Reblogged this on Yes I Said That and commented: Beautiful reminder and very well timed…. We can make a difference even if only to one. But then if you ask me, the demand for instant solutions is one of the biggest challenges we face […]. We asked the question of making a difference in our recent Teaching for Empowerment trip to South India. Our action research results happily showed that our intuitions were correct: You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account.
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This entry was posted on Sunday, June 5th, at 2: You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2. How to change the world. What are YOU doing? October 3rd, at 3: YesISaidThat October 28th, at 2: Miss Jones and her retinue now withdrew, and at a proper distance from Dexter became involved in a heated conversation, which was concluded by Miss Jones taking one of the clubs and hitting it on the ground with violence. Realizing that the elements of the comedy were implied in the scene, Dexter several times began to laugh, but each time restrained the laugh before it reached audibility.
He could not resist the monstrous conviction that the little girl was justified in beating the nurse. The situation was resolved by the fortuitous appearance of the caddy-master, who was appealed to immediately by the nurse. Then she dropped her bag and set off at a haughty mince toward the first tee. The enormity of his decision frightened him. He was a favorite caddy, and the thirty dollars a month he earned through the summer were not to be made elsewhere around the lake.
But he had received a strong emotional shock, and his perturbation required a violent and immediate outlet. It is not so simple as that, either. As so frequently would be the case in the future, Dexter was unconsciously dictated to by his winter dreams. Now, of course, the quality and the seasonability of these winter dreams varied, but the stuff of them remained.
They persuaded Dexter several years later to pass up a business course at the State university — his father, prospering now, would have paid his way — for the precarious advantage of attending an older and more famous university in the East, where he was bothered by his scanty funds. But do not get the impression, because his winter dreams happened to be concerned at first with musings on the rich, that there was anything merely snobbish in the boy. He wanted not association with glittering things and glittering people — he wanted the glittering things themselves. Often he reached out for the best without knowing why he wanted it — and sometimes he ran up against the mysterious denials and prohibitions in which life indulges.
It is with one of those denials and not with his career as a whole that this story deals. It was rather amazing. After college he went to the city from which Black Bear Lake draws its wealthy patrons. When he was only twenty-three and had been there not quite two years, there were already people who liked to say: It was a small laundry when he went into it but Dexter made a specialty of learning how the English washed fine woollen golf-stockings without shrinking them, and within a year he was catering to the trade that wore knickerbockers.
Men were insisting that their Shetland hose and sweaters go to his laundry just as they had insisted on a caddy who could find golf-balls. Before he was twenty-seven he owned the largest string of laundries in his section of the country. It was then that he sold out and went to New York.
But the part of his story that concerns us goes back to the days when he was making his first big success. When he was twenty-three Mr. So he signed his name one day on the register, and that afternoon played golf in a foursome with Mr. He did not consider it necessary to remark that he had once carried Mr. It was a curious day, slashed abruptly with fleeting, familiar impressions. One minute he had the sense of being a trespasser — in the next he was impressed by the tremendous superiority he felt toward Mr.
Hedrick, who was a bore and not even a good golfer any more. Then, because of a ball Mr. Hart lost near the fifteenth green, an enormous thing happened. And as they all turned abruptly from their search a bright new ball sliced abruptly over the hill and caught Mr. Hedrick in the abdomen. It was impossible to determine whether this question was ingenuous or malicious. In a moment, however, she left no doubt, for as her partner came up over the hill she called cheerfully:.
As she took her stance for a short mashie shot, Dexter looked at her closely. She wore a blue gingham dress, rimmed at throat and shoulders with a white edging that accentuated her tan. The quality of exaggeration, of thinness, which had made her passionate eyes and down-turning mouth absurd at eleven, was gone now. She was arrestingly beautiful. This color and the mobility of her mouth gave a continual impression of flux, of intense life, of passionate vitality — balanced only partially by the sad luxury of her eyes.
She swung her mashie impatiently and without interest, pitching the ball into a sand-pit on the other side of the green. Hedrick on the next tee, as they waited — some moments — for her to play on ahead. Turning those big cow-eyes on every calf in town! Later in the afternoon the sun went down with a riotous swirl of gold and varying blues and scarlets, and left the dry, rustling night of Western summer.
Dexter watched from the veranda of the Golf Club, watched the even overlap of the waters in the little wind, silver molasses under the harvest-moon. Then the moon held a finger to her lips and the lake became a clear pool, pale and quiet.
Dexter put on his bathing-suit and swam out to the farthest raft, where he stretched dripping on the wet canvas of the springboard. There was a fish jumping and a star shining and the lights around the lake were gleaming. The tune the piano was playing at that moment had been gay and new five years before when Dexter was a sophomore at college. They had played it at a prom once when he could not afford the luxury of proms, and he had stood outside the gymnasium and listened.
