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2 Copy111 ty Doubleday, Pag & Company. v
"IT'S 'AU REVOIR TILL TONIGHT, ISN'T IT?"
Synopsis. Major Ambersbn had caade a fortune in 1873 when other people
were losing fortunes, and the magnificence of the Ambersons began then.
Major Amberson laid out-a 200-acre "development," with roads and statuary",
and in the center of a four-acre tract, on Amberson avenue, built for himself
the most magnificent mansion Midland City had ever seen. When the major's
daughter married young Wilbur Minafer the .neighbors predicted that as
Isabel could never really love Wilbur all her love would be bestowed upon the
children. There is only one child, however, George Amberson Minafer, and
his upbringing and his youthful accomplishments as a mischief maker are
quite in keeping with the most pessimistic predictions. By the, time George
goes away to college he does not attempt to conceal his belief that the
Ambersons are about the most important family in the world. At a ball given
In his honor when he returns from college, George monopolizes Lucy Morgan
a stranger and the prettiest girl present, and gets on famously with her until
he learns that a "queer 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. Eugene 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 married Wilbur Minafer. George makes rapid progress in his courtship
of Lucy. ' -
The appearance of Miss Lucy Mor
gan the next day, as she sat in
George's fast cutter, proved so charm
ing that her escort was stricken to
soft words instantly and failed to Con
trol a poetic impulse. "You look
like" he said. "Your face looks
like it looks like a snowflake on a
lump of coal. I mean aa snowflake
that would be a rose-leaf too !"
"Perhaps you'd better look at the
reins," she returnea. . we aimosr, up-
set just then."
George declined to heed this advice.
"Because there's too much pink In
your cheeks for a snowflake," he con
tinued. "What's that fairy story about
snow-white and rose-red
'We're going pretty fast, jMr. Mina
fer!" "Well, you see, I'm only here for
"I mean the sleigh 1" she explained.
We're not the only people on the
street, you know."
"Oh, they'll keep out of the way."
"That's very patrician charioteeer
lng, tut it seems to me a horse like
this needs guidance. Tm sure he's
going almost twenty miles an hour."
"That's nothing," said, George; but
he consented to look forward again.
"He an trot under three minutes, all
right" He laughed.' "I suppose your
father thinks-he can build a horseless
carriage to go that fast!"
"They go that fast already, some
"Yes," said I George; "they do for
about a hundred feet ! Then they give
a yell and burn up." i
Evidently she decided not to defend
ner fathers faith In horseless car
riages, for she laughed and said noth
ing. The cold air was polka-dotted
with snowflakes, and trembled to the
loud, continuousjlngling of sleigh-
bells. Boys and girls, all aglow and
panting jets of vapor, darted at the
passing sleighs to ride on the runners,
or sought to rope their sleds to any
vehicle whatever, but the fleetest no
more than just touched the flying cut
ter, though a hundred soggy mittens
grasped for it, then reeled and whirled
till sometimes the wearers of those
daring mittens plunged flat in the
snow and lay a-sprawl, reflecting.
But there came panting and chug-
ging up that fat thoroughfare a thing
which some day was to spoil all their
sleightime merriment save for the
rashest and most disobedient. It was
vaguely like a topless surrey, but cum
brous with unwholesome excrescences
fore- and aft, while underneath were
spinning leather belts and something
that whirred and howled and seemed
to stagger.- The rlde-stealers made no
attempt to fasten their sleds to a con
trivance so nonsensical and yet so
fearsome. Instead they gave over their
sport and concentrated all their ener
gies in their lungs, so that up and
down the street the one cry shrilled
increasingly : "Git a hoss ! Git a hoss 1
Git a hoss! Mister, why don't you git
a hoss?" But. the mahout in charge,
sitting solitary on the front seat, was
unconcerned he laughed, .and now
and then ducked a . snowball without
losing any of his good-nature. It was
Mr. Eugene Morgan who exhibited so
cheerful a countenance between the
forward visor of a deer-stalker cap
and the collar of a fuzzy gray ulster.
"Git a hoss!" the children shrieked,
and gruffer voices joined them. Glt
a hoss ! Git a hoss ! . Git a hoss !
