and conscious of vitality more than upon six his musicianship. "If it he did it. "I have augmented the world of sound in a fundamental way. the friends had argued Sylvester to hear long and in vain about the possibility of being a serious com- poser and yet a popular one. society "You are a melancholy Lear. was used to such declarations and he was pleased them because he knew that it meant that his friend. was feeling very good. modern serious The analogy was wrong. none too successful. Paul tried hard enough money to be able to stop conducting for a this time. Paul secured months of leisure. during the summer Paul saw his friend Sylvester who was now a lawyer. Finally. or the public eye." Paul insisted in a clamorous way." Sylvester felt that the Elizabethan age was different from the present. so that he might finish his second desire symphony. The performance was occur in the fall. as Paul's success as a jazz band leader was secure. move among the famous and the and they and they acquired a to save taste for expensive living. But when his symphony was performed that fall and praised . there is no reason why can't be done today. It were in the limelight. except by some freak or accident.106 AN AMERICAN FAIRY TALE to Paul and Dorothea began rich. of whom he was very fond. but Paul strove to ignore this dependence whenever he became it. During their meetings of recent years. and the whole character of seemed to him to make it very difficult for a musician to be popular.

the of Melvin Smith gave two of his paintings to his son and daughter-in-law. Since he had nothing to do with himself. Husband and wife any still denied to each other and to friends that there was real conflict between the two desires. — he also desired and enjoyed the pleasures and comforts of his standard of living. and in a comparatively short period of time. Paul's sister Mildred if had married a likely young man who was nothing not willing to take Melvin Smith's place in his business. Why his successful son. he might win the acclaim he desired so much. The year before. Paul was full of He felt that he was right back where he had necessary. who told him that his primitive abstractionism was far superior to the primitive paintings of Grandma Moses.AN AMERICAN FAIRY TALE politely 107 dismay. Paul returned to conducting a jazz band at a fashionable and he played once a week on the radio. more exaggerated than ever. Claude Vermont. But hotel. don't you be like . This sufficed to secure Melvin Smith a one-man show and one of his paintings was purchased by the Museum of Primitive Modern Art. and visited his them frequently without announcing living coming to be sure that they kept his paintings upon the wall of their handsome Bauhaus room. and this desire was encouraged in him by Dorothea just as much as his ambition as a composer. and then he began to paint himself. Dorothea's re- assurances were again and now they were more extreme. and quickly forgotten. "You have sold out. City. Melvin Smith retired and the business con- tinued to prosper. He was determined as ever to be a great composer. and he began to think of his third symphony and his fourth perhaps if he produced the two at once. he was a primitive abstrac- He showed his canvases to various art dealers. he infuriated his fond father once again." said Melvin Smith to "You have sold out to Tin Pan Alley. Melvin Smith began to go to all the art shows in New York tionist. brilliant critic and to modern art. started. When Paul told his father that he did not care for primitive or abstract art. just as before.

108 Bela Bartok? if AN AMERICAN FAIRY TALE Money I is not everything: I will be your patron. if be much more you stop wasting your time on pleasing just follow Stravinsky. father. and hope that America were going to be discovered again. is full of purity. would enjoy the most important feelYou are just as good as you want to be! I knew that this was true when was a boy and I know that it is true now. in that he was shouting and he lowered will "Don't you see that you the long run. his heart in all truth his father or possess And in the depths of Paul himself was unable to disagree with any strong conviction that his father was wrong and he was right. self-respect. Bartok. But his protestation was quite in vain. satisfied with your- became aware self. if and happiness. is. to reply to his to He felt sure that the world was coming an end. He did know how it. or at least the world as he had known He had tried to remind his father how much parental to his resistance there had been becoming a musician at all. . how true! It is the equal of any fairy tale. innocence. It is like a newborn child. How beautiful this success story it how good. and how much family pride there had been when he was a popular and successful composer listened to on the radio and frequently in the public eye. if necessary! will support you for at least two years you write the kind of music you really want to write instead of writing tinkle and tom-tom for Tin Pan Alley!" Melvin Smith his voice. and Prokofiev. It is as one were to say." Paul was silenced for the not first time in fifteen years. you ing in I life. the public? If you would Schoen- berg. believe.

father had like the gold said so too. It it was. the . He was going all the way to Brooklyn. clicking them. picking up tickets. He jingled his coins in his pocket because some one might hear and know he had money and was big enough to be trusted with silver. Mother had said too. and brave enough to travel by himself in the subway where it was always roaring. and dear Vera was an honor paper stars the teacher gave for excellent deportment and in 100% arithmetic. This time was different and more important. And he was very proud then. long ago. But he was not big enough to be trusted because Vera spoke to the conductor who smiled at him when he passed on the way to the seashore. in the subway and the grown ups had looked at him: they must have known that he was being trusted to travel by himself all the way downtown in the subway and back to bring a purchase back to Macy's department store. And once before.The Qift It was something special. dear Vera the servant maid (who came from Poland and wanted to go back to Poland as soon as she had enough money for a husband and to buy a farm) had put him on the train of the Long Island Railroad to the seashore where Grandma lived in the summer when it was too hot. Once before Toby had been sent downtown to Macy's department store to return a package and get back the purchase price.

. who hated him because Isabel liked to play post office with him and did not like Buck Thomas at all. and he saw the big clock next and the little wooden newsstand. He walked down felt the steps and it carefully thrust his nickel into the turnstile. Mother and Vera had which said told be sure he took the train New Lots Avenue or he would not get to Brooklyn and the birthday party. The only thing wrong was that he had no birthday present and he didn't because they had decided that it was all right for fast him to go to the party alone only in the it morning at breaksta- time and store was a Sunday. If they played post office. and panicky but then when he pushed train a little more like slowly it gave way. he would get a kiss from Isabel and another one if he went to the kitchen with Isabel to bring back more ice cream and cake. to it helmet Uncle William had brought him back from had it. He saw except it the subway kiosk ahead. he knew for sure. afraid might get stuck and pushed the gate too soon. but Mother said that baseball was only for lunatics and fanatics. as the came roaring in summer thunder him to in the upstate mountains. under the river into the tunnel office where it was like going up in the elevator in Father's in building which was a throbbing his ears until the express elevator reached the 44th floor. a spike in it was just like the German France.110 THE GIFT borough where he was born so long ago he could not remember: Vera said that no one ever was able to remember that. It liked was Martha's birthday and Isabel would be there too who him very much. so no stores except the tionery were open and there he could buy something which mother thought would be improper as a birthday present for a girl. near the pillar. swung and clicked and he stood on the platform. All the way to Brooklyn. a toy baseball game which he had looked at for a very long time in the plate glass window. and Buck Thomas too. but she might be wrong.

not like mother who kept saying that God would punish him for being a bad boy. moving until his lips at and almost speaking a lady next to him looked him. but he had no present to give because Swenson the Thankswhen he was on the road or coming back again from Chicago: so he was ashamed twice. if he had not been One him way said self of the advertisements was about God and it his army and on the father he might try praying to God.THE GIFT 111 He other looked up at the advertisements above the seats on the side of the aisle and began Martha. black licorice. Once mother and not there was a father had an argument about whether or father said that mother God and for if had only a to personal God just for herself. "please give me a . gumdrops. God was supposed God give you what you prayed you were a good boy but you could himself never be sure about being good and only knew whether or not you were good. one was enough. because he saw the look on Miss Swenson's face when she opened the box of candy and saw it was all children's candy. All the other children would it have presents to give to would be in school last year when the other children gave Miss Swen- son Christmas presents. lollipops. Mother had allowed him to give Miss giving candy father had sent him chickenfeed. was not a right to ask train now that he was already on the that there Mother said to was God and when he asked him and Vera went that there that he would have to decide for him- Church every Sunday morning and she as being was sure was a God and she spoke of God very kind. He was more ashamed then than when he had nothing gift to give her at Christmas because at Christmas Mother said that he had already given teacher a present. but maybe for a present to Brooklyn. which was not what father would have said on the road again. "Dear God. all to feel more and more just like that time ashamed that he had no present." he prayed. and taffy and then he knew he should not have given her a present of children's candy.

Even God it did not answer his prayer and give him a gift for Martha. at least I think she a in good girl. the Sunday school teacher said. was so long since he had seen Martha.112 present for Martha. into Of course he kept being skipped and promoted Advance classes. it would not show that there was no God but might mean that Isabel was right and Martha was not a good Also five it girl. been any old way and he would not know about He was probably maybe this being a dumbbell just like the boys in Junior High said he was but one of them said to another that dumbbell might turn out to be one of those sharks. mixed up about God and about the things Sunday School teacher told the class and once it started an argument when he came home from Sunday School for the first time and Uncle Robert who was a banker and Aunt Anne were here from Chicago and they asked him what they had taught was easy to get the . Isabel was a Catholic tell and she always promised to him secrets of the church and then when she refuse to got what she wanted tell —candy it or a toy —she would him because she it said was not really a promise. present for Rapid God would have quite a lot of him now that he was trouble in getting a birthday in the subway with the girl train racing and roaring on the long express run from 96th to 72nd to 59th and Columbus Circle. was before Christmas. it it was more than weeks. she had taken back under her breath." Isabel told him the last time he was Brooklyn that Martha in a had been sent to bed without supper twice things up and did not row but some- times Isabel made if know she was making them up. even THE GIFT if I am not a good boy is I know that Martha is good. but lots of the boys in Sunday Isabel would say School said It it was just a fairy tale. so Martha might have it. it was a dumb idea to ask God for a present when he was in the subway but it was like God opening up the Red Sea and dividing it in half so that his chosen people could get away from the Egyptians who were chasing them in chariots.

because he seemed to be enjoying himself. But that . Vera had been born on a farm from the earth and then the bees and she said babies grow there are flowers in fruits in like the trees May and come and then all there are that August and September. that a new baby arrived every six seconds in the city of greater New York and there was no evidence that there there were were any storks sufficient for the growing population. God protects everyone who less is weak and to and poor. He asked father if storks did not bring babies too and father said that there were not enough storks to take care of all the babies of all the married couples. Uncle Robert looked disgusted and father began choke on his soup and mother said. He told them remember all much but Uncle Robert kept asking him just as everyone began on the soup.THE GIFT him very in 113 that he did not Sunday School." That was he would know better now. that he was saying something peculiar which one ought not to say to a banker? Uncle Robert kept after him and became angry and asked him whether the teacher had taught him that the earth and waters. When it he was a baby and went in the kindergarten he thought was the stork that brought the baby were flying sky and he looked out over where Dr. so he said that the teacher told him about help- what God does. city babies were born because they were born He asked his father once when there was company and father said he always thought spring. God was being born. at night to see if storks Young lived. it was very hard still to understand to anything about God. But this was not the way year long. But when he was six years old and how could he know just a baby. and more marriages than storks and everyone laughed again but Toby and father said. He did not was the stork who brought the flowers of like jokes which he could not understand. God made Then Mother father took said. "Robert!" and she was angry he thought at it Uncle Robert and father laughed so much that like was like when him to the pictures where they saw Charlie. it Everyone laughed but Toby. "Toby!" which meant "shut up.

it Father and Mother did not pray or still they a secret but they had everything they all wanted without praying while Vera who prayed did not have enough she the time money to go back to Poland and the farm for at in her came from and she said she would not have enough least three years and sometimes Toby heard her cry room because she was so lonesome. so why should they mind?" Toby said to Father." Toby said to sure he was He was because God knew best." Father smiled "But they're not deaf and dumb. Father. He could not get down on his knees in the it subway or else he was sick but maybe would make no difference he just if prayed with his did they kept lips. the teacher taught the class Vera prayed for her to pray. He always made mistakes because he thought too much and did not get things straight like the time Father and Mother took him to the moving-pictures because it was Vera's night out. and bellowing. making a mistake about Vera's prayers Vera said. family in Poland and she told him how you must get down on your knees and close your eyes and you must mean everyone would think if what you say because no one can fool God. "How could they hear if they're deaf and dumb?" Deaf and Father said: "The people who run yelling the Dumb Academy can hear you but he was angry. on the way they passed the Deaf and Dumb Academy and he read the name on the sign and he shouted out: "Deaf and dumb! Deaf and dumb! deaf and dumb!" at the top of his voice until his father stopped him. they're deaf and dumb. Vera said that there was a God and Vera was very smart too and she never told lies. Vera taught him arithmetic quicker than school.114 THE GIFT too: if must have been a joke for all the babies there there were enough ambulances just might be enough storks for the babies especially because the grown-ups need ambulances too. "They can't hear me. . she was not as smart as tell Mother and the truth to father but mother and father did not always in him or to each other.

" and then he said to Mother. Then he said. Bedford Avenue was the next of the train Toby got up and got out steps when it stopped and walked up the and looked for the taxi he had been told to take house. Mother did not She said to Father that he was in a mean to Toby so Father said to Toby nice voice. "I suppose he'll grow up being to be a shyster lawyer. that there was a proverb. Then he got into the taxi and the taxi was soon going down the big street where the streetcar ran. Father said. "Just don't Toby." So Toby said. don't is! a logician he What to hurt a logical rascal!" you?" So Father said. "The reason most people and are trying because they get mad dis- someone's feelings. you don't mind. a very old saying." He like it still did not it. Another hit the taxi's fender in front taxi turned in suddenly and that and it all happened so quickly . "You and Mother was logical that they should not be the way people's feelings worked.THE GIFT 115 said." like that. to get to Martha's The taxi driver asked him if he had the money and Toby showed him the dollar Father had given him. It out the way he had shouted mad but that was not They became mad whether they had any logical right to become mad or not. if "What a logical monster we have spawned!" Father yell. logical that anyone who was wholly clever was theater half a fool. argue all the time. turning towards Mother. did so behind closed doors most of the time. know what logical was but from the way to father said it was not a very nice thing be and he did not when Mother and Father would argue even though they stop. "Your mother is right. Now no more cussion of the topic for several days to come. "You Then he said are logical is see to what Toby. Just before they came to the Toby asked Mother what was was and mother that he told him that being logical like arithmetic and was being logical when he said that deaf and dumb was something which in the would not make the doctors and nurses Deaf and just Dumb Academy mad when he shouted out. Being logical is also being someone who loves to argue all the time.

" said the cop. getting closer all the time. officer. The cop gave Toby box and told the two taxi drivers to it. "Look. driver said. "you see present for one of it box to I have? if It's a my own kids." said the taxi-driver to the other taxi-driver. this it in answer. Soon the cab-driver stopped brownstone house where Martha's birthday party was and Toby gave him the dollar he had been told to give the taxi-driver. did that too. maybe you have and hiccup. "just say that again. He was afraid he would get although he "Just look had the address of the house where Isabel what you've done other one. wasn't it?" the might have been As he got out of the cab he was afraid that it . I'll give you it you want it's and if you stop crying. That was a pretty nice cop. like "Guys you the you ought to jail." the taxi driver yelled at the other taxi driver. You might not want but because for a little girl. "I'll beat the living daylights out of you. "Which Toby felt of you guys made this kid cry?" the cop asked the at all two taxi-drivers." Toby burst into tears and got lost out of the taxi. kid. take each other's license numbers and beat into the cab. holding the Toby got back box and wondering about at the his prayer." They stood like that yelling at each other. "Oh.116 THE GIFT to get scared. I was taking potshots at Germans when you were cleaning up. Both of them said nothing he couldn't stop crying anymore." Toby stopped crying and started to gulp "I would like to have the box. little draft dodger. "Thank you. their eyes bulging. Toby did not have time and looked taxi like The taxi driver got out he was going to get into a fight with the other be in driver. "Just say that again. I lived. to this kid. the a sister." said Toby. kid." said Toby's taxi-driver to the I did that too." said the other driver and just then a few people and a cop came along and to the when Toby saw the cop he thought he would never get party on time and he began to cry again. I'm a veteran.

THE GIFT wrong not get to take the it 117 little it. the He rang the doorbell and began to think of how proud he would all be when he gave Martha her present and he told Isabel things that had happened when he had been allowed to go by himself to the borough of Brooklyn where he had been born so long ago. He stopped in front of the door of the brownstone house because he suddenly remembered that his prayer had been answered only after a taxi had another taxi. box because then the cop's really tell girl would ask and she might have been praying for even though he prayed for He would it Vera because she would to take the present him whether it. He wanted open the box and see what was in but that would spoil the fancy wrapping-paper. was wrong tell He would Vera about how God had answered his prayer and had made the to box a present for the little girl and not it for a boy. bumped to into to and a big fight had started and he had started that there cry like a big baby and a sissy. for presents but It might be dangerous pray anyway he was sure now was a God. .

and was certain that he would never want to see one. Although he had never seen a horse race. Monroe Lawrence added to his other scholarly attainments a new one. but there was in- him was the correctness and he was not concerned in the of his choices least in and predictions. partly dis- because his parents would have been shocked. at Atlantic where he had gone with his parents of after getting his degree doctor of philosophy at the precocious age of twenty-one. as he called them. He did not actually bet on them. he became an expert on the horses who raced in horse races all year long all over the country. In only two weeks. in Cuba. in Mexico. nor had ever wanted to see one. He City. studied the horse sheets. in the United States. for they another and more important reason for not betting: what terested approved very much of any form of gambling. gambling as a way of . singular indeed for him. he all felt that he had acquired the knowledge necessary to betting on the races and winall ning the time.qA Colossal Fortune For Marshall Allan During the long idle pleasant luxurious summer of 1935. and in Canada.

and excluded everything else in the world to such an extent. an adored He was not surprised that he succeeded in getting his doctorate in philosophy at the unprecedented age of twenty-one. likely to had never attempted anything in which he was He had been an infant prodigy. nor was he particularly impressed or delighted with himself. but his extreme youth and his boyish appearance seemed to be the reason that he had not been asked to teach. for he had always been very successful in everything he attempted.A COLOSSAL FORTUNE 119 winning money quickly. At first when he strolled on the boardwalk and looked at the . within than a month. — — of a large theoretical fortune. except also. it had never followed any sport or game. Monroe's parents would have been astonished to learn that their only son was devoting himself to the horses. Monroe was gratified by his success in winning this large amount of money. he for chess. which required calculation and judgment that And was not Monroe was disdainful of the sport of kings or of any of him. his preoccupation with every form of learning and with the powers of his mind was so complete. It was the sort of thing which he took for granted. By making private bets every day after studying the horse Monroe soon found himself in paper possession which was entirely sufficient possession. His hypothetical bets on the horses who raced every day less all over North America had re- sulted. He had also been. only son. a prize winner. He wanted to be a teacher of philosophy. in the acquisition of more than two hundred thousand dollars. from his own point of view sheets. a quiz kid. and he did not know. that the question of whether any interest was low and vulgar or to exalted and noble was a question which would never occur him. a boy wonder. but he was not in the least surprised that he had won it. Monroe took it for granted that at the proper time he would certainly be asked to teach philosophy. as he still was. game and sport as wasteful preoccupations unworthy On the contrary. that he fail. He had no way of knowing.

since he had entered kindergarten at the age of four. he thought only of the races on which he had bet with himself: he was blind to all the vividness of the seashore resort which surrounded him. Anyone who looked at Monroe saw that he was a student. he had discussed them with his wife. There was something about Monroe which his father was unable thing which did not of fit to fathom. his father asked him if he wanted go to law school. Monroe's father was perplexed as well as relieved. there Monroe to do except to continue to be a had received his Ph. and as he strolled. entrancing activity of betting on horses took his mind entirely. per- haps was the absence of some quality of being. Monroe responded with clear and complete calm to excite many things which would Monroe was in so many ways a remarkable young man. some- into previous patterns of his experience human it beings. most human beings then —but . he was still a student. In the past when Monroe's father had felt the same vague but painful doubts about Monroe. So far as his father could else see. human to In the middle of the summer. when he agreed with perfect aplomb as if he had thought of the possibility for years. and he asked himself: what is Time? what the is Change? what ing.120 A COLOSSAL FORTUNE ocean. the breaking waves made him think of his studies in metaphysics. not the presence of something which was positive.D. who reassured him. he had been a student for a long time now. degree. enthrall- fascinating. Monroe had often induced was little for student. When Monroe agreed that it was indeed sensible for him to go to law school. Or perhaps the something was nothing. even though he such a mixture of feelings in his father. is Movement? But soon the enchanting. he looked impatiently at his wristwatch to see if it were time to go again to the billiard parlor where at the ticker tape the results of the races came over the wire and over the radio: out in all there he would find out races cited all how he had made the day's over North America wherever the sport of kings exbeings.

"he cannot understand a metaphysician. agreed. and he had written his doctor's thesis on a metaphysical sub- . Concerned with objects of the average concerns of the flesh: he soared above the he was a student of philosophy. with the real world. But the in this mother saw nothing strange lack of interest. Monroe's father was a doctor. in the he heard an indescribable and nameless pulse or vibration in Monroe—-it was to be like coming upon an alarm wilderness of the northern woods. eye. ticking. but nevertheless he not reassured by his wife's attitude. was remarkable and brilliant. Lawrence was uncertain his about his anxiety. also utterly lost in Lawrence very much some private dream. and did not untroubled and apparently certain that everyone else existed in the same dream. he was not sure that he ought to be troubled. Yet Dr. and he was very successful in whatever he attempted: he would continue to be. or unconnected. he was a specialist in ear. at the same time —he was know it. to criticize 121 him for having any doubts about "No matter how good a doctor is. —and this troubled Dr.A COLOSSAL FORTUNE and often went on Monroe. while hunting: Monroe seemed al- disconnected. Dr. intellect. he did not know was the world except in these special ways. She felt Monroe was a superior. perhaps it was own narrowness of mind and of experience his teachers which made him doubtful about Monroe who. dedicated young man. For he sometimes thought clock. as he had always been. very successful. Lawrence girls." she said. did feel that he ought to question his wife about the fact that Monroe showed no were many that girls interest all whatever in although there of kinds at the seashore resort. she reminded him. Hence he concluded that perhaps law school as a practical training for the real world might make Monroe less unworldly. all During the pleasant lounging loitering summer. though he obviously existed and functioned in the real world. elevated." Monroe was a perfect student. He must not be judged by ordinary and average standards. nose and throat diseases.

Monroe replied that she with to much sympathy. Lawrence did not find out the truth about his son's being and character. and Mrs. Anything. however. But extended his concentration on whatever interested him immediate present prevented him from feeling any acute or grief. Einstein of philosophy. But she knew how rare a mastery of was —perhaps Monroe would be an physics.122 ject. except it that was very important and unknown to most. year at the law school of Monroe was no more disturbed by sorry. Yet death had made a serious difference in his future. and everything fascinated him. A COLOSSAL FORTUNE Mrs. Monroe did not have any close friends of his own sex either. like relativity it physics. there were never unhappy. however. getting along until then on a sharply diminished allowance. Lawrence knew nothing about metaphysics. He knew found it very painful deny him anything. for he death than by most of the events. mind being without to find cronies He always seemed to be able to enough the than enough! — —more doctor do with himself. and life. Perhaps. a Freud of meta- Dr. Fairfield father's for he died suddenly of a cerebral first hemorrhage his during the winter of Monroe's University. and he declared that he could certainly get along very well on the curtailed allowance. others. for his father's estate provided only his tell enough to assure to mother a modest livelihood. Lawrence wrote her son that he would have to think of making a living for himself as soon as he had finished law school. He was never bored. although his good manners did much to conceal this fact from nation: most people. episodes of He was had liked his father very in the much. had never known any other human being boredom. Monroe made a new budget for himself: the effort was as . were Dr. something. occurrences. free of the pain of like who. Lawrence was not convinced by his wife's lucid explait was too lucid. his son's shyness was the reason: it was certainly true that Monroe was shy. Monroe. and he did not appear to or chums.

disturbing Monroe as he tried to study. His moved was a very it room was small and uncomfortable: closet was a hall bedroom: the enough room for his suits. in- sometimes before and sometimes after his dinner. His books. all Worst of lived on the He went relling to was the middle-aged and irascible drunkard who same floor and shared the bathroom with Monroe. the bathroom all evening long. a by beer. and slamming it when he did in the close it and sometimes slamming his own door too lady midst of his ab- sorption in drinking and arguing with the choice of his heart. or in a cemetery. and in cartons many important books packed and shoved under his bed. or a new subject of the He devoted himself to the problem with intense concentration and playful ingenuity which he had always en- joyed so much. crowded the room. had to be doubled up on the shelves. not always closing the bathroom door. calculating the cost of each meal. 123 game of chance. drinking and quargirl friend. he began to be careful in the most precise and detailed way. And the expensive rooming house to which he had unpleasant place. too. in a hospital. Within and once the pleasure of calculation was past Mona week — — roe's curtailed allowance proved annoying and unpleasant. to be more quiet and would he make a point of being sure that he shut the door whenever he went to The middle-aged drunkard to told Monroe in that if he wanted that much quiet he ought that go live if a lunatic asylum. was dark and did not provide about which he had always been very careful. who made Monroe remember that love was blind. Ac- customed to eating well. . through bouts of beer with his middle-aged going to the bathroom spitting and coughing like a choked-up motor. the need for economy depressed him. a puzzle. or blinded Finally Monroe knocked timidly at the drunkard's if door and asked him very politely but tensely and nervously he would please try the bathroom. there must be something wrong with him.A COLOSSAL FORTUNE exciting as a study. Moving from an expensive rooming house to an inexpensive one. and he did want much quiet.

