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POLK COUilVY in'AVS. TiXYOil. UUZXil (Uu&UMl
By BOOTH TARKINGTON
II LOHGMA. .ooableday. Fwr. & company. ' ' . . s-.s.s. , ,. .-. "IOi.i.i'i
'KING F00L-B0YW1TH THE PRIDE OF SATAN."
A m Karert Vi o tn aria o f nifiiTA 1 Vam nAAnla
S,' and the magnificence of the Ambersons began then.
S out a 200-acre "development," with roads and statuary,
a fourj-acre tract, on Amberson avenue, built for himself
VV . .t -mansion, Midland City had ever seen. When the major's
fc j'Oung, Wilbur Minafer the neighbors predicted that as
aally love Wilbur all her love would be bestowed upon the
TT fl pnly 'one child, however, George "Amberson Minafer, and
s-WG CSIi3 youthful-accomplishments as a mischief maker are
8 !? Wnilfii-1Ve h does not attempt to conceal his belief that the
.. .ierna Vj , f p mosi; imponani iamuy in tne worm, ai a ds.u given,
in his honor w p hefreturns from college, George monopolizes Lucy Morgan,
a stranger-andme prettiest girl present, and gets on famously with her until
he learns that a "quesir looking duck" at whom he had been poking much fun,
is the young lady's father. He is Eugene Morgan, a former resident of
BIgburg, and he is returning to. erect a factory and to build horseless carriages
of his own invention. LEugene had been an old admirer of Isabel's and they
had been engaged when Isabel threw him over because of a youthful indiscre
tion and marriejl Wilbur Minafer. ,
CHAPTER IV Continued.
"Give me the next and the one after
that," he said hurrledlyi recovering
ome presence of mind, just as the
nearest applicant reached them. "And
give me every third one the rest of
the evening. ; 1 y
She laughed. : 44 Are you asking?"
"What do you mean, asking?'"
"It sounded as though you were just
telling me to give you nil those
dances." Y V
"Well. I want 'em !" George insisted.
'Are you going to gjve me"
s "Good gracious she laughed.
"Tes!" ' , . H ,;'r j - ;
The applicants flocked round her,
urging contracts for . what remained,
but they did not dislodge George from
her side, though he made it evident
that they succeeded in annoying him ;
and presently he extricated her from
an accumulating siege she must have
connived In the extrication and bore
her off to sit beside him upon the
stairway that led to the musicians'
gallery, where they were sufficiently
retired, yet had a view of the room.
"How'd all those ducks' get fo know
you so quick?" George inquired, with
little enthusiasm. . '
"Oh, I've been here a week.'
"Lopks as If you'd been i pretty
busy.!" he said. "Most of those ducks,
I don't know what my mother wanted
to invite 'em here for" I '
"Perhaps It was on account of their
parents," Miss Morgan suggested
mildly. "Maybe she didn't want , to
offend their fathers and mothers."
"Oh. hardlv! I dori't think mv
mother need worry much about offend
ing anybody in this old town." ?
"It must be wonderful," said Miss
Morgan. "It jnnst be wonderful,. Mr.
Amberson Mr. Minafer, I mean."
"What must be wonderful?"
"To be so important as that!"
"That Isn't 'important, " George as
sured her. "Anybody that really -Is
anybody ought to be able to do about
as they like in their own town, I
She looked at him critically from
under her shading lashes but her
eyes grew gentler almost at once. In
truth, they became more appreciative
than critjcal. George's imperious good
looks were altogether manly, yet ap
proached actual beauty ' as closely as
a boy's good looks should dare ; and
dance music and flowers have some
effect upon nineteen-year-old girfs as
well as upon eighteen-year-old boys.
