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Title: Dodsworth (1929)
Author: Sinclair Lewis
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Language:   English
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Title:      Dodsworth
Author:     Sinclair Lewis


The aristocracy of Zenith were dancing at the Kennepoose Canoe
Club.  They two-stepped on the wide porch, with its pillars of pine
trunks, its bobbing Japanese lanterns; and never were there dance-
frocks with wider sleeves nor hair more sensuously piled on little
smiling heads, never an August evening more moon-washed and
spacious and proper for respectable romance.

Three guests had come in these new-fangled automobiles, for it was
now 1903, the climax of civilization.  A fourth automobile was
approaching, driven by Samuel Dodsworth.

The scene was a sentimental chromo--crisping lake, lovers in canoes
singing "Nelly Was a Lady," all very lugubrious and happy; and Sam
Dodsworth enjoyed it.  He was a large and formidable young man,
with a healthy brown mustache and a chaos of brown hair on a
massive head.  He was, at twenty-eight, assistant superintendent of
that most noisy and unsentimental institution, the Zenith
Locomotive Works, and in Yale (class of 1896) he had played better
than average football, but he thought well of the most sentimental
sorts of moonlight.

Tonight he was particularly uplifted because he was driving his
first car.  And it was none of your old-fashioned "gasoline
buggies," with the engine under the seat.  The engine bulked in
front, under a proud hood over two feet long, and the steering
column was not straight but rakishly tilted.  The car was sporting
and rather dangerous, and the lights were powerful affairs fed by
acetylene gas.  Sam sped on, with a feeling of power, of dominating
the universe, at twelve dizzy miles an hour.

At the Canoe Club he was greeted by Tub Pearson, admirable in white
kid gloves.  Tub--Thomas J. Pearson--round and short and jolly,
class-jester and class-dandy at Yale, had been Sam Dodsworth's
roommate and chief admirer throughout college, but now Tub had
begun to take on an irritable dignity as teller and future
president of his father's bank in zenith.

"It runs!" Tub marveled, as Sam stepped in triumph from the car.
"I've got a horse all ready to tow you back!"

Tub had to be witty, whatever happened.

"Certainly it runs!  I'll bet I was up to eighteen miles an hour!"

"Yeh!  I'll bet that some day automobiles'll run forty!" Tub
jeered.  "Sure!  Why, they'll just about drive the poor old horse
right off the highway!"

"They will!  And I'm thinking of tying up with this new Revelation
Company to manufacture 'em."

"Not seriously, you poor chump?"


"Oh, my Lord!" Tub wailed affectionately.  "Don't be crazy, Sambo!
My dad says automobiles are nothing but a fad.  Cost too much to
run.  In five years, he says, they'll disappear."

Sam's answer was not very logical:

"Who's the young angel on the porch?"

If she was an angel, the girl at whom Sam was pointing, she was an
angel of ice; slim, shining, ash-blonde, her self-possessed voice
very cool as she parried the complimentary teasing of half a dozen
admirers; a crystal candle-stick of a girl among black-and-white
lumps of males.

"You remember her--Frances Voelker--Fran Voelker--old Herman's kid.
She's been abroad for a year, and she was East, in finishing-
school, before that.  Just a brat--isn't over nineteen or twenty,
I guess.  Golly, they say she speaks German and French and Italian
and Woof-woof and all known languages."

Herman Voelker had brewed his way into millions and respectability.
His house was almost the largest in Zenith--certainly it had the
greatest amount of turrets, colored glass windows, and lace
curtains--and he was leader among the German-Americans who were
supplanting the New Englanders throughout the state as controllers
of finance and merchandising.  He entertained German professors
when they came lecturing and looking, and it was asserted that one
of the genuine hand-painted pictures which he had recently brought
back from Nuremberg was worth nearly ten thousand dollars.  A
worthy citizen, Herman, and his tart beer was admirable, but that
this beef-colored burgher should have fathered anything so poised
and luminous as Fran was a miracle.

The sight of her made Sam Dodsworth feel clumsy as a St. Bernard
looking at a white kitten.  While he prophesied triumphs for the
motor car, while he danced with other girls, he observed her airy
dancing and her laughter.  Normally, he was not particularly afraid
of young women, but Fran Voelker seemed too fragile for his thick
hands.  Not till ten did he speak to her, when a partner left her,
a flushed Corybant, in a chair near Sam's.

"Do you remember me--Dodsworth?  Years since I've seen you."

"Remember!  Heavens!  I wondered if you were going to notice me.
I used to steal the newspaper from Dad to get the news of your
football heroisms.  And when I was a nice young devil of eight,
you once chased me out of your orchard for stealing apples."

"Did I?  Wouldn't dare to now!  Mavenex' dance?"

"Well--Let me see.  Oh.  The next is with Levering Mott, and he's
already ruined three of my two slippers.  Yes."

If he did not dance with any particular neatness, a girl knew where
she was, with Sam Dodsworth.  He had enough strength and decision
to let a young woman understand who was doing the piloting.  With
Fran Voelker, he was inspired; he waltzed as though he was proud of
his shining burden.  He held her lightly enough and, after the
chaste custom of the era, his hands were gloved.  But his finger-
tips felt a current from her body.  He knew that she was the most
exquisite child in the world; he knew that he was going to marry
her and keep her forever in a shrine; he knew that after years of
puzzled wonder about the purpose of life, he had found it.

"She's like a lily--no, she's too lively.  She's like a humming
bird--no, too kind of dignified.  She's--oh, she's a flame!"

They sat talking by the lake at midnight.  Out on the dappled
water, seen through a cloud of willow leaves, the youngsters in
canoes were now singing "My Old Kentucky Home."  Zenith was still
in the halcyon William Dean Howells days; not yet had it become the
duty of young people to be hard and brisk, and knowing about
radios, jazz, and gin.

Fran was a white shadow, in a lace shawl over her thin yellow
dancing frock, as she drooped down on a newspaper which he had
solemnly spread for her on the long grass.  Sam trembled a little,
and sounded very pompous, rather boyish:

"I suppose you went everywhere in Europe."

"More or less.  France and Spain and Austria and Switzerland and--
Oh, I've seen the Matterhorn by moonlight, and Santa Maria della
Salute at dawn.  And I've been almost frozen to death in a mistral
at Avignon!"

"I suppose you'll be bored in Zenith."

She laughed, in a small competent way.  "I know SO much about
Europe--I'm no Cook's tripper!--that I know I don't know anything!
All I can do in French is to order breakfast.  Six months from now,
all I'll remember of Germany is the names of nineteen towns, and
how the Potsdamer Platz looks when you're waiting for a droschke.
But you've DONE things.  What are you doing now, by the way?"

"Assistant supe at the Locomotive Works.  But I'm going to take a
big gamble and--Ever ride in an automobile?"

"Oh yes, several times, in Paris and New York."

"Well, I believe that in twenty years, say by 1923 or '4, they'll
be as common as buggies are now!  I'm going in on a new company
here--Revelation Automobile Company.  I'll get less salary, but
it's a swell gamble.  Wonderful future.  I've been working on my
mechanical drawing lately, and I've got the idea that they ought to
get away from imitating carriages.  Make a--it sounds highbrow, but
I mean what you might call a new kind of beauty for autos.  Kind of
long straight lines.  The Revelation boss thinks I'm crazy.  What
do you think?"

"Oh, splendid!"

"And I've bought me an automobile of my own."

"Oh, really?"

"Let me drive you home tonight!"

"No, sorry; Mama is coming for me."

"You've got to let me take you for a ride.  Soon!"

"Perhaps next Sunday. . . .  We must go back to the clubhouse,
don't you think?"

He sprang up, meekly.  As he lifted her to her feet, as he felt her
slim hands, he murmured, "Certainly like to see Europe some day.
When I graduated, I thought I'd be a civil engineer and see the
Brazil jungle and China and all over.  Reg'lar Richard Harding
Davis stuff!  But--Certainly going to see Europe, anyway.  Maybe I
might run into you over there, and you might show me some of it."

"I'd love to!"

Ah, if she desired Europe, he would master it, and give it to her
on a platter of polished gold!

There was the telephone call to her when he should have been
installing machinery at the Revelation Automobile Company.  There
was the drive with her in his new car, very careful, though once he
ventured on seventeen miles an hour.  There was the dinner at the
Voelkers', in the room with carved beams like a Hofbrauhaus, and
Sam's fear that if Fran was kept on food like this, roast goose and
stuffed cabbage and soup with Leberknodel, she would lose her race-
horse slimness.

And there was even a moment when, recalling his vow made in
Massachusetts Tech after graduating from Yale that he would cut
loose from America and see the great world, he warned himself that
between Fran and tying himself to the urgent new motor industry, he
would be caught for life.  The vision of himself as a Richard
Harding Davis hero returned wistfully. . . .  Riding a mountain
trail, two thousand sheer feet above a steaming valley; sun-helmet
and whipcord breeches; tropical rain on a tin-roofed shack; a shot
in the darkness as he sat over a square-face of gin with a ragged
tramp of Noble Ancestry.  But his mind fled back to the excitement
of Fran's image: her spun-glass hair, her tingling hands, her lips
that were forever pursing in fantastic pouts, her chatter that fell
suddenly into inexplicable silence, her cool sureness that made him
feel foggy and lumbering.

In a slaty November drizzle, they were tramping the cliffs along
the Chaloosa River.  Fran's cheeks were alight and she was humming,
but when they stopped to look at the wash of torn branches in the
flooded river Sam felt that he must be protective.  She was too
slight and precious for such hardship as an autumnal rain.  He drew
the edge of his mackintosh over her woolly English topcoat.

"You must be soaked!  I'm a brute to let you stay out!"

She smiled at him, very close.  "I like it!"

It seemed to him that she had snuggled closer.  He kissed her--for
the first time, and very badly indeed.

"Oh, please don't!" she begged, a little shocked, her lively self-
possession gone.

"Fran, you've got to marry me!"

She slipped from the shelter of his raincoat and, arms akimbo, said
impishly, "Oh, really?  Is that a new law?"

"It is!"

"The great Yale athlete speaks!  The automobile magnate!"

Very gravely:  "No, just a scared lump of meat that's telling you
he worships you!"

Still she stared at him, among the autumn-bedraggled weeds on the
river bank; she stared impudently, but quite suddenly she broke,
covered her eyes with her hands, and while he clumsily dabbled at
her cheeks with a huge handkerchief, she sobbed:

"Oh, Sam, my dear, but I'm so grasping!  I want the whole world,
not just Zenith!  I DON'T want to be a good wife and mother and
play cribbage prettily!  I want splendor!  Great horizons!  Can we
look for them together?"

"We will!" said Sam.

It was not till 1908, when he had been married for five years to
Fran Voelker and they had had two babies, Emily and Brent, that
Samuel Dodsworth came on his real struggle at the Revelation
Automobile Company.

His superiors in the company had equally prized him for his
steadiness and industry and fretted at him for being a dreamer.
He was crazy as a poet, they said.  Not only did he venture to
blaspheme against the great Renault-Darracq dogmas of car-
designing, not only did he keep on raving about long "stream-
lines," but he insisted that the largest profits would lie in
selling automobiles as cheaply as possible to as many customers as
possible.  He was only assistant manager of production in 1908, but
he owned a little stock, and his father-in-law, portly old Herman
Voelker, owned more.  It was hard to discharge Sam, even when he
growled at the president of the company, "If you keep the Rev
looking like the one-horse-shay, we'll go bankrupt."

They tried to buy him out, and Sam, who had been absorbed in blue
prints and steel castings, had to learn something about the tricks
of financing: about bonds, transfer of stock, call loans, discounts
to dealers.  With Voelker's money behind him, he secured twenty-
three per cent. of the stock, he was made vice president and
manager of production, he brought out the first four-door model,
and he saw the Revelation become the sensation of America for a
season and one of its best-selling cars for a score of years.

And never, these twenty years, did he come nearer to the Brazilian
jungle than Wall Street, nearer to the tinkling pagodas than the
Revelation agency in Kansas City.

But he was too busy to be discontented; and he managed to believe
that Fran loved him.


Samuel Dodsworth discovered that there was a snowstorm, nearly a
blizzard, whirling about the house.  He closed the windows with a
bang and plumped back into bed till the room should be warm.  He
did not move so swiftly as he once had, and above the frogged silk
pajamas which Fran insisted on buying for him, his hair was gray.
He was healthy enough, and serene, but he was tired, and he seemed
far older than his fifty years.

Fran was asleep in the farther of the twin beds, vast walnut
structures with yellow silk draping.  Sam looked about the bedroom.
He had sometimes caught himself wondering if it wasn't too
elaborate, but usually its floridness pleased him, not only as a
sign of success but because it suited the luxurious Fran.  Now he
noted contentedly the chaise longue, with a green and silver robe
across it; the desk, with monogrammed stationery very severe and
near-English and snobbish; Fran's bedside table, with jeweled
traveling-clock, cigarettes, and the new novels; the bathroom with
its purple tiles.

Fran stirred, sighed and, while he chuckled at her resemblance to a
child trying to slip back into dreams, she furiously burrowed her
eyes into the little lacy pillow, which was crumpled with her
determined sleeping.

"No use," he said.  His rather heavy voice caressed her.  "You know
you're awake!  Rise and shine!  Face the problems of humanity and
the grape fruit!"

She sat up, looking at him with the astonishment she had never
quite lost at being married, breaking a yawn with a smile, tousling
her bobbed hair that was still ash-blond, without gray.  If Sam
seemed older than his age, she was far younger.  She was forty-one
now, in 1925, but, rosy with sleeping, she seemed thirty-one.

"I'm going to have breakfast in bed you're smoking before breakfast
again I haven't had breakfast in bed since yesterday," she yawned
amiably, while he swung his thick legs over the edge of his lilac
satin comforter and lighted a cigarette.

"Yes.  Stay in bed.  Like to, myself.  Devil of a snowstorm," he
said, paddling round to stroke her hair, to nuzzle his ruddy cheek
against her soft fairness.  "By the way, did I ever remember to
tell you that I adore you?"

"Why--let me see--no, I don't believe so."

"Golly, I'm getting absent-minded!  I'll have my secretary remind
me to do it tomorrow."  Seriously:  "Realize that we finally wind
up the old Revelation Company today?  Sort of sorry."

"No!  I'm not a bit sorry!  I'm delighted.  You'll be free for the
first time in all these years.  Let's run off some place.  Oh,
don't let yourself get tied up with anything new!  So silly.  We
have enough money, and you go on stewing--'must change the design
of the carburetor float--simply must sell more cars in the
territory between Medicine Hat and Woolawoola.'  So silly!  What
does it MATTER!  Do ring for the maid, darling."

"Well, no, maybe it doesn't matter, but fellow likes to do his job.
It's kind of a battle; fun to beat the other fellow and put over a
thundering big sale.  But I am rather tired.  Wouldn't mind
skipping off to Florida or some place."


He had dutifully brought her heavy silver mirror, her brush and
comb, her powder, her too-gorgeous lounging robe of Chinese
brocade.  When she had made herself a bit older by making herself
youthful, she sat up in bed to read the Zenith Advocate-Times.  If
she looked fluffy and agreeably useless, there was nothing fluffy
in her sharp comments on the news.  She sounded like a woman of
many affairs, many committees.

"Humph!  That idiot-boy alderman, Klingenger, is going to oppose
our playground bill.  I'll wring his neck! . . .  The D.A.R. are
going to do another pageant.  I will NOT be Martha Washington!
You might be George.  You have his detestable majesticness."

"Me?" as he came from his bath.  "I'm a clown.  Wait till you see
me in Florida!"

"Yes.  Pitching horseshoes.  I wouldn't put it past you, my
beloved! . . .  Huh!  It says here the Candlelight Club expect to
have Hugh Walpole lecture, next season.  I'll see our program
committee pinches him off 'em."

He was slowly dressing.  He always wore large grave suits, brown or
gray or plain blue, expensively tailored and not very interesting,
with decorous and uninteresting ties of dull silk and no jewelry
save a watch-chain.  But though you were not likely to see what he
wore, you noted him as a man of importance, as an executive, tall,
deep-chested, his kind eyes never truculent, but his mouth serious,
with crescents of wrinkles beside it.  His gray-threaded brown
mustache, trimmed every week by the best barber at the best hotel,
was fully as eccentric and showy as a doormat.

He made his toilet like a man who never wasted motions--and who,
incidentally, had a perfectly organized household to depend upon.
His hand went surely to the tall pile of shirts (Fran ordered them
from Jermyn Street) in the huge Flemish armoire, and to the glacial
nest of collars, always inspected by the parlor maid and discarded
for the slightest fraying.  He tied his tie, not swiftly but with
the unwasteful and extremely unadventurous precision of a man who
has introduced as much "scientific efficiency" into daily
domesticity as into his factory.

He kissed her and, while she nibbled at sweetbreads and drank her
coffee in bird-like sips and furiously rattled the newspaper in
bed, he marched down-stairs to the oak-beamed dining-room.  Over a
second copy of the Advocate, and a Chicago paper, he ponderously
and thoroughly attended to orange juice, porridge and thick cream,
bacon, corn cakes and syrup, and coffee in a cup twice as large as
the cup which Fran was jiggling in her thin hand as she galloped
through the paper up-stairs.

To the maid he said little, and that amiably, as one certain that
he would be well served.  He was not extraordinarily irritable even
when he was informed that Emily, his engaging daughter, had been up
late at a dance and would not be down for breakfast.  He liked
Emily's morning gossip, but he never dreamed of demanding her
presence--of demanding anything from her.  He smiled over the
letter of his son, Brent, now a junior in Yale.

Samuel Dodsworth was, perfectly, the American Captain of Industry,
believing in the Republican Party, high tariff and, so long as they
did not annoy him personally, in prohibition and the Episcopal
Church.  He was the president of the Revelation Motor Company; he
was a millionaire, though decidedly not a multimillionaire; his
large house was on Ridge Crest, the most fashionable street in
Zenith; he had some taste in etchings; he did not split many
infinitives; and he sometimes enjoyed Beethoven.  He would
certainly (so the observer assumed) produce excellent motor cars;
he would make impressive speeches to the salesmen; but he would
never love passionately, lose tragically, nor sit in contented
idleness upon tropic shores.

To define what Sam Dodsworth was, at fifty, it is easiest to state
what he was not.  He was none of the things which most Europeans
and many Americans expect in a leader of American industry.  He was
not a Babbitt, not a Rotarian, not an Elk, not a deacon.  He rarely
shouted, never slapped people on the back, and he had attended only
six baseball games since 1900.  He knew, and thoroughly, the
Babbitts and baseball fans, but only in business.

While he was bored by free verse and cubism, he thought rather
well of Dreiser, Cabell, and so much of Proust as he had rather
laboriously mastered.  He played golf reasonably well and did not
often talk of his scores.  He liked fishing-camps in Ontario, but
never made himself believe that he preferred hemlock boughs to a
mattress.  He was common sense apotheosized, he had the energy and
reliability of a dynamo, he liked whisky and poker and pate de foie
gras, and all the while he dreamed of motors like thunderbolts, as
poets less modern than himself might dream of stars and roses and
nymphs by a pool.

A crisis in life had been forced on him, for his Revelation Company
was being absorbed by the Unit Automotive Company--the imperial
U.A.C., with its seven makes of motors, its body-building works,
its billion dollars of capital.  Alec Kynance, president of the
U.A.C., was in Zenith, and today the final transfer of holdings was
to be made.

Sam had wanted to fight the U.A.C., to keep independent this
creation to which he had devoted twenty-two years, but his fellow
directors were afraid.  The U.A.C. could put on the market a car as
good as the Revelation at a lower price, and drive them from the
market.  If necessary, the U.A.C. could sell below cost for a year
or two.  But they wanted the Revelation label and would pay for it.
And the U.A.C. cossacks were good fellows.  They did not treat Sam
like a captive, but as a fellow warrior, to be welcomed to their
larger army, so at the last Sam hid from himself the belief that
the U.A.C., with their mass production, would cheapen and ruin the
Revelation and turn his thunderbolt into a standardized cigar-
lighter, and he had agreed to their generous purchase price.

He was not happy about it, when he let himself think abstractly.
But he was extremely well trained, from his first days in Zenith
High School, in not letting himself do anything so destructive as
abstract thinking.

Sam clumped up-stairs and found Fran, very brisk, fairly cheerful,
still in her brocade dressing-gown but crouching over her desk,
dashing off notes: suggestions to partisans in her various clubs,
orders to the secretaries of the leagues which she supported--
leagues for the study of democracy, leagues for the blind,
societies for the collection of statistics about the effect of
alcohol on plantation-hands in Mississippi.  She was interested in
every aspect of these leagues except perhaps the purposes for which
they had been founded, and no Indiana politician was craftier at
soaping enemies, advising friends, and building up a political
machine to accomplish nothing in particular.

She shone at Sam as he lumbered in, but she said abruptly, "Sit
down, please.  I want to talk to you."

("Oh, Lord, what have I done now?")  He sat meekly in a chintz-
covered overstuffed chair.

"Sam!  I've been thinking lately.  I didn't want to speak to you
about it till you had the U.A.C. business all finished.  But I'm
afraid you'll get yourself tied up with some new job, and I want to
go to Europe!"


"Wait!  This may be our only chance, the only time you'll be free
till we're so old we won't enjoy wandering.  Let's take the chance!
There'll be time for you to create a dozen new kinds of cars when
we come back.  You'll do it all the better if you have a real rest.
A real one!  I don't want to go just for a few months, but for a
solid year."

"Good Heavens!"

"Yes, they are good!  Think!  Here's Emily going to be married next
month.  Then she won't need us.  Brent has enough friends in
college.  He won't need us.  I can chuck all these beastly clubs
and everything.  They don't mean anything; they're just make-
believe, to keep me busy.  I'm a very active female, Sam, and I
want to do something besides sitting around Zenith.  Think what we
could do!  Spring on the Italian Lakes!  Motoring through the
Tyrol!  London in the Season!  And I've never seen Europe since I
was a girl, and you've never seen it at all.  Let yourself have a
good time for once!  Trust me, can't you, dear?"

"Well, it would be kind of nice to get away from the grind.  I'd
like to look over the Rolls-Royce and Mercedes plants.  And see
Paris and the Alps.  But a year--That's a long time.  I think we'd
get pretty tired of Europe, living around in hotels.  But--I really
haven't made any plans.  The U.A.C. business was so sudden.  I
would like to see Italy.  Those hill-towns must be very curious.
And so old.  We'll talk about it tonight.  Auf wiedersehen, old

He tramped out, apparently as dependable as an old Newfoundland and
as little given to worrying about anything more complex than the
hiding-places of bones.  But he was fretting as he sat erect in his
limousine, while Smith drove him into town.

These moments of driving were the only times when he was alone.
He was as beset by people--his wife, his daughter, his son, his
servants, his office-staff, his friends at lunch and on the golf
course--as in his most frenziedly popular days at college, when it
had been his "duty to old Yale" to be athletic and agreeable, and
never to be alone, certainly never to sit and think.  People came
to him, swarmed about him, wanted his advice and his money and the
spiritual support which they found in his ponderous caution.  Yet
he liked to be alone, he liked to meditate, and he made up for it
on these morning rides.

"She's right," he worried.  "I'd better not let her know how right
she is, or she'll yank me off to London before I can pack my flask.
I wonder--Oh yes, of course, she does care for me, a lot.  But
sometimes I wish she weren't quite so good a manager.  She just
tries to amuse me by playing at being a kitten.  She isn't one, not
by a long shot.  She's a greyhound.  Sometimes when I'm tired, I
wish she just wanted to cuddle up and be lazy with me.  She's
quicksilver.  And quicksilver is hard, when you try to compress it!

"Oh, that's unfair.  She's been the best wife--I haven't given
enough time to courting her, what with all this cursed business.
And I'm tired of business.  Like to sit around and chat and get
acquainted with myself.  And I'm tired of these streets!"

The limousine was laboring through a gusty snowstorm, skidding a
bit on icy asphalt, creaking and lumbering as it climbed over
drifts.  The windows of the car were frost-emblazoned.  Sam
impatiently cleared a peep-hole with the heel of his glove.

They were creeping along Conklin Avenue, where the dreary rows of
old red brick mansions, decayed into boarding houses, the cheap
grocery shops and dirty laundries and gloomy little "undertaking
parlors" and lunch-rooms with the blatant sign "Eats," not very
entrancing at any time, were turned by the rags of blown snow into
the bleakness of a lumber-camp, while the breadth of the street
made it only the more shelterless and unintimate.  On either side
were streets of signboards advertising oil and cigarettes, of
wooden one-story shacks between old-fashioned yellow brick
tenement-houses gloomy in the sunless snow; a region of poverty
without picturesqueness and of labor without hope.

"Oh, Lord, I'd like to get away from it!  Be nice to see the
Mediterranean and a little sunshine," Sam muttered.  "Let's go!"

The General Offices of the Revelation Motor Company were in an
immense glass and marble building on Constitution Avenue, North,
above Court House Square, opposite the flashing new skyscraper of
the Plymouth National Bank.  The entrance to the floor given to
executive offices was like the lobby of a pretentious hotel--
waiting-room in brocade and tapestry and Grand Rapids renaissance;
then something like an acre of little tables with typists and
typists and typists, very busy, and clerks and clerks and clerks,
with rattling papers; and a row of private offices resembling
furniture showrooms, distinguished by enormous desks in imitation
of refectory tables, covered with enormous sheets of plate glass,
and fanatically kept free of papers and all jolly disorder.

The arrival of President Dodsworth was like that of a General
Commanding.  "Good morning!" rumbled the uniformed doorman, a
retired sergeant.  "Good MORNING!" chirped the girl at the
inquiry desk, a charming girl whose gentleman-friend was said to be
uncommonly high up in the fur business.  "Good morning!" indicated
the typists and clerks, their heads bowing like leaves agitated by
a flitting breeze as he strode by them.  "GOOD morning!" caroled
Sam's private stenographer as he entered his own office.  "GOOD
MORNING!" shouted his secretary, an offensively high-pressure young
slave-driver.  And even the red-headed Jewish office boy, as he
took Sam's coat and hung it up so that it would not dry,
condescended "Mornin', boss."

Yet today all this obsequiousness, normally not unpleasant to the
Great Man, annoyed him; all this activity, this proof that ever so
many people were sending out ever so many letters about things
presumably of importance, seemed to him an irritating fussiness.
What did it matter whether he had another hundred thousand dollars
to leave to Brent?  What did it matter whether John B. Johnson of
Jonesburg did or did not take the local Revelation agency?  Why
were all these hundreds of young people willing to be turned into
machines for the purposes of rattling papers and bowing to the

The Great Man approached his desk, put on his eye-glasses, and
graciously received a stock-report, as one accomplishing empires.

But the Great Man was thinking:

"They make me tired--poor devils!  Come on, Fran!  Let's go!  Let's
drift way round to China!"

Alec Kynance, president of the Unit Automotive Company, with his
regiment of officers, lawyers, secretaries, was not coming for half
an hour.  Sam said impulsively to his stenographer, "Miss Rachman,
skip down to the travel bureau at the Thornleigh, won't you please,
and bring me all the steamship folders and European travel
information and so on that they have there.  And round-the-world."

While he waited for her he turned over the papers in the wire
basket which his secretary had reverently laid on the glass-topped
vastness of his desk.  These matters had seemed significant a few
days ago, like orders given in battle, but now that the Revelation
Company was no longer his--

He sighed, he shuffled the papers indifferently:  The secret report
on the dissipations of the manager of the Northwestern Division.
The plans of the advertising agency for notices about the union of
the U.A.C. and the Revelation, which was to be announced with glad,
gaudy public rejoicing.  What did they MATTER, now that he was
turned from a bandit captain to a clerk?

For the first time he admitted that if he went to the U.A.C., even
as first vice president, he would be nothing more than an office
boy.  He could make no daring decisions by himself. THEY had
taken from him the pride in pioneering which was one of his props
in life--and who THEY were, he didn't quite know. THEY were
something more than just Alec Kynance and a few other officers of
the U.A.C. THEY were part of a booming industrial flood which was
sweeping over him. THEY would give him a larger house, a yacht,
but THEY would not give him work that was really his own.  He had
helped to build a machine which was running away from him.  He had
no longer the dignity of a craftsman.  He made nothing; he meant
nothing; he was no longer Samuel Dodsworth, but merely part of a
crowd vigorously pushing one another toward nowhere.

He wandered to the window.  In that blast of snow, the shaft of the
Plymouth National Bank Building was aspiring as a cathedral; twenty
gray stories, with unbroken vertical lines swooping up beyond his
vision into the snowy fog.  It had nobility, but it seemed cruel,
as lone and contemptuous of friendly human efforts as a forgotten
tower on the Siberian steppes.  How indifferently it would watch
him starve and freeze!

With relief he looked at the travel brochures when his stenographer
brought them in--a lively girl, shaking the snow from her little
cloche hat, beaming at him, assuring him that he really did exist
and was something of importance still.  Then he was lost in the
pictures. . . .  Titanic walls of the Grand Canyon: scarlet pillars
and pyramids of orange.  A tawny road in Algiers, the sun baking,
nodding camels, and drivers with dusky malign faces under their
turbans.  St. Moritz, shadowed by the mountains, and a pretty girl
on a toboggan.  A terrace at Cannes, where through fig-trees and
palms and tumbling roses you looked on the sea with a lone felucca.
A valley of colored patchwork fields seen from a harsh tor of
Dartmoor.  Japanese children rollicking among cherry trees beside a
tiny temple.  Dark wood of carven mediaeval houses looming over the
Romerberg at Frankfort.  The Grand Canal, with the fantastic
columns of the piazzetta and the soft pink and cream of the ducal
palace.  The old sea-fronted walls of Ragusa.  The streets of
Paris--kiosks, impudent advertisements, a whisk of skirts, a
whirligig of traffic, and little tables at which to loaf all day

"Wouldn't be so bad!" thought Sam.  "I'd like to wander around a
few months.  Only I'm not going to let Fran coax me into being one
of these wishy-washy expatriates, homeless, afraid of life, living
on the Riviera as though they were in a sanatorium for neurotics.
I'm going to go on doing something with life, and my place is here.
We'll go abroad, only I'll make her fight for it or she'll feel
she's running the whole show.  Then I'll come back here, and I'll
take Alec Kynance's show right away from him!"

"Mr. Kynance is here," announced his secretary.


Mr. Alexander Kynance, president of the Unit Automotive Company,
was a small bustling man with a large head, an abrupt voice, a
lively mind, a magnificent lack of scruples, and a love for oratory
and Corona-Coronas.  He had been a section-hand and a railway
superintendent, he had the best cellar of Burgundies in Detroit,
and he made up for his runtiness by barking at people.

"Everything all ready?  Everything all ready?" he barked at Sam
Dodsworth, as the dozen representatives of the two companies
settled down and rested their elbows on the gigantic mirror-
surfaced table in the gold and oak directors'-room.

"I think so," Sam drawled.

"Just a few things left," said Kynance.  "We've about decided to
run the Revelation in between the Chromecar and the Highroad in
class--drop it three hundred below your price--two-door sedan at

Sam wanted to protest.  Hadn't he kept the price down to the very
lowest at which his kind of car could be built?  But suddenly--What
difference did it make?  The Revelation wasn't his master, his
religion!  He was going to have a life of his own, with Fran,
lovely loyal Fran, whom he'd imprisoned here in Zenith!

Let's go!

He was scarcely listening to Kynance's observations on retaining
the slogan "You'll revel in a Revelation."  Sam had always detested
this battle-cry.  It was the invention of a particularly bright and
bounding young copy-writer who took regular exercise at the
Y.M.C.A., but the salesmen loved it.  As Kynance snapped, "Good
slogan--good slogan--full o' pep," Sam mused:

"They're all human megaphones.  And I'm tired."

When he had rather sadly signed the transfer of control to the
U.A.C. and his lifework was over, with no chance for retreat, Sam
shook hands a great deal with a number of people, and was left
alone with Alec Kynance.

"Now to real business, old man," Kynance blatted.  "You'll be
tickled to death at getting hooked up with a concern that can
control the world-market one of these days--regular empire, b'
God!--instead of crawling along having to depend on a bunch of so-
so assistants.  We want you to come with us, of course.  I haven't
been hinting around.  Hinting ain't my way.  When Alec Kynance has
something to say, by God he shoots!  I want to offer you the second
vice-presidency of the U.A.C., in general charge of production of
all our eight cars, including the Rev.  You've been getting sixty
thousand salary, besides your stock?"


"We can offer you eighty-five, and your share in the managers'
pool, with a good chance for a hundred thou in a few years, and
you'll probably succeed me when the bootlegged hootch gets me.  And
you'll have first-class production-men under you.  You can take it
easy and just think up mean ideas to shove over.  Other night you
were drooling about how you'd like to make real Ritzy motor
caravans with electric stoves and radios and everything built in.
Try it!  We've got the capital.  And this idea you had about a
motorized touring-school for boys in summer.  Try it!  Why, God, we
might run all these summer camps out of business and make a real
killing--get five hundred thousand customers--kid that hadn't gone
on one of our tours, no class to him at all!  Try it!  And the
U.A.C. getting into aeroplane manufacture.  Go ahead.  Draw up your
plans.  Yes sir, that's the kind of support we give a high-class
man.  When do you want to go to work?  I suppose you'll have to
move to Detroit, but you can get back here pretty often.  Want to
start right in, and see things zip?"

Sam's fantastic schemes for supercaravans, for an ambulatory summer
school in which boys should see the whole country from Maine pines
to San Joaquin wheat-fields, schemes which he had found stimulating
and not very practical, were soiled by the lobster-faced little
man's insistence on cashing in.  No!

"First, I think I'll take a vacation," Sam said doubtfully.
"Haven't had a real one for years.  Maybe I'll run over to Europe.
May stay three months or so."

"Europe?  Rats!  Dead's a doornail!  Place for women and long-
haired artists.  Dead!  Only American loans that keep 'em from
burying the corpse!  All this art!  More art in a good shiny spark-
plug than in all the fat Venus de Mylos they ever turned out.  Naw!
Go take a run through California, maybe grab a drink of good liquor
in Mexico, and then come with us.  Look here, Dodsworth.  My way of
being diplomatic is to come out flat.  You necking around with some
other concern?  We can't wait.  We got to turn out the cars!  I
can't keep this open, and I've offered you our pos-o-lutely highest
salary.  That's the way we do business.  Yes or no?"

"I'm not flirting with any other company.  I've had several offers
and turned them down.  Your offer is fair."

"Fine!  Let's sign the contract right now.  Got her here!  Put down
your John Hancock, and begin to draw the ole salary from this
minute, with a month's vacation on pay!  How's that?"

With the noisiness of a little man making an impression, Kynance
slapped the contract on the glowing directors'-table, flourished an
enormous red and black fountain pen, and patronizingly poked Sam in
the shoulder.

Irritably Sam rumbled, "I can't tie myself up without thinking it
over.  I'll give you my answer as soon as I can.  Probably in a
week or so.  But I may want to take a four-months rest in Europe.
Never mind about the pay meanwhile.  Rather feel free."

"My God, man, what do you think is the purpose of life?  Loafing?
Getting by with doing as little as you can?  I tell you, what I
always say is: there's no rest like a little extra work!  You ain't
tired--you're just fed up with this backwoods town.  Come up to
Detroit and see how we make things hum!  Come sit in with us and
hear us tell Congress where it gets off.  Work!  That's the caper!
I tell you," with a grotesque, evangelical sonorousness, "I tell
you, Dodsworth, to me, work is a religion.  'Turn not thy hand from
the plow.'  Do big things!  Think of it; by making autos we're
enabling half the civilized world to run into town from their pig-
sties and see the movies, and the other half to get out of town and
give Nature the once-over.  Twenty million cars in America!  And in
twenty more years we'll have the bloomin' Tibetans and Abyssinians
riding on cement roads in U.A.C. cars!  Talk about Napoleon!  Talk
about Shakespeare!  Why, we're pulling off the greatest miracle
since the Lord created the world!

"Europe?  How in hell would you put IN four months?  Think you
could stand more'n ten art galleries?  I KNOW!  I've seen Europe!
Their Notre Dame is all right for about half an hour, but I'd
rather see an American assembly-plant, thousand men working like a
watch, than all their old, bum-lighted, tumble-down churches--"

It was half an hour before Sam got rid of Kynance without
antagonizing him, and without signing a contract.

"I'd like," Sam reflected, "to sit under a linden tree for six
straight months and not hear one word about Efficiency or Doing Big
Things or anything more important than the temperature of the beer--
if there is anything more important."

He had fallen into rather a rigid routine.  Most days, between
office and home, he walked to the Union Club in winter, drove to
the golf course in summer.  But tonight he was restless.  He could
not endure the fustiness of the old boys at the club.  His
chauffeur would be waiting there, but on his way to the club Sam
stopped, with a vague notion of tasting foreignness, at a cheap
German restaurant.

It was dark, quiet, free of the bouncing grandeur of Kynances.  At
a greasy oilcloth-covered table he sat sipping coffee and nibbling
at sugar-crusted coffee-cake.

"Why should I wear myself out making more money for myself--no, for
Kynance!  He will like hell take my caravans away from me!"

He dreamed of a very masterwork of caravans: a tiny kitchen with
electric stove, electric refrigerator; a tiny toilet with
showerbath; a living-room which should become a bedroom by night--
a living-room with a radio, a real writing desk; and on one side of
the caravan, or at the back, a folding verandah.  He could see his
caravanners dining on the verandah in a forest fifty miles from any

"Kind of a shame to have 'em ruin any more wilderness.  Oh, that's
just sentimentality," he assured himself.  "Let's see.  We ought to
make that up--"  He was figuring on a menu.  "We ought to produce
those in quantities for seventeen hundred dollars, and our selling-
point will be the saving in hotel bills.  Like to camp in one
myself!  I will not let Kynance have my ideas!  He'd turn the
caravans out, flimsy and uncomfortable, for eleven hundred, and all
he'd think about would be how many we could slam on the market.
Kynance!  Lord, to take his orders, to stand his back-slapping, at
fifty!  No!"

The German restaurant-keeper said, as one content with all seasons
and events, "Pretty bad snow tonight."


And to himself:  "There's a fellow who isn't worrying about Doing
Big Things.  And work isn't his religion.  His religion is roast
goose, which has some sense to it.  Yes, let's go, Fran!  Then
come back and play with the caravan. . . .  Or say, for an elaborate
rig, why not two caravans, one with kitchen and toilet and stores,
other with living-bedroom, and pitch 'em back to back, with a
kind of train-vestibule door, and have a real palace for four
people? . . .  I would like to see Monte Carlo.  Must be like a
comic opera."

His desire for Monte Carlo, for palms and sunshine and the
estimable fish of the Prince of Monaco, was enhanced by jogging
through the snowstorm in his car, by being held up in drifts, and
clutching the undercurving seat during a rather breathless slide
uphill to Ridge Crest.  But when he entered the warmth of the big
house, when he sat in the library alone (Fran was not yet back from
the Children's Welfare Bridge), with a whisky-soda and a volume of
Masereel woodcuts, when he considered his deep chair and the
hearth-log and the roses, Sam felt the security of his own cave and
the assurance to be found in familiar work, in his office-staff, in
his clubs, his habits and, most of all, his friends and Fran and
the children.

He regarded the library contentedly: the many books, some of them
read--volumes of history, philosophy, travels, detective stories;
the oak-framed fireplace with a Mary Cassatt portrait of children
above it; the blue davenport; the Biedermeyer rug from Fran's kin
in Germany; the particularly elaborate tantalus.

"Pretty nice.  Hotels--awful!  Oh yes, I'll probably go over to the
U.A.C.  But maybe take six weeks or a couple of months in Europe,
then move to Detroit.  But not sell this house!  Been mighty happy
here.  Like to come back here and spend our old days.  When I
really make my pile, I'll do something to help turn Zenith into
another Detroit.  Get a million people here.  Only, plan the city
right.  Make it the most beautiful city in the world.  Not just sit
around on my chair in Europe and look at famous cities, but
MAKE one!"

Once a month, Sam's closest friends, Tub Pearson, his humorous
classmate who was now the gray and oracular president of the
Centaur State Bank, Dr. Henry Hazzard, the heart specialist, Judge
Turpin, and Wheeler, the packing-house magnate, came in for dinner
and an evening of poker, with Fran as hostess at dinner but
conveniently disappearing after it.

Fran whisked in from her charity bridge as he was going up to
dress.  In her sleek coat of gray squirrel she was like a snow-
sprinkled cat pouncing on flying leaves.  She tossed her coat and
hat to the waiting maid, and kissed Sam abruptly.  She was virginal
as the winter wind, this girl who was the mother of Emily about to
be married.

"Terrible bore, the bridge.  I won seventeen dollars.  I'm a good
little bridge-player, I am.  We must hustle it's almost dinnertime
oh what a bore Lucile McKelvey is with her perpetual gabble about
Italy I bet I'll learn more Italian in three weeks than she has in
three trips come on my beloved we are LATE!"

"We are going then?"

"Going where?"

"To Europe."

"Oh, I don't know.  Think how nice it would be for you to 'pitch a
wicked horseshoe,' as dear Tub would say, in Florida."

"Oh, quit it!"

As they tramped up-stairs he tucked his arm about her, but she
released herself, she smiled at him too brightly--smile glittering
and flat as white enamel paint--urbane smile that these twenty
years had made him ashamed of his longing for her--and she said,
"We must hurry, lamb."  And too brightly she added, "Don't drink
too much tonight.  It's all right with people like Tub Pearson, but
Judge Turpin is so conservative--I know he doesn't like it."

She had a high art of deflating him, of enfeebling him, with one
quick, innocent-sounding phrase.  By the most careless comment on
his bulky new overcoat she could make him feel like a lout in it;
by crisply suggesting that he "try for once to talk about
SOMETHING besides motors and stocks," while they rode to a
formidable dinner to an elocutionary senator, she could make him
feel so unintelligent that he would be silent all evening.  The
easy self-confidence which weeks of industrial triumphs had built
up in him she could flatten in five seconds.  She was, in fact, a
genius at planting in him an assurance of his inferiority.  Thus
she did tonight, in her nicest and friendliest way, and instantly
the lumbering Ajax began to look doubtfully toward the poker he had
always enjoyed, to fear the opinion of Judge Turpin--an eye-glassed
sparrow of a man who seemed to admire Sam, and who showed his
reverence for the law by taking illicit drink for drink with him.

Sam felt unworthy and apologetic till he had dressed and been
cheered by a glimpse of his daughter, Emily.

Emily, as a child, had been his companion; he had always understood
her, seemed nearer to her than to Fran.  She had been a tomboy,
sturdy of shoulder, jolly as an old family dog out on a walk.

He used to come to the nursery door, lamenting:

"Milord, the Duke of Buckin'um lies wownded at the gate!"

Emily and Brent would wail joyously, "Not seriowsly, I trust," and
he answer, "Mortually, I fear."

They had paid him the compliment of being willing to play with him,
Emily more than the earnest young Brent.

But Emily had been drawn, these last five years, into the
tempestuous life of young Zenith; dances, movie parties, swimming
in summer, astonishingly unrestricted companionship with any number
of boys; a life which bewildered Sam.  Now, at twenty, she was to
be married to Harry McKee, assistant general manager of the
Vandering Bolt and Nut Company (considered in Zenith a most genteel
establishment), ex-tennis-champion, captain during the Great War, a
man of thirty-four who wore his clothes and his slang dashingly.
The parties had redoubled, and Sam realized wistfully that Emily
and he had no more of their old, easy, chuckling talks.

As he marched down to supervise the cocktails for dinner, Emily
flew in, blown on the storm, crying at him, "Oh, Samivel, you old
beautiful!  You look like a grand duke in your dinner jacket!  You
sweet thing!  Damn it, I've got to be at Mary Edge's in twenty

She galloped up-stairs, and he stood looking after her and sighed.

"I'd better begin to dig in against the lonely sixties," he

He shivered as he went out to tell the butler-for-the-evening how
to prepare the cocktails, after which, he knew, the butler would
prepare them to suit himself, and probably drink most of them.

Sam remembered that this same matter of a butler for parties only
had been the subject of rather a lot of pourparlers between Fran
and himself.  She wanted a proper butler in the house, always.  And
certainly they could afford one.  But every human being has certain
extravagances which he dare not assume, lest he offend the
affectionate and jeering friends of his youth--the man who has
ventured on spats dares not take to a monocle--the statesman who
has ventured on humor dares not be so presumptuous as to venture on
honesty also.  Somehow, Sam believed that he could not face Tub
Pearson if he had anything so effete as a regular butler in the
house, and Fran had not won . . . not yet.

Tub Pearson--the Hon. Thos. J. Pearson, former state-senator,
honorary LL.D. of Winnemac University, president of the Centaur
State Bank, director in twelve companies, trustee of the Loring
Grammar School and of the Zenith Art Institute, chairman of the
Mayor's City Planning Commission--Tub Pearson was still as much the
jester as he had been at Yale.  He and his lively wife Matilde,
known as "Matey," had three children, but neither viceregal honors
nor domesticity had overlaid Tub's view of himself as a natural

All through the poker-game, at the large table in Sam's library,
where they sat with rolled-up sleeves and loosened collars,
gurgling their whisky-sodas with gratified sighs, Tub jabbed at
Judge Turpin for sentencing bootleggers while he himself enjoyed
his whisky as thoroughly as any one in Zenith.  When they rested--
that is to say, re-filled their glasses--at eleven, and Sam
suggested, "May not have any more poker with you lads for a while,
because Fran and I may trot over to Europe for six months or so,"
then Tub had an opportunity suitable to his powers:

"Six months!  That's elegant, Sambo.  You'll come back with an
English accent:  'Hy sye, hold chappie, cawn't I 'ave the honor of
raising the bloomin' pot a couple o' berries, dear old dream?'"

"Ever hear an Englishman talk like that?"

"No, but you will!  Six months!  Oh, don't be a damn' fool!  Go for
two months, and then you'll be able to appreciate getting back to a
country where you can get ice and a bath-tub."

"I know it's a heresy," Sam drawled, "but I wonder if there aren't
a few bath-tubs in Europe?  Think I'll go over and see.  My deal."

He did not show it; he played steadily, a rectangular-faced, large
man, a cigar gripped in his mouth, cards dwarfed in his wide hand;
but he was raging within:

"I've been doing what people expected me to, all my life.  Football
in college, when I'd as soon've stuck in the physics laboratory.
Make money and play golf and be a good Republican ever since.
Human cash-register!  I'm finished!  I'm going!"

But they heard from him only "Whoop you two more.  Cards?"


It was late when Sam yawned up to bed, for their poker-game had
lasted till after one.  The spacious chamber was half lighted from
the bathroom.  The dusky light caught the yellow silk curtains by
her bed, the crystal on her wide dressing-table.  She had left the
windows closed, and the air was not unpleasantly stuffy with cold
cream, powder, and steaminess lingering from a hot bath scented
with bath-salts.

He was eager for her breathing presence.  His determination to
escape with her had made Fran seem nearer and more desirable than
in months, but as he felt guilty about awakening her, he did not
admit that he was doing anything so unkind--he merely dropped his
shoes loudly.

She looked startled when she awoke.  How many times she had looked
startled, a little incredulous, when she had stirred to discover
him beside her!  She turned on her bedside light, she looked at him
vaguely, as though she wasn't quite sure who he was, but, after
all, one had to be polite.  She was incredibly young and unmarked
with wrinkles, a girl in a lace nightgown edged at the neck with
white fur.

He plumped down on the bed beside her, kissed her shoulder.  She
suffered it, unresponding, and said, too cheerily, "Please no!  Not
now.  Listen, dear, I want to talk.  Ohhhhh, gee, I'm sleepy!  I
tried to stay awake till you came up, but I dozed off.  So 'shamed!
But pull up the big chair and listen."

"Don't you want me to kiss you?"

"Why do you always ask that?  In that hurt way?  You're so silly!
You know you've had several drinks.  Oh, I don't mind--though Tub
and you, for men that are responsible citizens and don't really
drink at all, always do manage to tuck away a lot too much!  I
don't mind.  But don't you think it's a little icky, this sudden
passion for embracing when you're--well, exhilarated?"

"Don't you WANT me to kiss you?"

"Good Heavens, my dear man, haven't I been your wife for twenty-two
years?  Oh, please, dear, don't be quarrelsome!  Have I done
something to hurt you?  I'm so, so terribly sorry!  I am, truly,
dear.  Kiss me!"

It was the coolest, most brief of kisses that she gave him and,
that chore done, most briskly she rattled, "Now pull up the big
chair and listen, dear.  Or would you rather wait till tomorrow?"

She added, with the imitation of baby-talk which ordinarily tickled
him, "Is mos' awful' important!"

He dragged the wing-chair to her bed and decorously sat down,
wagging a varnished pump, but he said testily, "Good Lord, you
don't need to coax.  Let's have it."

"Oh, don't be such an old grump!  Now I ask you: IS that fair?
Because I don't like the reek of whisky?  Would you like it on my

"No.  But I didn't take much.  But--Never mind.  Listen, Fran.  I
know what you want.  And I've decided.  Kynance tried to tie me up
with a contract to go to work right away, but I refused.  So we'll
go to Europe, and maybe for four-five months!"

"Oh.  That."

With all his experience of her zig-zag incalculability, her shreds
of knowledge that seemed to have no source, her ambitions and
desires that seemed not worth the pains, her veiled resentment of
hurts which he had not meant to inflict, her amiability when he had
expected her to be angry, he was surprised now at her indifference.

"It's more fundamental than going to Europe.  See here, Sam.  Even
if I didn't want to, oh, kiss you--Sorry I don't seem to be more
passionate.  I wish I were, for your sake.  But apparently I'm not.
But even so, we have been happy, haven't we!  We have built
something pretty fine!"

"Yes, we have.  What's worrying--"

"Even if we haven't been wild operatic lovers, I do think we mean
something awfully deep and irreplaceable to each other.  Don't we?"

His touchy ardor gave way to affection.  He reached his long arm
out and patted her slight, nervous fingers.  "Yes.  We differ on a
lot of things, but I guess we've got something solid for each other
that we can't find in anybody else."

"Something really permanent, Sam?  Dependable?  So we're like two
awfully good friends backing each other in a terrible street

"Absolutely.  But what's--"

"Listen.  We've done the first part of our jobs.  We've made enough
money.  We've brought up the children.  You have something to show
for your work--this really marvelous car that you've created.  And
yet we're still young, comparatively.  Oh, let's not settle down
into contentment with the dregs of life!  Let's have a new life,
all over, and not worry any more about duties (and I've had my own,
young man--if you think it's easy to run a house like this, and
entertain everybody!).  Let's--oh, it's hard to express it, but I
mean: let's not tie ourselves down to saying we'll come back from
Europe (but it was sweet of you, dear, to consent without making me
beg), but I mean: let's not insist that we HAVE to be back from
Europe in four months--yes, or four years!  On the other hand, if
we don't like it, let's not feel we have to stay; let's take the
first boat back.  But let's--Oh, please now, get this!  Let's start
out of this stupid old town without one single solitary plan in our
heads beyond landing in Europe, and coming back when we really want
to, and going where we please when we please.  Maybe we'll be back
after two months on the Riviera, and then again, forty years from
now, we may be living in a bamboo shack in Java and thumbing our
noses at anybody who doesn't like it!  Why, I'd almost like to sell
this house, so we won't have anything to bind us."

"You're not serious?  Good Lord, we couldn't do that!  Why, it's
our home!  Wouldn't know what to do if we didn't have a safe harbor
like this to come back to!  Why, we've built ourselves into this
old place, from the Radiola to the new garage doors.  I guess I
know every dahlia in the garden by its middle name!  I love the
place the way I do Emily and you and the boy.  Only place where we
can slam the door and tell everybody to go to hell and be

"But perhaps we'll get us some new selves, without losing the old
ones.  You'd--oh, you could be so magnificent, so tall and
impressive and fine, if you'd let yourself be, if you didn't feel
you had to be just an accessory to a beastly old medium-priced car,
if you'd get over this silly fear that people might think you were
affected and snobbish if you demanded the proper respect from them!
There ARE great people in the world--dukes and ambassadors and
generals and scientists and--And I don't believe that essentially
they're one bit bigger than we are.  It's just that they've been
trained to talk of world-affairs, instead of the price of vanadium
and what Mrs. Hibbletebibble is going to serve at her Hallowe'en
party.  I'm going to be one of 'em!  I'm not afraid of 'em!  If
you'd only get over this naive passion for 'simplicity' and all
those nice peasant virtues and let yourself be the big man that you
really are!  Not meekly say to His Excellency that though you look
like a grand-duke, you're really only little Sammy Dodsworth of
Zenith!  He won't know it unless you insist on telling him! . . .
And perhaps an ambassadorship for you, after you've been abroad
long enough to learn the tricks. . . .  Only to do all that, to
grab the world, we must NOT be bound by the feeling that we're
tied to this slow-pokey Zenith till death do us part from the fun
of adventuring!"

"But to sell the house--"

"Oh, we don't need to do that, of course, silly--not at first.  I
just mean it as an example of how free we ought to be.  Of course
we wouldn't sell it.  Heavens, we may be delighted to slink back
here in six months!  But don't let's plan to, that's what I mean.
Oh, Sam, I'm absolutely not going to let my life be over at forty--
well, at forty-one, but no one ever takes me for more than thirty-
five or even thirty-three.  And life would be over for me if I
simply went on forever with the idiotic little activities in this
half-baked town!  I won't, that's all!  You can stay here if you
insist, but I'm going to take the lovely things that--I have a
right to take them, because I understand them!  What do I care
whether some club of human, or half-human, tabby-cats in eye-
glasses study dietetics or Lithuanian art next year?  What do I
care whether a pretentious bunch of young millionaire manufacturers
have an imitation English polo team? . . . when I could have the
real thing, in England!  And yet if we stay here, we'll settle down
to doing the same things over and over.  We've drained everything
that Zenith can give us--yes, and almost everything that New York
and Long Island can give us.  And in this beastly country--In
Europe, a woman at forty is just getting to the age where important
men take a serious interest in her.  But here, she's a grandmother.
The flappers think I'm as venerable as the bishop's wife.  And they
MAKE me old, with their confounded respectfulness--and their
CHARMING rejoicing when I go home from a dance early--I who can
dance better, yes, and longer, than any of them--"

"Now, now!"

"Well, I can!  And so could you, if you didn't let business sap
every single ounce of energy you have!  But at the same time--I
only have five or ten more years to continue being young in.
It's the derniere cartouche.  And I won't waste it.  Can't you
understand?  Can't you understand?  I mean it, desperately!  I'm
begging for life--no, I'm not!--I'm demanding it!  And that means
something more than a polite little Cook's trip to Europe!"

"But see here now!  Do you actually mean to tell me, Fran, that you
think that just moving from Zenith to Paris is going to change
everything in your life and make you a kid again?  Don't you
realize that probably most people in Paris are about like most
people here, or anywhere else?"

"They aren't, but even if they were--"

"What do you expect out of Europe?  A lot of culture?"

"No!  'Culture!'  I loathe the word, I loathe the people who use
it!  I certainly do not intend to collect the names of a lot of
painters--and of soups--and come back and air them.  Heavens, it
isn't just Europe!  We may not stay there at all.  It's being free
to wander wherever we like, as long as we like, or to settle down
and become part of some community or some set if we like, and not
feel that we have a duty to come back here.  Oh, I could love you
so much more if we weren't a pair of old horses in a treadmill!"

They sailed for Southampton in February, three weeks after Emily's

Sam was absorbed in completing the Revelation Company transfer, and
in answering Fran when she complained, "Oh, work's become a disease
with you!  You go on with it when there's no need.  Let the
underlings finish up.  Dear, it's because I do love you that--Do
you think you'll ever learn to enjoy leisure, to enjoy just being
yourself and not an office?  You're not going to make me feel
guilty for having dragged you away, are you?"

"By God, I'll enjoy life if it kills me--and it probably will!" he
grumbled.  "You've got to give me time.  I've started this business
of being 'free' about thirty-five years too late.  I'm a good
citizen.  I've learned that Life is real and Life is earnest and
the presidency of a corporation is its goal.  What would I be doing
with anything so degenerate as enjoying myself?"


The S. S. Ultima, thirty-two thousand tons burden, was four hours
out of New York.  As the winter twilight glowered on the tangle of
gloomy waves, Samuel Dodsworth was aware of the domination of the
sea, of the insignificance of the great ship and all mankind.  He
felt lost in the round of ocean, one universal gray except for a
golden gash on the western horizon.  His only voyaging had been on
lakes, or on the New York ferries.  He felt uneasy as he stood at
the after rail and saw how the rearing mass of the sea loomed over
the ship and threatened it when the stern dipped--down, unbelievably
down, as though she were sinking.  But he felt resolute again,
strong and very happy, as he swung about the deck. He had been
sickish only for the first hour.  The wind filled his chest,
exhilarated him.  Only now, the messy details of packing and
farewells over, and the artificially prolonged waving to friends on
the dock endured, did he feel that he was actually delivered from
duty, actually going--going to strange-colored, exciting places, to
do unknown and heroic things.

He hummed (for Kipling meant something to Sam Dodsworth which no
Shelley could, nor Dante)--he hummed "The Gipsy Trail":

     Follow the Romany patteran
        North where the blue bergs sail,
     And the bows are gray with the frozen spray,
        And the masts are shod with mail.
     Follow the Romany patteran
        West to the sinking sun,
     Till the junk-sails lift through the houseless drift,
        And the East and the West are one.
     Follow the Romany patteran
        East where the silence broods
     By a purple wave on an opal beach
        In the hush of the Mahim woods.

"Free!" he muttered.

He stopped abruptly by the line of windows enclosing the music-
room, forward on the promenade deck, as he fumbled for the memory
of the first time he had ever sung "The Gipsy Trail."

It must have been when the poem was first set to music.  Anyway,
Fran and he had been comparatively poor.  The money that old Herman
Voelker had lent them had gone into the business.  (A sudden,
meaningless spatter of snow, out on that cold sea.  How serene the
lights in the music room!  He began to feel the gallant security of
the ship, his enduring home.)  Yes, it was when they had gone off
on a vacation--no chauffeur then, nor suites at the best hotels,
but Sam driving all day in their shabby Revelation, with sleep in
an earth-scented, wind-stirred tent.  They had driven West--west,
two thousand miles toward the sunset, till it seemed they must
indeed come on the Pacific and junk-sails lifting against the
misted sun.  They had no responsibilities of position.  Together
they chanted "The Gipsy Trail," vowing that some day they would
wander together--

And they were doing it!

Such exultation filled him, such overwhelming tenderness, that he
wanted to dash down to their cabin and assure himself that he still
had the magic of Fran's companionship.  But he remembered with what
irritable efficiency she had been unpacking.  He had been married
for over twenty years.  He stayed on deck.

He explored the steamer.  It was to him, the mechanic, the most
sure and impressive mechanism he had ever seen; more satisfying
than a Rolls, a Delauney-Belleville, which to him had been the
equivalents of a Velasquez.  He marveled at the authoritative
steadiness with which the bow mastered the waves; at the powerful
sweep of the lines of the deck and the trim stowing of cordage.  He
admired the first officer, casually pacing the bridge.  He wondered
that in this craft which was, after all, but a floating iron egg-
shell, there should be the roseate music room, the smoking-room
with its Tudor fireplace--solid and terrestrial as a castle--and
the swimming-pool, green-lighted water washing beneath Roman
pillars.  He climbed to the boat deck, and some never realized
desire for sea-faring was satisfied as he looked along the sweep of
gangways, past the huge lifeboats, the ventilators like giant
saxophones, past the lofty funnels serenely dribbling black woolly
smoke, to the forward mast.  The snow-gusts along the deck, the
mysteriousness of this new world but half seen in the frosty
lights, only stimulated him.  He shivered and turned up his collar,
but he was pricked to imaginativeness, standing outside the
wireless room, by the crackle of messages springing across bleak
air-roads ocean-bounded to bright snug cities on distant plains.

"I'm at sea!"

He tramped down to tell Fran--he was not quite sure what it was
that he wanted to tell her, save that steamers were very fine
things indeed, and that ahead of them, in the murk of the horizon,
they could see the lanes of England.

She, in their cabin with its twin brass beds, its finicking
imitations of gray-blue French prints on the paneled walls, was
amid a litter of shaken-out frocks, heaps of shoes, dressing gowns,
Coty powder, three gift copies of "The Perennial Bachelor,"
binoculars, steamer letters, steamer telegrams, the candy and the
Charles & Company baskets of overgrown fruit and tiny conserves
with which they were to help out the steamer's scanty seven meals a
day, his dress-shirts (of which he was to, and certainly would not,
put on a fresh one every evening), and French novels (which she was
to, and certainly wouldn't, read in a stately, aloof, genteel
manner every day on deck).

"It's terrible!" she lamented.  "I'll get things put away just
about in time for landing. . . .  Oh, here's a wireless from Emily,
the darling, from California.  Harry and she seem to be standing
the honeymoon about as well as most victims."

"Chuck the stuff.  Come out on deck.  I love this ship.  It's so--
Man certainly has put it over Nature for once!  I think I could've
built ships!  Come out and see it."

"You do sound happy.  I'm glad.  But I must unpack.  You skip

It was not often, these years, that he was kittenish, but now he
picked her up, while she kicked and laughed, he lifted her over a
pile of sweaters and tennis shoes and bathing-suits and skates,
kissed her, and shouted, "Come on!  It's our own honeymoon!
Eloping!  Have I ever remembered to tell you that I adore you?
Come up and see some ocean with me.  There's an awful lot of ocean
around this ship. . . .  Oh, damn the unpacking!"

He sounded masterful, but it was always a satisfaction, when he was
masterful, to have her consent to be mastered.  He was pleased now
when she stopped being efficient about this business of enjoying
life, and consented to do something for no reason except that it
was agreeable.

In her shaggy Burberry, color of a dead maple leaf, and her orange
tam o' shanter, she suggested autumn days and brown uplands.  She
was a girl; certainly no mother of a married daughter.  He was
cumbersomely proud of her, of the glances which the men passengers
snatched at her as they swung round the deck.

"Funny how it comes over a fellow suddenly--I mean--this is almost
the first time we've ever really started out like lovers--no job to
call us back.  You were dead right, Fran--done enough work--now
we'll live!  Together--always!  But I'll have so much to learn, to
keep up with you.  You, and Europe!  Hell, I'm so sentimental!
D'you mind?  Just come out of state prison!  Did twenty years!"

Round and round the deck.  The long stretch on the starboard side,
filthy with deck chairs, with rug-wadded passengers turning a pale
green as the sea rose, with wind-ruffled magazines, cups left from
teatime, and children racing with toy carts.  The narrow passage
aft, where the wind swooped on them, pushing them back, and the
steamer dipped so that they had to labor up-hill, bending forward,
their limbs of lead.  But, as they toiled, a glimpse of ship
mysteries that were stirring to land-bound imaginations.  They
looked down into a hatchway--some one said there were half a dozen
Brazilian cougars being shipped down there--and along a dizzy
aerial gangway to the after deck and the wheelhouse and a lone
light in the weaving darkness.  They saw the last glimmer of the
streaky wake stretching back to New York.

Then, blown round the corner, released from climbing upward, a dash
along the cold port side, blessedly free of steamer chairs and of
lardy staring.  Swinging at five miles an hour.  The door of the
smoking-room, with a whiff of tobacco smoke, a pleasant reek of
beer, a sound of vocal Americans.  The place where the deck widened
into an alcove--thick walls of steel, dotted with lines of rivets
smeared with thick white paint--and the door of the stewards'
pantry from which, in the afternoon, came innumerable sandwiches
and cakes and cups and pots of tea.  The double door to the main
stairway, where, somehow, a stewardess in uniform was always
talking to a steward.  The steel-gripped windows of the music room,
with a glimpse of unhappy young-old women, accompanying their
mothers abroad, sitting flapping through magazines.  Where the deck
was unenclosed, the yellow scoured rail and the white stanchions,
bright in the deck light, brighter against the dark coil of sea.
Always before them, the long straight lines of the decking planks,
rigid as bars of music, divided by seams of glistening tar.  Deck--
ship--at sea!

Then forward, and the people along the rail--bold voyagers facing
the midwinter Atlantic through glass windows--honeymooners quickly
unclasping as the pestiferous deck-circlers passed--aged and sage
gentlemen commenting on the inferiority of the steerage passengers
who, on the deck below, altogether innocent of being condescendingly
observed by the gentry-by-right-of-passage-money, jigged beside a
tarpaulin-covered hatch to the pumping music of an accordion, and
blew blithely on frosted fingers.

And round all over again, walking faster, turning from casual
pedestrians into competitors in the ocean marathon.  Faster.
Cutting corners more sharply.  Superior to thrusting wind, to
tilting deck.  Gaining on that lone, lean, athletic girl, and
passing her. . . .

"That's the way to walk!  Say, Fran, I wonder if sometime we
couldn't get away from hotels and sort of take a walking-trip along
the Riviera--interesting, I should think. . . .  Darling!"

Gaining on but never quite passing that monocle-flashing, tweed-
coated man whom they detested on sight and who, within three days,
was to prove the simplest and heartiest of acquaintances.

A racing view of all their companions of the voyage, their fellow-
citizens in this brave village amid the desert of waters: strangers
to be hated on sight, to be snubbed lest they snub first, yet
presently to be known better and better loved and longer remembered
than neighbors seen for a lifetime on the cautious land.

Their permanent home, for a week; to become more familiar, thanks
to the accelerated sensitiveness which is the one blessing of
travel, than rooms paced for years.  Every stippling of soot on the
lifeboats, every chair in the smoking-room, every table along one's
own aisle in the dining salon, to be noted and recalled, in an
exhilarated and heightened observation.

"I do feel awfully well," said Sam, and Fran:  "So do I.  So long
since we've walked together like this!  And we'll keep it up; we
won't get caught by people.  But I must arise now and go to
Innisfree and finish the unpacking of the nine bean rows oh WHY
did I bring so many clothes!  Till dressing-time--MY DEAR!"

He was first dressed for dinner.  She had decided, after rather a
lot of conversation about it, that the belief that our better
people do not dress for dinner on the first night out was a
superstition.  He sauntered up to the smoking-room for his first
cocktail aboard, feeling very glossy and handsome and much-
traveled.  Then he was feeling very lonely, for the smoking-room
was filled with amiable-looking people who apparently all knew one
another.  And he knew nobody aboard save Fran.

"That's the one trouble.  I'm going to miss Tub and Doc Hazzard and
the rest horribly," he brooded.  "I wish they were along!  Then it
would be about perfect."

He was occupying an alcove with a semi-circular leather settee,
before a massy table.  The room was crowded, and a square-rigged
Englishman, blown into the room with a damp whiff of sea air,
stopped at Sam's table asking abruptly, "Mind if I sit here?"