He had fall not forgotten about the horses. Soon Monroe had a close friend. his learning. Sidney liked Monroe most of all because he felt sup- ported by Monroe's precision. . who was different all from Monroe being very in most ways. intuitive. insulting Monroe as he had never been insulted before. attracted to Sidney his quick. Monroe now had more been accustomed to friends and acquaintances than he in the past. perhaps most of in much by Monroe had been and good nature. cases were argued loudly. and interested his obvious different in girls. more Monroe saw no reason why he should not make as much money in actuality as he had made on paper by betting on the horses. and leaving him helpless to do anything about the humiliation. Sidney Prince. points of law were struggled with and struggled for as young men were playing football. a dark. despite the arduous law school courses in which he soon excelled just as he had all his studies. for had have he went to dinner as well as to lunch with other law school students where everyone talked passionately. tall and handsome if the man. rapid-fire warmth method of ar- guing.124 A COLOSSAL FORTUNE Then he slammed the door in Monroe's face. he would certainly succeed just as before. After the assault of the insult and the shock of helplessness. Monroe's helplessness also was something utterly new to him. Monroe became extravagant and rules of his budget self-indulgent. He broke his to the and he spent so much money on meals that his monthly allowance was exhausted and he had of his law student friends. and his marvelous memory. he had continued to follow the races during the and winter season. If he applied himself when it was a question always excelled in the of genuine necessity as he applied himself to his studies. borrow of money from one It was natural and inevitable that Monroe should think to how won make money and remember how much money he had for himself on paper by betting on the horses. or were already practicing law. The more he thought of it.

he delighted in much in others. at — —he seemed once to be so self-possessed and that the famous professor. . Sidney spoke clearly and frankness. All scholarships were awarded winter and public April. he did with a genuineness feel that and a flair which made his superiors and his peers he to was a young man certain make good. with so self-confidence so deprived much aplomb. that he in late wanted a scholarship. Sidney did not work hard because he was very quick and very clever. and charming without haste. and bring honor and satisfaction to his friends and his family. full of optimism. to to make his mark. he did not have the funds with which to stay town for more than a few hours. himself. this was September. He was else. and Professor was a Saturday afternoon Reynolds had tried to gain time by asking Sidney to wait until the week- end was over in —when he would be able to consult colleagues the department.A COLOSSAL FORTUNE Sidney was brash. and some were charmed. feeling that there was Sidney and being a very doing the right no reason kind to be at all suspicious of man who was always afraid that he must be doing something to wrong unless he exerted himself wholly thing. and about the future of everyone Sidney had come professors. the famous professor had been summoned from the depths of the university library: hence this It was a most extraordinary request. overflowing with confidence. expedited the matter of getting a scholarship for Sidney immediately. he had back to the city in to get the next bus which he lived. but he mocked his but he delighted almost as own shrewdness. and announced to one of the famous whom made he knew in of through his writings. sanguine about himself and his future. make his way in the world. Sidney candidly explained that he would in not wait. What he to did. he was shrewd. but in 125 such a good-natured way that no one was offended. to Fairfield for the first time fall two weeks before the beginning of the term.

and by studying their past performances on the horse sheets one could be absolutely sure of making a killing. and did not know was the best kind of a to secrecy. so that the gambler could not much money by betting large betting on any one of them. one calculated properly. with a sexual adventure: perhaps Monroe had taken up with girl for married woman. Cocktail for secret confidences were always associated. But difficulty make Monroe was among convinced that this might be wholly overcome by the country. it pick seven winning horses. an affair. sums of money throughout . Sidney had tried several times to get Monroe interested in going out with him on double dates. a infallible. almost a whisper.— 126 A COLOSSAL FORTUNE called Sidney and told him that he wanted him about a very important and private matter. They met in one of the most expensive restaurants of the town. where they were not likely to be disturbed or overheard. seemed discuss to Sidney to confirm his guess that Monroe wished to love affair a with him. This lounges and Sidney. scheme which he was possible to was provided the necessary capital could be raised. Monroe if explained. which his felt — scheme sure for getting rich very quickly. predictable than he reminded Sidney. On certain days. Sidney thought that Monroe must want advice about an affair of the heart. supposing that Monroe concealed some fascinating and rare peto When Monroe speak to culiarity or perversion beneath his indifference to matters of bemused attitude when the other boys talked about their amorous adventures. Horses. only drawback was that the horses who were certain to win raced at very low odds. and he was curious about Monroe's silent and withdrawn attitude. were much more human The beings. was that a wife afraid of the lady's husband. and Sidney was very much amused when Monroe suggested sex and his that they have dinner in the cocktail lounge of the restaurant. Monroe outlined to Sidney in was all the more marked because Monroe always spoke in a low and soft tone of voice Swearing Sidney a low voice.

of prudence it and it was then Sidney's shield to was penetrated. then even if the odds were one-to- three one would win three thousand dollars. and if it was true why had no one thought of bet on the races all many who the the time? it before among the Monroe was prepared for this query. he replied that most gamblers did not possess of the patience to wait for the right combination of races: them were too eager off at to win on long shots. of making a fortune. they were free of the preconceptions and preju- dices of ordinary horse players. and. however eager and amorous. in so It seemed quite plausible pursuits him happened so many — that the intelligent . Sidney felt that the scheme was too good it. unlike Monroe. Monroe had a pad and pencil at hand. was all the more attractive to him because. if one made an effort to be intelligent. girls. above all. on horses who paid heavy odds: they did not bide their time and make a big killing by betting on horses who were sure little. on to win: were sure and a real killing could be on one horse after another. which he had examined briefly and scornfully all summer before. The idea of getting rich rapidly. and sensible. parlaying the the horses who made by betting sum won on one race by betting it on the next one and thus pyramiding the sum. it was a certainty. patient. a habit of mind spontaneous in him. to be true. The stupendous coup of a seven horse parlay was not only possible. he had passionate longings for nevertheless he was impressed with expensive things: expensive. to win although The only real difficulty was to secure the large sum of capital which would make a bet which paid very little pay very much because so much money had been bet upon it. made him say that all this was too good to be true. Sidney's native scepticism. were always work for Monroe added that the reason the scheme would them was precisely because they were not professional all gamblers.A COLOSSAL FORTUNE the 127 many bookmakers throughout America. if one wagered ten thousand dollars on a they paid off very horse who was still sure to win. often. and he showed Sidney how.



outsider might very well be apt to transcend the entire situation

because he was an outsider.
they had been backed by

For the next few days, Sidney followed the horses with Monroe

and saw how Monroe's choices,





money, would have yielded large returns. Sidney's intelligent doubt, and hesitation vanished, and

Sidney turned with the practicality which was characteristic


to the question of


they were going to get the neces-

sary capital.

he decided, he would canvas his friends



law students: there was Nathaniel Burke, but he

was very poor; Ellsworth Clark, who had a small amount

bank which he might be willing to put into the venture; Eli Ford, who was parsimonious but whose parents were very rich; Cyrus Jones, who seemed to have an income; Newland
Cameron, who was being subsidized through law school by
rich uncle, Stewart
son, although he
help. Sidney also

Cameron, a manufacturer; and Ernest Robin-


also probably too

poor to be of


supposed that he would doubtless be able to
thousand dollars from the dean of the law


at least a

he concealed the purpose for which he was borrowing



Sidney conferred with his law school friends.
attitude he believed in so completely that others

He assumed,

with utter sincerity, that he was doing them a great favor, an



each of them suggested one of the doubts

had troubled Sidney, he answered

he himself had

thought just that, he too had wrongly entertained that objection. Nevertheless,

none of them, whether tempted or
to contribute to the necessary




much money


of capital.

who did have several hundred dollars in the bank and was the most sceptical of all, was tempted to put in two hundred dollars just for the sake of going along with his friends, and because two hundred dollars more or less would
Elssworth Clark,

make much

of a difference to him, one


or another,

so far as his financial problem went, since

was a question for


at a


of having

enough money


an entire year

time until

he finished law school.

Sidney was too kind and generous,

however, to take advantage of Ellsworth's bemused willingness

go along as a matter of camaraderie, and he told Ellsworth

by the coming fall, when he returned for the new term, Monroe and he would be so well-fixed financially that they would set up Ellsworth in an apartment of his own and take care of all his financial problems until he was done with

school. Sidney



generous offer with characteristic


by now was sure that the scheme would work perfectly and make all of them rich.
and unqualified
certainty, for he

Meanwhile Newland Cameron had been persuaded so overwhelmingly of the practicality of the scheme by Sidney's
an unprecedented intensity of enthusiasm, after much

guments, that he went to his rich uncle Stewart Cameron and,

succeeded in persuading his uncle that the scheme was at least

worth examining. The uncle was a cautious and toughminded
businessman, and

took a whole week of very careful predic-


turned out to be true
feel that



part of


make Stewart Cameron

he might venture to put

twenty thousand dollars into Monroe's money-making scheme.

Hearing hat Stewart Cameron had invested that much money

Cyrus Jones, who had been tempted but afraid, became

very excited and got on the bandwagon, as he called


drawing from the bank
Cyrus Jones
put so


thousand dollars which were

tended to assure his completion of his course at the law school.
felt that if


canny business

man were
was bound

willing to

much money

into the project,


and he thought too of how miserable and foolish he would

the whole

scheme succeeded and he had been deprived of his
by mere caution and good

part of the good fortune

Sidney also borrowed the thousand dollars he had expected to be able

borrow from the dean of the law school, and he


so jubilant, so confident, that in delighted revery

or fantasy

he began

spend his winnings

in advance.


had taken

more than




accumulate what


a stake.


although the process of getting
frantic, rushed, desperate, as

the capital

had been

everything would go wrong and

would be

lost if the


were not secured immediately, once Monroe had the necessary

sum he paused, he was moved
for the right horses


proceed slowly.


the horse sheets, he did not lay any bets, and he waited, waited

and the right

races, the right combinations

of horses


races, for the big killing

which he was sure he

would be able


of finding

did, however, permit


himself the modest luxury


quarters where h^ would not be disturbed by

The new rooming house to which Monroe moved was owned by a brother and sister, John Duncan and his sister Cordelia Duncan. John Duncan was a ne'er-dowell who barely managed to support his drinking on the meager
the middle-aged drunkard.

income of the rooming house. His
Sidney visited Monroe
blonde, and


Cordelia was ambitious

and studied law and was very plain and very
in the evenings at this


rooming house,

he brought with him his



who was
girl friend


was, Sidney announced, just what you would

expect a dizzy blonde to be

Bringing along his

when he

visited friends

was a custom of Sidney's which had

always been dear to his heart, for he never was sufficiently
involved with any young lady to find her

company and com-

panionship sufficient unto


apart from the physical process


reality which, after

did not occupy a very great deal

of time. Gloria

as the

came with Sidney two young men discussed
and sometimes the

their courses,

Monroe, and listened money-making venture, ancient and profound problems
to visit



which Sidney was also




out on

Monroe's great big bed, chewed

gum and



and wondered


God's name what on earth

Sidney and Monroe were talking about and
if if

they were really

they were not really just showing off?

Duncan knocked on when Monroe said come in for the door was open John Duncan appeared to be angry and embarrassed. He asked Monroe to step into the hall with him for a moment, and when Monroe had come to the other end of




Gloria was there, John

the door of the room, and

the dimly lighted hallway, he whispered to him.



know how you


from other parts of the
in a

country feel about
guish, "but

said John


whisper of an-

would not want

alone in a

room with

my own



sorry," said Monroe.

He was

perplexed, and he told

John Duncan that he would not have female
what John Duncan had
laughed and then had


but when he returned to the room and told Sidney and Gloria

he was dumbfounded when they

explain that John Duncan's remark



"Monroe may know






horses," said Gloria as she went


with Sidney, "but that's

he does know.


is just

a lamb, he

just a sweet innocent


relaxation and

drew abandonment so many months through the


spring term





was a general


the university city where


and through the rigors of a

northern winter there had been a disciplined, systematic, determined, and virtually musclebound effort to study and to be


to resist

temptation of




only the temp-

tation to be with one's friends


to converse. to

Monroe himriver near the

the upright

young man, surrendered
very happy, for he

the erratic, pas-

sionate season

by going for long walks along the

university city.

He was


that his





succeed, and

on his walks he rehearsed the


money-making scheme and fondly

stages in the realization of the




of the horses

who were promising.


one of these walks, on a wonderfully radiant blue and

gold day in May, he paused and permited his delighted revery

be interrupted by ditch diggers who were digging up sewer

pipes which had to be repaired.



must be a good way of keeping from being

too nervous," said a

pretty blonde girl

garding the labor of the ditch diggers and

who was also rewho spoke to Monroe

she had

known him

for years.



is," said

Monroe, feeling very shy when

he saw how very pretty the young lady was.

He had


been addressed before by a young lady without being introduced
to her,

and he was scared as well
of keeping in trim,

as delighted. Nevertheless, he

moved toward her and
as a

discussed the question of daily exercise


and soon found himself walking
field of



to the girls'

dormitory in which she lived. She was

an undergraduate, she was in her third year, and her
concentration was music.

Her name was Kitty Deutsch and she came from Schenectady, New York, where her father was an electrical engineer; he was also, Kitty added regretfully, a Swedenborgian. Monroe in turn described himself in a like way: he was a law student, he had taken his doctorate in philosophy, and his father, who had died during the winter, had been a physician who specialized in diseases of the eye,

nose and throat.



sorry to hear that," said Kitty.


said Monroe.


sorry that your father died," said Kitty.




sorry too," said Monroe,

who was preoccupied

with Kitty's dazzling prettiness, and had mentioned his dead
father in an absent-minded way,

and merely because Kitty had
into a description of

spoken of her father with a regret which perplexed him.

Monroe, seeking a subject, broke


since anyone so pretty tied was must be active up by all sorts of engagements with the many young men of the university city. he had been bored. nothing world would be of more interest and then sud- denly interrupting himself. looking at him up and down.A COLOSSAL FORTUNE he had given a brief talk of probability thesis at the 133 Philosophy club on the nature into it." said Monroe. "I will look forward to very much." said Kitty. telling Kitty in the all of these things as to her. Monroe hastened seek out Sidney. "Then I will call for you it at six on Saturday." he said suddenly and in an uncertain way. going to detail about what his had been. as if the question were very difficult to answer. "Say. and so fearful had he been to that the very pretty girl would not want as she have dinner with him. a little startled by the abruptness interest at of the proposal." And he made a hasty departure. hear something she understood. and went to on a park bench by the river where the college crew toiled back and forth and the coxswain barked importantly and the sunlight danced an electrical dance on the surface of the sliding waters. hurriedly. left He did not find Sidney at home. so great was his pleasure in the acceptance of the invitation. him on how to behave and where to take the girl to dinner. he thought . He had never taken out a discussion of the girl before. but looking with a new Monroe. to Departing from his new-found friend. as by a Ubangi or of Australian bushmen. and deciding that she was pleased by his looks. whenever Sidney would advise he had heard a discussion of dates. He was convinced that he was in love and he wanted to discuss the matter at length with Sidney. Miss Deutsch. and he knew that Sidney was an expert in all affairs of the heart. and chance. Staring at the river. hence he sit a note for him. he had never thought of going out with a girl before this day. the objections and how he had answered if the objections. "do you to suppose you can have dinner with me this week?" relieved "I'd be delighted.

although. unbroken ecstasy. when the depression. he would have refused to believe the truth. Monroe had not yet kissed the lady of his And he stood on the street near her dormitory and waited until she put out the light every night before being able to go home to sleep himself. The relationship between Monroe and in Kitty was set.— 134 of Kitty. — asleep with Monroe had occurred very it often to and she wondered how soon he would make first possible for her to consent immediately to his proposal. mooning over the marks of lipstick upon them. poised in a state of transfiguration. Sidney was annoyed with him because whenever he called to converse with Monroe on the subject of their money-making scheme Monroe invariably conto verted the conversation to the subject of his relationship Kitty. If Sidney had known suspected that Monroe never thought of an in not of what Kitty thought of constantly. particularly that when he learned heart. The idea of sleeping with Kitty had not occurred to Monroe. for to be in love and to get married were identical for Monroe. just had on paper. Sidney was quite disgusted. although they had just met. or as soon as the horses racing at the racing tracks brought him the substantial fortune he as at was sure would was unable result in reality. in 1936. such practices had be- gun to be taken for granted. . him in a tobacco pouch purchased to Sidney. that he to think of Monroe soon found anyone or anything other than Kitty. a monstrous pleasure taking or giving pleasure. as if and he showed them they were holy relics or precious manuscripts. motionless. although stabilized. or Monroe inconceivable sadism of dalliance. He would marry Kitty as soon as his money-making scheme was set up. He saved the cigarettes which Kitty had smoked when she went out to dinner with for the purpose. and it A COLOSSAL FORTUNE was inevitable that he should think of when they would be married. seemed permanent. The idea of spending the night or weekends Kitty.

She was of her flattered also because her mother and father were impressed by calls the ardor suitor. and he had not even held her hand when and she felt the need to be touched. but they went to the theatre. Her disappointment was lessened when she returned to her Monroe wrote her special delivery letters every day and he called her up long distance every night. wrestling. which was to make a fortune. as she passed parked cars in love. Monroe. But despite she still felt that there was something much that was wrong with Monroe as who sought her hand (her body as well as her soul). and long-distance hour-long telephone all this. he 135 worshipped her. kisses. indeed there was a lover time. more than at any wrong. and these tributes had some of the effect of actual love-making because Monroe was not present to show that love for him had very little to do with physical togetherfamily at the end of the spring term. which other couples were making Sidney had also in a He had taken a job as a waiter summer hotel. for ness or biological activity of any kind whatever. was also extremely disappointed. she felt the absence of something very important. treasured. although certainly aware and mildly pleased that Monroe adored her. except to take her arm when they crossed the street. a sacred joy everything she touched and contemplated with and came near. and making long-distance phone calls He wrote to Sidney that the right time had not come . studied the horse sheets absent-mindedly at whatever time was available to him after composing his special delivery letters to Kitty to her. left alone in the university city.A COLOSSAL FORTUNE Monroe adored her. he cherished. Monroe did not touch her at all. not adored. then. since all his funds had been put into the so-called pot. and when she went to the motion pictures and saw the passionate kisses of the hero and heroine. and carried this feeling home with her left Fairfield. Kitty. she expected activity. She expected excitement.

or already used and cast aside.136 to A COLOSSAL FORTUNE begin to plunge. for him. he and inexplicable repulses. and he resented him as any human being would resent the erotic descent of a supernatural being. no other emotion to seemed be present. the and the warm radiance of a country summer. that his rival was like a god. was in an utterly despondent despondent that he was nothing else. for they were couched it in to such abstract and high-flown terms that was impossible rejec- how the scheme was going. husbands and with and exposed to freedom. and was delighted to be reassured. But after Sidney had enjoyed what was. because some physiological abnormality which gave him remarkable prowess and efficacy. he same invincible success with the ladies he had be and had always been wherever there were wives somewhat interested dissatisfied with their in variety. or put off to some other night. His astonishing tion by the ladies and the infuriating and bewildering obscurity of Monroe's letters made Sidney return to Fairfield in the middle of the summer. In the summer was at first the expected to hotel where Sidney worked as a waiter. It a sensational of newcomer had appeared. free infor- mality. Sidney mistook his absent-mindedness and his preoccupation for a sensible caution. He hardly listened to Sidney and he . the customary number of conquests and was ready to run through the summer ladies a second time called. masked in a chauffeur's uniform. On to top of this unexpected humiliation. became the favorite of all the ardent. (for what during past summers had been suffered humiliating by one needy but turned out that sardonic young matron. state: so Monroe. heightened vitality. their lives. Sidney was unable or tail make head make out of Monroe's letters. Sidney was welcomed only by those young women who had been Sidney felt down by the gifted chauffeur. a chauffeur who. necessitous ladies: his secret some wives bragged about what they turned called weapon. a return performance by request). when Sidney returned. the freshness.

Sidney remarked bemusedly that Monroe's blessed damosel might be better in her. otherwise he if would not think of her and speak of her as all she were just an ordinary young girl and just like girls. he apologized. however. unwilling to speak to a the angelic human being who would make such an infamous remark about woman he loved. off if only she had a little more of the tramp and Monroe felt so indignant that he turned his face away and stared out of the window. for several years to come —and that per- haps he did not understand how Monroe to felt because he himself had not been fortunate enough be in love with as wonderful . Sidney. the other young and particularly the tramps with whom Sidney consorted and played house so casually and superficially. sought to appease Monwent so far as in the to say that roe. told Sidney that he did not Kitty. not only that. he even he hoped in he would be love in love — some day way that Monroe was not. This seemed to be a complete rejection to Monroe. tired and vaguely troubled.A COLOSSAL FORTUNE 137 showed no signs of being pleased that Sidney had returned. It all indeed she had rejected him seemed weird and girls foolish —nothing but puppy know love but after a time he did try to cheer up that Monroe by remarking or understand young were always fickle. to say about the scheme was as vague as his letters had been obscure. for several weeks. beyond consolation of any kind. What had happened was that Kitty had asked him not to write her special delivery every day and not to call What he had her up every night. Monroe. she was going to Maine visit and when Monroe suggested that he raised for the scheme). she if her there (although this would have been impossible unless the Monroe drew upon replied that it money had would probably be better they were not in touch with each other for the brief period of a few weeks. he was not his kind and characteristic at to point out that Kitty had not completely rejected him: all. and he felt that he was going insane. he was losing his mind. Sidney was not interested at all in Monroe's love self sufficiently if affair.

and since he knew some- thing of diet he asked Monroe if he had had any stomach off turned out that Monroe had had diarrhea and on since purchasing the canned goods. that Kitty was not in love with moved to He packed action all and Monroe was too despondent cellar of the the canned goods in cartons which he had in extricated from the dark damp and rooming house tell which Monroe was living. he was far too unhappy for another reason. Sidney insisted . and the half- a girl as Kitty. It fruit. insisted that Monroe him of the name cans. and he told Sidney that he had been under the impression that the purchase for a boarding house. although Monroe did not look like the kind of a person who ran a boarding house. at Looking the canned goods and seeing that much of it was canned trouble. of the grocer from whom he had purchased so fearful many the Undeterred when Monroe kept saying. but in despair to notice Monroe was too far gone anything except that there was in Sidney's tone a shift to friendliness and patience. that he cartons to the grocer. and in a for the fact — way he thought he was feeling better except it the all-important fact — that had become clearer him. Sidney was imto and clearer mediately stop him. still you never could tell about people in a university town like Fairfield. he had been eating home to save money. The grocer was not unwilling was being made to take back the canned goods.138 A COLOSSAL FORTUNE felt sure that Monroe would detect the and laboriousness with which he spoke. He explained kill to Sidney that a chocolate bar was excellent to one's appetite. but he reported did not that he mind it very much. had been given a special discount because he had purchased so many. Returning with the money he had regained. Sidney went off with the packed grocer. Sidney falseness smile he was unable to suppress. But he did not want to at go out to dinner as Sidney proposed. and he showed Sidney how he had purchased a remarkable bargain a great deal of canned food in — — it was really order to tide him over until they had made their killing. Sidney was alarmed.

immediately ter- minated by Monroe's return and his announcement that he was going to commit suicide. distraught less seriously. for Monroe immediately stopped eating. for He went to the phone booth of the restaurant and was gone during this at twenty minutes. nor that Sidney was a making charming flirtatious impression. Sidney would have taken Monroe's declaration that he was going to commit suicide the wild. paused. looked at his wristwatch. His became active and voracious. but he felt commit face. stopped chewing. Monroe could not have been stopped by anything less than an earthquake in which he all had been a victim along with face the citizens of Fairfield. on how the given the a right to — desperation of Monroe's love did not seem to have interfered with Monroe's appetite. put down his forkful. and also inin and enormously fluenced by the at the idea first solid meal he had eaten interval weeks. Sidney sought to stop him.— A COLOSSAL FORTUNE that 139 solid Monroe come with him for to get a good meal such as ate he had not had several weeks. This brief and passing and idle remark was a catastrophic error. arguing that Kitty had told him not to call up so frequently and a little pretense of indifference might awaken or revive Kitty's interest. had it not been for and weird look upon Monroe's deliberations which flashed through his culations. he that way he had just put himself out for Monroe he had work off a little steam by making a short and ironic remark. checked his wristwatch time with the restau- rant clock. as Monroe gobbled up another helping. and announced to Sidney that even though evening rates were not yet in effect. Sidney amused himself by ogling the young lady an adjoining table whose young man could not see what was going on. Sidney was unable check himself. he was going to call up Kitty in Schenectady. to And when Monroe felt voraciously. He cheered up immediately of calling up Kitty. The mind were rapid calbelieve that Monroe was going that anyone who would say that . his fork midway in air between the plate and his mouth. to he did not really suicide.

He did not seem to desire any sympathy nor to expect any effort to be made to deter him from the act of desperation and destruction to which he had pledged himself. Anything might happen. "I would not commit suicide. a grudging answer. "Yes. "What do you mean. He was merely hour. once said something like that. He decided to And Sidney was not entirely sure that it was ineffectual. experience nevertheless his lack of first-hand if him at an in someone had addressed him passionately an unknown language. however ineffectual and self-involved or onesided. no to one had ever before avowed a determination commit left suicide. Monroe. The check arrived Sidney paid it. And if I did. to break the silence in which Monroe had enclosed himself as in armor behind a visor. as stories about false and true suicides. and although he had heard absolute loss. The pause and delay was occasioned by "Did you tell crowded dinner Kitty that you were going to commit suicide?" Sidney asked. "What did she say?" "She said that if I really loved her. Monroe sat silent. yes?" said Sidney in sudden irritation. human being No one had ever said anything of the kind to Sidney. and otherwise expressionless. that showed I did not for he felt that love her! I did not care that she would go through life suffering from my suicide.140 he was going a to A COLOSSAL FORTUNE commit suicide was in a very disturbed. vir- tually diseased frame of mind. his face hard as a stone." Monroe replied. Monroe was mistreating him for reasons which had nothing to do with him. or behind the wall of a fortress." to himself that this Sidney admitted was indeed a clever and ingenious answer." said Monroe. and the two young if men departed from the restaurant. Monroe hurrying as he . waiting for the waitress to come with the the check. make no comment on what Kitty had said to at last.