George Minafer was correct thus
ar; the twelve miles an hour of such
a machine would never overtake
George's trotter. The, cutter was al
ready scurrying between the stone pil
ars nt the entrance to Amberson ad-1
"That's my grandfather's," said
George, nodding toward the Amberson
I ought to know that!" liacr .vt'
claimed. "We stayed there late enough
the laTto STHeand J mother
and Miss Fanny Minafer got the mu-
8tctin.A r,iv onnfwn xvhpn
everybody else had gone downstairs
n .1 ai iij ii .
uu uie uuaies were ueiug put uwajr
in their cases. Papa danced part of
it with Miss Minafer and the rest with
your mother. Miss Mlnaf er's your
aunt. Isn't she?"
"Yes ; she lives with us. ; That's our
house rest hcTfmd irrandfethw He
waved a MaUttk mantlet to indlcaU
.... ' - . ' . M
the house Major Amberson had built
for Isabel as a wedding gift. He
frowned as they passed a closed car
riage and pair. The body of this com
fortable vehicle sagged slightly to one
siae , tne paint was old and seamed
with hundreds of minute cracks like
uiue rivers on a black map; the
coacnman, a rat and elderly darky,
seemed to drowse upon the box; but
the open window afforded the occu-
pants of the cutter a blimpse of a
tired, fine old face, a silk hat, a pearl
ue ana an astrachan collar, evidently
out to take the air.
"There's your grandfather
said Lucy. "Isn't it?"
George's frown was not relaxed.
"Yes, it is ; and he ought to give that
rat trap away and sell those old
horses. They're a disgrace, all shaggy
not even clipped. I suppose he
doesn't notice it people get awful
funny when they get old; they seem
to lose their self-respect, sort of."
'He seemed a real Brummell to me,"
'Oh, he keeps up about what he
wears, well enough, but Another
thing I don't think he ought to allow :
a good many people bought big lots
and they built houses on 'em ; then
the price of the land kept getting !
higher, and they'd sell part of their
yards and let the people that bought
It build on It to live in, till they
haven't hardly any of 'em got. big, open
yards any more, and It's getting all
built up. The way it used to be It was
a gentleman's country estate, and
that's the way my grandfather ought
to keep it. He lets these people take
too many liberties : they do anything
"But how could he stop them?"
Lucy asked, surely with reason. "If
he sold them the land it's theirs, isn't
, George remained serene in the face
of this apparently difficult . question.
He ought to have all the tradespeople
boycott the families that sell part of
their yards that way. All he'd have to
do would be to tell the tradespeople
they wouldn't get any more orders
from the family if they didn't do it."
"From 'the family?' What family?"
"Our family," said George, unper
turbed. "The Ambersons."
"I see !" she murmured, and evident-
ly she did see something that .he did
not, for, as she lifted her muff to her
face he asked: - -
"What are you laughing at now?"
"Why?" N '
"You always - seem to have some
le secret of your own to get happy
overI .... t ' . ,
" 'Always V " she exclaimed. "What
a big word, when we only met last
I Tlffrtlt !" ' ' : " t- ' -' -
"That's another case of it," he ald.
with obvious sincerity. "One of the
reasons I don't like you much ! is
you've got that way of. seeming qui-
etly superior to everybody else.'
"I!" she cried. "I have?
"Oh,l you thin you keep It t
confidential , to yourself,. but it's plain
enqftgiU 7 I don't i believe in that kind
of thing. I think the World's like this :
.there's a few people that their birth
and position, and so on, puts them at
the top, and they ought to treat each
other, entirely as equals." His voice
betrayed a little emotion as he added,
I wouldn't speak like this to every
'Ton mean you're confiding your
deepest creed--or code, what ever It
is to me?"
"Go on; make fun of it, then!"
George said bitterly. "You do think
you're terribly clever ! It makes me
Well, as you don't like my seeming
quietly superior,' afterthis Til be nois
ily 'superior," she returned cheerfully.
We aim to please!"
"I had a notion before I came for
you today that we were going to quar
rel," he said.
No, we won't: it takes two!" She
laughed and waved her muff toward a
new house, not auite completed, stand-
ing in a field upon their right. They
had passed beyond Amberson addition
and were leaving the northern fringes
of the. town for the open country.
