2016年09月06日

abominated mirrors of their atavistic selves

Within another year Anthony and Gloria had become like players who had lost their costumes, lacking the pride to continue on the note of tragedy--so that when Mrs. and Miss Hulme of Kansas City cut them dead in the plaza one evening, it was only that Mrs. and Miss Hulme, like most people.

Their new apartment, for which they paid eighty-five dollars a month, was situated on Claremont Avenue, which is two blocks from the Hudson in the dim hundreds. They had lived there a month when Muriel Kane came to see them late one afternoon.

It was a reproachless twilight on the summer side of spring. Anthony lay upon the lounge looking up One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Street toward the river, near which he could just see a single patch of vivid green trees that guaranteed the brummagem umbrageousness of Riverside Drive. Across the water were the palisades, crowned by the ugly framework of the amusement park--yet soon it would be dusk and those same iron cobwebs would be a glory against the heavens, an enchanted palace set over the smooth radiance of a tropical canal.

The streets near the apartment, Anthony had found, were streets where children played--streets a little nicer than those he had been used to pass on his way to Marietta, but of the same general sort, with an occasional hand organ or hurdy-gurdy, and in the cool of the evening many pairs of young girls walking down to the corner drug-store for ice cream soda and dreaming unlimited dreams under the low heavens.

Dusk in the streets now, and children playing, shouting up incoherent ecstatic words that faded out close to the open window--and Muriel, who had come to find Gloria, chattering to him from an opaque gloom over across the room.

"Light the lamp, why don't we?" she suggested. "It's getting _ghostly_ in here."

With a tired movement he arose and obeyed; the gray window-panes vanished. He stretched himself. He was heavier now, his stomach was a limp weight against his belt; his flesh had softened and expanded. He was thirty-two and his mind was a bleak and disordered wreck.

"Have a little drink, Muriel?"

"Not me, thanks. I don't use it anymore. What're you doing these days, Anthony?" she asked curiously.

"Well, I've been pretty busy with this lawsuit," he answered indifferently. "It's gone to the Court of Appeals--ought to be settled up one way or another by autumn. There's been some objection as to whether the Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over the matter."



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