141 some urgency or emergency until which would place death beyond his reach very soon. which opened upon the garden and which eliminated gas as a method of self-destruction. very shyly for one it who was was his duty as a friend to stay with Mon- however foolish he might be or however false his threat of suicide. which looked out on a small garden. and middle of a great deal of unbulbs as welcome publicity. silent. boring. no matter what method was used.A COLOSSAL FORTUNE had some serious reason for haste. The room was small and Monroe's bed was a studio couch. and an ambulance. or thus seemed to Sidxiey. He to said nothing and he wondered again how Monroe meant in commit suicide. as Sidney had injured him. "but you find yourself in the will not dissuade me. They room and Sidney noted with pleasure it windows. did not prevent him from remaining They arrived and went down entered the at the rooming house in which Monroe lived." said commit if suicide. except the floor. And as he directed this query at Monroe fast it in as gentle a tone as he could situation summon up to his in the immediate impact of the and with a physical sense of how Monroe was occurred to walking on his way him. and the hubbub of neighbors. He pointed out this fact to Monroe who replied that Sidney . "Do you mind shy. His curiosity. hectic and barren. to had not occurred had said nothing about the him before then. the French Monroe's room. although acute. that Monroe method by which he proposed to you like. if I stay with you tonight you commit not suicide?" Sidney inquired. a midnight scene suggested by motion pictures and his casual daily reading of newspapers. what method he had mind. the police. as it house and eternity. who found suicide." Sidney saw the lightning of photographers' flash he heard this sentence. "You can you may stay with me if Monroe curtly. in the news. reporters. the hall to the room at the back of the house. to lie There was no place for Sidney down. feeling that roe.

was possessed by an what Monroe had in mind at the very moment Monroe turned his face to the wall. folded his coat and his trousers with habitual care. the one key likely to give the colossal fortune and the sole master of the scheme. And he felt alarmed as he had not felt before. would not be very much time or thought to what. to Sidney. did not have to stay at implying that his stay was entirely a favor on Monroe's part. to be and unresponsive — got into bed and went sleep. Once upon he remembered emotional chaos caused by the threat to commit suicide. he thought that sleep was for Monroe a way of being patient. smoking. garbed himself in an elegant pair of pajamas.— 142 A COLOSSAL FORTUNE all. turned back with the same neatness — the counterpane of the studio couch. who believed that since his intuitions were some- times correct they were always correct. all thoughts of the infallible moneymaking scheme had been forgotten. was at best a side issue. a generous permission granted to a troubled friend. for he had not believed that Monroe would kill himself. Since there was no other place for him to lie down. Sidney was certain that Monroe was waiting for Kitty to call him and beg him to reconsider life and death. Sidney. Sidney the put the extra pillows of the studio couch upon the floor and stretched out. and without saying a word silent who had been regarding and seeking to these actions from an armchair. seeking floor. And when he saw and heard (for Monroe snored softly) that Monroe had immediately fallen asleep. . some repose that. but he could see that in the midst of so to much amorous preoccupation Monroe. from his present point of view. brushed his teeth and washed his face. Monroe neatly disrobed. in the for himself. a way of waiting. for thus he would have felt himself had he been waiting for something which he desired very much: he himself would have sought in unconsciousness the intuition as to that luxury of patience.

the room was dark. room was hard. Sidney slept until noon in his own room. and he began the floor of the very uncomfortable because The late summer twilight had turned to black night. nor would he have noticed calculated cleverness. however pened to and self-indulgent he was. he hurried Monroe's room. His concern with Monroe. and would happen to was certainly hard to believe that anything Monroe when one heard him peacefully. told would not be right irrational to leave a friend in such a state of mind. He had had no breakfast. for would its have had no effect on Monroe. Sidney felt very foolish and. afraid that something might have happened. and his dissheveled bed suggested complete disaster to Sidney. he arose to go home. which was dusty and unclean. he felt very uncomfortable. in made him get up and go home. he did not shave. the pangs . he felt that he too would like to fall asleep and forget all trouble and anxiety for the night at least. and the sheer physical discomfort of lying on the floor. but the floor was certainly hard. near the carpet. Monroe was fast asleep. feeling itself of responsibility towards a close friend. sleeping and breathing so softly and so As soon that it as Sidney had persuaded himself for the tenth time it would be wrong and his would be unwise to leave Monroe alone on such a night.A COLOSSAL FORTUNE 143 An hour passed as Sidney permitted these considerations to to feel torment him. He dressed quickly. But Monroe was not there. just as It Monroe had. however. leaving a to call which he asked Monroe to him about it something important which had do with Kitty as soon as he awoke. The ingenuity of this note was wasted. had exhausted to himself to by the eloquent arguments he had made persuade himself to stay. waking up anxious and to guilty. and Sidney if himself that he would never forgive himself anything hapit Monroe. what was in a way worse. he felt more and more uncomfortable. note.

and casting relief a superior eye at the of a convalescent morning paper. and trivial way. leaving Monroe and seeking expiation by denying himself breakfast. up three days hence. he looked for him in the college cafeteria. as if he had not seen him for a long time and as if one of them had won a prize! Told him . Sidney concluded in a panic that perhaps Monroe had the thrown himself into the river. the most expensive restaurant in town. he did. and fearfully. eating. in city and in society. and that he when she reported his that she had not. for it probably. that He told himself that his Monroe did not know how to swim. relevently. As he idly. suddenly remembered then. he passed the Versailles. for he in the least — or he had not taken seriously —something which was state of life a matter of life and death. With the immense who has been very ill. else there which meant. mind worked in an utterly had not been aware frivolous.144 of A COLOSSAL FORTUNE in hunger ached him. he rushed in. shallow. nor where he was in solitude —on land. glanced through the plate glass saw Monroe seated at a table there. from which he would be dragged it. nor what was to do. all over the college town. apart from notifying the was surely unwise and at best a last resort. He had regarded Monroe's walked in the mind as a child's tantrum. shook hands with Monroe delightedly. said this to himself. could not think of where to go to look for Monroe. on sea. publicity daily papers. and in the three He looked for Monroe in the library. The more he thought of in more he believed that suicide by drowning must have been what was Monroe's mind and must have been the reason why he had Sidney been unconcerned about the method of his suicide. he had not been sufficiently intelligent to see that he midst of and death. He police. and had not picked up morning mail. he returned to Monroe's rooming house to ask the landlady if she had seen him. telling in himself that he had behaved very badly alone. appropriately. but he dismissed his need. no matter what and country.

to suicide. stone- faced. way to which he is entitled." Sidney was dumbfounded again. tomato bisque. conscious and coffee. nothing of the suicide he had contemplated the day before. sundae. nothing about his future failure. so great was his and refused to allow his conscious mind to consider the sumptuous meal which Monroe was calmly munching. Monroe nothing of offered no explanation of anything whatever. nection. his appetite had been destroyed by the emotions from which he had suffered while looking for Monroe. and distraught the day before. "don't this as a felt you well?" comment on Sidney that he his meager order of toast and was faced by a maniac and a monster." Monroe asked feel in a tone of gentle tact. wild. He said why he was where he commit still was. do you feel?" he asked by way of answer. Monroe had dined on shrimp cocktail. he also ordered toast. but he had never behaved with this lack of conthis degree of unrelatedness —a would-be suicide in . Had Sidney been his less relieved to find Monroe alive. politeness would not have present re- prevented plans lief. He had known Monroe almost a year. "The food Taking tea. a tenHe was topping it off with a frosted chocolate peppermints. remembering that he had had no breakfast. "How rush to off." said Monroe. pleasure. him from questioning Monroe about the for immediate future. the look of one who has been enjoying him- with a clear conscience in a tea. "and hope you don't mind I if I there are several important things which must attend for immediately. Sidney ordered a pot of thinking that tea might calm him down. so to speak. derloin steak. had difficulty in believing that he gazed at the friend who had been so desperate. Then. Despite the emotion of looking at Sidney.A COLOSSAL FORTUNE 145 how glad he was to see him. grinned at him. He was not hungry. is quite good here. There was a certain un- but unmistakable satisfaction —upon self —almost complacency his face. Monroe. I "Just fine.

his desires. as Sidney sat in the window-seat of his small room. and new strength by little reading works of this kind." or which he sometimes termed." These full works were of information which others did not expect Sidney to possess — their expectation was quite natural —and he knew the joy of schoolboys pedestrians who throw snowballs at adult when he sprang at his unexpected and often esoteric knowledge edge (this others.146 A COLOSSAL FORTUNE mere twelve hours after. having nothing or very to to do with what chiefly concerned him and meant the most him in relation to his hopes. felt did matriculate for four years. a the evening. delighting perhaps more than anything knowlsur- else in the smiling deprecation of his possession of that was one of the ways his listeners in which he enjoyed the prise). "After all. out of character. which. and his future. I am a baccalaureate. but then. or learned in his knowing about such I matters. consolation. The afternoon darkened. man of the world. this was fathom the book in the to solve cross-word puzzles. Sidney was too baffled to say anything whatever as Monroe Sidney returned a to his made his departure. or at other times taking pleasure in assuring and doubly dumbfounding by maintaining that there was nothing strange. the . This method of self-consolation and self-escape was useless throughout the summer afternoon." he said. Often before he had reached for and grasped forgetfulness. own place and sought by reading physics to forget work expounding the nature of relativity about the chaos of perception and response into which he had been plunged by Monroe's behavior. that it when he drawn to the superior attitude was quite natural and to be taken for granted that he knew about these difficult and recondite studies and sciences. a self-satisfied preoccupied. "the unexpected gravy. to when he wanted be amusing and colloquial. there was also involved call in such reading what Sidney was wont to "the hidden dividend. he could regard with a free and serene the freedom and serenity of to mind — or rather. mind which he gained as he strove way that some play chess or try Moreover.

she told him what he already knew and was now of no help to him. about the money. the thrashing of the ram and dashes in wet against the screen window. He felt as he did when he was afraid of missing a train. just as he was always astounded when he was wrong in any way and as he dialed remembered that the landlady was almost invariably at home at Monroe's rooming house.A COLOSSAL FORTUNE 147 that this summer sky clouded was happening over. and learned from her virtually nothing: Monroe all day. and Sidney looked up from his book as terrifying if dream to a strong apprehension. Sidney foolish and weak: his knees knocked against each other as he put the receiver back upon the to his hook and returned room. though it seemed unlikely him he had dialed the wrong number. and nothing above all. and he rushed roe? What was he doing? Nothing had been downstairs to the phone next to the hat-rack and the mirror in the hallway of the rooming house. and he hardly listened when she suggested she had not seen in response to the urgency in his voice that she leave a note for Monroe to call felt Sidney as soon as he returned. could he have been so foolish as to let Monroe depart Monroe had after what had occured during very important the past twenty-four hours? self to forget that How could he have permitted him- in his possession a . an anxiety as painful as an ache in his side after running too much. He got the right number. there was a sharp chill. How. dialed number wrongly. and then suddenly. there was a blowing in the leaves of the trees in the garden in back of of his room. no one was home. and in a few moments. thunder and lightning. Where was Mon- said of the moneymaking scheme. heard number in a house in which the to the as it empty ringing of the wrong happened. called up Monroe. that Monroe had slept in his bed that night. he asked himself. talked thought of trying again just in case — — to Monroe's landlady. Sidney hardly noticed until the darkening affected his reading of the page. The entire environment which Sidney had seated from a himself to read and forget this immediate problem had changed profoundly.

148 A COLOSSAL FORTUNE twenty-four thousand dollars which was supposed to transform the immediate future of himself and several other extremely interested people? Thinking these thoughts. what could himself — Monroe do? apart from killing what conceivable move could he make which would — —what be disastrous or catastrophic? But then again. He had lessness an overwhelming sense of his own unawareness. to death. although Sidney recalled the relevant fact that doctors of philosophy had been paged there. For where was one Monroe? He might be anywhere. He might very gone to the well merely have motion pictures. for money would be intact. helpto look for and deviceless inadequacy. that kind of relaxation is It would be rather ridiculous to go and look for him the university theatre. he had condemned himself Sidney's panic came and went in waves like an attack of acute the one indigestion. including Monroe himself." but never arrived at whatever was on the other hand could happen. He was immediately ashamed to of himself for thinking such thoughts and for not being more concerned about Monroe: Monroe. On hand —he thought suddenly that now he was thinking just as Monroe wrote letters. be just." at he had said the previous winter: "in our kind of work. in which repeatedly he wrote "on the one hand. He did not merit capital punishment. Sidney forgot that the day before he had been naturally very much troubled by to the suicide Monroe meant sufficiently commit. of which he was very fond. with Monroe's . or like an attack of colitis. Perhaps Monroe had decided to commit suicide after For a moment Sidney his entertained. had done nothing whatever even if to deserve death. and he also forgot that to return he had been out just what concerned and aware from a distance of two hundred miles to Fairfield for the sake of finding Monroe was doing or not doing. of which invaluable. with a logic intensified the by money in Monroe's possession. the conclusion that suicide. all. own alarm about if Monroe or had committed resolved in a the the situation could be liquidated way that was not entirely disastrous to him.

At nightfall. his shaving things. seeking parted. intense. missing. garbed to pajamas and dressing gown. His dresser evidence that Monroe had de- was of shirts. wayward and erratic friend and partner. yet partly too with some small. at a loss and in unconcealed dismay. Sidney withdrew. no drawer had been emptied. his comb and brush were shirts in their appointed places.A COLOSSAL FORTUNE 149 recent behavior in mind. He went to the motion pictures himself. distressing recesses fear. until school began again. he inspected to find full Monroe's room. Kitty had called Monroe long that distance from Schenectady. she told him that she was returning to Fairfield soon as the next train would get her there and she would stay there for the rest of the summer. Reas- sured but afraid that she must be near Monroe as she were avoid the repetition of the fear he had induced in her. Under the landlady's suspicious gaze. one could not help but have the vague yet extremely intense conviction that Monroe was bound to do something wrong. isolation of sleep. serene he had proposed to commit himself. Sidney did not hear from Monroe for three days. his shoes and were there. and there was no sign that Monroe had left town. Sidney went to Monroe's room to see for himself. She dreamed Monroe had Monroe if killed awakened in a state of terror. in his am not dead. murmuring inaudible regrets and senseless apologies to Monroe's landlady. largely for their own sake. During those three days he moved through dark. after calling up Monroe's rooming house twice again and annoying Monroe's landlady by his pointless and prolonged persistence. "No. of actionless immobility and nameless Soon after Sidney had left Monroe to his own nameless devices and the profound. irrational last straw of a in hope that some- how the darkness of the theatre he would encounter his absent. on the night that suicide. It was with this delightful prospect in view that Monroe had been dining ." said in a drowsy voice. I and called him to find out if he were dead.

and speaking as Kitty were about to marry another man or he were about to go forth to war in a foreign country. where. and then went maker's establishment. convinced that all was and although he summoned up one more convulsion to — declaring it that he would come Schenectady and stand in the doorway of her house that the —she if then replied that she would see to door was not opened. at there. the very long. disappointment like a bitter taste in his mouth. Monroe had called her long distance again. and Monroe fourfd a telegram waiting for him when he returned to his at rooming house to prepare himself to go to meet Kitty the railroad station. he proposed that he come see her and when she refused to see him he came. to to self-destruction. Monroe he stood door Kitty stopped. imagining his terror of embarrassment of her house at the and no one answered the bell. secured as He went to the to a bank. any kind of action. he merely begged her. In the telegram Kitty said only that she had to make an unavoidable change of plans. He wished if the best of luck. to if and when she refused. Monroe was more desperate than over. the more it would serve to more bold and daring the free him from the emotions caused by Kitty's quick changes of mind. shifting his tone entirely from intimate des- peration to polite resignation. He was too excited renew his threat of in Schenectady. his death. his survival. if she were so life concerned about his well-being. he had expected Kitty that Kitty to arrive within about three o'clock in the afternoon.150 A COLOSSAL FORTUNE in serene joy at the Versailles when Sidney found him two hours. silenced by his image of rejection and repudiation. and he was very happy. He felt the need of action. last Monroe's resignation did not action. he was sure was going to marry him very soon. But Kitty and his had changed her mind. and tried to persuade her to come or at least to explain him why she had changed her mind. in the course of the afternoon. of persuasion ever. completely forgetting his careful and elaborate plans and . book- much money all as he could.

a twisted arm. directly. wholly unworthy of her. room. confident. foolishly mercy of tion a own disappointment. demanding.A COLOSSAL FORTUNE promising himself 151 —chanting more he to himself — that he who was not lucky in love would be lucky at cards. the oppo- site of his conscious intention and precisely what he had hoped kill to hear when he had said he would it himself. which Kitty immediately. Monroe had slowly been overtaken realization by a sense him want to of tell what he had done. . he was without queswholly worthless human being. She immediately declared that desperate: if had all been her fault. And the Kitty what he had done as a made way of confessing that he was. and an intense in drama effect to which all was eager and passionate her less responded. verbal violence. so that turned out to be not at difficult to lose all the money on which much had depended. Hours of careful seduction would have had far than the tragic drama of Monroe's losses. which pressed against her virtually as Monroe had been pressing against her in a rough. as he described his sudden debacle. and he the again and again. in all truth. referred and if solely to herself. if laboriously gotten together: he bet on one lost long shot after another. as rapid The downward path Returning to his to the abyss had been and sudden as a bolt of lightning. and the it felt that it made so less and less difall he lost again. he splurged and lost all the money which had been more he ference lost. an overt sexual move). for she had not changed her she had made Monroe mind he would not have in describing his "splurged" (the word Monroe used repeatedly actions). imperious embrace. He called Schenectady his again and he told Kitty these things in a low tone and in a voice of resigned sincerity. and said again and again. he at the had acted wantonly. Monroe's abandoned leap and fall had the effect upon her of a shock (as. The effect upon Kitty was tonic and electric. four-letter words. that he was obviously unworthy of her. he had violated and the trust of his friends. upon some that girls.

and distracted Kitty's who had expected a young man who looked like the younger brother of Dracula. or at least a mere six months. tady. that in Monroe certainly was not the most desirable husband the world for Kitty. was overjoyed and shift in events: Monroe same time stupified by the very rapid but he knew that what he wanted most of all at the was occur to marry Kitty. and he feared that something might his —Kitty might change her mind again or all partners might find out what he had done with the money and take some so serious action against him — something might occur. Dr. Kitty told Monroe all to Schenectady as soon as he could. . to which Kitty replied that this was just what all Kitty become engaged and wait parents proposed. Hence. as she school. surprised. interrupting them by his rene appearance at parents. The parents perceived had crashed Kitty's overwrought urgency. straits which Monroe's love of her had an argument which made her parents believe all with greater conviction what they had believed along. Lon Chaney. but the entire situation had descended upon them so suddenly (as if a plane in their backyard garden) shock that that they merely suggested weakly and the in a state of mere nine months until graduation before marrying Monroe. she would take her come to money married from the bank and they would go to New York to get unless her parents consented to an immediate marriage. first His se- put off. somehim from what he wanted to thing probably would occur to keep much: the possession of Kitty.152 A COLOSSAL FORTUNE this Moved by new emotion. entirely. he hastened all Schenecat cards." where Kitty had been arguing vainly with her parents to permit her to marry Monroe immediately using as an argument the sorry brought him to. knew from what wanted was to the girls said at when what they really stop a marriage Monroe entered Kitty's household and met her parents arrival. Jekyl and Mr. in the midst of the increasingly irritated exchange of the discussion of an immediate marriage. chanting under his breath the way "unlucky lucky in love.

Once Monroe and Kitty had boarded land. He looked back in and mother as a if to say that they would only do something. but the parents. girl was Kitty. their daughter's behavior. she insisted that awkwardly and constrainedly movements of his limbs — —followed Kitty his if hesitation to her informing the bedroom where at the father she packed a few things quickly. set new set of actions might be motion to alter the jug- gernaut course of events. And when Monroe. forgot his sympathy for them. in any way what- soever. and Henry the Eighth or Charles Laughton. where any pause or change of direction. telling himself that here. the train for Mary- where they could be married without any delay whatever. She had reached that point in the passage and travail of her passions trivial. they had not understood her to at all. could think of nothing whatever to Monroe shook hands sheepishly with Kitty's father and slowly followed Kitty from the house. moved by politeness and his natural tenden- cy to yield to strangers and those who were older than he was. however frustration was complete and she would not stay with a father and mother stand their Monroe come with her. exKitty's plicity entertained the idea of a delay and a postponement. Caliban. who did not underown daughter. and she sought to soothe herself both became aware of shifting emotions. she was going to elope! Monroe loss. and besides they had not shown any real sympathy for her sufferings. offended. looking at him and shamed by do. next to him. Kitty began to feel a little by telling herself that she would make it all up to them in a sweet reconciliation soon after the marriage was a reality. sorry for her parents. Monroe began forgot about Kitty's parents. for which nothing in the past had prepared them. bewildered parents. the life he wanted so much —wanted more than itself! His . wounded us never before by their only child's vivid and silent departure. feeling guilty and carrying with him the image of the silenced. be more and more exhilarated until be became exalted. parents were very pleased and Kitty was furious.A COLOSSAL FORTUNE 153 Hyde.

a room which cost just two dollars and fifty cents a month. in fondly tidying their small and miserable room. where Monroe. and Monroe was helping just to put up the curtains which Kitty had made. Sidney saw that Monroe was so happy he did not even remember the great scheme to make a colossal fortune. to Sidney rushed see Monroe when he heard that he had returned to Fairfield. And although Sidney was very angry and very disappointed and . with the collapse money-making scheme. introducing Kitty as his bride with a pride which Sidney to imply that he had invented marriage. and moving from extreme had always. was. plunged. Monroe had seen many motion pictures since the age of four come to a happy conclusion at the moment of marriage: surely it would be the same for him. Once Ellsworth had said that Columbus had discovered not only America but Hollywood. found the expensive room in town. least feeling that he must. Monroe greeted him warmly and without any seemed to misgiving. telling himself that nothing is as useless why cry about spilt milk. he would pay it back as soon it was settled and straightened out as was surely going to be now that he was going to be married to Kitty. and closer to Hollywood than to the Indies in 1492. wondering and angry that Monroe had not called of the him and thinking that perhaps now.154 exaltation A COLOSSAL FORTUNE was broken and interrupted now and again by the thought of the money he had it wasted." but he was too intensely happy not to be able to put aside his remorse. to extreme. like When Sidney arrived. and "splurged. such as as regrets. Monroe forgot Ellsworth's wry comment that Columbus was entirely self-deceived and unaware. In his mounting happiness. Monroe was going to try to avoid sign of guilt or him. determined as he to be prudent now that he was married. as everything was too late. Monroe and t'he Kitty were married in Maryland and returned next day to Fairfield. typical newly- weds. nothing could be done it now about the money. they were engaged.

A COLOSSAL FORTUNE 155 desperately troubled about what would have to be done about all so the money that had been lost. to know how. and a doctor of philosophy. He would pay back the money weekly sums. up into forgetting his anxiety about the money and the depressed impact which the small. he explained. nevertheless he liked Monroe much and the mood of happiness and self-delighting domes- ticity was so intense and so contagious that Sidney was caught it. Sidney be done about forced himself to think of his duty. and rhetoric that he neither had nor would he ever have any secrets what- ever from Kitty. But Monroe declared with pride. grim and dreary room had made upon him when he had In first entered it. Monroe elaborated to to which obviously delighted him and seemed all the needs of the situation. surely would. love. he was not the kind of a person to have secrets. Sidney wanted own pocket as soon as possible. placing his arm around her shoulders. and he showed Sidney an elaborate chart and schedule which explicitly organized every waking hour of the day and the week so that he would be tutoring as much as possible. and then adding that he had no secrets in any case. Monroe money which had Thinking that probably Monroe all the would not to like to discuss the calamity before Kitty. When Sidney succeeded in interrupting his eloquent pronouncement long enough to raise the question of the lost money. to He was going rich he was going tutor the undergraduates who wasted money in going to tutoring schools which did not help them in passing examinations as much as Monroe might in — in fact. He also showed Sidney a budget which demonstrated to Monroe's satis- . he tried be tactful by telling Monroe that he wanted to speak to him privately. being a Phi Beta Kappa. narrow. Monroe announced blandly and with the utmost assurance and confidence was involved and no cent out of his difficulty — — as if no problem that he would pay back every a scheme him to answer become a tutor. which was to ask what was going to been thrown away so quickly. the midst of mutual pleasure and conviviality.

of ficult and drank coffee and ate cheese cake cook. Cameron. himself. while Monroe sought to seize upon Newland's unwillingness in to look at his chart and budget as a way of putting Newland attention to this diversion. he for being so was so angry that he wanted Monroe com- and so untrustworthy a fool. week by week. and a Sidney of unfortunate investors. how the foolproof system had been ignored. They went to the Versailles. and paradise which Monroe's be aware departing. in what had happened. the wrong. among whom. Newland paid no and only . seemed quite implausible to Newland. until he all more pleased he was with suggested that they was so pleased that he go out and get some coffee. and Monroe's declarations that he would pay it all back.156 faction A COLOSSAL FORTUNE the easy practicality of his list scheme for returning the as money." Monroe remarked in passing — "Kitty — and when is an excellent finally Sidney made for an to his departure. He was unwilling to look at Monand budget. the The more Monroe explained. Not all the participants and investors were as easy full of to appease as Sidney had been (partly because he was : good nature and he was very fond of Monroe ) Stewart Newland Cameron was very angry when he heard the news and he said that his uncle. In the face of Monroe's calm mind and contentment with the future. Sidney found it difto remember what had disturbed him so much. and only Kitty's unexpected return from shopping halted Newland. for Monroe insisted that they go there. who had put up the major part of the cash was very angry too. When Newland to hit heard how the money had been plete lost. ingenious and indestructible optimism conjured like a summer balloon or a Mardi Gras. infuriated as he who grew more and more became more aware of Monroe's bland serenity roe's chart amid catastrophic bankrupcy. silently noted. he had escaped two creatures left a fool's made up insane by joy: he had comprehensive. he was so much a part of the joy of the to think of newly maried couple that only after he had been by himself hour did he begin that. he himself was not included.