"Isn't that a beautiful house!" she ex-
claimed. "Papa and I call it our Beau
George was not pleased. "Does It
belong to you?"
"Of course not! Papa brought me
out here the other day, driving in his
machine, and we both loved it. It's so
spacious and dignified and plain."
"Yes, it's plain enough!" George
"Yet it's lovely ; the gray-green roor
and shutters give just enough color,
with the trees, for the long white
walls. It seems to be the finest house
I've seen in this part of the country.'
George was outraged by an enthu
siasm so ignorant not ten minutes
ago they, had passed the Amberson
mansion. "Is. that a sample of your
taste in architecture?" he asked.
"Because it strikes me you better go
somewhere and study the -subject a
little!" - , , :
Lucy looked puzzled. "What makes
you have so much feeling about It?
Have I offended you?"
"'Offended' nothing!" George re
turned brusquely. "Girls usually
think they know it all as soon as
they've learned to dance and dress and
flirt a little. They never know any
thing about things like architecture,
for instanceJ That house was about
as bum a house as any house I ever
He spoke of it in the past tense, be
cause they had now left it far behind
then; a human habit of curious sig
nificance. "It was like a house meant
for a street ih the city. What kind
of a house was that for people of
any taste to build out here in the coun
"But papa says it's built that way
on purpose.. There are a lot or other
houses being built in this direction,
and papa says the city's coming out
this way; and in a year or two that
house will be right in town."
"It was a bum house, anyhow," said
George crossly. "I don't even know
the people that are building it. They
say a lot of riffraff come to town every
year nowadays and there's other riff
raff that have always lived here, and
have made a little money, and act as
if they owned the place. Uncle Syd
ney was talking about It yesterday:
he says he and some of his friends are
organizing a' country club, and already
some of these riffraff are worming into
it people he never heard of at all!
Anyhow I guess it's pretty clear you
don't, know a great deal about archi
She demonstrated the completeness
of her amiability . by laughing. "I'll
know something about the north pole
before long," she said, "if we keep
going much farther in this direction !"
At this he was remorseful. "All
Tight j1 we'll turn . and drive south
awhile till you get warmed up again.
I expect we have been going against
the wind about long enough.
I'm .sorry!" , . ,
He said, "indeed, rm sorry, m a
nice rway, and looked very , strikingly
handsome when he said it, she
thought. No doubt It is true that
there is more rejoicing in heaven over
one sinner repented than over all the
saints who consistently remain holy,
and the rare, sudden gentlenesses of
arrogant people have Infinitely more
effect than the continual gentleness of
gentle, people. Arrogance turned
gentle melts the heart; and Lucy gave
her companion a little sidelong, sunny
nod of acknowledgment. George was ;
dazzled. by, the quick glow or ner eyes,
and found himself at a loss for some-
thing to say.
Having turned ; about he kept his
horse to a walk, and at this gait the
sleighbells tinkled but intermittently.
The snow no longer fell, and far
ahead, In a grayish cloud that lay upon
the land, was me town.
Lucy looked at this distant thicken
ing reflection. "When we get this far
out we can see there must be quite a
little moke hanging over the town,'
she - said. ' "1 suppose thaf because
iit s gruwmg. as u grows Digger
I seems to get ashamed of. Itself, so it
lxl. -- ' A . ' . 11
says it ,used to be a bit nicer
he lived here: he, always speaks
differently he always has a
gentle look, a particular tone of voice,
I've noticed. He must have been very
fond of It - From the way he talks
you'd think life here then was just
one long midsummer serenade, tie
declares It was always sunshiny, that
the air wasn't like the, air anywhere
else that, as he remembers it, there
always seemed to be gold dust in the
air. I doubt it! I think it doesn't
seem to be duller air to him now
just on account of having a little soot
In it sometimes, but probably because
he was twenty years younger then. It
seems to me the gold dust ho thinks 1
was here Is just his being youug that
he remembers. - I think it was just
youth. It is pretty pleasant to be
young, isn't it?" v
"You're a funny girl," George said
gently. "But your voice sounds pretty
nice when1 you think and talk along to
gether like that!" ' V
The horse shook himself all over.