The sound of the tune precipitated in him a sort of ecstasy and it was with that ecstasy he viewed what happened to him now. It was a mood of intense appreciation, a sense that, for once, he was magnificently attune to life and that everything about him was radiating a brightness and a glamour he might never know again.
A low, pale oblong detached itself suddenly from the darkness of the Island, spitting forth the reverberate sound of a racing motor-boat. Two white streamers of cleft water rolled themselves out behind it and almost immediately the boat was beside him, drowning out the hot tinkle of the piano in the drone of its spray. Dexter raising himself on his arms was aware of a figure standing at the wheel, of two dark eyes regarding him over the lengthening space of water — then the boat had gone by and was sweeping in an immense and purposeless circle of spray round and round in the middle of the lake.
With equal eccentricity one of the circles flattened out and headed back toward the raft. She was so near now that Dexter could see her bathing-suit, which consisted apparently of pink rompers. The nose of the boat bumped the raft, and as the latter tilted rakishly he was precipitated toward her. With different degrees of interest they recognized each other.
Dexter sat beside Judy Jones and she explained how her boat was driven. Then she was in the water, swimming to the floating surfboard with a sinuous crawl. Watching her was without effort to the eye, watching a branch waving or a sea-gull flying. Her arms, burned to butternut, moved sinuously among the dull platinum ripples, elbow appearing first, casting the forearm back with a cadence of falling water, then reaching out and down, stabbing a path ahead. They moved out into the lake; turning, Dexter saw that she was kneeling on the low rear of the now uptilted surf-board.
Obediently he jammed the lever forward and the white spray mounted at the bow.
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When he looked around again the girl was standing up on the rushing board, her arms spread wide, her eyes lifted toward the moon. His heart turned over like the fly-wheel of the boat, and, for the second time, her casual whim gave a new direction to his life. Next evening while he waited for her to come down-stairs, Dexter peopled the soft deep summer room and the sun-porch that opened from it with the men who had already loved Judy Jones.
He knew the sort of men they were — the men who when he first went to college had entered from the great prep schools with graceful clothes and the deep tan of healthy summers. He had seen that, in one sense, he was better than these men. He was newer and stronger. Yet in acknowledging to himself that he wished his children to be like them he was admitting that he was but the rough, strong stuff from which they eternally sprang. When the time had come for him to wear good clothes, he had known who were the best tailors in America, and the best tailors in America had made him the suit he wore this evening.
He had acquired that particular reserve peculiar to his university, that set it off from other universities. He recognized the value to him of such a mannerism and he had adopted it; he knew that to be careless in dress and manner required more confidence than to be careful. But carelessness was for his children. She was a Bohemian of the peasant class and she had talked broken English to the end of her days. Her son must keep to the set patterns.
At a little after seven Judy Jones came down-stairs. She wore a blue silk afternoon dress, and he was disappointed at first that she had not put on something more elaborate. Then he put these thoughts behind him as they sat down side by side on a lounge and looked at each other.
He remembered the last time he had seen her father, and he was glad the parents were not to be here to-night — they might wonder who he was. He had been born in Keeble, a Minnesota village fifty miles farther north, and he always gave Keeble as his home instead of Black Bear Village. They talked of his university, which she had visited frequently during the past two years, and of the near-by city which supplied Sherry Island with its patrons, and whither Dexter would return next day to his prospering laundries.
During dinner she slipped into a moody depression which gave Dexter a feeling of uneasiness. Whatever petulance she uttered in her throaty voice worried him. Whatever she smiled at — at him, at a chicken liver, at nothing — it disturbed him that her smile could have no root in mirth, or even in amusement. When the scarlet corners of her lips curved down, it was less a smile than an invitation to a kiss. Then, after dinner, she led him out on the dark sun-porch and deliberately changed the atmosphere.
There was a man I cared about, and this afternoon he told me out of a clear sky that he was poor as a church-mouse. Does this sound horribly mundane? There was a pause. Then she smiled and the corners of her mouth drooped and an almost imperceptible sway brought her closer to him, looking up into his eyes. Then he saw — she communicated her excitement to him, lavishly, deeply, with kisses that were not a promise but a fulfillment. They aroused in him not hunger demanding renewal but surfeit that would demand more surfeit.
It did not take him many hours to decide that he had wanted Judy Jones ever since he was a proud, desirous little boy. Dexter surrendered a part of himself to the most direct and unprincipled personality with which he had ever come in contact. Whatever Judy wanted, she went after with the full pressure of her charm.
There was no divergence of method, no jockeying for position or premeditation of effects — there was a very little mental side to any of her affairs. She simply made men conscious to the highest degree of her physical loveliness. Dexter had no desire to change her. Her deficiencies were knit up with a passionate energy that transcended and justified them. It was the exquisite excitability that for the moment he controlled and owned.
But a week later he was compelled to view this same quality in a different light. She took him in her roadster to a picnic supper, and after supper she disappeared, likewise in her roadster, with another man. Dexter became enormously upset and was scarcely able to be decently civil to the other people present. When she assured him that she had not kissed the other man, he knew she was lying — yet he was glad that she had taken the trouble to lie to him. He was, as he found before the summer ended, one of a varying dozen who circulated about her.