- The stairway was draf ty : the steps
were narrow and uncomfortable ; no
older person would have remained in
such a place. Moreover, these two
young people were strangers to each
other; neither had said anything in
which the other had discovered the
slightest intrinsic interest ; there had
not arisen between them the begin
nings of congeniality, or even of
friendliness but stairways near ball
rooms have more to answer for than
have moonlit lakes and mountain sun
sets. Age, confused by Its own long ac
cumulation of follies,, is everlastingly
Inquiring,. "what does she see In him?"
as. If young lovecame about through
thinking or through conduct. At
eighteen cne goes to a dance, sits with
a stranger on a stairway, feels pe
culiar, thinks nothing, and becomes
incapable of any plan whatever. Miss
Morgan .nd George stayed where they
They had agreed to this in silence
and without knowing it; certainly
without exchanging glances of intelli
gence they had exchanged no glances
at all. Both sat staring vaguely out 1
Into the ballroom, and, for a time,
they did not speak. Here and there
were to be seen couples so carried
away that, ceasing to move at the
decorous, even glide, considered most
knowing, they pranced and whirled
through the throng, from wall to wall,
galloping bounteously in abandon.
George suffered a shock of vague sur
prise when he perceived that his aunt,
Fanny Minafer, was the lady-half of
one of those wild couples. She flew
over the floor in the capable arms of
the queer-looking duck ; for this per
son was her partner.
The queer-looking duck had been a
real dancer ia his day, it appeared ;
and evidently his day was not yet
over. In spite of the headlong, gay
rapidity with . which he bore Miss
Fanny about the big room he danced
authoritmtlrtly. avoiding without ef
fctt th Safest MtUslo& with other
couples, maintaining sufficient grace
throughout his wildest moments, and
all the while laughing and talking
with his partner. What was most re
markable to George, and a little irri
tating, this stranger In the Amberson
mansion had no vestige of the air of
deference proper to a stranger in such
a place: he seemed thoroughly at
home. He seemed offensively so, in
deed, when, passing the entrance to
the gallery stairway, he disengaged
his hand from Miss Fanny's for an In
stant, and hot pausing in the dance,
waved a laughing salutation more
than cordial, then capered lightly out
Georgo gazed stonily at this mani
festation, responding neither by word
nor sign. "How's that for a bit of
freshness?" he murmured.
"What was?" Miss Morgan asked.
"That queer-looking duck waving
his hand at me like that. Except he's
the Sharon girls' uncle I don't know
hirh from Adam."
"You don't need to," she said. "He
wasn't waving his hand to you: he
meant me." . ' "
"Oh, he did?" George was not mol
lified by the explanation. "Everyone
Feems to mean you! You certainly do
seem to have been pretty busy this
week you've been here !"
She pressed her bouquet to her face
again and laughed Into It, not dis
pleased. She made no other com
ment, and for another period neither
"Well," said George finally, "I must
say you don't seem to be much of a
prattler. They say It's a great way
to get a reputation for being wise
never saying much. Don't you eter
talk at all?"
"When people can understand," she
He had been looking moodily out
at the ballroom, but he turned to her
quickly, at this, saw that her eyes
were sunny and content, over tne top
of her bouquet, and he consented to
"Girls are usually pretty fresh !" he
said. "They ought to go to a man's
college about a year: they'd get
taught a few things about freshness!
What you got to do after two o'clock
"A whole lot of things. Every min
ute filled up."
"All right," said George. "The
snow's fine tor sleighing : I'll come for
you in a cutter at ten imlnutes after
"I can't possibly go.V
"If you don't,;' he said, "I'm going
to sit in the cutter in front of the
gate, wherever you're visiting, all
afternoon, and if you try to go out
with anybody else he's got" to whip
me before he gets you." And as she
laughed though she blushed a little,
too he continued, seriously: "If you
think I'm not rn earnest you're at lib
erty to make quite a big Experiment !"
She laughed again. "I-don't think
I've often had so large a compliment
as that," she said, "especially on such
short notice and yet I don't think
I'll go with you."
"You be ready at ten minutes after
"No, I won't." s
"Yes, you will !" ,
"Yes," she said, "I will!" And her
partner for the next dance arrived,
breathless with searching.