as they became more physical. of They left Schenectady in ecstasy. and besides she very to much wanted to be reconciled.— A COLOSSAL FORTUNE when 157 Kitty burst into tears did he stop uttering threats which. He exalted. When all they returned to took Sidney to dinner telling — the best dinner in town and Monroe kept well: Sidney that was well which ended Sidney remarked to himself upon the good fortune which . they life. Kitty's tears was more serious because it was more practicable than the others. from becoming dependent upon him by warning them course of action which was incredible but failed to be grim. into a who had been new stratosphere of bliss by his generosity. But neither Kitty nor Monroe were of awareness or of being in which it was possible for at them to be concerned about what their problems would be so distant in the future as nine long months: ron's fearful visit a time Newland Came- had isolated them in the immediate present. newlyweds half of the sum which Monroe had fortably until Kitty and he gave Kitty a weekly allowance to which would be enough enable both of them to live comat the was graduated end of the year. all a bliss feeling free to enjoy all the newness and the new arrange- ments and routines of married Fairfield. became more unreal. made him leave with one final threat which As a result of this interview. for he was unable to take seriously a that he — — in a tone which sought would not help in a state them at all after the year was over and Kitty's schooling had been completed. lifted attempted to prevent the couple. the announcement that his uncle had said that he would go to the dean and tell him what had happened. Kitty proposed that a recon- ciliation with her parents be effected as soon as possible. but the enterprise worked as well as anyone could have hoped or expected: Kitty's father gave the lost. a threat which made Monroe afraid that he would be expelled from law school. an ecstasy of feeling free suddenly and absolutely of terrifying problems. for her father was wealthy enough to be able to help out. to It was necessary borrow the train fare from Sidney go to Schenectady.

both nephew and uncle. by paying he hoped the unfortunate incident would be entirely forgotten and they would be good friends into action: as before. questioning his own until resolution not to marry he was thirty-five at the if very least. and thinking of the girls he might marry. Monroe was not he saw —Kitty by any of the furniture was pleased by everything she looked at and in the least satisfied — only by a long luxurious survey of the catalogues of furniture . nothing but one in the best and most expensive apartment house in the least. an explanation which occurred to him because would have been true of himself under the same is or like circumstances. Perhaps there for marriage. he made his peace with the Camerons. Monroe's joy passed he decided that they must get a good apartment. brimmed over during the following week. he but wanted mind quickly since the very process of thinking of the absent girls made many of them seem very desirable to him and no one of them made him forget about all a survey which changed his the others. and received a grateful apology from Newland. but after voicing them briefly. to. after all. Kitty suffered in Fairfield suited Monroe from misgivings and she yielded to compunctions. nical to his governing dictatorial tyran- and Napoleonic emotion that the world now belonged to him. seemed to him that probably Monroe and Kitty were so happy because they were having so much it fun in bed. and when they went looking for a new apartment. a great deal to be said he said to himself. them back in part.158 A COLOSSAL FORTUNE It guards the foolish and the innocent. for No three sooner had the apartment been rented (with a lease years —Monroe if assured Kitty it would be easy to sublet the place they went to live elsewhere) than Monroe went to look for furniture with an increasing drunkenness of delight and exaltation: with a sense that all life was just beginning or beginning over again and with the feeling that existence that he would always be joyous. who went so far as to say that Monroe's bliss when. Monroe's superior judgment. now was married.

kitchen chairs. now whom he had come to see more frequently Monroe was married. Strolling after dinner toward the apartment of the newly expressed his feeling of perplexity wedded couple. or it or at least not for so long a period of time. and adventures. but be delivered. had been so of the furniture they to had But the furniture which Monroe wanted had to be made to order and to would take three months wait that long. Sidney asked Ellsworth Clark. but recognized that he could not be without a bed unles he wanted to sleep on the floor). as a concession to Kitty's desire for necessary instruments of domesticity. Ellsworth about Sidney's attitude toward Monroe — for the friendship had . 159 which Kitty too much. for he had been made very curious by what he had heard of all that had occurred since the previous fall that as a consequence of Monroe's scheme. and Ellsworth. It was with no to visit little pleasure and pride that Sidney him in his apartment. pans. on the condition that they would be replaced with more appropriate ones when they had the furniture they had ordered. aspirations.A COLOSSAL FORTUNE companies did he find what he liked very really wanted. and surprising himself by the pleasure which the invitation gave him. if he wanted to come with him. and thus they would not have to be disturbed by the expense of the furniture they were now buying. however. Kitty did not like Mouroe argued convincingly if that they were life. nevertheless did want to go. knives buy a kitchen and forks. buy a bed. some of the Monroe permitted Kitty to dishes. inviting Monroe invited him to his home as a married man for the first time. and. ideas. all table. They did. an unavoidable necessity (Mon- roe did not care very much for the bed. then would be because they had become rich and could afford even better furniture. understanding critical — as she thought —why Monroe seen. who did not know Monroe very well. pots. buying objects which they would be using for for twenty years.

but Sidney . word. and there was a theory that it. slippers. feeling. "I like in Monroe anyway. but most people did not mind on the floor. but all he has that is many redeeming good qualities. but sat our sense of the on the floor. furniture in the was very little house. explanation or mystification. Consequently." They discussed this delicate and difficult question until they arrived at Monroe's apartment by the river. nothing was ever established as true or false. nothing was ever proven.160 continued as A COLOSSAL FORTUNE warm as ever — and asked him how he now re- garded the money-making scheme. up in a friend just because of his faults." said Sidney. and pajamas. Ellsworth had been more sceptical than anyone it else invited to participate in the scheme. since the human mind was always able to devise some formula. some formulation. which blurred or denied the fact that one's judgment had been wrong. "I can see how It is impractical he foolish to give is. If they wanted chairs." said Sidney. and looked as if this was Monroe explained precisely the attire anyone that there would expect. as he often felt before. He was in a dressing gown. their furniture was being arrive for three their made to order and would not to months. feeling the criticism Ellsworth's silence. Ellsworth sought to exchange glances with Sidney. how could anyone know had that Monroe would that love? Ellsworth did not argue with Sidney. it was good to sit on the and now that he thought of the Greeks and the Japanese did not in have chairs and did not seat themselves. just that we did not give enough weight to the really impossible: just fall in 79 a foresight which was human element. "it is "I still think is an excellent scheme. Monroe would get the kitchen chairs and bring them sitting into the floor bedroom. he and Kitty had in receive guests the bedroom. Both young men were taken aback by the bareness or naked- — was an empty warehouse's —and by Monroe's garb when he opened door and ness of the apartment it like interiors the greeted them.

up by two pillows." said Sidney suddenly. and besides it was too dark one's face clearly. upheaval. believe that the whole world participates in their joy. Kitty. A moment Monroe had to the visi- to giggle in a way which seemed very strange was a giggle like the neighing of a horse. indeed one might go far as to say obscene. grinning grimly. or at any rate the giggle of someone who was not used to giggling very much. from view of the "This visitors. she giggled so much that Sidney wondered the if his remark had been far more comical than he had supposed. he saw that Monroe had been begun tors. . squirming. and enjoys beholding a prolonged and explicit demonstration of "We can't stay very long. but Sidney tried hard. who have just trapped! by the been married and who — it. sitting up. to the point of permit of easy conversation. they backed polite. giggled. while Monroe returned to Kitty. forcing himself. the glances of the un- married when they are confronted explicit affection of those — in fact. against the wall. When the visitors entered the in bedroom. the remark as if it Monroe looked disturbed by licentious. and seated themselves on the floor. is just where one would expect in to find a bride and a bridegroom — bed. were astonished again. feeling his embarrassment had reached the point of torment as the mutual tickling not only continued but reached new phases of hilarity. light. bed poster bed —next — it was a very big four- The circumstances were too remarkable. range Kitty had retaliated by tickling Monroe with much more vim in turn increased the and energy than Monroe's. Soon Sidney and Elsworth were seriously embarrassed and now they did exchange glances dimly. pornographic. however." he said.A COLOSSAL FORTUNE would not look at 161 to see any- him. Kitty was bed. and he and tempo of his tickling. They greeted her and made to facetious remarks. had been so salacious. Then he perceived a movement under the covers — movement of a hand — and after. uproar. and convulsion. It tickling Kitty.

"We to really are not being very good hosts. fascinated by insanity. but was to equally important that she should know enough philosophy share her husband's intellectual interests." Some memory of the good manners of her parents' household had moved her speak. Monroe had decided that Kitty's dedicait tion to music was important and should continue. according to the detailed plan. true: that though he had not yet persuaded Kitty that this was Thomas Alva Edison had genius. show to his friends. But fact that slept only four hours a night made no impression whatever on Kitty." of every course in philosophy she could attend when she was not taking . Since she had only a year more at school. Ellsworth its and Sidney looked and together. A COLOSSAL FORTUNE more sensitive to others than Monroe. though her parents did not serve cocoa. — as the visitors looked at the carefully-ruled and annotated and timed blueprint of twenty-four hours —Monroe explained that six hours were enough. minuteness." the courses in music which were re- or "auditing. a tortuous operaand he had become a little entangled and mixed and went to get the family schedule at it up while to tickling each other. she had to engage in a speed-up program. "Would you like to have some cocoa?" Kitty inquired. and Only six hours were left for sleep. which Monroe had carefully worked out for her. She stopped tickling her husband. rationality. and he stopped because she had stopped. perhaps more than enough for sleep.162 Kitty. once the foolish habit of sleeping longer than necessary had been overcome. that a departure just at that made the two young men feel moment would be precipitate and offend Kitty. comprehensiveness. but Kitty's trembling tone. The visitors refused the cocoa. who replied that she all was not a what troubled Sidney most of was the apparent Monroe and Kitty seldom saw each other. and which was intended months: this to bring her up to date in philosophy within six to was be accomplished by Kitty's "sitting-in. the slight quaver in her voice. was immediately aware that something was wrong. tion since Kitty Monroe dismounted from bed.

he was booked up generosity. Kitty. "He he is is a noble fool. and opinions. we manage. all romantic. .A COLOSSAL FORTUNE quired for her degree. and making them determined to leave imme- diately. Ellsworth made no comment. "He foolish. every day of the week. it 163 clear that was Monroe was even more engaged than holidays. who wanted to be "You mean that the foolishness of most human beings is mean and disgusting and that Monroe's is a "I sympathetic to Sidney." know what you mean. but he was not sure was not just his imagination and merely suggested by what had already occurred." said Monroe. heroic about everything foolish in Monroe and his foolish actions. schedules. He had been more amused less and astonished than disturbed. "Oh. "We manage. Ellsworth assented. Meanwhile. except perhaps national Despite his father-in-law's he had not abandoned in his career as a tutor." added Kitty and they broke all into a new giggle. "Let's go to and have a drink." said Ellsworth. foolish. As they closed that this the door behind them. unable to suppress his curiosity." said Sidney. theories. embarrassing their visitors over again. Ellsworth thought he heard the rising glee of giggling again. for fifteen hours a day. "When do you see each other?" asked Ellsworth. and then used the for his three o'clock in the morning own work. schemes. being all involved involved —with —hardly Monroe. aware that Sidney had been very much disturbed by the self visit. but he as noble as There is something exalted." said Sidney is when they arrived at a bar is and ordered their drinks. he tutored all day. though he had wanted to go home and at prepare for the next day's labors. He did not want without interposing of consciousness between himself go back to his own solitude and different passage some and the visit he had just made. or attended courses which would help him to extend the span of courses entire evening until which he could tutor.

hesitantly would have appeared Sidney to be flirtatious." expressed his true attitude. They went to the usual drugstore. sunning herself in the to talk to warm September you ask at that. responding to Ellsworth's unexpresed doubt." Sidney's conclusion was was so lame that Ellsworth was only able just said. as Sidney immediately recognized. afternoon.164 relief. and and yet at the same time. it Was there a long period before they really made and love? Was mostly hugging and kissing and tickling affection for a long time? The questions became more pointed evade them by judicious generalities. "What kind of a temperament would you say Monroe has?" . But since that's not very it likely. "in a way. She seemed to be loitering there. Kitty began to question Sidney about how a husband and wife made love. since like is really inconceivable —and since. he himself is would not be the noble fool that he I — I can't help feeling that like him very much. Sidney en- countered Kitty on the steps of the university library. had not been the wife of a friend." During the first week of the new school term. and thought and acted as he does. She seemed to want anyone." Sidney added." There last was no conviction in Ellsworth's tone. with intense deter- mination. don't "Why me to have a cup of coffee with you?" it said Kitty in a way which. books under her arm. depended upon the temperaments of the husband and the wife. in A COLOSSAL FORTUNE a way. that there it as Sidney sought to remarking awkwardly and was a good deal of variation among individuals. to repeat in different words what Sidney had true: and add and that the old saying "God loves fools. "that the world would collapse very quickly if everyone were like Monroe. and the phrase. and not to Sidney in particular. to and of Monroe extremely then. "It is perfectly true. if many others were Monroe. drunkards the United States of America.

"but then I don't know much about men." said Kitty. or about being a wife either. and surprised by the intensity of his feeling. better than I "You must know the subject. own work and tried to dismiss own mind as being none of his busion his book it Sidney —unable to concentrate — realized what he had been trying to keep from thinking: curred. selecting him not only because he was a close friend of Monroe's bus also because he was known as the Don Juan of Fairfield. reflecting upon it. because sounded to her "wrenching" (and because love-making had looked like wrestling) —but Sidney's look prohibited the question. no matter how ingeniously Sidney tried to find one. in the girls' dormitories. but was incontestable that he suffered intense . involved in not discussing Monroe intimately She had been on the verge by other like girls in of asking Sidney whether he had ever taken Monroe along when he went "wenching" — a term used her dormitory. which Kitty remembered. surprised was shocked. But she rose to go. After he had gone back to his the whole matter from his ness. although becoming more and more uneasy. clearly 165 Sidney was unwilling to be put off. There could be was extremely probable that the consummation of the marriage had not oc- no other explanation. Sidney was shocked." Sidney answered. plausible to It in the seemed on the surface im- him that he would have a feeling about masculinity which included a concern about the behavior of his friends when it they married. of the leading. particularly region of sexual relationships.A COLOSSAL FORTUNE asked Kitty." She looked disappointed at not finding out more from Sidney. He would have supposed that there were many other things which would have disturbed him much more. more and more intimate questions which Kitty had asked him. recognizing that Sidney felt that a point of honor was with her. rather it than some other word with the same meaning. penetrating. do. that he He was. standing to the conversation or at least up as a way of suggesting an end "I don't know.

dismay and

implicated in Monroe's failure
that he thought of




and strange as



him, than he had been by Monroe's foolishness



money-making scheme.

Resistance was of no avail, he could not free or remove his

mind from

the subject of Monroe's conjugal delinquency, un-

awareness, patience, absent-mindedness, ignorance, or whatever

God's name one would



and he could not down the
to the

need and impulse

goad and spur Monroe on


fulfillment of his part as a husband.

"Monroe may be
spend most of

he said to himself, "but



don't do something about the whole business,




time thinking about


Monroe was not

at all, not in the least, insulted

when Sidney,

with the delicacy of one



walking on eggs


on knives

and on




and taut as a

tight rope

the boiling fire of a volcano just before eruption

broached the subject

him, apologizing, qualifying each


mark, using the most formal and general words such as conjugal
responsibility, speaking of his duty as a close friend, pleading

with Monroe to
that he




keep his big trap shut




was intruding upon the intimacy
of his marriage.


— —bedroom

the sacred privacy


the contrary,



entirely delighted, pleased that his dearest concerns

the subject of the most concentrated attention

and vehement



was as


he were the star player of the foot-

team and his fellows were questioning him about a sprained

ankle which might keep him from playing in the big

blushed, so

game of Monroe basked, glowed, beamed and then he intense and immense was his pleasure.


true that the marriage

had not been consummated, he
girl, after all,

told Sidney. Kitty
at first

was a very young

and he had

been afraid of hurting her. There was no longer any

reason to fear that, but he did not want to be greedy, sensual, a swine like other fellows


many husbands had

ruined their



marriages at the very start by being insensitive to their wives'

Sidney marveled

at the

way Monroe had converted an


about the clumsiness, impatience, or brutality

of bridegrooms on

wedding night




hood. But he was puzzled about Monroe's remark that he was
not afraid of hurting Kitty any more.

Monroe smiled with
to use

the satisfaction of one

who has

just learned



razor, acquired a

deep freeze, and solved,

with ease, and modern, up-to-date efficiency, an age-old problem



explained that Kitty had had her



moved by

a physician.

was her own idea and


was an excellent


had the makings of an



twenty-five dollars.

Sidney groaned in the depths of his being, wept at the
sublime, unique waste, told himself pointlessly and passionately
that he

would have done


for nothing.


guessed imme-

diately that

had been Kitty's idea
the reason

have a surgery per-

formed upon
hope that
be hastened.


in this


probably had been Kitty's consummation of the marriage would


Kitty, Sidney said to himself, something

must be done


what a


thing to say, but what else

there to

And what can be done?

Sidney arranged
to let

meet Monroe that evening. He refused
the meeting

Monroe postpone

by speaking of the urgent

tutorial obligations

he had. Sidney told Monroe that


more important,

was as important as anything which was

not an immediate question of

and death could


Sidney went then to consult with Ellsworth Clark who, as soon as he had heard what the situation was, said that he felt
just as

Sidney did; although he seemed to

feel that the


was, in a way, comical too, he agreed that action, immediate

was necessary.

"It is strange


peculiar Monroe's behavior, or lack of



behavior makes one feel," said Ellsworth, "I never would have

supposed that


would be disturbed by something



everyone's sexual behavior

a private

and personal



not sexual




something unconventional and abnormal which




bigots, puritans,

and others who hate
do anything, the


and fear



desires. It is the intensity of the unawareness,

mean, the

failure to



you know what


the cruelty of unawareness
the very beautiful
at the

and the appalling innocence!

It's like

woman Lewis Arthur



when he was

medical school


she spoke, neither

Lewis nor the other internes knew that she was a moron."
"Yes," said Sidney, with uncharacteristic formality, "there

something peculiarly disturbing about


perhaps we

feel that

honor of the male sex

is at

stake, although

would never

before have believed that

any guy's

gave a hoot about some guy's
use Latin just to keep

copulating or not copulating (what a disagreeable


that is!).

Maybe we ought


everything pure and impersonal and upon the same high level
as pure

Monroe and poor

Kitty do, in that empty apartment:

Twenty-five dollars to get rid of something unique


irreversible, irreplaceable,

which most

girls fight like

for the best part of their unmarried lives to keep for

— "mad He



unable for the


time in a glib and fluent lifetime

to describe his feelings!

He had

encountered the indescribable.

Ellsworth suggested that they both go and speak to



Sidney was sure that Monroe would not be


at his intervention

and Ellsworth's participation, since

Ellsworth was not, like Sidney, a close friend. Sidney assured
Ellsworth that Monroe's attitude was such that one might be
discussing the Council of Trent, the secret vices of the Sioux
Indians, the nature of the canals on the planet Mars, the private
parts of protozoa, the belly

and bosom of a


or the interior

of an atom. But, Sidney added, Ellsworth

keep a straight face,

must be careful to no matter what Monroe said. He might

use clinical terms as


he spoke of a menu, neckties, or a new

he might refer to Kitty's pudenda, mammalia,


vagina, for

Monroe had read books on

the subject of female

anatomy and "ideal marriage." "Speak of sexual connection," said Sidney



disgust, "the conjugal rite, the act of procreation:



—agh! —what










what an unmitigated mucker?"

The troubled young men took Monroe
until a drink

to a bar.

Monroe did

not like to drink, but Ellsworth urged him to have just one,


a question of being courteous to Ellsworth

and Monroe consented since he was always concerned about
polite. Ellsworth persisted in

urging him, with the feeling

however remarkable Monroe might be about the act of


Eros and Bacchus must unite in him as in
in his platonic

most (whatever went on

mind, he was, after


a part of the chemical universe), and liquor would help to
the conference itself relaxed, free, explicit,


and concrete; and

any future developments impulsive, impetuous, and spontaneous!
Sidney began by explaining how he and Ellsworth

subject to be a point of honor, of friendship, of male solidarity

which they were




then said that


was a

question of Kitty's health and well-being, and he gave


a brief and tactful account of how Kitty had questioned him, and how her questioning could mean only one thing. Monroe

once looked troubled and devoted as


he had been told of

Kitty's sudden, serious illness.


the way, where


Kitty tonight?" asked Ellsworth.


her night at the symphony," said Monroe, "she will

at the apartment by eleven." He looked at his watch. "The program is excellent." Ellsworth and Sidney looked at each other, each affirming that the other had interpreted Monroe's answer in the same

be back




Kitty would be back at eleven and Monroe's

mind had

already begun to



the direction

which both friends

Sidney took up the burden: he proposed that Monroe,




perform his conjugal duty, begin by
slightly risque.



which were


asked Monroe

he knew

any. "I used to


several," said

Monroe, "but

I've forgotten


Both Ellsworth and Sidney spoke


same time, both

wishing to provide Monroe with stories of that genre.
Neither Ellsworth nor Sidney were sure that Monroe understood the slightly risque stories which they told him.


smiled throughout a story instead of smiling at the punchline.
this might well be because the whole subject of sex amused him very much, or made him tense, a tenseness he coped with by smiling. Monroe is an enigma; he is truly obscure: he is


a mystery even to himself, said Ellsworth to himself. Sidney,

however, began to think
for as the stories

less of

Monroe and more

of himself,

were told sexual desire arose intensely


and he wondered
this late

there were any girl he could call


hour of Saturday night.

The two tutors of Venus continued, they moved forward, they came to closer grips with the subject. "Oh, I remember one off-color joke," interrupted Monroe suddenly. "Funny the way that one's memory awakens. Do you
to hear it?"

"Not right now," said Ellsworth, looking in sudden fear at Monroe, and then with a look of deepening alarm, questioning and requesting direction, at Sidney.


less said the better,"

Sidney hastened to say.



suddenly occurred to him that Monroe might

Kitty a joke

which she did not understand and which Monroe, supposing that he himself did, would expound in detail until the dawn's
early light.

Ask her like if she would you to tickle her catastrophe. She else may it. stroke —should later. which doubt." be a snowsaid delicate: the blizzard comes Sidney." "Use Kitty like is a dirty word here and there. when the second half of the "You Monroe don't symphony program did not interest her. Sidney." said Ellsworth. He looked as . his eyes shining. "Pat her belly gently gentle. His two friends were hardly halfway through their disorganized and passionate exposition." said Sidney. but Monroe was too excited to wait any longer. flake. "please don't: Kitty a Casanova. feeling painfully interrupted. The word sank in his throat. "And then kiss her on the forehead to show that you respect her and that you are not just lustful.A COLOSSAL FORTUNE 171 "Pat her on the head lightly. Monroe arose. He was inspired. "the big mistake of the inexperienced that slowness is is man is to go too fast and not sex!" to understand an aphrodisiac to the fair "Slowness fly. for Kitty was squeamish or question had never arisen in his was clear mind but he announced that to him that in this company you can't possibly be too — —but not— try the squeamishness and prudery were undesirable and despised. "when you get up to go to the John or to get a glass of water. Stop unless you're sure she likes stop any particular thing you never stop entirely — it try something if immediately." an aphrodisiac: an aphrodisiac — like Spanish Monroe said pensively. may I quote you?" I "No. "I is must remember will think flier that: your metaphor excellent. "unless I very squeamish. reminded Monroe that Kitty would not be back until eleven o'clock." "Don't forget to go slowly. a Spanish —" am He was about to say when Sidney kicked him hard under the table. know how grateful I am to both of you." said Ellsworth. to which Monroe replied that she sometimes returned during the intermission." Monroe did not know she was not. it." said as he left his friends." added Ellsworth. thinking aloud. Each stroke very —very —and mean I gently.

obdurate. Monroe had. It was Monroe. never mentioned them. accustomed sleep late on Sundays.172 A COLOSSAL FORTUNE he strode away. he had been finding out would be if how to construct the engine for a motor-boat. who wished to tell Sidney that all had gone very well. awakened Monroe." said Ellsworth to Sidney. at last. morning Kitty had awakened in a passionate state. after looking pensive and bemused. too had heard for any amorous innovathat exalted by Mozart's sublime emotions." "Monroe does not care either. "he has girls. she had also been quite tired. was annoyed to be awakened and summoned to the telephone by his landlady. like a knight to a who has just dedicated himself crusade or to a daring coup in which he will rescue the oppressed and beautiful maiden. and although faithfully attempted in Monroe had a curtailed form all Ellsworth and Sidney had suggested. before resigning himself." said Sidney. turned In the to her pillow and fell asleep quickly." said Sidney. and the consummation had been not only quite . But then he does not care for and before he saw Kitty he never mentioned felt girls. which had quickened Kitty's that curiosity: she questioned him about exactly what his friends had said and if was all that they had said. deaf. The next morning was a Sunday. as he I have the feeling that he was simply encited. and it was virtually all his doing. "Probably everything we said was senseless. Kitty had returned from the symphony feeling too to inspired by the music she tion. "Yes." Both friends frustrated Monroe had imposed upon their difficult by the abrupt conclusion which and painful instruction. Kitty and he were in a state of bliss. moved: but moved in what way? We probably accom- "He was certainly plished nothing. after Monroe had made his eager departure. Then. for motor-boats. and now. she had been immovable. in the end. mentioned Sidney's and Ellsworth's advice. and Sidney. the marriage was consummated. moved in some way. adamant.

cheered him. he said only that the consummation had been sticky but sue- . it for no particular reason. The first time that the two did meet after their tutoring of Monroe. unless was Ellsworth's knowledge all which they had been involved. a while true friend. and it was only he saw all.A COLOSSAL FORTUNE fascinating but it 173 had also been great fun. Thenceforth. and a Spanish flier. Neither he nor Kitty knew how to take the proper precautions against conception. he gave Sidney the feeling of being part of an unreal comedy or masque. applauded him. congratulated him as a virtuoso. Ellsworth had looked immediately at Sidney with a silent and overwhelming and at question upon his face. Instead of going into detail. in the Would Sidney mind meeting them all at the drugstore square and telling them what to get? Sidney sighed and insisted on giving the information on the phone. he of the innocence supposed. to say adding that he would enjoy describing how interesting and delightful it had been. after a time that Sidney became aware of the reason: less of him because he did not want to see Monroe at Monroe was too little of this world for Sidney: he was too distant from the real world in which Sidney wanted to play an important part. grinned. Sidney went back of horror: he sleep after the conversation was concluded. and Sidney had nodded the same time gritted his teeth. who was standing to by the telephone booth. He saw in less of Ellsworth also. Monroe asserted. sophisticated. But Monroe wanted to ask one more important favor of Sidney. utmost candor. and grimaced. a paragon. except that Kitty had asked him and believed in the nothing even though he and his friends were unconventional. annoyed because he had to spell some of the words for Monroe and had to wait for Monroe to get a pencil from Kitty. Sidney saw less and less of Monroe. but said nothing more of what had occurred. and awoke in an hour in a state had dreamed that he was making love to Kitty Monroe looked on and encouraged him.