Each of them had at one time been favored above all others — about half of them still basked in the solace of occasional sentimental revivals. Whenever one showed signs of dropping out through long neglect, she granted him a brief honeyed hour, which encouraged him to tag along for a year or so longer.
Judy made these forays upon the helpless and defeated without malice, indeed half unconscious that there was anything mischievous in what she did. The helpless part of trying to do anything about it was that she did it all herself. She was entertained only by the gratification of her desires and by the direct exercise of her own charm. Perhaps from so much youthful love, so many youthful lovers, she had come, in self-defense, to nourish herself wholly from within.
The helpless ecstasy of losing himself in her was opiate rather than tonic. It was fortunate for his work during the winter that those moments of ecstasy came infrequently. Early in their acquaintance it had seemed for a while that there was a deep and spontaneous mutual attraction — that first August, for example — three days of long evenings on her dusky veranda, of strange wan kisses through the late afternoon, in shadowy alcoves or behind the protecting trellises of the garden arbors, of mornings when she was fresh as a dream and almost shy at meeting him in the clarity of the rising day.
There was all the ecstasy of an engagement about it, sharpened by his realization that there was no engagement. It was during those three days that, for the first time, he had asked her to marry him. The three days were interrupted by the arrival of a New York man who visited at her house for half September. The man was the son of the president of a great trust company. But at the end of a month it was reported that Judy was yawning. At a dance one night she sat all evening in a motor-boat with a local beau, while the New Yorker searched the club for her frantically.
She told the local beau that she was bored with her visitor, and two days later he left. She was seen with him at the station, and it was reported that he looked very mournful indeed. On this note the summer ended. Dexter was twenty-four, and he found himself increasingly in a position to do as he wished. He joined two clubs in the city and lived at one of them. Though he was by no means an integral part of the stag-lines at these clubs, he managed to be on hand at dances where Judy Jones was likely to appear.
He could have gone out socially as much as he liked — he was an eligible young man, now, and popular with down-town fathers. His confessed devotion to Judy Jones had rather solidified his position. But he had no social aspirations and rather despised the dancing men who were always on tap for the Thursday or Saturday parties and who filled in at dinners with the younger married set. Already he was playing with the idea of going East to New York. He wanted to take Judy Jones with him. No disillusion as to the world in which she had grown up could cure his illusion as to her desirability.
Eighteen months after he first met Judy Jones he became engaged to another girl. Her name was Irene Scheerer, and her father was one of the men who had always believed in Dexter. Irene was light-haired and sweet and honorable, and a little stout, and she had two suitors whom she pleasantly relinquished when Dexter formally asked her to marry him.
Summer, fall, winter, spring, another summer, another fall — so much he had given of his active life to the incorrigible lips of Judy Jones. She had treated him with interest, with encouragement, with malice, with indifference, with contempt. She had inflicted on him the innumerable little slights and indignities possible in such a case — as if in revenge for having ever cared for him at all. She had beckoned him and yawned at him and beckoned him again and he had responded often with bitterness and narrowed eyes.
She had brought him ecstatic happiness and intolerable agony of spirit. She had caused him untold inconvenience and not a little trouble. She had insulted him, and she had ridden over him, and she had played his interest in her against his interest in his work — for fun. She had done everything to him except to criticise him — this she had not done — it seemed to him only because it might have sullied the utter indifference she manifested and sincerely felt toward him. When autumn had come and gone again it occurred to him that he could not have Judy Jones.
He had to beat this into his mind but he convinced himself at last. He lay awake at night for a while and argued it over. He told himself the trouble and the pain she had caused him, he enumerated her glaring deficiencies as a wife. Then he said to himself that he loved her, and after a while he fell asleep. For a week, lest he imagined her husky voice over the telephone or her eyes opposite him at lunch, he worked hard and late, and at night he went to his office and plotted out his years. At the end of a week he went to a dance and cut in on her once. For almost the first time since they had met he did not ask her to sit out with him or tell her that she was lovely.
It hurt him that she did not miss these things — that was all. He was not jealous when he saw that there was a new man to-night. He had been hardened against jealousy long before. He stayed late at the dance. He sat for an hour with Irene Scheerer and talked about books and about music. He knew very little about either. But he was beginning to be master of his own time now, and he had a rather priggish notion that he — the young and already fabulously successful Dexter Green — should know more about such things.
That was in October, when he was twenty-five. In January, Dexter and Irene became engaged.
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It was to be announced in June, and they were to be married three months later. The Minnesota winter prolonged itself interminably, and it was almost May when the winds came soft and the snow ran down into Black Bear Lake at last. For the first time in over a year Dexter was enjoying a certain tranquility of spirit. Judy Jones had been in Florida, and afterward in Hot Springs, and somewhere she had been engaged, and somewhere she had broken it off.