and the Impatient sleighbells made his
wish audible. Accordingly George
tightened the reins, and the cutter was
off again at a threeminute trot, no
despicable rate of speed. It was not
long before they were again passing
Lucy's Beautiful House, and here
George thought fit to put, an appendix
to his remark. "You're a funny girl,
and you know a lot but I don't be
lieve you know much about architeo
ture !" ,
Coming toward them, black against
the snowy road, was a strange silhou
ette. It approached moderately and
without visible means of progression,
so the matter seemed from a distance ;
but as the cutter shortened the dis
tance the silhouette was revealed to be
Mr. Morgan's horseless carriage, con
veying four people atop: Mr. Morgan
with George's mother beside him, and,
in the rear seat, Miss Fanny Minafer
and the Hon. George Amberson. All
four seemed to be in the liveliest hu
mor, like high-spirited people upon a
new adventure; and Isabel waved her
handkerchief dashingly as the cutter
flashed by them.
"For , the Lord's- sake!" George
"Your mother's a dear," said Lucy.
Ing things ! She looked like a Russian
princess, though I doubt if they're that
George said nothing ; he drove on
till they had crossed Amberson addi
tion and reached the stone pillars at
the head of National avenue. There
"Let's go back and take another look
at that old sewing machine," he said.
ziest " .
He left the sentence unfinished, and'
presently they were again In sight of
the old sewing machine. George shout
Alas ! three figures stood in the road,
and a pair of legs with the toes turned
up indicated that a fourth figure lay
upon its back in the snow, beneath a
horseless carriage that had decided to
need a horse.
George became vociferous with
laughter, and coming up to his trot
ter's best gait, snow spraying from
runners and every hoof, swerved to
the side of the road and shot by shout
ing, "Git a hoss ! .N Git a hoss ! Git a
Three hundred yards away he turned
and came back, racing; leaning out
as he passed, to wave jeeringly at the
group about the disabled machine:
"Git a hoss!. Git a hoss! Git a"
The trotter had broken into a gallop,
and Lucy cried a warning: "Be care
ful!" she said. "Look where you're
driving! There's a ditch on that side.
George turned too late; the cutter's
right runner went Into the ditch and
snapped off ; the little sleigh upset,
and, after dragging Its occupants some
fifteen yards, left them lying together
in a bank of snow. Then the vigorous
young horse kicked himself free of
all annoyances and disappeared down
the road, galloping cheerfully.
When George regained some meas
ure of his presence of mind Miss Lucy
Morgan's cheek, snowy and cold, was
pressing his nose slightly to one side;
and p. monstrous amount of her fur
boa seemed to mingle with an equally
unplausible quantity of snow - in his
mouth. He was confused, but con
scious of no objection to . any of these
juxtapositions. She was apparently
uninjured, for she sat up, hatless, her
hair down, and said mildly:
Though her father had been under
his machine when they passed, he was
the first to reach them. . He threw
himself on his knees beside his daugh
ter, but found her already laughing.
I and was reassured. "They're ' all
right," i he called to Isabel, who was
running toward them, ahead of her
brother and Fanny Minafer. , "This
I snowbank's a feather bed nothing
the matter with them at all. Don't
look so pale !"
"Georgle I" she gasped. "Georgle!
-Georgle was on his feet, snow all
"Don't make a fuss, mother ! Noth
ing's the matter. That darned silly
Sudden tears stood In Isabel's eyes.
"To see you down underneath drag-
I ging oh ! " Then with shaking
hands ' she began to brush the snow
"Let me alone," he protested. "You'll
ruin your gloves. You'r getting snow
i all over you, and'
'"No, no I she cried. : fTouTl catch I
cum jruu uusia caiui vuiui &uu
she continued to brush him. .
1 J . . . -1 U 1 J I A J
Miss Fanny acted as lady's maid; and
both victims of the accident were
presently restored to about their usual
appearance and condition of apparel." I
in fact, encouraged by the two older
gentlemen, the entire party, with one
exception, decided that the episode
was after all a merry one. and bezan
to laugh about it. But 'George was
glummer than the December twilight 1
now .rwiftly closing in.