"Don't forget I've got the third
from now," George called after her.
When "the third from now" came
George presented himself before her
without any greeting; like a brother
or a mannerless old friend. Both
George and Miss Morgan talked much
more to everyone else that evening
than to each other, and they said
nothing at. all at this time. Both
looked preoccupied as they began to
dance, and preserved a gravity of ex
pression - to the end of the number.
And their next number they did not
dance, but went back to the gallery
stairway, seeming to have reached
an understanding without any verbal
consultation that this suburb was
again the place for them. "
"Well," said George coolly, when
they were seated,' "what did you say
your name was 7"
"Morgan." ' '
"Funny . name !"
i "Everybody else's name always Is.
"I .didn't mean it was really funny,"
George explained. '.'That's just ono
of my crowd's bita of horsing at col
We always say 'funny name no
matter what it is. I guess we're pret
ty fresh sometimes; but I knew youv
name was Morgan because my mother
said so downstairs. I meant: what's
the rest of it?"
"How old are you?" George asked.
"I don't really know myself."
"What do . you . mean : , you don't
really know yourself ?"
"I mean I only . know what they
tell me. I believe them, of course,
but believing isn't really knowing."
"Look here!" said George. "Do you
always talk like this?" ? i ; -
Miss Lucy Morgan laughed forgiv
ingly, put her young head on one side
like a bird and responded cheerfully:
"I'm willing to learn wisdom. What
are you studying at school?" V
"College!" . vv
"At the university! Yes. What are
you studying there?"
George laughed. "Lot o' useless
"Then why don't you study some
"What do you mean: 'Useful?'"
"Something you'd use later, In your
business or profession?"
George waved his hand Impatient
ly. "I don't expect to go into any
'business or profession.' "
"Certainly not!" George was em
phatic, being sincerely 'annoyed by a
suggestion which showed how- utterly
she failed to cdmprehend the kind of
person he was.
"Why not?" she asked mildly.
"Just look at 'em J" he said, almost
with bitterness, and he made a ges
ture presumably intended to indicate
the business and professional men
now dancing -within range of vision.
"That's a fine career for a man, Isn't
it ! Lawyers, bankers, politicians !
What do they get out of life, I'd like
to know ! WThat do they ever know
about real things? Where do they
He was so earnest that she wa '
surprised and impressed. She had a
vague, momentary vision of Pitt, at
twenty-one, prime minister of Eng
land; and she spoke, involuntarily in
a lowered voice, with deference:
What do you want to be?" she
George answered promptly.
"A yachtsman," he said.
"I don't care-so long as you don't
give him one of the numbers that
belong to me." V
"I'll try to remember," she said,
and thoughtfully lifted to her face
the bouquet . of violets and lilies, a
gesture which' George noted without
"Look here! - Who sent you those
flowers you keep makin' such a fuss
over?" ' " : '
"Who's Tie?'", ' I
"The queer-looking duck." j
; George feared no- such rival; he
laughed loudly. "I s'pose he's sonie
old widower !" he said, the object
thus described seeming 'ignominious
enough' to a person of eighteen, with
out additional characterization.
Lucy became serious at once. "Yes,
he is a widower," she said. "I ought
to have told you before ; he's my fa
ther." George stopped laughing abruptly.
"Well, that's a horse on me. . If I'd
known he was yo'ur father, of course
I wouldn't have made fun of him. I'm
"Nobody could make fun of him,"
she said quietly.
"Why couldn't they?"
"It wouldn't make him vfunny: it
would only make themselves silly."
, Upon this George had a gleam of
Intelligence. "Well, I'm not going to
make myself silly any more, then ; I
don't want to take chances like that
with you. But I thought he was the
Sharon girls uncle. He came with
them " .
"Yes," she said; "I'm always late
to everything: I wouldn't let them
wait for me. We're visiting the
"About time I knew that ! You for
get my being so fresh about your fa
ther, will you? .Of course he's a distinguished-looking
man, in a way."