The Englishman ordered his cocktail with competence:

"Now be very careful about this, steward.  I want half Booth gin
and half French vermouth, and just four drops of orange bitters,
and no Italian vermouth, remember, no Italian vermouth."  As the
Englishman gulped his drink, Sam enjoyed hating him.  The man was
perfectly expressionless, like a square-headed wooden idol, colored
like an idol of cedar wood.  "Supercilious as the devil.  Never
would be friendly, not till he'd known you ten years.  Well, he
needn't worry!  I'm not going to speak to him!  Curious how an
Englishman like that can make you feel that you're small and skinny
and your tie's badly tied without even looking at you!  Well, he--"

The Englishman spoke, curtly:

"Decent weather, for a February crossing."

"Is it?  I don't really know.  Never crossed before."


"You've crossed often?"

"Oh, perhaps twenty times.  I was with the British War Mission
during the late argument.  They were always chasing me across.
Lockert's my name.  I'm growing cocoa down in British Guiana now.
Hot there!  Going to stay in London?"

"I think so, for a while.  I'm on an indefinite vacation."

Sam had the American yearning to become acquainted, to tell all
about his achievements, not as boasting but to establish himself as
a worthy fellow.

"I've been manufacturing motor cars--the Revelation--thought it was
about time to quit and find out what the world was like.  Dodsworth
is my name."

"Pleased to meet you."  (Like most Europeans, Lockert believed that
all Americans of all classes always said "Pleased to meet you," and
expected so to be greeted in turn.)  "Revelation?  Jolly good car.
Had one in Kent.  My cousin--live with him when I'm home--bouncing
old retired general--he's dotty over motors.  Roars around on a
shocking old motor bike--mustache and dignity flying in the morning
breeze--atrocious bills for all the geese and curates he runs over.
He's insanely pro-American--am myself, except for your appalling
ice water.  Have another cocktail?"

In twenty minutes, Sam and Major Clyde Lockert had agreed that the
"labor turnover" was too high, that driving by night into the
brilliance of headlights was undesirable, that Bobby Jones was a
player of golf, and that they themselves were men of the world and
cheery companions.

"I'll meet lots of people.  And I like this ship.  This is the
greatest day of my life--next to my marriage, of course," Sam
gloated, as the second dinner gong flooded the ship with waves of
hysterical sound and he marched out to rouse Fran from her
mysterious activities.

There was awaiting him in his cabin a wireless from Tub Pearson:

          WISH WITH YOU TUB.

He wondered about introducing Major Lockert to Fran.

He was never able to guess how she would receive the people whom he
found in the alley and proudly dragged in to her.  Business men
whom he regarded as upstanding and vigorous, she often pronounced
dull; European visitors whom he found elegant, she was likely to
call "not quite the real thing"; and men whom he had doubtfully
presented to her as worthy but rather mutton-headed, she had been
known to consider fine and very sensitive.  And for all her
theoretical desire to make their house a refuge for him and for
whomever he liked to invite, she had never learned to keep her
opinions of people to herself.  When she was bored by callers, she
would beg "Do you mind if I run up to bed now--such a headache,"
with a bright friendliness which fooled no one save herself, and
which left their guests chilled and awkward.

Would she find Lockert heavy?

While they sat in the music room over after-dinner coffee, with a
dance beginning in the cleared space, Lockert came ambling up to

"Mr. Lockert--my wife," Sam mumbled.

Lockert's stolidity did not change as he bowed, as he sat down in
answer to a faint invitation, but Sam noted that his pale blue eyes
came quickly alive and searched Fran with approval. . . .  Fran's
lovely pallor, in a robe de style such as only her slenderness
could bear.

Sam settled back with his cigar and let them talk.  To him, always,
the best talk was no brilliance of his own, but conversation that
amused Fran and drew her out of her silken sulkiness.

"You've been long in America, Mr. Lockert?"

"Not this time.  I've been living in British Guiana--plantation--
no soda for your whisky, and always the chance of finding a snake
curled up in your chair on the verandah--nice big snakes, all
striped, very handsome and friendly--don't seem to get used to

Lockert spoke to her not with such impersonal friendliness as he
had for Sam, not with the bored dutifulness which most men in
Zenith showed toward any woman over a flapperish eighteen, but a
concentration, an eagerness in the presence of attractive women, an
authentic need for women, which seemed to flatter Fran and to rouse
her, yet make her timid.  She had first looked at Lockert with
metallic courtesy.  "Here was another of those ponderous business
men that Sam was always dragging around."  Now she concentrated on
him, she forgot Sam, and murmured youthfully:

"It sounds dreadful.  And yet so exciting!  I think I should be
glad of a nice striped snake, for a change!  I'm terribly fed up
with the sound, safe American cities where you never find anything
in your chair more thrilling than the morning paper.  I think I'll
go look for snakes!"

"Are you going East?"

"Don't know.  Isn't it nice!  No plans beyond London."

"You'll stay in London a bit?"

"Yes, if there aren't too many Americans there.  Why IS it that
the travelling American is such a dreadful person?  Look at those
ghastly people at that second table there--no, just beyond the
pillar--father with horn-rimmed spectacles, certain to be talking
about either Coolidge or Prohibition--earnest mother in home-made
frock out to hunt down Culture and terribly grim about it--daughter
with a voice like a file.  Why IS it?"

"And why is it that you Americans, the nice ones, are so much more
snobbish than the English?"

She gasped, and Sam awaited a thunderbolt, which did not come.
Lockert was calm and agreeable, and she astonishingly bent to his
domination with a puzzled:  "Are we, really?"

"Appallingly!  I know only two classes of people who hate their own
race--or tribe or nation or whatever you care to call it--who
travel principally to get away from their own people, who never
speak of them except with loathing, who are pleased not to be taken
as belonging to them.  That is, the Americans and the Jews!"

"Oh, come now, that's idiotic!  I'm as proud of being--No!  That's
so.  Partly.  You're right.  Why is it?"

"I suppose it's because your boosters go so much to the other
extreme, talking about 'God's Country'"

"But that expression is never used any more."

"It isn't?  Anyway: 'greatest country on earth' and 'we won the
war.'  And your ghastly city-boosting tours and Elks' conventions--
people like you hate this bellowing.  And then I do think the
English have, as you would say, 'put something over on you'--"

"I've NEVER used the phrase!"

"--by sitting back and quietly assuming that we're the noblest and
rightest people on earth.  And if any man or any nation has the
courage or the magnificent egotism to do that long enough, almost
every one will accept it from him.  Oh, the English are essentially
more insufferable than the Americans--"

"But not so noisy about it," mused Fran.

Sam was not at all sure that he liked this discussion.

"Perhaps not," said Lockert; "though if there's anything noisier
than the small even voice with which an Englishman can murmur,
'Don't be so noisy, my dear fellow--!'  Physically, it may carry
only a yard, but spiritually it rings clear up through the Heavens!
And I'll be hearing it, now that I've become a Colownial.  Even my
cousin--I was speaking to your husband about him--absolute fanatic
about motor transport--I'm to stay with him in Kent.  And he'll be
pleasant to me, and gently rebuking--And he's rather a decent old
thing--General Herndon."

"General LORD Herndon?  Of the Italian drive?" said Fran.

"Yes.  You see, my revered great-grandfather did so well out of
cotton that he was rewarded with a peerage."

"And you're so proud of it!  That's why you enjoy your mock
humility.  You had a quite American thrill in admitting that your
cousin is a lordship.  It's bunk--I mean, it's nonsense, the
British assertion that only Americans take titles seriously.  You
have as much satisfaction out of not calling your cousin 'Lord' as--"

"As any charming American woman would out of calling him 'Lord'!"

She seemed helpless against Lockert's bland impertinence; she
seemed to enjoy being bullied; she admitted, "Yes, perhaps," and
they smiled at each other.

"But seriously," said Lockert, "you'll be more English than I am,
after you've lived there a year.  I've knocked about so much in
South America and Colorado and Ceylon that I'm merely a tramp.
Jungle rat."

"You really think so--that I'll become English?"  She was
unguardedly frank, she the ever-guarded.

"Quite. . . .  I say, may I have this dance?"

Lockert, for all his squareness--he was as solid and ungraceful-
looking as his favorite mutton-chop--danced easily.  Sam drooped in
his chair and watched them.

"Nice she has somebody to play with already," he insisted.

And within three days she had a dozen men to "play with," to dance
and argue with, and race with around the deck.  But always it was
Lockert who assumed that he was her patron, who looked over her new
acquaintances one by one, and was not at all shy about giving his
verdict on them.  She became helplessly angry at his assumptions,
and he apologized so affably and so insincerely that she enjoyed
quarreling with him for hours at a time, snuggled in a steamer robe
on deck.  And when Lockert and she found that they were both
devoted to dogs and they became learned about wire-haired terriers,
Sam leaned back listening as though she were his clever daughter.

Between times she was gayer with him and more affectionate than she
had been for years; and day by day the casualness suitable to a
manufacturer like Sam broke down into surprising, uncharted


On their last day out--they were due in Southampton at noon,
tomorrow--there was on the Ultima all the kindly excitement, all
the anticipation and laughter, of the day before Christmas.  When
the Dodsworths came up to the smoking-room for their cocktail
before dinner they were welcomed by the dozen people whom Lockert,
the mixer of the voyage, had attracted to the round table in the
center of the room.

What delightful people!  Sam glowed; what a pleasure to travel with
them:  Lockert, the stolidly loquacious English adventurer; the
jolly and vulgar little Jewish millinery buyer from Denver, who was
quite the cleverest man aboard; Lechintsky, the pianist; Colonel
Endersley, American military attache at Constantinople; Sally
O'Leary, the satiny movie actress, whose real name was Gwendolyn
Alcovar; kindly and ruminating old Professor Deakins, the
Assyriologist; Max Ristad, the Norwegian aviator; Pierce Pattison,
the New York banker.

"Come on, you're late!" and "Sit down here; I've had mine," and "We
missed you!" they cried.  They were as friendly as a college
reunion, as free of jealousy, and just as undiscriminating.

The Jewish buyer had two new anecdotes (against his own race,
naturally), and they flowed down to dinner in a group.

The Captain's Dinner on the Ultima occurred on the last night of
the voyage, and much was made of it.  The dining salon was draped
in scarlet, the stewards were in red hunting-coats, champagne was
served at the expense of the Line.  Even prohibitionists were
betrayed into smiles which indicated that they wanted to keep up
the friendships of this halcyon week.  Toasts were drunk from table
to table, with many bows, and the large Seattle contractor, who
always overdid everything, threw confetti, and tonight no one
minded his alcoholic philanthropy.  The Comtesse de Val Montique,
who had been born in Chicago, who owned nine million dollars, two
chateaux, and part of a beautifully varnished husband, who crossed
the ocean regularly twice a year and was so aristocratic that she
had for friends only her servants, was moved tonight to look
amiable as people passed her table.  And the old captain, his beard
like a whisk broom, went about the room patting shoulders and
chuckling, "You cross again with Papa, eh?"

Sam was raised to a quivering sensitiveness toward all of them.  He
was not drunk, certainly, but after two cocktails, half a bottle of
champagne, and a cognac or two, he was released from his customary
caution, his habitual concentration on his own affairs.  He was
excited by their merriment at first; then it seemed to him pitiful
that all of them, and he himself, should so rarely cease thus their
indignant assertion of the importance of their own little offices
and homes and learnings, and let themselves rejoice in friendliness.
They seemed to him like children, excitedly playing now, but soon to
be caught by weary maturity.  He felt a little the lacrimae rerum of
the whole world.  He wanted to weep over the pride of the waiters
as--the one moment on the voyage when they were important and
beautiful and to be noticed--they bore in the platters of flaming
ice cream.  He wanted to weep over the bedraggled small-town bride
who for the moment forgot that she had not found honeymooning quite
so glorious, nor the sea so restful. And he saw as pitiful the fact
that Fran expected to find youth again merely by changing skies.

All the while he looked as little sentimental as possible, the
large, grave man plodding through the courses.

That was the great dance of the trip, with Japanese lanterns making
the starboard deck curiously like the verandah of the Kennepoose
Canoe Club, years and years ago, when he had found Fran.  But he
did not explain it to her.  He couldn't.  He said, "I adore you!
You look mighty well in that gold and ivory dress."  He had,
indeed, little chance for sentimental explanations.  No flapper
aboard had more partners than Fran; certainly none danced so
smoothly.  Lockert was proprietorially about her, always, and to
Sam he snapped, "Want to have you at Lord Herndon's for a week-end,
if you'll come, and I'd like to show you a bit of London.  We'll
dine at Claridge's."

Sam was not at all sure that Lockert would do anything of the kind;
he suspected that Lockert could forget people as quickly as he
picked them up; yet it gave him a feeling of belonging a little to
England.  And there was Tub Pearson's nephew at the American
Embassy, and of course Hurd, the manager of the London Revelation
agency.  He belonged!

He was emboldened to ask for a dance with Sally O'Leary, the movie
queen who had made seduction famous.

"I'm not much good at this," he grumbled, as the steamer rolled and
they struggled to dance up-hill.  "You ought to be dancing with one
of these young fellows."

"Don't be silly!  You're a lovely partner.  You're a man, not one
of these gigolos, or whatever the damn' word is.  If you didn't
have such a lovely wife, I'd probably lay my head on your lovely
big chest and ask you to go out to Hollywood and kill a coupla
lovely beauty-parlor cowboys for me!"

He was pleased to believe that she meant it.  His heightened
sensitiveness, his wistful perception of the loneliness of the
world, was gone in a boisterous well-being.  When he danced with
Fran and she dutifully pointed out his roughness, he laughed.
Always she had a genius for keeping herself superior to him by just
the right comment on his clumsiness, the most delicate and needle-
pointed comparison of him with defter men.  But tonight he
chuckled, "I'm no Nijinsky, but I'm enjoying myself so much that
even you can't make me mad!"  He whirled her again, mercilessly; he
slid gloatingly down the long deck, and marched her back to their

And, when Fran assured him they needed no more wine, there were
joyful invasions of the smoking-room, where tablefuls of the
shamelessly happy greeted him, "Come sit down!"

They liked him!  He was Somebody!  Not just as the president of the
Revelation but in himself, in whatever surroundings!

He did sit down; he wandered from table to table in an ecstasy
of friendliness . . . which became a little blurred, a little
dizzy. . . .  But they were the best company he'd ever known,
everybody on board, all of 'em. . . .  But he'd better watch out;
he was slightly lit. . . .  But they were the BEST folks--

He went out on deck, to clear his head; he swayed up to the boat
deck.  Then he stood fixed, and all his boisterousness vanished in
a high, thin, clear ecstasy.

On the horizon was a light, stationary, ON LAND, after these days
of shifting waters and sliding hulls.  He waited to be certain.
Yes!  It was a lighthouse, swinging its blade of flame.  They had
done it, they had fulfilled the adventure, they had found their way
across the blind immensity and, the barren sea miles over, they had
come home to England.  He did not know (he never knew) whether the
light was on Bishop's Rock or the English mainland, but his
released imagination saw the murkiness to northward there as
England itself.  Mother England!  Land of his ancestors; land of
the only kings who, to an American schoolboy, had been genuine
monarchs--Charles I and Henry VIII and Victoria; not a lot of
confusing French and German rulers.  Land where still, for the
never quite matured Sammy Dodsworth, Coeur de Lion went riding, the
Noir Faineant went riding, to rescue Ivanhoe, where Oliver Twist
still crept through evil alleys, where Falstaff's belly-laugh
discommoded the godly, where Uncle Ponderevo puffed and mixed,
where Jude wavered by dusk across the moorland, where Old Jolyon
sat with quiet eyes, in immortality more enduring than human life.
And his own people--he had lost track of them, but he had far-off
cousins in Wiltshire, in Durham.  And all of them there--in a motor
boat he could be ashore in half an hour!  Perhaps there was a town
just off there--He saw it, from pictures in Punch and the
Illustrated London News, from Cruikshank illustrations of his

A seaside town: a crescent of flat-faced houses, the brass-sheathed
door of a select pub and, countrywards, a governess-cart creeping
among high hedges to a village green, a chalky hill with Roman
earthworks up to which panted the bookish vicar beside a white-
mustached ex-proconsul who had ruled jungles and maharajahs and
lost temples where peacocks screamed.

Mother England!  Home!

He dashed down to Fran.  He had to share it with her.  For all his
training in providing suitable company for her and then not
interrupting his betters, he burst through her confidences as
Lockert and she stood aloof from the dance.  He seized her shoulder
and rumbled, "Light ahead!  We're there!  Come up on the top deck.
Oh, hell, never MIND a coat!  Just a second, to see it!"

His insistence bore Fran away, and with her alone, unchaperoned by
that delightful Major Lockert, he stood huddled by a lifeboat, in
his shirtsleeves, his dress coat around her, looking at the cheery
wink of the light that welcomed them.

They had full five minutes of romancing and of tenderness before
Lockert came along, placidly bumbling that they would catch
cold . . . that they would find Kent an estimable county . . . that
Dodsworth must never make the mistake of ordering his street-boots
and his riding-boots from the same maker.

The smell of London is a foggy smell, a sooty smell, a coal-fire
smell, yet to certain wanderers it is more exhilarating, more
suggestive of greatness and of stirring life, than springtime
hillsides or the chill sweetness of autumnal nights; and that
unmistakable smell, which men long for in rotting perfumes along
the Orinoco, in the greasy reek of South Chicago, in the hot odor
of dusty earth among locust-buzzing Alberta wheatfields, that
luring breath of the dark giant among cities, reaches halfway to
Southampton to greet the traveler.  Sam sniffed at it, uneasily,
restlessly, while he considered how strange was the British fashion
of having railway compartments instead of an undivided car with a
nice long aisle along which you could observe ankles, magazines,
Rotary buttons, clerical collars, and all the details that made
travel interesting.

And the strangeness of having framed pictures of scenery behind the
seats; of having hand straps--the embroidered silk covering so
rough to the finger tips, the leather inside so smooth and cool--
beside the doors.  And the greater strangeness of admitting that
these seats were more comfortable than the flinty Pullman chairs of
America.  And of seeing outside, in the watery February sunshine,
not snow-curdled fields but springtime greenness; pollarded willows
and thatched roofs and half-timbered facades--

Just like in the pictures!  England!

Like most people who have never traveled abroad, Sam had not
emotionally believed that these "foreign scenes" veritably existed;
that human beings really could live in environments so different
from the front yards of Zenith suburbs; that Europe was anything
save a fetching myth like the Venusberg.  But finding it actually
visible, he gave himself up to grasping it as enthusiastically as,
these many years, he had given himself to grinding out motor cars.


Not the charge and roaring of the huge red busses, not the glimpse
of Westminster's towers beside the Thames, not the sight of the
pale tall houses of Carlton House Terrace, so much delighted Sam
and proved to him that incredibly he was in London as did a milk
cart on its afternoon delivery--that absurd little cart, drawn by a
pony, with the one big brassy milk container, instead of a truck
filled with precise bottles.

"That certainly is old-fashioned!" he muttered in the taxicab,
greatly content.

They planned to stay at the Berkeley, but when Sam stood at the
booking-desk, making himself as large and impassive and traveled-
looking as possible, and said casually, "I'd like a suite," the
clerk remarked, "Very sorry, sir--full up."

"But we wirelessed for reservations!" snapped Fran.

"Come to think of it, I forgot all about sending the radio," said
Sam, looking apologetically at the clerk, apologizing for the
rudeness of Fran, his child.

She breathed quickly, angrily, but never yet had she quarreled with
him in public.

"You might try the Savoy, sir.  Or the Ritz--just across
Piccadilly," the clerk suggested.

They drooped back to the taxicab waiting with their luggage,
feeling unwelcome, and when they were safely inside the car, she
opened up:

"I do think you might have remembered to send that wireless,
considering that you had absolutely nothing else to do aboard--
except drink!  When I did all the packing and--Sam, do you ever
realize that it really wouldn't injure your titanic industrial mind
if you were occasionally just the least little bit thoughtful
toward me, if you didn't leave absolutely everything about the
house and traveling for me to do?  I don't think it was very nice
of you!  And I'm so tired, after the customs and--"

"Hell!  I suppose you got the tickets to Europe!  I suppose you got
our passports--"

"No.  Your secretary did!  I'm afraid you don't get any vast credit
for that, my dear man!"

That was all the family scene for which they had time before they
disembarked at the Ritz, but Fran was able to keep up quite a high
level of martyrdom and bad temper, for the Ritz was nearly full,
also, and they could not have a suite till the next day.  Tonight,
Fran had to endure a mere double bedroom with a private bath.

"I suppose," she stormed, "that I'm expected to spend my entire
time in London packing and unpacking and moving and unpacking all
over again!  This awful room!  Oh, I do think you might have

All the gaiety was gone from Sam's large face.  He held her arm,
painfully, and growled, "Now that'll do!  You ought to be ashamed
of yourself!  I always deny it, even to you, but you CAN be the
nagging wife!  Just the kind you hate!  We've never had a better
room than this, and tomorrow we'll have a suite, and you needn't
unpack anything besides a toothbrush this evening--we needn't dress
for dinner.  You make me sick when you get this suffering, abused,
tragedy fit.  I know it's because you're tired and jumpy, but can't
you ever be tired and jumpy without insisting that every one around
you be the same way?"

"Is it necessary for you to shout at me, as a proof of YOUR
calmness--your superb masculine calmness--and is it necessary to
break my arm?  I am not a nagger!  I've never nagged you!  But the
fact that you, who are so fond of talking about yourself as the
great executive who never forgets a detail--"

"Never say anything of the kind!"

"--could forget to send that wireless, and then you're too self-
satisfied even to be sorry about it--"

"Fran!"  His arm circled her; he led her to the window.  "Look down
there!  Piccadilly!  London!  I've always wanted to see it, just as
much as you have.  Are we going to quarrel now?  Do you remember
the very first evening I met you, after you'd come back from
Europe, and I said we'd come here together?  And we have.  Togeth--
Oh, I guess I sound sentimental, but to be here in England, where
all our people came from, with you--"

"I'm sorry.  I was naughty.  I'm sorry."  Then she laughed.  "Only
my people didn't come from here!  My revered ancestors galloped
around the Bavarian mountains in short green pants, and yodeled,
and undoubtedly they fought your ancestors on all possible

But her laughter was not very convincing; her restoration to
happiness not complete.  She said, while she was unpacking her
smaller bag, gliding in and out of the bathroom--she said, in
rather a lonely, discouraged way:

"Same time, my dear, you aren't always thoughtful about me.
American husbands never are.  You're no worse than the rest, but
you're just as bad.  You think of nothing beyond business and golf.
It never occurs to you that a woman, poor idiot, is lots more
pleased when you remember to send her flowers, or when you 'phone
to her at odd hours, just to say you love her, than she would be by
a new motor car.  Please don't think I'm nagging--maybe I was
before, but I'm not now, really!  I do so want us to be happy
together!  And now that you don't have to think about business,
don't you think it might be nice to get acquainted with me?  I'm
really quite a nice person!"

"Nice?  Oh, Lord!"

She was cheerfuller, after their long kiss, and he--he became very
busy trying to be a thoughtful husband.

And she agreed that it was jolly that they needn't dress for
dinner, and then she unpacked their evening clothes.

It was toward evening; he must make her first night in London
exciting; and, like most American husbands, he assumed that the
best way to do it was to invite some one, if possible some one a
little younger and livelier than himself, to join them.

Major Lockert?

Oh, damn Major Lockert!

They'd seen too much of him on the ship--and the patronizing way in
which he'd ambled into their compartment on the boat train and
thrust a Graphic and a Tatler on them--And the way he'd explained
that you mustn't confuse a florin and a half-crown--

Still, Lockert was younger than himself--perhaps half a dozen
years--and he could gabble about baccarat and Paris-Plage and other
things that Fran seemed to find important--

"Let's get hold of somebody for dinner, honey," he said, "and then
maybe we'll take in a show.  How about it?  Shall I try to get hold
of Lockert?"

"Oh no!"

He was pleased; considerably less pleased when she went on, "He's
been so kind to us, and so helpful, and we mustn't bother him on
his first evening home.  What about this young Starling, Tub's
nevvy, at the American Embassy?"

"We'll try him."

The Embassy was closed, and at his bachelor apartment, Dunger, the
porter, explained that Mr. Starling had gone to the Riviera for a

"Do you remember any of the people you met here when you came
abroad as a kid?" Sam asked.

"No, not really.  And I haven't any relatives here--all in Germany.
Hang it, I do think that after all these centuries my family might
have provided me with one respectable English earl as kinsman!"

"What about Hurd, the Revelation agent?  I think he came to our
house once when he was in Zenith."

"Oh, he--he's a terrible person--absolute roughneck--how you ever
happened to send an American like Hurd over here when you might
have had a nice Englishman as London agent and--Why, don't you
remember I asked you not to write him we were coming?  I WON'T be
the 'president's little lady' to that awful bunch of back-slapping

"Now Hurd's a mighty good fellow!  He's cocky, and I don't suppose
he's read a book since he used to look at the lingerie ads in the
Sears-Roebuck catalogue as a kid, but he's a whirlwind at selling,
and he tells mighty good stories, and he would know the best
restaurants in London."

Softened, a bit motherly--or at least a bit sisterly--she comforted
him, "You really would like to see him, wouldn't you?  Well then,
let's get him, by all means."

"No, this is your party.  I want somebody that you'd like.  Plenty
of time to see Hurd; go call on him tomorrow, maybe."

"No, really, I think it would be lovely to have your Mr. Hurd.  He
wasn't so bad.  I was exaggerating.  Yes, do call him up--please
do!  I'd feel terrible if I felt that I'd kept you from seeing--And
perhaps you do owe it to the business.  He may have some cables
from the U.A.C."

"Well, all right.  And if I don't get him, how about trying Colonel
Enderley and his wife--I thought they were about the nicest people
on the boat, and they may not have a date for tonight.  Or that
aviator, Ristad?"


Hurd's office was closed.

Hurd's home address not in the telephone book.

Colonel and Mrs. Enderley not at the Savoy, after all.

Max Ristad not in.

Who else?

How many millions of American husbands had sat on the edges of how
many millions of hotel beds, from San Francisco to Stockholm,
sighing to the unsympathetic telephone, "Oh, not in?" ruffling
through the telephone book, and again sighing, "Oh, not in?"--
looking for playmates for their handsome wives, while the wives
listened blandly and never once cried, "But I don't want any one
else!  Aren't we two enough?"

A little melancholy at having to struggle through their Second
Honeymoon unassisted, they dined at the hotel and went to the
theater.  In the taxicab, he had a confused timidity--no fear of
violence, no sense of threatened death, but a feeling of
incompetence in this strange land, of making a fool of himself, of
being despised by Fran and by these self-assured foreigners; a fear
of loneliness; a fear that he might never be restored to the
certainties of Zenith.  He saw his club, the office, the dear
imprisonment of home, against the background of London, with its
lines of severe facades, its roaring squares, corners clamorous
with newspaper vendors, and a whole nest of streets that irritated
him because they weren't reasonable--he didn't know where they led!
And a tremendous restaurant that looked bigger than any clashing
Childs' in New York, which was annoying in a land where he had
expected to find everything as tiny and stiff and unambitious as a
Japanese toy garden.

And the taxi-driver hadn't understood his pronunciation--he had had
to let the hotel porter give the name of the theater--and what
ought he to tip the fellow?  He couldn't ask Fran's advice.  He was
making up for his negligence about the radiogram for hotel
reservations by being brusque and competent--a man on whom she
could rely, whom she would love the more as she saw his superiority
in new surroundings.  God, he loved her more than ever, now that he
had the time for it!

And what was that about not confusing a half-crown (let's see: that
was fifty cents, almost exactly, wasn't it?) and a florin?  Why had
Lockert gone and mixed him all up by cautioning him so much about
them?  Curse Lockert--nice chap--awfully kind, but treating him as
though he were a baby who would be disgraced in decent English
society unless he had a genteel guide to tell him what he might
wear and what he might say in mixed society!  He'd managed to
become president of quite a fair-sized corporation without
Lockert's aid, hadn't he!

He felt, at the theater, even more forlorn.

He did not understand more than two-thirds of what the actors said
on the stage.  He had been brought up to believe that the English
language and the American language were one, but what could a
citizen of Zenith make of "Ohs rath, eastill in labtry"?

What were they talking about?  What was the play about?  He knew
that in America, even in the Midwestern saneness of Zenith, where
the factories and skyscrapers were not too far from the healing
winds across the cornfields, an incredible anarchy had crept into
the family life which, he believed, had been the foundation of
American greatness.  People that you knew, people like his own
cousin, Jerry Loring, after a decent career as a banker had taken
up with loose girls and had stood for his wife's having a lover
without killing the fellow.  By God if he, Sam Dodsworth, ever
found HIS wife being too friendly with a man--

No, he probably wouldn't.  Not kill them.  She had a right to her
own way.  She was better than he--that slender, shining being, in
the golden frock she had insisted on digging out of a wardrobe
trunk.  She was a divine thing, while he was a clodhopper--and how
he'd like to kiss her, if it weren't for shocking all these people
so chillily calm about him!  If conceivably she COULD look at
another man, he'd just leave her . . . and kill himself.

But he must attend to the play, considering that he was being
educated, and so expensively.

He concluded that the play was nonsense.  In America there was a
criminal amount of divorcing and of meriting divorce, but surely
that collapse of all the decencies was impossible in Old England,
the one land that these hundreds of years had upheld the home, the
church, the throne!  Yet here on the stage, with no one hissing, an
English gentleman was represented as being the lover of a decent
woman, wife of a chemist, and as protesting against running away
with her because then they would be unable to continue having tea
and love together at the husband's expense.  And the English
audience, apparently good honest people, laughed.

The queer cold bewilderment crept closer to him in the entr'acte,
when he paced the lobby with Fran.  The people among whom he was
strolling were so blankly indifferent to him.  In Zenith, he would
have been certain to meet acquaintances at the theater; even in New
York there was a probability of meeting classmates or automobile
men.  But here--He felt like a lost dog.  He felt as he had on the
first day of his Freshman year in college.

And his evening clothes, he perceived, were all wrong.

They went to bed rather silently, Sam and Fran.  He would have
given a great deal if she had suggested that they take a steamer
back to America tomorrow.  What, actually, she was thinking, he did
not know.  She had retired into the mysteriousness which had hidden
her essential self ever since the night when he had first made love
to her, at the Kennepoose Canoe Club.  She was pleasant now--too
pleasant; she said, too easily, that she had enjoyed the play; and
she said, without saying it, that she was far from him and that he
was not to touch her body, her sacred, proud, passionately cared-
for body, save in a fleeting good-night kiss.  She seemed as
strange to him as the London audience at the theater.  It was
inconceivable that he had lived with her for over twenty years;
impossible that she should be the mother of his two children;
equally impossible that it could mean anything to her to travel
with him--he so old and tired and aimless, she so fresh and
unwrinkled and sure.

Tonight, she wasn't forty-two to his fifty-one; she was thirty to
his sixty.

He heard the jesting of Tub Pearson, the friendliness of his
chauffeur at home, the respectful questions of his stenographer.

He realized that Fran was also lying awake and that, as quietly as
possible, her face rammed into her pillow, she was crying.

And he was afraid to comfort her.


Sam had never, for all of Fran's years of urging that it was a
genteel and superior custom, been able to get himself to enjoy
breakfast in bed.  It seemed messy.  Prickly crumbs of toast crept
in between the sheets, honey got itself upon his pajamas, and it
was impossible to enjoy an honest cup of coffee unless he squared
up to it at an honest table.  He hated to desert her, their first
morning in London, but he was hungry.  Before he dared sneak down
to the restaurant, he fussed about, trying to see to it that she
had a proper breakfast.  There was a room waiter, very morose, who
spoke of creamed haddock and kippers.  Now whatever liberalisms
Samuel Dodsworth might have about politics and four-wheel brakes,
he was orthodox about American breakfasts, and nothing could have
sent him more gloomily to his own decent Cream of Wheat than Fran's
willingness to take a thing called a kipper.

No, said Fran, after breakfast, she thought she would stay in bed
till ten.  But he needed exercise, she said.  Why, she said, with a
smile which snapped back after using as abruptly as a stretched
rubber band, didn't he take a nice walk?

He did take a nice walk.

He felt friendly with such old-fashioned shops as were left on St.
James's Street; brick shopfronts with small-paned windows which had
known all the beaux and poets of the eighteenth century: a hat-
making shop with antiquated toppers and helmets in the window; a
wine office with old hand-blown bottles.  Beyond these relics was a
modern window full of beautiful shiny shotguns.  He had not
believed, somehow, that the English would have such beautiful shiny
shotguns.  Things were looking up.  England and he would get along

But it was foggy, a little raw, and in that gray air the aloof and
white-faced clubs of Pall Mall depressed him.  He was relieved by
the sign of an American bank, the Guaranty Trust Company, looking
very busy and cheerful behind the wide windows.  He would go in
there and get acquainted but--Today he could think of no reason; he
had plenty of money, and there had been no time yet for mail to
arrive--curse it!--how he'd like a good breezy letter from Tub
Pearson, even a business letter from the U.A.C., full of tricky
questions to be answered, anything to assure him that he was some
one and meant something, here in this city of traditional,
unsmiling stateliness, among these unhurried, well-dressed people
who so thoroughly ignored him.

The next steamer back--

Too late in life, now, to "make new contacts," as they said in

He realized that Fran's thesis, halfway convincing to him when they
had first planned to go to Europe, her belief that they could make
more passionate lives merely by running away to a more complex and
graceful civilization, had been as sophomoric as the belief of a
village girl that if she could but go off to New York, she would
magically become beautiful and clever and happy.

He had, for a few days, forgotten that wherever he traveled, he
must take his own familiar self along, and that that self would
loom up between him and new skies, however rosy.  It was a good
self.  He liked it, for he had worked with it.  Perhaps it could
learn things.  But would it learn any more here, where it was
chilled by the unfamiliarity, than in his quiet library, in
solitary walks, in honestly auditing his life, back in Zenith?  And
just what were these new things that Fran confidently expected it
to learn?

Pictures?  Why talk stupidly about pictures when he could talk
intelligently about engines?  Languages?  If he had nothing to say,
what was the good of saying it in three languages?  Manners?  These
presumable dukes and dignitaries whom he was passing on Pall Mall
might be able to enter a throne-room more loftily, but he didn't
want to enter a throne-room.  He'd rather awe Alec Kynance of the
U.A.C. than anybody who'd only inherited the right to be called a

No.  He was simply going to be more of Sam Dodsworth than he had
ever been.  He wasn't going to let Europe make him apologetic.
Fran would certainly get notions; want to climb into circles with
fancy-dress titles.  Oh, Lord, and he was so fond of her that he'd
probably back her up!  But he'd fight; he'd try to get her happily
home in six months.


He knew now what he'd do--and what he'd make her do!

He became happy again, and considered the Londoners with a
friendly, unenvious, almost superior air . . . and discovered that
his hat was just as wrong as his evening clothes.  It was a good
hat, too, and imported; a Borsalino, guaranteed by the Hub Hatters
of Zenith to be the smartest hat in America.  But it slanted down
in front with too Western and rakish an air.

And, swearing that he'd let no English passers-by tell him what
HE was going to wear, he stalked toward Piccadilly and into a
hat-shop he remembered having seen.  He'd just glance in there.
Certainly they couldn't SELL him anything!  English people
couldn't sell like Americans!  So he entered the shop and came out
with a new gray felt hat for town, a new brown one for the country,
a bowler, a silk evening hat, and a cap, and he was proud of
himself for having begun the Europeanization which he wasn't going
to begin.

For lunch he invited Hurd--Mr. A. B. Hurd, manager of the London
agency of the Revelation Motor Company, an American who had lived
in England for six years.

Fran was fairly amiable about meeting Mr. Hurd, for the hotel
management had given her the suite which she had demanded, with a
vast sitting-room in blue and gold.

"I was cross, last evening," she said to Sam.  "I felt kind of
lonely.  I was naughty, and you were so sweet.  I'll be good now."

But she couldn't help being a little over-courteous to Hurd when he
came in.

Mr. Hurd was a round-faced, horn-spectacled, heavy-voiced man who
believed that he had become so English in manner and speech that no
one could possibly take him for an American, and who, if he lived
in England for fifty years, would never be taken for anything save
an American.  He looked so like every fourth man to be found at the
Zenith Athletic Club that traveling Middlewesterners grew homesick
just at sight of him, and the homesicker when they heard his good,
meaty, uninflected Iowa voice.  He was proud of being able to say
that the "goods vans with the motors were being shunted," though if
he was in a hurry he was likely to observe that the "goods vans
with the autos were by God being switched."

His former awe of Sam and of the elegance of Fran was lost now in
his superiority as one who certainly did know his England and who
could help these untraveled friends.

He bounded into their suite, shook hands, and crowed:

"Well, by Jove, d'you know you could've doggone near knocked me
down with a feather when I found you folks were in town!  I say, if
you'd just told us you were coming, we'd've been down to the depot
with the town brass band!  By golly, d'you know, Chief, I'm almost
sorry we're going in with the U.A.C.  It's always been a pleasure
to have a straight-shooter like you for boss, and all of us hope
that you're going with the U.A.C. yourself.  Say, maybe we aren't
shoving over what we got left of the old Series V on the
Britishers, too!  Now I don't know what plans you folks have, and
the one thing we learn here in England about handling our guests--"

(Sam wondered if Hurd noticed the sudden rigidity with which Fran
received the suggestion that she could ever be considered a guest
of Mr. A. B. Hurd.)

"--is not to bother 'em, like the Americans do, but let 'em alone
when they want to be let alone.  Now this noon you folks come grab
lunch with me at the Savoy Grill--say, I've got the waiters there
trained, and I'll tell 'em they're not to treat you like ordinary
Americans--they all think I'm English; they think I'm kidding 'em
when I tell 'em I'm a good Yank and proud of it!  And then tomorrow
evening I'll get Mrs. Hurd to come in from the country--we're
living at Beaconsfield, got practically an acre there--and we might
all take in a show.  You folks will enjoy the English stage--real
highbrow actors that know how to talk the English language, not a
lot of these New York roughnecks.  And then maybe next week-end you
might like to come down and stay with us, and I'll drive you around
and show you some real English landscape, and you'll meet some of
the real sure'nough English.  There's a very high-class Englishman
living right near us, in fact he's a knight, Sir Wilkie Absolom,
the famous solicitor, that I know your good lady will fall for
hard, Chief.  Him and I play golf together right along, and I tell
you he's a real democratic guy--he'll take you in and treat you
just like you were English yourselves!"

"I THINK, Mr. Hurd," said Fran, "that we'd better be starting off
and--"  (So sweetly; as to a maid whom she was going to discharge
come Saturday.)  "--we can discuss plans on the way.  You're very
kind to bother with us, but I'm afraid that just these next few
days we're going to be rather horribly busy.  We've already,
unfortunately, accepted a week-end invitation from some old
friends--you see, I lived here a long time, before I was married--
and tomorrow evening we're dining out.  But now let's go and have
lunch, and Sam and you will have such a nice chance to discuss all
the details of the U.A.C.  Just forget that I'm there."

And Hurd was unconscious that anything whatever had happened.

"Huh!  Guess it'd be pretty hard to ever forget YOU were around,
Mrs. Dodsworth!  But I certainly would like to get the real,
honest-to-God low-down on the combine.  And maybe you'll be able to
come out to us for the week-end after that.  One American thing we
do stick to--real central heating!  Maybe won't be as swell as some
of these castles, but lot more comfy all right!"

"Oh, I'm sure of it.  Shall we go now?"

Sam raged within, "I'm not going to stand her highhatting him like
that!  He's being as polite as he can."  And, as heartily as Hurd,
he shouted, "Wait there!  Hold your horses, Fran!  If Hurd is
buying us all this expensive food, we got to give him a cocktail
first.  He'll be our housewarming party here."

He stamped firmly across the floor, rang for a waiter, and ordered
cocktails, ignoring her flashed fury, though he knew that he would
have to pay for it afterward.  But he did hope that Hurd wouldn't
say, drinking, "Well, here's looking at you, Chief!"

Hurd didn't.  He said, "Well, here's mud in your eye!  Ha, ha, ha!
Say, by golly, I guess it's a year since I've heard anybody get
that off!  But there's a few of the good old American expressions a
fellow likes to keep up, even when he's lived as long among the
English as I have.  Well, let's go feed the old faces.  Certainly
is awful' nice to have you folks here.  We must see a lot of each

Not that Fran said anything rude at lunch.  It would have been
better so.  She merely knotted her brows and looked suffering.
Fortunately Hurd did not seem to care; probably he did not look at
her; probably he was one of the American men of whom Fran had
complained that they never bothered to look at a woman of over

Hurd was unflagging.  "Guess you folks would like some American
grub for a change.  I do myself, after all these years here," he
chuckled, and ordered clam chowder, fried chicken, and sugar corn.
"You folks will do fine in this burg," he said.  "You'll meet some
of the best.  I wouldn't wonder if quite a few men in the City
(that's what we call the Wall Street Section, here) have heard of
you, Chief.  And your good lady ought to be able to get along fine
with the ladies here. . . .  Oh yes, you said you were here as a
girl.  Well, you'll find all that coming back to you before long.
Shouldn't wonder if you took to English life quicker'n I did
myself, and say, I took to it like a duck to water.  Of course I'm
a one-hundred-per-cent. American, but I do like English ways, and
this damn' Prohibition--excuse me, Mrs. Dodsworth, but I'm agin
Prohibition--I guess that's about the only subject where I haven't
got any come-back when my English pals razz me about the States.
And the wages for servants here--Say, ain't it simply incredible,
by Jove, what kitchen mechanics expect to get in America, and never
do a lick of work for it!  Sure, you'll like it here.  But say, you
must be sure to not make one mistake that even a lot of high-class
Americans make when they first come over.  Don't ever boast about
how much money you make--"

(Surely Hurd must catch Fran's choke of rage.)

"--because the British think that's what they call putting on side.
Not that you would do that, of course, but I mean--Surprise you how
many of the real bon ton do.  And of course I don't need to suggest
to anybody with a social position like yours, Chief, that you can't
just get to talking to fellows in a hotel bar here, like we would
back home.  Oh, you bet.  I shouldn't wonder if you'd catch onto
English ways even quicker than--Well, as I was saying, I don't want
to intrude on you folks, but it'd be a mighty great pleasure to
give you any hints I can about the British slant on things, and to
start you off with a genuine English bunch of acquaintances."

"It's frightfully kind of you, and it's been such a nice lunch,"
said Fran.  "But do you mind if we run along now?  I'm afraid I'm a
little late for my engagement at the hairdresser's."

When, quite wordless, they had walked through Trafalgar Square, he
snarled at Fran, "Oh, SAY it!"

"Need I?"

"Better get it over!"

"You seem to be saying it to yourself, quite successfully!"

"I am.  Only hurry the execution.  I have too much imagination."

"Have you?  If you had, would you have invited the charming and
helpful and tactful Mr. A. B. Hurd to lunch with me?  Couldn't you
have enjoyed his highly British presence by yourself?"

"Fran, we've said all of this about so many different people--
Granted that I am a good deal of a fool about bringing the wrong
kinds of people together--"

"You are, my beloved, and everybody gives you credit for being so
loyal and hospitable!"

"Granted.  And I admit Hurd likes himself a good deal.  On the
other hand, he's generous, he's honest, he's probably a man of very
little home-training as a youngster.  And that--No, wait now!  You
DON'T know what I'm going to say!  In that I've expressed all our
whole row, if we went on with it all afternoon.  You'd just go on
saying that he's a fathead, and I'd just go on insisting that he's
got a kind heart.  Can't you ever forego the pleasure of catching
me in an error?  Here we are in London, with a free afternoon ahead
of us and the job of lunching with Hurd done.  Must you be sulky?"

"I am not sulky!  Only you can't expect me to be very radiant after
an experience like that!  Oh, it doesn't matter."  She achieved a
half-smile.  "Never mind.  We'll be meeting some decent people here
soon.  No, don't--don't tell me that Hurd is decent.  Probably he
is.  Probably he never beats his wife.  I'm sure that his playmate,
Sir Toppingham Cohen, is an adornment to any salon. . . .  Oh, all
right, Sam; I'll be good.  Only damn it, damn it, damn it, to think
of wasting time like--Oh, let's go to Bond Street and buy lots of
painfully expensive things."

When for two hours they had shopped up Regent Street and down Bond,
Fran was in an expansive, youthful, rattling mood, and she cried,
"Let's go back to the hotel--it really is a nice sitting-room--and
have tea there by our own fireplace."

On the large table in their sitting-room was a box of roses.

"Oh, and you THOUGHT of me, this morning!" she rejoiced.

He had, but he had not thought of the flowers.  They were from
Major Lockert.

"Oh, it doesn't matter," she said, in a tone which suggested that
it decidedly did matter, and while he was being over-solicitous
about the kind of cakes she'd like with tea, Lockert himself was

Lockert remarked, as though he had seen them five minutes before,
"It's cost me almost a bob at the club telephone to find out where
you were.  I say Dodsworth my cousin says you're entirely wrong
about hydraulic brakes I say won't you come down to his place for
the week-end awf'ly modest country cot sort of place he'd like
awf'ly to have you no no tea thanks must run along forgive
informality General's a widower no Lady Herndon call on you do

"At the same time," Sam complained, "Hurd and your friend Lockert
aren't essentially different.  (Oh, I don't know whether we ought
to go down to Lord Herndon's or not--no reason why he should care
to see me, and it'll be one of these houses with forty servants.)
Oh, Lockert talks more politely than Hurd, but at bottom they're
both bullies--they both want to do things for you that you don't
want done.  I wish Tub Pearson were here!"

"You would!  Of course we're going to Herndon's.  And not because
he's a General and a Lord but because--Well.  Yes.  Because he's a
General and a Lord.  That's an interesting fact to discover about
myself.  Am I a snob?  Splendid!  I shall get on, if I can only be
clear and resolute about it!"


Lockert called for them in a long, sumptuous, two-seater Sunbeam
which he drove himself.  He insisted that there was plenty of room
in the seat for the three of them, but it seemed to Sam that they
were crowded, and that Fran, glossy in her gray squirrel coat and
her small cloche hat, snuggled too contentedly against Lockert's

He forgot it in the pleasure of driving from the lowering smoke of
London to the winter sunshine of the country; gray fields beginning
to stir with green, breathing a faint bright mist, above which, in
the shining branches of the trees, the rooks were jubilant.  Little
villages he saw, with homely tea rooms and inn signs--"The Rose and
Crown," "The Green Dragon," and "The Faithful Friend"; then
thatched farmhouses, oasthouses--he could not understand what these
domestic lighthouses might be--and on a ridge the splayed ruin of a
castle, his first castle!

Knights in tourney; Elaine in white samite, mystic, wonderful--no,
it was Guinevere who wore the white samite, wasn't it? must read
some Tennyson again.  Dukes riding out to the Crusades with
minstrels playing on--what was it?--rebecks?  Banners alive, and a
thousand swords flashing.  And these fairy stories really had
happened, and around that wall up there, with its one broken lump
of a tower!  The cavalcade of knights--following this same road!--
became more real to him than the motor, for he was bored by the
talk of Fran and Lockert and lost the thread of it in ancient book-
colored memories which returned as desirable and somehow tragic.
The other two were chattering of cricket at Lord's, of polo at
Hurlingham; they were spitefully recalling the poor old rustic
banker on the Ultima who came to dinner every evening in prehistoric
dress clothes with the top of his trousers showing like a narrow
black scarf above the opening of his baggy white waistcoat.  Their
superciliousness shut Sam out in the darkness along with the kindly
old banker.

He wanted to escape from the hotel-and-theater London of the
tourist and see the authentic English--Dorset shepherds--cotton
operatives on the dole in Salford--collier captains in Bristol
harbor--Cornish tin-miners--Cambridge dons--hop-pickers in Kentish
pubs--great houses in the Dukeries.  But they were too low or too
high for Fran's attention, and was it probable, he sighed, that he
would see anything that she did not choose?

A little incredulously he perceived that Fran was really attracted
by Lockert--she who had not been given to even the flimsiest of
tea-table flirtations, who had blushed and looked soft-eyed only at
the attentions of the very best of visiting celebrities: a
lecturing English novelist or a young Italian baron who was
studying motor factories; she who had ever been rude with a swift
cold rudeness to such flappers as were known to indulge in that
midnight pawing known in Zenith as "necking."  But Lockert seemed
by his placid bullying to have broken her glistening shell of
sexlessness.  She, so touchy, so ready to take offense, accepted
Lockert as though he were her oldest friend, to wrangle with, to
laugh with.

"You drive much too fast," she said.

"It would be too fast for any one who wasn't as good a driver as I

"Oh, really!  I suppose you've won races!"

"I have.  With German shells.  I was in the motor transport before
they sent me to America.  I've driven at night, on a road full of
shell holes, without lights, at thirty miles an hour. . . .  As I
was saying, you're too American, Mrs. Dodsworth.  Americans
understand themselves less and are less understood by the world
than any nation that's ever existed.  You're excellent at all the
things in which you're supposed to be lacking--lyric poetry, formal
manners, lack of cupidity.  And you're so timid and incompetent at
the things in which you're supposed to excel--fast motoring,
aviation, efficiency in business, pioneering--why, Britain has done
more pioneering, in Canada and Africa and Australia and China, in
any given ten years, than the States have in twenty.  And you, who
feel you're so European, you're so typically American!  You have
the most charming and childish misconceptions about yourself.  You
think you're an arrogant, self-contained, rational, ambitious
woman, whereas actually you're warm-hearted and easily dazzled--
you're simply an eager young woman, and it's only your shyness that
keeps you going about doing the starry-eyed-wonder and trusting-
little-niece sort of thing."

"My dear Major Lockert, I hope that the combination of your
extraordinarily careful driving and your extraordinarily generous
mind-reading isn't tiring you too much!"

But she didn't, Sam realized, succeed in making it nasty.

She had turned entirely toward Lockert.  She no longer noticed Sam
when he mumbled, "There's a lovely old stone church," or "Guess
those are hop poles"; when he wanted to hold her hand and tell her
with quick little pressures that they were sharing the English

"Oh, well--" he reflected.

He recalled "Pickwick Papers," and the coach with the jovial, well-
warmed philosophers swaying down the frosty roads for Christmas in
the country.

"Great!" he said.

They stopped for lunch at a village inn.  To Sam's alert
gratification they drove under an archway into a courtyard of
coaching days.  He was delighted by the signs on the low dark doors
beneath the archway:  Coffee Room, Lounge, Saloon Bar.

They stamped their feet and swung their arms as the Pickwickians
had done when they had stopped, perhaps, at this same inn.  If Fran
had ignored him, she took him in again and warmed him with her
smile, with an excited "Isn't this adorable, Sam!  Just what we
wanted!"  She insisted, despite Lockert's ruddy and spinsterish
protests, on going into the taproom and there, with authentic-
looking low rafters, paneling of black oak, floor of cherry-red
tiles, they sat at a long wooden table between benches, and Sam and
Lockert warmed themselves with whisky while Fran sipped half a pint
of bitter out of a pewter mug--Sam secretly bought it from the bar-
maid afterward, and lost it in Paris.

The stairs to the dining-room were carpeted in warm dark red; the
wall was plastered with Victorian pictures:  Wellington at
Waterloo, Melrose Abbey by Moonlight, Prince Collars and Cuffs,
Rochester Castle; and on the landing was such a Cabinet of
Curiosities as Sam had not seen since childhood: a Javanese fan,
carved chessmen, Chinese coins, and a nugget of Australian gold.

The dining-room was dominated by a stone fireplace on which were
carved the Tudor rose and the high-colored arms of the local Earl.
Near it, on the oak buffet, crowned with enormous silver platters,
were a noble ham, a brown-crusted veal and ham pie, a dish of
gooseberry tart; and at a table two commercial travelers were
gorging themselves on roast beef with Yorkshire pudding.

"Great!" Sam rejoiced, and his glow continued even through watery
greens and disconsolate Brussels sprouts.

Beyond Sevenoaks, Lockert played a lively tattoo with the horn, and
shouted, "Almost there!  Welcome to the Stately Homes of England!"

They came to an estate, high-walled, with deer to be seen through
grilled gates, and the twisted Tudor chimneys of a great house
visible beyond a jungle of pines.

"Oh, Lord, is this the place?" Sam privately wondered.  "It'll be
terrible!  Ten footmen.  I wonder if they do wear plush knee-pants?
Whom does one tip?"

But the car raced past this grandeur, dipped into a red-brick
hamlet, turned off High Street and into a rough lane gloomy between
hedges, and entered a driveway before a quite new, quite
unpretentious house of ten or twelve rooms.  As with thousands of
houses they had passed in crawling out of London, there was a
glassed-in porch littered with bicycles, rubbers, and rather
consumptive geraniums.  At one side of the house was a tennis-
court, an arbor, and the skeletons of a rose-garden, but of lawn
there was scarcely a quarter-acre.

"I told you it was only a box," Lockert drawled, as he drew up with
a sputter of gravel at the door.

There was a roar within.  The door was opened by a maid, very stiff
in cap and apron, but past her brushed the source of the roaring--a
tiny, very slim image of a man, his cheeks almost too smoothly pink
to be real, his mustache too precise and silvery, and his voice a
parade-ground bellow too enormous to be credited in so miniature a

"How d'you do, Mrs. Dodsworth.  Most awfully nice of you to come!"
he thundered, and Lockert muttered, "This is the General."

If, in his quest for romance, the exterior of the house was a jar
to Sam, the drawing-room was precisely what he had desired, without
knowing that he had desired it.  Here was definitely Home, with a
homeliness which existed no longer in most of the well-to-do houses
of Zenith, where, between the great furniture factories and the
young female decorators with their select notions about "harmony"
and "periods," any respectable living-room was as shiny and as
impersonal as a new safety-razor blade.  At Herndon's, blessedly,
no two bits of furniture belonged to the same family or age, yet
the chintzes, the fireplace, the brass fire-irons, the white
paneling, belonged together.  On a round table in a corner were the
General's cups--polo cups, golf cups, the cup given him by his mess
in India, a few medals, and a leering Siva; and through low
casement windows the gray garden was seen sloping down to meadows
and a willow-bordered pond.  And the maid was wheeling in a tea-
wagon with a tall old silver teapot, old silver slop-jar, mounds of
buttered scones, and such thin bread and butter as Sam had never
known could exist.

After a tea during which Herndon rumbled rather libelous stories
about his fellow soldiers, they walked up the lane, across a common
on which donkeys and embattled geese were grazing, past half-
timbered shops with tiny windows containing a jar or two of sweets,
to the fifteenth-century flint church, in itself a history of all
Kent.  The tower was square, crenelated, looking as though it would
endure forever.  In the low stone-paved porch were parish
registers, and the names of the vicars of the parish since the
Norman Gilles de Pierrefort of 1190.  The pillars along the nave
were ponderous stone; on the wall were brasses with epitaphs in
black and red; in the chancel were the ancient stone shelf of the
piscina of Roman Catholic days, and a slab commemorating Thos
Siwickley, Kt.--all but the name and the florid arms had been worn
away by generations of priestly feet.

While Herndon was lecturing them on the beauties of the church--
with rather more than a hint about the iron-bound chest in which
tourists, particularly American tourists, were permitted to deposit
funds for the restoration of the roof--the vicar came in, a man
innocent and enthusiastic at forty-five, tall, stooped, much
spectacled, speaking an Oxonian English so thick that Sam could
understand nothing beyond "strawdnerly well-proportioned arches,"
which did not much enlighten him.

As they ambled home he saw candles in cottage windows.

They stopped to greet a porcelain-cheeked little old woman with a
wreck of a black hat, a black bag of a suit, and exquisite gloves
and shoes, whom Herndon introduced as Lady Somebody-or-other--

"But," Sam reflected, "it isn't real!  It's fiction!  The whole
thing, village and people and everything, is an English novel--and
I'm in it!  This is Chapter Two, and it's lovely.  But I wonder
about Chapter Twenty.  Will there be the deuce to play? . . .  Just
because life is more easy and human here, I feel more out of it.
So accustomed to having my office and the boys to boss around--Now
that I've quit, I've got nothing but myself--and Fran, of course--
to keep me busy.  These people, Lockert and Lord Herndon, they can
live in themselves more.  They don't need a movie palace and a big
garage to be content.  I've got to learn that, but--Oh, I enjoyed
seeing that church, and yet I feel lonely for old Tub making a hell
of a racket."

The glow in him faded as he trudged with Lockert, both of them
silent, behind the chattering Fran and Herndon.

And he was irritated when Herndon turned back to crow, in the most
flattering way, "You know, I should never in the world have taken
Mrs. Dodsworth and you for Americans.  I should have thought you
were an English couple who had lived for some time in the

Sam grumbled within, childishly, "I suppose that's an Englishman's
notion of the best compliment he can pay you!"

But Herndon was so cordial that he could not hint his resentment.
He would, just that moment, have preferred rudeness and the chance
of an enlivening row.  But his loneliness, his uncharted
apprehension, vanished with the whisky and soda which both Herndon
and Lockert deemed it necessary for him to take before dinner, to
ward off all possible colds and other ills.  As he stalked up to
their bedroom (the reddest red and the shiniest brass and the most
voluble little fire), Sam fretted, "I'm getting to be as touchy and
fanciful and changeable as an old maid.  Yet I never was cranky in
the office . . . never very cranky.  Am I too old to learn to loaf?
I will!"  And he said, as he entered the room and was startled anew
at Fran's shiningness in a combination of white glove silk, "Oh,
honey, speaking of old churches, you fitted into that stone aisle
as if you were the lady of the manor!"

"And you were so big and straight!  Lockert and the General are
sweet but--Oh, you old sweet stone statue!"

He remembered for weeks their warm shared affection in the warm
red room, as they laughed and dressed.  His slight jealousies
disappeared at the thought of Lockert off somewhere dressing alone,
probably in a room as chill as the drafty corridor.


There came in for dinner only a neighbor, whose name was Mr. Alls
or Mr. Aldys or Mr. Allis or Mr. Hall or Mr. Aw or Mr. Hoss, with
his wife and spinster sister.  Because of the British fetish of
unannotated introductions, Sam never did learn the profession of
Mr. Alls (if that was his name) and naturally, to an American, the
profession of a stranger is a more important matter than even his
income, his opinion of Socialism, his opinion of Prohibition, or
the make of his motor car.  Listening to the conversation, Sam
concluded at various times that Mr. Alls was a lawyer, an
investment banker, a theatrical manager, an author, a Member of
Parliament, a professor, or a retired merchant whose passions were
Roman remains and race-track gambling.

For Mr. Alls was full of topics.

And all through the evening Sam kept confusing Mrs. Alls and Miss

They were exactly alike.  They were both tall, thin, shy, pleasant,
silent, and clad in lusterless black evening frocks of no style or
epoch whatever.  Against their modest dullness, Fran was a rather
theatrical star in her white satin with a rope of pearls about her
gesticulatory right arm . . . and she was also a little strident
and demanding.

When Sam was introduced to Mrs. Alls (or it may have been Miss
Alls), she said, "Is this your first visit to England?  Are you
staying long?"

Contrariwise, when he was introduced to Miss Alls (unless it was
Mrs. Alls), she murmured, "How d'you do.  How long are you staying
in England?  I believe this is your first visit."

So far as he could remember, they said nothing else whatever until
they went home.

But Herndon, Lockert, Fran, and Mr. Alls made up for that silence.
The General liked an audience, and considered Fran an admirable
one.  When she thought any one worth the trouble, she could be a
clown, a great lady, a flirt, all in one.  She was just irreverent
enough to rouse Herndon, yet her manner hinted that all the while
she really regarded him as greater than Napoleon and more gallant
than Casanova.  So he thundered out his highly contradictory
opinions on Kaiser Wilhelm, the breeding of silver foxes, the
improbabilities of Mr. Michael Arien's "The Green Hat," the
universal and scandalous neglect of the back-hand stroke in tennis,
the way to cook trout, the errors of Winston Churchill, the errors
of Lloyd George, the errors of Lord Kitchener, the errors of Ramsay
MacDonald, the errors of Lord Birkenhead, the errors of Danish
butter, and the incomparable errors of Lockert in regard to
emigration and dog-feeding.  Otherwise, the General said scarcely

"The trouble with this country is," observed Herndon, "that
there're too many people going about saying:  'The trouble with
this country is--'  And too many of us, who should be ruling the
country, are crabbed by being called 'General' or 'Colonel' or
'Doctor' or that sort of thing.  If you have a handle to your name,
you have to be so jolly and democratic that you can't control the

"We'll try to free you from that if you come to America," said
Fran, "I'll introduce you as Mr. James Herndon, the pansy-grower,
and I'll tell my butler that you're so fond of rude garden life
that you'd be delighted to have him call you 'Jimmy.'"

"Am I expected, Ma'am, to say that I'd be charmed by anything that
YOUR butler might care to call me?  As a matter of fact, I'd ask
him not to be so formal, but call me 'Whiffins.'  However,
unfortunately, I am not named James."

"And unfortunately we haven't a butler, but only a colored
gentleman who condescends to help us with the cocktails at parties,
if he isn't too busy down in Shanty Town, preaching.  But honestly--
Am I in bad taste?  If I'm not, isn't it really rather pleasant to
be known as Your Lordship?"

"Oh--I inherited the handle while a subaltern--no great day of
mourning for lost dear ones, you know--I inherited from a most
gloomy old uncle.  I'd never been able to rebuke my colonel--tried
to, in my eager boyish way, but he'd never noticed it.  When I
inherited, he used to go quite out of his way to rebuke ME, so I
knew I'd made an impression.  Fact, he was so stiff with me that I
became popular with the mess.  But of course you Yanks, roving your
broad steppes, never dream of such puerile triumphs."

"Quite.  They're too busy punching cattle," said Lockert; and Mr.
Alls inquired, "Just how does one punch an unfortunate cow?"

"It's now done with automatic punching-machinery," explained
Lockert.  "Neat little hole right through the ear.  Mrs. Dodsworth
is an expert--punches six cattle simultaneously, while singing the
'Star Spangled Banner' and firing pistols."

"But my real achievement," asserted Fran, "is shooting Indians.
I'd shot nine before I was five years old."

"Is it true," demanded Lord Herndon, "that the smarter American
women always have girdles made of scalps?"

"Oh, absolutely--it's as de rigueur as for an Englishwoman to carry
a bouquet of Brussels sprouts at a lawn-party, or--"

"Oh, what a hell of a way to talk!" fretted Sam Dodsworth.

"If they can't talk sense, why don't they dry up?  What's the use
of talking, anyway, beyond 'Pass the salt' and 'How much do you
want a ton?' Aren't these folks ever serious?"

Suddenly they were serious, and he was even less comfortable.

"Mr. Dodsworth," asked Mr. Alls (or Mr. Ross), "why is it that
America hasn't recognized Soviet Russia?"

"Why, uh--we're against their propaganda."

"But who is really responsible for the American policy?  Congress
or the Foreign Department?"

"I'm afraid I don't exactly remember."

It occurred to Sam that he hadn't the smallest information about
Russian relations with America; only a thin memory of a conference
about selling cars in Russia.  He was equally shaky when they
questioned him about the American attitudes toward the Allied war
debt and toward Japan.

"Am I beginning to get old?" he wondered.  "I used to keep up on
things.  Seems as though this last five years I haven't thought of
anything but selling cars and playing golf."

He felt old--he felt older and older as Fran and Herndon slid over
into a frivolous debate about lion hunting.  He had never known
that she could be so fantastic.  Here she was telling some
perfectly silly story about their having had a dear old lion for a
pet; about Sam's kicking it downstairs one frosty night when he was
in a bad temper; the poor lion slinking down the street, pursued by
a belligerent black kitten, fleeing to the Zoo, and whimpering to
be let into a cage.  (And there wasn't even a Zoo in Zenith!)

Old!  And out of it.  He couldn't join in their talk, whether it
was nonsense or the discussion of nationalization of mines
presently set going by Herndon, who announced himself a Socialist
as fervently as twenty minutes before he had announced himself a
Die-Hard Tory.  It was one of the few conversations in years in
which Sam had not had an important, perhaps a commanding position.
At dinner in Zenith, if he didn't feel authoritative when they
talked of Stravinsky or the Algerian tour, soon or late the talk
would return to motors and a mystery known as "business conditions,"
and then he would settle all debates.

He suddenly felt insecure.

As they walked to church next morning, he felt for the Kentish
village a tenderness as for a shrunken, tender old grandmother.
And when he noted a Revelation car parked across from the church,
he was certain again that he was Somebody.  But amid the politely
interested, elegantly pious congregation at Morning Prayer,
glancing at him over their celluloid-covered prayer books, he felt
insecurity again.  He was overgrown, clumsy, untutored.  He wanted
to flee from this traditional stillness to the anonymity and
shielding clamor of London.

They rode, for the hour between church and luncheon, on ragged but
sturdy horses from the village stable.  Mrs. Alls had lent a wreck
of a riding-habit to Fran, who looked disreputable and gay in her
orange tam o' shanter--gayer than in her ordinary taut sleekness.
They rode away from the village, through fields and shaggy woods,
to the ridge of the North Downs.

For years Fran had ridden twice a week with an English ex-groom,
turned gentleman teacher and trainer in America, his Cockney accent
accepted in Zenith as the breath of British gentility.  With her
slim straightness she sat her aged nag like a young cavalry
officer.  Lockert and Lord Herndon looked at her more admiringly
than ever, spoke to her more cheerily, as though she were one of
their own.

Sam's riding had been a boyhood-vacation trifling; he was about as
confident on a horse as he would have been in an aeroplane; he had
never quite got over feeling, on a horse's back, that he was
appallingly far up from the ground.  Herndon had a shaky leg, and
Sam and he rode slowly.  Suddenly Lockert and Fran left them, in a
gallop along the pleasant plateau at the top of the Downs.

"Don't you want to keep up with 'em?  My leg's not up to much
today," said Herndon.

"No, I'll trail," Sam sighed.

In a quarter-hour Fran and Lockert came cantering back.  She was
laughing.  She had taken off her tam, and her hair was wild.

"Sorry we ran away, but the air was so delicious--simply had to
have a scamper!" she cried and, to Sam, "Oh, was oo left alone!
Poor boy!"

All the way back she insisted on riding beside him, consoling him.

A month ago he had felt that he had to protect her frailness.  He
was conscious now that his breath was short, that he had a
corporation . . . and that Fran, turning to call back to Lockert,
was bored by him.

Most insecure of all was Sam that afternoon when they motored for
tea to Woughton Hall, the country place of Sir Francis Ouston, the
new hope of the Liberals in Parliament.  Here--so overwhelmingly
that Sam gasped--was one of the great houses of which he had been
apprehensive.  Up a mile-long driveway of elms they came to a lofty
Palladian facade, as stern as a court-house, with a rough stone
wing at one end.  "That's the old part, that stone--built about
1480," said Herndon.