the Belmont Race Track. easy. a sure thing and horse-shoe. a race horse don't and Pegasus. in the a brilliant young doctor of philosophy. that's "That's right. not be believed. metaphysics. until I went to great expense —know — or did the difference between being intelligent and getting a Ph. indeed an obsession. he experience — 9 ' is a living example of what the philosophers student is Monroe — —and their brilliant call the a priori. Monroe is prior to experience." said Ellsworth. So has confused it am it I.D. And not." the study of the ultimate nature of "Take did. But is the way and always has been: experience has always been and will always be far more incredible and improbable than any of the fantasies of the imagination and "Did you say experience? Sidney said. I would not believe you. And I have confused with the gambling tables at Monte bull Carlo. "no one would believe the story and certainly neither of us would. "what experience? there was no experience. Do you know what knows what he is will tell you: someone who the believes in the jackpot and thinks that a Ph. What Monroe needs a visa to reality. that in 1936. hardheaded successful businessman lost "and don't forget that a a lot more than you ." 174 A COLOSSAL FORTUNE further without of life-work in cessful and one could hardly discuss it much making Monroe's libido and marriage a kind itself." it Ellsworth said. reality). nor would United States of America." he we would all conversation on the topic once and for "if we told anyone. and the a jackass is? I market of 1928. you believe me.D." summa cum laude — (in mind you. He with the Irish Sweep- stakes. Monroe does not know I difference between a horse race and a horse show. trained by some of the best teachers in the world — " He stopped: it was too much to formulate without becoming extremely dismayed: without feeling lost in a peculiar and new way. "Do you know. a vocation. in philosophy talking about. said to Ellsworth before concluding all.

and besides. "I did. so I love is?" asked Sidney. aim in life. deny himself the I inexpensive did. Love "it's all is a dark horse — "Look. and do you it know same what experience teaches Ellsworth." said Sidney. if is will forgive me was not and —or not to become a millionaire. He had found out about the reason Sidney had borrowed the money: it was unlikely." convinced that something must be very trying to Sidney. us: teaches us not to make the mistake more than five or six times. all that he not only does not know but the important things in which he would deny lambie-pie insisting his goodnatured or perhaps I way that you were pulling his leg should say. to know Monroe. money I not everything." said Ellsworth. over now. who certainly would have told him what if wondered the dean had happened fall in love." "So I have been told again and again." — Ellsworth was astonished at Sidney's wrath and remorse. "but would is like to find out something like that for myself. since not all the victims had been paid back or paid back in full. it was. "Anyone might some day even you may fall in love. if I may coin still another phrase. self-contempt. in fact. or thought "For a year all I had every chance existed. it was possible. told and painful and troubling Sidney he would be glad to deal with any of the investors in Monroe's gold rush . your for coining a phrase. tell "Of course you had better you you.A COLOSSAL FORTUNE "He of didn't 175 full know Monroe. is is it? And besides. looking elsewhere. Experience the only teacher. And when you're in love — "Do you know what don't. limb —when you mentioned them. however." said Ellsworth. that one or another greedy victim was after Sidney as well as Monroe. "Don't forget that Monroe fell in love." unwilling to said Sidney. and very quickly at that it? I was mean. to observe luxury of condemning himself. thinking of these possibilities and deciding it would be best not to question Sidney. inconsolable. if he had wanted to tell him. impossible.

until he Sidney had was not sure that any encounter was accident or coincidence. whether or not he participated so in these schemes. and if he had not guessed it. He had a scheme that since so 1400 acres in New Hampshire near the Canadian border and starting a summer colony (he argued many teachers and students at the university had to no congenial place go during the summer certainly this venture was bound to be a success). Kitty ran out of the room and shut the door. he was a great intellect. Monroe felt that it was pointless to .176 if A COLOSSAL FORTUNE difficult. Hearing of these projects. And when. When he questioned her. Kitty burst into tears. Sidney heard from others of some of Monroe's new ventures. thanking him. if he did not. at all: told him that no one had blamed or troubled him every investor realized that love in triumph had undone them. As they parted. several times. money for food until the end of the month. Sidney was relieved to think that by seeing little of Monroe he was free of pressures which would otherwise have existed. he probably would as Sidney feared that Ellsworth might have guessed the reason for his anger. he remained sympathetic but unmoved. she became hysterical. Sidney heard also that Kitty's enchantment with Monroe's mind suffered bewildering interruption now and then: she had supposed that whatever Monroe's defects as a husband. declaring that they for buying were a bargain and would never again be as inexpensive. much energy would be exhausted in criticizing and arguing that the result would be almost the same as participation. after her explanation. But when he arrived one evening with eight although they hardly had enough dozen shoe trees. whenever he next encountered Kitty alone. He had purchased ninety-six coat hangers. remarking in a calm and reassuring tone that all sorts of foods were in- expensive enough to enable them to survive. they became and Sidney. eating meat only one a week and fish six days a week. and they could save money by using margarine instead of butter.

A COLOSSAL FORTUNE attempt to 177 she was make an irrational female rational while sobbing hysterically. first "I am looking at you for the time. and in despair. He decided to wait until morning and shelf resume his explanation. Then Monroe noticed and applied that she had put on her hat and coat lipstick to her lips. once again confirmed in his belief that fickle. By fully had slammed the door. Fifteen minutes passed: Monroe was entirely absorbed in reading and criticizing what he read when Kitty came out of in bedroom and saw what he was doing. Monroe was peacehe was entirely undis- absorbed in his reading again: turbed. The head of the department of philosophy at Fairfield had come to know Monroe and to like him very much. he was included among the dozen young men at the university who had Ph. am going go out to a restaurant and get a real meal. During the next hour his concentration was interrupted only understanding the reality.D. He finally looked up and saw the strange look upon her face. all women were irrational." said Monroe gently. the his mind still preoccupied with the book he had been reading. "Where "I are you going at this hour?" to Monroe asked. turning towards the door and leaving Monroe. the head of the ment of philosophy at another distinguished university Fairfield for the sake of finding a departvisited new instructor of philosophy." said Kitty coldly. and impractical the time Kitty gluttons." said Kitty. degrees and who . She stared at him amazement and recognition. He took a book from the and began to make notes criticizing and contradicting the point of view of the author. "You are looking very strange. despite the fact that he was at the law school. once by the passing thought of how little female sex possessed of the essential nature of Towards the end of the academic year. my dear.

Professor Wilbur he was shy. . is first-rate He is I very good. and that Monroe was precisely the kind of young man he had come to find." fact. "I'd to recommend indeed. while the visitor was looking for a teacher who would be his brisk. instead making philosophy seem immensely at his at all. he told the Fairfield department head that his choice had been made during his meeting with Monroe. Each of the twelve young men was — in less than half an hour that —but at re- Monroe perceived in the making a good impression his wristwatch repeatedly. in already made several original contributions to mathematical logic. he a friend of mine. feel fairly and far superior to me. unpredictable stammering. and which he has spent four years of study to prepare himself for. to simple. but he was not a good teacher: he to off was not only impatient. "in the midst of being interviewed for a job which he wants very much. make original discoveries his special mathematical logic. and in certain that he will field. but self-conscious and shy an extreme degree. Nathaniel Burke had. Monroe was not offended and he thought of Nathaniel Burke. Professor Wilbur had interviewed the last of the When candi- dates. Nathaniel Burke. it was succeeded very often by an overly excited exposition often interrupted by uncontrollable. first ten minutes he was not at all. since the visitor glanced The reason was that Monroe's marks were too complicated and involved when he spoke of questions of philosophy. and during his own self-conscious." Monroe said simply and spontaneously. I you don't think that would be suitable for the appointlike ment.178 were to A COLOSSAL FORTUNE be interviewed by the interviewed briefly visitor. and he stammered. who seemed to him the most gifted of the "If young men who were being interviewed. "Just think. When the visitor glanced wristwatch for the fourth time." Professor Wilbur explained. and direct. and although this self-consciousness wore during the course of any class period. interview with excited. who would of dramatize subject undergraduates difficult.

since he had merely praised Nathaniel Burke for his professional ability. During the summer he fall. however. Doubtless was a passing mood. the goodness of heart. placing a brief note on his pillow. his success in getting the job.A COLOSSAL FORTUNE he has the generosity of mind. in which she said to he was too good for marriage. which was questionable. . Monroe was astonished and gratified to find this that he did not mind her absence at all. in a purely theoretical way. and perplexed by to the attitude Professor Wilbur had expressed as the basis He returned to his own apartment tell Kitty the good news and to ask her if she did not think the attitude of Professor Wilbur rather strange. He tried to call Kitty. and Monroe never found out what she thought on that subject. he was really devoted the things of the mind. and as Monroe in Pennsylvania Station one when he was hurrying to take a train to he explained his haste he asked Monroe whether after. When a week had passed and Kitty had not returned. Wilbur that he was the right man for the Monroe was of his unmoved by choice. 179 to suggest and recommend one of cisely the kind of his rivals: young man — the Monroe Lawrence is kind of human being the office pre- —we de- want on our staff!" Monroe was summoned soon told about after to of the partment of philosophy and told the good news: he was also what he had said which had convinced Professor post. in fact. so that Kitty would not be embarrassed and her parents would not be alarmed. Hence Monroe concealed the fact of her departure from the parents. for she had left him. only to learn that she had not. accumulating a large theoretical fortune in Ellsworth encountered day three years Chicago. so she was going back to live with her parents for a time. Monroe was quite perplexed and distressed. un- Kitty was not at home. prepared for the courses he was to teach the following and a he resumed his practice of betting on the horses very short time. returned to her parents.

and she looked voracious. and as he turned go he saw Kitty the soda fountain counter. seating himself next to her. Did any of you boys ever tie down that colossal fortune you is "How were after?" And then Kitty looked horrified by the rudeness of her question. and Sidney. crouched over a bowl of chili con carne." just have make And he waved his hand and to close. told her that he had just stopped for ." Monroe called him: the him. "How are you? It's wonderful to see you again. Kitty took the young man. ran. and said. Monroe said that he enjoyed very much. or a pacifist at a bullfight. was with her. barrassed that she was speechless. and Sidney was immediately certain that she was ashamed of the young man with to who somehow seemed Sidney to look like a truckdriver at the ballet. and only then perceiving that Kitty was not alone. and began "I wish I to tell Ellsworth that he had returned to the system dollars. seeing the ways of things. looked sideways "Oh!" She was clearly so emher. to say. unless she hurried. and that he had made over three million I had to the time to hear about it. I've made over three million dollars although the summer time — I only put it to use on paper. "don't forget system really works. but the husky young man next straw from her mouth. "and how Monroe? I have not heard from him since we were divorced. He had pack of come into a big drugstore on Times Square to to get a at cigarettes. finally. set at her to her. down her sandwich." Ellsworth said. which was entirely unlike her. seated on one of the backless stools. her sandwich and her malted would be taken away from her. "but that train. She looked as pretty as ever." 180 A COLOSSAL FORTUNE it he enjoyed his job. munching a club sandwich and sipping a malted milk." Sidney said. during Sidney encountered Kitty by accident not long after Ells- worth had walked into Monroe in Pennsylvania Station. toward the gates which were beginning after "If to tell you see Sidney. munching and sipping as if. are you?" Kitty managed.

A COLOSSAL FORTUNE a 181 well moment and had to and Monroe was hurry. thing. really. He was for the very lucky. making out full fairly he was a very popular teacher and pro- would soon have a permanent appointment and a fessorship. to be very lucky or to have a colossal fortune. Sidney recoghow fortunate Monroe. he He had no need his of anyone or any- had no need of a drugstore. whom he had not seen nor heard really was. and that he was too. nized As he departed with rapidity and awkwardness. from for years. . a soda fountain. a wife was or a colossal fortune: he own colossal fortune. and first now understood time that he himself had no desire. Sidney said to himself.

certainly among many his choices. The mother had chosen the Manning family. by after all of the Manning children. since they had six. three more than most families of the same social and economic There was every reason for choosing the Manning family rather than any other in the large mid-western city. fugitive and luckless mother would hardly have joy the infant would immediately six known with what immense be welcomed. in which the Manning family lived. because they were sure to be kind to an child. Manning was a minister famous for tional and liberal social views. Manning. Manning and Mrs. an infant was under the front stoop — to be exact on the doorstep of the barred downstairs entryway of the hand- some brownstone mansion the fearful. abandoned unconven- Dr. and the Mannings were clearly quite rich or four status. and soon possible by Dr. yet had the mother known what was to occur as a result of her choice —beginning with the profound delight and unmixed enthusiasm .— The Hartford Innocents i Red Bananas When. and very fond of children. very early one very cold left and gold morning in De- cember.

It was thus that the astonishing event and advent was announced to Candy's younger brothers and Soon all six of them even William Wordsworth Manning. against the curbstone. and the intervention of a congressional investigating committee —had she known of any of these or other of the simple act. consequences of her comparatively characterized as unprecedented consequences immediately which bordered on the indescribable and were — it is quite probable that she would have preferred alternative than the to bestow the child upon another family: if she might even have chosen to keep the child. when she saw carefully quietly sleeping. but used only by the oldest of the Manning to the children: she was seventeen years of age on that cold December morning just after Christmas to take in and she had come the infant in door of the entryway bundled.those who became involved in the disposition of the only Candy Manning would have wished the Manning would have acted and responded it family to be chosen once again. forgot the milk and raced up the stairs. long distance phone calls. a severe crisis on the directorate of a famous philanthropic foundation. covered by linens as white as the milk and whiter than the snow piled up. national scandal. "How cute!" She gasped with joy. child. Among. And her pure delight became incoherent as she picked up the child. . her mother—was did. the family's daily four bottles of pasteurized milk his bassinet. nationwide publicity.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS of the 183 Manning children and concluding in (insofar as one can speak of a conclusion) railroad trips. Candy her given name. as innocent as each of the four bottles of milk. were stamping up and down the carpeted stairs and shouting. the genius of the family. plane flights. clear that she just as she would have acted and responded again and again —or Candida. crying: "A baby! A baby! Someone left a baby on our doorstep!" sisters. although she might have hoped that others to the finding of is the child differently than in fact they did. no other Mannings had been available. like anchored rowboats. "A baby!" Candy exclaimed.

She came downstairs. factory from the very start He had been unsatis- and he had not been the youngest child of the family for an adequate length of time and he had in disappointed Candy most of the role of little all for she had long delighted mother of the family had used time and again of the family for her to —and — the phrase her father there had always been a baby mind until William Wordsworth stopped being the baby of the family. relentless set of rules and laws and the child. Candy had entertained the thought of becoming a nurse until she was a wife and a mother herself and had her own darling little baby. William had been very trying from the time he was born and finally it was decided that his misbehavior and his antics were such as to suggest that there was something seriously wrong with him and he had been taken to the university psychological clinic after a particularly inexplicable. she went straight to the sofa on which the child in his bassinet had been placed. her face made expressionless by cold fury. and in her enchantment. so liers in the much that the chandein the gold- drawing room tinkled and the goldfish fish bowls trembled as the waters shook. The uproar was a violation of the ironclad discipline of the household imposed Manning and it soon brought her forth from her bedroom in her new peignoir: she was the absolute monarch of her family and ruled it from dawn until midnight with a or dictated by Mrs.184 THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS shouting and stamping up and down. tasks. forgetting her anger with her. . thrust aside two of her children and inspected the infant herself with unconcealed delight. Soon after William proved to be a severe disappointment. Then there was no one for Candy to mind. a quickness which was wholly uncharacteristic of Each of the Manning children had suffered the same acute disappointment for the past eighteen months: William Words- worth Manning had stopped being the infant and the baby of the family with an abrupt suddenness. but when she saw she too was immediately enchanted.

Mother said it would be wrong to expect him to do anything except what he wanted to do: he did not have to make his bed unless he a felt like it. Since he was a genius. a truly extraordinary genius. Mother summoned all the older children and announced with appropriate pomp and to circumstance that William was a certified genius and that as a result he was to be released from the obligation obey the rules of the household and the round-the-clock family discipline which made every waking hour of the day a matter of order and discipline. William was released from any obligation to obey Candy. records.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS unprovoked and extremely violent tantrum. baby felt it in the family or a the other children as had and the deprivation almost as acutely dissatisfaction Candy herself: was when her became . Manning herself.Q. he did not have to go to school unless he felt like it. The only one who remained unmoved by the record-breaking performance was William himself. When William and Mother returned. At the 185 clinic it was discovered that there was only one thing wrong with William: he was a genius. so much logical of a genius that the doctors who gave him to the psycho- and intelligence tests had admit that they were astonished and had to confer with each other on the possibility that the tests as such were inadequate or wrong. and Candy was no longer to regard him as a child in her care. difficult of including the teachers and doctors at the clinic. for seldom or never did she seem to be impressed or surprised by anyone or anything. William had broken all the I. the light someone who had been certified as a genius. amazing and dazzling everyone. So. and including also. the family of the joy of having a had been deprived youngest child. He had returned with Mother wearing the same look of indifference and boredom as he had presented when he departed: it was the look which the other children usually reserved for boring homework. for almost two years now. and anything which he did do was of to be regarded in new light. In addition. Mrs. the most human beings to impress.

Reality is merely your ingenious and I skillful secretary and research assistant." after." "Yes. gentle Father had protested well- he were joking. It was so wonderful see everyone so pleased when Candy rang her eyebrows as the doorbell.186 THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS at most acute that Candy announced tended to dinnertime that she in- become a nurse. as in Mother and Father spoke what must they say to like that in front of the entire family. "Reality merely at the my silent partner: silent! my dear. And then she added." have often thought serenely." If and indescribable pain. and present only in procreation. and briefly. Manning had all announced to one and that "although Candida is probably not college material. angered look which appeared and disappeared on Mother's face. she will be sent to Hartford for at least one year. Mrs. only to have dear Mother say to her in front of the entire family: "Candida. your desire to be a nurse is immature and premature. Candy thought that she would burst into joy she that ." Then gently. at A week dinnertime once again. as if it was that dear. He had called Mother the Candy knew very well that he was not joking because she happened to see the shocked. Mother had answered a is majestic smile upon her face. It was just like the time Father had said to of the Ivy League. appropriate that the male should be absent or silent crisis during periods of profound giving birth to a child. even William had smiled with a look of faint pleasure when he saw her. but known dean emeritus Mother: "My in dear. like the male And so it just as the is male is absent during the travail of child-birth. and Mother had felt lifted if to conceal the Candy was home again after all the months that she had been at Hartford and when Mother squeezed her hand very tightly. of Reality that light. proper time. each other when they were alone! Coming home from Hartford more than distant a thousand miles to was almost unbearably exciting.

had told several other Hartford girls about the nine bathrooms." By Year's. even though the Christmas tree glittered and everyone was giving parties to which Candy went where every- one said: "0 Candy. it seems but yesterday that you were a child in the cradle. saw little of Candy. but still it than so it had ever been in the years was all over soon. for another girl." and Candy had begun to think of stairs to get the milk in the morning and saw the infant on the doorstep and cried. everything and everyone were you. I am only calling your attention to this for your own good. being a junior. if she would mind answering a Candy answered that she loved personal but when the question was asked. Mother was stern and severe and very critical and always correcting her. The topic finally had become the cause of discussion. a junior girl who came from the same city but. question. "A baby!" six at the top of her morning voice. "I assure tot. at Hartford. before she went to Hartford: William was unbearable. and one girl disbelief until personal questions. Candida. The Manning house had had a bedroroms and each bedroom bathroom and the cellar was in also equipped with a tiny toilet and there was a bathroom all: each guest room and thus there were nine bathrooms in Candy had been very much perplexed when. what the middle of the a big girl you are. all along.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS tears of pure joy. Christmas 187 was more wonderful and charming gone by. whatever she did. and adding. a kindergarten week between Christmas and New just as they had always been. to surely you wouldn't want me to remain silent and keep from you the painful insights which are among the going back to Hartford when she went down- few rewards and certitudes of experience. she was disap- asked Candy pointed: what was personal about living in a house with nine bathrooms? Candy thought it quite peculiar that it should seem strange to anyone that a house should be equipped with nine . this fact about the family house had become known.

looking exalted and yet a little Candy suspected was bored.188 THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS it bathrooms. Mother then to would command her favorite of the moment and get under the bed and draw forth the under her bed crouch down tree of red bananas which. when he was fed at two o'clock. barrassed by the sudden like a great need to suppress Mother held her levee the first queen: indeed the bells were part of the ceremonial and the enormous canopied bed in was too and the way up by three the children too. Father in- although supposed to be so helpless with his hands had stalled a trical complicated system of bells. Instead of being strange. having come solemn procession. until she was thirteen. living equipment a house with so many children the Candy thought about bedrooms and bathrooms was eager to see as she rested after lunch in one of the guest bedrooms. She wondered the baby. and when the children were in stately convened about her canopied bed. solemn. each and to her of the children were sum- moned by Mother bedroom. propped bored all fat pillows. When stood in his or her proper place. Candy had supposed Mother kept all year long. or at least which Mother reclined that she in it. convenient. demonstrating an guests elec- cleverness which had others impressed some and ema smile. would have an he was official birthday and whether his birthday would be the day when he was found on the doorstep or the day when officially adopted. the bells and rang all over the house. her parents would want to keep the baby and was sure that they would and then she wondered if when adopted. Then each child would receive a official red banana from Mother with the gesture and dignity which was difference just like a high school graduation when the principal gives each of the graduating students a diploma: the only real was that Mother remained to stately. waiting resting impatiently because she and the adorable if baby again. and part of the ought to have. all On each birthday. or the day of his baptism. and silent throughout and did not attempt pretend like high school . was sensible.

not even people who were newly rich. a calculation reinforced when one of Emily's school friends remarked before Candy was questioned at Hartford. made supposedly six red witty When there were six birthdays and thus banana days. to mind. said then that in all. "How soon?" Lewis Carroll Manning once asked. rang summon the children and to announce. and to watch. behind the closed. (where he wrote and read his the bells to locked door of Father's study sermons aloud all to himself) —emerged. no one else had many. Candy. and Mother all answered coldly. The cold look on Mother's face was so severe that thereafter no one dared to ask questions on the occasion of the ceremonial an- nouncement of a new child.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS principals that they were unbending 189 and acting towards each student as to a new or an old friend. with suitable solemnity — that their number would be augmented by one in the near future. "No one . long since there were nine bathrooms. Nevertheless there would be an outburst of uncontrollable glee: the news was the cause of a feeling of wild excitement that there and was so exciting and it thrilling would be another red banana day and meant that there would be another human being to think about. it and Lewis must mean that there would be nine children at a party." an answer which the children strove for weeks to understand and interpret. Lewis and Emily Bronte Manning discussed the meaning of the house being equipped with nine bathrooms. was sur- passed as an event by the days when Mother and Father after long seclusion and never a sound. The announcement of the coming of the baby who turned out to be William Wordsworth Manning caused so much excitement that Lewis Carroll and Candy ran outdoors and turned in several fire alarms until a policeman saw them after that. for several weeks. "Comparatively soon. the and made them go home: and remarks about the parson's neighbors and the neighbors' children arsonists. that so there was someelse thing strange about having nine bathrooms. it Impressive as each red banana day truly was.

" Candy said. sisters his private studies which to join his brothers and his bottle. until that morning. and added a sentence to the usual grace. "William is here because the baby does not yet know that he is the genius of the family." said to Lewis. Hearing this.190 THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS sister. "Maybe William wants find out. whispering and giggling. sotto voce. Even William Wordsworth Manning had interrupted he conducted in arrogant secrecy." said Lewis. she had been sadly convinced would never be used again —save baby perhaps in her own home and for her own darling presence to Lewis Carroll. and expressed their sense of delight by more and more expressions of pleasure and excitement. the brother of kin since he first —she remarked upon William Wordsworth's sober and studious who was she is truly her next had been born one year to after her birth. whenever they watched the baby being given collected the As Candy baby clothes which. eager to get dinner over with so that they could go upstairs for the baby's next bottle . all children broke into cheers. has six children. He wants the baby to know that he is a big genius as soon as possible and without any further delay. after grace had been said by Father. thanking the the baby. all the children rushed through eating up the plum pudding." At dinner. but suppressed them because it was the sort of thing which would be impolite and disrespectful just after grace had been said. the boy who broke the scales at the psych clink when they weighed his intelligence. impeccable logic of her answer that when Candy told Lewis they both agreed that nine children in all was an absolute certainty. When dessert had been served. answering for her younger astonishing herself and dumbfounding the other girls who heard her so completely by the pure. Father then Lord for the unexpected the gift of looked at Mother with a faint smile. joy over the coming all of the child rose higher and higher by the hour: by dusk the children triumphant. "if the new baby a genius too?" "0 no. From noon felt until nightfall.

Mother would Father her telling him once — —Candy had overheard and civilized attito the family to make a lucid statement of what she called "the proper sentiments. had immediately desired when they saw the baby the morning and hoped for intensely all day long. judge by the look of suppressed fury tell upon her face. unnecessarily. of the acceptance of the baby. the sort of uproar Candy could hear in the autumn when at the football stadium — sly smile upon his the University was playing a big game. to Father. hailing a halfback who had broken loose and was running to a touchdown unexpectedly: this addition of the child to the family one and in was what the children. the Christian tudes. or figurehead." Father began. of to family —Father told was always required official pronounce and de- formulate the family's attitude and he sometimes State. But Father held up his hand and told his children he must detain them for a moment Mother had surely — insisted. "now that you are seven in number The children broke into jubilant uproar. speaking comic serious tone with a faint and face. despite Mother's clear disapproval of what she called "excessive and unsound emotionalism" and "vulgar demonstrativeness. dear children. the mother might come back and ask for her darling baby or the orphan asylum people might demand the child and now what had been almost certain only that something would go wrong — — was a certainty: this confirmation of their devout hope. was the reason they were yelling.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS and see how the baby looked now. the guidance most likely to be profitable as a whole. fearing all. that an official statement must be made about the baby by the the official head. Manning's Secretary of to say since Mother always she had his him what and he always said what commanded him to say but added a few sentences of own which made the announcement very different from to what Mother intended." . scribed himself as Mrs. six in all." "My in his dear. his day. as a living unity. and first 191 after being in the that after sleeping some more Manning family for a whole day.