Lucy was still serious. " 'In a
way?'" she repeated. "You mean,
not in your way, don't you?"
George was perplexed. "How do
you mean: not 4n my way?"
"People often say 'in a way" and
'rather distinguished looking, or
'rather' so-and-so, or "rather anything,
to show that they're superior, don't
they. It's a kind of snob slang, I
think. Of course people don't always
say 'rather' or 'In a way' to be su
perior." "I should say not! I use both of
'em a great deal myself," said George.
"One thing I don't see, though :
What's the use of a man being six
feet three? Men that size can't
handle themselves as well as a man
about five feet eleven arid a half can."
George was a straightforward soul,
at least. "See here!" he said. "Are
you engaged to anybody?"
Not wholly mollified, he shrugged
his shoulders. "You seem to know a
good many people! Do you live in
New York?" 1
"No. We don't live anywhere."
"What do you mean: you don't live
"We've lived all over," she answered.
"Papa used to live here 'in this town,
but that was before I was born."
"What do you keep moving around
so for? Is he a promoter?"
"No. He's an inventor.'
"What's he Invented?" . .
"Just lately," said Lucy, "he's been
working on a new kind of horseless
"Well, I'm sorry for him," George
said, In no unkindly spirit. "Those
things are never going to amount to
anything. People aren't going to
spend their lives lying on their backs
in the road and letting grease drip in
"Papa'd be so grateful," she re
turned, "if he could have your ad
Instantly " George's face became
flushed. "I don't know that I've done
anything to be insulted for!" he said.
"I don't see that what I said was par
"No, indeed !"
"Then what do you"
She hiughed gayly. "I don't! And
I don't mind your being such a lofty
person at all. I think it's , ever so
interesting but papa's a great man !"
"Is he?" " George decided to be
good-natured. "Well, let us hope so.
I hope so, I'm sure." 5
Looking at him keenly, she saw that
the magnificent youth was incredibly
sincere in this bit of graciousness.
She shook her head in gentle wonder.
"I'm just beginning ' to understand,"
she said. ?, - -
"Understand what?" " v, r
"What it means to be a. real. Am
berson : in this town. Papa told me
something about it before we came,
but I see he didn't say" half enough!"
.George superbly took this ail for
tribute. "Did your father say he
knew the family before he left here?"
"Yes. I believe he was particularly
a friend of yeur Uncle George; and
he didn't sayOSo, but I imagine - he
must haveknown your mother very
well, too. He wasn't an inventor
then; he was a young lawyer. The
town was smaller in thnsr A
looking duck" said Lucy. VTm going l I believe he was quite well known
l-i are say. m no doubt the fan
Having thus, in a word, revealed
his ambition for a career above
courts, marts and polling booths,
George breathed more deeply than
usual, and, turning his face from
the lovely companion whom he had
just made his confidant, gazed out at
the dancers with an expression in
which there was both sternness and a
contempt for the squalid lives of the
unyachted Midlanders before him.
However, among them he marked Jals
mother, and his omber grandeur re
laxed momentarily; a more genial
light came into his eyes.
Isabel was dancing with the queer-
looking duck; and it was to be noted
that the lively gentleman's gait -was
more sedate than it had been with
"Are You Engaged to Anybody?"
Miss Fanny Minafer, but not less dex
terous and ' authoritative. He saw
George and the beautiful. Lucy on the
stairway and nodded to them. George
waved his hand vaguely: he had a
momentary return of that inexplicable
uneasiness and resentment which had
troubled him downstairs.
"How lovely your mother, is !" Lucy
said. ' .. ..
"I think she is," he agreed gently.