In front was a terrace rimmed with clipped cypresses in the shape
of roosters, crescents, pyramids, with old Italian wine-jars of
stone.  To the right, beyond a pair of tennis-courts, half a mile
of lawn slipped in pale winter green toward rough meadows; to the
left the stables were a red brick village.  There was about the
whole monstrous palace a quietness dotted only with the sound of
sparrows and distant rooks.  To Sam, just now, the millionaire
country houses he had seen on Long Island and the North Shore
above Chicago--Tudor castles, Italian villas, French chateaux,
elephantine Mount Vernons, mansions which he had admired and a
little coveted--were raw as new factories beside a soft old

Through a vast entrance hall with tapestries on walls of carved
stucco, and high Italian candle-sticks at the foot of a walnut
stairway, they were shepherded to a carved oak drawing-room high as
a church, and much noisier.  After that Sam knew nothing but
confusion and babble.  First and last there must have been fifty
people popping in for tea, people with gaudy titles and cheery
manners, people so amiable to him that he could not hate them as he
longed to.  What they were all talking about, he never knew.  They
spoke of Sybil, who seemed to be an actress, and of politicians (he
guessed they were politicians) to whom they referred as Nancy and
F.E. and Jix and Winston and the P.M.  One man mentioned something
called the Grand National, and Sam was not sure whether this was
the name of a bank, an insurance company, or a hotel.

What could he do when a lady, entirely unidentified, asked, "Have
you seen H. G.'s latest?"

"Not yet," he answered intelligently, but who or what H. G. might
be, he never did learn.

And through the bright-colored maelstrom of people, his heart
aching with loneliness, he saw Fran move placidly, shiningly, man-
conscious and man-conquering and at home.  They were all one
family; they took her in; but himself, how to get in he had no
notion.  He had addressed conventions of bankers; he had dragooned
a thousand dancing people at a Union Club ball; but here--these
people were so close-knit, so serenely sure, that he was an

He escaped from the lady who knew about H. G.; he crawled through
the mass of suspended tea-cups and struggled to Fran's side.  She
was confiding (not very truthfully) to a man with a single eyeglass
that she had a high, passionate, unresting interest in polo.

When Sam had the chance, he sighed to her, "Let's get out.  Too
darn' many people for me!"

"They're darlings!  And I've made the most terrific hit with Lady
Ouston.  She wants us to come to dinner in town."

"Well--I'd just like--Thought we might get a little fresh air
before dinner.  I feel sort of out of it here.  They all chirp so

"You didn't seem to be doing so badly.  I saw you in the corner
with the Countess of Baliol."

"Was I?  Which one?  All the women I talked to just looked like
women.  Why the devil don't they wear their coronets?  Honestly,
Fran, this is too rich for my blood.  I can stand meeting a couple
hundred people at once, but not the entire British aristocracy.

"My dear Sam, you are talking exactly like Mr. A. B. Hurd."

"I feel exactly like Mr. A. B. Hurd!"

"Are you going to demand that we take Zenith with us every place we
go?  Are you going to refuse to like anything that's the least bit
different from a poker party at Tub Pearson's?  And are you going
to insist that _I_ be scared and old, too, and not reach out for
the great life that I can learn to master--oh, I can, I can!  I'm
doing it!  Must I go back with you now and sit at Lord Herndon's
select villa reading the Observer or else be punished by your

And it was she who was sulky, though he had doubtfully urged her to
stay as long as she liked--or as Herndon liked.  She showed a gray
sulkiness all evening, but not toward Herndon, decidedly not toward
Lockert.  They had only a cold ham and beef supper, with no other
guests, and publicly Fran was frivolous.  She played the piano,
played and played, and since Herndon was seized with a passion to
discuss motor headlights with Sam, Lockert hung about the piano.
Herndon and Sam were at the other end of the drawing-room, before
the fireplace, backs to the piano, but in the Venetian mirror over
the fireplace Sam could watch the others, and he did, uneasily.

Only then was he certain that Lockert aspired to considerably more
than a polite friendliness with Fran.

Lockert turned her music, he kept drawling amiable insults that
were apparently more fetching than flattery.  His hand touched her
sleeve, once rested on her shoulder.  She shrugged it off and shook
her head, but she was not angry.  Once Sam heard her:  "--don't
know WHY I like you--your perfectly disconcerting admiration of

He felt, Sam, like a worthy parent watching his daughter and a
suitor.  He felt resigned.  Then he began to feel angry.

"Damn it, was that why Lockert got us down here?  To make love to
Fran?  Does he think I'm the kind that'll stand it?  Does she?"

When they were going to bed, his accumulated anger came out in a
chilly:  "See here, my girl!  All this His Lordship, Her Grace, Old
England, palatial mansion stuff is fine--I've enjoyed it--but
you're letting it dazzle you.  You're letting Lockert be a whole
lot too flirtatious.  You're off your track.  At home, you'd see
that he doesn't just mean to pay you pretty little compliments--"

"My dear Mr. Dodsworth, do you mean to insinuate--"

"No, I'm saying it straight!  Little good home bullying!"

"Do you mean to insinuate that I'd let Major Lockert, or anybody
else, make the slightest improper advances toward me?  I that never
tolerated loose dancing at home, that have never in my life so much
as held hands in a taxi?  I that--oh, it's too beautifully
ironical!--that you've practically accused, time and again, of
being too sexless to suit your manly ardors!  Oh, it's too much!"

"Yes, at home that has been so.  Though I've never accused you of
sexlessness--even when I've damn' well suffered from it!  I've been
patient.  Waited.  Waited a mighty long time.  That's what makes it
worse now, when you've been so little attracted by me, to see you
falling for this man, or at least, I mean, being obviously
attracted by him, just because he's--"

"Oh, SAY it!  'Just because he's the cousin of a Lord!'  Say it!
Try to make me seem as contemptible a little village greenhorn as
you can!"

"I hadn't intended to say anything of--Well, if I did, what I meant
was:  I mean, just because he's wandered enough so that he knows
how to handle women by beating them.  I can't.  Never could beat
you.  Wouldn't if I could. . . .  Oh, never mind.  I don't mean
anything serious.  I just mean--Even though you are naturally
something of a European, you've got to remember that this is a
pretty wise and dangerous old country.  But of course you've got
too much sense.  Sorry I said anything."

She was standing, a little rigid, in her low-necked, lace-trimmed,
yellow pajamas.  He lumbered toward her, his hands out bumbling,
"Sorry!  Kiss me!"

She shuddered.  She wailed, "No, don't touch me!  Oh, don't you
EVER suggest things like that again!  Lockert?  I haven't the
slightest interest in him.  I'm ashamed of you!  You ought to be
ashamed of yourself!"

She resolutely said nothing more before they went to sleep; and in
the morning she was queerly quiet and her eyes looked tired.

Lord Herndon, kindest of hosts and one of the few living men who
were cheerful and full of ideas at breakfast, seemed hurt by their
aloofness, but Lockert was inquisitive and slightly amused, and at
the station (the Dodsworths were to return by train) he searched
Fran's eyes interrogatively . . . most hopefully.

Sam was glad when the train was away, and she tried to pump up a
friendly smile for him.  But he was all abasement, all savage scorn
of himself, that he should have spoiled the happy party of this,
his child, by bucolic suspicions.  She had been so innocently happy
in discovering rural England, in sturdy friendship with Lockert, in
chatter with Herndon, in a hair-blown race across the Downs, and
then, he groaned, he had spoiled it all for her.

He took her hand, but it was lax--all strength gone out of the hand
that yesterday had been so firm on the bridle.


The possessions of Sir Francis Ouston were numerous and very
pretty.  He owned thousands of acres of Welsh coal land, he owned
Woughton Hall in Kent and a tall, bleak-faced house in Eaton
Square, he owned the famous mare Capriciosa III, and he owned a
position in the Liberal Party immediately after that of Asquith and
Lloyd George.

He himself was owned by his wife.

Lady Ouston was a beautiful woman and very commanding.  She had a
high, quick, passionate voice and many resolute opinions.  She was
firm and even a little belligerent about the preferability of Jay's
to Poiret in the matter of frocks, about the treachery of the Labor
Party, about the desirability (entirely on behalf of the country)
of Sir Francis's becoming Prime Minister, about the heinousness of
beer-drinking among the working classes, about the scoundrelism of
roast chicken without a proper bread sauce, and particularly about
the bad manners, illiteracy, and money-grubbing of the United
States of America.

She had been born--and her father and mother before her--in
Nashville, Tennessee.

She was a formidable hostess.  She had a salon, and while she did
explorers and chemists and the few authors who understood morning
coats, she had never stooped to fill her drawing-room by exhibiting
cubist painters, Hindu nationalists, American cowboys, or any of
the other freaks whereby rival professional hostesses attracted the
right sort of people.

And her dinners were admirable.  You could be sure of Napoleon
brandy, the cousin of a duke, and the latest story about the
vulgarity of New York.

It was not to one of Lady Ouston's very best dinners, with a
confidential cabinet minister present, that Lockert persuaded her
to invite the Dodsworths, but it was quite a good, upper-middle
dinner, with Clos-Vougeot and the master of a Cambridge college.

Sam was quiet, extremely observant, not extremely jolly, as he
surveyed that regiment of twenty people, all nibbling so delicately
at their salmon and at other people's reputations.  No one seemed
to have any vulgarly decided opinions, and every one desired to
know of him only two things:  Was this his first visit to England?
and How long would he stay?  And they didn't seem to care so very
much about either.

He wondered how many times he himself had asked foreign visitors to
the Revelation plant--Britishers, Swedes, Germans, Frenchmen--
whether this was their first visit to America, and How long did
they plan to stay?

"I'll never say THAT again!" he vowed.

The dinner rather went on.  Soup and a murmur about broadcasting
and Bernard Shaw; salmon and a delicate murmur about Mussolini and
influenza; roast mutton and an exchange of not very interested
confidences about cat burglars.  Sam was in a daze of gluttony and
politeness when he realized that Lady Ouston was talking to him
about America, and that every one at the table was beginning to pay
attention.  He did not know that she was born an American, and he
listened to her with almost no comfort:

"--and of course none of us would ever think of classing your
darling wife and you with the terrible, TERRIBLE sort of American
tourists that one sees--or hears, rather--at the Cecil or in
trains--where DO you suppose such Americans come from!  In fact,
I'm quite sure you could both be mistaken for English, if you
merely lived here a few years.  So it's a quite impersonal
question.  But don't you feel, as we do, that for all our
admiration of American energy and mechanical ingenuity, it's the
most terrible country the world has ever seen?  Such voices--like
brass horns!  Such rudeness!  Such lack of reticence!  And such
material ideals!  And the standardization--every one thinking
exactly alike about everything.  I give you my word that you'll be
so glad you've deserted your ghastly country that after two years
here, you'll never want to go home.  Don't you already feel that a

Sam Dodsworth had never in his life boasted of being an American
nor yet apologized for it.  It was amazement which made him mutter,
with what sounded like humility, "Why, never thought much about
America, as a whole.  Sort of taken it for granted--"

"You won't long!  What a land!  Such terrible politicians--
positively the lowest form of animal life--even worse than Irish
Republicans!  And don't you rather feel ashamed of being an
American when you think of America's making us pay the war debt
when, after all, it was all you did contribute?"

"I do not!"  Sam was suddenly and thoroughly angry; suddenly free
of whatever diffidence he had before this formal society.  "I never
was much of a flag-waver.  I don't suppose America is perfect, not
by a long shot.  I know we have plenty of fools and scoundrels, and
I don't mind roasting them.  But if you'll excuse me for differing
with you--"

Lockert said pacifyingly, "You can't expect Mr. Dodsworth to agree,
Lady Ouston.  Remember he's--"

Sam snarled on, uncheckable:  "--I suppose I have been sort of
assuming that America is the greatest nation on earth.  And maybe
it is.  Maybe because we have got so many faults.  Shows we're
growing!  Sorry if it's bad manners not to be ashamed of being an
American, but then I'll just have to be bad mannered!"

Behind his brusqueness he was saying to himself, and timidly, "Look
at the dirty looks I'm getting!  I've ditched things for Fran.
What hell I'll get from her!"

But incredibly it was Fran herself who was attacking:  "My dear
Lady Ouston, out of a hundred and ten million Americans, there must
be a few who have agreeable voices and who think of something
besides dollars!  Considering how many of us are a generation or
less from England, we must have several nice people!  And I wonder
if every member of the British Parliament is a perfect little
gentleman?  I seem to have heard of rows--We probably have more
self-criticism at home than any other nation--our own writers call
us everything from Main Streeters to the Booboisie.  But curiously
enough we feel we must work out our own fate, unassisted by the
generous foreigners!"

"I think Mrs. Dodsworth is quite right," said Sir Francis.  "We're
not at all pleased here in England when the French and Italians
call us barbarians--as they jolly well do!"

Suavely he said it, and stoutly, but Sam knew that thenceforth Fran
and he would be as popular in the house of Ouston as a pair of mad

Fran developed a tactful headache at a quarter after ten.

Sir Francis and Lady Ouston were very cordial at parting.

Sam and Fran were silent in the taxi till he sighed, "Sorry, honey.
I was bad.  Awfully sorry I lost my temper."

"It doesn't MATTER!  I'm glad you did!  The woman's a fool!  Oh,
my dear--"  Fran laughed hysterically.  "I can see that the Oustons
and us are going to be buddies!  They'll insist on our yachting
round the world with them!"

"And scuttling the yacht!"

"Haven't they a dear little daughter, so Brent can marry her?"

"Fran, I'm crazy about you!"

"Du!  Old grizzly!  I'm glad you ARE one!  Sam, a terrible
thought occurs to me.  I'll bet you anything that fool woman was
born an American!  Convert!  Professional expatriate!  She's much
too English to be English.  Not that the real English love us any
too much, but she's like an Irish critic living in London, or a
Jewish peer--seven paces to the right of the King.  Oh, my dear, my
dear, and I might have fallen into expatriate--Sam Dodsworth, if
you ever catch me trying to be anything but a woolly American, will
you beat me?"

"I will.  But do I have to beat you very long at a time?"

"Probably.  I'm rather a hussy.  Only virtue is, I know it.  And I
did flirt with Clyde Lockert at Lord Herndon's!  It flattered me to
stir him out of that 'Damn your eyes' superiority of his.  And I
did stir him, too!  But I'm so 'shamed!"

In their apartment she nuzzled her cheek against his shoulder,
whispering, "Oh, I'd just like to crawl inside you and be part of
you.  Don't ever let me go!"

"I won't!"

The Ouston debacle considerably checked Fran's social career,
though Lockert continued their mentor.  He came to tea the next
day, casual as ever, and drawled:

"Well, Merle Ouston was a bit of a public nuisance last night.
So were you, Dodsworth!"

"Well, I couldn't sit there and listen to her--"

"You should've smiled.  You Americans are always so touchy.  No
Englishman ever minds criticism of England.  He laughs at it."

"Hm!  I've heard that before--from Englishmen!  I wonder if that
isn't one of your myths about yourselves, like our belief that
every American is so hospitable that he'll give any stranger his
shirt.  Well, I've never seen any of our New York bankers down at
Ellis Island begging the Polack immigrants to come stay with them
till they get jobs.  Look here, Lockert!  The Ouston woman said all
our politicians were hogs.  Suppose I started making nasty cracks
about the King and the Prince of Wales--"

"That's quite different!  That's a question of good taste!  Never
mind.  Herndon and I are thoroughly pro-American."

"I know," said Fran.  "You love America--except for the food, the
manners, and the people."

"At least, there's one American that I esteem highly!" said
Lockert, and his glance at her was ardent.

Sam waited for her to rebuke Lockert.  She didn't.

Lockert took them to Ciro's, to dance; he had them made members of
a rackety night club called "The Rigadoon," where there was
friendliness and gin and a good deal of smell.  Potentates of the
English motor-manufacturing companies called on them and escorted
Sam to their factories.  They met three or four stout matrons at a
dinner given by Lord Herndon in the women's annex of the Combined
Services Club, and they were again admitted to the tedious perils
of occasional dinner parties.

And all the while they were as unrelated to living English life as
though they were sitting in a railway station waiting for the
continental train.  Lockert had gone off to the Riviera, a week
after the Ouston dinner.  Sam was relieved--then missed him
surprisingly.  And with Lockert away, their invitations were few.

"Well," said Sam, "till we get acquainted with more folks here,
let's do the town.  Historic spots and so on."

He had studied Mr. Karl Baedeker's philosophical volume on London,
and he was eager to see the Tower, the Houses of Parliament, Kew
Gardens, the Temple, the Roman bath, the National Gallery; eager to
gallop up to Stratford and honor Shakespeare--not that he had
honored Shakespeare by reading him, these twenty-five years past;
and to gallop down to Canterbury--not that he had ever gone so far
as to read Chaucer.

But Fran made him uncomfortable by complaining, "Oh, good Heavens,
Sam, we're not trippers!  I hate these post-card places.  Nobody
who really belongs ever goes to them.  I'll bet Clyde Lockert has
never been inside the Tower.  Of course galleries and cathedrals
are different--sophisticated people do study them.  But to sit at
the Cheshire Cheese with a lot of people from Iowa and Oklahoma,
exclaiming over Dr. Johnson--atrocious!"

"I must say I don't get you.  What's the idea of coming to a famous
city and then not seeing the places that made it famous?  You don't
have to send souvenir cards about 'em if you don't want to!  And I
don't believe the people from Iowa will bite you unless you attack
'em first!"

She tried to make clear to him the beauties of snobbishness in
travel.  But, in her loneliness, she did consent to go with him,
even to eat lark and oyster pie at the Cheese, though she was
rather snappish with the waiter who wanted to show them the volumes
of visitors' names.

Ambling through London with no duty of arriving anywhere in
particular, Sam came to take its somber vastness as natural; felt
the million histories being enacted behind the curtained windows of
the million houses.  On clear days, when rare thin sunshine
caressed the gray-green bricks which composed the backs of London
houses, even these ugly walls had for him, in relief at the passing
of the mist-pall, a charm he had never found in the hoydenish glare
of sunshine on bright winter days in Zenith.  He loved, as he
became familiar with them, even the absurd proud little shops with
their gaudy glass and golden signs: chocolate shops with pictures
of Royalty on the boxes of sweets, tobacco shops with cigarette-
cases of imitation silver for Sunday-strolling clerks to flourish,
even the ardors and fumes of fried fish shops.  He was elated at
learning the 'bus lines; saying judiciously, "Let's take a 92 and
ride home on top."  The virility of London, town of men back from
conquering savages and ruling the lone desert, seemed akin to
him. . . .  But Fran began to speak of Paris, that feminine and
flirtatious refuge from reality.

Between explorations they tasted a loneliness they had never known
in their busy domination of Zenith.

Evening on evening they sat in their suite pretending that they
were exhausted after a day's "sight-seeing"; that they were
exhausted, and glad they were going to stroll out for dinner alone.
All the while Sam knew that she was waiting, that he was waiting
and praying, for the telephone to ring.

At their several party dinners they had met agreeable people who
said, "You must come to us, soon!" and then forgot them blissfully.
London's indifference to her charms depressed Fran, seemed to
frighten her.  She was wistfully grateful when he thought of
ordering flowers, when he found some unexpected and cheery place to
dine.  Half the time he was pitiful that she should not be having
her career; half the time he rejoiced that they had never been so
close together as now, in their isolation.

She was almost timid when Jack Starling, the nephew of Tub Pearson
and a secretary at the American Embassy in London, came bouncing
back to town, called formally, inspected Fran's complexion and
Sam's grammar, and adopted them with reserved enthusiasm.  He was a
pleasant, well-pressed young dancing-man, and full of ideas--not
especially good ideas, but very lively and voluble.  He called Sam
"sir," which pleased Sam almost as much as it embarrassed him.  In
Zenith, no one except men who had served as officers in the Great
War used "sir," save as a furious address to five-year-old boys
whom they were about to beat.

And suddenly, after Starling's coming, Lockert was strolling in as
though he had never been away, and Lord Herndon was in town for a
month and, without any very traceable cause, the Dodsworths had
more lunches, teas, dinners, dances, and theater parties than even
a lady lion-hunter could have endured.  Sam was so happy to see
Fran excited and occupied that not for a fortnight did he admit
privately that the only thing that bored him more than being an
elephantine wallflower at dances was being a drowsy and food-
clogged listener at dinner-parties; and that all these people whom
they MUST call up, whom they simply MUSTN'T forget to invite to
their own small dinners, were persons whom he could with cheers
never see again.  Nor could he persuade himself that their own
affairs (in a private room at the Ritz, with himself pretending to
supervise the cocktails before dinner and Fran making a devil of a
fuss about the flowers) were any livelier than other people's.  The
conversation was as cautious, the bread sauce quite as bready, and
the dread hour from nine-thirty to ten-thirty passed on no swifter
wings of laughter.

Mr. A. B. Hurd was a relief, now that Fran was busy enough so that
Sam could slip away and revel with Mr. Hurd in shop gossip and
motor prices and smutty stories and general American lowness.

Mr. Hurd had done his best to be hospitable, and as it had not
occurred to him that there were people, like Fran, who did not wish
to be hospitalitized, he had been bewildered and become shy--even
his superb salesman's confidence had become shy.  He had once,
after innumerous telephone calls, been invited by Fran to tea, and
he had brought his Oklahoma-born wife up from the country and put
on his rather antiquated morning coat and very new spats.

He came into the Dodsworths' suite briskly enough, but when Mrs.
Hurd crept in after her boisterous husband, Sam was so touched that
he rose to the courtliness he could occasionally show.  She was
dressed in blue silk, with a skirt hiked up in back.  Her hands
looked the more rough because they had just been manicured, with
rosy and pointed nails.  Hurd's salary was adequate now, but Sam
felt that Mrs. Hurd had for years washed dishes, diapers, muddy
floors.  Her lips were round with smiling, but her eyes were
frightened as she shook Sam's hand in the small white-enameled
foyer of the suite, and cried:

"My!  I've heard so much about you, Mr. Dodsworth!  Al is always
talking about you and what a wonderful executive you are and what a
lovely time he had with you folks when he was back in Zenith the
last time and how much he enjoyed dining with you and--It's just
lovely that you're here in London now and I do hope Mrs. Dodsworth
and you will find time to come down to the country and see us.  I
know how busy you must be with parties and all but--"

Sam ushered her into the sitting-room; he tried to catch Fran's eye
to warn her to be good, while he was rumbling:

"Fran, this is Mrs. Hurd.  Mighty great pleasure to meet her, after
we've known her husband so long."

"How d'you do, Mrs. Hurd?" said Fran, and it was worthy of Lady
Ouston at her politest and rudest.  Fran pronounced it "HowjDUH,"
and her voice rose at the end in a quiet brusqueness which finished
Mrs. Hurd completely.

Mrs. Hurd fluttered, "I'm real pleased to meet you, I'm sure," then
sat forward in her chair, refused the cake she most wanted, looked
terrified while Fran purred about Paris.  She did not venture on
the invitation to the country which she had obviously come to
deliver.  Between Sam's heavy compliments to Hurd, Hurd's heavy
compliments to Sam, and Fran's poisonously sweet manner of saying,
"It was so VERY kind of you to come all this way in to see us,
Mrs.--uh--Hurd," she was bewildered, and she ventured on no
conversation beyond "My, you've got such lovely rooms here.  I
guess you know an awful lot of English folks--lords and everything,
don't you?"

After that, Hurd resentfully gave up telephoning.

But when, with Lockert and Jack Starling returned, Fran found
enough of the admiration natural to her, Sam was now and then able
to sneak meanly out and get hold of Hurd for odd meals.

After a fortnight Hurd suggested, at luncheon:

"Say, Chief, I'd like to pull off a bachelor dinner for you one of
these evenings--some of the high-class American business men here
in London--just sit around and be natural and tell our middle
names.  Think you could duck your good lady and have an Old Home
Week?  What about next Saturday evening?"

"Fine.  I'll see if my wife has anything on."

"Well, I hope she has.  Strict lot of police in this ole town!  Ha,
ha, ha, ha, ha!"

Sam was not offended.  Hurd was given to smutty limericks, to
guffaws about young ladies of the night, yet there was a healthy
earthiness about him which to Sam was infinitely cleaner than the
suave references to perversions which he had increasingly been
hearing in New York and in London, and which sickened him, made him
glad to be normal and provincial and old-fashioned.  Hurd--hang it,
he liked Hurd!  The man's back-slapping was real.  He could do with
a little back-slapping, these days!  Why should it be considered a
less worthy greeting than chilly hand-shakes and fishy "Howjduh's"?

When Sam returned to the hotel, Fran was having tea with Lockert.

"I can tell that you've been seeing one of your jocund American
friends again," said Lockert.


"You have a rather decent voice when you've been under our purely
insular influences for a week or so.  Color in it.  But the moment
you slip off to America again, it sharpens and becomes monotonous."

"'S too bad!" muttered Sam, leaning against the fireplace, very
tall, wondering what would happen if he threw his tea--in the cup--
at Lockert.  Damn the fellow!  Oh, of course he was friendly, he
meant well, and probably he was right in his hints about the nice
conduct of a clouded American barbarian in England.  But still--
Hang it, there were some pretty decent people who seemed to like
Sam Dodsworth the way he was!

He interrupted Fran's chronicle of shopping and Liberty silks to
blurt, "Say, sweet, old Hurd wants to give me a bachelor dinner
next Saturday evening--meet some of the American business men here.
I think I ought to do it; he's tried so hard to be nice."

"And you'd like it?  Be back in all the Rotarian joys of Zenith?"

"You bet your life I'd like it!  We haven't a date for that
evening, if I remember.  Could you get up a hen party or go to the
movies or something?  I'd kind of like--"

"My dear, you don't have to ask permission to have an evening out!"

("The hell I don't!")  "No, of course not, but I don't want you to
feel stranded."

"I say, Fran," Lockert remarked, "would you care to dine with me
that evening and go to the opera?"

"Well--" considered Fran.

"Fine," said Sam.  "It's a go."

Jack Starling popped in just then, very cheery, and Sam was silent
while the other three hilariously scoffed at America.  Sam was
thinking, almost impersonally.  It was a new occupation for him,
and he was a little confused.  It had become a disease with both
nations, he reflected, this discussion of Britain vs. America; this
incessant, irritated, family scolding.  Of course back in the
cornfields of the Middlewest, people didn't often discuss it, nor
did the villagers on the Yorkshire moors, nor Cornish fishermen.
But the people who traveled and met their cousins of the other
nation, the people who fed on newspapers on either side the water,
they were all obsessed.

Fran and Lockert and Starling, chirping about it--

They found so much to laugh over--

Himself, he'd rather listen to Hurd's stories--

No.  That wasn't true.  He wouldn't.  These Londoners (and Fran and
Starling were trying to become Londoners) did talk better than the
citizenry of Zenith.  They were often a little silly, a little
giggling, more than a little spiteful, but they found life more
amusing than his business-driven friends at home.

Couldn't there be--weren't there people in both England and America
who were as enterprising and simple and hearty as Mr. A. B. Hurd,
yet as gay as Fran or Jack Starling, as curiously learned as
Lockert, who between pretenses of boredom gave glimpses of voodoo,
of rajahs, of the eager and credulous boy he had been in public
school and through long riverside holidays at his father's vicarage
in Berkshire?

Lockert--hang it, must Lockert always be in his thoughts?

It was true, the thing he had been trying to ignore.  The beautiful
intimacy which for a fortnight Fran and he had found in their
loneliness, her contentment to be with him and let the world go
hang, had thinned and vanished, and she was straining away from him
as ardently as ever before.

Mr. Hurd's bachelor dinner for Sam was at eight-thirty.  Lockert
and Fran left the Ritz at seven, to dine before the opera.  Sam saw
them off paternally, and most filially Fran cried, "I hope you'll
have a beautiful time, Sam, and do give my greetings to Mr. Hurd.
I'm sure he's really quite a good soul, really."  But she did not
look back to wave at him as he watched them down the corridor to
the lift.  She had tucked her arm into Lockert's; she was
chattering, altogether absorbed.

For an hour Sam tramped the apartment, too lonely to think.

Hurd's dinner was given in a private room at the Dindonneau
Restaurant in Soho.  There was a horseshoe table with seats for
thirty.  Along the table little American flags were set in pots of
forget-me-nots.  Behind the chairman 's table was a portrait of
President Coolidge, draped with red, white and blue bunting, and
about the wall--Heaven knows where Hurd could have collected them
all--were shields and banners of Yale and Harvard and the
University of Winnemac, of the Elks, the Oddfellows, the Moose, the
Woodmen, of the Rotarians, the Kiwanians, and the Zenith Chamber of
Commerce, with a four-sheet poster of the Revelation car.

Fran would have sneered. . . .

Outside was the dark and curving Soho alley, with the foggy lights
of a Singhalese restaurant, a French book-shop, a wig-maker's, an
oyster bar.  And the room was violently foreign, with frescoes by a
sign-painter--or a barn-painter:  Isola Bella, Fiesole, Castel
Sant' Angelo.  But Sam did not look at them.  He--who but once in
his life had attended a Rotary lunch--looked at the Rotary wheel,
and his smile was curiously timid.  There was no reason for it
apparent to him, but suddenly these banners made him feel that in
the chill ignobility of exile he was still Some One.

He felt the more Some One as he was introduced to the guests.

They had spent from a month to thirty years in England, and they
were as different one from another as the exhibits at a Zoo, with
the lion beside the monkey-cage.  Yet in all of them was a hint of
American heartiness and of that twang which is called "talking
through the nose" because it consists in failing to talk through
the nose.  There was Stubbs of the Haymarket branch of the
Pittsburgh and Western National Bank, a gray solid man of fifty,
fanatic about golf.  Young Ertman, the London correspondent of the
Chicago Register, once a Rhodes scholar at Oxford, very select and
literary.  Young Suffern of the Baltimore Eagle, very red-faced and
wide-shouldered and noisy.  Doblin, manager of the English agency
of the Lightfoot Sewing Machine Agency, old and thread-thin and
gentle.  Markart of the Orient Chewing Gum and Chicle Corporation;
Knabe of the Serial Cash Registers; Fish of the American Forwarding
Company; Smith of the Internation Tourist Agency; Nutthal of the
Anglo-Peruvian Bank--he was Lancashire born but he had lived in
Omaha for eighteen years and he was three hundred per cent.
American.  And a throng of American motor agents.

Each of them crunched Sam's hand and growled (only the Rhodes
scholar's growl was more feline than canine):  "Certainly is a
mighty great pleasure to meet you.  Staying over here long?"

Near the door was a side-table spread with Martini cocktails,
Manhattan cocktails, Bronx cocktails, and bottles of Scotch,
Canadian Club, American rye and Bourbon.  Sam could not escape
without four cocktails, and when he wavered to his seat beside A.
B. Hurd, he had altogether forgotten that he had ever been lonely,
that Fran was with Lockert.

There was a deal of noisy humor at the dinner; a deal of shouting
the length of the table; a number of stories beginning "Jever hear
the one about the two Jews--"  And it must be said that Sam,
privileged now to enjoy the suburbs of correct English society,
enjoyed it more than any dinner this fortnight.  He enjoyed it even
when cognac and whisky sodas followed the dessert and some of the
guests--free for only one evening a week from the American wives
whom living in England had not weakened in their view of women's
right to forbid men's rights--snatched the excuse to get quite
reasonably drunk and to soar into American melody:  "The Old Man
Came Rolling Home," and "He Laid Jesse James in His Grave" and "Way
Down on the Bingo Farm," with what they conceived to be a correct
Cockney version of "She Was Poor but She Was Honest," all of them
leading triumphantly up to:

     My name is Yon Yonson,
     I come from Visconsin,
     I vork on a lumberyard dere,
     Ven I go down de street
     All de people I meet
     Dey saaaaaaay,
     "Vot's your name?"
     And I sa-aaaaay:
     My name is Yon Yonson,
     I come from Visconsin--

It seemed a good song, at a certain stage of liquor, and they kept
it up for ten minutes.

But between such high lights, Sam Dodsworth got in a seminar of
inquiries about the question that to him, also, had become a
disease:  Is America the Rome of the world, or is it inferior to
Britain and Europe?  Or confusedly both?

Out of all the thirty, there were not ten whose speech showed that
they had lived abroad.  If occasionally they said "braces" instead
of "suspenders," or "two bob" instead of "four bits," you would
have supposed that they had been reading English fiction.  There
were not six who would ever have been taken for Englishmen by
Americans, and not three who would have been taken for Englishmen
by Englishmen.

Yet there were not more than six, Sam discovered incredulously, who
wanted to return to America for the rest of their lives.

He had understood that hybrid cosmopolites with a fancy for titles
and baccarat, eccentric artists who were fond of mistresses and
chess, idlers who needed some one with whom to loaf, might prefer
to live abroad.  But that this should be true of the gallant
thirty--good salesmen, up-and-coming authorities on cash registers
and motor tires--was disturbing to him, and mystifying.

These men believed, and belligerently announced, that America was
the "greatest country in the world," not only in its resources and
increasing population and incomparable comforts of daily life, not
only in its energy and mechanical ingenuity, but equally in its
generosity, its friendliness, its humor, its aspiration for
learning.  Scarce one of them, Sam judged, but longed to see his
own beloved quarter of America--

New York on a winter night, with the theaters blaring and the
apartment-houses along Park Avenue vanishing up into the wild sky
rosy from a million lights.  Vermont on an autumn afternoon, with
the maples like torches.  Midsummer in Minnesota, where the
cornfields talked to themselves, and across miles of rolling
wheatland, dimpling to the breeze, you saw the tall red wheat-
elevators and the spire of the German Catholic Church.  The grave
silence of the wilderness: plateaus among the scarred peaks of the
Sierra Nevadas, painted buttes in Arizona, Wisconsin lakes
caressing in dark waters the golden trunks of Norway pines.  The
fan-lights above serene old Connecticut doorways in Litchfield and
Sharon.  Proud cold sunsets in the last five minutes of the Big
Game at Thanksgiving-time--Illinois vs. Chicago, Yale vs. Harvard--
yes, and quite as aching with sentimental and unforgettable and
lost sweetness, Schnutz College vs. Maginnis Agricultural School.
Cities of a quarter of a million people with fantastic smoky steel
works, like maniac cathedrals, which had arisen in twenty years
upon unpeopled sand-barrens.  The long road and a rather shaggy,
very adventurous family in a squeaky flivver, the new Covered
Wagon, starting out to see all the world from Seattle to
Tallahassee, stopping to earn their bacon and bread and oil by
harvesting; singing at night in tourist camps on the edge of wide-
lawned towns--

"I certainly do like to get back to Alabama--mighty nice girls
there, and you talk about your Georgia terrapin--say, listen, boy,"
said Stubbs of the Pittsburgh and Western National Bank, "we got
the swellest food in the world in Alabama."

And Primble of the International Films Distributing Agency drawled,
"Just about once a year I certainly got to get back to the Ozark
Mountains and go fishing."

But except for half a dozen homesick souls, each of them admitted
that he was going to go on loving, boosting, and admiring America,
and remain in Europe as long as he could.

Their confessions could have been summed up in the ruminations of
Doblin, pro-consul of sewing-machines, doyen of the American
business-colony, old and thread-thin and gentle, who murmured
(while the others listened, nodding, nervously shaking ashes from
cigarettes, or holding their cigars cocked in the corners of their

"Well, I'll tell you the way I look at it personally.  Strikes me
that one-half or maybe two-thirds of the American people are the
best fellows on earth--the friendliest and the most interested in
everything and the jolliest.  And I guess the remaining third are
just about the worst crabs, the worst Meddlesome Matties, the most
ignorant and pretentious fools, that God ever made.  Male AND
female!  I'd be tickled to death to live in America IF.  If we
got rid of Prohibition, so a man could get a glass of beer instead
of being compelled to drink gin and hootch.  If we got rid of
taking seriously a lot of self-advertising, half-educated preachers
and editors and politicians, so that folks would develop a little
real thinking instead of being pushed along by a lot of mental and
moral policemen.  If our streets weren't so God-awfully noisy.  If
there were a lot more cafes and a lot less autos--sorry, Mr.
Dodsworth, you being a motor-manufacturer, but that slipped out and
I guess I'll just have to stand by it.

"But the whole thing, the fundamental thing, is a lot harder to
express than that.  Nothing like so simple as just Prohibition. . . .
Golly, the number of people who think they are getting profound
when they talk about that one question! . . .  The whole thing--Oh,
there's more ease in living here!  Your neighbors don't spy on you
and gossip and feel it's their business to tell you how to live,
way we do at home.  Not that I've got anything to hide.  I haven't
been drunk for thirty years.  I've been true to my wife--unless you
count one time when I kissed a little widow on the Baltic, and by
golly that's as far as it went!  But if there's one thing that
would make me go out for all the vices I ever heard of, it would be
the thought of a lot of morality hounds sneaking after me all the
time, the way they do in the States.  And you get better servants
here--yes, and the servants themselves like their work a deuce of a
sight better than our red-neck hired girls in America, because
they're skilled, they're respected here, they're secure, they don't
have the womenfolks nosing into their ice-boxes and love-letters
all day long!  And business--Our greatest American myth is that
we're so much more efficient than these Britishers and the folks on
the Continent.  All this high-pressure salesmanship bunk!  Why say,
I'll bet that stuff antagonizes more customers than it ever
catches.  And over here, they simply won't stand for it!  An
Englishman knows what he wants to buy, and he don't intend to be
bullied into buying something else.  And a Scotsman knows what he
doesn't want to buy!  Half our efficiency is just running around
and making a lot of show and wasting time.  I always picture the
ideal 'peppy' American business man as a fellow who spends half his
time having his letters filed away and the other half trying to
find 'em again.  And then--Englishman don't feel he's virtuous
because he spends a lot of extra time in his office not doing
anything special.  He goes home early and gets in some golf or
tennis or some gardening.  Might even read a book!  And he's got a
hobby, so that when he retires he has something to do; doesn't just
waste away from being bored to death when he's old, the way we do.

"The Englishman will work, and work hard, but he doesn't fall for
the nonsense that work--any kind of work, for any purpose--is noble
in itself.  Why, when I go home--Well, there's old Emmanuel White,
president of my company.  He's seventy-two years old, and he's
never taken a vacation.  He's worth two million dollars, and he
gets to the office at eight, and sometimes he stays there till
eleven at night and goes snooping around to see if anybody's left a
light turned on.  Maybe he gets some fun out of it, but he sure
doesn't look like it.  He looks like he lived on vinegar, and to
have a conference with him is just about as pleasant as tending a
sick tiger.  And the fellows of forty and forty-five that never
relax even when they do take an afternoon off--they drive like hell
out to a golf course.  Greatest myth in the world!

"But we're beginning to learn a little bit about leisure at home, I
guess.  That makes me hopeful that some day we may even get cured
of optimism and oratory.  But I don't expect it in my time, and you
bet your sweet life I'm going to stay on here in England, even
after I retire.  Say!  I've got a little place in Surrey, with an
acre of ground and a rose garden.  But I'm American, just's
American as I ever was.  And, thank God, there's enough Americans
here so I can see a lot of 'em.  I admire the English, but they
make me feel kind of roughneck.  But LIVE here--you bet!  Say,
that's one of the best proofs that America is the greatest country
in the world:  Paris and London have become two of the nicest of
American cities!  Yes sir!"

Sam was rather bewildered.  Doblin was the old-fashioned, Yankee,
suramerican sort whom he preferred to all the strident new
evangelists of business.

He was more bewildered when Fish of the American Forwarding
Company--big jovial Fish, who had played center for the University
of the Western Conference--chuckled:

"You bet!  First year I was here, I was homesick all the time.  I
went home, and I intended to stay there.  Well, I lasted just one
year in that dear old Chicago!  God, the Loop, the elevated,
driving through that traffic out to Wilmette every evening, the
eternal yow-yow-yow about investments and bridge!  Didn't even
enjoy golf!  Golly, fellows worked at it!  Felt guilty as hell if
they were one stroke over yesterday!  And most of 'em took up
playing to get acquainted with possible customers at the club--sell
'em eighteen bonds in eighteen holes.  I got transferred back here.
I guess I'd enlist to fight for America against any blooming
country in the world, but--Maybe America will get civilized.  I
hope so.  I'm going to send both my boys back home to American
universities, and then let 'em decide whether they want to remain
or come back here.  Maybe we ought to stay home and fight the blue-
noses, not let 'em exile us.  But life's short.  Want to be a good
patriot, but--Say!  I wish you could see my house in Chelsea--
twenty minutes from Trafalgar Square, even in one of these non-
motorized London taxis, and yet it's as quiet as a hick town in
Nebraska.  Quieter!  Because there's no kids drinking gin and
hollering in flivvers, and no evangelist in the big tent raising
hell.  Yes SIR!"

Sam was pondering.

He was coming to like England.  Perhaps he really would live here.
Take an interest in some motor agency.  Have an Elizabethan black-
and-white house in Kent, with ten acres.  Join the American Club.
These were good fellows--perhaps there were three or four who would
even pass the censorship of Fran.  He would not be lonely here.  He
would learn leisure.  And think of getting old Tub to come over for
a while in the summer!  Trot all round England and Scotland with
Tub in a car--play golf at St. Andrews--


But he recalled the horrors of an arty tea to which Jack Starling
had taken them in St. John's Wood.  He recalled the tedium of
dinner-parties--people dining solitarily in public.  He recalled
his discomfort in being unable to understand the violent
differences between an Oxford man and a graduate of the University
of London, between a public school man and one who abysmally was
not.  And yet--There was SOMETHING about life here--

He didn't feel that he had to hustle, when he walked the London
streets.  He didn't, just now, want to return to an office in
Zenith and listen to vehement young men who made Patrick Henry
orations about windshield-wipers; he didn't long again to study the
schedules of a company which would provide seat-upholstery at
.06774 cents cheaper a yard, or to listen to Doc Wimpole, the cut-
up of the golf club, in his Swedish imitations or his celebrated
way of greeting you:

"Well, here's the old cut-throat!  How many widows and orphans have
you stuck with your rotten old Revs this week?"


He went home, after tremendously cordial handshakings, more
blissful about his new role of required adventurousness than ever
before . . . and hoping that Fran would not say, "Did you have an
agreeable time with the great American commercial intellects?"

She would!  She'd wake up, no matter how softly he came into the
bedroom, and she'd say--(He had it all out, there in the taxicab.)
She'd say, "Well, I hope you enjoyed yourself with Mr. Hurd and all
the other hearty Rotarians!"

"Now you look here!  I heard more good talk tonight, more talk that
really got down to cases, than I've heard at any of your dinners
where gentlemen try to talk like Members of Parliament and Members
of Parliament try to talk like gentlemen--"

"Why, my dear Sam, we're becoming positively literary!  The
influence of dear Mr. Hurd is astonishing!  Was his wife there?
She'd do perfectly at a bachelor dinner!"

"Now you look here!  I know what a profound scholar you are, and I
know I'm a roughneck business man, but may I remind you that I did
go to a quite well-known institution for young gentlemen in New
Haven, and I have actually read several books, and furthermore--"

It was a complete triumph, there in the taxicab.

He came radiantly into their suite.  On the couch, crushing her
golden evening wrap, Fran lay sobbing.

He gaped from the doorway five full seconds before he chucked his
opera hat at the table, dashed to her, plumped down on the couch,
and cried:

"What is it?  Sweet!  What is it?"

She convulsively raised her face just enough to burrow it against
his knee while she whimpered:

"I've always said--oh, damn!--I've always said it was really a
compliment to a woman to be what they call 'insulted.'  Well, maybe
it is, but oh, Sam, I don't like it!  I DON'T!  Oh, I want to go
home!  Or anyway leave England.  I can't face it.  Probably it was
my fault that--

"No, it wasn't!  I swear it wasn't!  I never gave him the
slightest, littlest excuse to suppose that His Grace--Oh, God, how
I hate that man!  He's so supercilious, and what about?  I ask you,
what about?  What is the fool after all but a failure, an
international hobo?  Even if his cousin IS the real thing!  What
is he?  I ask you!

"It was like this.  Oh, Sam, Sam darling, I hate to tell you,
because I must have been at fault--partly.  It was after the opera.
I suggested to Clyde--to Major Lockert--that we might go somewhere
and dance, but he said all the good places were so noisy--couldn't
we just come up here and have a drink and talk.  I didn't mind; I
was a little tired.  Well, at first, he was awfully nice.  (Oh, I
can see his line so clearly now, and it wasn't so bad, considering!)
He sat--he sat right there in that chair--he sat there and he talked
about his boyhood and how lonely he'd been.  And you know what a fool
I am about children--you know how I suffer at just the least little
suggestion of anybody not having a happy childhood.  Of course I
almost cried.  And then he said he was terribly inarticulate and shy
(oh yes!) but he wanted to tell me how much it'd meant to know me--
I'd been a sweet feminine influence--honestly, I think he used just
those words!--of course he doesn't have a sweet feminine influence
more than two or three times a week!--you can imagine the kind of
Indian girls he tells that to on his plantation!--how I hate him!

"But anyway, he told me what a regular little sister I'd been to
him, and--being seven kinds of a fool, as you know--I fell for it,
and first thing I knew, he was sitting here on the couch beside me,
holding my hand.  And I confess--Oh, I'm being terribly frank!  If
you ever are so beastly as to go and use this against me later,
I'll KILL you, I swear I will! . . .  I didn't mind the hand-
holding a bit. . . .  Am I a hussy?  I'm afraid I could become
one! . . .  But anyway--I mean:  He has some electricity about him;
he's a very educated hand-holder; not too tight, and yet he sort of
makes you shudder--

"But anyway, he held my hand as though it were some particularly
sacred relic.  And he went on telling me that my example had
persuaded him that he must stop wandering and settle down with some
glorious girl like me.  And I believed it all!  I felt like a
Sister by a dying bedside!

"But anyway, he was going to cut out all this drifting and really
do something with life.  He SAID that!  'Do something with life!'
I might have known!

"And then--

"Oh, you know what he said!  I don't have to tell you.  Probably
you've said it to some cutie yourself!  Only, if I ever catch you
doing it, I'll KILL you!  You and I are the model monogamists
from now on, d'you understand?  Anyway, you can guess what he said.
Where was he to find the admirable spouse who'd be exactly like me?

"And of course I made noises like a purr-pussy!

"And the next thing I knew, he'd thrown his arms around me, and he
was trying to kiss me, and he was at the same time trying to inform
me that I'd led him on--Oh, I can sound funny about it, now, or try
to, anyway.  But it was pretty fairly ghastly.  The idiot insisted
on doing a real 'Woman, you have tempted me to perdition with your
poisoned smile' sort of melodrama.  Oh, Sam, Sam, Sam dear--you old
darling!  You're so DECENT!  But I mean:  When he found that I
was most certainly not going to be embraced, he got awfully nasty.
That's one thing he does do well!  He said I'd led him on.  He said
that among 'civilized people' there were 'rules of the game,' and
the way I'd let him kiss my shoulder--Oh yes, he did that, too, in
the taxicab going to dinner.  Oh, I AM being frank, probably
disastrously frank!  But, dear, don't treasure it up and use it
against a pitiful fool that thought she was a woman of the world!
And honestly, I really and truly did think, when he kissed my
shoulder, that if I just ignored it he'd have sense enough to see
that I wasn't taking any.  'Rules of the game among civilized
people!'  The fool!  As if I didn't understand them just as well as
he does, and maybe a lot better!  But anyway--

"And maybe I LIKED his kissing my shoulder!  Oh, I don't know!  I
don't know ANYTHING, after this ghastly evening!  But anyway:

"He said it was my fault, and so on and so forth--you can imagine--
and then he saw that he couldn't bully me, and he was terribly
apologetic about 'showing his true feelings'--the swine hasn't got
any true feelings!  Anyway, he kissed my ear and my nose--a rotten
marksman!--and he pleaded and--Oh, I don't know why you should have
to listen to all the ghastly details!  Anyway, I kicked him out,
and he--oh, he was charming, my dear!--he went back to his
delightful assertion that all American women are bloodless rotters,
who get a kick out of seeing men make fools of themselves and--

"Oh, oh yes, and he also said this.  This really WAS pretty, and
it'll interest you particularly!  Though it certainly wasn't very
consistent with his bleat about my being a bloodless siren!  He
said--he made it quite clear that he didn't merely expect a few
consoling kisses, and he said that I didn't know how much sex
passion there was concealed in me.  He said that you--he was so
kind as to indicate that you were a worthy motor-pedler and quite a
nice kind friend, and probably you could defend yourself if you
were attacked by bandits, but you had no sexual fire--'spiritual
fire'--I think he said, to be exact--and I was what he called
'unawakened,' and he was willing--bless his dear, kind, neighborly
soul!--he was willing to do the awakening.

"Oh, Sam, I'm trying to be funny about it, but actually I've never
been so insulted, so hurt, so horribly misunderstood, so innocent--

"Or do YOU think I led him on, too?"

Through all her vehement chronicle, Sam had been sorry for her,
most successfully; he had tried to agree with her, not very
successfully; and, while he stroked her hair, he had studied a
print on the wall.

He had not, till now, been very conscious of their sitting-room.
But in these seconds he so concentrated on it that he could never
forget one minutest detail: the walls, cornflower blue; the
ceiling, dull gold; a wing chair in cretonne with cabbage roses;
the mahogany escritoire, with elegant books of English memoirs,
recently purchased by Fran, on the shelves above the writing
tablet, on which she had made neat piles of the chaste Ritz
stationery and the letters which were now beginning to come from
home.  The low table for tea, with the old silver tea-service which
she had excitedly purchased on Bond Street.  He was touched by the
homemaking which she was always doing in hotel suites.  But most of
all he had been inattentively absorbed by the colored print on the
wall opposite him.  It wasn't any print in particular.  It was what
any aged and semi-literate artist would do.  Yet at this sensitive
moment it was fascinating to Sam, this picture of a young gallant,
rather leggy in tights, bent over a young woman with a smile and a
flowery hat, against a background of towers and roses.

He roused himself from the study of it as he heard her demand, "Or
do you think I led him on?"

"No.  I'm sure you didn't, Fran.  But still--"

Suddenly he had no control over what he was saying; no relation to
the man who was saying it:

"Oh, God, I'm so tired!  Tired!"

"If you don't think I'M tired!"

"Look here, Fran.  I'm not awfully accustomed to dealing with
little lovers in the home.  I haven't had that sort of life.  Oh, I
know you never had any idea of Lockert's taking your friendliness
for love-making.  He was a swine.  I suppose it's up to me to go
out and shoot him."

"Oh, don't be silly!"

"Well, I would feel a good deal like a fool, but if you want me
to--"  He had been warning himself not to say what he thought.
Suddenly he was saying it:

"But as a matter of fact, I don't entirely blame Lockert.  You were
flirting with him--you were doing it down at Lord Herndon's--even
on the steamer you acted as if he was running the whole show for
you.  And he had some excuse for thinking he could grab you off.
You have such a nice way of bawling me out right in his presence;
you say, 'Do try to remember that Lady What's-her-name isn't used
to Americans, and don't talk about Zenith,' and so on and so on,
until you've got me as nervous as an ammeter, till I feel like a
Middlewestern bull in a Bond Street china shop, and Lockert listens
to it, and naturally he supposes that you think I'm a fool, while
he's ace-high and--"

"Are there any other capital crimes that I've committed?"

"Yes.  A few.  You enjoy highhatting Hurd and decent fellows like
that--you're so blame' courteous they feel like stable-boys--you
play with 'em like a cat with a mouse--and Lockert's heard you
doing it, and he sees you turning toward him for approval, and he
thinks you think that he's so superior to me and my friends--"

"Now you listen to ME!  I deny everything you say!  I have
NEVER nagged you!  I have NEVER said anything to embarrass you!
I think even YOU will admit that in some things I have slightly
more tact and patience than you have!  And then out of pure
friendliness, entirely for your own sake, I try to help you to
understand people that you've misjudged, and you say I've bullied
you!  Oh, it's perfectly beastly of you!  And idiotic!  If you
wouldn't fly off the handle so easily, if you'd listen and let me
help you, perhaps you wouldn't make such perfectly appalling breaks
as you did the night when you insulted Lady Ouston and made
everybody so frightfully uncomfortable--"

"But you backed me up!  You said I was right!"

"Naturally!  I said it out of loyalty to you.  I'm always loyal to
you.  I've never yet failed you in that--or in anything else!"

"Oh, haven't you!  I suppose you call it loyalty to be constantly
hinting and suggesting that I'm merely an ignorant business man,
whereas anybody--ANYBODY!--that has an English or French accent,
any loafer living on women, is a gentleman and scholar!  After all,
I have managed to deal with a few European importers without

"Go on!  Explain that you're the great Herr Geheimrat General-
direktor!  That you invented and developed the entire motor
industry!  It's all so new and interesting!  Oh, I've never wanted
to say it, Sam, but you force me to!  I have no question but that
you've done well.  There are very few more impressive people--in
Zenith!  But it happens that we are not in your dear Zenith, just
now, but in England, and there are several things here that you
don't know so much about, and that I do know!  After all, this
isn't my first trip to Europe!  But you're too self-important to
let me teach you!  I certainly do not mean to hint that you're ill
bred or common, but really--I hate to have to tell you this!--you
certainly do seem vulgar and ill bred to people who don't
understand you--"

"To Lockert, I suppose!"

"--and to people who venture to believe that the great tradition of
Europe is slightly superior to the pep and hustle of Zenith!  I
could teach you that tradition, but you won't let me--"

"I suppose you're an authority!"

"I certainly am, comparatively!  After all, I have been in Europe
before!  And my father's house was always full of Europeans.  And
I've read more French and German and British books, these twenty
years, than you have detective stories!  They accept me here.  Oh,
Sam, if you'd only let me help you--"

"My dear child, you can't at the same time pan me for my vulgarity
and be the tender little mother!  That's too damn' much to stand!
And as a matter of fact, when it comes to vulgarity--Now where the
devil are all the cigarettes?"

Instantly it was more important to find the cigarettes without
which no real smoker can be comfortable and emotional and quarrel
actively than it was to enjoy the pain of hatred.  They suspended
battle to join in the hunt.  He turned out his dinner-jacket,
rammed his hands into the pockets of his overcoat, and yanked out
bureau drawers, while she popped up from the couch to look
triumphantly--then bleakly--into the black and scarlet Russian box
which she had bought yesterday.

"And another thing--another thing--But where ARE those cigarettes?
I know I had half a package of Gold Flakes left, and some Camels,"
he muttered, as he searched.

It was she who thought of telephoning to the office; she who felt
that she knew how to use servants, at no matter what time of night,
while he would always be Americanishly shy of them.

She sat on the edge of the couch, she smoothed her skirt, she bent
her head with irritating graciousness to receive a light from him
when the cigarettes had come, and graciously, most irritatingly,
she said:

"Sam, I hate to have to point it out again, but it really doesn't
get you very far in a discussion to lose your temper and use big,
strong, he-man words like 'damn' and 'the devil.'  They aren't so
awfully novel and startling to me!  And as usual, you're merely
missing the point.  I'm neither 'panning' you, as you so elegantly
put it, nor am I trying to mother you.  I'm always willing to
listen to your opinions on golf and how to invest my money.  I
merely expect you to admit that there may be a few things in which
the poor ignorant female may know a little bit more than you do!
Oh, you're like all the other American men!  You speak no known
language.  You don't know Rodin from Mozart.  You have no idea
whether France or England controls Syria.  You--you, the motor
expert!--can never remember whether a lady should be on your right
or your left in a car.  You're bored equally by Bach and Antheil.
You're bored by going with me to shop for the most divine Russian
embroidery.  You can't fence with a pretty woman at dinner.  And--
But those are just symptoms!  Separately, they don't matter.  The
thing is that you haven't the mistiest notion of what European
civilization is, basically--of how the tradition of leisure, honor,
gallantry, inherent cultivation, differs from American materialism.
And you don't want to learn.  You never COULD be European--"

"Fran!  Stop sneering!"

"I am not sneer--"

"Stop it!  Dear!  I don't pretend to have any of these virtues.  I
guess it's perfectly true: I never could become European.  But why
should I?  I'm American, and glad of it.  And you know I never try
to prevent your being as European as you want to.  But don't take
out your soreness at Lockert on me.  Please!"

His encircling arms said more, and he nestled her head on his
shoulder while she sobbed:

"I know.  I'm sorry.  But oh--"

She sat up, spoke resolutely.

"I'm terribly ashamed about this Lockert business.  Shamed right
down through me.  I can't stand it!  Sam, I want to leave England
at once.  I can't stand staying in this country with that man,
thinking he's here laughing at me.  Or else I WILL be asking you
to go out and shoot him, and the law here is so prejudiced!  I want
to leave for France.  NOW!"

"But golly, Fran, I like this country!  I'm getting to know London.
I like it here.  France'll be so foreign."

"Precisely!  I want it to be!  I want to start all over.  I won't
make a fool of myself again.  Oh, Sam, darling, let's run away,
like two school-children, hand in hand!  And think!  The joy of
seeing blue siphons and brioches and kiosks and red sashes and red-
plush wall-seats and fat lady cashiers!  And hearing 'B'jour,
M'sieu et Madame,' the way they say it when you're leaving a shop--
like a little bell!  Let's go!"

"Well, I did intend to see some aeroplane factories here.  Fact I
had a date--"

They went to Paris in four days.

The Channel steamer seemed to him like a greyhound--small, slim,
power evident in its squat thick funnel.  The delight of sea-faring
which he had found on the Atlantic came to him again in the narrow
gangways 'tween decks, suggesting speed in their sharp curve toward
the bow.  When he had established Fran in a chair on the boat deck,
amid piles of snobbish blond luggage, he slipped down to the bar.

There is about a ship's bar, any bar of any ship, however small, a
cheerfulness unknown elsewhere in life's dark and Methodist vale.
It has the snug security of an English inn, with a suggestion of
adventure as the waves flicker past the port-holes, as you
speculate about the passengers--men coming from China and Brazil
and Saskatchewan, men going to Italy and Liberia and Siam.  As he
clumped up to join Fran, Sam forgot, in waxing anticipation of the
Continent, his regret for England, and he kept that anticipation
even while he listened on deck to a proper cross-Channel
conversation among a ripe Wiltshire vicar, his aunt, and his aunt's
dear friend, Mrs. Illingworth-Dobbs:

"Oh yes, we shall stop in Florence most of the time."

"Shall you stop at the Stella Rossa ancora una volta?"

"No, I really think we shall stop at Mrs. Brown-Bloater's pension.
You know we've always stopped at the Stella Rossa, but it's really
too outrageous.  Last year they began to charge extra for tea!"

"Extra?  For TEA?"

"Yes.  And it used to be quite nice there!  The guests were people
one could know.  But now it's filled with Jews and Americans and
unmarried couples and even Germans!"

"Dreadful!  But Florence is so lovely."


"So artistic!"

"Yes, so artistic.  And Sir William is taking a villa there for the

"I say, that will be jolly for you."

"Si, si!  Sara una cosa veramente--uh--really charming.  Sir
William is SO fond of the artistic.  It will be quite like home,
having him there.  _And I have heard definitely from Mrs. Brown-
Bloater that she is not charging extra for tea_!"

Sam forgot the prospect of a Continent full of Mrs. Illingworth-
Dobbses; he even forgot, in the zest of the steamer's speed, Fran's
fretfulness that the boat was going up and down a good deal, for
which she seemed to feel that he was to blame.  The bow hit the
waves like a mailed fist.  There was just enough motion to show
that he really was at sea, and as they left the English coast and
cut into the fresh breeze, they plunged past foreign-looking craft:
a French steam-trawler lurching up the Channel, with meaty little
sailors in striped jerseys waving at them, a German coaster, a
Dutch East Indiaman, rolling through the sun-crisped tide.

The sailors who passed their deck chairs, the officers on the
bridge, they were all so sturdy, so mahogany-faced, so reliable, so

A man with a long blond mustache and a monocle strolled past.  Fran
insisted that he was Thomas Cook, of the Sons.  And what was Karl
Baedeker like? she speculated.  Short and square, with a short
square brown beard and double-thick spectacles through which he
peered at menus and ruined temples and signs reading "Roma 3

"Yes, and what is Mr. Bass like?  And the Haig Brothers?  I wonder
if they're like the Smith Brothers," said Sam, and, "Gosh, I'm
enjoying this, Fran!"

Then he saw a pale line, which was the coast of France.

But he tramped aft, to look back toward England.  He fancied that
he could see the shadow of its cliffs.  Doubtless it was a distant
cloud-bank that he saw, but he imagined the cool and endearing
hills, the welcoming crooked streets, the wholesome faces.

"England!  Perhaps I'll never see it again. . . .  Fran and
Lockert, they've taken it from me. . . .  But I love it.  America
is my wife and daughter, but England is my mother.  And these fools
talk about a possible war between Britain and America!  If that
ever came--I thought Debs was foolish to go to jail as a protest
against war, but I guess I understand better how he felt now.  'If
I forget thee, O England, let my right hand forget her cunning, if
I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my
mouth.'  How did that go, in chapel?  Oh yes:  'If I prefer not
Jerusalem--London--above my chief joy'!  Well.  I never could
prefer England above America.  But next to America--Oh, Lord, I'd
liked to've stayed there!  The Dodsworths were in England three
thousand years, maybe, where they've been in America only three


Then he turned eagerly toward France.

They crept into harbor, past the breakwater with its tiny
lighthouses, bumped along a rough stone pier, saw advertisements of
strange drinks in a strange language, and were flooded with small,
shrieking, blue-bloused porters; heard children speaking French as
though it were a natural language; and for the first time in his
life Samuel Dodsworth was in the grasp of a real Foreign Land.


Sam had remained calm amid the frenzy of a Detroit Automobile Show;
he had stalked through the crush of a New Year's Eve on Broadway,
merely brushing off the bright young men with horns and feather
ticklers; but in the Calais customs-house he was appalled.  The
porters shrieked ferocious things like "attonshion" as they elbowed
past, walking mountains of baggage; the passengers jammed about the
low baggage platform; the customs inspectors seemed to Sam cold-
eyed and hostile; all of them bawled and bleated and wailed in what
sounded to him like no language whatever; and he remembered that he
had four hundred cigarettes in his smaller bag.

The porter who had taken their bags on the steamer had shouted
something that sounded like "catravan deuce"--Fran said it meant
that he was Porter Number Ninety-two.  Then Catravan Deuce had
malignantly disappeared, with their possessions.  Sam knew that it
was all right, but he didn't believe it.  He assured himself that a
French porter was no more likely to steal their bags than a Grand
Central red-cap--only, he was quite certain that Catravan Deuce had
stolen them.  Of course he could replace everything except Fran's
jewelry without much expense but--Damn it, he'd hate to lose his
old red slippers--

He was disappointed at so flabby an ending when he found Catravan
Deuce at his elbow in the customs room, beaming in a small bearded
way and shouldering aside the most important passengers to plank
their baggage down on the platform for examination.

Sam was proud of Fran's French (of Stratford, Connecticut) when the
capped inspector said something quite incomprehensible and she
answered with what sounded like "ree-an."  He felt that she was a
scholar; he felt that he was untutored and rusty; he depended on
her admiringly.  And then he opened the smaller bag and the four
hundred cigarettes were revealed to the inspector.

The inspector looked startled, he gaped, he spread out his arms,
and protested in the name of liberty, equality, fraternity, and
indemnities.  Fran tried to answer, but her French stumbled and
fell, and she turned to Sam, all her airy competence gone, wailing,
"I can't understand what he says!  He--he talks patois!"

At her appeal, Sam suddenly became competent, ready to face the
entire European Continent, with all appertaining policemen, laws,
courts, and penitentiaries.

"Here!  I'll get somebody!" he assured her, and to the customs
inspector, who was now giving a French version of the Patrick Henry
oration, he remarked, "Just a MO-ment!  Keep your shirt on!"

He had a notion of finding the English vicar to whom he had
listened on the Channel steamer.  "Fellow seems to know European
languages."  He wallowed through the crowd as though he were making
a touch-down, and saw on a cap the thrice golden words "American
Express Company."  The American Express man beamed and leaped
forward at something in the manner with which Mr. Samuel Dodsworth
of the Revelation Motor Company suggested, "Can you come and do a
little job of interpreting for me?" . . .  Sam felt that for a
moment he was being Mr. Samuel Dodsworth, and not Fran Dodsworth's
husband. . . .  And for something less than a moment he admitted
that he was possibly being the brash Yankee of Mark Twain and Booth
Tarkington.  And he could not successfully be sorry for it.

The American Express man saw them on the waiting train (a very
bleak and tall and slaty train it seemed to Sam); he prevented Sam
from tipping the porter enough to set him up in a shop.  And so Sam
and Fran were alone in a compartment, safe again till Paris.

Sam chuckled, "Say, I guess I'll have to learn the French for two
phrases:  'How much?' and 'Go to hell.'  But--Sweet!  We're in
France--in Europe!"

She smiled at him; she let him off and didn't even rebuke him for
his Americanism.  They sat hand in hand, and they were more
intimately happy than since the day they had sailed from America.
They were pleased by everything: by the battery of red and golden
bottles on their table at lunch, by the deftness with which the
waiter sliced the cone of ice cream, by the mysterious widow who
was trying to pick up the mysterious Frenchman who combined a
checked suit and a red tie with a square black beard--such a beard,
murmured Fran, as it was worth crossing the Atlantic to behold.

He was stimulated equally by the "foreignness" of the human
spectacle flickering past the window of their compartment--women
driving ox-carts, towns with sidewalk cafes, and atrocious new
houses of yellow brick between lumpy layers of stone picked out in
red mortar--and the lack of "foreignness" in the land itself.
Somehow it wasn't quite right that French trees and grass should be
of the same green, French earth of the same brown, French sky of
the same blue, as in a natural, correct country like America.
After the tight little fenced fields of England, the wide Picardy
plains, green with approaching April, seemed to him extraordinarily
like the prairies of Illinois and Iowa.  If it was a little
disappointing, not quite right and decent after he had gone and
taken so long and expensive a journey, yet he was pleased by that
sense of recognition which is one of the most innocent and
egotistic of human diversions, that feeling of understanding and of
mastering an observation.  He was as pleased as a side-street
nobody when in his newspaper he sees the name of a man he knows.

"I'm enjoying this!" said Sam.

He had been accustomed to "sizing up" American towns; he could look
from a Pullman window at Kalamazoo or Titus Center and guess the
population within ten per cent.  He could, and with frequency he
did; he was fascinated by figures of any sort, and for twenty years
he had been trying to persuade Fran that there was nothing
essentially ignoble in remembering populations and areas and grade-
percentages and the average life of tires.  He had been able to
guess not too badly at the size of British towns; he had not been
too greatly bewildered by anything in England, once he was over the
shock of seeing postmen with funny hats, and taxicabs with no
apparent speed above neutral.  But in Paris, as they bumped and
slid and darted from the Gare du Nord to their hotel, he could not
be certain just what it was that he was seeing.

Fran was articulate enough about it.  She half stood up in the
taxi, crying, "Oh, look, Sam, look!  Isn't it adorable!  Isn't it
too exciting!  Oh, the darling funny little ZINCS!  And the
Cointreau ads, instead of chewing gum!  These bald-faced high white
houses!  Everybody so noisy, and yet so gay!  Oh, I ADORE it!"

But for Sam it was a motion picture produced by an insane asylum;
it was an earthquake with a volcano erupting and a telephone bell
ringing just after he'd gone to sleep; it was lightning flashes and
steam whistles and newspaper extras and war.