This unforeseen.192 THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS "Yes. that we are all make us remember. small and beautiful stranger who has come among of us. hope. Thus. or the altered for the natural child of love. permit the cruelty of polite society. us no longer a stranger. ship. or our attitude toward him. long before he capable of conscious observation and sensitive to the slightest differences of attitude.' you are worth my and worthy of my prayers. in which to take pride — no family and no family and seek sanctuary —remains that to say. insofar as we possess the power to govern our minds and the humility to understand our hearts. which. as a bastard. we must never. he is now one We must begin is to think of him thus. and of us participate in this difference in 'if one or another way. hypocrisy of the conventional standards little — to affect our own sentiments about this child. the often quasi-legal phrase. "this child must become as one of us. smiling and continuing as the yelling down and the handclapping stopped. as your mother rightly insists. of Indiana University: but stigma of the is bar another ancient and proverbial phrase of having no recognized parents. now. I must say again. kin- un- Hence we must never permit. And I must." said Father. tone tion. to And to is in the chill spiritless jargon which vulgarity and self-hatred or fear of love often forces those who are too sensitive illegitimate child. This unexpected ever St. expresses a profound darkness of heart. whenmembers one of the other. an used as a shuddering euphemism. in this instance. when the . a child of love: such an infant is known also. gift should forever we forget. This infant is a natural child. speak freely. as is Paul so truly said. as the poet says. and affec- The only is difference between the little child all and each of you the inescapable difference in age. The cruelty which society love has diminished particularly inflicts upon children of somewhat during the past generation and since the labors of the compassionate Professor the Kinsey sinister. in died vulgar parlance. attempt to say something of a delicate and important matter concerning the new member of the family. in this way.

or a snob. the sign and pain of that profound sickness. "Nevertheless this confusion. my it hope. far to be a bigot. and this is the state of it mind to of many human beings today. since one believes in nothing whatever. is is true. to speak of the virtue of having 'an open mind. a fool to be preferred to a odious than a prig. is better to be a crackpot fascist. however regrettable or hateful in itself.' but a good many of them cannot distinguish in one's it between having an open mind and a hole head empty those heart. and it is far better to be a publican and a sinner than to indulge in the self-righteousness of the Pharisee . the loss of belief in the of belief meaning of when one believes if life. is infinitely It is more desirable than any form of intolerance. one forced into tolerance of one's fellow's childlike superstitions. better to be tolerant because one believes in nothing than It is far. you will be worthless and "We must remember. is difficult not is be tolerant. True tolerance is difficult — — or an is very difficult — to stand who why are possessed by belief intensely and cannot underothers are stubborn enough to resist the beliefs which they find so irresistible. "These two very different forms of tolerance often have been and often will be confused with one another. at times (often because they are loveless and unloved.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS child is 193 old enough to go to school and go among strangers and encounter the inevitable malicious remarks about his origins by strangers evil in who through accident or resentment are likely to be tongue and in heart. a pig is less than a tyrant. Most human beings tend. as an end in often the confession of spiritual bank- ruptcy. now. must add that you are not worthy of hopeless. this child will be protected by the armor of our love: his sense of being loved by us and his sense of being one of us will give him strength to disdain the I mockery of if tongues and the self-hatred of the insecure. that the pursuit of tolerance. itself. Indeed. It is all too easy to be tolerant in nothing. often because the world is loveless and loved too much).

" "Father. by the Christian beauty and compassion Father had described so clearly in a low and gentle voice. William's remark was not only sensational in itself but all the more unique because it had been uttered by William himself. with the most passionate admiration in his voice and eyes. clapping her hands and trying not eyes: so to let the tears well out of her widened charity. should But judge you as you are? And mercy then will breathe within your Like man new made. moved was she. Father. you ought to be President of the United States of America!" William declared with an unprecedented enthusiasm. This is birth and rebirth and life everlasting. best took the vantage And He that might have Found out If the remedy. for the genius of the family was subject to . passionately. is How would you be think on that. a noblewoman of Vienna say Measure for Measure: Alas! Alas! Why all the souls that were were forfeit once. May He us the possible strength and the self-understanding which will for us to insensitive. Isabel.194 THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS Philistine: is and the May God all in His infinite mercy grant us the love which the source and beginning and end of those inclinations of the human the existence and of mind and give it heart which make us human beings. He. make be neither empty nor narrow. "Father. which the top of judgment. an exultation and exaltation entirely unlike him or unperceived before this evening. Let us remember what the greatest of all poets made in his beautiful heroine. you are really and truly wonderful. so overcome. "Yes. you are just wonderful." Lewis exclaimed. neither bigoted nor neither foolish nor cruel. lips." Candy cried. all else is a long and living death.

upstairs II The Flight of the Innocents When the train finally departed after what seemed to Candy an unbearable delay of a few minutes according to her wristwatch a few minutes are sometimes longer than forever. She was clearly very pleased. she naturally and spontaneously approved of hood." "How many bathrooms do they have in the girls White House?" full asked Tina. all ex- pressions of admiration directed toward authority and parent- "Thank you. She was not at all troubled by her mother's comment and judgment and she was entirely untroubled by her ignorance of the nature of the satirical and the meaning of satire. "Well said." either ignorant "What's satirical?" Tina asked Father and William at the same of the time. a serene look upon his which meant that he was really very much amused. "Tina!" said Mother severely." Father said. She was the youngest of the and her name was Christina Rossetti Manning. William." said Mother warmly. But everyone had begun to fold his or her napkin week and attach its clasp. "You are being or satirical. Tina hurried to follow her brothers and sisters. some — — . William. Although very critical and at times scornful of her husband. Everyone was impatient to go and see the new baby again when he woke up for his next bottle.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS 195 such high standards that he had never been capable of genuine admiration of his own powers and gifts. "The pleasure your esteem gives me is not at all lessened but face. a look rather increased by the certainty that there is no likelihood whatever of my occupying the White House.

There were all the wonderful things that Father had said two days before and these sentences of Father's were still continually ringing through her mind by the as the train began slowly as well as cessions of rhythm entire to pick up speed and the sucbecame customary enough to be unnoticed body by the delicate to discuss ear.196 Hartford senior THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS girl had said last autumn —Candy felt relaxed enough She to her to sit back on the green plush seat of the compartment. giving to his children assembled in the study where they seldom were allowed "A given name is it necessary to signify the uniqueness of issues each immortal soul as with the family name. safe to look at the felt sufficiently baby in his bassinet next and rehearse all to herself. in a profoundly spiritual . This beautiful child I — the most beautiful child of have ever seen (and at the I do not forget how enchanting each you and left you were all same age. I and resemblance. but is a vivid and concise symbol of the coexistence identity of uniqueness and kinship. what name "To give life to a human being has a close kinship to that new human being a unique name. is the bassinet each and of you have occupied at a time of life when to an outsider an infant most likely to resemble dried apricots heaped in a laundry bag) — is not your mother's child and mine alone but your child as well as ours: we are all in a profound sense. had happened which had forced her she felt was forced and compelled. a family to give Mother had baby. in this "Your mother and different procedure have agreed that instance a would be appropriate. long before in turn. He had spoken council. although only by her own conscience to take the baby and to take the train. disthat — sure that she appearing in the middle of the night after writing a note which her parents would find in the morning." Father had said to be. as to the little these wonderful sentences during called it. as the long night of train travel began. it from the hand of God: combined bonds which unite in the it affirms not only the immediately to a few other human beings living it same house.

Perhaps I am wrong. at two o'clock in the morning: otherwise she probably would have had to change trains at Chicago and even that if it were not necessary it to change at Union Station to for an express train. meaning of what he said and declared to he was not wrong. a distressing burden ture just as at times. But your attitude name is." in William was told by his father." will be influenced by your participation in his was moving very quickly now. but he spoke of his possible wrongness the in a way which transformed his conviction that polite. an oath of honor a promise and a pledge of one's heart. train it The Chicago: except for a few minutes. I interests all of you so much — and interests me freely confess. This is a fact which you must not it forget: and the privilege of naming the spiritual privilege too. detec- . toward was just good luck that Candy had been able to get a compartment on a train which did not stop at Chicago. "the will which we are now engaged be but a distant memory will to all of us and something unexperienced by the child himself by the time he knows what his unique assume that he acquired yours. going south. He will not be at all times the delightful crea- who now much. should child since is a proall found be for each of and of you a symbol. He assure you. "our having a voice and a vote in the naming of the child seems to me in- consistent with your noble instruction to us that there should be no distinction between the new member of the family and the rest of us. but attempting be "On naming the contrary." he added: it was the first time he had ever been known to entertain this possibility. I newcomer." William had inquired solemnly. the parents of this dear 197 will be. a trial and a burden. a trying responsibility. would still be nervous-making know when the train did stop for a few minutes in Chicago." as binding as "But Father.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS sense. He name just as you acquired toward him beginning now and for his years to come naming now. a vivid symbol.

she would be in free of being stopped or arrested or deprived of the dear creature until the train arrived morning. but it was the paternal or maternal parent of the likely that it was much more was the mother and . of the winter night and sighed to think how all evil the most noble of human beings sometimes were. THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS summoned by It her parents. Mother was strong. but she was a tyrant and her tyranny would not have been harmful. the train Candy looked from windows at the sordor and slum. darling creature or take the child from her. and she had been sure she was right when Mother and Father was over. but in the it seemed less likely by far to Candy two o'clock morning and once the able to sleep in peace and be Albany early in the train left Chicago. might board the train and arrest her for kidnaping the dear. It was Mother's Candy knew that it was Mother's fault. Father was a noble human being. Father was surely one of the most noble of his fine human and all beings. for Mother had cowed and crushed Father since the first year of marriage. dark and white. but he was weak. Mother had casually opened retired to Father's study after breakfast her mail while sipping her breakfast coffee and then she had read the awful letter — the letter which said that one or the It other of the child's parents was a Negro. if only she had not been so strong and had so cruel a hold on Father. that the was probably true difficult to mother was partly a Negro: it it was very be sure whether child. after observing the look upon Mother's face and soon after upon Father's that tuition morning at the breakfast table! Her female in- had told her immediately that something was very wrong. own family. Father's face was shaken and Mother's was stony.198 tives. How close she had come to being caught before she left the house with the child: and how quickly she had had to' act. but his exalted words and all his fine sentiments ideals and attitudes collapsed like a house of cards the moment they were tried by a crisis in his fault. was still possible that this might happen at anyway.

a compromise one conclusion: the sending between the dictates of his conscience and the dictatorship of which would result in only . was on Saturday that the discussion of the naming of the child had occurred and the voting. It was perfect irony and too delicious to be true that William had voted that the child be named Abraham Lincoln Manning and Father had ing that although gently used his power of veto. Mother had murmured something deprecatory which Candy did not hear clearly except for the words "Irish Rose. so noble! Miser el there was an enormous gulf beto believe tween what human beings professed and the actions occurred. or which they performed whenever a real crisis threatened to occur: that was just what Father had said in his sermon on Sunday. How It delightful everything had been on Saturday and Sunday. least. a noble human being. declarall Abe Lincoln was perhaps the greatest of it American Presidents." And then again on Sunday Father's sermon had been so inspiring. could behave when he was really On Monday faced at lunch time Candy had recognized how sad- Father looked and how stony-faced Mother was and she looked at them. and he had provided on Monday pure and perfect proof of how cowardly on the spot. or the choice. pre- tentious and hence vulgar to name the child Abraham. nevertheless would be grandiose.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS 199 perhaps the mother had told the father only after she became pregnant. Candy's woman's intuition told her that the baby was not going to be adopted the moment When lunch was to over. the announcement that for various reasons the adoption of the to baby would have be postponed for several weeks at Candy looked quickly at Mother. who believed in courage and was often very courageous. saw the displeasure flicker her eyes and knew then that Mother had expected Father announce that the child would not be adopted at all in to and Father's announcement had been a his wife false compromise. as Father called it. Father said that he had a painful announcement make.

Candy read the New Yorker which she had taken along with her and came upon Edmund Wilson's review of The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln: "In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. sometime after midnight. she him that if he did not do exactly what she said he had to to do right now. She her money from the bank. At told eight-thirty Candy told Lewis to get her a taxi and meet her two blocks away and when he wanted an explanation. polite and tactful note which her parents would find upon her bed when they the ticket discovered that she had kidnaped the poor creature. took a taxi to the depot. to Lewis was where Candy had told him be and a taxi was waiting and she kissed Lewis goodbye and told him to say nothing of what he had done and she was doing and soon the taxi was on its way to the depot. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the is same time . and took a taxi immedi- ately after lunch to the withdrew all bank where all her savings were. confided in no one. During the current trip.. she dear creature his ten o'clock bottle. of the reserved a compartment on the night train. said nothing and He Candy was afraid again but nothing happened gave the and at ten o'clock. after dinner she composed a careful. Then. and yet . she would never speak him again.. despite the supercilious and doubtful expression on the face man behind window who Candy feared might call her parents. Candy did her best to conceal her own feelings. and one must be wrong. At the gate where the train was waiting she told the conductor who asked silently for an explanation that she was taking her sister's child to Boston. it is quite possible that God's purpose something different from the purpose of either party.200 of the THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS baby to an orphan asylum. Both may be. just before the train finally left. This made Candy feel guilty but she felt justified and innocent as soon as she took the baby down in the stairs and out the front door while Mother was reading remorse her boudoir and Father was suffering in his study.

working just as they do.'". that this that it am almost ready to say probably true. wills this contest. God . Ill A Dear Quincy. that there will be a meeting and not an eruption of indignation which will lead immediately to resignations en masse this — I think it might be best for I me to write out account of "the facts" which have carefully and indeed painfully unearthed after conferring with everyone concerned. perhaps wrongly. fever he sleeps well.. and wills The baby After day's fitful its is in his bassinet. Confidential Report Before the meeting of the trustees occurs — I am assuming.. will have any genuine knowledge of what actually ocof curred. And I you that most human beings possess im- . fallen asleep while reading the New Yorker.. Bias has done Nor Mere. is Malice domestic. except the infant himself. race prejudice. nor Pere. truth The unwillingness their it most human beings it to face the and unawareness of something when they are forced to confront — is need hardly tell I need not expound to you. worst. that shall not end yet. yet taken all I doubt that anyone who has not I the pains that truth have to find out "the is truth after — the whole all? — —and whatever other kind there. nothing Can harm Candy had the child once Hartford his hearth..THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS the 201 human is instrumentalities. are of the I best adaptation to effect his purpose.

but perhaps had better summarize "the facts" before proceeding to the sophisticated matters which are beyond most of the trustees' minds or consciousness. to transfer the coffin to a hearse. was difficult to get her to commit herself as to whether there were reasons to think the poor mother had chosen the Manning family rather than I I another one. are not self-seeking opportunists the truth. and imagination actuality start. But I assume that the trustees. what had suspected immediately . are They evil. mani- and threatening ultimatums each more preceding one. denying the truth of disease and death. very and the mixed-up status of the entire affair has been increased by the confusions of the students and the faculty schools festoes further confounded by the of Hartford and the nearby men's drastic than the —who were so excited that they issued statements. in an unprecedented fashion affair —and the entire has finally been blown up into a hideous pandemonium by the sudden descent of Cobb's Congressional committee. to disingenuity. will act as imagine a con- gregation of Christian Scientists acts at the funeral of a devout Scientist. an infant was placed upon the it Manning house where I was found by Candida it Manning. Nothing can be done about demagogues like Cobb directly. but like most who have a vested human beings. When questioned Candida. interest in denying sincere I and honest in their evasion of the truth. I must say more about the difficulty of I communicating the and complicated truth in this instance. at least insofar as they are merely trustees. yet never- theless attending the to place the ceremony and permitting the undertaker body of the dear departed one in a coffin. far The repugnant at the was from being a candid and open thing press. which enable them transform whatever happens to them the most amazing fabrications. During the Christmas doorstep of the recess. like most human beings. and finally to bury the coffin in a newly dug grave. but persisted verified and despite Candida's indignation I and excitement.202 THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS of mense resources into ingenuity.

as to they were destitute relief rolls. —and it is entirely probable also that the Manning family was chosen as quite well-to-do. the surely. and in that partwo hundred and fifty ticular city of thousand human beings. and middle-class morality of children. the fact that at the outset and for almost a week the entire affair was confined wholly to the Manning family and had nothing whatever to do with Hartford or with the sociological studies of some of the Hartford students. respectability. so that nightfall Mrs. other family been chosen by the hapless mother. most important of in certain all eccentric and Bohemian ways which would be remarkable anywhere and are the more remarkable in the Middle West. was only days of rejoicing and rapt interest in the new child that trouble began: and I think that this is the second point to be emphasized. it would not have been a national uproar. human beings who want be placed on the Soon after Candy. it is almost certain. trouble began when Dr. unless we assume that such grants are to be given only after all the families of the recipients have been carefully if investigated. beknew of Dr. all took in the infant. The Manning each . full liberal. extremely all. as everyone calls her. Manning consented after several to the adoption of the child. Had any result. Manning as a minister of unconventional views he had preached a sermon only the week that the — cause the mother — before on Christianity as a scandal to the world of propriety. and. it and others are emphasized: for I is think that this the first "fact" to be enough in itself to show that what has to occurred has virtually nothing to do with Hartford's intrinsic nature as an educational institution and just as little do with the grants for sociological studies provided by a philanthropic foundation. And since is incontestable that the Mannings were is selected rather than so many others because of the kind of a family they are not. Manning and Mrs. there was boundless excitement among the Manning by It children and the parents too were delighted. extremely well- meaning.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS 203 Mannings had been chosen.

" the word Dr." on the tinction basis. but two copies. going to be adopted into the family. She wanted to explain matters to the children the jectives. on the basis of "family. limited oband "gradualism. Manning England had often told her offspring with much pride of her New forebears and had dwelt fondly on those been ardent Abolitionists before the thought it among them who had Civil War. of a disis between the ideals to which one devoted as a part of . an offer to provide the incontestable evidence that this statement about the infant's paternity was true. Manning conferred for a long time in Dr. I suppose. Manning would be best to attempt a detailed explanation to the children. Manning had used in speaking to her. telling state of them with care and candor that the ideal society which all human beings of good will desired and had not yet come about and would not be it wished to further near realization for years to come so that until then cause the infant more would harm by far than good to be part of a white family. for the sudden change of mind would have to be justified to the children and Dr. She said that the children had shown no evidence of a capacity to understand this meaning and necessity of piecemeal progress. with devious directions. Manning's pulpit denunciations of segregation in the South. Manning's study: the problem was not at all simple. that is to say. in view of how young most of the Manning children are that — — was too complicated an explanation. and — the writer a letter which asserted that the infant knew they did not always was consult each other a negro. if the would-be foster parents wished to be convinced anonymous informant was telling the truth! Knowing that all their offspring would be not only acutely disappointed but shocked that the infant was not. Dr. Mrs. Mrs. Manning's passionate social avowals would have sufficed to make it very difficult to tell the Manning children that the the truth about their reversal: in addition to Dr.— 204 received a letter certain both as if THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS the same letter. as if to be husband and wife possessed the information. and Mrs. after all. and added. Manning insisted rightly. Dr.

from a shame about reject part of their family background which led to cowardice. of in rapid succession. had never before perceived with complete clarity what his wife's underlying attitude was. Dr. and one to a young man who was of an minor crisis to immigrant family. of to instruct the children in how dangerous intermarriage was. Mannlittle made protest: his wife's explanation less justifiable seemed it just as in complicated as his own and truth governed because was part a denial of the truth and in part an exploitation of a half- by he was unable to see seem to justify Manning did say that how Mrs. Manning had been very ters much alarmed when. how the offspring of such intermarriages very often suf- fered from a loss of identity and worse. nevertheless the community was not at least in the same thing this as one's inter- family and the nature of the family was such as to make marriage unwise. Dr. how the liberal and unconventional views she seemed to accept were based upon an intense belief that she was far superior to most other human beings. During the past two and a half years. most instances: it was a good opportunity precisely because —none course — situation of the girls would want was an extreme and unlikely to marry Negroes. the three daugh- her best friend had contracted Italian entirely undesirable marriages. one to a Czech refugee. Manning's justification would anything to the children. who were equal to his wife solely because they were so inferior to her and ing to her Bostonian forebears. cruelty or an over-assertion which made that part of the family them with and unfairness background which for he posessed social superiority in a conventional sense. but he knew it was ulterior motives. . Dr. Mrs. guilt. Hence to use this it seemed both sensible and important comparatively suggest to her daughters that however devoted one might be to the ideal of a truly democratic social order. evasion. Troubled as he was. one to a Jew. Manning was very much distressed.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS the community and the very different criterion one had 205 to adopt within the heart of the family.

Candy told Emily. a whited sepulchre. in of indignation. so far. segregation. When he continued plead with her. her parents had called her long first Speaking with her mother and then with her their carefully restrained father. nation to the children They had not decided exactly how to formulate an explawhen the servant girl knocked on the in a door of Dr. she had herself go and accused him of being disloyal to his principles. Manning knew immediCandy had eavesdropped upon her parents this had occurred before —and — had taken the child. that the infant ately that panicky voice. Candy had returned to her dormitory at Hartford with the child and was soon so preoccupied in preparing the baby's formulas that she apparently was hardly had not aware of how. social injustice. and had departed with the child tears it. a hideous snob. a ghastly hypocrite. speaking whom she loves with just as much integrity as she dislikes her mother —she let had controlled herself for a time by restricting her refusal to a statement of how disappointed she was to find out to how he really felt. a coward who feared his wife. at the start that she — With an expression speaking to her mother and her had not been surprised by her "reactionary" to her father. anger. cowardice and hypocrisy" — the very words she had used to save to her sister Emily. and racial prejudice. the Mannings learned that Candy had been raged at her parents' "snobbery. Naturally the parents were thunderstruck . Questioning the out- other children. By the next morning. from a fate far worse than death —an orphanage. Soon distance. attitude and then. or that her arrival at school with a newly born infant been the cause of extreme astonishment solely because most of the students had not yet returned from the winter recess. Manning's study and told them. had disappeared Mrs. and worse. she encountered no opposition or criticism.— 206 useless to THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS contend with his wife whenever she felt strongly about anything. after Candy's return. she had answered and measured of stubborn telling pleas to return with the infant. bigotry.

— —an of Candy's refusal to return the in- Yet it is this point of Candy's responsibility. If either or both parents at Hartford. had immediately appeared during the winter recess .THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS as well as very much wounded. by sexual enjoy in her I curiosity. she shocked the other students by volunteering to pose in the nude as an art class model before a mixed audience. half-revealed rebellion for several years." two years before the need have been raised: Candy retaliated by announcing that she was going to become a nurse. her parents' which has vanished entirely from everyone's mind. Here again it is important to underscore what will be over- looked or disregarded — as it has already been — Candy resistance as a unique individual of a remarkable family in the midst of which she had lived most of her life. if indeed it was ever taken into account. Soon after arriving. know how impossible it would be to make these preceding occurrences a matter of direct presentation in explanation almost total explanation fant. Thus it is clearly true and clearly it is just as diffiquestion cult to be explicit about this truth — — that Candy's seizure of the all infant was inspired first of all and above by her family role and the feeling and motives she acquired in the midst of the family realm. while being crushed by a matriarchal dictatorship: Candy was moved by extreme resentment. at least: Mrs. an offer accepted in silence and soon abandoned when Candy discovered that her nakedness attracted no amorous attention whatever. for 207 Candy had never before made explicit the intense resentment she felt towards her mother and how critical she had been for some time of the way in which Mrs. and equally. which sufficed to place her mother on the defensive and enable Candy to get to Hartford. but presented merely a problem in drawing. Manning dominated her husband and her entire family. eagerness and precocity. and by a conscious determination to own right her mother's dominion and eminence. Her attitude toward her mother and had been one that of half-concealed. Manning had declared Candy was not "college material.