-"She's the gracefulest woman in that
ballroom. How wonderfully they dance
'Your mother and and the queer-
to danc with him pretty soon.
lly are all very glad to see him bacK,
especially if they used to have him
at the house a good deal, as he told
"I don't, think he meant to boast of
It," she said. "He spoke quite
calmly," she retorted, as her partner
for. the next danc arrived. '
She took wing away on the breeze
of " the waltz, and George, having
stared gloomily after her for a few
moments, postponed filling an engage
ment, and strolled - round the fluctu
ating outskirts of the dance; to where
his uncle, George Amberson, stood
smilingly watching, under one vf the
rose-vine arches at the entrance to
"Hello, young nanjesake,". saiO the
uncle. "Why lingers 'the laggard hv;el
of the dancer? Haven't you got a
"She's sitting around waiting for
me somewhere," said George. "See
here: Who is this fellow Morgan thai
Aunt Fanny Minafer, was dancing
with a while ago?"
Amberson laughed. "He's a man
with a pretty daughter, Georgie. Me
seemed you've been spending the eve
ning noticing something of that sort
or do I err?"
"Never mind I What sort is he?"
"I think we'll have to give him a
character, Georgie. He's an old
friend; used to practice law here
perhaps he had more debts than .cases,
but he paid 'em all up before he left
town. Your question is purely mer
cenary, I take it: you want to know
his true worth before, proceeding fur
ther with the daughter. I cannot , in
form you, though I notice signs of
considerable prosperity in that be
coming dress of hers. However, you
never can tell. It Is an age when ev
ery sacrifice is made for the young,
and how your own poor mother man
aged to provide those genuine pearl
studs for you out of her allowance
from father I can't "
"Oh, dry up!" said the nephew. "I
understand this Morgan "
"Mr. Eugene Morgan," his uncle
suggested. "Politeness requires that
the young should"
"I guess the 'young' didn't know
much about politeness in your dny,"
George interrupted. "I understand
that Mr. Eugene Morgan used to be
a great friend of the family. The way
he was dancing with Aunt Fanny "
Amberson laughed. "I'm afraid
your Aunt Fanny's, heart was stirred
by ancient recollections, Georgie."
" "You meant she used to be silly
"She wasn't considered singular,"
said the uncle. "He was he was
popular. Could you bear a question?"
"What do you mean: could 1
"I only wanted to ask: Do you take
this same passionate interest in the
parents of every girl you dance with?
Perhaps it's a new fashion we old
bachelors ought to .take up. Is it the
thing this year to-"
"Oh, go on!" said George, moving
away. , "I only wanted to know " He
left the sentence unfinished, and
and crossed the room to where a girl
sat waiting for his nobility to find
time to fulfill his contract with her
for this dance.
Tardon f keep' wait," he muttered,
as she rose brightly to meet him ; and
she seemed pleased that he came at
all. He danced with her perf unctor
rily, thinking the while of Mr. Eugene
Morgan and his daughter. Strangely
enough his thoughts dwelt more upon
the father than the daughter, though
George could not possibly have given
a reason even to himself for this
By a coincidence, though not an
odd one, the thoughts and conversa
tion of Mr Eugene Morgan at this
very - time were concerned with
George Amberson Minafer, rather cas
ually, it is true. Mr. Morgan had re
tired to a room set apart far, smok
ing, on the second 1 floor, and had
found a grizzled gentleman lounging
In solitary possession. :
'"Gene Morgan!" this person ex
claimed, rising with great heartiness.
"I don't believe you know me!"
"Yes, I do, Fred Kinney!" Mr.. Mor
gan returned with equal friendliness.
"Your real face the one I used tto
know it's just underneath the one
you're masquerading in tonight. You
ought to have changed it more if you
wanted a disguise."
;Twenty years!" said Mr. Kinney.
"It makes some difference in faces,
but more in behavior!"
"It does so !" his friend agreed with
explosive emphasis. .
They sat and smoked.
"However," Mr. Morgan remarked
presently, "I still dance like an In
dian.' Don't you?"
"No. I leave that, to my boy Fred.
He does the dancing for the family."
"I suppose he's upstairs hard at
' "No, he's not here." Mr. Kinney
glanced toward the oqen door and
lowered his voice. "He wouldn't come.