He ceased to be an authority on her. Dexter walked the streets at night when the darkness was damp as rain, wondering that so soon, with so little done, so much of ecstasy had gone from him. He knew that Irene would be no more than a curtain spread behind him, a hand moving among gleaming tea-cups, a voice calling to children.
The thing was deep in him. He was too strong and alive for it to die lightly. Their engagement was to be announced in a week now — no one would be surprised at it. And to-night they would sit together on the lounge at the University Club and look on for an hour at the dancers. She wanted to go with you but I made her go to bed.
Her smile was kind. She and Dexter liked each other. In the living-room he talked for a moment before he said good-night. Returning to the University Club, where he had rooms, he stood in the doorway for a moment and watched the dancers. He leaned against the door-post, nodded at a man or two — yawned. The familiar voice at his elbow startled him. Judy Jones had left a man and crossed the room to him — Judy Jones, a slender enamelled doll in cloth of gold: The fragile glow of her face seemed to blossom as she smiled at him. A breeze of warmth and light blew through the room.
His hands in the pockets of his dinner-jacket tightened spasmodically. He was filled with a sudden excitement. She turned and he followed her. She had been away — he could have wept at the wonder of her return. She had passed through enchanted streets, doing things that were like provocative music.
All mysterious happenings, all fresh and quickening hopes, had gone away with her, come back with her now. In then, with a rustle of golden cloth. He slammed the door. Into so many cars she had stepped — like this — like that — her back against the leather, so — her elbow resting on the door — waiting. She would have been soiled long since had there been anything to soil her — except herself — but this was her own self outpouring.
With an effort he forced himself to start the car and back into the street. This was nothing, he must remember. She had done this before, and he had put her behind him, as he would have crossed a bad account from his books. He drove slowly down-town and, affecting abstraction, traversed the deserted streets of the business section, peopled here and there where a movie was giving out its crowd or where consumptive or pugilistic youth lounged in front of pool halls.
The clink of glasses and the slap of hands on the bars issued from saloons, cloisters of glazed glass and dirty yellow light. She was watching him closely and the silence was embarrassing, yet in this crisis he could find no casual word with which to profane the hour. At a convenient turning he began to zigzag back toward the University Club. He wondered if she knew of Irene Scheerer. She had been back only a day — her absence had been almost contemporaneous with his engagement. She looked at him searchingly. He became absorbed in the dashboard.
He could have laughed at this, but he did not laugh. It was the sort of thing that was said to sophomores.ancacortocha.gq/childrens-spy-ebooks/the-influence-of-language-contact-on-the.pdf
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Yet it stabbed at him. The directness of this confused him. He should have told her now that he was going to marry another girl, but he could not tell her. He could as easily have sworn that he had never loved her. Her confidence was obviously enormous. She had said, in effect, that she found such a thing impossible to believe, that if it were true he had merely committed a childish indiscretion — and probably to show off. She would forgive him, because it was not a matter of any moment but rather something to be brushed aside lightly. Oh, Dexter, have you forgotten last year?
Then, as he turned up the street that led to the residence district, Judy began to cry quietly to herself. He had never seen her cry before. Its solidity startled him. The strong walls, the steel of the girders, the breadth and beam and pomp of it were there only to bring out the contrast with the young beauty beside him. He sat perfectly quiet, his nerves in wild clamor, afraid that if he moved he would find her irresistibly in his arms.
Two tears had rolled down her wet face and trembled on her upper lip. A million phrases of anger, pride, passion, hatred, tenderness fought on his lips. Then a perfect wave of emotion washed over him, carrying off with it a sediment of wisdom, of convention, of doubt, of honor. This was his girl who was speaking, his own, his beautiful, his pride.
It was strange that neither when it was over nor a long time afterward did he regret that night. Dexter was at bottom hard-minded. The attitude of the city on his action was of no importance to him, not because he was going to leave the city, but because any outside attitude on the situation seemed superficial. He was completely indifferent to popular opinion. Nor, when he had seen that it was no use, that he did not possess in himself the power to move fundamentally or to hold Judy Jones, did he bear any malice toward her.
He loved her, and he would love her until the day he was too old for loving — but he could not have her. So he tasted the deep pain that is reserved only for the strong, just as he had tasted for a little while the deep happiness. He was beyond any revulsion or any amusement. He went East in February with the intention of selling out his laundries and settling in New York — but the war came to America in March and changed his plans. He was one of those young thousands who greeted the war with a certain amount of relief, welcoming the liberation from webs of tangled emotion.
This story is not his biography, remember, although things creep into it which have nothing to do with those dreams he had when he was young. We are almost done with them and with him now. There is only one more incident to be related here, and it happens seven years farther on.
It took place in New York, where he had done well — so well that there were no barriers too high for him. He was thirty-two years old, and, except for one flying trip immediately after the war, he had not been West in seven years. A man named Devlin from Detroit came into his office to see him in a business way, and then and there this incident occurred, and closed out, so to speak, this particular side of his life.