Their taxicab, just missing an omnibus, sliding behind its rear
platform.  A policeman, absurdly little, with an absurd white
baton.  Two priests over glasses of beer at a cafe.  Silver gray
everywhere, instead of London's golden brown.  Two exceedingly
naked plaster ladies upholding a fifth-story balcony.  Piles of
shoddy rugs in front of a shop, and beside them a Frenchman looking
utterly content with his little business, instead of yearning at
the department store opposite and feeling guilty as he would in New
York or Chicago or Zenith.  Fish.  Bread.  Beards.  Brandy.
Artichokes.  Apples.  Etchings.  Fish.  A stinking-looking alley.
A splendid sweeping boulevard.  Circular tin structures whose use
he dared not suspect and which gave him a shocking new notion of
Latin proprieties and of the apparently respectable and certainly
bearded gentlemen who dashed toward them.  Many books, bound in
paper of a thin-looking yellow.  An incessant, nerve-cracking,
irritating, exhilarating blat-blat-blat of nervous little motor
horns.  Buildings which in their blankness seemed somehow higher
than American skyscrapers ten times as high.  A tiny, frowsy,
endearing facade of a house which suggested the French Revolution
and crazed women in red caps and kirtled skirts.  A real artist
(Sam decided), a being in red beard, wide black hat, and a cloak,
with a dog-eared marble-paper-covered portfolio under his arm.
Gossiping women, laughing, denouncing, forgiving, laughing.  Superb
public buildings, solid-looking as Gibraltar.  Just missing another
taxi, and the most admirable cursing by both chauffeurs--

"This certainly is a busy town.  But not much traffic control,
looks to me," said Samuel Dodsworth, and his voice was particularly
deep and solemn, because he was particularly confused and timid.

It was at the Grand Hotel des Deux Hemispheres et Dijon that he was
able to reassume the pleasant mastery with which (he hoped) he had
been able to impress Fran at the Calais customs.  The assistant
manager of the hotel spoke excellent English, and Sam had never
been entirely at a loss so long as his opponent would be decent and
speak a recognizable language.

Lucile McKelvey, of Zenith, had told Fran that the Hemispheres was
"such a nice, quiet hotel," and Sam had wired for reservations from
London.  By himself, he would doubtless have registered and taken
meekly whatever room was given him.  But Fran insisted on seeing
their suite, and they found it a damp, streaked apartment looking
on a sunless courtyard.

"Oh, this won't do at all!" wailed Fran.  "Haven't you something

The assistant manager, a fluent Frenchman from Roumania via
Algiers, looked them up and down with that contempt, that
incomparable and enfeebling contempt, which assistant managers
reserve for foreigners on their first day in Paris.

"We are quite full up," he sniffed.

"You haven't anything else at all?" she protested.

"No, Madame."

Those were the words, but the tune was, "No, you foreign nuisance--
jolly lucky you are to be admitted here at all--I wonder if you two
really ARE married--well, I'll overlook that, but I shan't stand
any Yankee impertinence!"

Even the airy Fran was intimidated, and she said only, "Well, I
don't like it--"

And then Samuel Dodsworth appeared again.

His knowledge of Parisian hotels and their assistant managers was
limited, but his knowledge of impertinent employees was vast.

"Nope," he said.  "No good.  We don't like it.  We'll look

"But Monsieur has engaged this suite!"

The internationalist and the provincial looked at each other
furiously, and it was the assistant manager whose eyes fell, who
looked embarrassed, as Sam's paws curled, as the back of his neck
prickled with unholy wrath.

"Look here!  You know this is a rotten hole!  Do you want to send
for the manager--the boss, whatever you call him?"

The assistant manager shrugged, and left them, coldly and with

Rather silently, Sam lumbered beside Fran down to their taxi.
He supervised the reloading of their baggage, and atrociously
overtipped every one whom he could coax out of the hotel.

"Grand Universel!" he snapped at the taxi-driver, and the man
seemed to understand his French.

In the taxi he grumbled, "I TOLD you I had to learn the French
for 'Go to hell.'"

A silence; then he ruminated, "Glad we got out of there.  But I
bullied that poor rat of a clerk.  Dirty trick!  I'm sorry!  I'm
three times as big as he is.  Stealing candy from a kid!  Dirty
trick!  I see why they get sore at Americans like me.  Sorry,

"I adore you!" she said, and he looked mildly astonished.

At the Grand Universel, on the Rue de Rivoli, they found an
agreeable suite overlooking the Tuileries, and twenty times an
hour, as she unpacked, Fran skipped to the window to gloat over
Paris, the Casanova among cities.

Their sitting-room seemed to him very pert and feminine in its
paneled walls covered with silky yellow brocade, its fragile chairs
upholstered in stripes of silver and lemon.  Even the ponderous
boule cabinet was frivolous, and the fireplace was of lively and
rather indecorous pink marble.  He felt that it was a light-minded
room, a room for sinning in evening clothes.  All Paris was like
that, he decided.

Then he stepped out on the fretted iron balcony and looked to the
right, to the Place de la Concorde and the beginning of the Champs
Elysees, with the Chamber of Deputies across the Seine.  He was
suddenly stilled, and he perceived another Paris, stately, aloof,
gray with history, eternally quiet at heart for all its superficial

Beneath the quacking of motor horns he heard the sullen tumbrils.
He heard the trumpets of the Napoleon who had saved Europe from
petty princes.  He heard, without quite knowing that he heard them,
the cannon of the Emperor who was a Revolutionist.  He heard things
that Samuel Dodsworth did not know he had heard or ever could hear.

"Gee, Fran, this town has been here a long time, I guess," he
meditated.  "This town knows a lot," said Samuel Dodsworth of
Zenith.  "Yes, it knows a lot."

And, a little sadly, "I wish I did!"

There are many Parises, with as little relation one to another as
Lyons to Monte Carlo, as Back Bay to the Dakota wheatfields.  There
is the trippers' Paris: a dozen hotels, a dozen bars and restaurants,
more American than French; three smutty revues; three railroad
stations; the Cafe de la Paix; the Eiffel Tower; the Arc de
Triomphe; the Louvre; shops for frocks, perfumes, snake-skin shoes,
and silk pajamas; the regrettable manners of Parisian taxi-drivers;
and the Montmartre dance-halls where fat, pink-skulled American
lingerie-buyers get drunk on imitation but inordinately expensive
champagne, to the end that they put on pointed paper hats, scatter
confetti, conceive themselves as Great Lovers, and in general forget
their unfortunate lot.

The students' Paris, round about the Sorbonne, very spectacled and
steady.  The fake artists' Paris, very literary and drunk and full
of theories.  The real artists' Paris, hidden and busy and silent.
The cosmopolites' Paris, given to breakfast in the Bois, to tea at
the Ritz, and to reading the social columns announcing who has been
seen dining with princesses at Ciro's--namely, a Paris whose chief
joy is in being superior to the trippers.

There is also reported to be a Paris inhabited by no one save three
million Frenchmen.

It is said that in this unknown Paris live bookkeepers and
electricians and undertakers and journalists and grandfathers and
grocers and dogs and other beings as unromantic as people Back

Making up a vast part of all save this last of the Parises are the

Paris is one of the largest, and certainly it is the pleasantest,
of modern American cities.  It is a joyous town, and its chief joy
is in its jealousies.  Every citizen is in rivalry with all the
others in his knowledge of French, of museums, of wine, and of

The various castes, each looking down its nose at the caste below,
are after this order:  Americans really domiciled in Paris for
years, and connected by marriage with the French noblesse.
Americans long domiciled, but unconnected with the noblesse.
Americans who have spent a year in Paris--those who have spent
three months--two weeks--three days--half a day--just arrived.  The
American who has spent three days is as derisive toward the half-a-
day tripper as the American resident with smart French relatives is
toward the poor devil who has lived in Paris for years but who is
there merely for business.

And without exception they talk of the Rate of Exchange.

And they are all very alike, and mostly homesick.

They insist that they cannot live in America, but, except for a
tenth of them who have really become acclimated in Europe, they are
so hungry for American news that they subscribe to the home paper,
from Keokuk or New York or Pottsville, and their one great day each
week is that of the arrival of the American mail, on which they
fall with shouts of "Hey, Mamie, listen to this!  They're going to
put a new heating plant in the Lincoln School."  They know quite as
well as Sister Louisa, back home, when the Washington Avenue
extension will be finished.  They may ostentatiously glance daily
at Le Matin or Le Journal, but the Paris editions of the New York
Herald and the Chicago Tribune they read solemnly, every word, from
the front page stories--"Congress to Investigate Election
Expenses," and "Plans Transatlantic Aeroplane Liners" to the "News
of Americans in Europe," with its tidings that Mrs. Witney T.
Auerenstein of Scranton entertained Geheimrat and Frau Bopp at
dinner at the Bristol, and that Miss Mary Minks Meeton, author and
lecturer, has arrived at the Hotel Pedauque.

Each of these castes is subdivided according to one's preference
for smart society or society so lofty that it need not be smart,
society given to low bars and earnest drinking, the society of
business exploitation, or that most important society of plain
loafing.  Happy is he who can cleave utterly to one of these
cliques; he can find a group of fellow zealots and, drinking or
shopping or being artistic, be surrounded with gloriously log-
rolling comrades.

But Sam Dodsworth was unfortunate, for his wife panted to combine
smartness with an attention to Art, while he himself preferred
business and the low bars.

For all of Fran's superiority to "sight-seeing," they were at first
lonely in Paris, and Sam was able to drag her to all the places
mentioned in the guide-books.  They danced at Zelli's; they went up
the Eiffel Tower and she came near to being sick in corners; thrice
they went to the Louvre; and once he cajoled her into the New York
Bar for a whisky and soda and spirited conversation with an unknown
man about skiing and the Bronx.  She showed even more zest than he
in finding new small restaurants--he would have been content to
return every night to the places in which he had conquered the
waiters and learned the wine-list.

And, curiously, he enjoyed galleries and picture-exhibitions more
than she.

Fran had read enough about art; she glanced over the studio
magazines monthly, and she knew every gallery on Fifth Avenue.
But, to her, painting, like all "culture," was interesting only as
it adorned her socially.  In story-books parroting the Mark Twain
tradition, the American wife still marches her husband to galleries
from which he tries to sneak away; but in reality Sam's imagination
was far more electrified by blue snow and golden shoulders and
dynamic triangles than was Fran's.  Probably he would have balked
at the blurs of Impressionism and the jazz mathematics of Cubism,
but it chanced that the favorite artist just this minute was one
Robinoff, who did interiors pierced with hectic sunshine hurled
between the slats of Venetian blinds, or startling sun-rays
striking into dusky woodlands, and at these (while Fran impatiently
wanted to get on to tea) Sam stared long and contentedly, drawing
in his breath as though he smelled the hot sun.

In every phase Fran was as incalculable about "sight-seeing" as
about liking his business associates.  One day she was brazen
enough to be discovered with the tourists' badge, the red Baedeker,
unconcealed; the next she wouldn't even sit with him at a sidewalk
cafe--at the Napolitain or the Closerie-des-Lilas.

"But why not?" he protested.  "Best place to see the world go by.
Everybody goes to 'em."

"Smart people don't."

"Well, I'm not smart!"

"Well, I am!"

"Then you ought to be smart enough to not care what anybody

"Perhaps I am. . . .  But I don't care to be seen sitting with a
lot of trippers in raincoats."

"But you sat in a cafe yesterday, and enjoyed it.  Don't you
remember the beggar that sang--"

"Exactly!  I've had enough of it!  Oh, if you want to go and yearn
over your dear American fellow tourists, by all means go, my dear
Samuel!  I am going to the Crillon and have a decent tea."

"And yearn over the dear fellow American tourists that happen to be

"Is it necessary for you always to quarrel with me because I want
to do what I want to do?  I'm not keeping you from sitting on your
sidewalks.  Don't go to the Crillon!  Go to one of your beloved
American bars, if you want to, and scrape up acquaintance with a
lot of drunken business men--"

They compromised on going to the Crillon.

He puzzled over her feeling that it was a duty to keep herself
fashionable in the eyes of the choice people who did not know that
she existed.  He could understand that back in Zenith she might
have a good human satisfaction in being more snobbish than the
matron across the street, in the ancient sport of "putting it over
on the neighbors."  He had been unrighteously pleased when he had
seen her better dressed than her dear friend and resented rival,
Lucile McKelvey.  "Good girl," he had crowed; "you were the best-
dressed wench in the room!"

But why should it matter to Fran that a strange Parisian aristocrat
passing in a carriage might some day see them sitting contentedly
at a cafe and arch her brows at them?

He admitted that the serene and classic Place des Vosges with the
Carnavalet Museum was perhaps more select than Pat's Chicago Bar;
that caneton presse might be a more elegant food than corn fritters
at the Savannah Grill.  "But," he fretted, "why can't you enjoy
both--as long as you DO enjoy 'em?  Nobody's hired us to come
here and be stylish!  We haven't got any duty involved!  Back home
there may have been a law against enjoying ourselves the way we
wanted to, but there's none here!"

"My dear Sam, it's a matter of keeping one's self-respect.  It's
like the Englishman, all alone in the jungle, who always dresses
for dinner."

"Yes, I've read about him!  In the first place, he probably didn't
do it, and in the second place, if he did he was a chump!  That's
how I've always figured it."

"You would!  You couldn't understand what it meant to him--"

"Well, if all that stood between him and losing his self-respect
was a hard-boiled shirt-front, I guess he might as well have let it
slide!  If I can't be self-respectful in a flannel shirt, I'm about
ready to jump off the dock and--"

"Oh, you simply can't UNDERSTAND!"

They had never had much time in Zenith for a serious attention to
quarreling and being domestically vulgar.  All day he had been at
the office; most evenings they had seen other people; on Sunday
there had been golf and relatives.  They had time a-plenty now,
equally for quarreling and for intimate and adventurous happiness
together.  One day they wrangled--and endlessly, because they were
not quarreling over any one thing in particular but over the
differences in their philosophies of life; the next they went off
(and sometimes she was simple and gay enough to let him carry
sandwiches somewhat mussily in his pocket) to explore the Forest of
Fontainebleau, and they laughed as they walked through groves
shivering with April.

He was becoming acquainted with her and, sometimes, slightly, with

He saw little enough of Frenchmen outside of hotel-servants,
waiters, shopmen, but what he did see of them, what he saw of the
surface of French life, puzzled him.  Many travelers in like case
take out their confusion in resentment, and damn the whole nation
as trivial and mad.  But there was in Sam a stubborn wish to get in
behind any situation that he came across.  He was not one to amuse
himself by novelties, by making scenes, by collecting curious
people, even overmuch by travel, but once he was dragged into
something new he wanted to understand it, and he had a touch of
humility, a deep and sturdy recognition of his own ignorance,
whenever he could not understand.

And he could not understand these Frenchmen.

He watched them in cafes, at the theater, in shops, in trains to
Tours and Versailles.  How was it that they could sit, not
restless, playing dominoes or chattering, over nothing more
beguiling than glasses of coffee (and why was it that they drank
coffee in glasses, anyway, instead of in cups)?

They liked talking so much.  What the deuce did they find to talk
about, hour on hour?  How could they stand it without something to

Why were there so few grassy yards about the houses?  How was it
that the most respectable old couples, silvery old men and crouched
little old women, were willing to be seen at ordinary cafes in the
evening, when their counterparts back home considered the saloon,
the cafe, as the final haunt of the abominable?  He saw the French
people being gracious in shops, beaming on the babies in the
Luxembourg Gardens, laughing together as they paraded the streets,
and he decided that they were the soul of kindliness.  He saw a
Frenchman scowl at American barbarians for daring to enter his
quarter-filled railway compartment, he heard Fran being atrociously
denounced by a recently smiling, buxom, clean, wholesome shop-woman
when Fran insisted that she had been overcharged ten centimes for
dry-cleaning a pair of gloves, and he decided that the French were
rude and mean to a point of hatefulness . . . and that his Fran
showed an enjoyment of squabbling which was a little disturbing to

He saw the Louvre, the silks in shops on the Place Vendome, the
trimness of their own apartment at the Grand Universel, and he
decided that the French had the best taste in the world.  He saw
the department stores with their atrocious brass-fretted windows,
their displays of fish and fowl and Marquise-in-a-garden chromos,
of buffets carved with wooden blobs, of chairs that were even more
violently high-colored than they were uncomfortable; he saw, in the
haughty Parc Monceau, the imported ruins; he saw intelligent-
seeming Frenchmen snickering over smutty post-cards and the
eternal, unchanging pictures of naked young women in Vie Parisienne
and Le Rire; and he decided that the French had no taste whatever.

But behind all his decisions was the decision that Sam Dodsworth
would never be anything save bewildered by foreign ways, while Fran
might, perhaps, take to them so eagerly that their companionship
would be smashed forever.


Sam was used enough to New York hotels, and he had spent occasional
fortnights at summer inns of Northern Michigan, Maine, the
Berkshires.  But he had never known the existence of the prosperous
refugees from life who cling for years to hotels and pensions, who
are mothered by chambermaids, fathered by concierges, befriended
only by room-waiters--if they find any waiters kind enough and idle
enough to be patient with their longing to gossip.

And he did not like it.

He felt as though he were living in an Old People's Home.  The
attention of the servants made him feel old; the elevator man
infuriated him by placing a hand under his arm to help him out of
an elevator which had stopped a whole inch above the floor; the
page boy in the lobby infuriated him by spinning the revolving
door--and usually spinning it so artfully that one blade just
missed Sam's nose; the head waiter infuriated him by inquiring, as
though Sam had never heard of menus, "A little soup this evening,
Mr. Samuels?" and most of all he was infuriated by the room-waiters
who were each morning astonished that he should desire eggs in
addition to his Continental Breakfast, who fussed over knives and
forks, who pushed up chairs and snatched away the pleasant litter
of newspapers, and who held out his napkin as though he were too
feeble to lift it for himself.

Yet he was dependent on them.  Though Fran was making much now of
reading the Matin daily and of knowing all about art exhibitions
and the hours when theaters began, she had to turn to the tall and
patronizing concierge for information about what train to take to
Versailles--where to buy slippers--who was the best American
dentist--how much one ought to pay for a lacquered Japanese
cigarette case--why the deuce Mathilde et Cie. hadn't delivered the
evening scarf they'd promised for this afternoon--and just what
WAS the general reputation of Mathilde et Cie. for delivering
things and for overcharging?

He sank heavily into accepting the hotel as his natural dwelling,
as a prisoner sinks into accepting a jail.  Presently he was not
bothered by the devious way from the elevator to their suite--to
the right, sharp turning right again, turning left by that dusty
old trunk with the red and green stripes which had apparently stood
there in the corridor forever, then seventh door on the left--the
door with the long scratch under the knob.  He came to accept it as
any other peasant accepts the long way to his hut, dark and
meaningless and weary to tired legs.  He was no longer annoyed by
the too open-work and too generally brassy and light-minded
appearance of the French elevator; he learned that the elevator was
the "lift" or the "ascenseur" or indeed almost anything except the
"elevator"; he learned that the room service-bell never worked and
that the best way to get a waiter was to stand in the door and
bellow "Gar-song"; and he learned that the Mr. Samuel Dodsworth who
once had been received with a certain deference in the General
Offices of the Revelation Motor Company in Zenith was fortunate
here when the Greek boots nodded to him in the hall.

He even got used to living in a lack of privacy like that of a
monkey in a Zoo.  After a time he could without self-consciousness
sit and read the Paris editions of the American papers in the old-
fashioned lounge of the hotel--he went there daily, despite having
a drawing-room of his own, in a sneaking, never-admitted hope that
some day he would be recognized and picked up by a fellow American
exile.  The lounge was modern in its small and hideous tables
covered with pebbled beaten brass, its fountain, with Neptune
undistinguishable from any other marble tombstone, and the number
of cocktails gulped daily at five o'clock by young ladies who spoke
Chicagoese with a very fair imitation of a French accent.  But the
modernity of the lounge had not run to new chairs; they were of red
and golden plush, made delicate and chaste with antimacassars, and
looking rather as though they had been dedicated by Napoleon III.

It had not been easy for Sam to get used to reading in the lounge,
to dressing his mind in public.  He was accustomed to the communism
of clubs, but there, no one paid attention to any one else.  In the
lounge, no one had very much to do except to pay attention.  They
stared, and always resentfully.  The English mother and daughter
who were the most exclusive and the most resentful toward strangers
were precisely the people who spent the most time in the lounge
being exclusive and resentful.  The French provincial magnate who
had arrived just that morning was precisely the person who looked
with the greatest irritation at a veteran like Sam, now settled
here two whole weeks, when Sam annoyed him by taking the next chair
and moving it two inches.  And there were always elderly, slightly
belching, very hairy couples who spent all their time catching his
eye and then looking indignant because he had caught their eyes.

But after a fortnight he could enter the lounge, ignore the human
furniture, and rustle his newspaper with almost as much relaxation
as he had felt in his library in Zenith.

He was becoming accustomed to the home of the homeless.

He discovered slowly, and always with a little astonishment, that
the French were human, even according to the standard of the United
States of America.

He found that in certain French bathrooms one can have hot water
without waiting for a geyser.  He found that he needn't have
brought two dozen tubes of his favorite (and very smelly)
toothpaste from America--one actually could buy toothpaste, corn-
plasters, New York Sunday papers, Bromo-Seltzer, Lucky Strikes,
safety-razor blades, and ice cream almost as easily in Paris as in
the United States; and a man he met at Luigi's Bar insisted that if
one quested earnestly enough, he could find B.V.D.'s.

And he discovered that French chauffeurs drove better than

He meditated on it, alone with a cognac and soda (he had learned to
say "Une fine a l'eau de seltz," and often the waiters understood
him) in front of Weber's, during a not ungrateful hour of freedom
when Fran was trying on hats.

"Just what did I expect in France?  Oh, I don't know.  Funny!  Kind
of hard to remember now just how I did picture it.  Guess I thought
there wouldn't be any comforts--no bathrooms, and everybody taking
red wine and snails for breakfast, and no motor 'busses or
comfortable trains, and no cocktails, and all the men wearing waxed
mustaches and funny beards.  And saying, 'Ze hired girl iz vun
lofely girl--oo la la--'

"And then these young Frenchmen, in London clothes, driving
Hispano-Suizas at a hundred kilometers an hour--And you hear 'em at
the Ritz, talking perfect English, talking about English stainless
steel and about building bridges in the Argentine and the influence
of the Soviets in China and--

"I suppose I felt that the entire known world revolved around the
General Offices of the Revelation Motor Company, Constitution
Avenue, Zenith, and all the time--Towers and cathedrals and alleys,
and Europe not caring what Sam Dodsworth thought about making the
1928 models a Delft blue--

"It seemed so important!

"But, mind you, I am glad I'm an American!  But--

"Life was a lot simpler then.  We knew we were It!  We knew that
all of Europe was unbathed and broke, and that America was the
world's only bulwark against Bolshevism and famine.  They lie so!
These speakers at club meetings, and these writers in the
magazines!  They tell us that no European has ever played tennis or
taught the Ten Commandments to his kids or built a railroad, and
that the only thing that keeps Europe from reverting to the caveman
is American cash.


"And yet, I'm never going to be European!  Fran might--Oh, Fran, my
darling, are you going to drift away from me?  Every day you get
snootier about my poor old provincial Americanism! You're just
waiting for some really slick European to come along--And, by God,
there's one thing I won't stand--her telling me how inferior I am
to some gigolo--

"Fool!  Of course the girl--Say!  That's what she still is; she's
still a girl!  Little older than Emily, but not so sensible.  Of
course she gets excited by Europe.  She's done her job, hasn't she?
She's run the house and brought Emily and Brent up, hasn't she?
I've got to be patient.

"But falling for a feather-weight like Lockert--

"Hell!  I wish Tub were here.  Fran and I haven't got anybody--

"And you're still dodging the issue, my lad!

"What is Sam Dodsworth going to do about the fact that he's as
provincial as a prairie-dog, and that he's only fifty-one, with a
chance of another thirty years, and that he's discovered a world--

"Nothing, I guess!  Too late.  I'd be a pretty spectacle, now
wouldn't I, as one of these American business-men that come over
here and try to hide the fact that they made their coin out of soap
or pork--And so they collect first editions and apologize for being
themselves!  But just now and then I'll learn to sit still like
this, and not feel I have to be efficient and hustle--

"My God!  Five o'clock!  I've got to hustle and meet Fran!"

But he had one comfort, given to him by his wife.  He had been
uncomfortably impressed by the fact that Mathieu, his customary
room-waiter at the Grand Universel, a fat, curly-haired, and
unctuous person with fascinatingly different spots on his dress-
suit lapels every day, spoke English so perfectly.

According to the good American custom, Sam had said to him at his
very first breakfast, "Where'd you learn your English?"

Mathieu chuckled, "I wass fife years in Tchicago."

Mathieu was rather more colloquially American than Sam in his
suggestions for breakfast, or for lunch when it was too rainy for
them to go out, or when there was a glorious American mail.  "How
about a nice little minute steak?" he would say, in the very accent
of Chicago; or "Say, boss, there's some nice caviare just come in
from Rooshia."

Whence it happened that Sam believed Mathieu spoke the American

But on the third day, at breakfast, Fran said, "Mathieu!  Do you
happen to know where these movie theaters are on the Left Bank that
are putting on modernistic films?"

Mathieu stared.

"Pardon, Madame!" he said.

"Theaters--modern films--cinemas--oh, whatever you call 'em--!"

Fran slipped across the room to the bottle-green-and-golden
dictionary on the flimsy desk.

"Le--cinematograph moderne--est-ce qu'il y a--I mean, are there any
on the Left Bank?"

Mathieu looked at her with a most superior intelligence:

"Oh yez.  You ask the concierge.  He tell you!  De veal steak iss
fine today--just like Tchicago!"

When Mathieu had gone out to fetch the veal steak that was so fine
today, Fran murmured, "I have made a great discovery!  Aside from
food-vocabulary, the Mathieus speak English no better than we do
French!  We're not so bad, my beloved!"

"You're not, of course.  But I'm terrible!"

"Don't be silly!  Yesterday you said 'A quelle heure est le Louvre
ferme?'--as a matter of fact, I think you did say 'est le Louvre
closed?' but the taxi-driver understood it perfectly, and I know
you'd learn to speak a really splendid French, if you gave your
mind to it."

"Honestly?" said Sam.


They had ventured to the Left Bank for an evening at the Cafe
Novgorod, the favorite of the more arty Americans.  The cafe seemed
to Sam less related to Paris than he was himself. . . .  The French
street: bourgeois fathers strolling with their brood; dark-eyed men
jesting with girls in red kerchiefs; an old woman crawling along
muttering to herself.  But here, in the Cafe Novgorod, under the
awning, a bumble of American voices:

"--get a little Citroen and tour Normandy--"

"--a complete meal for six francs, with lovely roast beef, though
prob'ly it's horse-meat--"

"--that Elliot Paul is the only really distinguished essayist in--"

The young Americans there were so disposive.  Sam heard them, at
the tables about, dispose of Californian scenery, the institution
of marriage, Whistler, corn fritters, President Wilson, cement
roads, and the use of catsup.  He became gloomier than at the
thickest dinner-party in London, and he was thinking of bed when
his gloom was interrupted by a voice like that of a female

Lycurgus Watts (only he liked to be called "Jerry") was standing by
their table and beaming in fondest affection.

Lycurgus (or Jerry) Watts was the professional amateur of Zenith.
He was a large-faced man, as wide as a truck-driver, but he had a
whiney, caressing voice, and he giggled at his own jokes, which
were incessant and very bad.  He was reputed to be fifty years old,
and he looked anywhere from twenty-five to a hundred.  He came from
what was known as a "good family"--anyway, it was a wealthy family.
His father had died when he was ten.  He had lived and traveled
with his widowed mother till he was forty-three, and he told every
one that she was the noblest character he had ever known.  Compared
with her, all young women were such hussies that he would never
marry.  But he made up for it by a number of highly confidential
friendships with men whose voices and matriolatry were like his

He wandered much, in Europe and Asia, but always he came back to
the flat he kept in Zenith.  It was so filled with his collections
of lace, wrought-iron keys, and editions of Oscar Wilde, that there
was scarcely room for his genuine Russian samovar and his bed with
a cover of black and gold.  He spent much of his time in Zenith in
denouncing the tradesmen who manufactured soap and motor cars
instead of collecting lace, and in checking up his profitable
holdings in soap and motor cars.  He got up the first exhibition of
Slavic embroidery in the state, he read poetry aloud, and he talked
a good deal about starting a new magazine of the new poetry and the
new prose.

Whenever Sam had met Jerry Watts in Zenith, he had grumbled to Fran
on the way home, "Why the devil did they invite that white grub?
He makes me sick!"  But as Jerry had invariably told Fran in three
languages that she was the loveliest lady in town, she turned on
Sam with "Oh, of course!  Just because Jerry is really cultured,
because he has brains enough to cultivate a fine leisure instead of
grubbing in a dirty office, all you noble captains of industry look
down on him as a dray-horse might look down on a fine race-horse!"

She even had Jerry for dinner.  In fact, Sam had been led to hate
Jerry with considerable heartiness.

But in the oppressive strangeness of Paris, any familiar face would
have been exciting, and for five minutes Sam believed that he was
glad to see Jerry Watts.

Jerry sat down; he giggled, "I TOLD you you'd escape from that
dreadful Middlewest, Fran, and come to a civilized country!  Don't
you just ADORE the Novgorod?  Such darling roughnecks!  Such
delectable poses!  Oh, my DEARS, I heard the best one here last
evening!  Tommy Troizka--he's the dearest Finn boy, and a great
water-colorist, speaks English perfectly, oh, too simply divinely,
and Tommy said, 'The trouble with your American intelligentsia is
that most of you don't know how to TELL A GENT when you see him!'
Isn't that precious!  Oh, you'll adore being here in Paris!  Don't
you, Dodsworth?"

"Yeah, great town," said Sam.

"Have you been to the Lion d'Or yet?"

"Oh yes," said Fran.

"Have you tried the rognons de la maison at Emil's?"


"And of course you've been to the L'Ane Rouge and the Rendezvous
des Mariniers?"


"And the Chemise Sale?"

"No, I don't think--"

"You haven't been to the Chemise Sale?  Oh, Fran!  Why, good
Heavens!  Don't you realize that the Chemise Sale is the duckiest
little restaurant in Paris?"

Fran was annoyed.

It was not that she was given to ducky little restaurants or any
other phase of synthetic Bohemianism, but that any other citizen of
Zenith should know more about Paris than she was intolerable.  She
glared slightly when Jerry seized his advantage and laid down the
rule that it was vulgar to go to Versailles but that they MUST
see the exhibition of the Prismatic Internists.  Sam felt patiently
that she would presently despatch Jerry.  Yet she looked pleased
when Jerry piped:

"Have you met Endicott Everett Atkins?  He's coming to tea at my
place next Saturday afternoon--I have such a dusky little studio on
the Rue des Petits-Champs.  You and your husband must come."

"We'll be glad to," said Fran, to Sam's considerable discouragement.

Sam grunted, in the taxicab, "What do you want to go there for?
Who's Endicott Everett Atkins?  Sounds like a business college
yell.  He another lily like Watts?"

"No, he really is somebody.  Dean of the American literary colony
here--writes about French novelists and Austrian peasant furniture
and Correggio and English hunting and Heaven knows what all."

"But I don't have to learn about peasant furniture, too, do I?" Sam
said hopefully.

Mr. Endicott Everett Atkins was reputed to resemble Henry James.
He had the massive and rather bald head, the portly dignity.  He
spoke--and he spoke a good deal--in a measured voice, and he had a
small bright wife who was believed to adore him.  He also was
blessed, and furthered in his critical pursuits, by having no sense
of humor whatever, though he knew so many sparkling anecdotes that
one did not suspect it for hours.  He came from South Biddlesford,
Connecticut, and his father, to whom he often referred as "that
dear and so classical a bibliophile," had been an excellent hat-
manufacturer.  He owned a real house in Paris, with an upstairs and
down, and he spoke chummily of the Ambassador.

He did actually, against any expectation, keep his promise and
appear at the tea in Mr. Jerry Watts's studio--an apartment with a
scarlet-fever of Spanish altar-cloths, embroidered copes, and
Mandarin robes.  The only apparent reason for calling it a studio
was that it had a north window, and that Mr. Jerry Watts naturally
would call it a studio.  "I just can't make love except by a north
light!" he nickered to Fran.

On the refectory table was a small teapot, a small plate of limp
cakes, and an enormous bowl of punch.  After every one had had
three glasses of the punch, the conversation became very agitated.
There were massed about the table, screaming, some thirty people.
Sam never remembered any of them, save Endicott Everett Atkins.
The rest seemed to him as indistinguishable as separate mosquitoes
in a swarm, and rather noisier.  But there was nothing noisy about
Mr. Endicott Everett Atkins.  He had so developed poise, an
appalling, reproving, Christian Science sort of poise, that Sam
felt toward him as he once had toward the professor of Greek drama
at Yale.

Mr. Atkins could purr at the thought of particularly pleasant and
beautiful things--a Greek coin, a Javanese dancing girl, a check
from his publisher--but in crowds he stood calm and expansive as an
observation balloon in windless air.  In the quietest corner of the
apartment he held forth on the Italian Renaissance, the superiority
of Parliament to Congress, the future of Anglo-Catholicism, the
letters of Horace Walpole, and the perfection of anarchism as a
theory--he had actually attended an anarchist meeting in Milan in
1890, as an ardent young traveler.  You never remembered what he
had said, but you felt that he had been tremendously sound, and you
sighed, uneasily running your forefinger between collar and neck,
"He has such a fund of knowledge--"

Mr. Atkins pounced on Fran, and if he did not also exactly pounce
on Sam, he tolerated him.  He took in Fran's shining hair, her
freshness, her slim quickness.  He brought her a cup of punch,
bowing like Louis XIV.  He won Sam by telling him of meeting Dr.
Carl Benz, the father of the motor car, at Mannheim, back in 1885,
and of seeing his first horseless carriage--it was, said Atkins, a
wire-wheeled tricycle with a chain drive like a bicycle, a handle
for steering, and under the seat a mass of machinery as wild-
looking as a gutted alarm clock.

"Like to've seen it!" murmured Sam.  "Happen to know what the
horse-power was?"

Mr. Endicott Everett Atkins looked at him benevolently, his glossy
baldness rose-hued in the red-shaded lamps.  "It was three and a
quarter," he said.

(It was not for sixty hours that, lying awake in the early morning,
Sam realized that Atkins hadn't had the smallest notion what the
horse-power of the Benz really was.)

With men, Mr. Endicott Everett Atkins rarely let down, but with
slim and glistening women he came near to being human.  He
indicated to Fran that this was only a merry slumming prank of his
to come to the studio of Mr. Lycurgus Watts--normally he moved only
in the loftiest circles, among the loveliest ladies, the wittiest
and bravest men, the rarest first editions, and he longed to
introduce her to all of them.

She loved it.

He told her the delightful anecdote which he had heard from Andre
Sorchon, who had it from E. V. Lucas, who had it from Henry James,
who had it direct from Swinburne.  He told her that her husband
(Mr. Samuel Dodsworth) was extraordinarily like the late Duc de
Malmaison, but that she was ever and ever so much nicer than the
Duchesse.  He told her that her ash-blond hair was astonishingly
like that of Madame Zelie du Strom, the Swedish tragedienne who,
Mr. Atkins agreed with himself, was greater than Bernhardt, Duse,
and Modjeska put together--

Sam sat back, as so often he had sat back at directors' meetings,
content to let others do the talking if he could do the plotting,
and tried to make out the purposes of Mr. Endicott Everett Atkins.

"This fellow knows a lot.  Well, at least he's read a lot.  Well,
if he hasn't read so much, he remembers all he has read.  Here he's
making love to Fran--telling her what a wonder she is--and she's
lapping it up.  Bless her!  Let her have her fling--if the fling
ain't any more dangerous than old Atkins!  Wonder if I'll be as dry
a bladder as he is in fifteen years?  If I am, I'm going to retire
to a log cabin and grow corn!"

"I really can't tell you," Mr. Endicott Everett Atkins was moaning
at Fran, "how very, very much I admire your wisdom in coming to
Europe in a really leisured pilgrimage.  And I wonder if you
realize you're doing a patriotic American duty--showing Europe that
we have poised and exquisite creatures like yourself, if you'll
permit the familiarity from an aged bookworm, as well as these
Yankee tourist women--oh, these dreadful bouncing females, with
their shrill voices, their ignorance of all gentle usages--and the
way they frequent horrible American bars and dance in dreadful

"Why shouldn't the 'Yankee tourist women' go and dance in
Montmartre, if they enjoy it?" Sam meditated.  "Does Atkins think
the pretty buyer from Detroit comes here to please him?  The
American highbrow abroad is just like the Puritan back home--the
Puritan says that if you drink anything at all, he'll disapprove of
you, and the expatriate here says that if you drink anything but
Chateau Haut Something-or-other at just the right temperature,
HE'LL disapprove of you and--

"I will get back for my class reunion this June!  Thirtieth
reunion!  Am I that old?

"Think of seeing Tub again and Poodle Smith and Bill Dyers and--Now
what the devil was the name of that big fellow with the red hair
that played center?  Florey--Floreau--Flaherty?  Corking fellow!

"And Atkins goes on.  I'd better listen and get what wisdom I can,
because I think our 'really leisured pilgrimage to Europe' is
drawing to a close!"

"--though I'm afraid, Mrs. Dodsworth, that you'll find our house
too dreadfully bookish.  Beautiful people like you are superior to
books.  You ought never to read anything--you ought only to live.
You ought to exist imperishably on some Grecian isle amid the wine-
dark sea, dancing in the sunshine.  But if your husband and you
will delight us by coming to lunch next Sunday, at least I may be
able to show you one or two intaglios--"

At lunch at the Atkinses', on Sunday, Sam met his first Princess,
Madame Maravigliarsi.  Not that he knew at first that she was a
Princess; in fact he supposed her to be a nice, rather shabby
little Poor Relation.  But Atkins revealed her princessity in a
dramatic aside, and Sam was as impressed as any other proper
democratic American.

And she was, Fran carefully ascertained, quite a good, high-ranking
Princess, and only one-quarter American.

Sam sat next to her, at lunch in the tall cool room with its
Venetian glass and the serene bust of Plato; and while he made a
respectable show of not being humble, the boy who had read
"Ivanhoe" and Shakespeare and "The Idylls of the King" was
gloating, "I'm sitting next to a Princess!"

The Princess prattled of what she had said to Mussolini and what
His Eminence the Secretary to the Pope had said to her, and for ten
minutes Sam desired to know the renowned of the world.  He
remembered--what was it?--something that Fran had said to the
effect that with his tall dignity and his experience as executive,
he might become an ambassador, and be intimate with ever so many
people who had said things to Mussolini and had Eminences say
things to them--

But he wearied of Princess Maravigliarsi's chatter.  It was SO
important that he see Trouville and Biarritz; it was SO important
that he properly hate the Bolsheviks; SO important that he go to
tea at Lady Ingraham's.

He dreaded these new obligations.

"So far as I can see," he brooded, "travel consists in perpetually
finding new things that you have to do if you're going to be

Fran was polite to the Princess Maravigliarsi with a cold
politeness which indicated to Sam that she was impressed.  But it
was to a certain Madame de Penable that she gave most of her
attention.  Madame de Penable was a red-headed, white-skinned,
rather plump woman who seemed to specialize on knowing everybody of
influence in every land.  The Dodsworths never learned whether she
was born in Poland, Nebraska, Africa, the Dordogne, or Hungary.
They never learned just who Monsieur de Penable was, if there ever
had been a Monsieur de Penable.  They never learned whether she was
in trade, living on alimony, or possessed of a family income.  Sam
suspected that she was an international spy.  She was a pleasant
woman, and very clever.  She talked about herself constantly, and
never told anything whatever about herself.  She spoke English,
French, German, and Italian perfectly, and at restaurants, with
waiters as mysterious as herself, she went off into tongues which
might have been Russian, Lancashire, or Modern Greek.

Apparently she fancied the Dodsworths as additions to her circle.
Sam heard her inviting Fran and himself to lunch at the Ermitage.

"Fran is launched," he sighed.  "At last we'll be gay and
cosmopolitan!  I wonder how much I'll be able to win from Tub at
poker, now that I've had my style of playing perfected by European


They ceased to be children exploring together, rather happy in
their loneliness.  They were dominated by Endicott Everett Atkins
and Madame de Penable and their smart groups.  Madame de Penable
saw that because in her fresh, keen, naive way Fran was different
from European women, she was the more novel and attractive to the
innumerable European men whom the De Penable always had about her,
running her errands, drinking her excellent Moselle, listening to
her scandalous anecdotes; she saw also that Sam was likely to keep
Fran from snatching such of these men as the De Penable wanted to
hold for her own.

She cultivated the Dodsworths enthusiastically.

Fran's life became hectic as life can be only in Paris: a ride in
the Bois, lunch, shopping, tea, bridge, cocktails, dressing,
dinner, the theater, dancing at such icily glittering haunts as the
Jardin de Ma Soeur, cold cream and exhausted sleep.  In between she
managed to fit three hours a week of French lessons.

And Sam--he came along.

He enjoyed it, for a month.  There was color to this life, and
motion, like waves under the gray cliff that was Paris.  There were
pretty women who took him seriously, as one of the financial
captains of America (he suspected, with an inward chuckle, that
they thought him far richer than he was).  There were gorgeous
clothes and marvelous food.  He learned something of the art of
wine.  He had long known that Rhine wines should be cold; that
Burgundy is better than that womanish drink, champagne.  But now,
meeting people who took wine as seriously as he had motor engines,
and listening to their reverent discussion of it, he learned the
epochal differences between the several Burgundies--between Nuits
St. Georges and Nuits-Premeaux; the cataclysmic differences between
vintages--between the lordly crop of 1911 and the mediocre product
of 1912.  He learned that it was a crime to dull the palate with a
cocktail before a sacred bottle of good wine, and that it was
bloody treason to heat Burgundy suddenly by plunging it in the hot
water, instead of decently decanting it hours before drinking and
letting--it--come--SLOWLY (the connoisseurs breathed)--to--room--

It interested him, this cyclone of new excitements.  And Fran was,
for the first time in years, altogether satisfied.

Between them, Atkins and the De Penable knew a dozen sets.  Atkins
fished for portrait painters, French critics, American ladies from
the choicer portions of Back Bay and Rittenhouse Square, English
poets who pretended to be biologists and English biologists who
were flattered at being taken for poets.  Madame de Penable went in
for assorted titles--a judicious mixture of Italians, French,
Roumanian, Georgian, Hungarian--and she always had one sound,
carefully selected freak: a delightfully droll pickpocket or a
minor Arctic explorer.

The man out of all this boiling whom Fran most liked was an Italian
aviator, Captain Gioserro, a bright-eyed, very smiling man, ten
years younger than herself.  He was dazzled by her; bewildered by
her quick speech.  He said that she was the Norse goddess, Freya,
that she was an Easter lily, and a number of other highly elegant
things, and she liked it and went riding with him.

Sam hoped that there was not going to be another Lockert explosion.
He believed her when she insisted that she considered Gioserro a
"mere boy."  But alone, brooding, he was worried.  He wondered if
her rigid distaste for flirtation had existed only because she had
not found American men attractive.  She seemed softer, more
relaxed, more lovely, and considerably less dependent on him.  She
was surrounded by amusing men, and warmed by their extravagant
compliments.  His conscious self declared that she couldn't
possibly be tempted, but his sub-conscious self was alarmed.

And presently he became weary of their insane dashing.  The voices--
the voices that never ceased--the high thin laughter--the reference
to Mike This and Jacques That and the amours of Lady the Other--the
duty of being seen at every exhibition, every select tea, every

Fran had sharply dropped for him the people they knew, all the low
adventurers who sat about bars, the couples from Zenith whom they
had met at the hotel, even the unfortunate Jerry Lycurgus Watts,
once Jerry had served his biological purpose by producing Endicott
Everett Atkins.  And so Sam became exceedingly hungry for a good
wholesome lowness; for poker, shirt-sleeves, sauerkraut, obscene
vaudeville, and conversation about motor sales and Zenith politics.

Fran was having her portrait painted, glossily and very expensively,
by a Belgian whose manner of serving tea and commenting on new
frocks had enabled him to capture a number of rich American women.
With him, painting was a social function; while he worked he was
surrounded by the most decorative human parrots and peacocks,
shrieking their admiration of his craftsmanship, which was
excellent.  He managed to add the muzziness of a Laurencin to the
photography of a Sargent; he made his women look rich, and all

Madame de Penable had insisted on Fran's going to this good man,
and when Sam learned that the De Penable had also insisted on a
number of other women benefiting by the Belgian's gifts, he
wondered if possibly the lively De Penable might not have some
interest in the business.  But Fran was magnificently offended when
he made the hint.

"It may interest you to KNOW," she raged, "that M. Saurier wanted
to paint me for NOTHING, because he said I was the most perfect
type of American beauty he had ever seen!  But of course I couldn't
let him do that.  Of course you wouldn't have noticed that certain
Europeans think I'm rather good-looking--"

"Don't," said Sam mildly, "be a damn' fool, my darling."

He went once to the orgy of her sittings; and he, the rock of ages
in business crises, wanted to scream as he heard Madame de Penable,
and six women, who spoke all languages, except French, with a
French accent, lilting that "le Maitre" was at least a genius, and
that he was particularly historic in the matter of "flesh tints."

He did not go again.

He came to like the affabilities of Endicott Everett Atkins even
less than the expensive sunset-hues of Madame de Penable.  The De
Penable was surrounded by gay people.  "Not so bad," Sam
considered, "to have a cocktail with a pretty girl that tells you
that you look like a cross between Sir Lancelot and Jack Dempsey."
But Mr. Atkins had not yet heard of cocktails.  And Mr. Atkins held
forth.  He had been everywhere, and he could make everywhere sound
uninteresting.  He would look at you earnestly and demand to know
whether you had made a pilgrimage to Viterbo to see the Etruscan
remains, and he made it sound so nagging a duty that Sam vowed he
would never let himself be caught near Viterbo; he was so severe
about American music that he made Sam long for the jazz which he
had always rather irritably detested.

Toward the seven deadly arts Sam had had the inarticulate reverence
which an Irish policeman might have toward a shrine of the Virgin
on his beat . . . that little light seen at three of a winter's
morning.  They were to him romance, escape, and he was irritated
when they were presented to him as a preacher presents the virtues
of sobriety and chastity.  He hadn't the training to lose himself
in Bach or Goethe; but in Chesterton, in Schubert, in a Corot, he
had been able to forget motors and Alec Kynance, and always he had
chuckled over the gay anarchy of Mencken.  But with rising
stubbornness he asserted that if he had to take the arts as
something in which he must pass an examination, he would chuck them
altogether and be content with poker.

As Fran had both a sitting and a fitting that afternoon (to Sam
they seemed much the same, except that Fran's costumer was more
virile and less grasping than her portrait-painter) he had a whole
afternoon off.

Secretly, a little guiltily, he reflected, "I've done Notre Dame
right, with Fran.  Now I think I'll sneak off and see if I really
like it!  You can't tell!  I might!  Even though old Atkins says I
have to. . . .  Hell!  I wish I were back in Zenith!"

Solemnly, his Baedeker shamelessly in hand, Sam lumbered out of his
taxi before Notre Dame, and quite as shamelessly slipped off across
the river to a cafe facing the cathedral.  There, quietly, without
Fran's quivers of appreciation, he began to feel at home.

He admitted the cathedral's gray domination.  There was strength
there; strength and endurance and wisdom.  The flying buttresses
soared like wings.  The whole cathedral expanded before his eyes;
the work of human hands seemed to tower larger than the sky.  He
felt, dimly and disconnectedly, that he too had done things with
his hands; that the motor car was no contemptible creation; that he
was nearer to the forgotten, the anonymous and merry and vulgar
artisans who had created this somber epic of stone, than was any
Endicott Everett Atkins with his Adam's apple ecclesiastically
throbbing as he uttered pomposities about "the transition in Gothic
motifs."  How those cheery artisans would have laughed--drinking
their wine, perhaps, at this same corner!

He read in the Book of Words.  (Did Ruskin and Cellini and Dante
actually travel without Baedekers?  How strange it seemed, and

"Notre Dame . . . in early Roman times the site was occupied by a
temple of Jupiter.  The present church was begun in 1163."

He laid the book down and drifted into the pleasantest dreaming he
had known for all the fatal weeks since he had been adopted by the
Right People.

A temple of Jupiter.  Priests in white robes.  Sacrificial bulls
with patient wondering eyes, tossing their thick garlanded heads.
Chariots pounding across the square--right across the river there!
The past, which had been to the young Sam Dodsworth playing
football, to the man harassed by building motor cars, only a
flamboyant myth, was suddenly authentic, and he walked with Julius
Caesar, who in that moment ceased to be merely a drawing in a
school-book, a ventriloquist's dummy talking the kind of
overgrammatical rot that only school-masters could understand, and
became a living, lively, talkative acquaintance, having a drink
here with Sam, and extraordinarily resembling Roosevelt off-stage.

Heavy with meditation, happy in being unobserved and not having to
act up to the splendors of Fran, he paid his bill and ambled across
the bridge and into the cathedral.

It bothered him, as always, that there were no prim and cushioned
pews such as he knew in Protestant churches in America; it made the
cathedral seem bare and a little unfriendly; but beside a vast
pillar, eternal as mountains or the sea, he found a chair, tipped a
verger, forgot his irritation with people who buzzed up and wanted
to guide him, and lost himself in impenetrable thoughts.

He roused himself to read, patiently, in Baedeker:  "Geoffrey
Plantagenet, son of Henry II of England, was buried beneath the
high altar in 1186.  In 1430 Henry VI of England was crowned king
of France and in 1560 Mary Stuart (afterward Mary Queen of Scots)
was crowned as queen-consort of Francis II.  The coronation of
Napoleon I and Josephine de Beauharnais by Pope Pius VII (1804) . . .
was celebrated here with great ceremony."

(And in Saurier's studio brassy women were chattering about the

Plantagenet!  Rearing lions on scarlet banners edged with bullion.
Mary Stuart and her proud little head.  Napoleon himself--here,
where Sam Dodsworth was sitting.

"Humph!" he said.

He stared at the Rose Window, but he was seeing what it meant, not
what it said.  He saw life as something greater and more exciting
than food and a little sleep.  He felt that he was no longer merely
a pedler of motor cars; he felt that he could adventure into this
Past about him--and possibly adventure into the far more elusive
Present.  He saw, unhappily, that the Atkins and De Penable
existence into which Fran had led him was not the realization of
the "great life" for which he had yearned, but its very negation--
the bustle, the little snobberies, the cheap little titles, the
cheap little patronage of "art."

"I'm going to get out of this town and do something--Something
exciting.  And I'll make her go with me!  I've been too weak with
her," he said weakly.

His longing for low and intelligent company could not be denied.
He went to the New York Bar.  Through the correspondent of a New
York newspaper whom he had known as a reporter in Zenith, Sam had
met a dozen journalists there, and he felt at home with them.  They
did not heap on him the slightly patronizing compliments which he
had from the women in Madame de Penable's den of celebrities.  He
was stimulated by what was to the journalists only commonplace
shop-talk: how Trotsky really got along with Stalin--what Briand
had said to Sir Austen Chamberlain--what was the "low-down" on the
international battle of oil.

This afternoon he met Ross Ireland.

Sam had heard of Ireland, roving foreign correspondent of the
Quackenbos Feature Syndicate, as one of the best fellows among the
American journalists.  The former Zenith reporter introduced Sam to
him.  Ross Ireland was a man of forty, as large as Sam, and in his
over-sized rimless spectacles he looked like a surgeon.

"Pleased to meet you, Mr. Dodsworth," he said, and his voice still
had all the innocence of Iowa.  "Staying over here long?"

"Well, yes--some months."

"This your first trip across?"


"Say, I've just been driving one of your Revelation cars in the
jungle in India.  Great performance, even in rough going--"


"Yes, just back.  Real Kipling country.  Oh, I don't know as I saw
any Mowglis gassing with tigers and sixteen-foot snakes, and I
heard more about jute and indigo than I did about Mrs. Hauksbees,
but it certainly knocks your eye out!  That big temple at Tanjore--
tower eleven stories high, all carved.  And the life there--
everything different--SMELLS different (and sometimes not so
good!)--and the people still in masquerade costumes, and queer
curry kind of grub, and Eurasian shops where the Babus will tell
you grand lies--every one good for a mail-story.  You ought to get
out there, if you can take the time.  And then beyond India, Burma--
take a river-boat--regular floating market-place, with natives in
funny turbans squatting all over the decks--go up the Irrawaddy to
Mandalay and on to Bhamo.  Or you can get steamers at Rangoon for
Penang and Sandoway and Akyab and Chittagong and all kinds of fancy

(Rangoon!  Akyab!  Chittagong!)

"And then around to Java and China and Japan, and home by way of

"I'd like to do it," said Sam.  "Paris is a lovely city, but--"

"Oh, Paris!  Paris is nothing but a post-graduate course in

"Looks good to me," said the ex-Zenith-newspaperman.

"It would!  Paris is a town for Americans that can't stand work,"
said Ross Ireland.  "I'm keen to see America; tickled to death I'm
going back in June.  I've been away three years--first time I've
ever been away.  I'm homesick as the devil.  But I like my America
straight.  I don't want it in the form of a lot of expatriates
sitting around Paris cafes.  And when I want to travel, I want to
TRAVEL!  Say, you land in Bangkok, with that big gold temple rising
over the town, and the boatmen singing in--whatever it is that they
DO sing in--or you go to Moscow and see the moujiks in felt boots
and sheepskin coats, with the church spires absolutely like white
and gold lace-work against the sky--Say, that's travel!"

Yes.  That's the stuff!  Sam was going to travel like that.  He'd
go--Oh, to Constantinople, back through Italy or Austria, and home
for his thirtieth class reunion--just time to do it now, if he
hustled.  Then Fran and he might start out again next autumn and
see Egypt and Morocco--Yes.

It is a favorite American Credo that "if the acting is good enough,
you can enjoy a play in a language you don't understand as well as
in English."  Fran held to that credo.  Sam urgently did not.  He
hated to sit through French plays, and when he returned to the
hotel from the New York Bar and Ross Ireland--from the Irrawaddy
River and Chittagong--he found Fran with tickets for "Le Singe qui
Parle," a slightly bad temper, and the aviator Gioserro.

"You smell of whisky!  Atrociously!  Now please hurry and dress!
Captain Gioserro and you and I are going to the theater.  Now
please hurry, can't you?  I'll order the cocktails meanwhile.  As
you see, I'm all ready.  After the theater, we'll meet Renee de
Penable and some other people and dance."

As he dressed, Sam fretted, "French play!  Humph!  I won't know
which is the husband and which is the lover for at least the first
two acts!"

If he slept at the play, he did it ever so modestly and retiringly,
and he was unusually polite to Madame de Penable.  Fran was
approving on their way home, and quite as easily as though they
were back in Zenith, he asserted while they were undressing:

"Fran, I've got an idea that--"

"Just unfasten this snap on my shoulder-strap, would you mind?
Thanks.  You were so nice tonight.  Much the best-looking man in
the room!"


"And I'm so glad you've come to like Renee de Penable.  She's
really a darling--so loyal.  But, uh--Sam, I do wish you hadn't
brought up that question as to what right the French have in the

"But, my God, they talked about us in Haiti and Nicaragua first!"

"I know, but that's entirely different.  This is an ANCIENT
question, and of course Renee was shocked, and so was that English
woman, Mrs. What's-her-name.  But it doesn't matter.  I just
thought I'd mention it."

And he'd thought he'd behaved so beautifully tonight!

"But," he went on heavily, becoming dimly irritated as he noted how
little she heeded him while she brushed her hair, "I wanted to
suggest that--Look here, Fran, I've got kind of an idea.  It's
almost May, but we could get in a month or more on the Mediterranean
and still have time to get home late in June, and then I could go to
my class reunion--thirtieth--"

"Really?  THIRTIETH?"

"Oh, I'm not so old!  But I mean: we haven't talked especially
about when we would go home--"

"But I want to see a lot more of Europe.  Oh, I haven't started!"

"Neither have I.  I agree.  But I just mean: there's several
business things I ought to settle up at home, and there's this
reunion, and I'd like to see Emily and her new home, and Brent--"

"But perhaps we could get them to come over here this summer.
Would you mind handing me the cold cream that's in the bathroom--
no--no--I think it's on the bureau--oh, thanks--"

"I thought we could go home for just a couple months, or maybe
three, and then start out again.  Say go West this time, and sail
for China and Japan and round to Rangoon and India and so on."

"Yes, I'd like to do that sometime. . . .  Oh, dear, how sleepy I
am! . . . But not now, of course, now that we know nice people

"But that's just what I mean!  I don't--Oh, they're a lively bunch,
and lots of 'em good families and so on, but I don't think they ARE

"What do you mean?"

"I mean they're a bunch of wasters.  All they do, Penable and her
whole gang, and Atkins's hangers-on aren't much better, all they do
is just dance and chatter and show off their clothes.  Their idea
of a good time is just about that of a chorus-girl--"

Fran had been inattentive.  She wasn't now.  She snatched up a lace
wrap, slapped it about her shoulders over her nightgown, and faced
him, like a snarling white cat:

"Sam!  Let's get this straight.  I've felt you've been sulking,
that you've been too afraid to--"

"Too polite!"

"--say what you thought.  Well, I'm sick and tired of having to
apologize, yes, to APOLOGIZE, for the crime of having introduced
you to some of the nicest and most amusing people in Paris, and for
having backed you up when they were offended by your boorishness!
Am I to understand that you regard Madame de Penable and her whole
GANG, as you so elegantly call it, as simply rotters?  May I point
out to you that if I don't have quite so lively an appreciation of
such nature's noblemen as Mr. A. B. Hurd--"


"--yet possibly I may be a little better equipped to understand
really smart, cosmopolitan people than you are!  Kindly let me
remind you that Renee de Penable is the intimate friend of the most
exclusive aristocracy of the ancien regime here--"

"But is she?  And what of it?"

"Will you KINDLY stop sneering?  You that are so fond of accusing
ME of sneering!  And, my dear Samuel, you really don't do it so
very well!  Delicate irony isn't your long suit, my dear good man!"

"Damn it, I won't be talked to like a stable boy!"

"Then don't act like one!  And if I may be permitted to go on and
answer the charges which YOU brought up, not I--the whole subject
is thoroughly distasteful to me--and oh, Sam, so vulgar, so beastly
vulgar!"  For a second she was dramatically mournful and hurt, but
instantly she was a charging Cossack again:  "But when you attack
any one that's been as sweet to me as Renee, all I can say is--Do
you happen to realize that she is the dearest friend of the
Duchesse de Quatrefleurs--she's promised to take me down to the
Duchesse's chateau in Burgundy--"

"She's never done it!"

"As it HAPPENS, the Duchesse is ill, just at the moment!  And
your charming remark illustrates perfectly what I mean by your
sneering! . . .  Or, to take the example of Renee's friend, Mrs.
Sittingwall. She's the widow of a very distinguished English general
who was killed in the war--"

"He wasn't a general--he was a colonel--and now the woman is
engaged to that old rip of a French stock-broker, Andillet."

"What of it?  M. Andillet does dress too loudly, and he drives a
car too fast, but he's a most amusing old dear, and he orders the
best meal in Paris.  And knows cabinet ministers--bankers--
diplomats--everybody that's influential."

"Well, he looks to me like a crook.  And what about the young
gigolos that are always hanging around Mrs. Penable?"

"I do think it's too gracious of you to take the word 'gigolo,'
which I taught you in the first place--"

"You did not!"

"--and use it against me, my dear polylingual Sam!  I suppose you
are referring to boys like Gioserro and Billy Dawson.  Yes, they're
not at all like American business men, are they!  They actually
enjoy being charming to women, they enjoy sharing their leisure
with women, they dance beautifully, they talk about something
besides the stockmarket--"

"Oh, they enjoy leisure, all right!  Oh, now, Fran, I don't mean to
be nasty about them, but you know they graft on women--"

"My dear man, Captain Gioserro (and he could call himself Count
Gioserro, if he wanted to!) has a perfectly good family income, as
his people have had before him, for generations--"

"Whoa now!  Hold up!  I question his having a very GOOD family
income.  I notice that whenever he's with us, he always manages to
let me pay.  Not that I mind, but--Why say, I've never seen him
spend a cent except tonight, when he gave ten centimes to the
fellow that opened the cab door.  Now please listen, Fran, and
don't go off into a tantrum.  Don't you and Mrs. Penable almost
always pay the bills--for feeds, for taxis, for tips, for tickets--
for Gioserro and young Dawson and most of these other slick young
men that she has hanging around?"

"What of it?  We can afford it.  (The name, by the way, as I have
remarked several hundred times before, is MADAME DE PENABLE!)  Or
are you--"  She became regally outraged and deliberate.  "Are you
perhaps hinting that because you so generously support me, you have
the right to dictate on whom and for what I spend every cent?  Do
you desire me to give you a detailed account of my expenses, like
an office boy?  Then let me remind you--oh, this is SO distasteful
to me, but I must remind you that I have twenty thousand a year of
my own, and now that I have a chance to be happy, with amusing

She was sobbing.  He caught her shoulders, and demanded, "Will you
stop self-dramatizing yourself, my young lady?  You know, and you
know good and well, that I'm criticizing these young men for
grafting just because I want to point out that they're no good;
nothing but a lot of butterflies."

She broke away from his grasp and from her own sobs, and she was
tart again: "Then thank God for the butterflies!  I'm so tired
of the worthy ants! . . .  Sam, we might just as well have this
out . . . if we're going on together."

The last five words chilled him.  He was incredulous.  She seemed a
little to mean it, and she went on resolutely:

"Let's get it straight--just what we are up to; what we want.  Now
that we are meeting them, do you appreciate people with wit and
elegance, or have you already had enough of them?  Are you going to
insist on returning to--oh, decent enough people, but people that
can't see anything in life more amusing than poker and golf and
motoring, that are afraid of suave manners, that think to be
roughneck is to be strong?  Does the accumulated civilization of
two thousand years of Europe mean something to you or--"

"Oh, come off it, Fran!  I'm not a roughneck and you know it.  And
I'm not uncivilized.  And I like nice manners.  But I like nice
manners in people that are something more than amateur head-waiters
and--And after all, a rock takes a better polish than a sponge!
These people, even Penable herself, are parrots.  What I'd like to
meet--Well, you take the colonial administrators and so on out in
the British possessions.  People that are doing something besides
going night after night to these restaurants where your gigolos
hang out--"

"Sam, if you don't mind, I think I've stood all the insults to my
friends that I can for one night!  You can think up a few new ones
for tomorrow.  I'm going to sleep.  And now."

Whether she slept or not, she was rigidly silent, her face turned
from him.

He expected her to be soft, fluttery, apologetic, in the morning.
But, awakening at nine, she looked unrepentant as steel.  He
trundled out talk about breakfast, about the laundry, then he
grumbled, "I don't know that I made myself quite clear last

"Oh yes, you did!  Thoroughly!  And I don't think I care to discuss
it.  Shall we not say anything more about it?"  She was so brightly
forgiving and superior that he was infuriated.  "I'm going out now.
I'll be back here about twelve.  I'm lunching with Renee de
Penable, and if you think you can endure another hour with my
degenerate friends, I should be glad to have you join us."

She vanished into the bathroom, to dress, and nothing more could be
get out of her.  When she was gone, he sat in bathrobe and
slippers, over a second order of coffee.

She'd never before let a quarrel last overnight, at least when
she'd been in the wrong--

Or was it possible that she had not been in the wrong in their

And (each second he was more confused) just what was the
controversy about?

Anyway, she couldn't really have meant anything by her "if we're
going on together."  But suppose she had?  Married couples did
break up, quite incredibly, after years.  Did he, in order to hold
her, have to obey her, to associate forever with peacocks like this
Mrs. Sittingwall and this fellow Andillet--who was certainly a
little more than friendly with the Penable woman?

No, hanged if he would!

But if that meant losing Fran?  Good God!  Why, now that he had no
work, he had nothing to absorb him save Fran, Emily, Brent, and
three or four friends like Tub Pearson.  Nor would he have anything
new: he doubted if any other job could stimulate him like building
up the Revelation Company; he doubted if he would make any new
friends; he doubted if travel, pictures, music, hobbies, would ever
be anything more than diversions interesting for an hour at a time.
And of what he had left to keep life tolerable, Fran was first.
She was the reason for everything!  It was a second, a renewed Fran
that he loved in his daughter Emily.  His business and his making
of money had been all for Fran--well no, maybe not all--hell! how
hard it was to be honest about one's own self--maybe not all--fun
putting business across, too--but she'd been the chief reason for
it, anyway.  As for his friends--Why, he'd've chucked even Tub, if
Fran hadn't liked him!

Fran!  That just the other day had been a girl, cool and sparkling
and strange, on the Canoe Club porch--Good Lord, the Canoe Club had
burned down twenty years ago.

In the radiant May of Paris, with the horse chestnuts out on the
Champs Elysees, he sat huddled, feeling cold.

He went to lunch with Fran, Madame de Penable, and Billy Dawson, a
young American who was the airiest and most objectionable of the De
Penable's gentlemen valets.  Sam was gravely polite.  For two weeks
he went with Fran and the De Penable's court to all sorts of
restaurants reeking with cigarette smoke and expensive perfume and
smart scandal.  Between times, he sneaked off, like a small boy
going to the circus, to low places, looking particularly for the
roving correspondent, Ross Ireland, and when he found that Ireland
was sailing on June fifteenth on the Aquitania, which would arrive
in time for Sam's thirtieth reunion at Yale, he anxiously engaged a
stateroom for "self & wife."  He liked Ross Ireland; he found
particularly amusing, very like his own cultural pretenses, the
fact that since Ireland was totally unable to learn any language
save Iowan, he thundered that English was "enough to take anybody
anywhere" and that "these fellows that talk about your having to
know French if you're going to do political stuff in Europe are
just trying to show what smart guys they are."  And he liked the
way in which Ireland mingled stories of Burmese temples with
stories of Old Doc Jevons back t' home in Ioway.

This lowness Sam hid from his wife, and hid the fact that he was
agonizingly bored by not having enough to do.  Yet his devotion did
not win her back.  There was a courteous coolness about her,

When he had definitely to know about returning to America, she
answered briskly:

"Yes, I've thought it over.  I can understand that you need to go
back.  But I'm not going.  I've practically promised Renee de
Penable to take a villa with her near Montreux for the summer.  But
I want you to go and see Tub and every one and thoroughly enjoy
yourself, and then come back and join me in the late summer, and
we'll think about the Orient."

But when she saw him off at the Gare St. Lazare she was suddenly

She cried; she clung; she sobbed, "Oh, I didn't realize how much
I'll miss you!  Perhaps I'll come join you in Zenith.  Do have the
very best time you can, darling.  Go camping with Tub--and give him
my love--and tell him and Matey I hope they'll come over here--and
try to get Em and Brent to come.  Oh, my dear, forgive your
idiotic, feather-brained wife!  But let her have her foolish fling
now!  I did make a real home for you, didn't I?  I shall again.
Take care of yourself, my dear, and write me every day, and don't
be angry with me--or do be angry, if it'll make you any happier!
Bless you!"