It seems that a couple of years or
so ago he had a row with young
Georgie Minafer. Fred was president
of a literary club they had, and he
said this Georgie Minafer got himself
elected- instead, In an overbearing
sort of way. Fred's very bitter about
his row with Georgie Minafer. He
says he'd rather burn his foot off
than set It inside any Amberson house
or any place else where young Geor
"Do people like young Minafer gen
"I don't know about 'generally. I
guess he gets plenty of toadying; but
there's certainly a lot of people that
are glad to express their, opinions
about him." r
"What's the matter with him?"
"Too, mun atTk '
pr,- .. . 1 Ambers -
"other Justf;X'r a
Mm, from' the a 4hl'
ana honestly . Su'1 n .i8
weak ad l"Jk1'i,t,'SS'"
him ! Yet that t ,
sent woman, IhH i '
ally sits ami wru t,Al '"'son ,.
hear it ,n her TO1";.h-': Vu'
to him or spi,a,
it in her eyes -).., .' . 1 cat ,
Sly Lord! AV,,,; "
she -looks at hiiuv e
see." ho sni.i ' tlat
"What does she so
she sees an angel '
ueorgie Minafer silt s .. , " "s lt
an than I thorn. unnir W
"Perhaps she is .i '
lat's whnt h ,'.7, Ji"r?an...T
"My Lord! It's
that's what she y.," I?an-"at
onlv known him
that time have you lookPll J I
and seen an angel?" bergi'
"TW. All t .
ah i saV y:1 v,
n -mm '
gooa-iooKing fool-bo v
or oatan and a st of ntPtf n WQ
ing-room manners that'll
couldn't use more than 'X 5
at a time without bustin"
"Mothers are right." said
"Mothers see the angel in Us h !L
the angel is there, u
iLS . snown to
the angel is there.
the mother the son
to show, hasn't he? Whe
somebody's throat the mother onlj
sees it's possible for a misguided an
gel to act like a devil and she's en
tirely right about that !"
uiuucj Auugucu auu yui mo uauu
on his friend's shoulder. "I remem
ber what a fellow you always wen
to argue," he said. "You mean Geor
gie Minafer is as much of an angel
as any murderer is, and that Georgie'!
mother is always right."
"I'm afraid she always has been"
Morgan said lightly.
The friendly hand remained upon
his shoulder. "She was wrong once,
Old fellow. At least, so it seemed to
"No," said Morgan, a little awk
Kinney relieved the slight embar
rassment that had come upon both
of them : he laughed again. "Wait till
you know young Georgie a little bet
ter," he said. "Something tells me
you're going to change your mind
about having an angel to show, if yon
see anything of him !"
"You mean beauty's in the eye of
the beholder, and the angel is all w
the eye of the mother. If you ere
a painter, Fred, you'd paint mothers
with angels' pyes holding imps m
their laps. Me, I'll stick to the oio
masters and the cherubs."
Mr. Kinney looked, at him musingly.
"Somebody's eyes must have nee
pretty angelic." he said, J they
been persuading you that won
Minafer is a cherub !" .
"They are," said Morgan heartily.
"They're more angelic than eve.
And as a new flourish of mf!
ed overhead he threw away his ; c
rette and jumped up briskly,
by ; I've got this dance with ner.
' "With Isabel !" , , w
The grizzled Mr. Kinney affectea
rub his eyes. "It startles m.W
jumping up like that to d
with Isabel Amberson! luenu . .
seem to havepassed but nae
Tell me, have you danced ua v
old Fanny, too, this evening.
"My Lord!" Kinney groa ed
in earnest. "Old times starting
over again! My Lord!
"Old times?" Morgan hued gjJ
ly from the doorway. l
There aren't any old tunes
times are gone they're not old
dead I There aren't any tun
new times !" manner
And he vanished be
that he seemed already to
x-:rlh.' nf VOU.
"It was mciiu.j - '..ft
I'll not ni not fofOW