You know — wife of one of my best friends in Detroit came from your city. I was an usher at the wedding. He had heard, of course, that she was married — perhaps deliberately he had heard no more. He was possessed with a wild notion of rushing out into the streets and taking a train to Detroit. He rose to his feet spasmodically.
Not busy at all. Did you say she was — twenty-seven? No, I said she was twenty-seven. He treats her like the devil. She was a pretty girl when she first came to Detroit. She was a great beauty. Why, I knew her, I knew her. Dexter looked closely at Devlin, thinking wildly that there must be a reason for this, some insensitivity in the man or some private malice. She has nice eyes. A sort of dulness settled down upon Dexter. For the first time in his life he felt like getting very drunk. He knew that he was laughing loudly at something Devlin had said, but he did not know what it was or why it was funny.
When, in a few minutes, Devlin went he lay down on his lounge and looked out the window at the New York sky-line into which the sun was sinking in dull lovely shades of pink and gold. He had thought that having nothing else to lose he was invulnerable at last — but he knew that he had just lost something more, as surely as if he had married Judy Jones and seen her fade away before his eyes. The dream was gone. Something had been taken from him. And her mouth damp to his kisses and her eyes plaintive with melancholy and her freshness like new fine linen in the morning.
Why, these things were no longer in the world! They had existed and they existed no longer. For the first time in years the tears were streaming down his face. But they were for himself now. He did not care about mouth and eyes and moving hands. He wanted to care, and he could not care. For he had gone away and he could never go back any more. The gates were closed, the sun was gone down, and there was no beauty but the gray beauty of steel that withstands all time. Even the grief he could have borne was left behind in the country of illusion, of youth, of the richness of life, where his winter dreams had flourished.
Now that thing is gone, that thing is gone. That thing will come back no more. Parts of New Jersey, as you know, are under water, and other parts are under continual surveillance by the authorities. But here and there lie patches of garden country dotted with old-fashioned frame mansions, which have wide shady porches and a red swing on the lawn.
And perhaps, on the widest and shadiest of the porches there is even a hammock left over from the hammock days, stirring gently in a mid-Victorian wind. When tourists come to such last-century landmarks they stop their cars and gaze for a while and then mutter: He drives on to his Elizabethan villa of pressed cardboard or his early Norman meat-market or his medieval Italian pigeon-coop — because this is the twentieth century and Victorian houses are as unfashionable as the works of Mrs.
There was this afternoon. She was asleep in it and apparently unaware of the esthetic horrors which surrounded her, the stone statue of Diana, for instance, which grinned idiotically under the sunlight on the lawn. She slept with her lips closed and her hands clasped behind her head, as it is proper for young girls to sleep. Her name, Amanthis, was as old-fashioned as the house she lived in.
I regret to say that her mid-Victorian connections ceased abruptly at this point. Now if this were a moving picture as, of course, I hope it will some day be I would take as many thousand feet of her as I was allowed — then I would move the camera up close and show the yellow down on the back of her neck where her hair stopped and the warm color of her cheeks and arms, because I like to think of her sleeping there, as you yourself might have slept, back in your young days.
Then I would hire a man named Israel Glucose to write some idiotic line of transition, and switch thereby to another scene that was taking place at no particular spot far down the road. In a moving automobile sat a southern gentleman accompanied by his body-servant. He was on his way, after a fashion, to New York but he was somewhat hampered by the fact that the upper and lower portions of his automobile were no longer in exact juxtaposition. In fact from time to time the two riders would dismount, shove the body on to the chassis, corner to corner, and then continue onward, vibrating slightly in involuntary unison with the motor.
Except that it had no door in back the car might have been built early in the mechanical age. As the gentleman and his body-servant were passing the house where Amanthis lay beautifully asleep in the hammock, something happened — the body fell off the car. My only apology for stating this so suddenly is that it happened very suddenly indeed. When the noise had died down and the dust had drifted away master and man arose and inspected the two halves.
They glanced up at the Victorian house. On all sides faintly irregular fields stretched away to a faintly irregular unpopulated horizon. At the exact moment when they reached the porch Amanthis awoke, sat up suddenly and looked them over. The gentleman was young, perhaps twenty-four, and his name was Jim Powell. There were supernumerary buttons upon the coat-sleeves also and Amanthis could not resist a glance to determine whether or not more buttons ran up the side of his trouser leg.
But the trouser bottoms were distinguished only by their shape, which was that of a bell. His vest was cut low, barely restraining an amazing necktie from fluttering in the wind. He bowed formally, dusting his knees with a thatched straw hat. Simultaneously he smiled, half shutting his faded blue eyes and displaying white and beautifully symmetrical teeth.
