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CHAPTER 4. The Supercilious Sacrifice
Atlantic City. Amory paced the board walk at day's end, lulled by the
everlasting surge of changing waves, smelling the half-mournful odor of
the salt breeze. The sea, he thought, had treasured its memories deeper
than the faithless land. It seemed still to whisper of Norse galleys
ploughing the water world under raven-figured flags, of the British
dreadnoughts, gray bulwarks of civilization steaming up through the fog
of one dark July into the North Sea.
Amory looked down into the street below. A low racing car had drawn to a
stop and a familiar cheerful face protruded from the driver's seat.
"Come on down, goopher!" cried Alec.
Amory called a greeting and descending a flight of wooden steps
approached the car. He and Alec had been meeting intermittently, but the
barrier of Rosalind lay always between them. He was sorry for this; he
hated to lose Alec.
"Mr. Blaine, this is Miss Waterson, Miss Wayne, and Mr. Tully."
"How d'y do?"
"Amory," said Alec exuberantly, "if you'll jump in we'll take you to
some secluded nook and give you a wee jolt of Bourbon."
"That's an idea."
"Step in--move over, Jill, and Amory will smile very handsomely at you."
Amory squeezed into the back seat beside a gaudy, vermilion-lipped
"Hello, Doug Fairbanks," she said flippantly. "Walking for exercise or
hunting for company?"
"I was counting the waves," replied Amory gravely. "I'm going in for
"Don't kid me, Doug."
When they reached an unfrequented side street Alec stopped the car among
"What you doing down here these cold days, Amory?" he demanded, as he
produced a quart of Bourbon from under the fur rug.
Amory avoided the question. Indeed, he had had no definite reason for
coming to the coast.
"Do you remember that party of ours, sophomore year?" he asked instead.
"Do I? When we slept in the pavilions up in Asbury Park--"
"Lord, Alec! It's hard to think that Jesse and Dick and Kerry are all
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