And the first day out she sent him a radio:  "You are a big brown
bear and worth seventy-nine thousand gigolos even when their hair
greased best butter stop did I remember to tell you that I adore


With Ambrose Channel ahead of them, Sam Dodsworth and his friend
Ross Ireland spent a considerable part of their time in the
smoking-room of the Aquitania arguing with other passengers about
the glories of America.  Sam was appreciative enough, but Ross was
eloquent, he was lyric, he was tremendous.

At praise of Paris, Cambodia, Oslo, Glasgow, or any other foreign
pride, he snorted, "Look here, son, that's all applesauce, and I
KNOW!  I've been hiking for three years.  I've interviewed Count
Bethlen and I've paddled up the Congo; I've done a swell piece
about the Lena Gold Fields and I've driven three thousand miles in
England.  And believe me, I'm glad to be getting back to a real
country, buddy!

"New York?  Noisy?  Say, why wouldn't it be noisy?  It's got
something going on!  Believe me, they're remodeling all the old
parts of Heaven after New York skyscrapers!  Say, if we get past
the perils of the deep and I have the chance to hang my hat up in
Park Row again, you'll never get me farther away than an Elks'
Convention at Atlantic City!  And don't let anybody tell you that
the Elks and the Rotarians and the National Civic Federation are
any more grab-it-all than the English merchant, who hates our
dollar-chasing so much that he wants to keep us from it by copping
all the dollars there are to chase, or the elegant highbrow
Frenchman who doesn't love the franc any more than he loves God.
Why say, even about drinking--I'll admit I like a sidewalk cafe
better than I do a speak-easy, but once I round up my old bunch at
Denny's and have a chance to stick my legs under the table with a
lot of real home-baked he-Americans instead of these imitation-Frog
Americans that loaf around abroad--Boy!"

Sam discovered, dropping into Ross Ireland's stateroom, that Ross
was guilty of secret intellectual practises.  Except when, in
morning clothes, he was interviewing Lord Chancellors and Generals
Commanding, Ross felt that he must prove his sturdy independence by
saying "Buddy," "Where d'you get that stuff," and "Oh, bologny."
He was never, by any chance, "doing an analytical study"--at most
he was "writing a little piece."  He addressed English stewards as
"Cap'n," he asked the Cockney smoking-room steward for his "check,"
and almost his only French expression was "viskey-soda."  He
announced, widely and loudly, that any newspaperman who called
himself a "journalist" was a Big Stiff, a Phoney Highbrow, and an
Imitation Limey.  He said that any foreign correspondent who read
history, went to concerts, or wore spats was "showing off."

But Sam discovered that Ross Ireland was guilty of reading vast and
gloomy volumes of history; that he admired Conrad more than Conan
Doyle; that he had a sneaking preference of chess to poker; and
that he was irritably proud of having his evening clothes made in

That such a man, violently American yet not untraveled in distant
coasts, should so rejoice at going back made Sam the more convinced
about returning to his own.  Of the vast and polished elegancies of
the Aquitania he had little impression, none of the excitement
about the steely resolution of ships which he had known on the
Ultima, because all his excitement was focused on the blessed
people he was going to see.

Tub Pearson--

He heard himself saying, "Well, you fat little runt!  You horse-
thief!  Golly, I'm glad to see you!"

He stood forward on the promenade deck, fancying that his heart
beat in rhythm with the rise and the fall of the prow, exulting as
the ship slashed through the miles between him and home.  He seemed
a kindly but stolid figure there, a big man in a gray Burberry and
a gray cap, a competent and unsentimental man.  But he was boiling
with sentiment.  Once at night, when he saw the lights of a ship
ahead, he pretended that they were the shore lights of Long Island,
and he ardently imagined the dear familiarities--wide streets,
clashing traffic, brick garages, the insolent splendor of
skyscrapers and, toward the country, miles of white and green
little houses where the sort of men he understood played games he
understood, poker and bridge, and listened on the radio to the sort
of humor and music that he understood.  And before every other
bungalow was a Revelation car.

"--and I'm going to STAY!" he exulted.

All the way over, Ross Ireland and he had boasted to such
passengers as had never seen America that they would not "be able
to believe their eyes" when they steamed up North River.  Ross
chanted, "Greatest sight in the world--skyscrapers one after
another--thirty, forty, fifty stories high, and beautiful--say!
they make Cologne Cathedral look like a Methodist chapel and the
Eiffel Tower look like an umbrella with the cover off!"

They both, indeed, made so many protestations about the sight of
New York harbor that Sam began to wonder whether he really was
going to be as thrilled as he was going to be thrilled.  He
remembered how, after the most conversational anticipation with
Fran, he had been disappointed by his first sight of Notre Dame.
It had seemed low and hulking--not half so impressive as the lath-
and-plaster Notre Dame in the movie film.  He managed to fret
rather ardently.  He hoped to be uplifted by New York as a young
lover hopes to be enraptured by the sight of his lady.

They came through the Narrows, into New York harbor, early in the
June morning.  Sam was up at five, delighted by the friendly green
of the lawn at Fort Hamilton, after the shifting sea.  It was
extraordinarily hot for early summer, a bit uncomfortable even on
deck, and a fog hid the horizon.  Sam was afraid that he was not to
have his rediscovery of New York.  After quarantine, as they
trudged from Staten Island toward North River, he could see only
anchored tramp steamers, and a huge water-beetle of a ferry boat,
hoarse-voiced and insulting.  Then the fog lifted, and he cried "My
God!"  High up shone the towers and spires of an enchanted city
floating upon the mist, pyramids and domes glistening in the early
sun, vast walls studded with golden windows, spellbound and

Ross Ireland, beside him, muttered "Gee!" and then, "Say, does it
make you proud to be coming home to that?"

It is true that when they swaggered up North River, the debris of
docks and warehouses and factories on the riverbank seemed rather
littered.  The thickening heat glared round them, and the river was
greasy with swirls of fantastically colored oil films.  But as they
were cumbersomely warped into the dock, as Sam heard the good
American shouts from the dark hedge of people waiting on the pier;
"Attaboy!" and "Where'd you get the monocle?" and "How'd you leave
Mary?" and "Oh, come on--have a heart!--sneak me ONE bottle
ashore!"--he muttered over and over, "It's kind of nice to be

Then there were the customs.

Not that the inspectors were so impolite as is fabled, but it is
irritating to be suspected of smuggling liquor, particularly when,
like Sam, you are smuggling liquor.  He had a quart of pre-war
Scotch among the suits in a wardrobe trunk, and the inspector found
it, immediately.

"What's this?  What d'you call this?"

"Why!  It looks like a bottle!" said Sam, affably.  "I can't
imagine how it got there!  Let me present it to you."

And they fined him five dollars.  But what was worse was that being
destitute of liquor caused in Sam a most indignant thirst--Sam
Dodsworth, who had never in his life taken a drink before noon,
except once after a certain football game in New Haven.  He HAD to

The taxi-driver--Sam came to him after hours of paying customs-
fees, of getting necessitous porters, in a high state of boredom,
to trundle his luggage along the immensity of cement floor and
through to freedom, of seeing it shot perilously down the most
efficient and disconcerting moving belt, and of having it and
himself thrown gasping into the lions' den of New York traffic--
the taxi-driver gave Sam his first welcome to America.

"Wherejuh wanna go?" he growled.

It shocked Sam to find how jarred he was by this demonstration of
democracy.  Like most Americans in Paris, he had been insisting
that all French taxi-drivers were bandits, but now they seemed to
him like playful and cuddling children.

It was achingly hot in the side streets leading from the piers, and
appallingly dirty.  In front of warehouses and mean brick houses
turned into tenements were flying newspapers, piles of bottles and
rags and manure.  Gritty clouds of ashes blew from open garbage
cans, and tangled with the heat was New York's summertime stench of
rotten bananas, unwashed laundry, ancient bedding, and wet
pavements.  In front of the taxicab, making Sam's heart stop with
fear, darted ragged small boys (quite cheerful, and illogically
healthy); and on the flimsy iron balconies of fire-escapes sat
mothers with hair dragging across their eyes, nursing babies who in
between sups wailed against the unjust heat.  It was, Sam felt, a
city nervous as a thwarted woman.  (Sam still believed in male
strength and female weakness.)  It seemed so masculine in its
stalwart buildings, but there was nothing masculine in its heat-
shocked, clamor-maddened nerves.  The traffic policemen raged at
Sam's taxi-driver, the taxi-driver cursed all the truck-drivers,
and, above the roaring of their engines, the truck-drivers cursed
everybody on the street.

Ninth Avenue was insane with the banging of the Elevated; Eighth
Avenue was a frontier camp of little shops; Seventh Avenue was a
bedlam of traffic between loft buildings with enormous signs--
"Lowenstein & Putski, Garments for Little Gents," and "The Gay Life
Brassiere, Rothweiser and Gitz"; Sixth Avenue combined the roar of
Ninth with the nastiness of Eighth and the charging traffic of
Seventh; and when in relief Sam saw the stateliness of Fifth
Avenue, there was an inhuman mass of shiny cars from curb to curb.

The Sam Dodsworth who considered himself tireless was exhausted
when he crawled into the cool refuge of his hotel.  He sat by the
window in his room, looking at the sullen stretch of the lofty
office-building opposite, and longed for a drink.

"Conservatively, I'd give twenty-five dollars right now for the
bottle of Scotch that the customs man took away from me. . . .
Oh, Lord! . . .  I don't like New York so well, in weather like
this. I'll be glad to get out into the country.  That's the real
America. . . .  I hope it will be! . . .  I can see where I'm not
going to complain about having too much leisure, the way I did in
Paris! And I want that drink!"

It did not improve his opinion of Prohibition--it made the whole
business seem the more imbecile and annoying and hypocritical--that
after a telephone call, within half an hour he had a case of whisky
in his room, and that he was taking a drink far earlier in the day
than he would ever have done in Paris.

He had many people to see in New York before he went to New Haven
for his class reunion.  But he telephoned to no one--with the
exception of the bootlegger.  He had only the energy to sit by the
window, getting what breeze there was, trying to ignore the
ceaseless menace of the city roar, feeling more homeless than in
Europe, trying to compose a lively cable to Fran and to get Brent,
in New Haven, on the telephone.

He had not cabled Brent his date of sailing.  "Boy's probably tied
up with a lot of exams and things; when I land in New York I'll
find out by 'phone when it's convenient for him to come down to New
York."  Brent was not to be found now by telephone.  Sam sent him a
telegram, and that was quite all that he felt like doing.  He
rested till one, till half-past.  He had a small lunch, in his
room, and the joy of having proper American sugar corn almost
revived him, but afterward he sat by the window again till three,
brooding.  Lassitude bound him like a vast cobweb.

What was he doing here in New York?  What was he doing anywhere?
What reason had he for living?  He was not necessary to Fran in
Paris.  And the motor-car industry seemed to be spinning on quite
cheerily without him.

He faced his discovery--the incident had happened at his entrance
to the hotel, but he had not admitted it to his consciousness till
now.  Alighting from his taxicab he had seen the new model
Revelation car, as produced by the Unit Automotive Company, at
three hundred dollars less than Sam's former price.  He had wanted
to hate it, to declare that it was tinny and wretched, but he had
had to admit that it was a marvel of trimness, with the body swung
lower, the windshield more raking.  He felt antiquated.  The U.A.C.
had created this new model in six months; with his own organization
he could not have produced it in less than a year.  And he would
have held it till the autumn motor shows and brought it out
pompously, as though he were a priest grudgingly letting the laity
behold his mysteries.  Were the U.A.C. making light of seasons and
announcement-dates--just tossing off new models as though they were
cans of corn?

It came to him that he had not known when the new Revelation would
be out.  For the first months of his absence he had heard often
from Alec Kynance, received all the gossip, with many invitations
to return.  He had heard but little the past three months.  Was he
out of it--perhaps forever?

He had come back to America feeling that the world of motors
longed for him; he felt, this hot confused afternoon, that no one
cared. . . .  It was true that, to keep his time free, he had told
no one he was arriving, but confound it, they might have found out

Come to think of it, not one of the reporters who had boarded the
Aquitania and hunted down incoming celebrities--the Polish tennis
champion, the famous radio-announcer who had been perfecting his
art in Berlin, the latest New York-Paris divorcee--had paid
attention to him.  Yet when he had gone abroad, they had
interviewed him as a Representative American Business Man--

He was frightened by his drop into insignificance.

At half-past three he was startled and cheered by a telephone-call:

"Hello?  Dodsworth?  This is Ross Ireland.  Say, I'm in the same
hotel.  Doing anything?  Mind if I run up for a minute?"

Ireland burst in, red, collar wilted, panting.

"Say, Dodsworth, am I crazy?  Do I look crazy?"

"No, you look hot."

"Hot?  Hell!  I've been hot in Rangoon.  But I sat back in a nice
carriage, in my pretty little white suit and my sun helmet, and
took it easy.  I didn't feel as though I'd been in two hundred and
twenty-seven train collisions, one right after another.  Do you
know what I've found out?  I hate this damn' town!  It's the
dirtiest, noisiest, craziest hole I was ever in!  I hate it--me
that's been going up and down the face of the earth for the last
three years, shooting my face off and telling everybody what a
swell capital New York is.

"What you got to drink?  Oh, God, only whisky?  Well, let's have a
look at it.

"Well, this morning I didn't even stop to unpack.  I was going to
see the dear old home town--the dear old neighbors, by heck, down
on Park Row.  I got down to the Quackenbos office, and the office
boy hadn't ever heard my name--I've only been sending in three
columns a week, signed, for three years!  But he found a
stenographer who thought she'd heard of me, and they actually let
me in to see the old man--mind you, to get in to see him was
sixteen times harder than it would be to see King George at
Buckingham Palace, and when I did get in, there he was with his
feet in a desk drawer reading the jokes in the New Yorker.  Well,
he was all right.  He jumped up and told me I was the white-haired
boy, and the sight of me'd just about saved him from typhoid, and
we talked a whole half hour, and then made a date to finish up our
business at lunch, tomorrow!  Oh no, he didn't have one minute till
then!  Tonight--God, no, he had to help open up a new roof garden.

"Oh, I've been the boiled mutton-head!  I've been going around
Europe and Asia telling the heathen that the reason we hustle so in
New York is because we get so much done.  I never discovered till
today that we do all this hustling, all this jamming in subways,
all this elbowing into elevators, to keep ourselves occupied and
keep from getting anything done!  Say, I'll bet I accomplished more
honest-to-God work in Vienna in three hours than I will here in
three days!  Those Austrian hicks don't have any bright office boys
or filing-systems to prevent them from talking business.  So they
go home for two hours' lunch.  Poor devils!  No chance to ride on
the subway!  And only cafes to sit around in, instead of night
clubs.  Awful life!

"Well, when I'd got this whole half hour in with the boss--he took
up most of it telling a swell new smutty story he'd just heard--one
I used to tell back in Ioway in 1900--I drifted over to the
Chronicle to see the bunch I used to work with. . . .  I was city
editor there once! . . .  Half of the bunch were aus.  Gone into
politics, I guess. . . .  The other half were glad to see me, so
far as I could figure out, but they'd gone and got married or
learned to play bridge or taken to teaching Sunday School or some
immoral practise like that, and by golly not one of 'em could I get
for dinner and a show tonight.  By the way, you don't happen to be
free for tonight, Dodsworth, do you?  Grand!  Tickled to death!

"Well, I went out to lunch with one of the fellows on the Sunday
edition.  He suggested some whisky, but I wanted something cool.
He said he knew a place where we could get some real genuine
Italian Chianti--and say, he called it 'genuwine Ytalian' too.  As
a joke.  I believe he taught English in Harvard for a year.  But
being a hard-boiled newspaperman, of course he had to be a
roughneck, to show he wasn't pedantic. . . .  Like me, I guess.
I've been pulling that same lowbrow pose myself.

"But anyway: we look up this genuwine Ytalian dump--I guess, from
the smell, they used it as a laundry till it got too dirty--and the
Wop brought on a bottle of something that was just about as much
like Chianti as I'm like a lily of the valley.  Honestly, Sam, it
tasted like vinegar that'd been used on beets just once too often.

"And then--Oh, I suppose, being just back after my first long hike,
I felt I had a Chautauqua message for Young America--I suppose I
felt I was a Peary bringing home the Pole under my arm.  I tried to
tell this chap how much I knew about Burma, and how chummy I was
with Lord Beaverbrook, and all the news about the land problem in
Upper Silesia, and was he interested?  Say, he was about as much
interested as I'd be in a chatty account of the advancement of
Christian Science in Liberia!  But he had a lot of important news
for me.  Golly!  Bill Smith'd had a raise of twenty bucks a week!
Pete Brown is going to edit the hockey gossip, instead of Mike
Magoon!  The Edam Restaurant is going to have a new jazz orchestra!
The Fishback Portable Typewriter has gone up five dollars in price!
Ellen Whoozis, the cocktail-party queen, who writes the Necking
Notes, is going to marry the religious editor!

"Say, it was exactly like going back to the dear old Home Town in
Ioway, after my first three years in New York!  That time I wanted
to tell the home-town boys all the news about the Brooklyn Ridge
and immorality, and they wanted to talk about Henry Hick's new

"Well, I guess it's all about alike, really--Buddhism in Burma and
Henry's flivver.  It's all neighborhood gossip, with different
kinds of neighbors.  Only--

"But it isn't the same!  I've seen--oh, God, Sam, I've seen the
jungle at dawn, and these fellows have stayed here, stuck at little
desks, and never drifted five steps away from their regular route
from home, to the office, to the speak-easy, to the office, to the
movie, to home.  I was on a ship afire in the Persian Gulf--

"I know it's just vanity, Sam, but there ARE things outside
America--Whether they're ever going to have sense enough to make a
Pan-Europa there--whether Britain is going to recognize Russia, and
who's going to get Russian oil--what will become of Poland--what
Fascism really means in Italy; things that ought to be almost as
interesting as the next baseball game.  But these lads that've
stuck here in New York, they're so self-satisfied (like I was
once!) that they don't care a hang for anything beyond the current
price of gin!  They don't know there is a Europe, beyond the Paris
bars.  Why even in my shop--I carry on in Europe as though I were
the great, three-star, two-tailed special foreign correspondent but
here (it's a fact!) the fellow that does the weekly cartoon about
Farmer Hiram Winterbottom gets three times my salary--say, if HE
came into the office, old Quackenbos would give him the whole day!

"Well, now that I've told you what a nice, lace-collared, abused
darling I am, let's--

"But this town, that I've been looking forward to--(Man, do you
realize we could sail back on the Aqui in a week?  Think of that
nice cool corner in the smoking-room!)  I've found that the one and
only up-to-date, new, novel, ingenious way of getting anywhere in
this burg, if you want to GET there, is to walk!  It takes a taxi,
in this traffic, ten minutes to make ten blocks.  And the subway--
How many years since you've been in the subway?  Well, don't!  I
thought I was a pretty big guy, and fairly husky, but say, the
subway guard at the Grand Central just stuck his knee in the middle
of my back and rammed me into a car that was already plumb-full
like I was a three-year-old child!  And I stood up as far as
Brooklyn Bridge, with my nose in the neck of a garbage-wholesaler!
Say, I feel like an anarchist!  I want to blow up the whole town!

"Then, after lunch, I wanted to buy a few real first-edition suits
of American athletic underwear, so I went to Mosheim's department
store.  Seen their new building?  Looks like a twenty-story ice-
palace.  Windows full of diamonds and satins and ivory and antique
Spanish furniture, and lingerie that would make a movie-actress
blush.  'City of luxury--Europe beat a mile!' says I.  'Extra!
Pleasure Capital of the World Discovered by H. Ross Ireland!'  And
then I tried to get into the store.  Honestly, Sam.  I'll be quite
a husky fellow when I get my strenth.  I used to play center and
wrestle heavyweight in the University of Iowa.  But, by golly, I
couldn't hardly wedge my way in through the doors.  There was one
stream of maniacs rushing out and another rushing in, as though it
was a fire, and every aisle was jammed, and then when you got to
the proper counter--

"Well, I've got good and plenty sore at the way the hired help
treat you abroad.  I've had a Turkish rug-vendor go crazy when I
didn't want to pay more'n twice the price of a rug; I've had a
hard-boiled Greek mate bawl hell out of me because he tripped over
me on deck; I've had a gondolier say what he thought of my tip.
But anyway, those fellows treated you as though you were almost
their equals.  It's like Chesterton says--if a fellow kicks his
butler down-stairs, it doesn't show any lack of democracy; it's
only when he feels too superior to his butler to touch him that
he's really snooty.  And that's how the nice bright young gent at
the underwear-counter treated me.  He had about six people to wait
on, and unless I spoke quick and took what he gave me, he wasn't
going to waste time on me, and he kept looking at me with a 'You
big hick, don't try to fool me, that ain't no real New York suit
you got on--back to Yankton.'

"Then I tried to get out of the store.  One fellow elbowing you in
the stomach and another jabbing you in the back, and the elevator
man hollering 'Step lively, please,' till you wanted to sock him in
the nose.  Honestly, I felt like a refugee driven by the Cossacks--
no, I didn't feel that human; I felt like I was one of a bunch of
steers driven down the runway to the slaughter-house.  God, what a
town!  Luxury!  Gold!  Everything but self-respect and decency and

"And what an oration!  That's the longest speech I've made since I
caught my No.1 Boy in Burma wearing my best pants!"

"Well," Sam soothed, "it'll be better when you get out into the

"But I don't like the country!  Being a hick by origin, I like
cities.  I had enough cornfields and manure-piles before I ran
away, at fourteen.  And from what I heard at lunch, all the other
towns in America are becoming about as bad as New York--traffic
jams and big movie theaters and radios yapping everywhere and
everybody has to have electric dish-washers and vacuum cleaners and
each family has to have not one car, by golly, but two or three--
and all on the installment plan!  But I guess any of those burgs
would be better than this New York monkey jungle.

"And I thought I knew this town!  Ten years I put in here!  But
honestly, it's sixteen times as bad as it was three years ago,
seems to me.  Ought to be lovely three years from NOW!  And
foreign--say, when you see a real old-fashioned American face on
the street, you wonder how he got here.  I think I'll go back to
London and see some Americans!"

Ross, Sam felt, was exaggerating.  But when Ross had gone and he
had roused himself from his lassitude for a walk--for a hot crawl--
he felt lost and small and alien in the immense conflict of the
steaming streets.

And he had no place to go.  He realized that this capital, barbaric
with gold and marble, provided every human necessity save a place,
a cafe or a plaza or a not-too-lady-like tea-shop, in which he
could sit and be human.  Well!  He could go to the Metropolitan Art
Gallery, the Aquarium, the dusty benches of Central Park, or sit
gently in a nice varnished pew in a Protestant Church.

People running with suit-cases nicked his legs, small active Jews
caromed into him, flappers with faces powdered almost purple looked
derisively at his wandering and bucolic mildness, a surf of sweaty
undistinguishable people swept over him, shop-windows of incredible
aloof expensiveness stared at him, and at every street-crossing he
was held up by the wave of traffic, as he crept over to Fifth
Avenue, down to Forty-second, past leering cheap-jack shops and
restaurants, over to Sixth and back again to the Grand Central

He stood contemplatively (he who a year ago would never have stood
thus, but would have rushed with the most earnest of them) on the
balcony overlooking the shining acres of floor of the Grand Central
Station, like a roofed-over Place de la Concorde.  Why, he
wondered, was it that the immensity of Notre Dame or St. Paul's did
not dwarf and make ridiculous the figures of the worshippers as
this vastness did the figures of travelers galloping to train-
gates?  Was it because the little people, dark and insignificant in
the cathedrals, were yet dignified, self-possessed, seeking the
ways of God, whereas here they were busy with the ludicrous
activity of insects?

He fancied that this was veritably the temple of a new divinity,
the God of Speed.

Of its adherents it demanded as much superstitious credulity as any
of the outworn deities--demanded a belief that Going Somewhere,
Going Quickly, Going Often, were in themselves holy and greatly to
be striven for.  A demanding God, this Speed, less good-natured
than the elder Gods with their faults, their amours, their vanity
so easily pleased by garlands and flattery; an abstract, faultless,
and insatiable God, who once he had been offered a hundred miles an
hour, straight-way demanded a hundred and fifty.

And with his motor cars Sam had contributed to the birth of this
new religion, and in the pleasant leisure of Europe he had longed
for its monastic asperities!  He blasphemed against it now, longing
for the shabbiest bar on the raggedest side street of Paris.

He shook his great shaggy head as he looked down on traveling-
salesmen importantly parading before bag-laden red-caps, on fagged
brokers with clanking bags of golf sticks, on fretful women,
contemptuous overdressed women, and sleek young men in white
knickerbockers.  They seemed to him driven to madness by the mad
God of Speed that themselves had created--and Sam Dodsworth had

Sam and Ross Ireland foolishly tried to take a taxicab to the
theater.  When they were already half an hour late, they got out
and walked the last six blocks.  They saw a number of delightful
and naked young women, as naked as they would have been at Folies-

"From the breaths around us, I guess there's a few New Yorkers who
haven't heard about Prohibition," sighed Ross, as they paced the
street in the entr'acte.  "Well, fortunately, the preachers haven't
enough influence with God yet to keep the girls from being naked.
They'll have to fix that up as soon as Prohibition really goes
over--arrange to have the girls born with flannel nighties on. . . .
Honestly, Sam, I don't get these here United States.  We let
librarians censor all the books, and yet we have musical comedies
like this--just as raw as Paris.  We go around hollering that we're
the only bona fide friends of democracy and self-determination, and
yet with Haiti and Nicaragua we're doing everything we accused
Germany of doing in Belgium, and--you mark my word--within a year
we'll be starting a Big Navy campaign for the purpose of bullying
the world as Great Britain never thought of doing.  We boast of
scientific investigation, and yet we're the only supposedly
civilized country where thousands of supposedly sane citizens will
listen to an illiterate clodhopping preacher or politician setting
himself up as an authority on biology and attacking evolution."

It was after the wearisome glare of the musical comedy, at a speak-
easy which was precisely like an old-fashioned bar except that the
whisky was bad, that Ross Ireland raged on:

"Yes, and to have a little more of our American paradox, we have
more sentimental sobbing over poor de-uh mother in the movies, and
more lynching of negroes, than would be possible anywhere else in
the world!  More space, and more crowded tenements; more hard-
boiled pioneers, and more sickly discontented wives; more Nancies
among young men; more highbrow lectures, and more laughing-hyena
comic strips and more slang--Well, take me.  I'm supposed to be a
newspaperman.  I've seen a lot--and read a whale of a lot more than
I ever admit.  I have ideas, and I even have a vocabulary.  But I'm
so American that if I ever admit I'm interested in ideas, if I ever
phrase a sentence grammatically, if I don't try to sound like a
longshoreman, I'm afraid that some damned little garage-proprietor
will think I'm trying to be pedantic!  Oh, I've learned a lot about
myself and my beloved America today!"

"Just the same, Ross, I prefer this country to--"

"Hell, so do I!  Things I can remember, people I've talked to,
knocking around this country, High Sierras to the Cape Cod
cranberry-bogs.  Old Pop Conover, that used to be a Pony Express
Rider, going lickety-split, risking his life among the Indians--I
remember him at eighty, the whitest old man you ever saw; lived in
a little shack in my town in Iowa, baching it--had an old chair
made out of a flour-barrel.  Say, he'd tell us kids stories by the
hour; he'd put up a tramp for the night; and he'd've received a
king just the same way.  Never occurred to him that he was any
better than the tramp or any worse than a king.  He was a real
American.  And I've seen the bunch at football games--nice clean
youngsters.  But we're turning the whole thing into a six-day
bicycle race.  And with motor-cycles instead of the legs that we
used to have once!"

With Ross Ireland talking always--assailing the American bustle
except at such times as Sam complained of it, whereupon Ross would
defend it furiously--they ambled to a Broadway cabaret.

It was called "The Georgia Cabin," it specialized in Chicken
Maryland and yams and beaten biscuit, and the orchestra played
"Dixie" every half hour, to great cheering.  Aside from Ross and
Sam, everybody in the place was either a Jew or a Greek.  It was so
full of quaintness and expensiveness.  The walls were in monstrous
overblown imitation of a log cabin; and round the tiny fenced
dancing-floor, so jammed that the dancers looked like rush-hour
subway passengers moving in sudden amorous insanity, was the
Broadway idea of a rail-fence.

The cover charge was two dollars apiece.  They had two lemonades,
at seventy-five cents each, with a quarter tip to the Hellenic
waiter--at which he grumbled--and a quarter to the trim and cold-
eyed hat-girl--at which she snapped, "Another pair of cheap

They said little as they marched toward their hotel.  Over Sam,
thick, palpable, like a shroud, was the lassitude he had felt in
Paris.  He was in a dream; nothing was real in all this harsh
reality of trolley bells, furious elevated trains, swooping
taxicabs, the jabbering crowds.  The heat was churning up into a
thunderstorm.  Lightning revealed the cornices of the inhumanly
lofty buildings.  The whole air was menacing, yet he felt the
menace indifferently, and heavily he said good night to Ross

The storm exploded as he stood at the window of his hotel room.
Every lightning flash threw into maniacal high relief the vast
yellow wall of the building opposite, and its innumerable glaring
windows; and in the darknesses between flashes he could imagine the
building crashing over on him.  It was terrifying as a volcanic
eruption, even to Sam Dodsworth, who was not greatly given to fear.
Yet terror could not break up the crust of dull loneliness which
encased him.

He turned from the window with a lifeless step and went drearily to
bed, to lie half awake.  He muttered only, "This hustle of American
life--regular battle--is it going to be too much for me, now I'm
out of the habit?"

And, "Oh, God, Fran, I am so lonely for you!"


But it was a pleasanter and more kindly America that he found the
next evening, when he sat with Elon Richards, chairman of the board
of the Goodwood National Bank, on the terrace at Willow Marsh,
Richards' place on Long Island.

In the morning, Sam's son, Brent, telephoned from New Haven that he
would finish his examinations in two days and be down for a real
bender with his father.  In the afternoon Sam labored mightily with
Alec Kynance in the New York office of the U.A.C.  He was again
offered a vice presidency of the U.A.C. and again he refused.

He was vague about his refusal.

"Alec, it's hard to explain it--just feel that I've given most of
my life to making motor cars, and now I'd like to sit around and
visit with myself and get acquainted.  Yes, I was lonely in Paris.
I admit it.  But it's a job I've started, and I'm not going to give
it up yet."

Kynance was sharp.

"I don't know's I can ever make this offer again."

Sam scarcely heard him.  He--of old-time the steadily attentive--
was wool-gathering:  "I'll never be good for anything BUT business,
but why not have a little fun and try something new--big orange-
grove in Florida, or real estate?"

When Sam telephoned to Richards of the Goodwood National, Richards
insisted on his coming out to Long Island for the night.

Sam was relaxed and cheered by the drive, in the Hispano-Suiza
which Richards' daughter, Sheila, had invited her father to buy the
moment she had read the novels of Michael Arlen.  They slipped
through the vicious traffic of the Grand Central district, turned
up First Avenue with its air of a factory village, crossed the
superb arch of the Fifty-ninth Street Bridge, from which they
looked down to towers looming over docks for steamers from Rio de
Janeiro and Barbados and Africa.

They shot through a huddle of factories and workers' cottages, and
fled along a road which followed the shore-line, with a salt breeze
whispering through the open windows of the great car; they came
into pleasant suburbs, and turned off on a country lane among real
farms.  Sam's slightly battered Americanism rose exultantly as he
saw cornfields, pumpkin vines, white farm-houses with piles of
poplar stove-wood.

And the talk was good.

Sam had never been such a fool as to assert that virile citizens
talked only of bonds and prize-fighting, and that any one who
pretended to an interest in Matisse or the Ca' d' Oro was an
effeminate pretender.  Only, he had pled with Fran, he himself had
as much right to be interested in bonds and bored by Matisse as a
painter had to be interested in Matisse and bored by bonds.  Of
course bonds had been important enough to Alec Kynance, that
afternoon.  Yet Alec's talk had not been good, because the little
man could never keep his role of Napoleon of Commerce to himself,
but insisted on treating every one he met as either a Faithful
Guardsman whose ear he could tweak, or as a Faithful Field Marshal
who was gaping to receive (from Alec) a new baton.

But Elon Richards talked of consolidations and investments and golf
and the more scandalous divorces of bankers with the simplicity and
impersonality of a dairyman discussing cattle-feed.  He announced
(while the car slipped past the little farms and into a region of
great estates) that the K. L. and Z. would be bankrupt within two
months, that there really was something to this company that was
going to grow 1,000,000 reindeer in Alaska, that Smith Locomotive
Common wouldn't be such a bad buy, and that it was perfectly true
that the Antelope Car was going to announce safety windshield glass
as a standard accessory.

The great house at Willow Marsh stood on a bluff looking over
marshes to Long Island Sound.  They dined on a brick terrace, at a
little table with quivering candles, round it three wicker chairs
with Sam, Richards, and his daughter, Sheila.  It was Sheila who
six months ago had demanded the Hispano-Suiza, but this summer she
was in a socialist stage.  Sam was a little annoyed because all
through dinner she kept asking why the workers should not take from
Sam and her father all their wealth.

Richards, to Sam's incredulity, encouraged Sheila by teasing her:

"If you can get a really first-class leader, like Lenin, who's
strong enough to take the money away from me in the first place and
to construct a practical working state in the second, I shan't
worry--just as soon work for him and his gang as for our
stockholders.  But if you think, my impudent young daughter, that
because a lot of socialist journalists yap that maybe, possibly,
some day, the working-class may get educated up to the point of
running industry and therefore I ought to join 'em--well, let 'em
MAKE me!"

So for an hour.

After twenty-five years of big industry, Sam Dodsworth still
believed, in an unformulated and hazy way, that socialism meant the
dividing-up of wealth, after which the millionaires would get it
all back within ten years.  He still half believed that all
Bolsheviks were Jews who wore bushy beards, carried bombs, and were
hardly to be distinguished from anarchists.  He didn't completely
believe it, because in his office he had met suave and beardless
Soviet agents who had talked competently about importing Revelation
cars.  But to take socialism seriously--

It annoyed him.

Why had he ever gone abroad?  It had unsettled him.  He had been
bored in Paris, yet he liked crepes Susette better than flapjacks;
he liked leaning over the bridges of the Seine better than walking
on Sixth Avenue; and he couldn't, just now, be very excited about
the new fenders for the Revelation car.  How was it that this
America, which had been so surely and comfortably in his hand, had
slipped away?

And here was the daughter of an Elon Richards, most safely
conservative of bankers, contaminated with a lot of European
socialism.  Was life really as complicated as all that?

It was simpler when Sheila had left them.  The June twilight was
tender, and across the mauve ribbon of Long Island Sound unseen
villages sprang to life in soft twinkling.  On the cool terrace,
after two choked days in New York, Sam relaxed in a wicker chair,
shoulders moving with contentment.  Richards' cigars were
excellent, his brandy was authentic, and now that Sheila was away,
driving her own car off to a dance, his talk was again reasonable.

But it came again--

"Curious, Richards," Sam pondered aloud.  "Since I landed in New
York yesterday, I've hated the whole rush and zip of it--till this
evening, when I've had a chance to sit down in the country and feel
human.  Course it was probably just the hot weather.  Only--Do you
know, I had a feeling of leisure in France and in England.  I felt
there as though people made their jobs work for them; they didn't
give up their lives to working for their jobs.  And I felt as
though there was such a devil of a lot to learn about the world
that we're too busy to learn here."

Richards puffed comfortably; then:

"Did you know I was reared in Europe, Sam?"

"No!  Fact?"

"Yes.  My father and mother were devoted to Europe.  We wandered.
I spent fourteen out of the first sixteen years of my life in
schools in France and England and Switzerland, and I went back
there every summer while I was in Harvard--except the last
vacation, after Junior year.  Then my father had a brain-wave, and
sent me out to Oregon to work in a lumber camp.  I was crazy about
it!  I was so sick of pensions and cafes and the general European
attitude that, for an American, you weren't such a bad egg.  In
Oregon I got beaten up by the lumberjacks three times in seven
days, but at the end of the summer I was ardently invited to stay
on as straw boss of the camp.  I loved it!  And I've gone on loving
it ever since.  I know that plenty of French financiers are more
elegant and leisurely than your flat-footed friend Alec Kynance,
but I get more fun out of fighting Alec!

"Sam, it's a battle here, the way it is in Russia and China..  And
you, Sam, you old grizzly, can never be a contemplative gazelle.
You've got to fight.  And think of it!  Maybe America will rule the
world!  Maybe in the end we'll be broken up by Russia.  But isn't a
world-fight like that better than sitting around avoiding
conversational errors and meditating on the proper evening
waistcoats?  Life!"

Sam meditated, silently and long.

"Elon," said he, "there was a time when I knew my own mind.  I
didn't do whatever my latest stenographer suggested.  But I've seen
too many things, recently.  If Fran were here--my wife--I'd
probably be pro-Europe.  You make me pro-America."

"Why be pro-anything?  Why not dive head-first into whatever battle
seems most interesting?  You can be sure of this: the result won't
mean anything.  My girl, Sheila, informs me that a judicious use of
eugenics, Karl Marx, and tennis would turn us all into a bunch of
beneficent Apollos in five generations.  God forbid!  I have a
sneaking suspicion that none of us poor vertebrates want perfection,
really!  But I mean:  You're one of these kind-hearted, dutiful
Americans who feels apologetic and inferior the moment he retires,
and who'll spend the rest of his life trying to satisfy everybody he
meets: his 'wife and his mistress--"

"Not yet!"

"Wait!--and his friends.  Sam, I'm such an idealist that I'd like
to start an Association for the Hanging of All Idealists.  For
Heaven's sake decide whether you, your own self, are happier in
America or in Europe, and then stick there!  Me, I'm glad to have
European bankers coming to me begging for loans instead of my going
to European cafes and begging waiters for a table in the sun!  Sam,
this American adventure--Because it is an adventure that we have
here--the greatest in the world--and not a certainty of manners in
an uncertainty of the future, like all of Europe.  And say, do you
know, our adventure is going to be the bigger because we DO feel
that Europe has a lot we need.  We're no longer satisfied with the
log cabin and the corn pone.  We want everything that Europe has.
We'll take it!"

"Um," said Sam.

That night he slept child-like, in a breeze from the Sound.  He
awoke at five, to sit on the edge of his bed, bulky in his rather
touseled silk pajamas, meditating while he looked down on the
marshlands smoking with morning, and the Sound, like whirls of
cobweb over bright steel.

If he were fifty miles farther out on Long Island, perhaps he could
see across to the Connecticut shore and New Haven.

He realized that this was grotesquely like a day in spring of his
senior year in Yale when from East Rock he had looked across the
Sound to Long Island, and in that distant shore beheld romantic
harbors.  He was separated from the boy who had sat on East Rock
only by Long Island Sound, and thirty years, and that boy's
certainty that he would "do something worth while."  Today he could
think of things far more interesting to attempt than in those
solemn important days when he had been a football star weighed down
with the monastic duties of an athlete.  It was not, now,
ridiculous to consider being a wanderer in Japan, a proponent of
Sheila Richards' socialism or its crusading foe, or, twenty years
hence, merely an old man with a pipe, content among apple trees on
a hill above the Ohio River.  But also it was obvious now that he
was chained by people and strengths and weaknesses which he had not
recognized in his young hour of vision on East Rock.

He could not return to a completely simple and secure life in
America because of Fran's dislike for it, and without the habitual
titillation of Fran's gaieties and bad temper, life was
inconceivable.  He could not become an elegantly lounging
cosmopolitan because--his thought stumbled and growled--oh, because
he was Sam Dodsworth!

He was chained by every friend who had made life agreeable--bound
not to shock or lose them.  He was chained by every dollar he had
made, every automobile he had manufactured--they meant a duty to
his caste.  He was chained by every hour he had worked--they had
left him stiff, spiritually rheumatic.

He still wanted the world . . . but there was nothing specific in
the world that he wanted so much as, thirty years ago, he had
wanted to be a Richard Harding Davis hero.

Then it came to him.

He marveled, "No, the trouble is that, aside from keeping in with
Fran and the children and a few friends, I don't want anything
enough to fight for it much.  I've done about all I ever imagined--
got position, made money, met interesting folks.  I'd be a lot
luckier if I were a hobo that hadn't done any of the things he
wanted to.  Oh, hang it, I don't much care.  Maybe I didn't hitch
my wagon to a high-enough star!  This one don't look very good!

"Rats!  When I get out of this crazy New York district and meet
real, simple, hearty fellows back in Zenith--yes, sure, and at my
re-union--I'll get over this grouch.

"But what's it all about, this business of life?

"I'd give my left leg if I could believe what the preachers say.
Immortality.  Serving Jehovah.  But I can't.  Got to face it alone--

"Oh, for God's sake, quit pitying yourself!  You're as bad as Fran--

"Fran!  She's never bad.  Not really.  Did I ever happen to
remember to tell you that I adore you, Fran?"

Four hours later, at breakfast, he was an unsentimental Captain of
Finance, attentive only to waffles.

He stood at a gate in the Grand Central Station watching his son
lope up the inclined cement runway from the New Haven train.

"If there's anything finer than him at Oxford or in France--" he
gloated, and "More Fran's boy than mine, though; got her good looks
and quickness."

Brent was like a young race horse, his pale face and high thin
forehead almost too bred-down, too refined.  But there was health
and buoyancy in his humorous eyes, his shout of "Hello, Dad!  Swell
to see you again.  Good crossing?"

"Yes.  Fair.  Nice to see you, boy.  How long can you stay?"

"Have to be back in the morning.  Catch the milk-train."

"Too bad.  Here, give your bag to a red-cap."

"And pay a quarter?  Not a chance--not with corn whisky costing
what it does."

"Um.  I wouldn't drink much of that.  But I guess you know that.
Where'd you like to dine tonight?  Ritz, or some hell-raising

"I'll show you a real joint with real German beer."

"Fine.  Uh--"

Sam looked shyly down at the shy boy, and blurted, "Mighty proud of
you for making both Bones and Phi Beta Kappa."

"Oh, thanks.  Gosh, you're looking fine, sir."

He found that though Brent would be in New York for only twelve
hours, he had brought dinner clothes.

"Fran's boy, all right," he reflected, and somehow he was a bit
lonely.  He wished that he could give this nervous youngster
something more than an allowance--some strength, some stability.

While they dressed, Brent recovered from his filial shyness enough
to chatter about the miracles performed by Chick Budlong as a pole-
vaulter, about the astounding fact that after being a perfectly
good egg for over two years, Ogden Rose had turned literary and
heeled the Lit., about the "bum body job" of the new U.A.C.
Revelation.  He was emerging as the young elegant, slim in dinner
clothes, and he belonged to a world which would resent Sam's
intrusion, which desired no strength nor stability . . . even if,
Sam considered, he had any to give.

The "German restaurant" to which Brent led him was altogether
imitation: beer mugs made in Pennsylvania; beams stained to look
old; colored glass windows which, if they could have been opened,
would have been found to look on nothing but a plaster wall; and
beer that was most deplorably and waterily imitation.

Against this soiled and tawdry background, against the soiled and
insolent and rather pathetic Polish waiters, Brent was real as a
knife-blade, and as shining.

Sam had had a notion that now, two men together, his son and he
could be intimately frank.  He would talk to Brent about drinking,
gambling, the value of money as a means and its worthlessness as an
end, and most of all, about women.  Oh, he wouldn't snoop and paw--
he'd just give his own notions of a life neither Puritanical nor
licentious; be awfully frank about the danger of the daughters of
the street, while admitting, like a man of the world, the
compulsion of "sex"; and if Brent should be moved to give any
confidences, he would treat them casually, sympathetically--

That warm rejoicing idea had been chilled the moment he saw Brent's
self-confident figure.  Why, the boy might think he was in Bad
Taste, and next to the affection of Fran and Emily, he wanted
Brent's affection and respect more than that of any one in the
world.  So, in parental fear, while he would have liked to expose
his soul, he droned about Lord Herndon, Gioserro the aviator, the
palace at Versailles--

But there was one intimate thing of which he could talk:

"Son, have you decided whether you'll go to Harvard Law School when
you finish Yale?"

"I haven't quite decided, sir."

"Don't call me 'sir'!  Look here, Brent; I have a notion--If your
Mother and I are still abroad when you graduate, how would it be
for you to come and join us for a year or so?  Maybe between us, we
could get her to chase off to Africa and India and China and so on.
Just now she's stuck on Paris.  I've been finding out there's a
devil of a lot to see in this world.  There's no hurry about your
getting down to earning money."

"But you went to work early, sir."

"Don't call me 'sir'--I'm still under the age for it--I hope!  And
I think that maybe I got to work too early.  Rather wish, now, I'd
bummed around the world a little first.  And after all these years
you've been studying, to go right on to your law books--"

"Well, you see, sir, I'm not sure I'll go out for law."

"Um.  What you thinking of?  Medicine?  Motors?"

"No, I--You know my roommate, Billy Deacon, his dad is president of
Deacon, Iffley and Watts, the bond-house; and Billy wants me to
come in with him selling bonds.  I think probably I could be making
twenty-five thousand a year in ten years, and in the law, if I went
into a really tophole New York firm, I'd only be a clerk then.  And
some day I'll be in the hundred and fifty thousand a year class."

Brent said it with the modest confidence, the eager eyes, of a
young poet announcing that he was going to write an epic.

Sam spoke doubtfully:

"May sound like a funny thing from a man that's always captured
every dollar he could lay his hands on, but--Brent, I've always
wanted to build things; to leave something besides a bank balance.
Afraid you wouldn't be doing that, just selling bonds.  Not that
I've anything against bonds, you understand!  Nice handsome
engravings.  But are you going to need to make money so fast--"

"Life's a lot more expensive than when you started, Dad.  Fellow
has to have so many things.  When I was a kid, a man with a
limousine was a little tin god, but now a fellow that hasn't got a
yacht simply isn't in it.  If a fellow makes his pile, then he can
lay off and have a hobby--see Europe and go out for public spirit
and all that stuff.  I believe I've got a swell chance with Bill
Deacon and his bunch."

"Well.  Course you've got to decide for yourself.  But I wish you'd
think it over--about really building things."

"Sure.  I certainly will, sir."

Brent was bright with compliments about Sam's knowledge of Europe;
he remarked that Sam's football glories were still remembered at

And Sam sighed to himself that he had lost the boy forever.


Sam was packing, to go to New Haven for his thirtieth class
reunion, when the mild little knock came at the door.  He roared
"Come in," and at first did not look to see who his visitor might
be.  The silence after the opening of the door made him turn.

Tub Pearson was on the threshold, grinning.

"Well, you fat little runt!" said Sam, which meant, "My dear old
friend, I am enchanted to see you!"  And Tub gave answer, "You big
stiff, so they couldn't stand you in Yurrup any more, eh?  So you
had to sneak back here, eh?  You big bum!"  Which signified, to one
knowing the American language, "I have been quite distressingly
lonely for you in Zenith, and had you not returned, I should
probably have given up the Reunion and gone to Europe to see you--
I would, really."

"Well, you're looking fine, Tub."  And they patted each other's
arms, curtly.

"So are you.  You look ausgezeichnet.  I guess Europe agreed with
you.  Didn't bring me home a little of that swell French wine, did

"Sure, I've got a whole case of it in my collar box."

"Well, bring it out.  Let's not put off the fatal hour."

From behind a trunk (where, under the new American dispensation,
all hotel guests hide the current bottle of whisky, to make it
easier for the hotel servants to find it) Sam produced something,
chuckling, "Now this may just look like plain Methodist bootlegged
corn to you, Tub, but remember you ain't traveled expensively and
got educated, the way I have.  Say when. . . .  Oh, say, Tub, I got
a bottle of the real thing--pre-war Scotch--taken off me here at
the docks."

"Oh, my God!  What a sacrilege!  Well now, tell me, what kind of a
time d'you really have?"

"Oh, fine, fine!  Paris is a fine city.  Say, how's Matey and your


"How's Harry Hazzard?"

"He's fine.  He's got a grand-daughter.  Say, they whoop it up all
night long in Paris, don't they?"

"Yeh, pretty late.  Have you seen Emily lately?"

"Just the other day at the country club.  Looked fine.  Oh, say,
Sambo, can you explain one thing to me?  Is there any chance the
Bolsheviks will pay the Czarist debts to France?  And what kind of
a buy are French municipals?"

"Well, I didn't find out much about--Oh, I met some high-class
Frogs--fellow named Andillet, stock-broker, pretty well heeled I
guess.  But it isn't like with us.  Hard to get those fellows down
to real serious talk, out of the office.  They want to gas about
the theater and dancing and horse-racing all the time.  But say, I
did learn one mighty interesting thing: the Citroen people in
France and the Opel people in Germany are putting up low-priced
cars that'll give the Ford and the Chev a mighty hard run for their
money in European territory and--Oh!  Say!  Tub!  Can you tell me
anything about the rumors that Ford is going to scrap Model T and
come out with an entirely new model?  My God, I've tried and tried
and I can't find out anything about it!  I've asked Alec Kynance,
and I've asked Byron Rogers of the Sherman, and I've asked Elon
Richards, and if they know anything, they won't let it out and--By
golly, I'd like to find out something about it."

"So would I!  So would I!  And I can't find out a thing!"

They both sighed, and refilled.

"They finished the new addition to the country club?" asked Sam.

"Yes, and it's a beauty.  They play much golf in France?"

"I guess so, on the Riviera.  Been by my house recently?  Everything
look all right?"

"You bet.  I stopped and spoke to your caretaker.  Seems like a
good reliable fellow.  Say, just what does a fellow DO, evenings in
Paris?  What kind of hang-outs do you go to?  'Bout like night-
clubs here?"

"Well, a lot better wine--well no, at that, some of the places that
are filled with Americans stick you and stick you good for pretty
poor fizz.  But on the whole--Oh, I don't know; you get tired of
racketing around.  All these pretty women, talking all the time!"

"Didn't pick up a little cutie on the side, did you?"

"Did you say 'cutie' or 'cootie'?"

And they both laughed, and they both sighed, and of Sam's non-
existent amorous affairs they said no more.

And they found that they had nothing else to say.

For years they had shared friends, games, secret business-reports.
They had been able to talk actively about the man they had seen the
day before, the poker they had played two days ago, the bank
scandal that was going on at the moment.  But in six months, most
of the citizens of Zenith whose scandals and golf handicaps had
been important had been dimmed for Sam; he could not visualize
them, could think of nothing to ask about them.  The two men fell
into an uncomfortable playing at catch with questions and answers.

Sam said, mildly, "Kind of wish I'd started going abroad earlier,
Tub--kind of interesting to see how differently they do things.
But it's too late now."

He struggled to make clear what had interested him in England and
France--the tiny, unchartable differences of dress, of breakfast
bacon, of political parties, of vegetables in market places, of the
ministers of God--but Tub was impatient.  What he wanted was a
gloating vicarious excursion into blazing restaurants full of
seductive girls, marvelous food, wine unimaginably good at fifty
cents a bottle, superb drunks without a headache, and endless
dancing without short breath.  Sam tried to oblige but--

"Funny!"  He couldn't somehow picture the dancing rendezvous he had
seen only a fortnight ago.  He could see the musty cupboard where
the patient chambermaid of their hotel floor had sat waiting,
apparently all day and all night, knitting, smelling of herring and
poverty; but of the Jardin de Ma Soeur he could see nothing but
tables, smooth floor, and the too darkly enraptured eyes of
Gioserro the aviator, dancing with Fran.

Sam dropped so low conversationally that he asked about the well-
being of the Rev. Dr. Willis Fortune Tate of Zenith.

Then Ross Ireland banged in.

"Off to Mexico to do a story on oil, gimme a drink," he said, and
all was liveliness again.

Sam was distressed that he should be relieved to have his
confidences with his oldest friend interrupted by this half-
stranger, but he was pleased when Tub Pearson took to him.  Half an
hour later, when Ross had told his celebrated story of Doc Pilvins
the veterinarian and the plush horse, the three of them went out to
dinner, had cocktails, and became lively and content.

Only once in an evening of different night clubs, none of which
were different, did Sam worry again:

"Good Lord, are all of us here in America getting so we can't be
happy, can't talk, till we've had a lot of cocktails?  What's the
matter with our lives?"

But on the Yale campus next afternoon, with Tub, he was roaring
with delight to see again the comrades of old days; the beloved
classmates who stayed so unshakably in his mind that he had
forgotten nothing about them save their professions, their present
dwelling-places, and their names.

The 1896 division of the procession to the baseball game at Yale
Field, in their blue coats and white trousers, was led by Tub
Pearson, shaking a rattle and singing:

     Good morning, Mr. Zip, Zip, Zip,
     Got a hair-cut as short as mine?
     Good morning, Mr. Zip, Zip, Zip,
     I cer'n'ly am feeling fine.
     Ashes to ashes and dust to dust,
     If the army don't get you then the navy must--

Sam was moved to sadness and prayer by the sight of his classmates.
It was one of the astonishments of the reunion how old many of them
had become at fifty or fifty-two--Don Binder, for instance, in
college a serious drinker, baby-faced and milky, now an Episcopalian
rector who looked as though he were sixty-five and as though he
carried the sins of the country on his stooped shoulders.  The
spectacle made Sam himself feel ancient.  But as startling were the
classmates who at fifty looked thirty-five, and who irritated a man
like Sam, amiable about exercise but no fanatic, by shouting that
everybody ought to play eighteen holes of golf a day.

But however sheepish Sam might feel, Tub was radiant, was again the
class clown during the procession.  He danced across the road from
side to side, shaking his rattle, piping on a penny whistle,
frightening a child on the sidewalk almost into epilepsy by
kneeling down and trying to be chummy.

"He's fine.  He's funny," Sam assured himself.  "He's a great goat.
Hell, he's an idiot!  WHY am I getting to be such a grouch on life?
Better go back to the desk."

But whatever discomfort he had at playing the hobbledehoy, in the
class reunion Sam found balm.  They knew who he was!  No one in
Paris (except Fran, at times) knew that.  But his classmates
realized that he was Sambo Dodsworth, great tackle, Skull and
Bones, creative engineer, president of a corporation, "prince of
good fellows."

Except for a few professional alumni who at fifty could still tell
what was the score in last year's Yale-Brown game, who at fifty had
nothing with which to impress the world except the fact that they
were Yale Men, the class had drifted far from the cheery loafing
and simple-hearted idealism of college days.  They were bank
presidents and college presidents and surgeons and country school-
teachers and diplomats; they were ranchmen and congressmen and ex-
convicts and bishops.  One was a major general, and one--in college
the most mouse-like of bookworms--was the funniest comedian on
Broadway.  They were fathers and grandfathers, and most of them
looked as though they overworked or overdrank.  Not one of them had
found life quite the amusing and triumphant adventure he had
expected; and they came back wistfully, longing to recapture their
credulous golden days.  They believed (for a week) that their
classmates were peculiarly set apart from the crooked and
exasperating race of men as a whole.

And all of this Sam Dodsworth believed--for a week.

It was pleasant, on a clam bake at Momauguin, to loll in the sand
with the general, a college president, and two steel kings, as
though they were all of them nineteen again, to be hailed as "Old
Sambo," to wrestle without thinking of dignity, and for a moment to
be so sentimental as to admit that they longed for something
greater than their surface successes.  It was pleasant, in the
rooms to which they were assigned in Harkness, to forget
responsibilities as householders and company managers, and to loll
puppy-like on window-seats, beside windows fanned by the elms,
telling fabulous lies till one, till two of the morning, without
thinking of being up early and on the job.  It was pleasant at
dinner in a private room to sing "Way Down on the Bingo Farm" and
to come out with a long, clinging, lugubrious yowl in:

     Here's to good old Yaaaaaaaaaaaale
     She's so hearty and so hale--

Even the men who on the first day he had not been able to remember
became clear.  Why yes!  That was old Mark Derby--always used to be
so funny the way he played on a comb and never could remember his

He was nineteen again; in a world which had seemed barren of
companionship he had found two hundred brothers; and he was home,
he rejoiced--to stay!

So, with Tub Pearson, he rode westward from New York to Zenith,
gratified as the thunderous slots of Manhattan streets gave way to
the glowing Hudson, to tranquil orchards and old white houses and
resolute hills.

The breakfast-room of Harry McKee, Sam's new son-in-law, was a
cheery apartment with white walls, canary-yellow curtains at the
French windows, and a parrot, not too articulate, in a red enamel
cage.  The breakfast set was of taffy-like peasant faience from
Normandy, and the electrical toaster and percolator on the table
were of nickel which flashed in the lively Midwestern morning

Sam was exultant.  He had arrived late last evening, and as his own
house was musty from disuse, he had come to Emily's.  He had slept
with a feeling of security, and this morning he was exhilarated at
being again with her, his own Emily, gayest and sturdiest of girls.
He had brought his presents for them down to breakfast--the Dunhill
pipe and the Charvet dressing-gown for Harry, the gold and
tortoiseshell dressing-table set and the Guerlain perfumes for
Emily.  They admired the gifts, they patted him in thanks, they
fussed over his having real American porridge with real cream.  In
a blissful assurance of having come home forever to his own snug
isle, after decades amid white-fanged seas, of having brought to
his astounded tribe incredible tales of Troy and Circe and men with
two heads, he began to expatiate on Paris, smiling at them,
reaching out to take Emily's hand, launching into long-winded

"--now what I never understood about Paris," he was rumbling, "is
how much of it is like a series of villages, with narrow streets
and little bits of shops that don't hardly keep the proprietor
busy.  You always hear of the big boulevards and the wild dance
halls, but what struck me was the simple little places--"

"Yes, that was so even in the war, when I was in Paris," said
McKee.  "But there must be a lot of difference since then.  Say,
Dad, I'm afraid I have to hustle to the office.  Hope to sell a few
million bolts to the Axton Car people today.  But I want to hear
all about Paris.  Be home by six-thirty.  Awful' good to have you
back, sir.  Good-bye, Emily of Emilies!"

After the kisses and flurry and engine-racings of McKee's
departure, Emily beamed her way back and caroled, "Oh, don't eat
that cold toast!  I'll make you a nice fresh slab.  You must try
this lovely apricot jam.  Now go on and tell me some more about
Paris.  Oh, it's perfectly ducky to be with you again!  Harry is
NEXT to the nicest man living but you're the--Oh, you MUST eat some
more.  Now tell me about Paris."

"Well," mildly, "I really haven't much to tell.  It's hard to
express how you feel about a foreign place.  Something kind of
different in the air.  I'm afraid I'm not much on analyzing a thing
like that. . . .  Emily, uh--Harry doing pretty well financially?"

"Oh, splendidly!  They've raised him another five thousand a year."

"You don't need a little check for yourself?"

"Oh, not a thing.  Thanks, old darling.  Drat him, Harry carried
off the Advocate and I know you want to read it."

Sam did not hear her reference to the Advocate.  Flushed, he was
reflecting, "Am I trying to pay my daughter to be interested in me?
Trying to buy her affection?"  He scuttled away from the thought,
into a hasty description of Les Halles at dawn, as he had seen them
when the De Penable menagerie, with himself as an attendant keeper,
had had an all-night round of cafes.  He had begun to care for his
own narration; he was saying, "Well, I'd never tried white wine and
onion soup for breakfast, but I was willing to try anything once,"
when the telephone began.

"Excuse me a second, Daddy," said Emily, and for five minutes she
held a lively conversation with one Mona about a tennis tournament,
knitted suits, Dick, speed boats, lobster salad, Mrs. Logan, and a
Next Thursday mentioned with such italicized awe that Sam felt
ignorant in not knowing how it might differ from any other
Thursday.  He realized, too, that he did not know who Mona, Dick,
or Mrs. Logan were.

The importance of having eaten onion soup for breakfast had cooled
by the time Emily whisked back to the table.  Before Sam had warmed
up and begun the story of Captain Gioserro's hiring a vegetable
wagon to drive to the hotel, the sneering telephone called Emily
again, and for three minutes she dealt with a tradesman who had
apparently been sending bad meat.  She dealt with him competently.
She seemed to know everything about cuts of steak, the age of
ducklings, and the trimming of a crown roast.

She was not his rollicking helpless girl.  She was a Competent
Young Matron.

"She doesn't need me any more," sighed Sam.

The Dodsworths had not rented their house but had left it
tenantless, save for a caretaker who maintained a creeping ashen
existence in a corner of the basement, spelling out old newspapers
from garbage cans all day long.  The caretaker, when he had
admitted Sam after five minutes of ringing, wanted to show him
through the house, but Sam said abruptly, "I'll go by myself,

The hall was dim as a tomb and as airless.  His foot-fall on the
carpetless floor was so loud that he began to tip-toe.  There were
presences which threatened him as an intruder in his own house.
He stood in the door of the library.  The room, once warm and
tranquil, was bleakly unwelcoming.  It was a dead room in a dead
house.  The rugs were rolled up, piled in a corner, their exposed
under-sides drab and pebbly.  The book-shelves were covered with
sheets, and the deep chairs, swathed in gray covers, were as
shapeless and distasteful as the wrapper of a slovenly housewife.
The fireplace had a stingy cleanness.  But in a corner of it clung
a scrap of paper with Fran's hectic writing.  He stooped slowly to
pick it up, and made out the words "--call motor at ten and--"  She
seemed to dash into the room and flee away, leaving him the

He climbed heavily up the stairway, steps clattering flatly, and
shouldered into their bedroom.  He looked about, silent.

The canopies of their two beds had been taken down, leaving the
posts like bare masts; and the surfaces of those once suave and
endearing retreats were mounds of pillows and folded blankets
covered with coarse sheets.

He went to the drawn window blinds.

"Blinds getting cracked.  Need new ones," he said aloud.

He looked about again, and shivered.  He went to the bed in which
Fran had always slept, and stood staring at it.  He patted the edge
of the bed and quickly marched out of the room--out of the house.

Brent was to have returned to Zenith for a fortnight, and Sam had a
hundred plans for motoring with him, fishing with him.  But Brent
telegraphed, "Invited corking yachting party Nova Scotia mind if
not return," and Sam, perfectly expressionless, wrote his answer,
"By all means go hope have splendid time."  As he walked out of the
Western Union office he sighed a little, and stood with his hands
in his pockets, looking up and down the street, a man with nothing
to do.

He had thought of himself, when he had been the president of the
Revelation Company, as a young man at fifty.  To him, then, old age
did not begin till seventy, perhaps seventy-five, and he would have
another quarter-century of energy.  But the completeness with which
Emily, at twenty-one, had matured, become competent to run her own
life, made Sam feel that he belonged to an unwanted generation;
that, amazingly, he was old.

It was the afternoon of Elizabeth Jane's party which made Sam so
conscious that he was a stranger, unable to mix with this brisk,
luxurious Young Married Set, that he politely fled from Emily's
house and holed-in at the Tonawanda Country Club.

Elizabeth Jane was Harry McKee's eleven-year-old niece.  Like a
surprising number of other successful youngish men of Zenith, hard-
surfaced, glossy, ferociously driving in business, and outside of
business absorbed only in sports and cocktail-lit dancing, McKee
was fanatically interested in children.  He was on the Zenith
school-board and the Board of Visitors of St. Mark's Town and
Country School.  Emily and Harry McKee made Sam blush by the cheery
openness with which they informed him that they intended to have
only three children, but to have those with celerity and to have
them perfect.  (They apparently possessed more control of
Providence than was understood by such an innocent as Sam.)  While
they awaited the arrival of the three, they were devoted to
Elizabeth Jane, a sedate, bob-haired, bookish child, who reminded
Sam of a boy minstrel in a Maxfield Parrish picture.  (He had
always admired Parrish's dream castles, despite Fran's scoffing.)

Sam liked Elizabeth Jane.  "Real old-fashioned child," he said.
"So innocent and demure."

And the next day Elizabeth Jane remarked placidly, when she had
invited herself to tea with Sam and Emily, "Aunty, would it be
awfully rude of me if I said my teacher is a damn' fool?  Would it?
She's started telling us about sex, and she's so scared and silly
about it, and of course all of us kids know all about it already."

"My God!" said Samuel Dodsworth to himself.

McKee and Emily celebrated Elizabeth Jane's twelfth birthday with
an afternoon party for forty children.  Sam knew that there were to
be many dodges of a rich nature; he was aware that a red and white
striped pavilion was being erected on the McKee lawn, and orders in
for such simple delights as Peche Melba, Biscuit Tortoni, and Bombe
Surprise, along with Viennese pastry, loganberry juice, imported
ginger ale and lobster salad, and that the caterer was sending half
a dozen waiters in dress suits.  But he was still antiquated enough
to picture the children playing Ring Around a Rosy, and Puss in the
Corner, and Hide 'n' Go Seek.

He was lunching with Tub Pearson on the day of the party, and after
lunch he excitedly went to the five and ten cent store and filled
his pockets with dozens of pleasant little foolishnesses--false
noses, chocolate cigars, tissue-paper hats--and proceeded to
McKee's, planning to set all the children at the party laughing
with his gifts.

He was late.  When he arrived the children were decorously sitting
in four rows of chairs on the lawn, watching a professional troupe
from the Zenith Stock Company perform an act from "Midsummer
Night's Dream."  And there was a professional magician afterward--
though the young lordlings were bored by such kitchy banalities as
rabbits out of silk hats--and a lady teacher from the Montessori
School, who with a trained voice-for-children and trained gestures
told ever such nice Folk Tales from Czechoslovakia, Serbia,
Iceland, and Yucatan.  Then, unherded but politely in order, the
children filed past a counter at which Harry McKee, disguised as an
Arab for no perceptible reason, gave each of them a present.

They each said, "Thank you very much," tolerantly, and unwrapped
their presents, showing their trained social-mindedness by
depositing the wrappers in a barrel therefor provided.  Sam goggled
at the presents.  There were French perfume and packets of a
thousand stamps, riding crops and portable phonographs, engraved
stationery and a pair of love-birds.

He hastily pulled out the flaps of his coat pockets lest some one
see the ludicrous little gifts he had bought.

And later, "I've got to get out of this.  Too rich for my blood."

It took a week of tactful hinting about needing eight hours of
daily golf, but in the end he escaped to one of the chintzy
bedrooms at the Tonawanda Country Club and there, in an atmosphere
of golf, gin-bottles in the locker room, small dinners followed by
poker, and a reading-room full of magazines which on glossy paper
portrayed country houses and polo teams, he made out a lotus-eating
existence, with cold cauliflower and stringy lamb-chops and
bootlegged whisky for lotuses.

He persuaded himself, for minutes at a time, that business affairs
demanded his staying in Zenith, and he bleakly knew, for hours at a
time, that they didn't.

His capital was invested in carefully diversified ventures--in
U.A.C. stock, railroad and industrial and government bonds.
However often he conferred with his bankers and brokers, he
couldn't find anything very absorbing to do in the way of changing

But he also owned, as a more speculative interest, a share of a
resort hotel near Zenith, and on his way to America he had
persuaded himself that, with his newly educated knowledge of food
and decoration and service, he would be able to improve this hotel.

It was quite a bad hotel, and very profitable.