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For a moment she laughed uncontrollably. Jim Powell laughed, politely and appreciatively, with her. His body-servant, deep in the throes of colored adolescence, alone preserved a dignified gravity. At this reference to the finer customs of his native soil the boy Hugo put his hands behind his back and looked darkly and superciliously down the lawn. The tourist waved his hand with a careless gesture as if to indicate the Adirondacks, the Thousand Islands, Newport — but he said:.
But I been to Atlanta lots of times. Powell by a circular motion of his finger sped Hugo on the designated mission. Then he seated himself gingerly in a rocking-chair and began revolving his thatched straw hat rapidly in his hands. I got some money because my aunt she was using it to keep her in a sanitarium and she died.
And as Hugo retired he confided to Amanthis: When the sandwiches arrived Mr. He was unaccustomed to white servants and obviously expected an introduction. She shook her head. Powell noted with embarrassed enthusiasm the particular yellowness of her yellow hair. Color — one hundred percent spontaneous — in the daytime anyhow. To be a New York society girl you have to have a long nose and projecting teeth and dress like the actresses did three years ago.
Jim began to tap his foot rhythmically on the porch and in a moment Amanthis discovered that she was unconsciously doing the same thing.
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This intense discussion was now interrupted by Hugo who appeared on the steps bearing a hammer and a handful of nails. We may be kin to each other, you see, and us Powells ought to stick together. They were now almost at the gate and the tourist pointed to the two depressing sectors of his automobile. Jim looked at her uncertainly. Such a pretty girl should certainly control the habit of shaking all over upon no provocation at all.
Amanthis watched while they placed the upper half of the car upon the lower half and nailed it severely into place. Powell took the wheel and his body-servant climbed in beside him. Convey my respects to your father. Then with a groan and a rattle Mr. Powell of southern Georgia with his own car and his own body-servant and his own ambitions and his own private cloud of dust continued on north for the summer.
She thought she would never see him again. She lay in her hammock, slim and beautiful, opened her left eye slightly to see June come in and then closed it and retired contentedly back into her dreams. But one day when the midsummer vines had climbed the precarious sides of the red swing in the lawn, Mr. Jim Powell of Tarleton, Georgia, came vibrating back into her life.
They sat on the wide porch as before. But before we got there she made me stop and she got out. Mighty proud lot of people they got up in New York. I got an idea. Further than this he would say nothing. His manner conveyed that she was going to be suspended over a perfect pool of gaiety and violently immersed, to an accompaniment of: Shall I let in a little more excitement, mamm? Three days later a young man wearing a straw hat that might have been cut from the thatched roof of an English cottage rang the doorbell of the enormous and astounding Madison Harlan house at Southampton.
He asked the butler if there were any people in the house between the ages of sixteen and twenty. He was informed that Miss Genevieve Harlan and Mr. Ronald Harlan answered that description and thereupon he handed in a most peculiar card and requested in fetching Georgian that it be brought to their attention. As a result he was closeted for almost an hour with Mr. It happened to be that of the Clifton Garneaus. Here, as if by magic, the same audience was granted him. He went on — it was a hot day, and men who could not afford to do so were carrying their coats on the public highway, but Jim, a native of southernmost Georgia, was as fresh and cool at the last house as at the first.
He visited ten houses that day. Anyone following him in his course might have taken him to be some curiously gifted book-agent with a much sought-after volume as his stock in trade. There was something in his unexpected demand for the adolescent members of the family which made hardened butlers lose their critical acumen. As he left each house a close observer might have seen that fascinated eyes followed him to the door and excited voices whispered something which hinted at a future meeting.
The second day he visited twelve houses. Southampton has grown enormously — he might have kept on his round for a week and never seen the same butler twice — but it was only the palatial, the amazing houses which intrigued him. On the third day he did a thing that many people have been told to do and few have done — he hired a hall. Perhaps the sixteen-to-twenty-year-old people in the enormous houses had told him to.
It was now abandoned — Mr. Snorkey had given up and gone away and died. We will now skip three weeks during which time we may assume that the project which had to do with hiring a hall and visiting the two dozen largest houses in Southampton got under way. The day to which we will skip was the July day on which Mr. James Powell sent a wire to Miss Amanthis Powell saying that if she still aspired to the gaiety of the highest society she should set out for Southampton by the earliest possible train.
He himself would meet her at the station. Jim was no longer a man of leisure, so when she failed to arrive at the time her wire had promised he grew restless. He supposed she was coming on a later train, turned to go back to his — his project — and met her entering the station from the street side. She was quite different from the indolent Amanthis of the porch hammock, he thought. Yes, she would do very well. He was one of my fares.
He forgot her, I guess. And he was right worried. What does she do? In my course no lady would be taught to raise a guitar against anybody. My grandfather was a dice. I protect pocketbook as well as person. I teach lots of things. Why, there was one girl she came to me and said she wanted to learn to snap her fingers. She said she never could snap her fingers since she was little. I gave her two lessons and now Wham! I got it fixed up that you come from very high-tone people down in New Jersey.