"That darned horse !" he said.
"I wouldn't bother about Pendennls,
Georgle," said his uncle. "You can
send a man out for what's left of the
cutter tomorrow, and Pendennls will
gallop home to his stable: he'll be
there a long while before we will, be:
cause all we've got to depend on to
get us home is Gene Morgan's broken-
down chafing dish yonder."
They were approaching the machine
as he spoke, and his friend, again un
derneath it, heard him. He emerged,
smiling. "Shell go," he said.
He offered his Hand to Isabel. She
was smiling but still pale, and her
eyes, in spite of the smile, kept upon
George in a shocked . anxiety. Miss
Fanny had already mounted to the
rear seat, and George, after helping
Lucy Morgan to climb p beside his
aunt, was following. Isabel saw that
his shoes' were light things of patent
leather, and that snow was clinging
to them. She made a little rush
toward him, and, as one of his feet
rested on the iron step of the machine,
in mounting, she began to clean the
snow from his shoe with her almost
aerial lace handkerchief. i"You mustn't
catch cold!" she cried.
. "Stop that !" George shouted, and
furiously withdrew i his1 foot. "For
heaven's sake get in! You're stand
ing in the snow yourself. Get in!"
Isabel consented, turning to Morgan,
whose habitual expression of appre-
hensiveness was somewhat accentu
ated. He climbed up after her, George
Amberson having gone to the other
side. "You're the same Isabel I used
to know!" he said In a low voice.
"You're a divinely ridiculous woman.'
"Am I, Eugene?" she said, not dis
pleased. "'Divinely' and 'ridiculous
just counterbalance each other, don't
they? Plus one and minus one equal
nothing; so you mean I'm nothing in
jno, ne answered, tugging at a
lever. "That doesn't seem to be pre
cisely what I meant. There!" This
exclamation referred to the subterra
nean machinery, for dismaying sounds
came from beneath the floor, and the
vehicle plunged, then rolled noisily
"Jtsenoiar' ueorge Amoerson ex
claimed. ."She does move! It must
be another accident"
"'Accident?'" Morgan shouted over
the "din. "No ! She breathes, she
stirs ; she seems to feel a thrill of life
along her keel !" And ha began to
sing "The Star Spangled Banner."
Amberson joined him lustily, and
sang on when Morgan stopped. His
nephew, behind, was gloomy. He had
overheard his mother's conversation
with the inventor: it seemed curious
to him that this Morgan, of whom he
had never heard, until last night,
should be using tne name "isaDei" so
easily; and George felt that it was not
just the thing for, his mother to call
Morgan "Eugene ;" the resentment of
the previous night came upon George
again. Meanwhile his mother and
Morgan continued their talk; but he
could no longer hear what they said;
the noise of the car and his uncle's
songful mood prevented. He marked
how animated Isabel seemed; it was
not strange to' see his mother so gay,
but It was strange that a man not of
the family should be the cause of
her gayety. And George sat f rowning.
Lucy turned to him. "You tried to
swing underneath me and break the
fall for me when we went over," she
said. "I knew you were doing that,
and it was nice of you."
"Wasn't any fall to speak of," he
returned brusquely. 'Couldn't have
hurt either of us."
"Still It was friendly, of you and
awfully quick- too. Til not Til not
forget it i"
Her voice had a sound of genuine
ness, very pleasant, and George be
san to forget his annoyance with her
1 father. This anaoyance of bis had not
heen lailgTlated by the cfrcnattcace
that neither of the seats of the old
sewing machine -was ? designed i for,
three people, but when his . neighbor
spoke thus ' gratefully he no longer
minded the crowding in fact,. It
pleased him so much that he began to
wish the old' sewing machine would go
even slower, George presently ad
dressed Lucy hurriedly, almost trem
ulously, speaking close to her, ear:
"I forgot to tell you something:
you're pretty nice ! I thought so the
first second I saw you last night. Ill
come for you tonight and take you to ,
the Assembly at the Amberson hoteL
You're going, aren't you?"
'Yes, but Tm going with papa and
the Sharons. Til see you there."