He had a meal there, two days after arriving in Zenith, and it was

He told the manager that it was terrible.

The manager looked bored and resigned.

When Sam had persuaded him to stay, the manager explained that with
the cost of materials and the salaries of cooks, he couldn't do a
better meal at the price.  It was all very well, the manager
pointed out, to talk about the food in Paris.  Only, this wasn't
Paris.  And furthermore, did Sam happen to know what chickens cost
per pound at the present moment?

That was Sam's only achievement during his stay in Zenith.  But
weeks went by before he admitted, rather angrily, that business did
not need him . . . just as Brent did not need him, Emily did not
need him.

But certainly, he comforted himself, Fran needed him, and such
friends as Tub Pearson.


Thomas J. Pearson and Samuel Dodsworth had always been too well
acquainted to know each other.  They had been together since
boyhood.  Each was a habit to the other.  It had been a habit for
Tub to go once a week to Sam's for poker; a habit for Sam to
telephone him for lunch every Tuesday or Wednesday.  They analyzed
each other, they considered each other as individuals, no more than
a man considers the virtues of his own several toes, unless they
hurt.  Even Sam's absence from Tub at technical school, after
college, had given them no understanding of each other.  They were
under the spell of the collegiate belief that one's classmates are
the most princely fellows ever known in history.

But in Sam's six months abroad, Tub had grown into new habits.  It
was to the house of Dr. Henry Hazzard that Tub looked now for his
weekly drug of poker.  Sam saw that Hazzard was at least as
necessary to Tub as himself, now, and sometimes he found himself
allied against the two of them when the talk fell on labor or
European alliances and they expressed the fat opinions which Sam
himself had once accepted but about which he now felt shaky.  He
was slightly jealous, slightly critical.  He noted that Tub wasn't
quite so perfect as he had remembered.  When Tub shrieked, during a
game of poker, "'What ho' said the cat to the catamaran" or "Now is
the time for all good men to come to the aid of the ante" Sam was
not diverted.  And he felt that Tub was as critical of him.  If he
hinted that the paving on Conklin Avenue was bad, or that the
coffee at the country club left something to be desired, Tub
scolded, "Oh, God, we expatriates certainly are a hard bunch to

When Sam dined with them, he found himself turning oftener to Tub's
bouncing goodwife, Matey, than to Tub.

Yet between times they played their nineteen holes happily, serene
as a pair of old dogs out rabbit-hunting.  If sometimes Sam found
himself wishing for Ross Ireland's melodramatic talk about
revolutions and lost temples, if sometimes Tub seemed rather
provincial, Sam was thoroughly scandalized, and rebuked himself,
"Tub's the best fellow in the world!"

It is doubtful whether he was the more disturbed by finding that he
could get along without Tub or by finding that Tub could get along
without him.

Believing from Sam's first enthusiastic foreign letters that he
would not return from Europe this year, Tub had planned with Dr.
Hazzard a month's motoring-golfing expedition.  They were excited
about it.  They were going to play over the best courses in
Winnemac, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio.  They spoke of the
charms of stumbling over new varieties of bunkers, wild grass, and
rosebushes.  They raved over long shots across sand dunes, and
disastrous ponds in which to lose dozens of golf balls.

They had planned to go by themselves, but now they invited Sam.
He hesitated.  He felt unwanted.

Of course they hadn't known he would be returning--

Of course they HAD urged him to come--

Only why couldn't they have waited to see whether he would return?

He compromised by going with them for two weeks out of the month.

It was a good jaunt.  They laughed, and felt free of womenfolk and
nagging secretaries, retold all the dirty stories they knew, drank
discreetly, drove fast, and admired the golf courses on the North
Shore, above Chicago.  Sam enjoyed it.  But he noted that when he
left they seemed cheerful enough about going on by themselves.

Brent--Emily--business--now Tub and Hazzard--they didn't need him.

All thinking about matters less immediate than food, sex, business,
and the security of one's children is a disease, and Sam was
catching it.  It made everything more difficult.

He thought about alcohol.

He noted that most of the men of the country club set, including
himself, drank too much.  And they talked too much about drinking
too much.  Prohibition had turned drinking from an agreeable, not
very important accompaniment to gossip into a craze.  They were
jumpy about it, and as fascinated as a schoolboy peering at obscene

And he began to meditate about his acquaintances, almost frankly.

He realized, almost frankly, that he was not satisfied now by Dr.
Hazzard's best limericks, Tub's inside explanations about the
finances of Zenith corporations, even Judge Turpin's whispers about
the ashes upon the domestic hearths of their acquaintances.

Hang it, that HAD been good talk in Paris, even when he had not
altogether understood it--Atkins' rumination on painters, the
gilded chatter of Renee de Penable's gang of pirates, and still
more the stories of Ross Ireland.  He had heard of Anastasia, who
was declared to be the daughter of the Czar, of the Zinovieff
letter which had wrecked the Labor Party of Britain, of the suicide
of Archduke Rudolph, of the Empress Charlotte wandering melancholy
mad through the haunted rooms of Castle Miramar, of systems to win
at Monte Carlo, of Floyd Gibbons' plan to make a motor road from
Tierra del Fuego to the Rio Grande, of Turkish women born in harems
who now bobbed their hair and studied biology, of the Chinese
"Christian general"--oh, a hundred stories touching great empires
and hidden lands.  And he had seen the King and Queen of England
drive up Constitution Hill in an open motor, had seen Carpentier,
the prize-fighter, dancing--a pale, solemn, unathletic-looking
young man, seen Briand at the opera and Arnold Bennett at the

It had been good talk and good seeing.

But even if he were articulate enough to bring home this booty to
Tub and Dr. Hazzard and Judge Turpin, he felt--after a few
stumbling trials he knew--that they would not be interested.

He saw that it was not a question of Ross Ireland being interested
in kingdoms and of Tub being interested only in coupons and aces.
He saw, slowly, that none of his prosperous industrialized friends
in Zenith were very much interested in anything whatever.  They had
cultivated caution until they had lost the power to be interested.
They were like old surly farmers.  The things over which they were
most exclamatory--money, golf, drinking--didn't fascinate them as
brush-strokes or wood-winds fascinated the peering Endicott Everett
Atkins; these diversions were to the lords of Zenith not pleasures
but ways of keeping so busy that they would not admit how bored
they were, how empty their ambitions.  They had as their politics
only a testy fear of the working class.  (Why, Sam perceived
uneasily, the whole country turned the dramatic game of politics
over to a few seedy professional vote-wanglers!)  To them, women
were only bedmates, housekeepers, producers of heirs, and a home
audience that could not escape, and had to listen when everybody at
the office was tired of hearing one's grievances.  The arts, to
them, consisted only of jazz conducive to dancing with young girls,
pictures which made a house look rich, and stories which were
narcotics to make them forget the tedium of existence.

They did things, they rushed, they supervised, they contended--but
they were not interested.

However difficult Fran might be at times, pondered Sam, however
foolish Madame de Penable with her false hair and her false
gigolos, however pompous and patronizing Mr. Endicott Everett
Atkins, they were fascinated by everything in human life, from
their own amours to soup and aeroplanes.

He would like to be one of them.  There was only one thing in the
way.  Could he?

Thus meditated Samuel Dodsworth, alone on the porch of the country
club, awaiting the return of Tub Pearson.

What the devil was he doing here?  He was as dead as though he were
entombed.  He had to "get busy"--either go back to work, at once,
or join Fran.


Then, for a week or two, he became very busy peering into the Sans
Souci Gardens development.

To the north of Zenith, among wooded hills above the Chaloosa
River, there was being laid out one of the astonishing suburbs
which have appeared in America since 1910.  So far as possible, the
builders kept the beauties of forest and hills and river; the roads
were not to be broad straight gashes butting their way through
hills, but winding byways, very inviting . . . if one could only
kill off the motorists.  Here, masked among trees and gardens, were
springing up astonishing houses--considerably more desirable as
residences than the gaunt fortified castles of the Rhine, the
magnificent and quite untenantable museums of French chateaux.
They were all imitative, of course--Italian villas and Spanish
patios and Tyrolean inns and Tudor manor-houses and Dutch Colonial
farmhouses, so mingled and crowding one another that the observer
was dizzy.  They were so imitative and so standardized that it was
easy to laugh at them.  But they were no more imitative of Munich
than was Munich of Italy or than Italy of Greece, and like the rest
of the great American Domestic Architecture of this era, they were
probably the most comfortable residences in the world . . . for one
who didn't mind it if his Venetian balcony was only ten feet from
his neighbor's Swiss chalet, and if his neighbor's washing got
slightly in the way of tea on his own lawn.

Driving through the San Souci Gardens, Sam was fascinated.  He
liked the energy with which roads were being dug, houses rising,
stone fountains from Florence being set up in squares and circles
designated by arty little swinging street signs as "Piazza Santa
Lucia" and "Assisi Crescent" and "Plaza Real."

That there was something slightly ridiculous about mixing up Spain
and Devon and Norway and Algiers, and transplanting them to the
sandy hills of a Midwestern town, where of late the Indians had
trapped rabbits and the rusty-bearded Yankees had trapped the
Indians, did vaguely occur to Sam, but it was all a fantastic play
to him, very gay and bright after the solemn respectabilities and
the disapproving mansard roofs of the older residential avenues in

Here, at least, he reflected, was all the color and irregularity
he had gone abroad to seek; all the scarlets and yellows and
frivolous pinks, all the twisty iron-work and scalloped tiles and
striped awnings and Sicilian wine-jars he could swallow, along with
(he thanked Heaven) all the mass-produced American electric
refrigerators, oil furnaces, vacuum cleaners, garbage incinerators,
over-stuffed chairs and built-in garages which, for all of Fran's
scoffing and Mr. Atkins' expatriate distress, Sam still approved.

It came to him that now there was but little pioneering in
manufacturing motors; that he hadn't much desire to fling out more
cars on the packed highways.  To create houses, perhaps less Coney-
Island-like than these--noble houses that would last three hundred
years, and not be scrapped in a year, as cars were--

"That'd be interesting," said Sam Dodsworth, the builder.  Of
course he knew nothing about architecture.  But he knew a good deal
about engineering, about steel and wood and glass, about organizing
companies, about getting along with labor.

"And say!  Here's something that Fran would take an interest in!
And she's an expert about decorations and all that stuff. . . .
Might hold her here!"

In a leisurely way, apparently not much interested, Sam saw to it
that he was introduced to the president of the Sans Souci Company
and that they played golf together.  He was invited to view the
Gardens with the president, and afterward he spent a good deal of
time walking through them, talking to architects, to carpenters, to
gardeners.  Otherwise he merely waited.

He was very good at waiting.

Twice a week letters from Fran had drawn him toward her and toward
Europe.  Her first letter had come on the day of his arrival in

Villa Doree,
La Suisse.

SAM DEAR, it's TOO glorious!  Down the lake, the friendliest little
steamers zipping by--peaks of the Dent de Midi--too perfectly
SUPERB--at sunset they're clouds of gold.  And I've actually been
walking!  (Was Fran terribly bad in Paris, always galloping out to
night clubs when you'd rather have gone walking?  Well, you have
your revenge--AWFULLY lonely for your big bear growls and general
dependability even though I am moved by beauty of this place and
rather grateful for a little calm.)  Walk up through vineyards to
ducky little stone houses.

The villa is CHARMING--not much ground but lawns and roses and
terrace for tea, right on the lake.  Renee de Penable is just as
glad as I am to be free for a while of all the noisy young dancing
men.  We've both sworn to let ourselves be old ladies with caps and
knitting for a while, probably take to religion and camomile tea.
I'm waiting for your letters, just had your steamer note, SO glad
you enjoyed crossing with Mr. Ireland, you probably had much more
fun with him than with a bad sport like me--shouldn't have said
that, looks mean, and I really and truly am glad you had a nice
bachelorish time.  Be sure and write EVERYTHING about Brent and
Emily and McKee.  Give my regards to Tub and Dr. Hazzard.  An
astonishing big gull has just lighted on the lawn right in front of
the window by which I write.  We have the funniest pair of maids--
one looks like a kewpie, and I suspect the purity of her intentions
toward the postman, and cook is built like a Japanese wrestler--
only more clothed, of course.  I hope you will have a happy stay in
Zenith.  I do miss you.  Come back soon and in early autumn we'll
jaunt off together.  I know you're a little fed up with Paris and
personally I don't care if we don't get back there till spring, we
might view Egypt, Italy, etc., for six months.  Renee sends you her
love and so do I, old grizzly!

Your FRAN.

Her next three letters were short, devoted to scenery and troubles.
She always had troubles--always.  They weren't very serious
troubles, he thought:  Renee had been cross, the cook had been
cross--apparently Fran herself had never been cross.  The dance at
the Hotel des Deux Mondes had been a bore, the rain had been wet,
the English family next door had been rude, she had a toothache.
Two of the letters were impersonal, almost chilling; in between was
an affectionate cry for him, so that he was confused and gave a
good deal of his hours of meditation to wishing that she were a
little less complicated.

The fourth letter was livelier:

Wouldn't you KNOW it, Sam!  After swearing that she never wanted to
see a dancing man again, or anything in the way of a male more
disturbing than a Father Confessor, Renee has already gathered
about her (which unfortunately means more or less about me too) a
brand-new horde of Apollos.  How she does it _I_ don't know!
There'll be a nice young man of sixty staying with his venerable
mamma at a hotel here; somebody in Paris asks him to call on us; he
comes formally to tea; and the next day he's panting on the
doorstep again, bringing a pack of males ranging from sixteen to
eighty and from racing models to the latest thing in hearses.  Of
course she knows simply EVERYBODY--we can't go to the Deux Mondes
for a cocktail without at least one gent swooping down on her with
glad whoops of alcoholic welcome.  So now the house is littered
with fauns and Bacchuses, if that's the word.

There's an English hunting man named Randall who wears blue collars
and shirts, and another Englishman picturesquely named Smith, and
an Austrian baron who, as far as I can find out, sells clocks, and
a man who seems to have leased the French Bourse, and a rich
American Jew named Arnold Israel--he's about forty and very good-
looking in a black-haired, black-eyed, beefy sort of way but a
little too gaudily Oriental for my simple taste, when he kisses
your hand he almost bites it, ugh!  Of course it is nice to be able
to dance again, but I really and truly did enjoy just mouching
around and being quiet.  Would you mind transferring five thousand
(dollars) to my account at the Guaranty, Paris?  Food here is more
expensive than I had expected, and I've had to buy some more summer
things--I found a shop in Montreux with simply DARLING hats, and
while it's all very well to walk and to study the dear sweet smelly
Common People by riding on trains, now that Renee has gone and
dragged us into the Life Idiotic again we've had to hire a
limousine and a chauffeur.  I hope you're ever so happy, darling.


It was with her next letter that he began to fret.  It reached him
while he was motoring and golfing with Tub Pearson and Dr. Hazzard:

Such a lovely blue and golden day!  The mountains are like the
pillars of heaven.  A bunch of us are taking a motor boat across to
the French side of the lake.  Arnold--Arnold Israel, an American
here, I think I spoke of him--he has discovered a marvelous little
inn where we can lunch--under the vine and fig tree sort of thing.
He's really an awfully nice person, one of these extraordinary
international Jews who can do everything and knows everything--
rides like an angel, swims seven miles, tells the funniest living
stories, knows more about painting than old Atkins and more about
biology and psychology than sixteen college professors and I must
say he dances like Maurice himself!  And he is an American.  It's
funny, I know I'm playing into your hands but I must admit this,
much though I admire Europeans, it IS nice to rest one's self after
even Renee's best cut-glass wit, etc., etc., by being simple and
natural with a fellow countryman--one who will UNDERSTAND when you
say, "She must have gotten that hat from the five and ten cent
store," or even, "Attaboy."  I find that with you away, you dear
darling old vulgarian, I have positive joy in hearing somebody say,
"Oh, hell."  Makes me almost homesick.  Oh yes, I guess I am
American all right!  Must hurry now, lots of love,


For ten days, no letter, then two together:

You would approve of your bad Fran thoroughly if you knew what a
healthful life she is leading.  Of course sometimes I do stay up a
bit late at dances--we've met an awfully nice American Jewish
family here named, of all things, Lee, friends of Arnold Israel--
they have rented a wonderful old castle back from the lake above
Glion, and they do give the most gorgeous parties.  But otherwise
I'm outdoors most of the time--riding, swimming, tramping,
motoring, tennis--the Israel man has the most terrific cannon-ball
in tennis.  And then he'll read Shelley aloud, like a twenty-year-
old Vassar girl!  What a man!  And to think that he's in the jute
and hemp importing business! though it's true that he merely
inherited the business from his hustling old father, and that he's
able to leave it four or five months every year and loaf all
through Europe.

Good Heavens, this whole letter seems to be about Arnold Israel!
That's only because I thought he was the person here who would
interest you most.  I needn't tell you that he and I are merely the
most impersonal kind of friends.  Oh, I suppose he would get
sentimental if I'd let him but I most certainly will not, and with
all his Maharajah splendors, he has the most delicate and sensitive
mind.  I do appreciate what you say about Brent and Emily's having
really grown up and hardly needing us.  Madly though I adore them
and long to see them, I'm almost afraid to, they'd make me feel so
old, whereas now if you could see me in white blouse, shamelessly
crimson skirt, white shoes and stockings, you would say I'm a
flapper, and it's beautifully quiet here by the lake at night-
getting in QUANTITIES of restful sleep.

Your FRAN.

Sam dear, this isn't really a letter but just a PS. to my note of
yesterday.  I feel as though I wrote so much about Mr. Israel that
you'll think I think too much about him.  That's the unfortunate
thing about letters--one just chats along and often gives a wrong
impression.  If I have mentioned him several times it's only
because most of the other people, no matter how well they may dance
or swim, are really pretty dull, while he is a nice person to talk
to, and of course--I needn't tell you, you old loyal darling, I
have no other interest in him.  Besides, Renee is crazy about him
and wants to annex him for keeps, and as she's really the chef de
bureau here, having found the villa, etc., even though she does pay
only half the rent, if she wants her old Arnold she can certainly
jolly well have him, for all I care.  Hastily, F.

The next letter did not come for nearly a fortnight, and Sam
realized, putting on his glasses to peer at the stamp, that it was
not from Vevey, but from Stresa, in Italy:

Sam, the most dreadful thing has happened.  Madame de Penable and I
had simply the most dreadful row, she said things I simply could
not forgive, and I have left the villa and come here to Lake
Maggiore.  It's a lovely place, but as I don't know whether I shall
stay, you'd better address me c/o Guaranty, Paris.  And it was all
about nothing.

I've written you about a Mr. Israel we met at Vevey and how crazy
Renee was about him.  One evening, I hate to say this about a woman
who, after all, no matter how vulgar and unscrupulous she is has
given me a good time, but I really must say she'd drunk more than
was good for her and after the guests had gone she suddenly turned
on me like a fishwife and she used the most DREADFUL language and
she accused me of carrying on an affair with Mr. Israel and of
stealing him from her which was idiotic as well as false because I
must say she never did have him so how could I have stolen him from
her even supposing I had the slightest desire to!  I've never had
anybody talk to me the way she did, it was simply DREADFUL!

Of course I didn't condescend to stoop to her level and answer her,
I simply said very politely, "My dear Madame de Penable, I'm afraid
you are hysterical and not altogether responsible for what you are
saying and I would prefer not to discuss the matter any further
certainly not till tomorrow morning."  But that didn't stop her and
finally I simply went to my room and locked the door and next day I
moved to a hotel and then came down here--it really is lovely here,
with the Borromean Isles including the famous Isola Bella lying out
in the lake and across the lake, behind the nice village of
Pallanza, the mountains rising, quite high and villages, etc.,
strung along the roads up the mountains.  I feel awfully lonely
here and that beastly toothache I had in London is returning but,
after all, anything is better than living with a brawling vulgar
fool like Mme. de Penable.

I hate to 'fess up and I guess this gives you a lovely chance to
crow over me, only I know you're too generous and understanding of
your bad little girl to take such an advantage of her, but you
certainly were completely right in what you said, or rather hinted,
for you were too kind to come out and say anything rude, about the
Penable woman and her dreadful vulgar friends.  I'm sorry.  I hope
I've learned something.  Only I don't want you to think that Mr.
Israel is in any way to blame, like the Penable woman and her

He was as innocent as I was, and he was good enough to see me off
on the train at Vevey.  He is a man I would like to have you meet,
I think you would find in him all the nice, jolly, companionable,
witty things you find in Ross Ireland and at the same time a
subtlety and good taste that I'm sure you will admit with all his
fine qualities Mr. Ireland lacks.  Well, perhaps we will run into
Arnold when you come back for I believe he is taking a whole year
this time wandering around Europe.

Oh, do come soon, darling!  I miss you so today!  If you were here
we'd take the little batello--aren't you proud of me, I've already
learned ten words of Italian in one day; "Come in" is avanti and
the bill is le conto or no, il conto I think it is--and we'd go
scooting around the lake.  If it's convenient you might send
another couple of thousand, Guaranty Paris--of course I have to pay
my share of the rent at the cursed villa at Vevey even though I'm
not there.  I suppose if I didn't, and I certainly would jolly well
like not to, the De Penable woman would go around saying that I was
not only a libertine and a man-snatcher but also an embezzler!

How I'd like to have you spank her for me with your big beautiful
strong hand!  You'd do it so calmly and so thoroughly!  So of
course I have to pay my share of the rent and limousine hire there
and as I also have to pay now for my rooms here or wherever I may
be (you better not depend on this address reaching me but address
c/o Guaranty) it will make things a little more expensive than I
had hoped.  Oh, dear, I did hope this would be a nice economical
summer, and heaven knows I tried hard enough to make it so, but I
didn't expect the unexpected to unexpect quite so disastrously.  I
feel better now after talking to you like this--I cried almost all
last night--and I shall now live the life of a nun and devote
myself to the study of the Italian language and people, as befits
an old lady like me.

Your rumpled and repentant Fran.

That letter had come on the day when the president of the Sans
Souci Gardens Company had invited Sam to lunch.

He was very frank, the president.  He was a trained architect.
He astonished Sam by admitting that he thought Sans Souci rather

"There's too much mixture of styles, and the houses are too close
together," he said.  "But most Americans, while they'll pay a devil
of a lot for a big impressive house, don't care enough for privacy
so that they'll pay for a decent-sized plot of ground.  And they
WANT French chateaux in a Henry Ford section!  But at least we've
been educating them to be willing to come out toward the country
instead of huddling together in the city.  And I'm planning now, if
Sans Souci doesn't ruin me, a much bigger development where we
won't mix the styles.  Oh, I suppose we'll have to go on cribbing
from Europe and Colonial America.  When a natural genius comes
along and creates something absolutely new in houses, only a few
people really like 'em.  But I picture a new development--I hope
with a less agonizing name than Sans Souci Gardens, which is the
invention of that grand old Frenchman, one of my partners, Mr. Abe
Blumenthal--in which, at least, we can keep the thing from looking
like a world's fair.  For instance, one section strictly confined
to houses more or less in the Tudor style, and another all Dutch
Colonial, or something not warring with Dutch Colonial.  Or maybe
the whole development in one style.  Like Forest Hills on Long

But--the Sans Souci president went on--he himself was too fanciful
and too impatient.  And as partner he needed some one (he hinted
that it might be Sam) who would take the hundred or so notions for
hotels and luxurious yachting tours and chain restaurants which he
conceived every month, pick out the most practical, and control the
financing, the selling.

He grinned.  "Doesn't sound like much of an offer.  It's based on
the belief that I do have some new and interesting ideas along with
quite a decent knowledge of architecture and building.  But--I'd
like to see if it isn't possible for us to get together.  While
you'd been deciding that you were bored with selling cars and while
you've been looking up my record for dependability--"

"Oh, you guessed that?" grunted Sam.

"Of course!"

"I'll think it over, I most certainly will," said Sam.

He returned to the country club, planning a dozen or so new kinds
of real estate developments of his own, to receive Fran's
distressed letter from Stresa.

It all seemed to fit in.  He would bring her back; together they
would look into the building of houses.  He cabled her, "Too bad
penable glad got rid her why don't you return zenith then abroad
again in year or so."

She answered, "No want stay few more months suit self about

And the great Samuel Dodsworth still had no more notion of what he
was going to do than when, as a senior in college, he had sat on
East Rock, looking at Long Island Sound, planning to be a bridge-
builder in the Andes.

He wrote to her of the Sans Souci Gardens, and waited.  He read
about domestic architecture, and went to Cleveland and Detroit to
inspect new developments.

Her next letter had been written some days before he had received
her Stresa letter, before she had his cable.  It informed him:

Yes, my dear Samivel, I am still at Stresa, though I may be off to
Deauville immejit--I've always wanted to see one of those places
where gloomy earls go to lose money at chemin de fer.  But meantime
I've been very happy here, after getting over my first hysterics at
the De Penable woman's beastliness.  I've had such a nice girl here
to give me Italian lessons daily and with her or other acquaintances
made at the hotel I've explored all the divine villages about here--
Pallanza and Baveno and Gignese, back in the hills and Cannobio, and
Arona, etc. etc.  I've taken a steamer clear up to Locarno, the
Swiss end of the lake, and the tram up to the top of Monte
Mottarone--Sam, it's so steep that when you look down at the lake
below you the water seems absolutely to tip up like a tilted
platter!  So you're not to worry about me, I'm quite all right.  I
suppose I ought to tell you that Arnold Israel has come down here
from Vevey, you remember the nice American I wrote you about, he's
staying here at this same hotel.

I don't know that I ought to tell you this--even you, you old
woofly-bear darling with your kind, decent, sympathetic mind might
possibly misunderstand for, with all your virtues, after all you do
have an American way of looking at things, but I'm afraid some
gossip might come to you some day and I want you to understand.
Needless to say, our relations are as innocent as though we were a
boy and girl of eight and I do have such a nice happy clean time
with him--Sam, Arnold drives a car even faster than you do, my
heart almost stopped yesterday when he was driving 118 kilometers
an hour, but he's such a superb driver that I usually feel quite
safe.  Now I must hurry and dress.  Bless you.  I hope you're well
and happy.  Best love to Emily and Harry.


That afternoon he telephoned to the president of the Sans Souci
Company that he was summoned abroad and could decide nothing for
several months.  He telegraphed to New York for a steamer
reservation.  He dashed to Emily, to Tub, to Hazzard, and said
good-bye.  But it was a week before he could sail, and meantime
another letter had come from Fran--from Deauville:

Yes, here I am, and I don't like it much.  This place is very gay
but a little icky; lots of nice people but also DREADFUL ones,
profiteers giving cocktail parties, race-track touts infesting the
lounge.  I wish I'd gone to the Lido instead.  Perhaps I will.  See
here now, Samivel.  In your letter, written to me at Vevey but
received since I left, you said that you hoped I would, as you
expressed it, "lay low" after my winter in Paris and "get to bed
early for a while."  I don't suppose you meant to be unpleasant but
you couldn't realize how jumpy and hurt and bewildered I was after
the horrible Penable affair, like a lost child, and how your
scolding would hurt me.  Am I to spend the rest of my life growing
old as gracefully AND AS FAST as I can, which is apparently YOUR

You talk as though I were some hell-raising flapper instead of a
woman of the world who likes civilized amusements.  There!  I'm
sure you didn't mean to be scolding, but can't you understand how
it might hit me when I was in a very high-strung condition?
Really, Sam, you must be a little more thoughtful!  Do try to use a
little imagination, now and then!  Now that's off my chest and
shall we just forget it?  Only I must say--Sam, you may think I'm
unjust, but really it was essentially your fault that I ever had
the De Penable trouble.  If you hadn't insisted on running back to
America for your class reunion, which wasn't so awfully necessary,
after all, if you had stuck by me so that I wasn't in the anomalous
and almost humiliating position of being without a husband, just
like a lone adventuress, the De Penable woman would never have
dared act as though I WERE an adventuress and have turned on me the
way she did.  I hope you'll understand that I mean this only in the
kindest and sweetest way, and we are, after all, aren't we, one of
the few married couples who understand each other so well that we
can be frank, and next time I hope you'll try to remember.  There,
that's over, and now for the news.

Yes, says the hussy defiantly, Arnold Israel IS here with me, that
is, as I'm sure you'll understand, he is in no sense WITH me, but
he's here in Deauville.  At first I wouldn't come along, but he was
so thoughtful, so sweet, so understanding.  He dug up somehow--I
don't know how he does these things but he has what one might call
the spiritual as well as the financial Midas touch, do you know
that I've just discovered that while I thought he was merely
loafing while he was away from his beastly old jute and hemp
business, here in Europe, he's made about $40,000 by gambling in
exchange and buying and selling a, well, a REASONABLY authentic
Rembrandt and he wanted to give me some pearls but of course I
wouldn't let him, but I'm drifting away from the thread of my

He found out at Stresa that a most respectable old Philadelphia
couple, real Rittenhouse Square sort only fond of gaiety, were
here, and he had them invite me to come here under their wing,
which made it all right and prevents any of the nasty kind of
gossip such as a beast like the De Penable woman loves.  After all,
I thought, I'm silly about NOT coming with him.  Sam will NEVER
misunderstand, he has imagination, and besides, I realized, I'm not
a young flittergibbet or one of these horrible female Ponce de
Leons like De Penable, but a perfectly respectable matron who has
brought up a son and a daughter now married, and no one would ever
think of gossiping.

So here I am and while, as I say, I'm not crazy about the place,
Arnold and I and his friends, a Mr. and Mrs. Doone, perfectly
DARLING people and such wonderful sports though they're nearly
seventy, we have gay little parties of our own and loaf around on
the beach for hours nours nours at a time.  Address me c/o Paris,
though I'm certain to be here for at least three weeks more, as
there is a magnificent costume ball coming off to which Arnold and
I are going, most scrumptiously as the Sirocco and the North Wind,
me with my nice pale Swede hair being naturally the North Wind.
Lots of love,


Sam cabled, "Sailing carmania meet you paris hotel universel
september two."  He added "Love," and crossed it out, and put it in

Twelve days later he was looking at the long fortifications at
Cherbourg, watching the voluble little Frenchmen on the tender.

On deck, by night and day, he had walked out of his system all
irritation at Fran, all hatred of Arnold Israel.  When he had
finished her letter from Deauville, he had suddenly grasped
something which he had never completely formulated in their twenty-
three years of marriage: that she was not in the least a mature and
responsible woman, mother and wife and administrator, but simply a
clever child, with a child's confused self-dramatizations.  The
discovery had dismayed him.  Then it had made him the more tender.
His other children, Brent and Emily, did not need him; his child
Fran did need him!  Something in life still needed him!  He thought
of her, awaiting him there in Paris, as he had thought of her in
the uncomplicated days of their courtship.


Late of a cloudy afternoon, the Paris express slid through the
thunderous gloom of the train shed, and Sam was jumpy with the
excitement of arrival, looking down at the porters as though they
were his friends, smiling at the advertisements of Cointreau and
Fernet Branca, of Rouen and Avignon, on the station walls.  He
marched quickly out of the train, peering for Fran, anxious when he
did not see her, and he felt utterly let down as he clumped after
the porter with his bags.

She was at the end of the platform.

He saw her afar; he was startled to know how much lovelier she was
than he had remembered.  In a cool blue coat and skirt, with a
white blouse, her hair, pale and light-touched as new straw, her
slim legs so silken, her shoulders so confident, she was the
American athletic girl, swift to dance, to play tennis, to drive
like a cyclone.  She was so vital, so YOUNG!  His heart caught with
admiration.  But he was conscious that her face was unhappy, and
that she looked at the approaching passengers only mechanically.
Didn't she want him--

He came up to her shyly.  He was confused by the rather polite
smile that masked her face, but holding her by her shoulders,
looming over her, he murmured, "Did I remember to write you that I
adore you?"

"Why, no, I don't believe you did.  Do you?  That's very nice, I'm

Her tone was as light and smooth and passionless, her laugh was as
distant, as the banter of an actress in a drawing-room comedy.

They were strangers.

At the hotel she said hesitantly, "Uh, Sam--do you mind--I thought
you'd be tired after the journey.  I know I am, after coming from
Deauville.  So I got two single rooms instead of a double.  But
they're right next to each other."

"No, maybe better rest," he said.

She came with him into his room, but she hovered near the door,
saying with a dreadful politeness, "I hope you will find the room
all right.  It has quite a nice bathroom."

He hesitated.  "I'll unpack later.  Let's not hang around here now.
Let's skip right out and catch us a good old sidewalk cafe and
watch the world go by again!"  Wretchedly he noted that she looked
relieved.  He had given her but a tap of a kiss.  She had demanded
no further caress.

She was courteous, while he gossiped of Zenith; she laughed at the
right moments; and she remained a stranger, forced to entertain the
friend of a friend and wanting to get the duty over.  She did ask
questions about Emily and Brent, but when he talked of Tub, of
golfing, she did not listen.

He could not endure it, but he said only, tenderly, "What's matter,
honey?  You seem kind of far off.  Not feeling well?  Glad to see

"Of course!  It's nothing.  It's just--I guess I didn't sleep very
well last night.  I'm a little nervy.  But of course I'm glad to
see you, dear old bear!"

And still they had not talked of Madame de Penable, of Arnold
Israel, of Stresa and Deauville.  He had kept from it as much as
she; he had said only, "Too bad you had your trouble with Mrs.
Penable, but I'm glad you had some fun after that.  Your letters
were great."  He sounded provincial to himself as he maundered
about Zenith, sounded rather dull and thick, but his senses were
furiously awake.  He noted how agitated she seemed.  He noted that
she drank three cocktails.  He noted that he, Sam Dodsworth, was
slowly massing for a battle, and that he dreaded it.

When they dressed for dinner, she closed the door between their two

"Let's go to Voisin's, where we can be quiet and talk," said he,
when she came in to announce that she was ready.

"Oh, wouldn't you rather go some place a little more festive?"

"I would not!"

Then first was he brusque.

"I want to talk!"

She shrugged.

After the soup, he bumbled, "Well, I guess I've given you most of
the news.  Let's talk about plans.  Where would you like to go,
this fall?  What about a good, long, easy hike through Italy and
Spain and maybe over to Greece and Constantinople?"

"Why, I think that would be very nice, a little later on.  But just
now--After all, I've had a dreadfully rustic summer--and of course
you have, you poor thing!  I think we both deserve a little gaiety
here in Paris before we leave.  After all, when you go traveling
around to assorted places, you're frightfully detached from

Then, very blandly, as though it wasn't at all necessary to have
his agreement, "I think we might stay here three months or so, and
we might take a nice apartment up near the Etoile.  I'm so sick of

"Well--"  He stopped; then it came in a slow tidal wave.  "I don't
blame you for being sick of hotels.  So am I!  But I certainly
don't intend to spend all fall, as I spent all spring, sitting on
my rear in Paris--"

"Need you be vulgar?"

"Yes, I guess I need to.  I don't intend to sit around here all
fall, waiting for you to go.  When we first started out, I was
willing either to go on living in Zenith or travel, but if I'm
going to travel, I want to TRAVEL--to see things, see different
kinds of people and towns.  I'd like to see Venice and Madrid; I'd
like to have some German beer.  I don't propose to go on being
sacrificed to your ambition as a social climber--"

She flared, "That is a lie, and you know it's a lie!  Do you think
I have to CLIMB to meet people like Renee de Penable?  Climb DOWN,
if anything!  But I do find it rather more amusing to play with
civilized people than to sit and soak at the New York Bar--yes, or
go around gaping at ruins with a Baedeker!  It's all very well for
you, but I have to do the packing, I have to interpret for you.  I
have to plan the trip.  Heavens, we'll GO to Venice!  But is there
any need of our galumphing off like a Cook's tour when we could
have a charming autumn here, with our own flat and servants, and
all the friends that I have here now--quite independent of the De
Penable person?  I'm sorry, Sam, but if you could just occasionally
try to catch somebody ELSE'S point of view--I should prefer to
remain right here in Paris for--"



He hesitated.  While they talked, round them flowed the amenity of
good service, and if they were two volcanoes, they kept their
rumblings low, and to any observer they seemed merely a large and
impassive man, probably English, and a woman with a quick-changing
face who was a little angry but very much in control of her anger.

"Fran!  You really would sacrifice me, to stay here?"

"Don't be so melodramatic!  I can't see that it's any sacrifice to
remain in the loveliest city--"

"Is Arnold Israel here in Paris?"

"Yes, he is!  What of it?"

"When did you see him last?"

"This noon."

"He going to stay here in Paris some time?"

"I don't know.  How should I know?  Yes, I suppose he is."

"He give you any ideas about a flat near the Etoile?"

"See here, my dear Samuel!  Have you been reading novels?  Just
what is the idea of this comic returned-husband-sternly-cross-
examining-loose-wife pose--"

"Fran!  How far did you go with this Israel?"

"Have you any idea how insulting you are?"

"Have you any idea how insulting I'm going to be, if you don't stop
this injured-innocent business?"

"And have you any idea of how angry I'm going to be if you continue
to act like a barroom bully--which is what you are, essentially!
I've concealed it from myself, for years, but I knew all the time--
The great Sam Dodsworth, the football player, the celebrated
bruiser, the renowned bully!  Why, you belong in the kitchen, with
the corner policeman, not among civilized--"

"You haven't answered!  How far did you go with this Israel?  I'm
doing you the honor of asking you, not of snooping.  And you
haven't answered."

"And I most certainly do not intend to answer!  It's an insult to
be expected--And it's an insult to Mr. Israel!  He is a gentleman!
I wish he were here!  You wouldn't dare to talk to me as you've
been talking, if he were here.  He's quite as powerful as you are,
my dear Samuel--and he has brains and breeding and manners as well.
Aah!  'How far did you go in sin with your hellish lover!'  After
all the years I've tried to do something for you, you still have
the vocabulary of a Laura Jean Libbey novel!  Arnold, you will be
shocked to learn, is so unregenerate that he prefers Andre Gide and
Paul Morand to Laura Jean Libbey, and of course it's Black Guilt
for me to have found a little pleasure in talking to him instead of
discussing poker with your lovely friend Mr. Tub Pearson--"

While she raced on, quietly hysterical, he knew the answer to his
question, and he was astonished that he was not more astonished,
shocked that he was not more shocked.  He did not greatly press
her.  When she stopped, shaking with muted sobs which he pitied, he
said, gently:

"You found him very romantic?"

"Of course!  He is!"

"Perhaps I can understand that--more or less."

"Oh, Sam, please DO be human and understand!  You do it so well,
when you forget your Stern Man of Granite role and let yourself be
sweet.  Of COURSE there was nothing wrong between Arnold and me--
Isn't it funny how--I'm just as bad as I accused you of being!
Using old cant phrases like that!  'Nothing wrong between Arnold
and me!'  After all, though, perhaps I was unjust to you; perhaps
you didn't mean anything of the kind but merely--You are kind, Sam,
but if you don't mind my saying so, you're just the least little
bit clumsy, now and then--"

She had checked her hysteria, had become amiable and prattling and
self-confident again, and all the while he was reflecting, "She's
lying.  She never used to lie.  She's changed.  This fellow is her

"--and what I suppose you were really hinting at was that I may
have been handsomely kissed by my ardent Jewish friend, before I
left Deauville.  Well, I was!  And I liked it!  It doesn't matter
if I never see him again--Oh, Sam, if you could only UNDERSTAND how
humiliating and infuriating it was of you to suggest that my desire
to stay here had anything whatever to do with Arnold!  But he was
charming.  If you could only have seen him, lolling among the sand
dunes as though (I used to tell him) he were a Maharajah among gold
cushions, with white flannels, and his hair wild and his shirt open
at the throat--It would've looked silly and pretentious with any
other man, but on him it seemed natural.  And all the while, with
all his gorgeousness, talking so simply, so confidingly--really, it
was touching.  But haven't we talked enough of him?  We must still
make our plans--"

"Let's get him settled first.  I've got--"

"Sam, the thing you never could realize about him, even if you met
him, was how TOUCHING he was.  Clever and handsome and rich and so
on, and yet such a child!  He needed some one like me to talk to.
Oh, I was just an audience for him--nice old mother confessor.  He
was condescending enough to say that for a venerable dame of forty-
two, I was still an excellent imitation of a pretty wench, and he'd
supposed I was five years younger than himself, not two years
older.  And that I was the best dancer he'd found in Europe.  But
of course the bouquets were just preliminary to his talking about
himself and his unhappy childhood, and you know what a fool I am
about children--the least hint that anybody has had an unhappy
childhood and I dissolve in tears!  Poor Arnold!  He suffered as a
boy because he WAS clever and strong.  Nobody could believe how
sensitive he was.  And his mother was a grim, relentless old
dragon, who hated weakness of any kind, or what she thought was
weakness, and when she'd find him daydreaming, she'd accuse him of
loafing--Oh, it must have been hell, for so fine a spirit!  And
then in college, the usual trouble of the too clever and too
handsome Jew--high-hatted by the stupidest, drabbest, meanest
Yankees and Middle-westerners--they looked down on him, just the
way a dray-horse might look down on a fine race-horse.  Poor
Arnold!  Of course I was touched by so proud a person as he CARING
to tell me about his real self."

"Fran!  You don't suppose that this is the first time your Mr.
Israel has used the neglected-childhood approach?  And apparently

"Are you AGAIN hinting that I fell for him?"

"I am!  It's rather important to know!  Did you?"

"Well, then--yes.  I did."


"And I'm proud of it! I couldn't, once--under your heavy-handed
tutelage, my dear Samuel!--have believed it possible to be an
'erring wife'!  What blind hypocrites people are!  And when it did
happen, it all seemed so right, so natural and sweet--"

While she raced on he was incredulously admitting that this
abominable thing, this newspaper-headline, divorce-court,
sensational-novel degradation had actually happened to him--to her--
to Emily and Brent.  He had a fascinated desire to know details.
He pictured this Arnold Israel, this black leopard of a man--no,
too big for a black leopard, but that sort of gracefulness--
returning to her Deauville hotel with her, shirt open at his too
smooth throat--no, he'd be coming home with her in evening clothes,
probably with a cape thrown back.  He'd accompany her to her room
at the hotel in Deauville; whisper, "Just let me come in for one
good-night kiss."  Then Fran became real.  Since he had arrived,
Sam's eyes had seen her but cloudily, his ears had heard her only
as a stranger.  Now he peered at her, was conscious of her, in
black and silver, conscious of the curve from shoulder to breast;
and he was raging at the thought of Israel.

All his long thinking and his wrath slid by in five seconds and he
had not missed a word as she panted:

"You think it's an overwhelming attack on Arnold to suggest that
he's used the same tactics before!  Of course he has--of course
he's had other affairs--perhaps lots of them!  Thank Heaven for
that!  He's had some training in the arts of love.  He understands
women.  He doesn't think they're merely business partners.  Let me
tell you, my dear Samuel, it would be better for you, and for me
both, if you'd devoted a little of your valuable time to the
despised art of rousing a woman to some degree of romantic passion--
if you'd given some of the attention you've lavished on
carburetors to me--and possibly even to other women--I suppose you
have been what is called 'faithful' to me since our marriage."

"I have!"

"Well, doubtless I ought to be highly gratified--"

"Fran!  Do you want to marry this fellow Israel?"

"Heavens no! . . .  Anyway, I don't think so."

"And yet you want to see him every day this fall."

"That's different.  But not marry him.  He's too much like plum
cake--wonderful at a Christmas feast, but he'd bring indigestion.
For a permanent diet I'd prefer good, honest, dependable bread--
which you are--please don't think that's insulting; it's really a
great compliment.  No!  Besides, he doesn't want to!  I doubt if
he'd care for any one woman for more than six months.  Oh, I
believe him when he says that he's almost morbidly faithful to the
one woman while it lasts, but--"

"Has he got a wife some place?"

"I don't think so.  I don't know!  Heavens!  Does it matter?"

"It may!"

"Oh, don't try to be melodramatic!  It doesn't suit your Strong
Calm Manly type!  Anyway, Arnold wouldn't marry me, because I'm not
a Jew.  He's just as proud of being a Jew as you are of being a
Nordic.  He ought to be!  He's more or less related to the
Mendelssohns and the Rothschilds and all kinds of really
significant people.  A cousin of his in Vienna--"

"Fran!  Have you any idea how serious this business is?"

"Well, rather more than you have, perhaps!"

"I doubt it!  Fran, you'll either marry him or cut him out,
absolutely and completely."

"My dear Samuel, he might have something to say about that!  He's
not one of your meek Revelation secretaries.  And I won't be

"Yes, you will!  For the first time!  God knows you're getting off
easy.  Oh, I'm not the kind that would grab a shotgun and start off
to get you and your lover--"

"Well, I should hope not!"

"Don't be so sure!  I could turn that way, if you just went on long
enough!  No, I'm not that kind, especially.  But, by God, I'm still
less of the complaisant husband who's going to sit around and watch
his wife entertain her lover, as you've planned to, this fall--"

"I haven't admitted that I plan to do any--"

"You've admitted it and more!  Now you'll either come away and
travel with me, and chuck this fellow and forget him, or I'll
divorce you--for adultery!"


"Worse than that!  Horrible!  You can imagine how Brent and Emily
will feel!"

Very slowly:  "Sam, I never till this moment suspected that--I knew
you were stupid and heavy and slow and fond of vulgar people, but I
never knew you were simply a bullying rotten cad!  No one has ever
spoken so to me in all my life!"

"I know it.  I've baby'd you.  You regard yourself, young woman, as
the modern American, with fancy European improvements.  But I'm a
lot more modern than you are.  I'm a builder.  I don't have to
depend on any title or clothes or social class or anything else to
be distinctive.  And you've never seen it!  You've just lambasted
me because I AM slow and clumsy, till you've stolen every bit of
self-confidence I have.  You've been the traitor to me in my own
home.  Criticizing!  Not nagging, but just enjoying yourself by
being so sweet and superior to me and humbling me.  That was worse
than your affair with this Israel."

"Oh, I haven't done that!  Oh, I didn't mean to!  I respect you

"Do you respect me when you want me to sit around and be valet to
your lover!"

"Oh no, no, no, I--Oh, I can't think clearly.  I'm all confused.
I--Yes, if you want, we'll leave for Spain tomorrow."

They did.


Since the days of Alexander the Great there has been a fashionable
belief that travel is agreeable and highly educative.  Actually, it
is one of the most arduous yet boring of all pastimes and, except
in the case of a few experts who go globe-trotting for special
purposes, it merely provides the victim with more topics about
which to show ignorance.  The great traveler of the novelists is
tall and hawk-nosed, speaking nine languages, annoying all right-
thinking persons by constantly showing drawing-room manners.  He
has "been everywhere and done everything."  He has shot lions in
Siberia and gophers in Minnesota, and played tennis with the King
at Stockholm.  He can give you a delightful evening discoursing on
Tut's tomb and the ethnology of the Maoris.

Actually, the great traveler is usually a small mussy person in a
faded green fuzzy hat, inconspicuous in a corner of the steamer
bar.  He speaks only one language, and that gloomily.  He knows all
the facts about nineteen countries, except the home-lives, wage-
scales, exports, religions, politics, agriculture, history and
languages of those countries.  He is as valuable as Baedeker in
regard to hotels and railroads, only not so accurate.

He who has seen one cathedral ten times has seen something; he who
has seen ten cathedrals once has seen but little; and he who has
spent half an hour in each of a hundred cathedrals has seen nothing
at all.  Four hundred pictures all on a wall are four hundred times
less interesting than one picture; and no one knows a cafe till he
has gone there often enough to know the names of the waiters.

These are the laws of travel.

If travel were so inspiring and informing a business as the new
mode of round-the-world-tour advertisements eloquently sets forth,
then the wisest men in the world would be deck hands on tramp
steamers, Pullman porters, and Mormon missionaries.

It is the awful toil which is the most distressing phase of travel.
If there is anything worse than the aching tedium of staring out of
car windows, it is the irritation of getting tickets, packing,
finding trains, lying in bouncing berths, washing without water,
digging out passports, and fighting through customs.  To live in
Carlsbad is seemly and to loaf at San Remo healing to the soul, but
to get from Carlsbad to San Remo is of the devil.

Actually, most of those afflicted with the habit of traveling
merely lie about its pleasures and profits.  They do not travel to
see anything, but to get away from themselves, which they never do,
and away from rowing with their relatives--only to find new
relatives with whom to row.  They travel to escape thinking, to
have something to do, just as they might play solitaire, work
cross-word puzzles, look at the cinema, or busy themselves with any
other dreadful activity.

These things the Dodsworths discovered, though, like most of the
world, they never admitted them.

More than cathedrals or castles, more even than waiters, Sam
remembered the Americans he met along the way.  Writers speak
confidently, usually insultingly, of an animal called "the typical
American traveling abroad."  One might as well speak of "a typical
human being."  The Americans whom Sam encountered ranged from
Bostonian Rhodes scholars to Arkansas farmers, from Riviera tennis
players to fertilizer salesmen.

There were Mr. and Mrs. Meece from Ottumwa, Iowa, at a palm-
smothered hotel in Italy.  Mr. Meece had been a druggist for forty-
six years, and his wife looked like two apples set one on top the
other.  They plodded at sight-seeing all day long; they took things
exactly in the order in which the guide-book gave them; and they
missed nothing--art galleries, aquariums, the King Ludwig monument
in two shades of pink granite, or the site of the house in which
Gladstone spent two weeks in 1887.  If they enjoyed anything, they
did not show it.  But neither did they look bored.  Their
expressions showed precisely nothing.  They returned to the hotel
at five daily, and always dined in the grill at six, and Mr. Meece
was allowed one glass of beer.  He was never heard to say anything
whatever to his wife except, "Well, getting late."

In the same hotel with them were the Noisy Pair: two New Yorkers
who at all hours were heard, widely heard, observing that all
Europeans were inefficient, that they could get no hot water after
midnight, that hotel prices were atrocious, that no revue in Europe
was as good as Ziegfeld's Follies, that they couldn't buy Lucky
Strike cigarettes or George Washington coffee in this doggone Wop
town, and that lil ole Broadway was good enough for THEM.

They were followed by other Americans:  Professor and Mrs. Whittle
of Northern Wisconsin Baptist University--Professor Whittle taught
Greek and knew more about stained glass and the manufacture of
Benedictine than any American living, and Mrs. Whittle had taken
her doctorate at Bonn on the philosophy of Spinoza but really
preferred fruit-ranching.  The Whittles were followed by Percy
West, the explorer of Yucatan; by Mr. Roy Hoops, who sold motor
tires; by Judge and Mrs. Cady of Massachusetts--the Cadys had lived
in the same house for five generations; by Mr. Otto Kretch and Mr.
Fred Larabee of Kansas City, two oil men who were on a golfing tour
of the world, to take three years; by the brass-bound heel-clicking
Colonel Thorne; by Mr. Lawrence Simton, who dressed like a lily and
spoke like a lady; by Miss Addy T. Belcher, who was collecting
material for a new lecture trip on foreign politics and finance and
who, off stage, resembled a chorus girl; and by Miss Rose Love, the
musical comedy star, who off stage resembled a short-sighted school

Typical Americans!

Sam never lost the adventurousness of seeing on a railway car a
sign promising that the train was going from Paris to Milan,
Venice, Trieste, Zagreb, Vinkovci, Sofia and Stamboul.  Though he
became weary of wandering, so that one museum was like another, so
that when he awoke in the morning it took a minute to remember in
what country he was, yet the names of foreign towns always beckoned

To Avignon, they wandered, to San Sebastian and Madrid and Toledo
and Seville.  To Arles, Carcassonne, Marseilles, Monte Carlo.  To
Genoa, Florence, Sienna, Venice, with two months divided between
Naples and Rome and a jaunt to Sicily.  To Vienna, Budapest,
Munich, Nuremberg.  And so, late in April, they came to Berlin.

Sam might not tell of it when he went home, nor years later
remember it, but he found that to him the real characteristic of
Making a Foreign Tour had nothing to do with towers or native
costumes, galleries or mountain scenery.  It was the tedium of
almost every hotel, almost every evening, when they had completed
their chore of sight-seeing.  There was "nothing to do in the
evening" save occasional movies, or cafes if they were not too far
from the hotel in the foreign and menacing darkness.

Every evening the same.  Back to the hotel, weary, a grateful cup
of tea, and slow dressing.  They never dared, after trying it once,
to go down to dinner in tweeds and be stared at by the English
tourists of the pay-in-guineas classes as though they were
polluting the dining-room.

A melancholy cocktail in the bar.  Dinner, always the same--white
and gold dining-room, suavely efficient black-haired captain of
waiters pulling out their chairs, a clear soup of parenthetic
flavor, a fish not merely white but blanched, chicken with gloomy
little carrots, creme caramel, cheese and fruit.  The same
repressed and whispering fellow-diners: the decayed American mother
in silver with the almost equally decayed daughter in gold, staring
pitifully at the large lone Englishman; the young intellectual
Prussian honeymoon couple, pretending to read and ignore each
other, and the fat mature Bavarian couple, wanting to be cheery but
not daring.  The aged Britons--he with a spurt of eyebrows and
positive opinions on artichokes and the rate of exchange; she
always glaring over her glasses at you if you laughed or asked the
head-waiter about trains to Grasse.  The vicar of the local English
church, moistly friendly, the one person who came and spoke to you
but who, by his manner of inquiring after your health, made you
feel guilty because you weren't going to his service next Sunday.

Then the real tedium.

Sitting till ten in the lounge, listening to an orchestra mildly
celebrating the centenary of Verdi, reading an old Tauchnitz,
peeping up uneasily as you felt more and more the tightening of
personal ties with these too well-known, too closely studied

It was worse when the hotel was half empty and the desert of
waiting chairs in the lounge looked so lonely.

Always the same, except in a few cities with casinos and cabarets
and famous restaurants--the same in Florence and Granada, in Hyeres
and Dresden.

Every evening after such a siege of boredom Sam guiltily inquired
of himself why they hadn't gone out and looked at what was called
the "Native Life" of the city--at the ways of that inconspicuous
99/100 of the population whom tourists ignored.  But--Oh, they'd
tried it.  It wasn't a matter of dark-alley dangers; he would
rather have liked a fight in a low bar.  But foreign languages, the
need of ordering a drink or asking a taxi fare in Italian or
Spanish, was like crawling through a hedge of prickly thorns.  And
to go anywhere in dress clothes save to tourist-ridden restaurants
was to be tormented by stares, comments, laughter.  The frankness
with which these Italians stared at Fran--

No, easier to stay in the hotel.

Once in a fortnight Sam was able to let himself be picked up in the
bar by some American or English blade, and then he glowed and
talked beamingly of motors, of Ross Ireland.  And Fran welcomed and
was gracious with such rescuers . . . whatever she said in the
bedroom afterward about manners and vulgarity.

But it thrust them together, this aching tedium of marooned
evenings, and they were often tender.

And Fran was getting tired of the isolation of travel.  He gloated
that before long, now, she would be content to go home with him, to
STAY, and at last, fed up on the syrupy marshmallows of what she
had considered Romance, to become his wife.

Twilight in Naples, and from their room at Bertolini's they looked
across the bay.  The water and the mountains in the water were the
color of smoke, and a few little boats, far out, were fleeing home
before dark.  In the garden below them the fronds of a palm tree
waved slowly, and lemon trees exhaled an acrid sweetness.  The
lights at the foot of Vesuvius were flickering steel points.  Her
hand slipped into his and she whispered, "I hope the boats get
safely home!"  They stood there till palms and sea had vanished and
they could see only the lights of Naples.  Some one afar was
singing "Sant Lucia."  Sam Dodsworth did not know the song was

"Tee--ta--tah, tee de dee, tee--ta--tah, taaaa--da," he hummed.
Italy and Fran!  The Bay of Naples!  And they would go on--to sun-
bright isles, to the moon-hushed desert, pagoda bells, and home!
"Tee--ta--tah, tee de dee--Santaaaaa Lucia!"  He had won her back
to be his wife!

"And they still sing that horrible grind-organ garbage!  Let's go
eat," she said.

He startled and sighed.

They were again companions, as they had been in their first days of
Paris, and sometimes they had whole afternoons that were gay,
trusting, filled with the vigor of laughter and long walks.  They
had again the sweetness of depending on each other.  But Sam was
conscious that their relationship had become self-conscious.

Much of the time Fran was straining to be friendly.  Getting into a
rut of it, they quarreled more often over tinier things.

He knew that he had bruised her, humiliated her, by his bullying in
Paris, but he could not, in all his hours of agonizing about it,
see what else he could have done.  He tried to win her with little
gifts of flowers, of odd carved boxes, and he fretted over her
being chilly at night, hot at noon, tired in galleries, till she
wailed, "Oh, don't FUSS so!  I'm all RIGHT!"

"If I could only do things naturally and easily, the way that
fellow Israel probably does," he sighed to himself . . . and
fancied that she was sighing.

He caught himself being critical.  For all his "trying to make it
up to her," as he put it, he was testily aware of certain
childishnesses in her which he had ignored.

In the matter of money she was a brat.  She talked, always, of her
thoughtfulness about economy; of jewing down a milliner from a
thousand francs to seven hundred, of doing without a personal maid.
But she took it for granted that they should have the best suite in
the best hotel in every town, and she so used the floor maid and
the hair-dresser and so had to tip them that a personal maid would
have been cheaper.

Sam would have liked to economize a little.  He still brooded on
the Sans Souci Gardens--though he never subjected his dream to her
brisk ridicule, for he guessed what she would say about the idiocy
of Italian palaces in Zenith.  If he could ever coax her back, he
would try the gamble of building (if she permitted him!), and in it
he could use all the capital he had.

But he never spoke to her of money, and she never suggested that an
ordinary room would do them as well as the royal suite, and if she
made any comment at all it was only on the inferiority of that

For hours at a time he assured himself of Fran's beauty,
gracefulness, wit, and her knowledge of European languages and
customs.  He convinced himself--except in Venice, when they were
with Mrs. Cortright.

Edith Cortright had been born in Michigan, daughter of a banker
who became Secretary of the Treasury of the United States.  In
Washington she had married Cecil R. A. Cortright of the British
Embassy, and gone with him to the Argentine, to Portugal, to Rome,
to Roumania, where he was minister, and on many vacations home to
England.  She was about the age of Fran, fortyish, and she had been
a widow now for three years, wandering from England to Italy and
back.  A note from Jack Starling, Tub Pearson's nephew in London,
sent her to call on the Dodsworths at the Danieli in Venice, and
she invited them to tea at her flat, a floor of the Ascagni Palace;
echoing rooms, stone floored, with tall windows on the Grand Canal,
with the light from a marble fireplace on chests of smoky walnut
and vast tables worn satiny with age.

Sam was at first not vastly taken with Edith Cortright.  She was
abrupt as she talked of diplomats, of villas on the Riviera, of
Roman society, of painting.  She was dressed in soft black, worn a
little sloppily, and she was pale.  But he saw how lovely her hands
were, and realized that her quiet voice was soothing.  He guessed
that her intense eyes missed nothing.

Fran played up to Mrs. Cortright.  She too talked of diplomats, she
too had notions about villas and society and painting, and on their
way home she informed Sam that her Italian accent was MUCH better
than Mrs. Cortright's.  Suddenly, though resenting his own
criticism as though some one else were daring to make it, he felt
that Fran knew considerably less than he--and she--had always
assumed.  Her Italian!  She knew a hundred words!  Villas!  They'd
never seen a Riviera villa from a more intimate position than the
outside wall!

He reflected that Fran had an unsurpassed show-window display but
not much on the shelves inside.

Then he was angry with himself; then he pitied her; then loved her
for her childish shrillness of make-believe, her eagerness to be
noticed and admired.

He wished they were going to see more of Mrs. Cortright.  He felt
that she really belonged to this puzzling, reticent thing called
Europe and that she might make it clear to him.

Sam was surprised, felt rather guilty, to find that he was becoming
more a master of the nervous art of travel than Fran.  In Paris she
had been supreme; had taken to language and manners and food
hectically, while he stood outside.  And she still insisted that he
couldn't understand Italian waiters and shopping and lace shawls
and cathedrals as she could.  But while she was daily becoming more
uncertain, he was daily developing more of a sure purpose in

He was going back to make some such a "development" as the Sans
Souci Gardens, and contemplating it he was becoming conscious
that there was such a thing as architecture.  Details that once
he would never have noticed became alive: hand-wrought iron
balconies, baroque altars, tiled roofs, window shutters, copper
pans in kitchens seen from the street.  He began, shyly keeping
it from Fran, to sketch doorways.  He began, in the evenings of
hotel tedium, to read stray notes on architecture--guide-book
introductions, articles in copies of Country Life found in the
hotel--instead of news-stand detective stories.

It made him increasingly eager to be out each morning and to see
new things, to collect knowledge; and somehow, increasingly, it was
he who planned where they should go, he who was willing to confer
with concierges and guides, and it was Fran who followed him.

The contrast between Fran and Mrs. Cortright kept annoying him.  He
was not very well pleased to see that after twenty four years of
living with Fran he had not in the least come to know her.

Always, particularly when they had first come abroad, he had
considered her clearly superior to other American women.  Most of
these others, he had grunted to himself, were machines.  They
sobbed about babies and dressmakers and nothing else.  They were
either hard-voiced and suspicious, or gushing.  Their only emotion
was a hatred of their men, with whom they joyously kept up a cat
and mouse feud, trying to catch them at flirtation, at poker-
playing.  But Fran, he had gloated, had imagination and flair and
knowledge.  She talked of politics and music; she laughed; she told
excited stories; she played absurd pleasant games--he was the big
brown bear and she the white rabbit; he was the oak and she the
west wind who ruffled his foliage--and she did it, too, until he
begged mercy.  She never entered a drawing-room--she made an
entrance.  She paused at the door, dramatic, demanding, stately in
simple black and white, where other women hesitated into a room,
fussy and tawdry.  And they glowered, those other women, when Fran
gathered in the men and was to be heard talking with derisive
gaiety about tennis, Egyptian excavations, Bolshevism--everything
in the world.

He had been so proud of her!

And in Paris, at first--how different her devouring of French life
from the flatness of the American women whom he heard in
restaurants croaking, in tinny, Midwestern voices, "Mabel says she
knows a place in Paris where she can buy Ivory Soap, but I've found
one where I can get Palm Olive Soap for seven cents a cake!"

Ah, he had rejoiced, not of these was his Fran--swift silver
huntress, gallant voyager, shrewd critic, jubilant companion!

And now, however he cursed himself for it, he could not down the
wonder whether she really was any of these poetic things--whether
she didn't merely play at them.  He could never root out suspicion,
planted when he had read her letter about Deauville and Arnold
Israel, that she was in heart and mind and soul an irresponsible
child.  And the minute he was pleased with the bright child quality
in her, the irresponsibility annoyed him. . . .  Bobbing at
cherries is not so pretty a sport at forty-three.

A child.

Now she was ecstatic--a little too demandingly ecstatic for his
unwieldiness to follow her--over a moonlit sea, a tenor solo, or a
masterpiece of artichoke cookery.  Half an hour later she was in
furious despair over a hard bed, a lukewarm bath, or a missing
nail-file; and Sam was always to blame, and decidedly was to be
told about it.  He was to blame if it rained, or if they could not
get a table by the window in a restaurant; it was not her tardy
dressing but his clumsiness in ordering a taxi which made them late
for the theater.

She was a child in her way of preening herself over every attractive
man who looked interestedly at her along the journey--now that she
had been converted to salvation by passion.  And she was equally a
child in laughing at, in forgetting, the older and less glittering
men who were kind to them on trains and friendly at hotels.  She
forgot so easily!

Sam was certain that she had forgotten Arnold Israel.  He identified
certain Paris letters, with a thick, black, bold script, as
Israel's.  At first she was jumpy and secretive about them; then,
in a month, she let them lie unopened.  And once, apropos of a
gesticulating operatic baritone, she began making fun of Israel's
ardors. . . .  He would almost have been gladder, Sam sighed, if
she had enough loyalty to remember Arnold longer.

She was lovely quicksilver, but quicksilver is hard for a thick
hand to hold.

A child!

He noted, too, her pretentiousness when she was with people like
Mrs. Cortright.  Fran let it be known that she herself was of
importance.  She rebuked people who--never having seen her before--
failed to know that she was an expert at tennis, French and good
manners.  She didn't exactly say it, but she spoke as though ruddy
old Herman Voelker, her respectable sire, had been at least a
baron, and she was forever laughing at this fellow-traveler as
being "common" and approving that other as being of "quite a good
family--quite decent."  She was like a child boasting to a playmate
of her father's wealth.

But he felt it with a brooding pity that made him the fonder--made
it the harder for him to fight his way free from her capricious
domination of his life.

So, after months given more to exploring themselves than to
exploring Europe, they came in April to Berlin.


The good Herr Rechtsanwalt Biedner was giving a dinner, at his flat
just off the Tiergarten, to his second cousin, Fran Dodsworth, and
to Fran's husband.  Herr Dr. Biedner was very Prussian, with close-
cropped head, small eyes, hard jaw, and sausage rolls at the back
of his neck, and he was probably the kindest and pleasantest man
the Dodsworths had ever met, and the most international-minded.

Now, in the spring of 1927, Berlin looked prosperous again; also
Herr Biedner had an excellent law practise, and his home was as
thick with comfort as a coffee cake with sugar.  In the hallway was
an armoire of carved oak, and the horns of a stag; in the living-
room, about a monumental stove of green porcelain, was a perfect
auction-room of old easy chairs, and what seemed like hundreds of
portraits of the Kaiser, Bismarck, Von Moltke, Beethoven, and Bach
clustered behind the grand piano.

Sam was edified to discover that a porcelain stove really could
heat a room, and that the pianist of the family was not Frau
Biedner or some unrevealed daughter but Herr Biedner himself,
though he seemed to be a perfectly worthy and successful lawyer.
He was also gratified by the sight of three wine glasses at each
plate, and of slim green bottles of Deidesheimer Auslese, 1921.

But the conversation appalled him.

They were so kind, these half dozen German business men and their
wives whom Herr Biedner had assembled to greet his American
cousins, and they all spoke English.  But they talked of things
which meant nothing in the world to Sam--of the Berlin theater, of
the opera, of a Kokoschka Austellung, of Stresemann's speech at the
League of Nations Council, of the agrarian situation in Upper

"Golly, this is going to be heavy going," sighed Sam.  "I wish
somebody would tell a funny story."

And with weighty politeness he answered the weightily polite
queries of the woman next him:  Was this his first trip to Germany?
Was he going to stay long in Berlin?  Was it really true that since
Prohibition it was difficult to get wine in America?

The one light was the man beside Fran at dinner.  With apparent
gratification, Biedner had introduced him as Count Obersdorf,
taking Sam aside to explain that Kurt von Obersdorf was the present
head of one of the greatest Austrian families.  His ancestors had
owned castles, towns, thousands of acres, whole counties; they had
had power of life and death; kings had bargained for their support.
But the family had steadily grown poor the past two hundred years,
and been finally ruined by the Great War, in which the Graf Kurt
had served as major of Austrian artillery.  Though his mother kept
up a pretense of state, with two slew-footed peasant servants in a
ruined old house in the Salzkammergut, Kurt was working in the
Berlin bureau of the Internation Tourist Agency (the famous
I.T.A.).  He could not afford to marry.  He had a reasonable
salary; he was head of the I.T.A.'s banking department; but he had
to "punch the time-clock," said Herr Dr. Biedner, obviously proud
of this Americanism.  "He is a fine sport about it.  And he uses
not much his title.  His ancestors probably hanged my ancestors for
shooting rabbits, but now he is like one of us here in my
household, and he says that nowhere else in Berlin can he get a
proper Suppe mit Leberknodel."