I have looked up statistics of the same sort regarding the incidence of drug addiction. sexual promiscuity. but surely it is possible. Every year. by the policy of the administration and the intrinsic nature of the curriculum. and the like at the leading schools in the most of them far more conservative than Hartford. Candy's appearance with newly born infant a to the appearance upon the Hartford cam- homicidal it surely.208 THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS still —which was more than a week long —then the intolerable aftermath would have been avoided. consistently. number of students are attracted them become seriously addicted or suffer serious emotional disruption: yet no one has been foolish enough some of to suppose that because these vices occur it is at an educational in- stitution. extreme. East. since is the best The exaggeration way of pointing out is justified. is that there nothing intrinsic or essential to Hartford and those related to Hartford in one or another way which involves the sudden appearance of students with infants of dubious origin. I was forced to conclude that both parents failed to act quickly for fear that their action would be publicized and their championship of various liberal . abetted. incited them. since is it as likely as any course which could have and did not occur that the Mannings could have regained the child by invoking their rights as parents who a had taken however pus of out adoption to papers. the institution which has encouraged them. did not occur. compare maniac. After questioning both parents. although it the entire affair outside of the This cannot be presented as indisputable evidence. but sexual deviation. a certain to these vices. No one would suppose that the administration encouraged an un-American ideals at Hartford fostered and among its students state of mind and un-American when extraordinary and regrettable It is behavior of another kind occurs. aided. and no one would have known anything whatever about Manning family. probably useless to insist on the point. the subjects which are taught.

since would not be given the proper care argument which was manifestly untrue. suddenly. It must be admitted that he did not act very well. year as president. until he had become the problems involved in directing a progressive school for young and wealthy Now. Manning denies. The Mannings. detailed plans no had been made for the disposition of the child and only an orphanage had been proposed. still This was his stranger. to be non-committal. by hesitating. as Mrs. Manning clearly and Dr. while the child obviously lived in the Candy and the friends who same dormitory. since nothing of the sort had ever occurred before. but it is — hard to see precisely what. by permitting themselves to be intimidated by Candy's unexampled fury of accusation. he was confronted not only with a fait accompli. The fact is 209 clear that this insists would not have occurred. he was to a comparative he was naturally determined move slowly and fa- avoid trouble miliar with all when it was avoidable girls. even to publicize if. at that point. allowed a situation which was a family responsibility only and could to only have come into existence in so remarkable a family become a Hartford question. since he had not been flourished very well in the care of informed his office —how could he have been? — was that among the duties of is that of judging whether an infant getting the . but one which had no precedent whatever. or to be critical of him. Candy hinted or any effort of threatened her parents to take away the child from her. either at Hartford or elsewhere. it For Candy would have done nothing of the sort as long as to was solely a family question: is her instinctive loyalty her family far too strong. however much she resents her mother and thinks of herself as a very advanced young lady. At infant first Goodknight maintained that the Hartford. to move at slowly. and then the cause of national furor. This intensified his natural inclination to be circumspect.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS and advanced causes compromised. The coals of fire were suddenly placed in Goodknight's hands. an at this point. first he could have done. But again it is foolish to condemn Goodknight.

determined and dedicated were Candy and her friends — to secure Negro couple and have them adopt the infant. foolish." Young women who wished first to be truly creative must now be concerned of all with the responsbility which would be theirs when they were citizens endowed with suffrage. Had Goodknight unearthed this couple at the very beginning of the term. the drama and September. This must be admitted without qualifica- He declared that the beginning of the atomic era signified the conclusion of that concentration upon the master works girls of high culture which had hitherto marked the Hartford and which had been overestimated by being called "creative. The extreme and somewhat matters worse: self-righteous for- mulation Hartford made girls not only were a good many faculty also immediately disaffected. ballet which had prevailed until his installation that Goodknight's explicit justification for an altered curriculum was extremely tion. important duty of which he had not been informed was that of securing an adequate illegitimate. a first involved had been antagofall statement of policy during the when he proposed that the Hartford curriculum be given new and what he called scientific orientation as opposed to the preoccupation with literature. the arts. home for children and colored. he would not have prevented of new some of the most excited the girls from condemning this arrangement as a clear betrayal of the principles of a democratic society. but at least this would have stopped the affair from getting beyond the girls limits of the academic community. principles continually being taught at Hartford.210 proper care THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS —he and his wife are childless —while an even more who were abandoned. subject to the approval by the students. But the nized by Goodknight's term. and as wives and mothers burdened with all the tasks and all the anxiety of womanhood. but the . so excited. This would have hardly apealed to any of the young ladies under any circumstances and no matter what the reasons of the President. proposed He a finally —when it was far too late. of the Negro couple.

. particularly since the statement included a reduction of the budget expenditures for the drama. Clearly the it can be said that no one was in the wrong and in the same time everyone was of wrong. on the innocence of America. might be said. but they had never before done anything of the sort. in ignorance or with conscious intention. the in bewilderment. ballet. teachers The behaved very well when to the winter recess ended and everyone had returned critical of Hartford: they refused to be Goodknight yet it is also true that they did not express any strong dissent or disagreement with Candy's attitudes which had by that time become those of a number of girls who were at united enough to be called a kind of party. and of American womanhood. upon the campus and sort in dormitory where nothing of the raid —had occurred Indeed excursion —which I —nothing more — on the serious than a panty before. situation possessed a momentum which was unsuspected and uncontrollable: as Yeats speaks of the Magi encountering. Thus when Candy appeared with girls her infant bombshell. an experience so original that nothing in the past experience anyone was a preparation enabling it one to recognize the new experience: forgive them. the entire school was prepared: the and their teachers had been in a volcanic state.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS 211 was outraged. for all were involved in an original experience. to make possible increased expenditures for the study ot atomic like. adequately equipped laboratories. and once the school was in session. latent with indignation and protestation and detestation of authority." an instance of an uncontrollable hysteria the scholastic door. and art. and the Several instructors resigned immediately and were persuaded to wait until the end of the year: an inclination to rebellion and to self-assertion existed at one or another degree of intensity upon the campus. this is "the uncontrollable mystery upon the the besat tial floor. a the entire episode draws one irresistibly to will suppress long American character. physics. they not only did not know what they were doing.

Reality in this instance seemed to Candy and her friends to be rooted with overwhelming infant. just as an un- equivocal one as for the most part. for the is behavior of Candy and her friends and their "child's party" rooted in the dominant patterns of American of the girls life.212 THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS such as Henry James dramatized so well in another young American girl. Candy's party imme- diately attracted new and part passionate supporters. either good social standing in Boston. as they are are without and the differences such meaning. clarity in the problem of the care of an abandoned colored The acting chairman of the department refused to make any . social the natural or. if you like. customary expectations of the upper their families. They come to Hartford. Daisy Miller: Candy resembles Daisy very much. to explain useless as to may be. it middle This is the root truth of the incident. instead of the older and more conventional girls' colleges in the East." is The result of these projects in every instance it is. Hence Hartford it is not the product of a theory of education. and difficult as it certainly is anyone not already acquainted with the root truth. When brought to school was again in session. Pressure was bear upon the acting chairman of the social science to allot department of the fund for projects in which students attempt "to determine the compass of the problems with which social sciences must deal when it is rooted in reality. the girls' profound dissatisfaction with their social class. the career of the debutante. but the result of something which the students and status. and the customary studies of under- graduates. to a The girls of Hartford have committed themselves life of profound rejection of the entire way of class in our society. New York and Philadelphia. The majority who go to Hartford come of good families. their parents both refuse to recognize. as seems to outsiders. unrecognized: reality is the silent partner of the imagination. because families of wealth or of they are already much involved in a repudiation of their family. to whom no explanation would therefore be necessary.

The if refusal caused a new clamor: claimed that his the true chairman had been present. "Are any?" one of her friends added. he was. and this led immediately to the office of the president. The reason for refusal was again viewed as a mere pretext and hypocrisy: the acting chairman said only that since the actual chairman the authority to was in Europe on a Fulbright.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS such allotment. Goodknight. 213 one could of some region of their minds —desired eagerly — in some part to be refused. "Who or the truth which we have been taught father. for the abyss of the Atlantic was not the only obstacle to an understanding of the growing crisis. This immediately placed Goodknight upon the defensive: and though the interview was short and did not long continue. Hearing of his refusal from the hardly avoid the impression that the girls their hearts. not likely to that he was." "You are just like my Mr. in all truth. Goodknight perceived very soon. . Goodknight rejected the bold proposal. It was then that Goodknight began to move forward with to unquestionable gentleness but clear resolution to the point at which he told the girls that the infant must be surrendered the proper authorities." Candy ex- claimed with passionate indignation and a barely suppressed sob in her voice. is being de- liberately ignored. are the proper authorities?" Candy asked quickly. And then one clever girl suggested that the true chairman be questioned by phone or cable as to his view. girls. to be an accusation of the President. with characteristic and absolutely incredulous amazement. he would have given blessing. saying that it was an undue imposition on the absent teacher and any case. And a third spoke with the same heat and speed: "Either we have not been taught the there truth. support and financial aid to the adoption of the infant by Candy and her friends. he lacked the girls make the allotment. in be willing to intervene and judge when he was so far removed from the campus and the local scene: as.

to might very well lend quence. he knew that as a unique emotional tornado. A student at one of the men's colleges fifty miles distant from Hartford —who . As the girls made a sullen departure. metropolitan reporters and flashbulb photographers." publicity which Goodknight feared descended after. Good- knight felt paralyzed: his paralysis took the form of expression- less silence and since he was a fluent man. vox dei —you can't fool all the students all the time. naturally enough. American public opinion would decide who was less voluble girls right and who was wrong. In the last resort. chaos.214 that THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS Candy was and if literally and all entirely sincere when she girls said that she her. they would be delighted. if He he expelled Candy as the ringleader and some of her more assertive friends. However. nevertheless Goodknight to deceive himself: this was unable was not a teapot tempest. although perhaps they might have made such a move after a time. as the in- transingent unwillingness to yield on the part of an authoritarian and a despot. calamitous and unpredictable conse- Since expulsion did not trouble the girls in the least. was not afraid of expulsion. Indeed one of the had murmured during The the interview: "Vox populi. And the other they were not echoed as determined to follow the dictates of conscience as Candy. Delighted public: in principle to make the entire affair the girls had been taught that this was an essential part of the democratic process. Goodknight felt feared precisely what Candy's parents had feared. the girls interpreted his silence. Goodknight could think of only one resolution of the crisis: the passage of time: summer certain would save him: but that it was mid-winter at Hartford. whatever its causes might be and Goodknight suspected that its causes at heart were not purely social it and political. on all occasions. as in a serious strike. upon Hart- ford soon bringing pandemonium. but a genuine emotional tornado. they would not be troubled. neither Candy nor her friends were directly responsible.

before nationwide publicity descended upon girls. THE PRINCIPLES OF DEMOCRACY AND EQUALITY EXIST ONLY FOR THE WHITE RACE. Hartford. neither erasing the sentences nor acting as of their presence. HARTFORD IS HEARTLESS. the little champions of the child discovered that they no longer had any power whatever to exercise: for the ad- . THE CIVIL WAR WAS FOUGHT IN VAIN. the blackboards bore. the arrival of the press. Some of the that they in stalwart reality of their girls appeared were employing the method of trade union leaders But before any further action and before an industrial strike and there was some talk of a sitdown strike in the classrooms. coming into their classrooms. had in motion a to believe campus campaign to demonstrate the principles and convictions. YOU sentences chalked upon the blackboard. on the after morning and the interview with the president.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS had been paid information for the 215 tips previous two years to supply of — called up several nationwide press bureaus and several gossip columnists in New York. For as soon as nationwide publicity became an actual fact and ceased to be a threat and a dreaded pos- sibility. the Hartford reacting with the savagery of youth set Goodknight's misunderstood silence. GOODKNIGHT IS GOOD FOR NOTHING. Philadelphia and Boston. these sentences others of equal brutality: GOODKNIGHT CRITE. The teachers. and finding these HITLER. they were aware The arrival of reporters broke the back of the conflict during the next two days. WERE AHEAD OF YOUR TIME. DON'T BE A FOOL AND BELIEVE WHAT YOU ARE TAUGHT IN SCHOOL. SUFFER A LITTLE CHILD TO COME TO US AND TO SUFFER. tried if to be neutral. IS A CRAVEN KNAVE AND A PRETENTIOUS HYPO- LINCOLN HAS BEEN ASSASSINATED A SECOND TIME. As to it happened.

— 216 ministration felt. the silence might have been accomplished. who might have been summoned to the scene if ford had been near a fairly big city. in such a situation — are disposed act. campus Hartford is in is the depths of the most rural countryside: the it nearby village store not even a whistle stop. slow-moving. THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS for the time being at least. is is merely a country twenty miles by first and post it is office: the nearest township car and important to bear these facts in mind because they indicate that the girls were innocent of the uses which Senator Cobb might make of their protest and rebellion and Hart- second because the welfare agencies for the destitute and for orphans. at the very stalemate and impasse to the would have continued and have been confined of Hartford. less as one's aunt is expected to behave. to be exact and he is simply genteel. After of the poor maiden man. this Goodknight should have attempted of to make to move in any case. despite the distance. that Goodknight is. that the worst that could occur had already occurred. a just. or. as some of the columnists loudly implied. as a possible means the of shifting burden judgment and responsibility agencies which exist solely for the purpose of social welfare problems. would if upon the excitement at Hartford. however aware and prudent he was. No educator. could have foreseen that a congresand for sional committee. when he did became President. starved for publicity seize new grist. training. and dislikes scenes and that he behaves crises so much more or all. But he would have had to act more quickly than he and most educators true. tradition and precedent to It not however. by temis perament. had no way knowing —no one — that he would have to cope with situations which began with the . The truth is that the most above to hostile students had envisaged the possibility of Senator Cobb's intervention all they all detested Cobb and it was Cobb and what he represents that they supposed themselves — be attacking —then a compromise and least. member of the light brigade. were too distant to be called in promptly.

Moreover. caused damage. —and there was. school. Since girls are bad sense — — in a good as well as children of good families. for a short time. So. The girls had supposed that only reactionaries would fail to recognize or to admit that their motives were principled and purely democratic. the gossip columnists had suggested sexual immorality girls. —some had called long distance a feeling of relief and relaxa- The students and the faculty both believed that a hurricane little had whirled through the unnatural insinuations. so at this point no one reckoned with Candy's resourcefulness and deter- mination. The Hartford very girls were. to their own immense astonishment. albeit few would have admitted that progressive school for girls' it was a normality.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS slave trade. they have an instinctive distaste of fair. suddenly: of the girls' parents the lull. particularly since the columnists' insinuations had made the girls' sexual behavior a matter about which the public and people and their own parents might wonder. first gave them a sense for the time that what they were doing did not appear to the outside world as being a pure and dedicated action — clearly and obviously. the school as a whole thought that the sunlight of normality was shining again. unbecoming. once she felt a wavering and . and the Cold War. the Soviet Union. and unthis instinct was which immediately asserted first itself among a good many of the girls after the lull onslaught of publicity. if This intermission and delusion would not have occurred anyone had kept in mind Candy's role: but just as no one foresaw the later complication of the legislative pack. Candy moved quickly. a shock of real There was a disturbance upon the campus. and have been made more difficult than ever before by the Supreme Court. produced endangered important and valuable things. among all the Hartford and the sexual frustration of most of the late adolescence had been the the tumult inin a explanation of a metropolitan sob sister of tensity. during tion. It newspaper publicity as vulgar. reached a climax in the Civil 217 War. It much disturbed by the experience of nationwide publicity.

as the years passed. when so many rules tions had to be suspended: but that's another matter except sofar as Mrs. She moved just as quickly in precisely the taking away the infant from the same manner as she had in Manning household to the Hartford campus: she took the child to the country house of Julia Sorel. Mrs. for the basis in truth which her sense of injustice had had when and regulain- she was a student was entirely a matter of the past during and after the second World War. escapade.— 218 uncertainty THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS among her and hitherto passionate supporters. in need of an abortion. the . and Candy liked Mrs. Sorel had become a well- known poser: surrealist painter married to a Belgian modernist comto and she had permitted her painting and drinking be interrupted only by the report that a Hartford girl was being subjected to injustice in the very still way that she had fancied and fancied herself to have been mistreated — for reasons of prudery. an alumna of Hartford's first graduating class she had almost been expelled several times for a variety of sexual escapades during her years at Hartford. or asylum more exact — —asylum for Hartford girls who were a condition of desperation. at least —she in felt obliged to is provide a kind of Bohemian sanctuary. jilted love. finding new support and much stronger support at a distance of forty miles and across the state line to boot. and as a result — so she thought. the feelings of Goodknight and his assistants on the very faculty can well be imagined. In the fifteen years since being a Hartford student herself. but even little what occurred: it was a form of intense more deceived. Sorel mistook whatever as being identical with her happened in the present own experience many years before. Mrs. bigotry and the self-righteous puritanism of the bluenoses on the Hartford faculty. or. Mrs. to be completely concrete. When Candy turned to her. resentment. This was the last straw. Sorel was deceived about the injustice she had herself suffered (she enjoyed attention). Sorel had taken an immense liking to Candy the year before. Sorel very much too.

It inertia and being well rewarded then. Sorel was a whole of new cumstances by herself and in herself: she would have welcomed the attention of the newspapers with a joyousness only her for husband could have surpassed. was the perfect set attitude to circir- adopt once a change of locale had occurred. be- was at this point. and an alumna.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS last straw. Candy every kind tional. Sorel is a fairly well-known rich. and made possible actions which had been until then. beyond Candy's scope to Candy's position became imher lawyers pregnable when Mrs. This rumor persisted until it attracted the attention of the Congress of the United States. emotional. in the form of Cobb's investigating committee. The lawyers took charge with a for years decisiveness based upon knowing Mrs. she at also very she has never known. that Goodknight's disastrous. hitherto itself: so damaging or if came wisdom then he said nothing: and it this hesitation until may be regarded dubiously. he loved public attention even more than his wife and was as ardent a Bohemian. which descended upon Hartford and began an inquiry into Hartford's educational principles and now that the child — — — methods. and this truce would surely have become a kind of status quo until the end of the school year and Hartford itself would have escaped the worst consequences of the entire affair which was still no more than a Quixotic escapade of schoolgirls had not there been a renewed rumor that Candy was in actuality the mother of the child and the father of the child a Negro. Sorel summoned who rushed her country place with a speed that suggested transit by helicopter. nor had to know. Mrs. Sorel for their pains. the final crisis. just how was any particular moment. the sexual chastity and national patriotism of the Hartford girls. of support — unconven- and legal. Nevertheless. immerich she diately. and passivity. 219 not only an adult. She gave financial. and new cumstances existed. and the extent to which the girls and Hartford . some sort of truce might have been reached was no longer under the immediate jurisdiction of Hartford. so rich that artist. is For Mrs.

made at now it celebrated infant was in actuality Candy's own child.220 itself THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS were being supported in activities which were un-American at the very least. announcing as soon and the infant were to Mrs. the rumor that the child might in fact be Candy's had been first expressed and bruited about (but only girls. matters might have been terminated prior to Cobb's descent. Sorel's house. as ever. and immediately became a question of proving not that this was true. Had not Candy taken the law into her as she own hands at again. that she was engaged be married. Cobb. Sorel could become guardian. by a philanthropic foundation. and complete sexual licentiousness with His assistants seized upon the suggestion which had been the very start that the Communism. for in Cobb's mind. and his assistants had no difficulty in help- ing him. on the campus) by other Hartford for those girls who had some time been antagonized by the snobbery — the literary . She still feared that the child would be taken its away from her long before Mrs. the was it not? that Candy favored social equality for people of otherwise what was all every creed and color: shooting about? In addition. of promiscuity or of a lack had merely been a side-issue until then. appeared that an attack upon the educational methods of Hartford as in- an indoctrination into un-American and sufficient. socialist ideals was He wanted. however. legal The intervention of Cobb's investigating committee was the introduction of an entirely new dimension. The imputation of sexual irregularity of chastity of gossip — that is to say. to link disloyalty with immorality. everyone was guilty until proven to be of an innocence incompatible with anything but sleeping sickness or a catatonic attack: and it was admitted. but that the accusation was untrue. the subject to feel and nothing more. illegitimacy with miscegnation.

Sorel's. and on the other affirmation of moral purity which would have done credit the very infant she Cobb himself questioned Candy. "which occurrence would cause a greater degree of shock. It was agreed at this meeting that no action whatever should superficial. and was Candy which brought it into the open a new state of mind. or the fact had given birth to a child who had been fathered upon her by a Negro. for once. but no further aid and no discussion. It was then occurred to Goodknight all to indulge in the most interesting speculation of —which and he did not hesitate. this questioning of much preoccupied had chosen it to defend so valiantly every other day at Mrs." The teachers who listened to Goodknight were dumbfounded and few of them understood so that he had been forced because to this kind of facetious morbidity of speculation felt he had much humiliated by the written and chalked insults of the Hartford girls. with regard to the files be taken. to express to others on the teaching staff. At the same time. on Candy's part and that of her has to be called an friends: a reversal of attitude such that ." Goodknight said softly in a pained voice. of course it — in Candy's circle. Cobb's assistants began making inquiries were what one would an to among expect: the Hartford girls. at a faculty meeting. a more serious disturbance the fact that that she Candy wished to adopt a Negro child. sympathy or cooperation was to be manifest on the part of the faculty: Goodknight gained unanimous support for the attitude need or the right of the that Hartford did not recognize the congressional investigating committee at Hartford. except the most Cobb committee's investigation: the were not to be denied to Cobb's assistants. "It is fascinating to ask. and the results a complete confusion. comprehending the most scan- dalous suppositions on the one hand. who had been visiting the a nunnery. a new attitude.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS and intellectual snobbery: it 221 was not that social snobbery.

quoted and come forth with an answer so comrespectable. "that a husband and a wife are not really married unless they have a child: they are just having a prolonged affair! A is house without a child not truly a family. this entire unpleasant and trying dispute would not have occurred at all and you would not be here and gasping and speechless." Cobb said." Again Cobb was left And the again. "If were the mother of the child. Candy. Senator?" I said with a chaste demureness. Hs asked her if she was. well in fact. speechless. Man- ning's view of marriage. with the slight trace of a leer upon his fat face. to secure the permission of the clergy or of the state in order to be truly married." Candy replied to Cobb. "that at least half . knowingly or not.222 THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS in the unsuspected curve and bend dark labyrinth of the entire Hartford affair. Miss Manning. conventional and irrelevant that Cobb was for the first time in a long time. sidestepped the trap again with a beautiful directness and concision: "How Candy can you be so silly as to ask such a question. the mother of the child and hoped —knowing very that she to was not. of Candy her true marriage. he asked a direct question of Candy which was intolerable itself in and also intended as a trick. After he had recovered and emerged from bewildered silence. ignoring the question he had asked her. but whether Candy thought that it was necessary for two human beings had seized upon the concept father with approval. thus admitting an clination to miscegnation. despite the administration's deliberate failure deny the accusation — that she would say she wished she was in- the mother of such a delightful child. I don't think you should be here. "It is fairly well established. I is not sure a home and father is a childless family right!" left am my Cobb was gasping: he had not inquired about Dr. anyway. pletely left. he decided to break down the stalwart Candy in most vicious manner. "My father has often said to me.

Senator vantage: know if your mother was a virgin until she was married to your father: what would you Cobb?" Candy said then. following her ad- she had knocked the Senator clear that she did not think determined to down by making it him a gentleman: now she was keep him on the floor of the ring by questioning Cobb had never been faced by an opponent and capable of blows to him so as to his mother's chastity. "you are hitting below the belt. were not. to "Suppose that someone wanted say then." Those who were present had begun spontaneously in protest at to groan Cobb's obvious and unnecessary bad in taste when Candy answered so spectacular a way ! that the listeners forgot their indignation immediately in uproarious laughter. Miss Manning. Senator . "Now you see: one must draw a halt somewhere. agile. trust. because he was as sentimental as he was brutal. to ask you then if you are still. physical sense. will not in a appear unseemly.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS of the girls at Hartford are not virgins after their first I 223 to and would not wish It be or second year at Hartford. guileless the solar plexus. perhaps most of all because the re- porters. "You to be ashamed of yourself!" Cobb was annihilated." Cobb replied. aware as others. quick. a virgin. "You the are not a gentleman. In all his sensational adventures as an investigator." You ought not to bring my mother into this ques- so that Candy's The uproar which greeted this weak protest stopped in mid-air comment could be heard. that this was the sort of question which a waitress or a barmaid might have asked circa 1900 were enchanted and intoxicated by the — — cleverness of Candy's innocence and the deftness with which she had made the accuser the accused one. Senator sister Cobb Would you ask your daughter or your a question like that?" Candy spoke with ought same demureness and absence of malice as before. stammering. tioning. "My dear Miss Manning. including myself.

' said 'The heart of another is Turgenev. I believe I have a far greater understanding of life than you do. about time you realized significance of standards of in decency and honor which you have so often disregarded favor of libel and slander. "I in Cobb indignantly and spoke with in a voice passion. But that is beside the point: and you have not yet reached the age where you have effort a right to the vote. a dark some of the questions you have asked are not only pointless." she exclaimed nervous with ex- may be presumptuous. 'but none more so than the heart of a suppose that is I young girl. so that we can dispense with your views of the investigation here or any other congressional on my — Candy broke citement. "I can see that you do not like me as a person. but since you have come I here to Hartford to question us qua Senator." 224 THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS if Cobb. "I can see. but a very great novelist. Miss Manning. as a demagogue. in a rhetorical silence. but they are not in good forest. the fact that can not vote makes your right to question me dubious." . "Senator Cobb. Cobb is a neighborhood hoodlum and the "Rules cannot be It disregarded with impunity: fair play ought to be observed." Candy said as she were a young schoolmarm and ruffian." he said. taste.' I had better tell you that Turgenev waks not and not an ardent advocate of Soviet Communism. at best! otherwise and what I have to say must have some meaning: you would not be here. moistening his lips and speaking as if he were sucking in his underlip and biting it. You should liten to me and try to understand what I say. I know about child. girls: you do been not: I think it extremely probable that you have never in love and that you have never been a Moreover. the uproar of delight which arose at Candy's answer had been silenced by Senator Cobb's severe and forbidding he then turned and glared at Candy. in the name of patriotism and hiding behind the cloak of congressional immunity!" When stare.

she said. "You have a black tongue and a dirty mind. clearly surrendering all effort to conceal the fact that he was enraged and insulted in the extreme. I have been trained very well at Hartford. speaking with superb presence and the unwavering courage of convic- "Do you really wish to know what I want." said Candy." said Cobb after a paralyzed and shocked silence. Senator Cobb? Do you really want to know?" Candy asked a question but spoke as if she were stating an accusation. but her intense sense of the wisdom of the a silence of astonishment which herself: Candy she hardly heart gave her complete and serene assurance." Cobb said in the utmost fury present freeze in shocked protest). I would not fill my throat with a single incoherent syllable!" "Is that a quotation? Who told mered. Hence. And then. and included Senator Cobb and knew what she was going to say before she spoke." "Young control? lady. No question of birth control nor of inter-marriage brought you and your com- mittee to Hartford. bewildered and "Senator Cobb. "I dare not ask for what I hope: if what I hope were probable. in calm hauteur. "Do you believe in birth Do you believe in marriage between white girls and Negro men?" "Senator Cobb. "Young lady. continuing with marvelous poise and dignity. No one has coached me: only the expe- rience of living in the United States and of every kind moving among people (making all and station. "Just what that is it you are trying to say? And just what is it that you want?" Candy faced the tion. devastating and spontaneous insight.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS Candy's speech left 225 everyone in dumbfounded delight. and with the resonance of victory and duty fulfilled in her voice. her look unaltered. the audience. irritated. you to say that?"Cobb stam"Has someone been coaching you? One of your teachers?" I have a mind of my own. I need not answer your irrelevant . undisturbed.

a Hartford student and the daughter saluted Candy's declaration. after all the days and weeks of sustained and overwhelming attack authorities upon her family. as if admitting defeat. all possibility of clarification. and walked away.' I a saying that 'the heart cannot follow the dictates of my heart. and parental attitude toward the Those who saw that a to see shift had occurred were too delighted and crude bounder at this point. upon the and the administration at Hartford. a status far and told more important . No accusation had had slapped his wrist troubled him until a little girl him that he was not a gentleman.226 THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS is and vicious questions. Senator Cobb!" An overwhelming ovation of virtually hysterical applause Cobb threw up his hands. The extreme delight —indeed rejoicing —which had greeted Cobb's discomfiture was so intense that not until the next day did anyone recognize the reversal which had occurred: Candy had not only made Cobb look dishonorable and ungentlemanly and foolish. in addition. sud- was the heroine of Hartford and to to the administration. to Mrs. to the reporters the students. and upon the great betrayal of democratic principles directly involved in the official infant. and they had never seen any witness penetrate Cobb's malicious composure — to say nothing of the fact that she had accomplished far more and for the first time: Cobb was badly shaken. Candy. to be troubled by the fact that chaos and confusion had been confounded and compounded beyond any ordinary denly. but she had defended her father and Hartford. There be commanded. of an eloquent minister. Cobb made little to look like a vulgar fool by a girl. murmuring to one of his assistants that he should have known very well that he would merely make a fool of himself if he questioned a sophisticated child who was. Sorel who had at- been present very often on other occasions when Cobb tacked confused and helpless human beings.