'Well, we'll dance the cotillion to
JL Ul (All tttvl UVU Mi u&uuiltju
Kinney." v V
"What PV George's tone was
shocked, as at incredible news. "WelL
you could break that engagement, I
guess, if you wanted to ! Girls always
can get out of things when they want
to. Won't you?"
"I don't think so."
"Because I promised him. Several
"See here !" said the stricken George. .
If you're going to decline to dance
that cotillion with me simply becauss
you've promised a a a miserable
red-headed outsider like Fred Kinney,
why we might as well quit!"
"You know perfectly well what I
mean," he said nusKiiy.
"Well, you ought to!"
"But I don't at all!"
Gecrge, thoroughly hurt, and not a
little embittered, expressed himself
in a short outburst of laughter: "Well,
I ought to have aeen It!"
"That you might turn out to be a
girl who'd like a fellow of the red
headed Kinney sort. I ought to have
seen it from the first !"
Lucy bore her disgrace lightly. "Oh,
dancing a cotillion with a person
doesn't mean that you like him but
I don't see anything in particular the
matter with Mr. Kinney. What is
"I prefer not to discass said
George curtly. "He's la enemy of
"I prefer not to discus i it.
"I prefer not to discus is it !"
"Very well." She begin to hum tne
air of the song which Ml.. George Am
berson was now dlscourling, "O moom
of my delight that ki)ort8 no wane"
and there was no furfcer conversation
on the back seat. -
The contrivance Itofped with t.
heart-shaking jerk btffore Isabel's
house. The gentlemf to . Jumped down.
helping Isabel and Fitmry to descend;
there were friendly 1 fcalie takings and
one that was not prelsty friendly. - ,
"It's au revolt till toiight, isn't itr
Lucy asked, laughing . - -
"Good afternoon !" Bali Geofge, and
he did not wait, as Ml n datives did, to
see the old sewing mitehine start brisk
ly down the street, (toward the Shar-.
ona; Its lighter load consisting now
of only Mr. Morgan find his daughter.
George went Into -th-i house at once.
He found his fat ker reading the
evening paper in the library. "Where
are your mother and yozr Aunt Fan
ny?" Mr. Minafer in uVred; not look
ing up. A
"They're coming," skid his son; and,
casting himself heavily Into a chair,
stared at the fire.
His prediction wa verified a few
moments later ; the tfevo ladles came,
in cheerfully, unfastening their fur
cloaks. "It's all rlghj, Georgle," said
Isabel. "Your Uncle Beorge called to
us that Pendennls jiit home safely.
Put your shoes 'close to the fire, dear,
or else go and changl them."
"Look here," said Jeorge abruptly.
"How about this man 'Morgan and hit
old sewing machine? Dotn't he want
to get grandfather tc puf ; money into
it? Isn't he trying to work Uncle
George for that? Isc It that what he's
up to?" v .
It was Miss Fannj who responded
"You little silly!" sh cried, with sur
prising sharpness. ''What on earth
aro you talking abou!?, Eugene Mor
gan's perfectly able t( Cjma his own
Inventions these dayii"'
"He strikes me t is that sort of
man," George answered doggedly.
"Isn't he, father?"
Minafer set down I Us r&per for the;
moment. "He was a ?feMy wild young;
fellow twenty years '. . .i he said
glancing at his wife absently. "JBfj
was like you in one tVlng, Georgle; he)
spent too much money J only .he,didnt;
have any mother to get money out of!
a grandfather for him, to he was usu
ally in debt. But I bell eve I've heard.
he's done fairly well f late years-.
No, I can't say I . tnlnl he's .a swin4
dler, and I doubt if he needs anybody f
else's money to back fcsrse.ro ,car-i
riage." . ; . ,
"Well, what's he brought: the eta(
thing here for, then? Pe file that own.
elephants don't take Oir elephants'
around with 'em when they go visit-1
ing. What's he got it huptqrF
Tm sure I don't lknriH " said Mr.
Minafer, resuming . his pw?. 'Torn'
might ask him." -
Isabel laughed and patted her bus1
band's . shoulder again. "Aren't yotii
going to dress? Are't we all going(
to the dance?" t
It proves to to & happy
cotillion for George and
(TO BB COM? IKIIC&J