They were now at the south end of the village and Amanthis saw a row of cars parked in front of a two-story building. The cars were all low, long, rakish and of a brilliant hue. Then Amanthis was ascending a narrow stairs to the second story. Here, painted on a door from which came the sounds of music and laughter were the words:. Amanthis found herself in a long, bright room, populated with girls and men of about her own age. The scene presented itself to her at first as a sort of animated afternoon tea but after a moment she began to see, here and there, a motive and a pattern to the proceedings.
The students were scattered into groups, sitting, kneeling, standing, but all rapaciously intent on the subjects which engrossed them. From six young ladies gathered in a ring around some indistinguishable objects came a medley of cries and exclamations — plaintive, pleading, supplicating, exhorting, imploring and lamenting — their voices serving as tenor to an undertone of mysterious clatters.
Next to this group, four young men were surrounding an adolescent black, who proved to be none other than Mr. The young men were roaring at Hugo apparently unrelated phrases, expressing a wide gamut of emotion. Now their voices rose to a sort of clamor, now they spoke softly and gently, with mellow implication. Every little while Hugo would answer them with words of approbation, correction or disapproval. They walked around among the groups. So I can give you only such details as were later reported to me by one of his admiring pupils. During all the discussion of it afterwards no one ever denied that it was an enormous success, and no pupil ever regretted having received its degree — Bachelor of Jazz.
The parents innocently assumed that it was a sort of musical and dancing academy, but its real curriculum was transmitted from Santa Barbara to Biddeford Pool by that underground associated press which links up the so-called younger generation. Invitations to visit Southampton were at a premium — and Southampton generally is almost as dull for young people as Newport. He was making money. His charges were not exorbitant — as a rule his pupils were not particularly flush — but he moved from his boarding-house to the Casino Hotel where he took a suite and had Hugo serve him his breakfast in bed.
Within a week she was known to everyone in the school by her first name. Miss Genevieve Harlan took such a fancy to her that she was invited to a sub-deb dance at the Harlan house — and evidently acquitted herself with tact, for thereafter she was invited to almost every such entertainment in Southampton.
Jim saw less of her than he would have liked. Not that her manner toward him changed — she walked with him often in the mornings, she was always willing to listen to his plans — but after she was taken up by the fashionable her evenings seemed to be monopolized.
Several times Jim arrived at her boarding-house to find her out of breath, as if she had just come in at a run, presumably from some festivity in which he had no share. So as the summer waned he found that one thing was lacking to complete the triumph of his enterprise. Despite the hospitality shown to Amanthis, the doors of Southampton were closed to him. Polite to, or rather, fascinated by him as his pupils were from three to five, after that hour they moved in another world. His was the position of a golf professional who, though he may fraternize, and even command, on the links, loses his privileges with the sun-down.
He may look in the club window but he cannot dance. And, likewise, it was not given to Jim to see his teachings put into effect. He could hear the gossip of the morning after — that was all. Perhaps, he thought, there was some real gap which separated him from the rest. Van Vleck was twenty-one, a tutoring-school product who still hoped to enter Yale. Jim had passed these over. He knew that Van Vleck was attending the school chiefly to monopolize the time of little Martha Katzby, who was just sixteen and too young to have attention of a boy of twenty-one — especially the attention of Van Vleck, who was so spiritually exhausted by his educational failures that he drew on the rather exhaustible innocence of sixteen.
It was late in September, two days before the Harlan dance which was to be the last and biggest of the season for this younger crowd. Jim, as usual, was not invited. He had hoped that he would be. The two young Harlans, Ronald and Genevieve, had been his first patrons when he arrived at Southampton — and it was Genevieve who had taken such a fancy to Amanthis. To have been at their dance — the most magnificent dance of all — would have crowned and justified the success of the waning summer.
Hugo, standing beside Jim, chuckled suddenly and remarked:. Jim turned and stared at Van Vleck, who had linked arms with little Martha Katzby and was saying something to her in a low voice. Jim saw her try to draw away. There was an unaccustomed sharpness in his voice and the exercises began with a mutter of facetious protest. With his smoldering grievance directing itself toward Van Vleck, Jim was walking here and there among the groups when Hugo tapped him suddenly on the arm. Two participants had withdrawn from the mouth organ institute — one of them was Van Vleck and he was giving a drink out of his flask to fifteen-year-old Ronald Harlan.
The music died slowly away and there was a sudden drifting over in the direction of the trouble. An atmosphere of anticipation formed instantly. Despite the fact that they all liked Jim their sympathies were divided — Van Vleck was one of them. Ask him if he wants you to tell him what he can do! Van Vleck did not move. Reaching out suddenly, Jim caught his wrist and jerking it behind his back forced his arm upward until Van Vleck bent forward in agony.