Being impressed by the title of count and by a vision of hard-
riding ancestors in armor, Sam assured himself that he wasn't in
the least impressed by title or ancestors, and he studied the
family hero attentively.

Kurt von Obersdorf was perhaps forty.  He was a tall, loose, lively
man, with thick black hair.  He had dignity enough, but he was full
of laughter, and you felt that by choice he would like to be a
clown.  He made love to every woman and made friends with every
man.  Fran blushed when he kissed her hand, and Sam felt less
disconsolate, less swamped by foreigners, when Kurt shook his hand
and babbled in an Oxford accent with occasional tumbles into comic-
paper diction, "I know so much about your Revelation car.  Herr Dr.
Biedner tells me you were responsible for it.  I am enchanted to
see you here in Berlin.  Since six years I have driven a
Revelation, the same car, it belongs to a friend, it is very shabby
but the other day I drove it to Wild Park at a hundred and fifty
kilometers an hour.  I was arrested!"

Kurt demanded to see the Biedner grand-child (rather a nasty child,
Sam thought, but Kurt chittered at it boisterously); then he played
the piano; then he mixed the cocktails which Herr Biedner regarded
as suitable to Americans and which the good burgher guests tasted
with polite and beaming anxiety.

"Lively fellow, that count.  Shows off too much.  Never sits
still," Sam meditated, with a sound American disapproval of foreign
monkey-tricks, and all the while he liked Kurt better than any one
he had met since Paris.

All through dinner, Kurt concentrated on Fran.

Sam became restive as he overheard Kurt dashingly tell Fran just
what her "type" was, and cheerfully insult her by announcing what
he liked and what he detested about that type.

"Yes," Sam caught, "you regard yourself as very European, Mrs.
Dodsworth, but you are altogedder American.  You are brilliant.
You are an automobile's head-light.  You learn quick.  But you
hurry right out and use all you learn.  You never have fun out of
not letting anybody know you know something.  You are very
beautiful.  I suppose, especial, you have the most beautiful hair
I ever have seen.  But you would be discontented if there came
anybody who did not--wie sagt man?--who did not acknowledge it.
You are a play--author and heroine and actor, every one together.
A great play.  But you could never just cook for some man."

"Why should I?" demanded Fran.

It came to Sam that he had heard this before.

Major Lockert, telling Fran about herself, delighting her by
talking about her, stirring her to a desire for men who desired

Yes.  Lockert had started this biological process which had set
Fran alight, changed her into something altogether different from
the Fran who had sailed with him--Or had he?  Perhaps her first
romance had uncovered the real, the essential Fran, whom neither he
nor herself had known in the chill polite years of Zenith.

Damn Lockert!

And that aviator fellow, that Italian, Gioserro, had carried on the
process.  Damn Gioserro!

And Arnold Israel had really broken the delicate coating of ice
over her.  Damn Arnold Israel!

And now Kurt von Obersdorf, a man who could laugh, was going to
lure her--Oh, damn Kurt!

Or should he damn Fran instead?  Fran to whom life was a fashion-

Or damn the Sam Dodsworth who had thought carburetors more
fascinating than the souls and bodies of women?

Anyway, he wouldn't have another Arnold Israel affair.  Nipitinthebud.
Certainly would!

He worked up a good sound rage at Kurt von Obersdorf, and had it
ruined the moment Kurt came to him, with Fran in tow, after dinner.

"Mr. Dodsworth," said Kurt, "I have behaved outrageously to your
wife.  She thinks I have insulted her because I say that she is
only making believe when she thinks herself European--she is
lovely, really, because she IS American!  But I am so pro-American!
I admire all things American so much--huge buildings and central
heating and adding-machines and Fords.  Can I please take you about
Berlin?  I would be very happy!"

"Oh, we mustn't trouble you."

"But it would be a pleasure!  Your cousins, the Biedners, they were
so very kind to me when I first came from Vienna, and I have had so
little chance to repay.  And the Herr Doctor is so busy with legal
t'ings--aber fabelhaft!  I have much more time.  Let me have the
pleasure of doing something for the Herr Doctor!"

But from the way in which Kurt looked at Fran, Sam wondered if he
might not have a livelier reason.

"Tomorrow--Sunday--are you free?  May I take you out to a funny
place for lunch?"

"That would be very kind of you," Sam said unenthusiastically.

"Splendid!  I call for you at twelve."

Their suite in the Hotel Adlon looked on the eighteenth-century
Pariser Platz, smacking of royal coaches and be-wigged footmen, and
beyond the Branderburger Tor, at the end of Unter den Linden, they
could see the thick woods and little paths of the Tiergarten.  This
Sunday morning, after the party at Herr Biedner's, was flooded with
spring, such exultant and surprised reawakening as only Northern
cities know.  Sam bullied Fran out of bed at eight-thirty, whistled
while he shaved, devoured eggs in defiance of Fran's daily
objection to American breakfasts in Europe (but she always managed
to eat them if they were ordered for her), and lured her into the
Tiergarten.  The statues of portentous armored Hohenzollerns along
the Sieges Allee they admired--neither of them had yet been
properly told that the statues were vulgar and absurd--and they
followed paths beside brooks, over little bridges, along a lake, to
the Coney Island minarets which leered at them over the wall about
the Zoo.  Quite lost, they rounded the Zoo, stumbled on the
Braustubl and had a second breakfast of Rostwurstchen and Munich
beer thick as molasses.  After the more languid airs of Italy,
their northern blood was roused by the spring breeze, and they came
back to the Adlon chattering, smiling, content, just in time to
meet Graf Obersdorf in the Adlon lobby.

He bounced toward them as though he had known them a dozen years.
"It is a good thing that I shall take you away today!  It is such a
beautiful weather and if you are not dragged off where you can only
loaf, then conscientious tourists like you would go see museums and
palaces and all kind of dreadful things!"

"I am NOT a conscientious tourist!" protested Fran.

Kurt shook his head.  With his experience at the Internation
Tourist Agency, he could not imagine an American who was not a
collector of sights, who did not work at travel as though it were a
tournament with the honors to the person who could last out the
largest number of museums.  He was as convinced that all Americans
mark down credits for themselves in their Baedekers as are
Americans that all Germans drink beer every evening.

He called a taxi.  Sam was rather glad that Kurt had not wasted
money on an apparently private limousine.  If he were going to the
country by himself, Sam fancied, Kurt would go quite gaily in a
motor 'bus, and be friendly with the driver before they got there.
Already he had seen Kurt plunge into lively conversations with the
Adlon concierge, the news-stand man, two pages, and the taxi-
driver; and most of the way out to the rustic haven disastrously
named Pichelsberg, Kurt told riotously of how frightened he had
been all through the war, of how he had been captured by a very
small Italian with a very large rifle, and of how he had won a
debate about the plays of Pirandello with the Italian major who had
him in for questioning.

The driver stopped by the road to tighten the fan-belt, and Kurt
skipped out to watch him.

"Kind of like an American, this fellow--this count," said Sam.
"Got a sense of humor, and don't take himself too seriously."

"Oh no, it's a very different thing," Fran insisted.  "He's
completely European.  Americans are humorous to cover up their
worry about things.  They think that what they do is immediately
important and the world is waiting for it.  The real European has a
sense of a thousand years of ancestors like himself behind him; he
knows that his love affairs or his politics or his tragedies aren't
very different from a hundred that have gone before.  And they
aren't so violently ambitious for success--they want to fit into
life as they find it rather than to move it about--and they'd rather
retire to a little cottage hidden among trees than to build a big
stucco house on a hill for strangers to admire.  Count Obersdorf
doesn't take himself seriously--but he takes Obersdorfs in general
and Austrians in general and Europe in general seriously.  And he IS
rather a lamb, isn't he!  I'll be glad, though, when he feels easier
with us and becomes his own real thoughtful self--when he understands
that we're not his 'conscientious tourists'--imagine!--but the sort

"Yeah, nice fella," said Sam.

He was irritated by her self-election to superiority; he was
bothered by her desire to have this new suitor consider her
superior.  When Kurt had scrambled back into the taxi she looked at
him as fondly, as though he were a bright boy whom she wanted to

Sam sighed.

They left the taxicab at a path leading into thick scrub pines, and
in the lazy warm day they ambled over pine needles to a shining
river, the Havel, and along it to an immense waste of outdoor
restaurant, the Erster Schildhorn, a block of tables set under
trees by the river, attended by hysterically flying waiters.  For
all the haste of the waiters, it took a full hour and a half to
lunch.  And they liked it.  In the spell of spring air, of rustling
water, of good heavy stultifying food, they grew relaxed, content
to sit and drink beer forever, to forget cities and hotel lobbies
and motors and the social items in the New York Herald.  Marinierte
Herring and beer--noodle soup and beer--ham knuckle and butter-
dripping mashed potatoes and beer--Apfel Strudel and whipped cream
and coffee--the stolid Sam, the fiery Fran, the mercurial Kurt,
they all gorged equally, and sat in the sun by the water, in a
pleasant and anti-social coma, so deep a coma that Fran and Kurt
did not talk and Sam was only mildly aroused by the fabulous
spectacle of a man solemnly riding out on the Havel in a boat
propelled like a bicycle, sausage legs revolving--a procedure as
sacrilegious to Sam as rowing an automobile.

Without inquiring their desires--he was always a benevolent despot
of a host--Kurt led them, when their eyes were cleared of the haze
of food, on a walk of miles along the river and into Potsdam.

Here, Kurt explained, lived a small colony of the old Junkers, the
court circle of before-the-war, ex-ministers and generals and their
proud ladies, dispossessed by the republic.  He was taking them to
tea at the house of his aunt, the old Princess Drachenthal, whose
husband, killed by the misery of the war which he had labored to
prevent, had been an ambassador.

"The Crown Prince often comes in for tea.  You will like my aunt.
She is a dear old thing," said Kurt.

"Speak English?" Sam muttered uneasily.

Kurt looked at him curiously.  "She was brought up in England.  Her
mother was the daughter of the Duke of Wessex."

Sam marched on tireless.  Fran, in coat and skirt smart as a
cavalry uniform, walked with the swift nervousness of a tennis
player, while Kurt loped ahead and behind and to the side like an

They passed country houses, square blocks of white, set in immense
lawns; they passed beer gardens, festive and vocal; and came to the
decorous gray flat-fronted houses of Potsdam, sedate as Gramercy
Park or a crescent in Bath.  It was a clean, homelike, secure kind
of country, and Sam found himself liking its orderliness better
than the romantic untidiness of Italy.  And found himself not only
liking but feeling at one with the Germans.

He still had a war psychosis.  He had expected to find in Germany
despotic and "sabre-clanking" officials and hateful policemen; had
worked up an adequate rage in anticipation.  He was nearly
disappointed when he found the customs officials friendly, when he
asked questions of a Berlin policeman and was answered with a
salute and directions in English, and when their room waiter at
the Adlon remembered having seen them at the Blackstone Hotel
in Chicago!  Now he admitted that in all of Europe, however
interesting other nationals, however merry the Italians and keen
the French, he found only the British and the Germans his own sort
of people.  With them alone could he understand what they thought,
how they lived, and what they wanted of life.

He liked this Sunday stream of Berliners on excursion--vast
families with babies and rye bread and pickles and cold ham; eager
young men and girls, hatless, the cropped girls rather masculine as
far down as the neck but thoroughly feminine below; and occasional
strayed Bavarians faithful to green hats with feathers and deer-
horn ornaments, green jackets, green leather shorts, and rucksacks--
the rucksacks not necessarily containing anything but a handkerchief,
since to a true Bavarian a rucksack is worn not so much for portage
as for elementary modesty; as some races conceal the face and some
the chest so the Bavarians conceal the small of the back.

Fran protested against the infrequency of "native costumes"; she
pointed out that despite the occasional Bavarians, most of these
excursioners could not be told from a crowd in America.  But that,
after months of constantly eating the plum pudding of novelty, was
precisely what Sam liked about them, and he was less homesick this
afternoon than for weeks; he developed a liking for Count
Obersdorf; he felt that the walk was "taking the kinks out of his
legs"; he was glad that Fran had a lively companion in Kurt; and he
came cheerfully up to the gloomy brown mansion of the Princess

She was a fragile old lady, like a porcelain cup, and she seemed
translucent as porcelain.  She called Fran "my dear," and she
welcomed Sam to Germany.  Apparently Kurt had telephoned about the
Dodsworths; she said that she was glad to have a "great American
industrialist" see Germany first hand.

"My poor stricken country needs the co-operation of America.  We
look to you--and if you do not give back the glance we shall have
to look to Russia."

She was apparently convinced that Sam had come in a limousine; she
asked whether he had sent his chauffeur round back for his tea; and
when she learned that Kurt and these visiting dignitaries had
actually lunched at a low Volk Lokal and walked into Potsdam, she
shook her head, as one not understanding.  There were so many
things the little old Princess did not understand in these machine-
devoured days, she who as a girl had known the security of an old
cow-smelling country house in Silesia and of a rose-red Tudor
mansion in Wiltshire, in a day when counts did not work in tourist
agencies, and America was a wilderness to which rebellious peasants
ran off, quite unaccountably and naughtily.  But there was the
reality of breeding in her, and she tried to understand this bulky
"great American industrialist" who was so silently pleasant, this
vivacious American woman with the marvelous ruffled blouse peeping
from her little blue jacket, the ageless American girl whose gay
poise reduced the Count Obersdorf to the position of rattle-headed

Sam perceived the worn elegance of the Princess, took pride in
Fran's deference, and found restfulness in the drawing-room, which
had very bad gilt chairs, an over-ornamented porcelain stove with
very bad plaques of bounding shepherdesses, very bad pictures of
stag-hunting and moonlight, far too many glass cases with Prince
Drachenthal's decorations, far too many faded cabinet photographs
of the '80's and '90's and yet, bad in all its details, was
suggestive of aristocratic generations.

A retired German general came in for tea, with a refugee Russian
colonel-baron, a Frau von Something who was apparently so
distinguished that no one thought of explaining her, and a handsome
fervent boy, the Princess's grand-son, who was taking his
examinations in law at the University of Bonn and who wanted, he
said, to go to America.  They were free of Renee de Penable's
pretentiousness, as simple as a group at Tub Pearson's, decided
Sam.  No, they were simpler, for Tub would have to be humorous for
the benefit of the ladies and gentlemen, no matter how it hurt.
Kurt von Obersdorf had dropped all of the slight skittishness into
which he fell when he pranced for Fran's benefit, and he was
discussing Bolshevism with the Russian ex-colonel.

They somehow lured Sam into talking.  He discovered himself being
eloquent about chrome steel and General Motors stock, while Fran,
in a corner, was deferentially lively with Princess Drachenthal.

"Sort of like coming home--no, it's more like coming home than
coming home will be, because Fran is satisfied here.  Oh, Lord,
WILL she be satisfied in Zenith when--Oh, quit fussing!  Course she
will!" reflected the inner Sam, while the outer Mr. Dodsworth
sagely informed them, "--and in my opinion the greatest fallacy in
world-marketing today is a competition between American, German,
French, English and Italian cars in South America, instead of all
of us combining to educate the South Americans to use more motors
and especially to help them to build more through highways that
would tap every square mile of the continent--"

He wondered why Fran had been uneasy, in Venice, with Edith
Cortright, when she was suavely at ease with Princess Drachenthal,
far more of a personage.

"Because she was jealous?  Because Mrs. Cortright, an American, has
a position and a flat in a palace and everything?  Or because she
felt Mrs. Cortright could catch her easier when she was bluffing?
No!  That's unfair!  Fran is no bluffer!  Look how lovely she is to
the old Princess, and how the Count and the General and everybody
falls for her!"

They rode back to Berlin in the train, rather quietly.  Sam hinted
that Kurt must have an engagement for the evening, but Kurt
protested, almost childishly, "Oh no!  Are you bored with me?  You
must let me take you to dinner!"

"Of course, we'd be ENCHANTED," said Fran, and Sam, prodded with a
look, achieved, "Mighty nice of you, Count."

"If you really like, I will show you a nice restaurant, and maybe
later--if you are not too tired, Madame--we could go a little while
to some place to dance.  You dance, I know, like an angel."

"Next to Carry Nation and Susan B. Anthony," said Fran gravely, "I
am probably the best dancer in America."

"They are famous dancers?" said Kurt.

"Yes, they're so good they're known in America as the Gold Dust
twins," explained Sam.

"Really?  And you dance like them, Madame?  I shall have to be very
good!" said Kurt.

While Fran dressed for dinner, Sam and Kurt had side-car cocktails
in the Adlon Bar.  Sam liked the scarlet Chinese Chippendale walls,
with little Burmese figures; the somewhat obese Bacchanalians in
the painting over the bar; the corners with settees comforting to a
drinking man; and the fact that here was one place in Europe where
no foreign language--i.e., any language save American, with traces
of English--was ever heard.

At the bar were always half a dozen of the American business men
stationed in Berlin--shipping-men, bankers, representatives of the
movies, and for the American journalists it was a club, where they
exchanged tips on Russia and Roumania, Breitscheid's coming speech
and the Zentrum Party's capture of the schools.

"I like this; I see myself sneaking in here pretty often," Sam
promised himself.

He forgot the bar in attention to Kurt's confidences.  He had never
known any one so frankly emotional about his friends as Kurt, nor
one so eager to be liked.

"Shall I be rude if I talk about Mrs. Dodsworth?" urged Kurt.  "She
is so lovely!  A kind of Arctic beauty, shining like ice.  And yet
so very warm-hearted and gracious and fun-ny.  And such gallantry--
an explorer--but very elegant--like in a Roman, with many bearers
and dressing for dinner in the jungle.  One feels she could do
anything she wanted to enough.  Forever young.  She is--perhaps
thirty-five?--one would say she was twenty-eight.  Our European
women are very gemutlich, they are easy to be with, they wait on
us, but not many among them have a sword-like quality like Mrs.
Dodsworth and such high spirits--Oh, I hope I am not rude!  She is
lucky to be accompany with a great red Indian like you--a chief,
sagt man?--who can guide and protect her!"

Sam made the most awkward sound--something between "Thanks" and
"Like hell!"

"As I said once, I admire America very much, and it is so kind of
you two to come and bummel with me!  And meet my friends."

"Kindness all yours, Count.  Good Lord!  Mighty nice of you to let
us meet such nice people as the Princess and--"

"Oh, don't call me 'Count.'  I am not a count--there aren't any
more counts--the republic has come to stay--I am just a clerk for
the I.T.A.!  If I am only something with a title, then I would
better be nothing!  I shall be glad if you call me 'Kurt.'  We
Austrians are almost like you Americans in our fondness to call by
the first name among people we like.  Yes."

"Well, that's mighty nice of you--"

Sam wished that he could warm up.  But he was conscious of waiting
for Fran--of Kurt's waiting.  He was annoyed at the prospect of
again being admitted as Fran's patient escort, as he had been in
Madame de Penable's gang.  Yet he felt that Kurt was honest in
professing admiration for both of them, and he forced himself to
sound amiable:

"I guess one of the things we Americans fool ourselves about is
claiming that we're the only really hospitable race in the world.
Don't believe any stranger in America ever was received in a more
friendly way than Mrs. Dodsworth and--than Fran and I have been
here and in England.  Mighty nice!"

Then Fran was upon them, in amethyst velvet, and with velvet she
had put on a patronizing grandeur.  The simple-hearted Kurt was
confused; it took him ten minutes to understand that she was not
showing displeasure in dropping her jollity, but merely playing a
different role.  Entreated to join them in a cocktail, she
condescended.  "It would be ever so amusing to have an aperitif in
the bar, but do you really think one COULD?"

"Oh yess, it is quite proper . . . almost!" Kurt begged.

Sam said nothing.  He had seen Fran enjoying too many drinks in too
many bars, and not calling them "aperitifs," either.

She was full of high life amid the upholstery and expensive food of
Horcher's, and she generously commended the Rheinlachs.  But
somehow she came out of it--somehow, sometime, Kurt began calling
her "Fran," and she admitted him with "Kurt"; she laughed without
admiring her own laughter, and, permitting them an entr'acte during
her personal drama of The Sophisticated American Lady Abroad, she
allowed them to be human and cheerful again.  Kurt talked, less
flamboyantly now, more naturally, and Sam realized that however
Kurt might insist that he was no nobleman now but only a tourist-
agency clerk, Kurt belonged to the once powerful of the earth and,
but for the war, would be magnificence in a castle.  His father had
been gentleman in waiting and friend to the Emperor, his great-
uncle, the field-marshal, had organized the war against Prussia,
and he himself, as a boy, had played with the Archduke Michael.

Sam wondered whether, however genuine his family, Kurt was one of
these fictitional adventurers who would be likely to borrow money,
and to introduce swindlers to a rustic from the Middle West.  He
rejected it.  No.  If he knew anything about people, this man was
honest, unselfishly fond of entertaining people.  And the Biedners
vouched for him, and to Fran's father, the canny old brewer, a
Biedner had been almost as beautiful and dependable and generally
Biblical as stock in a national bank.

Obviously Fran had no doubts whatever about Kurt von Obersdorf.  In
the glow of his stories about the frivolous days of old Vienna, she
forgot her own charms.  She consented when Kurt proposed that they
go to the Konigin and dance; she consented when he proposed that
they leave that decorative but packed haunt of the more sporting
Junkers and venture to the vulgar Cabaret von Vetter Kaspar.

The wit there was devoted chiefly to the water-closet, and Sam was
astonished to hear Fran shamelessly joining in Kurt's whooping
laughter.  Of course he laughed himself; but still--Well, this
fellow Obersdorf, he enjoyed things himself so much that he made
you feel like laughing at--well, at things that people didn't talk
about in Zenith, anyway not in mixed company--But still--

They came out of the cabaret at one in the morning.

"Now just one more place!" Kurt demanded.  "Such a place as I do
not think you will see in America.  Shrecklich!  Such curious men
hang out there and dance with one another.  but you must see it

"Oh, it's pretty late, Kurt.  I think we'd better be getting home,"
said Sam.  An evening of stories, and a bottle of champagne, had
warmed him to a point where it seemed natural to call Kurt by his
first name, but not to a point where he forgot the joys of a good
soft pillow.

"Yes, it IS late," said Fran, but vaguely.

"Oh no!" Kurt begged.  "Life is so short!  To waste it in sleeping!
And you are here a so small time.  Then you will wander on and
perhaps I shall never see you again!  Oh, you did enjoy today, did
you not?  We are good friends, nicht?  Let us not be serious!
Please!  Life is so short!"

"Oh, of course we'll come!" rippled Fran; and, though Sam grumbled
to himself, "Life'll be a damn' sight shorter if I don't get some
sleep once in a while!" he looked agreeable as they heaved
themselves into a taxicab.

Their new venture in restaurants was called "Die Neuste Ehe"--"The
Latest Style in Marriage"--and after two minutes' view of it, Sam
concluded that he preferred the old style.  Here, in a city in
which, according to the sentiment of the American comic weeklies,
all males were thick as pancakes and stolid as plow-horses, was a
mass of delicate young men with the voices of chorus girls, dancing
together and whispering in corners, young men with scarves of
violet and rose, wearing bracelets and heavy symbolic rings.  And
there was a girl in lavender chiffon--only from the set of her
shoulders Sam was sure that she was a man.

As they entered, the bartender, and a very pretty and pink-cheeked
bartender he was, waved his towel at them and said something in a
shrill playful German which Sam took to signify that Kurt was a
charming person worthy of closer acquaintance, that he himself was
a tower of steel and a glory upon the mountains.

It was new to Sam.

He stood gaping.  His fists half clenched.  The thick, reddish hair
on the back of his hands bristled.  But it was not belligerence he
felt--it was fear of something unholy.  He saw that Fran was
equally aghast; proudly he saw that she drew nearer his

Kurt looked at the jocund bartender; quickly he looked at Fran and
Sam; and he murmured, "This is a silly place.  Come!  Come!  We go
some place else!"

Already the manager was upon them, smirking, inviting them in two
languages to give up their wraps.  Kurt said something to him in a
rapid, hissing German--something that made the manager sneer and
back off--something so hateful and contemptuous that Sam reflected,
"This Kurt is quite a fellow, after all.  Wouldn't be such a bad
guy to have with you in a scrap!"

As Kurt lifted the heavy brocade curtain before the street door to
usher them out, the bartender, in a cat-call voice, shouted
something final.  Kurt's jaw tightened.  It was a good jaw-line.
But he did not turn and, out on the pavement, his face was full of
an apology that was almost suffering as he begged of Fran:

"I am so sorry.  I had never been there.  I had just heard of it.
I did not think they would be so dreadful.  Oh, you will never
forgive me!"

"But I didn't mind them!" Fran protested.  "I think it would have
been amusing to watch them, for a little while."

Kurt insisted, "Oh no, no, no!  Of course you were shocked!  Come!
There is another place I do know, over the street.  You will show
me you forgive me by coming--"

They danced till three, at which hour every one in the cafe was
sleepy except Kurt.  The orchestra went home and, to the cheers of
the grimly merry groups who were left slumbering over their
champagne, Kurt trotted forward and played the piano like a
vaudeville performer, and they all obediently awakened for the last
dregs of joviality.  A monocled officer-like German begged Fran to
dance, and Sam was able to snatch three minutes of secret sleep.

He was gratified when, after he had grumbled, "Now we've GOT to go
home," Fran and Kurt took him seriously enough to consent.

It was raining, and the street was like the inside of a polished
steel cylinder.  A late taxicab cruised up, but the doorman and his
faithful big umbrella had gone home.  Kurt whipped off his coat,
wrapped it about Fran and, in shirtsleeves, stood waiting till Sam
was inside the cab. . . .  And he WOULD sit on the little folding
seat and he wouldn't let them take him home, but escorted them to
the Adlon, babbling, "It was fun, wasn't it!  You do forgive me for
the Neuste Ehe, don't you!  It was a von-derful day, wasn't it!
And you will come by me Wednesday evening for a little dinner to
meet some friends?  Oh, you must!"

Yes, they would, thank you very much--

In the extreme drowsiness of their room, Fran hinted, "You enjoyed
it, didn't you, darling?"

"Yes, everything except the last hour or so.  Got pretty sleepy."

"Kurt is a darling, don't you think?"

"Yes, he's a nice fellow.  Mighty kind."

"But Heavens, what a bossy person he is!  He simply demanded that I
be shocked at that Den of Vice, and I had to do my best to please
him--and you too, you pure-minded males!  Well, he's a nice boy,
and so are you, and I'm going to sleep till noon I LIKE Berlin!"


Three days of museums, of art galleries, of palaces, of the Zoo.
They went to Sans Souci, where Fran talked of Voltaire (she really
had read "Candide") and Sam thought in a homesick way of the Sans
Souci Gardens development in Zenith and snapped at himself that it
was time to clinch with Fran, to make her come home and begin a new
life of "making things."

They saw nothing of Kurt von Obersdorf--he merely telephoned to
them eight or ten times and made them go out and see things.  He so
insisted that they see Molnar's "Spiel im Schloss" that they
sulkily went, though by now Sam had convinced himself that he was
right in thinking he didn't care greatly for plays in a language he
didn't understand, and though Fran, exhausted by the florid
endearments which had been poured upon her at a women's tea given
by Frau Dr. Biedner, for once in her life wanted to go to bed.

She said that she understood every word of "Spiel im Schloss."

Sam said that he guessed it was pretty fine acting all right, and
he thought he'd just slip down-stairs and have a nightcap in the

He fell to talking with an American journalist who knew Ross
Ireland; he had several nightcaps; and in general he enjoyed
himself.  When he slipped into their room, Fran was asleep.  So, as
he put it, he had got away with it, and he felt as exultant as a
boy who has played hooky and discovers afterward that teacher has
been sick all day.

In England Fran had learned to say Lift for Elevator, Zed for Zee,
La-BOR-atory for LA-boratory, Schenario for Scenario, and Shi for
Ski. And before she had ever left America she had been able to point
her Europeanism by keeping her fork in her left hand.  But now she
added to her accomplishments the ability to make a European 7 by
crossing it, and ardently she crossed every 7, particularly in
letters to friends in Zenith, who were thus prevented from knowing
what figure she was using.

The four great mysteries of life in post-war Berlin, not to be
explained by the most diligent searching of history and economics
and Lutheran theology, are all connected with apartment-houses, and
thus are they:  Why can no visitor get into an apartment-house
after eight in the evening without protocols?  Why are the
automatic elevators kept locked, so that no visitor can use them?
Why does no Berlin landlord provide modern locks, but always compel
his tenants to carry a bunch of keys comparable in size to those
used in the Middle Ages for closing cathedrals?  Why does a
landlord who has spent a hundred thousand marks on a marble
staircase (with neat gilt edgings and mosaic inserts) refuse to
spend a mark a night to provide lights in the hallways?  They are
dark.  They are very dark.  A light may be had by pressing a
button, which provides illumination for a time, but in all the
history of Berlin that time of illumination has never been known to
last while a visitor climbed from the ground floor to the top.

On the top floor of an apartment house on the Brucken Allee lived
Kurt von Obersdorf, and on the vertiginous way up to it Sam pointed
out these four mysteries, and was pleased to have Fran agree with

They were received by Kurt's maid.  She was an ancient thing, rusty
and feeble and in some doubt as to what to do with Sam's hat and
stick.  While she puttered, Sam looked about.  The apartment had a
narrow corridor, the drab plaster rather flaked, and adorned with a
yellow-stained engraving of St. Stefan's Dom in Vienna.  Over a
doorway were two crossed swords.

Suddenly Kurt bounced out on them, slimmer and looser than ever in
dinner clothes, took Fran's wrap himself, spoke to the creeping
servant with that mixture of scolding and family fondness which
only a European can manage, and prattled:

"I am so glad!  I was afraid you would be angry with me for my
clumsiness about Die Neuste Ehe the other evening and punish me by
not coming.  Let me tell you who are the other guests.  There are
your cousins, Dr. and Frau Biedner, and the Baroness Volinsky--she
is such a pretty girl, a Hungarian; her husband is a Pole, a
terrible fellow; he is not coming, thank God!; and Theodor von
Escher, the violinist--he is such a VON-DERFUL violinist!--and his
wife, Minna--you will fall in love with her, and Professor and Frau
Braut--he is professor of economics in Berlin University, such a
brain, he knows more America than ANYBODY--he will prove to you
that in two hundred years America will be a wilderness again, you
will like him so much!  They are a funny mix' lot, but all speak
English, and I wanted you to meet different kinds.  Fran, you look
like a heaven's angel in ivory!  Kom' mal"

He ushered them, as though they were royalty, into a small, shabby,
friendly apartment in which three people seemed a crowd.  The
chairs of old brown leather were hollowed and listed; the couch was
covered with what Sam viewed as "some kind of yellow silk," though
Fran whispered later that it was "perfectly priceless old damask."
The pictures were largely photographs of friends, officers in
Austrian uniform.  But there were shelves of wildly disarranged
books, and Sam noted later that they were in German, English,
Italian, and French.  He observed a dozen ponderous and dismaying
volumes on American law and banking and history, the sort of tomes
which he had always admired in libraries and shunned in the home.

When the door to the right was opened for a moment, Sam saw a
narrow bedroom with a mean camp bedstead, racks of gorgeous ties,
a picture of a beautiful girl, a crucifix, and nothing much else.
That, with the little dining-room and a mysterious kitchen
somewhere and a bathroom old enough to be historic, seemed to make
up the domain of the head of the house of Obersdorf.

There were cocktails, agitatedly mixed by Kurt in a glass pitcher,
and there was dinner (not very good) and conversation (tremendous).
Under Kurt's hectic captaincy, there was none of the timid burgher
decorum of dinner at the Biedners'; also there was more to drink,
including an Assmannshauser champagne which made Sam determined to
explore the Rhine Valley.  Any one who didn't shout from time to
time received Kurt's worried attention.  Kurt was convinced that a
person who was silent in his house had either ceased to like him--
and probably for good reasons, for some hideous sin he had
unconsciously committed against them--or else was suffering from a
hidden malady which ought to be treated out of hand.  But between
the shouts, most of the conversation was carried on by Professor

When he first surveyed that learned man, who left with you the
impression that he had whiskers even in his eyes, Sam had decided,
"This bearded beauty may know something about economics in Germany,
but I'll bet he doesn't know anything about the land of the safety-

Professor Braut turned to him.  His accent was much thicker than
Kurt's.  "Please," he said, "I vonder if you coult tell me
something I am trying to learn about agrarian movements in

"I don't know very much about them," said Sam.  "Have you been in

"Oh, a liddle--before the war.  I was a professor in Harvard for a
year, and in Leland Stanford a year, and I traveled maybe a year,
but of course that is nothing to get any real knowledge of your
great country."

Then, at Kurt's suggestion, Professor Braut gave a minute history
of the Non-partisan League in North Dakota.

Through it he turned constantly to Sam for confirmation, and Sam--
who knew very little about North Dakota and precisely nothing about
the Non-partisan League--nodded blandly.  At the end, Sam addressed
himself strongly:

"He knows more about your own country than you do!  Sambo, you know
nothing.  Ignorant!  I wish I hadn't given up thirty years to
motor-cars.  And I haven't really learned much here in Europe.  A
tiny bit about architecture and a little less about wine and
cooking and a few names of hotels.  And that's all!"

While Kurt chattered of the adventures of Archduke Michael as a
chauffeur to a Hungarian Jew, Sam had a vision of learning and of
learned men, of men who knew things with precision, without
emotional prejudice, and who knew things which really affected the
broad stream of human life; who considered the purposes of a
thousand statesmen, the function of a thousand bacteria, the
significance of a thousand Egyptian inscriptions, or perhaps the
pathology of a thousand involved and diseased minds, as closely as
he himself had considered the capacities of a hundred salesmen and
engineers and clerks in the Revelation Company.  He saw groups of
such learned men, in Berlin, in Rome, in Basle, in both Cambridges,
in Paris, in Chicago.  They would not be chatterers.  Oh, he
pondered, probably some of them would be glib and merry enough over
a glass of beer, but when it came to their own subjects, they would
speak slowly, for to any given question there would be so many
answers among which to select.  They would not vastly please Fran;
they would not all of them be dancers of elegance, and perhaps they
would fail to choose quite the right waistcoats.  They would look
insignificant and fuzzy, like Professor Braut, or dry and
spindling.  And he would be proud to have their recognition--beyond
all recognitions of wealth or title.

How was it that he had not known more of them?  In Yale, teachers
had been obstacles which a football-player had to get past in order
to carry out his duty of "doing something for old Yale."  New York
was to him exclusively a city of bankers, motor dealers, waiters,
and theater employees.  On this European venture which was to have
opened new lives to him, he had seen only more waiters, English
spinsters marooned in hotels, and guides with gold teeth.

Scholars.  Men who knew.  Suddenly he felt that he might have been
such a man.  What had kept him from it?  Oh, he had been cursed by
being popular in college, and by having a pretty wife who had to be
surrounded with colored lights--

No, he rebuked himself.  He couldn't get away with excuses like
that!  In the first place, he was a dirty dog to be ungrateful for
having been popular and for having had such a glorious girl as his
Fran--look at her now, laughing about the sanctity of the sausage
in the German social scheme--look at her, reducing the Count of
Obersdorf, kin of princesses and maybe kings, to bouncing
admiration!  No, he'd been lucky.

Besides!  A fellow did not become things--anyway not after five or
six or seven years of age.  He simply was things!  If he had had
the capacity to be a savant, nothing would have prevented.


Suddenly he felt better about it.  Was it possible that in some
involved, unelucidated way, he himself was a savant in fields not
admitted by the academicians as scholarship?  He told himself that
in the American motor-world he was certainly not known merely as a
pedler and as a financial acrobat, but as the authority on
automobile-designing, as the first man to advocate four-wheel
brakes.  Hm.  DID that constitute him a scholar, or--

Or possibly an artist?  He had created something!  He had no
pictures in the academies, no books to be bound in levant, no arias
nor flimsy furniture named after him, but every one of the twenty
million motors on the roads of America had been influenced by his
vision, a quarter of a century ago, of long, clean streamlines!

Yes!  And it didn't hurt a man to be a little proud of some honest
thing he had done!  It gave him courage to go on.  Especially with
a wife like Fran, who was always criticizing--

Good God, had he really become confirmed, since the case of Arnold
Israel, in this habit of seeing Fran not as his loyal companion but
as a dreaded and admired enemy, to placate whom was his object in
life?  Was this the truth about his wanderings, all his future?

He hastily got out of that torturing wonder by sending his mind
back to scholarship, while he looked intelligent and placidly ate
Backhuhn and seemed to listen to Theodor von Escher on his own
superiority to Kreisler.

Could he ever attain scholarship now?  Was it too infantile a fancy
to think of becoming the first great historian of motors, historian
of something which was, after all, more important in social
evolution than twenty Battles of Waterloo?  Or could he learn
something of architecture?  For he really was a little tired of
motors.  They meant, just now, sitting at a desk in the Revelation
offices.  Could he really make better Sans Souci Gardens?

Anyway, he wasn't going on just being a Cook's tourist, rather less
important to Fran than concierges and room-waiters.  He'd do

Or was this inner glow, so exciting and so rare--was it merely a
reflection of drinking champagne and being warmed by Kurt's
hospitality?  Was his formless determination to "do something" and
his belief that he still could "do something" only, in essence,
like the vows of a drunkard?

"No, by God," swore Samuel Dodsworth.

"It isn't that.  A drink or two, and a jolly bunch, do loosen me
up.  I'm slow at starting--Hm!  Very slow!  Here I am fifty-two
years old, and just this last year or so I've wanted to be more
than a money-coining machine. . . .  To be SOMETHING.  Though God
knows what! . . .  Eh?"  (He answered furiously a chorus of
accusers.)  "I have been a good citizen!  And I have brought up my
children!  And I have paid my debts!  And I have done the job that
was first at hand!  And I have loved my friends!  And now I'm not
going to stand back the rest of my life and be satisfied and dead--
dead on my feet--dead!

"I wish I'd known Kurt before.  I'd like to've gone off for a few
weeks with him and Ross Ireland.  Only I ought to've done it ten
years ago, and now it's--But I won't LET it be too late!

"Hm!  YOU let!  It's what Fran will let her dear husband do--

"Why is it I always go back to that--as though it was she that
cramped my style, instead of my own lack of brains?"

And, annoyed by the way in which thoughts scamper around in circles
if you once let them loose, Sam came abruptly out of his meditation
and was again the large and prosperous American husband of a lovely
American wife, a worthy husband listening with meekness to the
conversation of her European friends.

Sam had noted, and been rather surprised at it, that Kurt von
Obersdorf did not condescend to a mere university professor, as any
American of good family would have done.  For all his love of
gossiping, Kurt listened humbly when Professor Braut really got
going, like a liner towed out through little ripples of talk, tugs
yanking at its sulky ponderousness, but finally plunging into the
long rollers of conversation.

Braut was lecturing Fran as though she were a rather small seminar.
He did violence, while he talked, to the English W and V and T, yet
in his earnestness, his was no comic dialect:

"Emotionally, as a Prussian, with the symbols of blood and iron, of
Bismarck and Luther and der alte Fritz, I detest the prostituted
elegance of Paris and the Italians, like children playing at
Empire.  Yet all the time I think of myself--most people like me
think of themselves--more as Europeans than as German or French or
Polish or Hungarian; we think of ourselves, whatever family
differences we may have, as standing together against the Russians
(who are certainly not European but Asiatic), against the British,
the Americans--however we admire them--the Latin Americans, the
Asiatics, the colonists.  The European culture is aristocratic.  I
do not mean that boastfully; I do not speak of famous old families,
like that of our friend Graf Obersdorf here.  I mean that we are
aristocratic, as against democratic, in that we believe that the
nation is proudest and noblest and most exalted which has the
greatest number of really great men--like Einstein and Freud and
Thomas Mann--and that ordinary, undistinguished people (who may be,
mind you, counts or kings, as well as servant maids) are happier in
contributing to produce such great men than in having more
automobiles and bath-tubs.

"And by the aristocratic tradition of the real Europe I do not mean
any hauteur.  I think perhaps I have seen more rudeness to
servants--as well, of course, as more rudeness to masters--in
America than anywhere in Europe.  Servants here are not so well
paid, but they have more security and more respect.  An American
thinks of a good cook as a low person; a European respects him as
an artist.

"The European, the aristocrat, feels that he is responsible to past
generations to carry on the culture they have formed.  He feels
that graciousness, agreeable manners, loyalty to his own people,
are more important than wealth; and he feels that to carry on his
tradition, he must have knowledge--much knowledge.  Why, think of
what the young European must learn, if he is not to be ashamed of

"He must know at least two languages, and if he does not know them,
his friends are sorry that he is so poor a linguist.  He must have--
even though he may plan to be a stock-broker or an importer, or
sell your automobiles, Mr. Dodsworth--he must have some understanding
of music, painting, literature, so that he will really enjoy a
concert or an exhibition of pictures, and not go there to make an
impression.  His manners must be so good that he can be careless.
He must know the politics of all the great countries--I would bet
you, Mrs. Dodsworth, that my four grandsons, though they have never
been in America or England, know as much about President Coolidge
and Secretary Hoover and Governor Smith as most Americans of their

"They must know cooking and wines.  They themselves may prefer to
live on bread and cheese, but they must be able to give their
guests good dinners, and at not much cost--oh, so terribly little
cost most of us can afford now since the war!  And most of all,
they must understand women, and the beginning of that--I t'ink Mrs.
Dodsworth will agree--is really to like women, and to like them to
BE women, and not imitation men!

"That is a small bit of the required training of the real European--
German or Swiss or Dutch or whatefer!  And that training helps to
keep us together, understanding each other, no matter how foolish
we are and suicide with Great Wars!  However we may oppose it, we
are all at heart Pan-Europeans.  We feel that the real Continental
Europe is the last refuge of individuality, leisure, privacy, quiet
happiness.  We think that good talk between intelligent friends in
a cafe in Vienna or Paris or Warsaw is more pleasant and important
than having septic tanks or electric dish-washing machines.

"America wants to turn us into Good Fellows, all provided with the
very best automobiles--and no private place to which we can go in
them.  When I think of America I always remember a man who made me
go out to a golf club and undress in a locker room, where quite
uninvited men came up and made little funny jokes about Germany and
about my being a professor!  And Russia wants to turn us into a
machine for the shaving off of all the eccentricities which do not
belong to the lowest common denominator.  And Asia and Africa do
not t'ink that human life and the sweetness of human life matter.
But Europe, she believes that a Voltaire, a Beethoven, a Wagner, a
Keats, a Leuwenhoeck, a Flaubert, give drama and meaning to life,
and that they are worth preserving--they and the people who
understand and admire them!  Europe!  The last refuge, in this
Fordized world, of personal dignity.  And we believe that is worth
fighting for!  We are menaced by the whole world.  Yet perhaps we
shall endure . . . perhaps!

"Some of us think that perhaps we shall prevail even against
Americanization--which I may venture to define as a theological
belief that it is more important to have your purchases tidily rung
up on a cash-register than to purchase what you want.  (And mind
you--I am not so anti-American as I seem--I quite understand that
the mystic process of 'Americanization' is being carried on as much
by German industrialists and French exporters and English
advertising-men as it is by born Yankees!)  I think the echt Europe
may be able to endure.  For I remember always of Greece and Rome.
Rome was the America of ancient history; Greece the perhaps over-
cultured Continental Europe.  Vi et armis, Rome conquered.  Yet it
was Greek architecture, Greek philosophy, and its gracefulness of
body which revivified Europe in the Renaissance, more than Roman

"So!  I deliver a lecture. Hasslich!  Yet I must finish.  To be
clear, when I speak of the European you must understand that I speak
of a very small, select, special class, which is far nearer to other
members of that class in foreign nations than it is to most of its
own countrymen.  The beer-sodden peasant in a Gastzimmer at a
country inn, or here in Berlin dancing in masses at Die Neue Welt,
is not a European in that special sense.  Neither is the bustling
young business man on the Friedrichstrasse, or on the Rue de Rivoli,
who is trying to sell vulgar porcelain or shoddy silk so fast as he
can.  Both of them would gladly emigrate to America and change
leisure for automobiles.  And also there are a few people born in
America who DO belong to what I call 'Europeans'--your author Mrs.
Edith Wharton, I imagine, must be so. But wherever they were born,
there is this definite class, standing for a definite aristocratic
culture--and most Americans who think they have 'seen Europe' go
home without any idea at all of its existence and what it stands
for, and they perceive of Europe just loud-tongued guides, and
passengers in trains looking unfriendly and reading Uhu or Le Rire.
They have missed only everything that makes Europe!"

Sam was surprised to find himself answering:

"Yes, that's about true.  America thinks of the Europeans as a
bunch of restaurant cashiers trying to do us on exchange--thinks
of Europe as dead--nothing but pictures by men that lived three
hundred years ago.  We forget your Freud and Einstein--yes, and
European aeroplane constructors, and this Youth movement in
Germany, and the French tennis players that beat us.  But you have
just as untrue an idea of America.  All over Berlin, in the book-
stores, I see books about America; titles like 'The Dollar Land.'
Well, I'll bet the French peasant that sticks the centimes away in
the sock, and the German farmer, love the dollar ten times as much
as the average American.  We love to make money, but we love to
spend it.  We're all like sailors on a spree.  We have to have
every parrot that's on sale on the waterfront.  And--

"Why do you suppose so many hundreds of thousands of Americans come
to Europe?  Not more than one out of a hundred Europeans who do go
to America ever goes there to learn, to see what we have.  And
after all, a Woolworth Building or a Chicago Tribune Building or a
Ford plant or a Grand Canyon or a Sharon, Connecticut--and
incidentally a mass of 110,000,000 people--might be worth studying.
You of all people, Professor, know that most Europeans go to
America just to make money.  But why are the Americans here?  Oh,
a few of 'em to get social credit for it, back home, or to sell
machinery, but most of 'em, bless 'em, come here as meekly as
school-boys, to admire, to learn!

"What most Europeans think of America!  Because we were a pioneer
nation, mostly busy with farming and cod-fishing and chewing
tobacco, a hundred years ago, Europe thinks we still are.  The
pictures of Americans in your comic papers indicate to me that
Europe sees all Americans as either moneylenders who lie awake
nights thinking of how they can cheat Europe, or farmers who want
to spit tobacco on the Cathedral of St. Mark, or gunmen murdering
Chicagoans in their beds.  My guess is that it all comes from the
tradition that Europeans started a hundred years ago.  Here a few
weeks back, when we were in Vienna, I picked up 'Martin Chuzzlewit'
and waded through it.  Funny, mind you, his picture of America a
hundred years ago.  But he shows a bunch of people along the Ohio
River and in New York who were too lazy to scratch, who--"

"Sam!" warned Fran, but he strode on unregarding.

"--were ignorant as Hottentots and killed each other with revolvers
whenever they felt like it, with no recourse.  In fact, every
American that Dickens shows in the book is a homicidal idiot,
except one--and he wanted to live abroad!  Well!  You can't tell me
that a degenerate bunch like that could have taken the very river-
bottom swamps that Dickens describes, and in three generations have
turned 'em into the prosperous cement-paved powerful country that
they are today!  Yet Europe goes on reading hack authors who still
steal their ideas from 'Martin Chuzzlewit' and saying, 'There, I
told you so!'  Say, do you realize that at the time Dickens
described the Middlewest--my own part of the country--as entirely
composed of human wet rags, a fellow named Abe Lincoln and another
named Grant were living there; and not more than maybe ten years
later, a boy called William Dean Howells (I heard him lecture once
at Yale, and I notice that they still read his book about Venice IN
Venice) had been born?  Dickens couldn't find or see people like
that.  Perhaps some European observers today are missing a few
Lincolns and Howellses!

"The kind of pride that you describe, Professor, as belonging to
the real aristocratic Europeans, is fine--I'm all for it.  And I
want to see just that kind of pride in America.  Maybe we've gone
too fast to get it.  But as I wander around Europe, I find a whale
of a lot of Americans who are going slow and quiet, and who are
thinking--and not all of 'em artists and professors, by a long
shot, but retired business men.  We are getting a tradition that--
Good Lord!  You said you'd been lecturing.  I'm afraid I have,

Kurt cried "To America!" and adumbrated "Yes, America is THE hope
of--And of course the paradise of women."

Fran exploded:

"Oh, that is the one most idiotic fallacy about America--and it's
just as much believed in America as in Europe--and it's just as
much mouthed by women as by men--and deep down they don't believe a
word of it!  It's my profound conviction that there's no woman
living, no real normal woman, who doesn't want a husband who can
beat her, if she deserves it--no matter though she may be president
of a college or an aviator.  Mind you, I don't say she wants to be
beaten, but she wants a man who CAN beat her!  He must be a man
whom she respects!  She must feel that his work, or his beautiful
lack of work, is more important than she is."

Sam looked at her in mild astonishment.  If anything had been
certain about their controversies, it had been that Fran ought to
be more important to him than his work.  He tried to remember just
where she had got this admirable dissertation on feminism.  Certain
of the phrases he traced to Renee de Penable.

"And that's just what you do have in Europe, and what we don't have
in America.  Mind you, I'm not speaking of Sam and myself--he's
awfully competent at beating me when I deserve it!"

Her jocular glance at Sam was admiringly observed by all assembled.

"I'm just speaking generally.  Oh, the American wife of the
prosperous classes--sometimes even among people who have no money
visible to the naked eye--has privileges for which the European
woman would envy her.  She doesn't have to beg her husband for
money.  She has a joint bank-account.  If she wants to study
singing or advocate anti-vivisection or open a tea-room or dance
with nasty young men at hotels, it never occurs to him to object.
And so she's supposed to be free and happy.  Happy!  Do you know
why the American husband gives his wife so much freedom?  Because
he doesn't CARE what she does--because he isn't sufficiently
interested in her to care!  To the American man--except darlings
like Sam, here--a wife is only a convenience, like his motor, and
if either one of them breaks down, he takes it to a garage and
leaves it and goes off whistling!"

This time her glance at Sam told him what she need not have told
him, but she went on with an admirable air of impersonality:

"Whereas the European husband, if I understand it, feels that his
wife is a part of him--or at least of his family honor--and he
would no more permit her this fake 'freedom' than he would permit
one of his legs to go wandering off cheerfully without the other!
He LIKES women!  And another thing.  Any real woman is quite
willing, no matter how clever she is, to give up her own chances of
fame for her husband, PROVIDING he is doing something she can
admire.  She can understand sacrificing herself for the kind of
civilized aristocracy that Professor Braut speaks of; she can
sacrifice for a great poet or soldier or scholar; but she isn't
willing to give up all her own capabilities for the ideal of
industrial America--which is to manufacture more vacuum-cleaners
this year than we did last!"

Sam caught her eye.  He said, very slowly, "Or more motor cars?"

She laughed. . . .  What a jolly, pioneering, affectionate American
couple they were!

She said affectionately:

"Yes, or more motors, darling!"

"And you're probably right, at that!" he said.

Every one laughed.

"When people talk about the American wife and the American
husband," Fran went on, "they always make the mistake of trying to
find out which sex is 'to blame.'  One person will tell you with
great impressiveness that the American husband is to blame, because
he's so absorbed in his business and his men friends that he never
pays any real attention to his wife.  Then the next will explain
that it's the wife's fault--'The trouble is that when the American
husband comes home all tired out after the awful rush of our
business competition, he naturally wants some attention, some love
from his wife, but she expects him to hustle and change his clothes
and take her out to the theater or a party, because she's been
bored all day with not enough to do.'  And they're both wrong.
There's no BLAME--it isn't the fault of either.  I am convinced
that the fault belongs to our American industrial system, with its
ideal of forced selling--which isn't a big enough ideal to satisfy
any really sensitive woman.  No!  She prefers the European culture
and tradition of which you spoke, Professor Braut."

"That's kind of hard on me, as one of the promoters of the American
industrial system," said Sam.

"Oh, you, you old darling, you're not really an industrialist at
heart--you're a researcher."

And again she looked at him so appreciatively that every one was
edified at the sight of one happy American couple.

There was, at table and over coffee in the drawing-room, ever so
much more conversation.  Sam listened to it heartily, while within
he was in a panic of realization that Fran, his one security in
life now that work and children and friends were lost, had this
evening definitely given the challenge that she was bored by him,
that she desired a European husband, that the interlude with Arnold
Israel, who was more European than Europe, had not been an accident
but a symptom.

He watched her turning toward Kurt.  He could not ignore her
jealousy of Kurt's pretty little friend, the Baroness Volinsky.

The Baroness was a slim, slight girl with beautiful ankles and
curly shingled hair.  She had nothing much to say.  Throughout
dinner, Kurt had turned to her with a hundred intimate approaches--
"Do you remember Colonel Gurtz?" and "Vot a first night that was at
'The Patriot.'"  Fran had concentrated on the Baroness Volinsky
that chilling inquiring courtesy which is the perfection of hatred;
had asked abrupt questions about Hungary--questions which somehow
suggested that Hungary was an inferior land where the women wore
wooden shoes--and had not listened to the answers.

When they chattered their way into the drawing-room and Kurt sat on
the arm of the Baroness's chair, Sam noted that within five minutes
Fran was sitting on the other arm of the chair, and that she
insisted on speaking French, which Kurt spoke admirably and the
Baroness not at all.  And shortly thereafter the Baroness went
home, followed by the Biedners and the Brauts, then by the
violinist, Von Escher, who said almost obsequiously to his wife,
"Could you possibly find your way home in safety alone?  I must go
practise with my pianist--tonight is his only free time."

Minna von Escher, with a snippishness which surprised Sam, remarked
to her husband that she had often found her way home alone!

During the agitated German adieux, Sam murmured to Fran, "We better
go too, eh?" but she insisted, "Oh, let's stay a little while--best
part of the evening, don't you think?"

He didn't think.  He merely looked passive.

Thus there were four together, Sam and Fran, Kurt and Minna von
Escher, in that pleasant quiet after the gabble of conversation.
In a corner of the room Kurt was showing Fran an enormous, very
old-fashioned album of pictures of his boyhood home--apparently a
castle in the Tyrol.  Fran was in a leather chair; Kurt sat on the
floor beside her, constantly bolting up to kneel and point out this
old servant, that old schoolroom.  They were locked in intimacy,
forgetful of every one else.

Sam talked to Minna von Escher.  She had a clown-like face, a
Brownie-face, with a snub nose and too wide a mouth, but her eyes
opened in such surprised roundness, there was such vitality in her
speech, her hands and her ankles were so fine, that she was more
attractive than most pretty women.  She lay on the couch, full-
length, rather petulant, and Sam sat by her, leaning over with his
elbows on his legs, like an old man smoking on a fence rail.

"Your wife--she praises European husbands!" said Minna.  "If she
had one!  Oh, they can be charming; they kuss d' Hand, they
remember your birthday, they send flowers.  But I get so very much
tired of having my good Theodor make love to every woman he meets!
Just now--of course he had to go practise with a man pianist, at
midnight--well, he is by this time at the apartment of Elsa
Emsberg, and if Elsa is a pianist or a man, she has changed much
this past week--and she was MY friend in the first place!  Oh, I am
a European, but I wish once I had an American husband who would not
sacrifice me to music and lof-affairs!"

She looked at him in a lively, appraising way, and suddenly Sam
knew that she considered him an interesting big animal, that he
could make love to her if he liked, and as much as he liked, and he
was frightened by it.

He had always been monogamic.  Now and then he had been attracted
by some other woman, but he had been as shocked as though he were a
priest.  Perhaps the fact that his intimate life with Fran had not
been very passionate had made him feel that the whole matter of sex
stimulation was something rather shameful, to be avoided as far as
possible.  Certainly, when he tried to think about it, he escaped
from thought with a gruff, "Oh, a fellow's got to be loyal to his
wife, and not go getting mixed up in a lot of complications."

But just now he seemed insufficiently afraid of "getting mixed up."
He caught himself noting that Minna had an exquisite body.  He
thought, "I ought to give Fran a dose of her own medicine."  He
looked away from Minna, and growled, "Oh, I guess most husbands in
all countries are 'bout equally selfish; just take different ways
of showing it."  He looked away, but his look was drawn back to
her, and he wanted to take her hand.

"Oh no, you would not be selfish!"

"Sure would!"

"No!  I know you better!  Big, terrifically strong men like you are
always gentle and kind!"

"Hm!  I wish you could have met some of the kind, gentle, big
fellows from Harvard and Princeton that used to sit on my chest
when I played football!"

"Oh, in sports it is different.  But with women--You would be so
gentle.  But brave.  Do you go hunting and camping much, and all
those thrilling things, in your great American wilderness?"

"Well yes, I used to.  I did quite a long canoe trip once, in

"Oh, TELL me about it!"

No one since he had left Zenith had shown so comforting an interest
in him.  He was not looking away from her now; he was swallowed by
her expanding, flattering eyes as he labored:

"Well, it was nothing especial.  Went with a friend of mine.  We
made about a thousand miles, with sixty-four portages, and the last
five days we lived on tea, without sugar or condensed milk, and
fish, and our tent got burnt up, and we slept under the canoe when
it rained.  Yes, that was good going.  Hm!  Like to do it again."

"Why don't you?  Why don't you?  I can imagine you wonderful in
that wilderness."

"Oh, Fran--Mrs. Dodsworth--she doesn't care much for that kind of

"Hiking?  Hiking?"

"Oh, you know."  He made a vast circular gesture.  "Going.

"Oh yes.  And she does not like it?  Oh, I would!"

"Would you?  I'll have to take you camping!"

"Oh, you must!"  She seized his sleeve, excitedly shook it.  "Don't
make a joke!  Do it!"

And he was certain that he could--and more certain that between
Fran and Kurt, so innocently looking at pictures in their corner,
was being woven a spider-web of affection.  He felt helpless, he
felt irritated, and that irritation submerged his rising fascination
in Minna von Escher.  No!  He wasn't going to encourage Fran by
giving her an example!

For a moment, while Minna was sputtering an account of her own
courage and ingenuity on a North Sea voyage, Sam checked his
suspicions.  But he saw Fran blush at some remark of Kurt too low
to overhear, saw her glance joined to his, and suddenly Sam was

He grumbled at Minna, "Yes, must have been a mighty nice trip--
never done much yachting, myself--say, my Lord, it's getting late!"

He poured across the room:  "Fran!  Know what time it is?  It's
almost one!"

"Yes?  What of it?"

"Well. . . .  Pretty late.  We were going out to see Brandenburg

"We don't HAVE to go tomorrow!  Good Heavens!  We're not on a
Cook's tour!"

"Well . . . Kurt has to be on the job."

"Oh no-o!" begged Kurt.  "It does not matter.  I shall be so
unhappy if you run away early!"

"Of course if you INSIST--" said Fran.

She sounded vicious.  Kurt looked at them miserably, as though he
was wondering what he could do to reconcile them.

"No, no!  Just didn't want you to tire yourself out.  And here's
Mrs. Escher pretty near asleep," Sam crowed jovially.  And
everybody laughed, and everybody looked relieved, and everybody
said that Yes, wasn't it much more fun to be together, just the
Family, after the others had gone.

But Sam had poisoned their moment.  They looked self-conscious, and
talked about music.  Minna von Escher, not at all pleased by Sam's
coyness, made yawning signs of going home, and the party broke up
in fifteen minutes, with effusive announcements of what a good time
they had had.

And so, in the taxicab, when they had dropped Minna at a residence
which was confoundedly out of their way, Sam and Fran again started
the battle.


After Fran had cried, "Good night--such a happy evening--auf
Wiedersehen!" to Minna von Escher, she was silent for a minute, and
it was a minute of sixty-thousand seconds, each weighted with fury,
like the minute of suspense before a thunder-shower, in a meadow
land where the grass turns poison-green with fear.  Sam waited,
trying to think of something to think.

She spoke in the manner of a school-teacher who has endured too
much but who is still trying to keep her temper:

"Sam, Heaven knows I don't ask much of you in the way of social
graces.  But I do think I have a right to ask you not to be so
selfish that you spoil not only all my pleasure but that of
everybody else!  I really don't see why you should always and
unfailingly demand that everybody do what YOU want!"

"I didn't--"

"We were all perfectly happy, sitting there and talking so
cheerfully.  And I didn't notice that you were being so neglected--
certainly that dog-faced Von Escher woman was flattering you and
your pioneer hardihood sickeningly enough, and you simply lapping
it up!  And it wasn't even very late--I don't suppose you'll ever
learn that Berlin and Paris are not exactly like Zenith, and that
sometimes people do manage to keep awake here after ten o'clock!
Count Obersdorf was telling me all about his family, and it was
frightfully interesting, and suddenly you feel sleepy and--bang!
The great Samuel Dodsworth is sleepy!  The great industrial leader
wants to go home!  Everything must break up immediately!  Nobody
else must be considered!  The great I Am has spoken!"

"Fran!  I'm not going to lose my temper and let you enjoy a row
tonight. . . .  At least I hope not!"

"Go on!  Lose it!  It wouldn't be such a novel and shocking
sensation!  I'm quite used to it!"

"You are like hell!  You've never seen me lose it properly!  The
last fellow that did--Well, I paid the hospital bills!"

"Oh, the wonderful great hero that can knock people's heads off!
That has all the charming virtues of a drunken lumberjack!  That--"

"This is a little beside the point, Fran.  I wasn't boasting--I was
regretting.  Listen, darling; now that you've blown off steam,
can't you be reasonable a little while?"

Thus they reached the Adlon, bowed to the doorman as though they
were in the best of humor, crossed the marble lobby, a fine,
substantial, dignified couple, went serenely up in the elevator,
and fell to it again:

"Fran, we've got to come down to cases.  We've been drifting,
without any plans, and I wanted to talk plans. . . .  Maybe you
were right about tonight.  I didn't mean to sound grouchy when I
suggested going home, and if I did, I'm sorry."

"It doesn't matter.  As a matter of fact, it was probably a good
thing.  I have a slight headache, from too much cigarette smoke in
that tiny place--I do wish you wouldn't always take your own cigars
along and smoke them--it looks so pretentious.  But let's not talk
plans tonight.  Heavens, if you were in such a mad passion to get
away and get to bed, it's a little too much for you to want to stay
up half the night talking about plans, when--"

"But I'm in a mood for it!"

"But I'm not!  My dear man, is there any hurry?"

"But we'll put it off, the way we've BEEN putting it off, if we
wait till tomorrow."

"Does it matter?"

"It certainly does!  By God, I'm going to be a little stubborn
myself, for once!"

"For once!  Oh, Sam, as if you were ever anything else!"

"All right.  Have it your way.  If I'm always stubborn, you won't
be surprised--"


"I am not shouting!  Fran, please quit playing the cat-and-mouse
with me.  Look here.  It's getting to be time for us to go home,
and I do like Von Obersdorf, but he's the kind of fellow that's
always so surrounded with people that if we stay here we'll find
ourselves mixed up with a whole lot of folks, and we won't get away
for weeks."

"What of it?  Isn't that what we want?  Isn't it worth while really
knowing ONE European city?  Not that Kurt has anything to do with
it.  It's really my cousins, the Biedners."

"But it is Kurt that counts!  He's a mighty nice kind chap, but he
isn't satisfied unless everybody is having a party all the time,
unless he sees you every day, and especially as he's sort of
attracted to you--"

"Sam, are you hinting that he and I--Oh, this is too much!  Just
because I did like one man besides your high and mighty and sacred
self, I can see that you're going to have the pleasure forever more
of throwing it up to me, and of hinting the most outrageous things
if I so much as have a polite talk with a man!"


"And for God's sake stop cursing!  Oh, I don't know what's gotten
into you!  A few years ago, even a few months ago, you would never
have dreamed of talking to me the way you do.  And every day you're
getting worse.  You have no idea of the kind of language you use--"

"Stop acting!  I know perfectly well that so far this Obersdorf
fellow and you have been as innocent as babes.  But I also know
that you could get too fascinated by him--"

"Nonsense!  All we have is the polite interest that any European
gentleman and lady have in each other.  It's just exactly what I
was saying tonight!  The American male is totally unable to think
of any woman as an agreeable teatime companion--if I hadn't been
too polite and wanted to protect you, I could have told them a lot
more about American wives and husbands!  You never think of any
woman except as a potential mistress, or as too unattractive to
interest you.  Whereas Kurt--'Innocent as babes!'  Why, of course
we have been, and we'll go on being so!"

"You sure will!  And if only for the reason that I'm not going to
have another Arnold Israel affair!"

She did not flare back as he expected.  She stood fixed, looking at
him reproachfully, tears coming.  She was suddenly young and
helpless and pitiful, and she spoke slowly:

"Oh, Sam, that wasn't kind of you!  I never remember things and
throw them up at you, as you do with me.  You never understood
about Arnold.  I didn't defend myself when you were angry about
him.  But he was Romance--probably my last--and certainly my first!
You were always so good; I've admired you and respected you; but
you've always been so sound, so cautious, whereas with Arnold there
was danger and excitement and madness and--Just for once in a whole
lifetime, I let myself risk danger!  And I found I had a talent for
it, too!  And then, for you, I gave it up; I obediently settled
down to plodding around from hotel to hotel, wherever you wanted to
go.  Arnold kept writing me, and I scarcely ever answered him, and
now, of course, I've lost him for ever--for your sake!  And then
you insult me about him!  Oh, Sam, that WASN'T generous!"

She cried a little, sitting twisted in a big chair, her cheek
against the back of it.

Sam felt that there was something wrong, something self-dramatizing,
about her version, but his sulkiness at being beguiled was less than
his fondness of her.  He stroked her hair; he said, more tenderly
and intimately than for a long while:

"I was beastly.  Forgive me.  And besides, of course I know your
friendship for Kurt is something quite different."  He heard an
inner, testy voice:  "It isn't, and you know it, fool!"  But he
went on urgently, drawing a small gilt chair, ridiculous beneath
his bulk, to her side, and holding her hand as he talked:

"Fran, I want to go home and get to work.  I'm naturally an active
sort of fellow.  I can't stand this loafing any more.  And I don't
want to manufacture cars.  Maybe I half agree with you in what you
said about industrialized America, tonight.  What I want to do--Oh,
I suppose there'd be a lot of industrialization to it; certainly
have to use modern methods in production and sales and advertising
if we're going to meet competition.  But there would be a kind of
individual achievement, I'd hope, and a lasting--This is something
I've been figuring on for nine-ten months now, but I haven't said
anything about it because I wanted to be sure.  And for once, it
would be something you could take part in--"

She sat up with a bounce, tears dried, and demanded, "Oh, SAY it!
Don't make a speech!  Forgive me, darling, for being rude, but you
DO take such a time--"

"Well, I want to have this clear, especially to myself.  I never
did pretend to be especially quick on the trigger!"