His impressions had been so difand their rapid succession so delightful and delightfully . as you know. Ralph Williams. He had come to teach at Hartford at the beginning of the term. seated in his study after going through the huge Sunday The New York Times. The Hartford beings seldom possessed an innocence which adult human of in a sustained save through naivete: some identification innocence and state most adult human beings existed guilty about of guilt about one or another relationship. it however inaccurate. After the passage of a week. shyness. or disdain of the ferent Brahmin and the Maharajah. and his expe- fall riences from the start known in had been different from anything he had England where he had been educated. became clear that Cobb was not going to forget about Hartford. supposed everyone else that Cobb would forget or pretend to forget Hartford and return to opponents whom girls he could intimidate more successfully. Hardly a newspaper and few cartoonists failed to make the most of Candy's beautiful coup.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS to 227 Cobb. or in India civil where he had been the child of Anglo-Indian which. and although what they to felt was hardly ever what Cobb attempted they establish. but to attack the grants for projects in sociology which had been made by one of the most it famous of the foundations. when they en- countered the accusation of guilt. if only in that Williams had grown up in England's in class society and a caste system made all the more other than America by Albion's aloofness. is servants as distant as anyone can be from the New World. in his present state of mind and heart. enchanted in like everyone else by the way which Candy had made a United States Senator and the most feared man in the United States look like a crude like and cruel buffoon. and edition of his was then on a Sunday after- noon. that Ralph Williams reviewed own impression of Hartford and the Hartford Affair. past or present. than that of being a United States Senator. he had never been in America before. nevertheless looked guilty.

disre- and sexual involvements which excluded marriage or man. exactly what the most advanced girls regarded as truly immoral: to be involved with more than one another man. that all Hratford girls years at the school. It was a half-truth like most amounted to a total falsehood. or at least habitually. It garded the fact that they had become involved with a married was far from true.228 THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS come to novel that he had scarcely attempted to or pass any judgments about It life in any conclusions at Hartford. one hardly. America and was certainly true this that in America the rich and their off- spring regarded the possession of money some as a grant of freedom. as the tabloid newspaper had sugduring their half-truths gested insistently day after day. murder and suicide. and was perhaps most clear of all in what he knew of the attitude of the Hartford girls — of of the Hartford girls when it was a question of sexual freedom. debauchery. —by happiness. The actuality was as different from the assumed reality as the daily newspaper's representations of what occurred on the previous day: in reading the daily news. and as Cobb had assumed had and affairs entirely true. promiscuous in the sense having more than one affair at a time. of time. to fail to break off one affair in during the same period when one became interested any way of a lack of candor man and honesty about one's Williams half felt sure his impression was accurate that at least the girls and perhaps more than half did not phrase in ac- tuality go — to use their — the limit with any man. sexual experiment. a of the Hart- So ford of it was with the supposed sexual promiscuity None of them were. Per- haps the restraint was merely a physical one and self-decep- . coming upon accident. in fact. catastrophe. for the positive instances were to what one called mind and the negative instances were over- looked or unknown. or to be guilty in feelings. and indeed this was girls. kept in mind the fact that on that very day hundreds of millions of human beings had lived through another uneventful day and night perhaps — for some of them at least — day marked.

including Cardy's circle. few girls questioned the likelihood that Candy had had an affair. to the real thing. partly meant a good deal because they were afraid. nevertheless. in- vented. a extremis. but to these girls. astonishing. but none of them knew that she really had except for the tendency among the girls to become more and more reticent about sexuality once they had begun their first affair: the avid discussions —which the girls called "bull sessions" since that was what the boys at the men's colleges called their own dormitory exchange good deal of necking of impressions was prior. that an affair before marriage might more difficult for them to get husbands. Certainly there was an immense amount of freedom of speech and reference among some Hartford girl's circles. but almost never the deliberately cold- blooded and calculated promiscuity weekend after weekend which the press had described and which the press had. in There was a great deal of talk. probably the truth always is in fact. The statement of one columnist ford virgin was a contradiction in terms —was — that a Hart- quite During the descent of the Cobb committee. Nevertheless it was merely the racy speech of upper it make middle foolish class and literary girls: only the old-fashioned and the girls' would assume that the brouhaha of the conversa- tions was the verbal equivalent and direct evidence of wanton untrue. and this was all the more marked in those who took the most pride in their modernity . sexual activity. despite the fact that their behavior comprehended a good many actions which.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS tion for a 229 it good many who remained chaste. most of the Hartford girls knew little or nothing about. And it was a freedom of language such as the most Bohemian young women in London would have thought shocking. almost all of the time. The still truth is is astonish- ing: the truth existed. probably. among the girls and their young men. rightly or wrongly. that a strong sense of guilt about making love and was as intense as it had been in the past. an occasional venture across the borderline unknowingly or in the midst of infatuation.

if the child was Candy's own child. to And now it was all the more if decide on the most prudent attitude. at least. Thus the question of race prejudice and bigotry remained directly before the a Hartford administration like China — somewhat outlandish way. could hardly be condemned as equal to abandonment. Nevertheless there was no doubt then that the child was a Negro. her desire to keep the child presented itself in a very different moral and legal context. then silence was consent. On the other hand. an effort to secure an abortion. and their young men too. as in the pursuit of love. in fact. she had adopted a child of black skin: official Hartford attitude was silence. It to by the departure of the infant from the Hartford campus. since the child was. however lightskinned. Candy's child. their freedom attitudes merely masked the powerful feeling of fear which girls torment the are chaste. and thus that one parent was Negro in to some degree.230 THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS from puritanism and prudery: these of attitude. but Candy was going to marry a white man now and could not be accused of miscegnation continued and made permanent. marriage was in itself desirable. any expression of disapproval would bring on another verbal riot among the Hartford girls. . nor for that matter. for it would be taken as renewed or new evidence that Hartford was based upon systematic hvpocrisy. to however regrettable her maternity prior it marriage might be. Moreover. but for whether Candy was the — the Great Wall of actual mother or if the the adopted mother. the actual father might be a Negro or of mixed blood. once again became necessary to be explicit and maintain an difficult official attitude toward the infant and toward Candy's relationship to the infant. whether or not they Candy's announcement that she was engaged to be married to Mrs. Sorel's younger brother renewed and augmented the set problems which the Hartford faculty thought had been one side.

and Mrs. like. I 231 is had better say that there nothing what- ever in the suggestion that child Candy was the actual mother of the — this would be clear as a matter of date of birth and the were any doubt. know —and to judge by the way she drinks —Mrs. to first came when she was helping Mrs. Sorel truly acts and believes that the present time the still same period is of time. but Mrs. For ness of character. It a long long time since Edna Vincent Millay sold free love to the women's is it clubs of America and burned her scandals at both ends.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS Before continuing. although she has been the object of much attention and pursuit on the part of the young men from nearby colleges and it may be that her chastity is a purely physical and quite trivial matter when set in contrast with the ardor and inclusive- ness with which she and her friends engage in what in our youth was called necking. if there And it is equally and categorically true that Candy's sexual innocence has survived until the present moment. and whether teristic of this explains her innocence —which is not characis her own circle of friends. she is still in her first youth and necessary to fight against the hypocritical constriction of the the philistines and the puritans: for all I prigs. all her deviousness and rebellious- Candy has a strong sense of propriety also. Sorel did tend to support and encourage what she not still calls "free love" among Hartford is! girls: is she does know how old-fashioned the phrase St. I is should add — somewhat beside the point now: the point that she has been slandered of the occasions and libeled in a legal sense. Sorel may gin not have been informed that Prohibition has been repealed and she has not secured her liquor from a bootlegger or in a bathtub! made Candy's circle has consisted of girls who have "a working understanding" with a fraternity at the nearest of the men's colleges — the young man who called the Associated Press be- . Sorel know Candy on one a girl of Candy's circle who had been trapped into unpremeditated pregnancy during a casual sexual adventure. the prudes.

times: secret societies delight. appears. before Mrs. as one undemocratic. they no longer live at home with their families or under the rule of a headmaster) are protected from the infamy of the purpose: of adult society and can move about freely without fearing the scrutiny and criticism of their elders. Sorel entered like a dea ex machina. barbaric just at —and. just as charming. The entente appeared of the at one point to be on the verge of making a decisive difference in the uproar about the infant. and secret or private nicknames: Candy's code name was Cold quite aptly. for fraternity raised a fairly large some young men of the sum of money to help Candy and secured pledges of further sums. it Cream. in codes. in itself. passwords. —and although there are no sororities is and the fraternity system frowned upon. quite disingenuous for Goodknight to argue that the available. traditional and Ivy League schools. enabled Candy and her friends to issue a devastating answer to Goodknight's proposal that he the secure a Negro couple as adopted parents for the infant: sum of money raised and pledged was fairly big. so that . while the fraternity in question were known. by Candy's circle as entirely theless Candy's circle functioned in relationship to this fraternity in just as conventional a fashion as that which exists between a fraternity and a sorority at any of the conservative. and her roommate Martha was known as Cream Cheese. I confess. of as the of Martinis.232 THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS longed to this fraternity at Hartford. and the Dutch bravado of a cocktail party. the braves. The behavior and the customs are as adolescent. although I doubt that they are conscious young men and women who have arrived at the exalted age and state of post-adolescence (which is to say. a word chosen idea of to unite the idea a clan Indians. a move which. never- would expect. The purpose of the working understanding. in a way. and Candy's natural inclination to dramatize her feelings by exaggeration made her suggest that it more than triple the amount was like was quite ridiculous and it was. as you know. pact and compact between the boys and the girls is clear enough.

the deliberately cultivated all disregard of consequences and of all possible injury to . must confess that as again as I I continue. Once we have such an affair. and exclude any entertainment of sympathy. lived through and taken serious account of we must face the fact of the ultimate innocence of most forms of aspiration. compassion. — just as. the family depend. an infamy this: all the more destructive because its basis is precisely the ignorance of innocence. and another government agency: is I mean. deliberately or not. during the Second World War. itself. which one encounters when one is compelled to pass judgments which are of a different order from the sentiments and touchstones governing purely personal lationships. it. of the nature of reality and the nature of the reality of a human community. an innocence unaware. I I go over the notes situation have made — and again and I examined the and engaged in the questioning upon which the notes are based I — I am. is to such an extent that the only possible conclusion the recognition of the infamy of innocence. and felt was.B. forebearance. re- The realm is one in which intellectual analysis and logic are foremost. overcome by a sense of guilt such as a have not for many day I — not to since the time when. You soon see how direct a bearing these feelings affair. before we live through it represents to aspiration of us as natives of the New World — the ultimate of innocence and goodness and nobility. had make unfavorable comments about it a close friend to the F. the kind of guilt. It and this sense of guilt has upon the Hartford should is make clear the degree to which what occurred at Hartford the sort of thing which — as we all live through it — draws from us a spon- taneous affection and allegiance it. any influence possible — — so far as that is of forgiveness. and acceptance of anall other human being upon which will personal relationships.I. all intimate friendships and above all. pity or charity.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS infant 233 if would fare far better in a Negro family than Candy remained the Before I infant's ward and guardian.

about being principled than about the problem of integrating the privileged minority. disappointment being the midwife of the bitter change. to it seemed. im- movable. when fraternities is prove by admitting Negroes) ruthless and possessed by all the overbearing cruelty of youth: this is the reason that the Hartford girls were so stubborn. although the heavens The Hartford girls disregarded the extent to which they might be the cause of injury to the school. The desire for the immediate realization of principle (which other try to schools will face soon. The principle was. Idealism rideth to a fall. principle: there be justice. The sons and daughters who were Hartford's self-righteous in- such passionate embodiments in nocence may is be expected to go through these and like transforin later life mation and gyrations This —when it is I too late. and their parents: they brushed aside as sophistical the possibility that their be- havior might be harmful to Negroes. to family. becometh nihilism. than the specific principle as such. to is be sure. drawn from the democratic ethos committed: but the girls which America loyalty. triumphantly established. innocence soweth the grapes of Quixotism and drinketh the wine of chaos. all. not. their democratic faith I fear. They became monomaniacs: the fixed idea of loyalty to a principle was more important. underby concerting a valid legal The infamy postulate of innocence begins — that all human beings are born equal — into an ideal if it and an absolute which must be realized immediately. tenacious. hardly the conclusion to which sent expected to come when you me to Hartford so that you might have an inde- . and radicalism. Negro as an oppressed. satirical and denunciatory throughout what like pride itself I cannot help but think must be called the crisis of their innocence.234 actual THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS human let beings in the name of one or another exalted fall. is we are all unconscionable scoundrels and hypocrites. mense and worst of self-righteous pride —and — it is a form of imgoeth before innocence cynicism. became more excited about than about democracy.

boating or riding. of the kind of the calculated risk necessary and indeed inevitable in an open. immaturity.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS pendent report on the so-called Hartford scandal. who either dislike their parents or liked them with the craven affection and fondness of spaniels and lapdogs. When or. human beings. to the trustees. in actuality is —happens drunken the son or daughter plunged from complete security to an insecurity which their unsuspected and hence overlives whelming which makes adult a state of . no matter how destructive and childish was in some ways. This the fact that these is to say almost nothing of young men and women would be spoon-fed. hurt and harm. or sheltered adolescence of — in short making one's progeny domestic pets. moreover. democratic and I expected to be able to express this conclusion in to the trustees as parents a form which would appeal and seem persuasive to them as responsible and realistic adults. you must know. Finally. safe in the asylum I and sanctuary of the home. knowing me. you risk an accident if which would not be likely to occur he remained at is home and were denied a high-powered vehicle. is far intended to point out in more repugnant not be foolproof or lasting —than the risk of the other and. I 235 expected. free. permit him to go on an excursion mountains or on the high seas. equally. There between inevitable alternatives the same choice at every turn: as devoted parents. to conclude that what occurred it at Hartford. you send your in the child to school. This outcome. one chooses between a calculated risk and the more dismal prospect of keeping one's son or daughter in a state of perma- nent childhood. when you buy him a sports car. or continually hiding under the they would bed so much of the time that become human beings who would be regarded with contempt and disliked. for in the sense the most part inescapable alternative — and any —inescapable case. was one instance society. it may that civilized society could not exist for very long if most human all beings were kept in a state of safety and security excluding possible risk. as. as if the cal- culated risk were taken too late most often — —and is this.

and trustees. attitude as I began to be aware of — how inadequate my own was I was defending the right of a son or a daughter to drive a car when it was a question of flying a plane across the Atlantic. Hartford girls . acted as human beings existed for the sake of having a democratic state. attention they once enjoyed and which nothing. rather than the democratic state for the sake of the human beings inhabiting it. perhaps. and there are a few of them to the statement that in whom human existence there are always threat- ening situations suggests only a memory of it the occasion in which they had done the threatening: but that a sufficient seemed certain their number would be won over merely by all is own sense that one can never guard against dangers and one can always be so careful that one attracts perils too careful and this in itself in of all sorts. prior to the loss of the privileged phase. condisregard of sciousness and action. all The Hartford if but principle. security. child stars. I knew very well that this kind of appeal would not persuade every one of the trustees. in their were meant be but the center of attention.— 236 resentment: THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS they are like lyric football heroes. or climbing Mount Everest the risks were far greater. This is far from being an isolated or abstract question as the can be persuaded by citing the attitude of the during the past generation towards divorce. Midway my investigation. or limelight which indulgences. were too great: it was true that there situ- were always threatening situations. infant prodigies and poets: they cannot forget the privileges. but they might become ations so threatening that experience mare of terror —and nothing is is was an uninterrupted nightas terrifying as innocence and that boundless idealism which innocence's chief aspiration. swimming the English Channel. prepared them to expect or helped them to accept as inevitable. In- nocence was sowing the seeds of extreme disillusion and nihilism. The attitudes and principles meant to as theoretical limits of the structure of a democratic society lines they had become not the boundary girls.

or. minds with the passing of the it and it is now wholly forgotten that last resort is one thing to make divorce justifiable as a when a marriage has failed to and its continuance will divorce it. without aftermath. impermanence and insecurity which makes existence America. motels. passing infatuation. with brief halts. I As write and look back at what I have written. an unending six day bicycle race. at the very beginning. the desire to copulate under comparatively stabilized an extreme height- conditions. what can be expected but is a continual collapse into chaos? Mobility there is desirable only where an underlying stability. This must be true even of those families who live in trailers: they stop at night. in some insane version of existence as a perpetual marathon dance. difficult enough for most human beings is in When the social mobility which so fundamental to American society becomes an integral part of love. and the back seats of automobiles. merely be continual harm. to gain refreshlife. I see is I have taken a long time to come to a conclusion which answer —not not an an answer in the least —but a question. The actual result is that there is ening of the very instability. and liberate the act of from the stigma which was another thing to of the rapidity girls until recently attached to It is make the possibility of divorce an integral part and rashness with which so many of the Hartford envisage are banished by the simple and sure rush into early and heedless marriages. Whatever mis- givings they may safeguard of divorce as a cancellation and purgation. at the time when young men and women decide to get married and become involved in the most intimate of relationships. if direction which the Hartford girls illustrate continues unchecked.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS thus towards marriage: their 237 in the two have become inseparable years. rather than in hotels. marriage and the family. throughout adult life. The tendency and can conclude. ment from it that fountainhead of sleep. to be blunt. a whole . of an unfortunate error. a senior prom in which the couples keep cutting in on each other in dances which continue.

rich. that an institution of education is has been clear and obvious itself. the sense of existence which native to a nation which began as an escape into freedom. of Edna St. and not to begin to ask questions. indeed. This all the more true because the young men and women are free —they possess have no serious responsibilities fied more freedom because they are not yet adults and hence and their freedom is intensiby the vitality one enjoys at that age and by the sense of — an open future awaiting them. concerns and interdepend- encies: but these impulses. an epitome of America a microcosm of the great.238 set of questions: THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS and the questioner looks to like an inquisitor to a directorate who have come hear answers. the granddaughters. Again. Finally they are free in the most irresponsible sense for the — since they are no longer children but still most part adolescent the kamikaze. Ruth Elder. is a combustible version. starting-point: of The conclusion to which I come is merely a we must begin to question all the assumptions human beings who live their lives in American society. a small volcano in which the major and half -hidden conflicts which run through is American life come to the surface and erupt. Vincent Millay. some of them. it is dis- The microcosm it is of the school. a fermenting bottle. cannot be con- — demned and prohibited without banning — if it is. possible is the very elan of America. the automobile provides an apt metaphor: one cannot ban the use of cars by the young because some of them become hot-rod fanatics. at other schools. Gertrude Ederle. the girl — who tried to fly the Atlantic. and Amelia Earhart. precisely because small. sprawling. On it other occasions. I am almost tempted to say of every impulse which can be destructive and annihilating and catastrophic (I do not exaggerate at all) when disconnected from the unity of — —they are free to be the carriers — human community and all its needs. the girl who swam the English Channel. on the other hand. by now. . and somewhat united states. and because unified enough for inspection. The girls at Hartford are the daughters or perhaps.

Carlyle said with stupid irony: "She'd better!" But since missed the point. gingerbread. and clear here. crossing the Atlantic with her Italian bridegroom. or at least to make some alterations. the girls at it Hartford are often the darlings of ecois nomic freedom. that girls money to freedom. using the freedom of the utmost money with about the drama and efficiency in those disputations baby's fate in which they were told that their attitude was one which disregarded the adult. Before she drowned. he knew nothing about American girls. mansard roof and dormer windows: nothing short of a transformation of this anachronism into the sane. child's future as an adolescent and an They immediately collected and pooled funds and replied in in triumph that no infant would flourish better an under- privileged family! . skeletons in the attic. clear that the Hartford is possess a very real degree of freedom which use as capital precisely what they had begun when they were faced with the question of taking care of the kidnaped child. The girls at Hartford regard the question of accepting or rejecting the universe as a very important and serious one: and they usually conclude that they wish to transform the universe. the Bauhaus — So is too. the very intellectual young lady who was Emerson's friend and terrified Hawthorne at the Utopian colony of Brook Farm.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS the girl 239 who was lost in the Pacific: they are the great-great- granddaughters of Margaret Fuller. efficient. The universe and American minds) that is life (the two are identical in their a place which they are determined to improve so all first of they can feel creative and second so that they is can be certain that the world a nice place in which to live. bare and will inhuman iceboxes of Frank Lloyd Wright or satisfy them at least for the time being. she announced to Emerson: "I accept the universe!" You re- member Carlyle that when Emerson told Carlyle of this extraordinary remark. full of outmoded horrors. on her honeymoon. naturally enough. The world at which they look is a late Victorian mansion. as elsewhere.

and not a means to comprehensive choices and commitments such as are inevitable in adult life. or like spending the whole of one's life an amusement park. As the assistant director of a shaken foundation I must confess that there are only two choices more. through the night but to abolish the all Doubtless the girls would seek law of gravitation freedom lative I — — if as a restriction upon their legis- if this abolition could be accomplished through action. They want to continue to munch freedom's say. They do not if it know that this is merely the dream of freedom and that were a reality. At the most abandoned of masked was never any pretence through that the dancers would be able all to conceal their identity or change partners not only life. dangling on Ferris wheels or screeching as the roller coaster dives and soars. could give specific examples instances would make the point any I the mere accumulation of more lucid. endless freedom. be a purely free being. And some of the girls who have been at Hartford in past years are now living and will always live in this foolish paradise of endless experiment. they would suffer boredom. a car that will take one anywhere. I most of the problems and choices which confront choose between Candy Manning and Senator Cobb both of . except to the kind of place where one can stop for good. the only conclusion can reach is inconclusible: I the inconclusible conclusion is a desperate dilemma which cannot resolve nor avoid. nausea and vertigo. apples indefinitely and endlessly —which is to what they want is freedom for freedom's sake. like a machine for perpetual motion. Thus what they want in is nothing less than infinite freedom. Freedom is an automobile.240 THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS girls The Hartford found it have tasted of the apple of freedom and enchanting. playing their roles in a fantastic and unparalleled masquerade: suffer it is a it masquerade is in which they there from the hallucination that possible to balls. To be as con- cise as possible. freedom as an end. rising and falling on carousel horses. indeed —than most —two must of us have after the age of thirty in us.

"the uncontrollable mystery on the scholastic campus. Faced with this choice to refuse to support either the one can only attempt young lady To support Senator Cobb is to support fascism: to support Candida Manning is to support boundless and uncontrollable freedom. great poet. to paraphrase the or the infamous senator. Just think of what he might make of the Old Testament episode is which Abraham if he happened upon Kierkegaard's commentary on the episode in Fear and Trembling. The child is. and . to martyrdom of an American Jeanne d'Arc! it If I seem melodramatic or grandiose. bewildered and perplexed more than at any time prior that counsel: it I can remember." Candida Manning must be defended from patience will lead her.THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS 241 is whom are characterized by absolute self-assertion which one It is of the reasons that they cannot ever arrive at a truce. I can think of only one possible is is to be found in Kierkegaard: "Reality it some- thing which must be experienced." little might is "To will one thing And needless to say Senator Cobb could quote in Holy Scripture as well as Satan himself. is not a problem to be analyzed. is because I am tor- mented by a sense of unsuspected ignorance and undreamed of depths of self-hatred. unless she the herself: her unwillingness to be compromised or to realize principle through is protected from herself. demagoguery would become a filibuster during which Cobb would convince millions of Americans that all commanded to sacrifice his son Isaac. entirely say that Senator Cobb has terrified millions of human beings by his tactics as a senator. and explained before the future has become the past. discussed. that precocious very well quote Kierkegaard in reply: purity of heart." If this were explained to Candy Manning prior to experiences girl which she has not yet had. almost needless to say that as a responsible my heart belongs to Candy but that and adult human being the prospect of the as American needless girl regarding Candy Manning the model par It is excellence of the to American heroine is terrifying.

This grotesque else and extreme. Please don't hesitate the inconceivable future have — and the to ask me any further questions before the meeting of the Board. wearing blackface or foisting themselves on us as Aryans. (May mercy upon us) Yours ever. confronted with a cynical opportunist who declare that spaghetti sidious propaganda of I may in- is un-American and chop suey the can Communist China? I best hope you will see that I have done the best is far from enough. is despite their dark Slavic and African forbears. What can one say. (Signed) DeWitt Howe . but an expression of genuine emotion.242 THE HARTFORD INNOCENTS foundlings and orphans are Danish agents of the Russian secret police.






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