Jim leaned and picked the flask from the floor with his free hand. But no one felt exactly like going on. The spontaneity of the proceedings had been violently disturbed. Someone made a run or two on the sliding guitar and several of the girls began whamming at the leer on the punching bags, but Ronald Harlan, followed by two other boys, got their hats and went silently out the door. Jim and Hugo moved among the groups as usual until a certain measure of routine activity was restored but the enthusiasm was unrecapturable and Jim, shaken and discouraged, considered discontinuing school for the day.
But he dared not. If they went home in this mood they might not come back. The whole thing depended on a mood. He must recreate it, he thought frantically — now, at once! But try as he might, there was little response. He himself was not happy — he could communicate no gaiety to them. They watched his efforts listlessly and, he thought, a little contemptuously. Then the tension snapped when the door burst suddenly open, precipitating a brace of middle-aged and excited women into the room. No person over twenty-one had ever entered the Academy before — but Van Vleck had gone direct to headquarters.
The women were Mrs. Clifton Garneau and Mrs. Poindexter Katzby, two of the most fashionable and, at present, two of the most flurried women in Southampton. They were in search of their daughters as, in these days, so many women continually are. You ghastly, horrible, unspeakable man!
I can smell morphin fumes! You have colored girls hidden! Jim was not a little touched when several of them — including even little Martha Katzby, before she was snatched fiercely away by her mother — came up and shook hands with him. But they were all going, haughtily, regretfully or with shame-faced mutters of apology. And, after all, they were not sorry to go. Outside, the sound of their starting motors, the triumphant put-put of their cut-outs cutting the warm September air, was a jubilant sound — a sound of youth and hopes high as the sun.
Down to the ocean, to roll in the waves and forget — forget him and their discomfort at his humiliation. They were gone — he was alone with Hugo in the room. He sat down suddenly with his face in his hands. Autumn had come early. Jim Powell woke next morning to find his room cool, and the phenomenon of frosted breath in September absorbed him for a moment to the exclusion of the day before. Then the lines of his face drooped with unhappiness as he remembered the humiliation which had washed the cheery glitter from the summer. There was nothing left for him except to go back where he was known, where under no provocation were such things said to white people as had been said to him here.
After breakfast a measure of his customary light-heartedness returned. He was a child of the South — brooding was alien to his nature. He could conjure up an injury only a certain number of times before it faded into the great vacancy of the past. Usually a few words from Jim were enough to raise him to an inarticulate ecstasy, but this morning there were no words to utter.
For two months Hugo had lived on a pinnacle of which he had never dreamed. He had enjoyed his work simply and passionately, arriving before school hours and lingering long after Mr. The day dragged toward a not-too-promising night. Amanthis did not appear and Jim wondered forlornly if she had not changed her mind about dining with him that night. Perhaps it would be better if she were not seen with them. Jim had lived in state, and he realized that financially he would have nothing to show for the summer after all.
When he had finished he took his new dress-suit out of its box and inspected it, running his hand over the satin of the lapels and lining. This, at least, he owned and perhaps in Tarleton somebody would ask him to a party where he could wear it. Some of those boys round the garage down home could of beat it all hollow. He surveyed his purchase with some pride. He knew that no girl at the Harlan dance would wear anything lovelier than these exotic blossoms that leaned languorously backward against green ferns. She came down wearing a rose-colored evening dress into which the orchids melted like colors into a sunset.
At their table, looking out over the dark ocean, his mood became a contended sadness. They did not dance, and he was glad — it would have reminded him of that other brighter and more radiant dance to which they could not go. After dinner they took a taxi and followed the sandy roads for an hour, glimpsing the now starry ocean through the casual trees.
She gave the chauffeur a direction and a few minutes later they stopped in front of the heavy Georgian beauty of the Madison Harlan house whence the windows cast their gaiety in bright patches on the lawn. There was laughter inside and the plaintive wind of fashionable horns, and now and again the slow, mysterious shuffle of dancing feet. They walked toward the house, keeping in the shadow of the great trees. They moved closer till they could see first pompadours, then slicked male heads, and high coiffures and finally even bobbed hair pressed under black ties.
They could distinguish chatter below the ceaseless laughter. Two figures appeared on the porch, gulped something quickly from flasks and returned inside. But the music had bewitched Jim Powell. His eyes were fixed and he moved his feet like a blind man. Pressed in close behind some dark bushes they listened. A breeze from the ocean blew over them and Jim shivered slightly. Then, in a wistful whisper:. He held out his arm to her but instead of taking it she stepped suddenly out of the bushes and into a bright patch of light.
She seized his arm and though he drew back in a sort of stupefied horror at her boldness she urged him persistently toward the great front door. The great doors swung open and a gentleman stepped out on the porch. In horror Jim recognized Mr. He made a movement as though to break away and run. But the man walked down the steps holding out both hands to Amanthis. New Jersey was warm, all except the part that was under water, and that mattered only to the fishes.
All the tourists who rode through the long green miles stopped their cars in front of a spreading old-fashioned country house and looked at the red swing on the lawn and the wide, shady porch, and sighed and drove on — swerving a little to avoid a jet-black body-servant in the road.
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