"As a matter of fact, you do think very quickly, once you have your
facts, but you have a superstition--I fancy it started back in
college, when you had to play up to Silent Hero role.  You have
some kind of a childish idea--oh, I know you so MUCH better than
you do yourself!--you have an idea that it's somehow ridiculous for
so big and solid a man as you are to speak quickly, and you've
always suffered from it--"

"We're getting away from the point.  Let me finish.  As I say, this
is a project that you could do as much with, and have as much fun
with, as I could, and maybe more.  Here's the idea:"

And, rather lumberingly, much interrupted, he outlined his notion
of a better Sans Souci Gardens.

He had scarcely finished when she volleyed, "Oh, it's too utterly


"You haven't the taste for that sort of thing--domestic architecture
and decoration and so on.  Why, Sam, I bet you can't tell me what
the color of the last curtains we had in the drawing-room at home

"They were--well, they were a kind--Now let's see.  They were pale

"They were a sort of beige, with so little red in it that it didn't
matter.  Dear, I do see the fun of a new venture like that, but for

"Well, I personally attended to picking out the body colors and
upholstery of the Revelation, the last five years, and I think it's
generally admitted that they were the swellest--"

"You didn't, really.  You depended on that awful lizzie, Willy
Dutberry, that you had in the designing shop."

"Well, anyway, I picked out Willy, didn't I?  And I had sense
enough to follow his steer, didn't I?--even if he did wear side-
whiskers and a pink tie!  And for my development, I'll pick out--
Hell, Fran, I do know how to pick men!  I don't pretend to know
everything, even about autos.  I don't need to.  But I can--"

"And another thing, Sam.  I do love you for wanting to produce
something individual and lasting.  But an American garden suburb--
Phooey!  Nasty, jammed-together huddle of World's Fair exhibition
buildings, with pretentious street names--"

"Then make one that isn't pretentious or jammed!  People have to
live somewhere!  And I'd depend on you a lot for suggestions about
good taste and all that--"

"It's awfully flattering of you, my dear, but I certainly do not
intend--or certainly not till I'm a lot older--I don't intend to
give all my days and nights to being sweet to a lot of horrible
parvenus who want Touraine chateaux with Frigidaire furnishings and
all at mail-order prices!"

They argued for an hour.  Fran had recovered from her Duse role,
and was alternately airy and pityingly maternal.  Sam felt that he
had somehow not made clear his plan, but she blocked his each new
effort at being articulate, and they went to bed at three with
nothing clear except that, while she might condescend to go home
with him in a vague four or five or six months, she was not going
to help him "build stone castles of cement, and brick manor houses
of linoleum," and that she was refraining entirely on account of
her artistic ethics.

Remumbling the whole talk again as he lay awake, Sam could not get
quite straight how it had happened that he had again failed to lure
her home.

"And she says I'm a bully.  Well, as a bully, I class about 1/2
h.p., 2 m.p.h.," he sighed, as he fell asleep.

He dreamed that Fran had fallen from a cliff and lay dead below
him, and that Minna von Escher had come to smirk temptingly at him.
He awoke to revile himself, then to rejoice that it wasn't so.  In
the dawn, he sat up in bed to look at Fran, and she was so
childish, even her little nose hidden under the sheets, that he
could think of no slogan of deliverance from her power.

Dining with Kurt--at Hiller's, Borchardt's, Peltzer's, at the
Bristol and Kaiserhof, at the simpler Siechen's and Pschorrbrau.
Dining at the Winter Garten, on the terrace, watching the
vaudeville performance.  Dining at outdoor places round about the
Tiergarten, as the weather grew warmer and the beer more
refreshing.  A motor flight to the country house of a friend of
Kurt, where all one glorious Sunday afternoon they loafed in the
garden or bathed in the Havel.

But the point was that they were always with Kurt.

And Kurt, though he liked Sam, admired him, yet had conceived that
Sam and Fran, like so many other American couples he had seen
squabbling into and out of the Internation Tourist Agency, were
on the point of breaking.  And to him, the Viennese, accustomed
to tempestuous strays from the bitter mountains and gray plains
to Eastward and the North, this cool eager American woman was
more exotic, more stimulating, than any Russian or Croatian or
Zingara. . . .  And she had a useful income of her own. . . .  And
there was, in all honor, no reason why he should not be there when
the break-up came, nor why Fran should not have the privilege of
buttressing the ancient house of Obersdorf.

At least, so Sam guessed at Kurt's opinion, and he could not
protest that the chart was altogether in error.

It was a slow task for Sam to admit that he, with the training of
an executive and the body of a coal-heaver, could not bully or coax
his slim wife into reasonableness when her romanticizing ran away
with her and she disclosed a belief that she was so superior that
he ought to accompany her wherever she cared to stroll, or to stand
acquiescent while she beamed at Kurt.

It was impossible, but it was so.

Sam tried all the recognized methods of bullying her.  Their naked
and wretched squabble after Kurt's party was repeated.  He insisted
that she was "coming home to America and coming right now!"  But
what was he to do when she reminded him that she had an income, and
when she asserted (she really believed it) that she could always
earn her own living?

What, still less, could he do when, after a night when he had lain
awake ribbing up righteous anger, they awakened to a sparkling,
growing day, and they walked along the Canal, lunched well, drove
to the Wannsee and back, and watched sunset over the Tiergarten;
when she stopped, twitched his sleeve, and said gravely, "Oh, Sam
darling, will you let me thank you for all the lovely places you've
taken me?  I'm so heedless and silly that often I don't speak of
it, but all the while, inside of me, dear--"

Her eyes were wet.

"--I'm terribly grateful.  Venice!  Rome!  Paris!  And this quiet
sunset.  Thank you, dear. . . .  And thank you for not being a
Tartar husband--for understanding that I can be excited and
friendly with nice little people like Kurt without being a hussy!"

Just what was he to do?  Except perhaps to mutter, "Have I ever
remembered to say I adore you?"

Nor could he turn on Kurt von Obersdorf, since Kurt was--after much
doubting Sam believed it--quite as fond of him as of Fran; since
Kurt seemed eager to bring them together again, whatever it might
cost himself in a chance at Fran's favors and fortune.

With the Dodsworths' isolation in Berlin, Kurt's ability to fall
headlong in friendship, and Fran's liking for the glories of a
Count, however dimmed, they three became a family, and as one of
the family Kurt sought to soothe them.  He was curiously impartial;
with all his emotionalism he was a fair umpire.  When Fran snapped
at her husband for his inability to learn any German beyond
"Zweimal dunkles," Kurt begged, "Oh, do not speak so crossly--that
is not nize," and when Sam growled that he'd be damned if he'd sit
till two A.M. watching her dance, Kurt would represent, "But you
ought to be happy to see her so happy!  Forgive me!  But she is so
lovely when she is happy!  And she is fragile.  She is easily
broken by things and moods that we do not mind."

Kurt said--he really seemed to mean--that he too was lonely in
Berlin, and though he very much did not want to intrude, he would
be glad if he might play about with the Dodsworths every day that
they remained. . . .  And whatever his comparative poverty might
be, he always paid his share of the bills.

"Be so much easier too if he weren't so damn' fair and square!" Sam

He had no proof, no proof whatever, that there was between Kurt and
Fran anything more than this family affection.

Once or twice, as when the Berlin agent for the Revelation car
looked Sam up and took him to a luncheon of the American Club, Kurt
and Fran slipped away by themselves.  He spent a conversational
evening in the Adlon Bar while they went learnedly to the opera.
After these outings, Fran looked rosy and content.

In London, thanks to the attentions of Mr. A. B. Hurd, Sam had
retained something of a position as an industrialist.  Since then,
progressively, he had become merely the Husband of the Charming
Mrs. Dodsworth.  He saw it, though he could not see precisely how
it had happened.  In Berlin, he felt that no one considered him as
anything save her attendant--even after the unfortunate incident of
Herr Dr. Johann Josef Blumenbach.

Herr Blumenbach's card was brought up to Sam as he was about to
change for dinner.  "Don't know who he is.  Still, name does sound
kind of familiar.  Probably some friend of HERS," Sam decided, and
grumbled to the page, "Let him come up."

When he informed Fran, who was sewing a snap on an evening frock in
her bedroom, she protested that she knew no Blumenbachs.  She
followed him to their sitting-room, and sniffed.  A square, bullet-
headed, bristle-headed, swollen-nosed man was Herr Dr. Johann Josef
Blumenbach, with ancient and absurd spats.

"Excuse me that I call on you, Herr Dodtswort'," he sputtered, "and
please to excuse my English, it is I guess owful bad English that I
speak.  But I have some liddle interest in a motor factory and from
the motor magazines, besides my cousin lives in America, in St.
Louis, I know moch about your development of the streamline in
owtomobeelz.  I vould be very pleast if Frau Dodtswort' and you
would care to look over our factory."

Very suavely Fran eliminated Herr Blumenbach with, "That's very
kind of you, Herr Uh, but we're leaving in just a couple of days,
and I'm afraid we're going to be FRIGHTFULLY busy.  You will excuse
us, I'm sure."

He looked at her with a most active dislike; he snorted, "Oh, t'ank
you very moch," and disappeared with quite ludicrous haste.

"His nerve!  Probably hoped to get money out of you for some
horrible gamble," she said placidly as Sam trailed her back to the
significant business of sewing on the snap.  "HORRID man!  And
YOU'D have taken an hour to get rid of him!"

When Kurt inevitably came in to pick them up for dinner, Sam
inquired, "Ever hear of a man named Blumenback, Johann Blumenback
or some such a name--something to do with motors?"

"But of course!" said Kurt.

"Horrid man," offered Fran.

"Oh no-o-o!  He iss a very fine man.  Very public spirited.  And he
is one of the two or three big men in the motor industry in
Germany.  He controls the Mars company--I suppose the Mars is the
finest motor in Europe--"

"Of course!  That's where I'd heard the name," muttered Sam.

"--and I wish you could meet him.  He would give you everything
inside on motor industry here.  But I have not the honor to know
him.  I have just seen him in a Gesellschaft."

"We must hurry!" said Fran.

And Sam said nothing at all.

He thought, many times, that if he telephoned to Herr Dr. Blumenbach,
he might be accepted and entertained in Berlin as the Samuel
Dodsworth he once had been--might thus again become that Samuel

And he did nothing at all.

They had expeditions with the Baroness Volinsky and Minna von
Escher, until Kurt, wounded to his little heart, as he could so
often and so piteously be wounded, was convinced that no amount of
advertising the merits of the pretty little baroness would make
Fran like her.  As to why Sam and Minna did not get along, he never
understood, so he looked hurt and gave it up.

To Sam, Frau von Escher was a reminder that there were women who
did not find him clumsy and cold, and he wanted to escape from that
reminder.  He could well enough picture falling into the
entertaining distress of passion.  He could even question whether
it wasn't merely emotional indolence and fear of getting "mixed
up," not morality, which had kept him "pure."  Wasn't it because he
did want to kiss Minna's wide derisive mouth that he was chilly to
her, and contradicted everything she said . . . and gave Fran a
chance to point out that he WAS rude and that it had been only her
influence which had kept him amiable all these years?

"Hell!" said Sam Dodsworth wearily, and for all his searching he
never found a more competent way of expressing it.

So he groped through the fog, and there was no path to be found.
In the distance was the sound of menacing waters, and always he
stumbled over unseen roots in a trance less real than any dream.


It seemed a singularly undistinguished morning.  Sam looked forward
only to a vague dinner with Kurt and a friend from Vienna, and as
Kurt had said nothing more ecstatic about his friend than that he
was "soch a good fellow and he speaks seven languages and is so
fonny," Sam knew that the fellow couldn't be up to much.  For the
afternoon they planned to see the exhibit of Kolbe's sculptures at
Cassirer's and the French impressionists at the Gallerie
Tannhauser, and Sam hoped (not very optimistically) to lure Fran
out to Charlottenburg to inspect factories and tenements for
laborers. . . .  She liked to discuss what she called the Lower
Classes with every one save members of the Lower Classes.

He lolled in the sitting-room of their suite, rather slovenly in
dressing-gown and ancient slippers, which Fran was always going to
replace by new elegance and never did.  When he had finished
reading the Paris American papers and had exclaimed over the fact
that Mr. T. Q. Obelisk of Zenith had just landed in Europe and was
going to squander an entire three weeks in Paris, he had nothing
more to do.  He thought of answering Henry Hazzard's last letter.
But--oh, thunder, there was no news--He thought of having a drink,
and answered that it was much too early in the day.  He thought of
going for a walk but--oh, he'd walked all over the inner city.

He mouched.  He prowled through the sitting-room, turning over
tourist agency folders about Java--the North Cape--Rio de Janeiro.

He peeped into the bedroom.  Fran, in nightgown and fluffy pink
knitted bed jacket, was still abed, but over her chocolate she was
furiously trying to read the Vossische Zeitung and the Tageblatt
with the aid of a dictionary, imagination, and discreet skipping.
He looked admiringly at her display of scholarship, he said that it
was going to be a swell day, and returned to the sitting-room to
stare out at the Pariser Platz and wish he were home.

At a knock, he said "Come IN!" indifferently.  It would be the
room-waiter, to clear away.

It was a boy with a cable.

For a time Sam put off opening it.  It pleased him to think that
even in his insignificance here in Berlin, he was the sort of man
who received cables.  Then he read:

"congratulate us birth nine pound son stop emily splendid shape
cheers stop your first grandchild harry mckee."

Sam stood glorying.  He was not finished, after all--something of
him had been carried on with this new life!  And Emily would be so
happy!  How he loved her!  And NOW, by golly, Fran would want to go
home!  They'd catch the next steamer and see the baby, Emily,
Harry, Brent, Tub, Henry Hazzard--In maybe two weeks--

He paraded into the bedroom, trying to play-act, trying to sound
unemotional as he remarked, "Um, uh, Fran--lil cable from Zenith."

"Yes?" sharply.  "Anything wrong?"

"Well--Fran!"  He went to kiss her; he ignored her slight
impatience.  "We're granddaddy and grandmammy!  And the devils
never let us know youngster was coming--prob'ly spare us worry.
Emily has a son!  Nine pounds!"

"And how--"

"She's fine, apparently.  So Harry wires."  In her quick, happy
look he felt more secure and married and real than for weeks.  "My
God, I wish they had the transatlantic 'phone working from here,
way they have from London now.  We'd 'phone 'em, if it cost a
hundred a minute.  Wouldn't that be great, to hear Emily's voice!
Tell you what I am going to do!  I'll 'phone Kurt Obersdorf and
tell him about our grandson.  I've got to holler--"

Her face tightened.  "Wait!"

"What's the idea?"

"I'm delighted.  Of course.  Dear Emily!  She'll be so happy.  But,
Sam, don't you realize that Kurt--oh, I don't mean Kurt individually,
of course; I mean all our friends in Europe--They think of me as
young.  Young!  And I am, oh, I AM!  And if they know I'm a
grandmother--God!  A grandmother!  Oh, Sam, can't you SEE?  It's
horrible!  It's the end, for me!  Oh, please, please, please try to
understand!  Think!  I was so young when I married. It isn't FAIR
for me to be a grandmother now, at under forty."  With swiftness he
calculated that Fran was now forty-three.  "A grandmother!  Lace
caps and knitting and rheumatism!  Oh, please try to understand!  It
isn't that I'm not utterly happy for Emily's sake, but--I have my
own life, too!  You mustn't tell Kurt!  Ever!"

He knew then, well enough.

He was too hard hit to dare be angry.  "Yes, I see how you mean.
Yes, I--Well, I'll go cable to Emily and Harry."

It was that evening, before they went out to dinner with Kurt, that
he noticed her new habit of perfuming the back of her right hand,
and reflected, "I wonder if it has anything to do with his kissing
her hand?  Wonder?  You don't wonder; you know!"

He saw further that she faintly perfumed the inside of her arm to
the elbow, and he was a little sickened as he stalked out to the
sitting-room and tried to divert himself by reading the list of
Circular Tours in Great Britain and France in the "European Travel
Guide" of the American Express Company, while waiting for her to
finish dressing.  It didn't altogether absorb him.  He looked about
the room.  There were roses--sent by Kurt.  There was Feuchtwanger's
"Jud Suss"--sent by Kurt.

Then there was Kurt himself, knocking, coming in gaily, crying, "Is
that wife of ours late again?  Sam, I have brought you a box of
real Havana cigars smuggled through without duty!  Oh, my roses
came!  I am glad.  Sam, haf you any idea how thankful a lonely poor
man--and to a Wiener like me, Berlin is just as foreign as it is to
you!--so thankful to have Fran and you tolerate me while you are
here!  You are so good! . . .  Fran!  Are you not dressed?  You are
keeping your poor children waiting!  If I were Sam, I would beat
you!  And my friend probably waiting in the lobby."

"Coming, Kurt!" she sang, lark-like.

And Kurt was kissing the back of her hand.  And Sam Dodsworth said
nothing at all.

But it was down in the bar, where they went to have cocktails and
to wait for Kurt's friend, that the new and almost honestly
analytic Sam Dodsworth caught himself in a situation more shameful
and enfeebling than anything that had happened in their apartment.
An American motor salesman, whom Sam had met at the American Club
luncheon, stopped at their table to nod his greetings, and Sam
caught himself saying, a little proudly, "Mr. Ashley, I don't think
you've met my wife.  And this is the Count Obersdorf."

"Mighty pleased to meet you, Count," said the motor man, after
kissing Fran's hand in what he considered a European manner.

Sam sharply cross-examined himself.  "Look here, Samba.  Were you
flattered to be able to introduce a Count?  This tourist agency
clerk!  How long will it be before you become the kind of rotten
soak that sits around boasting that his wife has a count for a
lover?  No!  I'm not that bad, not yet.  But I guess my mind is
kind of sick, now.  What the devil was it that hit me?  I don't
understand.  Emily, my darling, with a son!  Doesn't Fran want--"

Coolly, quite prosaically, he interrupted Kurt to demand of Fran,
"Say, uh, remember I told you about that young lady--that cousin of
mine--that's just had a baby?  Wouldn't you like to skip back to
America and see her?"

"Oh, I'd love to.  But I don't suppose we'll see her till next
autumn," said Fran placidly.

"Here comes my friend.  SOCH a lovely fellow," said Kurt.

The second message from Zenith, from home, came in a letter which
was handed to Sam at the desk, three evenings later, as they were
going out to dinner with Kurt.

"From old Tub!" he chuckled, and tucked it into his pocket.  When
they were at table he suggested, "Mind if I glance at my letter?"

Tub wrote, in schoolboyish script:

How are you and how's all the lovely femmes in Europe?  Well,
you're not going to get away with hogging them much longer.  Matey
and I have finally decided about time we ran over and had a look at
the old country and get a decent drink.  She's a grand wife and
likes her likker.  We sail on May tenth, on the Olympic, arrive
London probably 16th, and Paris the 21st--stay Savoy London and
Continental Paris.  In Paris about a week, then Holland, Belgium,
Switzerland, Italy, south France, and sail from Cherbourg again on
June 20th.  Some fast trip, eh, but I bet we don't miss much, your
last post card, and a hell of a tightwad you are about writing say
you're going to Germany but don't see what you find there, can only
get beer there and it's the bubbles that cure all your trouble that
I want to taste again, you remember old song, champagne.

Now if you're too busy to remember old friends all right, but would
be awfully glad if you could manage meet us London or Paris, or if
along route afterwards send me schedule c/o Equitable Trust, 23 rue
de la Paix.

Don't take any wooden money.

Sincerely, your friend,


The letter had followed Sam from Paris to Rome to Berlin; Tub was
already in London and would be in Paris in three days.

It was one of the few holograph letters Sam had received from Tub.
Usually his laconic messages were dictated, typed on banking-house
paper as stiff and luxuriously engraved as a bond.  In it Sam felt
an unfamiliar urgency; Tub was prepared to be angry, to consider
himself deliberately slighted, if the Dodsworths did not appear in
Paris to greet him and his jolly wife Matilde, otherwise Matey.

He interrupted Kurt--("Damn it!  Seems at though, these days, I
always have to interrupt that fellow in order to be able to speak
to my own wife!")  He crowed, "Say, who d'you think's in London and
going to Paris?  Tub and Matey!"

"Oh, really?" she said politely.  She showed considerably more
warmth in explaining to Kurt, "Tub is an old friend of Sam--quite a
prosperous banker.  If they come to Berlin, they'd be awfully happy
to meet you.  Oh!  You said one day you wished you could get into a
bank in America.  Tub--Mr. Pearson his name is--might be able--"

"But we'll see him in Paris," Sam interrupted again.  "Not coming
to Berlin.  And we ought to skip right down and be there to welcome
'em.  Remember they've never been abroad before.  I'll wire him in
London tonight--might even see if I can get him on the 'phone--and
we can probably get reservations for the Paris train for tomorrow

Surely when Fran heard good old Matey gossip of their friends, when
she scented Zenith again--The miracle had happened!

"But, Sam dear," Fran protested, "I don't see any reason under
Heaven why we SHOULD go down!  And you complaining of how tired you
were of Paris when we left it!  I know how fond you are of your
friends, but I don't see why you should let them use you!"

"But don't you want to see Tub and Matey?"

"Don't be silly!  Of course, I'd be very glad to see them.  But to
trot all the way to Paris--"

"But don't you WANT--I can't imagine your not wanting--"

"Well, if you must know, I think your good friend Mr. Tub Pearson
is a little heavy in the hand.  He always works so hard at being
humorous.  And you yourself have admitted that Matey is dreadfully
uninteresting.  And fat!  Good Heavens, I've had them for twenty
years!  No, you can do what you'd like, but I'm not going."

"But I wouldn't be much good to 'em as a guide.  I can't speak

"Exactly!  Then why go?  They can get along as every one else

"But you could make it so much pleasanter for them--"

"It's all very well to be friendly and that sort of thing, but I'm
not going to travel fifteen hours in a dirty train for the pleasure
of acting as an unpaid Cook's guide to Mr. and Mrs. Tub Pearson!"

"Well, all right.  Then I'll go by myself."

"As you wish!"

She turned briskly to Kurt, and with excessive sweetness discoursed
on the state of the theater in Central Europe.  Kurt looked at Sam,
troubled, wishing to say something soothing.  Sam was very quiet
all that evening.

It was she who opened the engagement when they were alone, at the

"I'm sorry about Tub, and I'll go down there--a beastly journey!--
if you absolutely insist--"

"I never insist on anything."

"--but I do think it's too ridiculous to be expected to be a guide--
and of course your beloved Tub will want to go to the most obvious
and stupid and Americanized places in Paris--"

"No, I've decided you'd better not come.  You're probably right.
Tub will want to get drunk on Montmartre."

"For which charming occupation, my dear Samuel, you'll be a much
better collaborator than I, I'm afraid!"

"Look here, Fran:  I wonder if you have any idea how dangerous it
might be for you, one of these days, if you go on being so airy and
insulting with me?  I'd stood--"

"'S the truth!"

"--a good deal.  I can understand your not thinking Tub is any
Endicott Everett Atkins, but how you can fail to enjoy giving a
good time to a neighbor that we've known as long and as closely as
we have Tub--Why you don't, just for once, forget what YOU'RE going
to get out of it and think what you could GIVE--"

"Oh, put in the Beatitudes, too!"

"--is simply beyond me!  I used to think you were loyal!"

"I am!  The way I've refused to stand any one ever criticizing you--"

"Will you listen!  Don't be so damned PERFECT, just for once!  I
used to think you were loyal, but between this business about Tub,
and your lack of interest in Emily's boy--"

"Now I've had enough!  You've quite sufficiently indicated that I'm
an inhuman monster!  Why, after I heard the news about Emily, I
cried half the night, wanting to see her and the baby.  But--Oh, if
I could only make you understand!"  She had thrown off her
flippancy and was naked and defenseless in her seriousness.  "I do
rejoice that she has a child.  I do love her.  But--oh, I've tried
to use my brains, such as they are, which I admit isn't very much,
except that I do have common sense.  I've tried not to be
sentimental, and ruin myself, yes, and you, without doing Emily or
anybody else any good!  What good would it do if I were there?
Could I help her?  I could not!  I'd just be in the way.  Heavens,
any trained nurse would be of more value than a dozen me's, and
she's surrounded with only too much love and solicitude.  I'd be
just another burden, at a time when she has plenty.  On the other
hand, as it would affect me--

"When the world hears the word 'grandmother,' it pictures an old
woman, a withered old woman, who's absolutely hors de combat.  I'm
not that and I'm not going to be, for another twenty years.  And
YET, most people are so conventional-minded that even if they know
me, see me, dance with me, once they hear I'm a grandmother that
label influences them more than their own senses, and they put me
on the side-lines immediately.  I won't be!  And yet I love Emily

"Let me tell you, young man, when there WAS something I could do
for her, and for Brent, I did it!  I'm not for one second going to
stand any hints from you that I'm not a good mother--and loyal!
For twenty years, or anyway till Brent went off to college, there
wasn't one thing those children wore that I didn't buy.  There
wasn't a thing they ate that I didn't order.  You--oh yes, you came
grandly home from the office and permitted Em to ride on your
shoulders and thought what a wonderful parent you were, but who'd
taken her to the dentist that day?  I had!  Who'd planned her party
and written the invitations?  I had!  Who'd gotten down on her
knees and scrubbed Em's floor when the maids had the 'flu and the
nurse was away junketing?  I did!  I've done my work, I've earned
the right to play, and I'm not going to be robbed of it just
because you're so slow and unimaginative that you've lost the power
of enjoyment and can't conceive any occupation beyond selling
motors and playing golf!"

"Yes.  I guess--I guess maybe there's a good deal to what you say,"
he sighed.  "Well, it works out all right.  I'll trot off and
welcome Tub and then come back."

"Yes, and you'll probably enjoy it more if I'm not there.  Men
ought to get off by themselves now and then, away from the dratted
women.  Take my advice and get rid of Matey as much as you can--get
her interested in buying a lot of clothes and you and Tub knock
around together.  You'll probably have a wonderful time.  You do
see now that I wasn't merely being beastly and unselfish, don't

And she kissed him, fleetingly, and was cheerfully off to bed.

Even of such kisses there had not been over many, since the affair
of Arnold Israel.  The change in their intimacy was never admitted,
but it was definite.  It was not that Fran was less attractive to
him; indeed more than ever he valued her sleek smoothness; but she
had become to him a nun, taboo, and any passion toward her was
forbidden.  She seemed relieved by it; and they had drifted into a
melancholy brother and sister relationship which left him irritable
and hopeless.

They said nothing, neither then nor next day, of the tact that when
Sam went to Paris, Fran and Kurt von Obersdorf would be left
together.  And these two, Fran and Kurt, very cheery and
affectionate, saw him off on the evening train for Paris, and Kurt
brought him as bon voyage presents a package of American cigarettes,
a cactus plant, and a copy of the Nation, under the misconception
that it was one of the most conservative of American magazines and
especially suitable to the prejudices of a millionaire manufacturer.

Sam had to share his sleeping compartment with a small meek German
who insisted, with apologetic gestures, on taking the undesirable
upper berth, to which Sam was billeted.  So when the German wanted
to keep on the night-light, Sam could not object, and he lay in his
berth staring up into a narrow vault made gloomier by that
sepulchral blue glimmer which took away the oblivion of darkness
and revealed the messy crowdedness of the compartment: the horribly
life-like trousers swaying against the wall, the valises wedged
under the little folding table by the window, the litter of
newspapers and cigarette butts.  The train was loud with fury; it
carried him on powerless; life carried him on powerless.  Without
Fran, he felt small, callow, defenseless.  Why was he venturing to
Paris, alone?  He knew no French, really; he knew little of
anything in Europe.  He was marooned.

She had let him go off so casually.  Was he going to lose her, to
whom he had turned with every triumph and every worry these twenty-
four years; whose hand had always been there, to let him warm and
protect it, that he might himself be warmed and protected?

Or already lost her?

He brooded, a lumpy blanketed mound in the mean blue ghost-light.

What could he DO?

The train seemed to be running with such abnormal speed.  Surely
even the Twentieth Century had never raced like this.  Anything

It would be nice if it were Fran in the upper berth; if her hand
were drooping over the edge, so that he could see it, perhaps touch
it by pretended accident--

Not that she'd be in the upper, though, if they were together!

When he awoke at three, his first loneliness for her had passed,
and he worked up a good deal of angry protest.

This "adventurous new life" they'd been going to find--Rats!  Might
be for her, but he himself had never been so bored.  All came of
trying to suit himself to her whims.  And then lose her, after all--

What would Kurt and she be doing while he was away?

And this business of her having been such a devoted mother!  Ever
been a time when the children hadn't had a nurse or a governess,
with plenty of maids?  If she ever did "get down on her knees and
scrub a floor" it'd never happened more than once.

Oh, she'd meant it; she really did believe she'd been a sacrificing
mother.  Chief trouble with her.  Never could see herself as she
was.  Never!

Yes, he'd have to rebel against her--or against his worship of her.
Not been a go, his trying to be happy in her way.  Make a life for
HIMSELF.  Be pretty darn' lonely for a while.  Sure.  But not
impossible to make a new life--

There were women, to say nothing of men friends--

Suddenly he was taut with desire for Minna von Escher.  He felt her
lips; he saw her too clearly.

Well, there were gorgeous girls in Paris--Hang it, he was no
washed-out Sir Galahad, like he'd read about in Tennyson!  He'd
been patient and sacrificing.  Lot of good it'd done him!  Why
should Fran have all the love?  He'd go out--

Then Fran's face, hovering in the wan blue dusk, a hurt, reproving
face, very pale, very pure.  He could not wound her, even by
thought.  And so he tossed, helpless in the rushing train, turning
from the desire to serve Fran to the desire for Minna's warm arms,
and back ever to Fran . . . and back ever to Minna.

He breakfasted well in the restaurant carriage, and if he missed
Fran, it was a relief to have a man's proper ration of bacon and
eggs without having her chronic complaint that real Europeans don't
take horrid heavy breakfasts.  When he had lighted a cigar, Sam
felt a faint exciting flavor in traveling alone, in going where he

He heard an American woman, at breakfast, say to her companion,
"But the play I really liked was 'They Knew What They Wanted.'"

He heard no more.  He pondered, "That's been the trouble with me,
my entire life.  It isn't simply that I've never got what I wanted.
I've never known what I wanted.  There are women who are better
sports than Fran.  Not so selfish.  More peace.  If I find them--

"Be funny if now I really were starting that 'adventure in new
life' that we've talked so much rot about!  Yes, I have known what
I wanted--Fran!  But probably as a kid wants the moon.  (That's
what she's like too--the moon on a still November night!)  And if I
can't have her--well, I hope I have the sense to find something
else, and to take it. . . .  But I won't!"


He was going to surprise Tub and Matey at the station.  He had gone
to the Continental Hotel, at which Tub had reservations.  From
Berlin, he had merely wired Tub in London, "Be in Paris day or two
after you arrive delighted see you"; from Paris he had telephoned
to Mr. A. B. Hurd, of Revelation Motors in London, asking him to
snoop about and find out from the Savoy porter what train Tub was

Sam waited in the Gare du Nord, excited but pleasantly superior.
HE was no American tourist, embarrassed by the voluble Parisians!
He knew 'em!  He could say to a porter, "Apportez le bagage de
Monsieur a un taxicab" just as well as old Berlitz--almost as well
as Fran.  He swung his stick, strolled along the platform, and
nodded to the gathering porters, feeling much as he had on the
evening after the last game of the football season.  When the lean
swift French locomotive flashed in, hurling its smoke up to join
the ghosts of smoke-palls that lurked under the vast roof of the
train shed, he chuckled aloud.

"Old Tub!  And Matey!  First time in Paris!"

He looked over the heads of the crowd and saw Tub handing his bags
out of the car window to a porter, saw him and the plump Matey
hustle out of the car, saw him, with the blank worried nervousness
of a man who doesn't expect to be met and who feels that the labors
of travel are too much for him, wave his arms in the effort of
explaining in Zenith French--dealcoholized French, French Hag--
where he wanted to go.

Swift, looming, Sam thrust through the crowd toward the Pearsons.
He saw that Tub himself was carrying a small suitcase--probably
with Matey's famous and atrocious jewelry.  He swooped on Tub,
grasped his shoulder, and snarled (with one of the exceedingly few
impersonations in his unhistrionic life), "Here, you, fella!  Not
allowed carry y' own baggage!"

Tub looked up with all the rage of an honest American who has been
enfeebled by rough seas, doubted by customs officials, overcharged
by waiters, overinformed by guides, misunderstood by French
conductors; who has suddenly by thunder had enough and who is going
to expose and explode the entire continent of Europe.  He looked
up, he looked bewildered, and then he said slowly, "Well, you
damned old horse-thief!  Well, you big stiff!"

They banged each other's shoulders, Sam kissed the suddenly beaming
Matey, and they went down the platform together, Sam with one arm
about Tub's shoulder and one about Matey's.  He said sharply to the
porter, "Un taxi, s'il vous plait"--just as the porter was waving
to a taxi on his own--and Tub clamored, "Well, I'm a son of a gun!
Say, you've certainly learned to parley-vous like a native, Sambo!"

They asked after Fran.

It hurt him that they seemed content to miss her, willing to
believe that she "had a touch of 'flu and had to lie low a couple
weeks, so she couldn't come down to welcome you."  But he resented
it only for a moment.  There were so many exciting places to show
Tub!  It was delightful to have the Tub who had always been
cleverer and more fashionable than he now regarding him as a
sophisticated European and turning to him, admiring his dash and

And it was pleasant to be Tubbish and foolish and noisy without
Fran's supercilious inspection.

Matey Pearson was a good soul.  She was fat and pleasant.  As a
girl she had been the gayest and maddest of her set in Zenith; the
fastest skater, the most ecstatic dancer, the most reckless flirt.
Now she had three children--one was Brent's classmate in Yale--and
she cultivated the Episcopal Church, a rare shrewd game of poker,
and the choicest dahlias in Zenith.  Fran said that she was vulgar.
She said that Fran was lovely.

At the hotel she kissed Sam again, and cried, "Say, my heavens but
it's nice to see a human being that's HUMAN again!  Now you boys
get to thunder out of here and let me unpack, and you go off and
get decently drunk, but do try to be sober enough for dinner, which
gives you two hours, if we dine at eight, and enough time too, sez
I.  Get out of here!  I love you both.  With reservations!"

To be alone with Tub Pearson, on Tub's first afternoon on the
continent of Europe!

They had leapt over the barriers that had been erected between them
since college--different vocations, rivalry as to the splendor of
their several children, rivalry as to social honors, and this last
flagrancy of Sam in living abroad while Tub stayed true at home.
They were today the friends who had shared dress-shirts and
speculations in Senior year.

From time to time they looked at each other and muttered, "Awful'
good to be here with you, you old devil!"

Sam did not see that Tub was completely gray, that he was podgy,
that round his eyes were the lines of a banker who day after day
sharply refuses loans to desperate men.  He saw the lively Tub whom
he had protected in fights with muckers and whom he had admired for
his wit; and while he held to his temporary superiority as the
traveled man and tutored gourmet, he anxiously showed Tub all his
little treasures.

He took Tub to the New York Bar, and impressed Tub as an habitue by
casually asking whether anybody had heard from Ross Ireland.  He
took Tub to Luigi's, introduced him to Luigi, and recommended the
scrambled eggs.  He took Tub to the Chatham Bar; he was so
fortunate as to find Colonel Kelly, the famous soldier of fortune;
and he felt expansive and philanthropic; he felt, after this third
highball, as though his European agonies really had been worth
while, when he observed Tub's respectful attention to Colonel

He felt that Tub was the finest and most lovable man living; that
he was beyond belief lucky to have such a friend; and they returned
to the Continental in a high state of philanthropy and Yalensianism.

Matey looked them over and sighed, "Well, you aren't much drunker
than I thought you'd be, and now you better go in and wash your
little faces in the bathroom and have a coupla Bromo Seltzers--
believe me, Sam, traveling with THAT man, I never fail to have some
real genuine American Bromo along--and then if you can both still
walk, we'll go out and have the handsomest dinner in Paree."

He took them to Voisin's, but when they were seated Tub looked

"Not such a lively place," he said.

"No, I know it isn't, but it's a famous old restaurant, and perhaps
the best food and wine in town.  What kind of a place would you
like?  Find it for you tomorrow."

"Well, I don't know.  I don't know exactly what I did think a Paris
restaurant would be like but--Oh, I thought there'd be a lot of
gilt, and marble pillars, and a good orchestra, and lots of
dancing, and a million pretty girls, regular knock-outs, and not so
slow either.  I better watch meself, or I'll be getting Matey

"Hm," said Matey.  "Tub has a good, conscientious, hardworking
ambition to be a devil with the ladies--our fat little Don Juan!--
but the trouble is they don't fall for him."

"That's all right now!  I'm not so bad!  Say, can you dig us up a
place like that, tomorrow?"

"I'll show you a good noisy dance place tonight," said Sam.
"You'll see all the pretty chickens you want--and they'll come and
tell you, in nine languages, that you're a regular Adonis."

"They don't need to tell me that in more than one language--the
extrabatorious language of clinging lips, yo ho!" yearned the

"You're wrong, Sam," said Matey.  "He DOESN'T make me sick--not
very sick--not worse'n a Channel crossing.  And you're wrong about
thinking that I secretly wish he would go out with one of these
wenches and get it out of his system.  Not at all.  I can get much
more shopping money out of the brute while he's in this moon-June-
spoon-loon mood.  And when his foot does slip, how he'll come
running back to his old Matey!"

"I don't know whether I will or not!  Say, do we eat?"

The head waiter had been standing at attention the while.  Sam was
aching to show off his knowledge of restaurant French, and he held
out his hand for the menu, but Tub seized it and prepared to put
into the life of Voisin's all the liveliness and wit and heartiness
he felt lacking.

"Do you sprechen Sie pretty good English?" he demanded of the head

"I think so, sir."

"Attaboy!  Been in England, son?"

"Sixteen years, sir."

"Um, not so bad--not so bad for a Frog!  Well now, look here,
Gooseppy, we want Mrs. Voisin to shake us up something tasty, and
you take the orders from me, Francois, and you bring me the check
afterwards, too, see, and don't have anything to do with that big
stiff there.  He's a Scotch Jew.  If you let him order, he'd stick
us with stew, and then he'd make you take ten per cent. off the
check.  Now listen.  Have you got any nice roast elephant ears?"

Tub winked at Sam, tremendously.

The head waiter said patiently, but not too patiently, "May I
recommend the canard aux navets?"

But Tub was a conscientious Midwestern Humorist--he was a Great
Little Kidder--he had read "Innocents Abroad" and had seen "The Man
from Home," and he knew that one of the superbest occupations of an
American on the grand tour was "kidding the life out of these poor
old back numbers of Europeans."  He tried again:

"Not got any elephants' ears, Alberto?  Well, well!  I thought this
was a first-class hash-house--right up to the Childs class.  And no
elephants' ears?"  The head waiter said nothing, with much
eloquence.  "How about a nice fricassee of birds' nests?"

"If the gentleman wishes, I can send to a Chinese restaurant for

"Tub," Matey observed, "the comedy isn't going over so big.  You
give Sam that menu now, and let him order, HEAR ME?"

"Well it was kind of a flop," Tub said morosely.  "But I TOLD you
this was a dead hole.  I may not be the laddie buck that locks up
the Bullyvards every evening, but I know a live joint from a dead
one when it comes up and bites me.  Well, shoot the works, Sam."

With a quiet superiority for which he would have deserved to be
flogged, except that with Fran's monopolization of that pleasure he
rarely had a chance at it, Sam swiftly ordered foie gras, consomme,
frogs' legs, gigot of mutton, asparagus, and a salad, with a bottle
of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and though he ordered in French, so well
trained were the head waiter and the sommelier that they understood
him perfectly.

And again the luxurious inquiries about Home--WAS Emily really
well?--how was Harry Hazzard's Lincoln sedan standing up?--what was
this business about building a new thirty-story hotel?

They had dined at nine.  It was eleven when Sam took them to
Montmartre, to the celebrated "Caverne Russe des Quarante Vents,"
where Tub was satisfied in finding the Paris he had pictured.  The
Caverne was so large, so noisy, with such poisonously loud negro
jazz-bands, such cover-charges, such incredible coat-room charges,
such abominable champagne at such atrocious prices, such a crowded
dancing floor, such a stench of cigarette smoke and perfume and
perspiration, such a sound of the voices of lingerie-buyers from
Fort Worth and Milwaukee, such moist girls inviting themselves to
one's table, such rude Hellenic waiters and ruder Hebraic managers,
that it was almost as good as Broadway.  A Frenchman had once
entered the place, in 1926, but he had had to go as courier to a
party from Birmingham, Alabama, and he resigned and utterly gave up
the profession of courier the next day.

"Gee, this is some place!" exulted the Hon. Thomas J. Pearson
(president of the Centaur State Bank, trustee of the Fernworth
School for Girls, vice president of the Zenith Chamber of Commerce,
vestryman of St. Asaph's P. E. Church), and straightway he was
dancing with a red-headed girl like a little brass and ivory

"Well--" philosophized Matey.  "Eh?  Heavens no, I don't want to
dance in this stock exchange!  Well, I might just as well PRETEND I
don't mind Tub's chasing after all these little goldfish, because
he'll do it anyway, and I might as well get the credit for being
broad-minded.  Which I ain't!  You old darling, Sambo, I was sorry
Tub felt he had to uphold the banner of American Humor by making a
goat of himself with that snooty waiter at that place--wh'd' they
call it?--there tonight."

"Oh, good Lord, Matey, he's just like a--"

"You're going to say, 'He's just like a kid let out of school, and
he's got to kick up his heels,' which if I remember the rhetoric
that that old Miss Getz drummed into my mutton head in finishing
school, is both a cliche and a mixed metaphor.  Oh, I adore the fat
little devil!  He's awfully sweet when you can get him tied down at
the domestic hearth, with no audience.  But once that animal smells
applause--Honestly, I think that the sense of humor of the people
that TALK about having a 'sense of humor' is a worse vice than
drinking.  Oh, well, it might have been worse.  He might have
turned out religious, or a vegetarian, or taken to dope.  The
little monkey!  And he's drinking too much, tonight.  I just hope
he won't take enough so he'll wake up with a perfectly fierce head
tomorrow, and feel so conscience-stricken that I'll have to give
him the devil just to relieve him.  Oh, I can do it--and probably
will!--but I want to enjoy myself, too, while I'm here, and I'm
going to take home a great, big, expensive boule cabinet, if I have
to forge a check for it!"

She consented, later to dance with Sam, though it was more like
charging a mob than dancing.  She was nimble, for all her
plumpness; and as she did not, like Fran, point out his every
clumsy step, his every failure to follow the music, he danced
rather well with her, and enjoyed it, and recovered some of the
high spirits with which he had met them at the train--spirits too
high and romantic to last forever.

Tub dug out, somewhere, probably in the bar, a quite respectable
fellow-banker from Indiana, and two Irish girls, whose art was
commercialized but pretty, and everybody danced--everybody drank a
good deal--everybody laughed.

Tub himself had so good a time that he showed the highest sign of
pleasure known to an American: he wanted to "go on some place

They did--to another Caverne or Taverne or Palais or Cave or
Rendezvous, with the same high standard of everything except wine
and music and company and then, too brightly lit to waste any more
time in dancing or flirtation or anything save sitting and really
attending to drinking and humor, Tub insisted that they go back to
the New York Bar, where, he assured Matey, they would "meet reg'lar

They did.  In a corner table of the bar, under the sketches of
Parisian celebrities, they were picked up by an American navy
officer who had magnificent lies about the China coast, and somehow
there was added to their party a free-lance journalist and a lone
English corn-merchant, who talked a good deal, and very spiritedly,
about the admitted fact that Englishmen never talk much and then

Tub, in one day, was a warmer habitue of the New York Bar than was
Sam Dodsworth after a year.  It was not merely that Sam was dogged
by a sense of dignity, by a feeling that a Prominent Manufacturer
ought not to be seen about barrooms, but also that he had a certain
judicious timidity which suggested that there was no reason why the
keen, hard-minded journalists who frequented the bar and exchanged
gossip of kings and treaties should be interested in him.  But Tub
was a Professional Good Fellow--when he was away from the oak-panel
and gold velvet vestry of St. Asaph's, the trustees' room at the
Fernworth School, or the marble and walnut office at the Centaur
State Bank, where he put on a pair of horn-rimmed spectacles which
somehow prevented his eyes from twinkling or looking slyly

He hadn't forgotten one of the men he had met at the bar that
afternoon.  He called two of the journalists by their first names,
and he was in general so full of prankishness that the lone naval
officer broke into tears of relief and told them all about his most
recent fight with his wife.

But there was one flaw in the joviality.  Tub had drunk Burgundy at
dinner, Napoleon brandy afterward, champagne all evening, and now
he decided (in spite of the earnest counsel of Sam, Matey, the
naval officer, the Englishman, the journalist, the waiter, and a
few by-sitters) to show his loyalty to America and the Good Old
Days by drinking real American rye whisky--and it was a very
copious loyalty that he showed.

In the middle of the commander's story about his wife, Tub began to
look listless, with fine lines of sweat-drops on his upper lip--and
it was only two in the morning and he had been drinking steadily
for only twelve hours, which is not even par for a representative
of Prohibition America on his first day in Paris.

Matey cried to Sam, "He's passing out!  Can you take him off and
kill him or something?"

In the seclusion of the wash-room, usefully close at hand, Sam
washed Tub's face, fed him aspirin, scolded him, and they started
home and--

All of Sam's romantic exultation was gone, the glow was gone, the
childish belief that he had suddenly achieved freedom was gone, in
a leaden light of reality.  He was not angry with Tub.  But he had
felt warmth and assurance, he had felt--he admitted it--a
protection against Fran in Tub's comradeship, and that was not
enhanced in the unromantic service of holding up a man retching and
swaying in a barroom toilet.

They got Tub into a taxicab, while he protested that he was all
right now and desired to return to his friends.  Sam had to roar at
him a good deal, and lift him in.  During this knock-about scene,
an open motor passed, and Sam saw that looking disgustedly out of
it was Endicott Everett Atkins, with his high nose, his Roman
imperial, and his Henry Jamesian baldness.  Atkins turned to say
something to the lady beside him.

Sam shivered.  He fancied Atkins getting the information to Fran.
He heard her saying, "Now was I right about your dear friend Tub!"
He felt cold and irritated.  He was less gentle with Tub than he
had meant to be.

Not till Matey and he had Tub in bed did it come fully to Sam that
he might do well to forget himself and think of her.

"Hard luck!" he whispered.  "But we all slip now and--"

"Oh, you can talk as loud as you want," she said placidly.
"Gabriel with an augmented trumpet band wouldn't wake the little
monkey now!  But I do want to talk to you, and if he did wake up
and want to go out again--Oh, well, there's no place to go but the
bathroom.  Heigh!  Scandal in Zenith society!  I guess this is that
new American Jazzmania you read about!"

They sat absurdly in the bathroom, she on a white straight chair,
he precariously on the cold edge of the tub, while she went on:

"No, I don't mind.  Honestly!  Tub doesn't get really potted more
than once a year, and I never did think much of the females who lay
for their menfolks and try to get an advantage over 'em when they
have a chance like that.  Life's too short!--too short to raise
hell about anything except some real vice, like his being humorous
and making speeches.  Rather be friendly and--Sam!  You old dear
thing!  When are you going to chuck Fran and let yourself be happy

"Why, Matey, honestly, she and I are on the best terms--"

"Don't lie to me, Sam darling (you know how Tub and I DO love
you!).  Rather, don't lie to yourself!  I know.  Fran has written
to me, now and then.  Awful clever and jolly and uninterested.
And you don't propose to sit there and tell me that if she wouldn't
come home last summer and wouldn't come down from Berlin to see
us, she isn't about ready to cut out Zenith entirely!  And there's
no reason why she shouldn't!  She never was very much Zenith anyway
. . . or she THOUGHT she wasn't!  Only, Sam darling, ONLY, if she is
going to cut out Zenith, she's going to cut out you, for even if you
are kind of a Lord High Chancellor, still, same time, you ARE
Zenith, and in the long run, after you've had your fling, you'd
rather see the sunshine on a nice, ragged, old Middlewestern pasture
than on the best formal Wop garden in the world!"

"Well--yes--I guess that's more or less true, Matey, but--"

He wanted to tell her of the Sans Souci Gardens dream; he dismissed
the matter and struggled on:

"But that doesn't mean Fran doesn't appreciate Zenith and her
friends and all that.  Course she does!  Why, she's always talking
about Tub and you--"

"Yeah, I'll bet she is!  'My dear Samuel, IS it necessary for women
like your dear Mrs. Pearson to use such vulgarisms as "I'll bet she
is" all the time?'"

Though Matey's hearty and slightly brassy voice could never mimic
Fran's cool melodies, there was enough accuracy in the impersonation
to make Sam grin helplessly, and with that grin he was lost.  Matey
took advantage of it to pounce:

"Sam darling, I do know it's none of my business, and you can tell
me so whenever you want to, but I figured that probably you've been
so alone here, seeing nobody but the kind of folks that Fran wants,
and--Sam, I've seen you change a lot, more than you know, this last
ten years.  You never were a chatterbox, but you did used to enjoy
an argument or telling a nice clean smutty story, and you've been
getting more silent, more sort of scared and unsure of yourself,
while Fran has been preening herself and feeling more and more that
it was only her social graces and her Lady Vere de Vere beauty that
kept up your position, because you were so slow and clumsy and so
fond of low company and so generally an undependable hick!  And you
have more brains in your little finger than--And you're kind!  And
humble--too damn' humble!  And you want to know a fact twice before
you say it once, and she--well, she wants to say it twice before
she's learned it at all!

"Oh, golly, I guess I'm defying the thunderbolt.  Shoot, Jupiter.
. . .  Now mind you, I LIKED Fran.  I admire her.  But when I think
of how she's treated you, as though she were the silver-shod Diana
of the outfit--and especially the way she shows it in public by
being so pizen polite to you--well, I just want to wallop her!  Now
tell me to go to the dickens, darling. . . .  Listen to that man
Tub snoring in there!  THERE'S an aristocratic, college-bred
consort for you!  The poor lamb!  How sick and righteous he'll be
tomorrow--up to about noon!"

Sam laboriously lighted a cigar, searched through a perfectly blank
mind for something to say, and then, for the first time in months,
he was talking candidly about something that really mattered to

"Yes, Matey, I'll admit there is something to what you say.  I
suppose I ought to be highty-tighty and bellow, 'How dare you talk
about MY wife!'  But--Hell, Matey, I am so sick and tired and
confused!  Fran is a lot kinder and more appreciative than you
think.  A lot of what you imagine is snootiness is just her manner.
She's really shy, and tries to protect--"

"Oh, I am so tired, Sam, of hearing and reading about these modern
folks--you get 'em in every novel--these sensitive plants that go
around being rude and then stand back complacently and explain that
it's because they're so SHY!"

"Shut up, now!  Listen to me!"

"That sounds better!"

"Well, I mean--It IS true with Fran.  Partly.  And partly she
enjoys it--gets a kick out of it--feels she's a heroine in a
melodrama. . . .  Damn this bathtub--coldest arm-chair I've found
in Europe."  Without a smile he laid the bath-mat on the edge of
the tub, heavily sat down again, and went on:

"And she really thinks that having a social position is worth
sacrificing for.  And that it still matters to have a title.  And I
do know she makes me clumsy.  But--Well, first place, I really am
an old-fashioned believer in what we used to call the Home.  I hate
to see all the couples busting up the way they are.  Think of the
people we know that've separated or gotten divorced, right in our
own bunch at home--Dr. and Mrs. Daniels--think of it, married
seventeen years, with those nice kids of theirs.  And then, and I
guess this is more important, Fran has got a kind of charm,
fascination, whatever you want to call it, for me that nobody else
has.  And when she likes something--it may be meeting somebody she
likes, or a good party, or a sunset, or music--well, she's so
wrought up about it that it seems as if she had a higher-powered
motor in her, with better ground cylinders, than most of us.

"Even when she's snooty--oh, she's trying to have some FORM in
life, some standards, not just get along anyhow, sloppily, the way
most of us do; and then we resent her demanding that we measure up
to what she feels is the highest standard.  And her faults--oh,
she's a child, some ways.  To try to change her (even if a fellow
could do it!) would be like calling in a child that was running and
racing and having a lovely time in the sunshine, and making her
wash dishes."

"And so she leaves you to wash the dishes!  Oh, Sam, it's a
thankless job to butt in and tell a man that in YOUR important
opinion, his wife is a vampire bat.  But it makes your friends sore
to see you eternally apologetic to your wife, when she ought to
thank her lucky stars she's got you!  I swear she never, for one
moment, with anybody, thinks what she can give, but only what she
can get.  She thinks that nobody on earth is important except as
they serve her or flatter her.  But--You've never been interested
in any other woman, have you?"

"Not really."

"I wonder if you won't be?  I'm making a private bet with myself
that after another six months of carrying Fran's shawl, you'll
begin to look around.  And if you do, you'll be surprised at the
number of nice women that'll fall for you!  Tell me, Sam.  Could
you fall for them?"

"Well, I don't know.  I don't believe in being deliberately unhappy
for the sake of sticking to a bad bargain.  If Fran and I did drift
apart and I couldn't find some kind of security elsewhere, I
wouldn't regard it as any virtue, but simply as an inability to
face things as they are--"

"Ah hah!  A year ago you wouldn't have admitted that!  A year ago,
if I'd dared even to thumb my nose at Fran, you'd've bitten me!
Sam, you old darling, I never have criticized Fran before, have I?--
not in all these years.  Now I feel that the bust-up has happened,
and all that's needed is for you to see it, and then you'll be nice
and heart-broken and sulky and unhappy, and after that you'll find
some darling that'll be crazy about you and spoil you proper, and
then all will be joyous tra-la--curse it, that sounds like Tub!
And I'm going to bed.  G'night, Sam dear.  Like to ring us up about

As he plowed down the vast corridors of the hotel to his room, too
sleepy to think, Sam felt that this saint of unmorality had
converted him, and opened a door upon a vista of tall woods and
dappled lawns and kind faces.


What Tub and Matey and Sam did during their week together may be
deduced by studying a newspaper list of "Where to Lunch, Dine, and
Dance in Paris," the advertisements of dressmakers, jewelers,
perfumers, furniture-dealers, and of revues; and by reprinting for
each evening the more serious features of Tub's first night in

It was a fatiguing week, but rather comforting to Sam.

Through it, the pious admonitions of Matey, along with the thought
of Minna von Escher and his own original virtue, prepared him to
yield to temptation--only he saw no one who was tempting.

The Pearsons begged him to go on to Holland with them, but he said
that he had business in Paris; he spoke vaguely of conferences with
motor agents.  Actually, he wanted a day or two for the luxury of
sitting by himself, of walking where he would, of meditating in
long undisturbed luxurious hours on what it was all about.

He had two hasty, stammering notes from Fran, in which she said
that she missed him, which was all very pleasant and gratifying,
but in which she babbled of dancing with Kurt von Obersdorf till
three A.M.--of a day with Kurt in the country--of an invitation
from Kurt's friends, the Von Arminals, to spend the next week-end
at their place in the Hartz Mountains.  "And of course they'd be
enchanted to have you also if you get back in time, asked me tell
you how sorry they are you aren't here," her pen sputtered.

"Hm!" said Sam.

Suddenly he was testy.  Oh, of course she had a "right" to be with
Kurt as much as she liked.  He wasn't a harem-keeper.  And of
course it would be puerile to rage, "If she has a right to be
loose, then I have the same right."  There was no question of
"rights."  It was a question of what he wanted, and whether he was
willing to pay for it--whether he wanted new, strange loves,
whether he could find them, and whether he was willing to pay in
dignity, in the respect that Fran had for him despite her nervous

When he had seen the Pearsons off for Amsterdam, with mighty vows
to meet them in Zenith within six months, when he had for an hour
sat outside the Cafe des Deux Magots, brooding on the Franocentric
universe which had cataclysmically replaced the universe of
business and creating motors and playing golf, then sharply,
gripping the marble top of the little table with his huge hand, he
admitted with no more reservations that he was hungry as a barren
woman, hungry for a sweetheart who should have Fran's fastidiousness,
Minna von Escher's sooty warmth, and Matey Pearson's shrewd

He dined alone in a little Montparnasse restaurant filled with
eager young couples: a Swedish painter with an Italian girl
student, an American globe-trotter with his Polish mistress, pairs
of white Russians and Italian anti-fascists.  They all twittered
like love-birds and frankly held hands over the vin ordinaire and
horse-meat.  And here, as it was very cheap, there were actually
French people, all in couples except when they belonged to enormous
noisy family parties, and the couples stroked each other's hands,
unabashedly nuzzled each other's cheeks, looked into each other's
eyes, the world well lost.

It was spring--spring and Paris--scent of chestnut blossoms,
freshness of newly watered pavements, and Sam Dodsworth was almost
as lonely as though he were at the Adlon with Kurt and Fran.

When he thought of Fran's cool, neat politeness to him, he was
angry.  When he looked about him at youth in love, he was angrier.
This passion, ungrudging and unabashed, Fran had never given him.
He had been robbed--Or robbed her?  All wrong, either way.  Had

Oh, he was lonely, this big friendly man, Sam Dodsworth, and he
wanted a man to whom he could talk and boast and lie, he wanted a
woman with whom he could be childish and hurt and comforted, and so
successful and rich was he that he had neither, and he sought them,
helpless, his raw nerves exposed.  So searching, he strolled after
dinner to the Select, which was rivaling the Cafe du Dome as the
resort of the international yearners in Paris.

A man alone at a cafe table in the more intellectual portions of
Paris, and not apparently expecting some one, is always a man
suspect.  At home he may be a prince, a successful pickpocket, or
an explorer, but in this city of necessitous and over-friendly
strollers, this city where any one above the rank of assassin or
professional martyr can so easily find companions, the supposition
is that he is alone because he ought to be alone.

But it is also a rule of this city of spiritual adventurers which
lies enclosed within the simple and home-loving French city of
Paris, this new Vanity Fair, of slimier secrets, gallanter Amelias
and more friendly Captain Dobbinses than Thackeray ever conceived,
that if such a solitary look prosperous, if he speak quietly to the
waiters, not talk uninvited to the people at the next table, and
drink his fine a l'eau slowly, he may be merely a well-heeled
tourist, who would be gratified to be guided into the citadel of
the arts by a really qualified, gently tourist-despising,
altogether authentic initiate of the Parisian Hobohemia--a girl who
has once had a book-review printed, or a North Dakota 'cellist who
is convinced that every one believes him to be an Hungarian gipsy.

So it happened that when Samuel Dodsworth sat melancholy and
detached at a table before the Select, four young people at another
table commented upon him--psycho-analytically, biologically,
economically; cleverly, penetratingly, devastatingly.

"See that big dumbbell there by himself?" remarked Clinton J.
Gillespie, the Bangor miniaturist.  "I'll bet he's an American
lawyer.  Been in politics.  Fond of making speeches.  He's out of
office now, and sore about it."

"Oh, hell!" said the gentleman next.  "In the first place he's
obviously an Englishman, and look at his hands!  I don't suppose
you have room for mere hands in your rotten little miniatures!
He's rich and of good family, and yet he has the hands of a man who
works.  Perfectly simple.  He's the owner of a big country estate
in England, crazy about farming, and prob'ly he's a baronet."

"Grand!" said the third, smaller, sharper-nosed man.  "Perfect--
except for the fact that he is obviously a soldier and--I'm not
quite sure about this, but I think he's German!"

"You all," said the fourth, a bobbed-haired girl of twenty with a
cherubic face, rose-bud mouth, demure chin, magazine-cover nose,
and the eyes of a bitter and grasping woman of forty, "make me very
sick!  You know so much that isn't so!  I don't know what he is,
but he looks good for a bottle of champagne, and I'm going over and
grab it."

"What the devil good, Elsa," complained Clinton J. Gillespie, "is
it for you to come to Paris if you always go talking to Babbitts
like that fellow?  You never WILL become a novelist!"

"Won't that be fierce--when I think over some of the novelists that
hang around this joint!" rasped Elsa, and she tripped to Sam's
table, she stood beside him, warbling, "I BEG your pardon, but
aren't you Mr. Albert Jackson of Chicago?"

Sam looked up.  She was so much like the edifying portrait of
"Miss Innocence" on the calendar which the grocer sends you at New
Year's that he was not irritated even by this most ancient of
strategies.  "No, but I wish I were.  I am from Chicago, but my
name is Pearson, Thomas J. Pearson.  Loans and banking.  Won't you
sit down?  I'm kind of lonely in Paris."

Elsa did not seat herself precipitately.  It was impossible to say
just when it was that she did sit down, so modestly did she slip
into a chair, looking as though she had never had so unmaidenly an
encounter, as though momently she would take fright and wing away.
She murmured, "That was TOO silly of me!  You must have thought I
was a terribly bold little creature to speak to you, but you did
look so much like Mr.--Mr. Jackson, who is a gentleman that I met
once at my aunt's house in New Rochelle--my father is the Baptist
minister there--and I guess I felt lonely, too, a wee bit--I don't
know many people in Paris myself, though I've been here three
months.  I'm studying novel-writing here.  But it was awfully kind
of you not to mind."

"Mind?  It was a privilege," Sam said gallantly . . . and within
himself he was resolving, "Yes, you cute little bitch-kitty, you
lovely little gold-digger, I'm going to let you work me as much as
you want to, and I'm going to spend the night with you!"

And he was triumphant, after so much difficulty, at having been at
last able to take the first step toward sin.

"And now, young lady, I hope you're going to let me buy you a
little drink or something, just to show you think I'm as nice and
respectable as if you'd met ME in your aunt's house, too.  What
would you like?"

"Oh, I--I--I've scarcely ever tasted alcohol."  Sam had seen her
flip off two brandies at the other table.  "What DOES one drink?
What would be safe for a young girl?"

"Well--Of course you wouldn't touch brandy?"

"Oh no!"

"No, of course not.  Well, what would you most like?"

"Well--Oh, you won't think it's awfully silly of me, Mr. Uh--"

"Mr. Thomas--Pearson J. Thomas."

"Of course--how silly of me!  You wouldn't think it was awfully
silly of me, Mr. Thomas, if I said I've often heard people speaking
about champagne, and always wanted to taste some?"

"No, I wouldn't think that was a bit silly.  I'm told it's a very
nice innocent drink for young girls."  ("I will!  And tonight!  She
picked on me first!")  "Is there any particular brand of champagne
you'd like to try?"

She looked at him suspiciously, but she was reassured by his large
and unfanciful face, and she prattled more artlessly than ever:

"Oh, you must think I'm a TERRIBLE little silly--just a regular
little GREENHORN--but I don't know the name of one single brand of
any kind of wine!  But I did hear a boy that I know here--he's such
a hardworking boy, a student--but he told me that Pol Roger,
Quinze, I mean 1915, was one of the nicest vintages."

"Yes, I'm told it's quite a nice little wine," said Sam, and as he
ordered it, his seemingly unobservant glance noted that one of
Elsa's young men shrugged in admiration of something and handed
another of the three a five-franc note, as though he were paying a

"Am I going to have collaboration in my first seduction?" he
wondered.  "I may need it!  I'll never go through with it!  I'd
like to kiss this little imp half to death but--Oh, God, I can't
pick on a kid younger than my daughter!"

While he talked ardently to Elsa for the next half hour--about
Berlin and Naples, about Charles Lindbergh, who had just this week
flown from New York to Paris, and, inevitably, about Prohibition
and the novels that she hadn't yet quite started to write--his
whole effort was to get rid of scruples, to regain his first
flaunting resolve to forget the respectable Samuel Dodsworth and be
a bandit.

He was helped by jealousy and champagne.

After half an hour, Elsa started, ever so prettily, and cried,
"Why!  There's some boys I know at the second table over.  As you
are alone in Paris--Perhaps they might be willing to take you
around a little, and I'm sure they'd be delighted to meet you.
They're SUCH nice boys, and so talented!  Do you mind if I call
them over?"

"B' d'lighted--"

She summoned the three young men with whom she had been sitting
and introduced them as Mr. Clinton Gillespie, late of Bangor,
miniaturist, Mr. Charley Short, of South Bend, now in the
advertising business but expecting shortly to start a radical
weekly, and Mr. Jack Keipp, the illustrator--just what Mr. Keipp
illustrated was forever vague.  Unlike Elsa, they did not need to
be coaxed to sit down.  They sat quickly and tight, and looked
thirsty, and exchanged droll sophisticated glances as Sam meekly
ordered two more bottles of Pol Roger.

While taking his champagne, they took the conversation away from
him.  They discussed the most artistic of topics--the hatefulness
of all other artists; and now and then condescendingly threw to
that Philistine, Mr. Pearson J. Thomas, a bone of explanation about
the people of whom they gossiped.  After half a bottle each, they
forgot that they thought of Elsa only as nice young men should
think of a Baptist minister's daughter.  They mauled her.  They
contradicted her.  One of them--the sharp-nosed little man, Mr.
Keipp--held her hand.  And after an entire bottle, Elsa herself
rather forgot.  She laughed too loudly at a reference to a story
which no Christmas-card cherub would ever have heard.

So jealousy and a very earnest dislike of these supercilious young
men came to help kill Sam's reluctance.

"Hang it," he informed himself, "you can't tell me she hasn't been
a little more than intimate with this Keipp rat!  In any case, old
Granddaddy Sambo would be better for her than this four-flusher.
Give her a much better time.  I WILL!"

His resolution held.  Once he had accomplished the awful struggle
of winning himself, once he turned from it to winning her, he began
to see her (through a slightly champagne-colored haze) as
wondrously desirable.

"Probably I'll kick myself tomorrow.  I don't care!  I'm glad I'm
going to have her!  Now to get rid of these young brats!  Stop
brooding, Sam, and speak your little piece! . . .  I'll take her to
the Continental, too, by thunder!"

Fran would have marveled to hear her taciturn Samuel chattering.
Early he discovered a way of parrying these young geniuses--by
admitting, before they hinted it, that he was a lowbrow, but that
he ranked higher among the lowbrows than they among the highbrows.

This attack disorganized them, and enabled him to contradict them
with cheerful casualness.  He heard himself stating that Eddie
Guest was the best American poet, and a number of other things
which he had heard from Tub Pearson and which he did not believe.
His crassness was so complete that they were staggered, being
accustomed to having gentlemen as large and as rich as Mr. Pearson
J. Thomas deprecate their own richness and largeness, and admire
the sophistication of Mr. Gillespie, Mr. Short, and Mr. Keipp.

Elsa agreed with him in everything; made him ardent by taking his
side against them; encouraged him till (with a mild astonishment at
his own triumphs of asininity) he heard himself asserting that
vacuum cleaners were more important than Homer, and that Mr. Mutt,
of the comic strips, was a fuller-blooded character than Soames

And meantime, he was buying.

Mr. Gillespie, Mr. Short, and Mr. Keipp never refused another
drink.  After the champagne, Elsa suggested brandies (she had
forgotten that it was a beverage of which she had scarcely heard)
and there were many brandies, and the pile of saucers, serving as
memoranda of drinks for which he would have to pay, rose and rose
in front of Sam, while the innocent pioneer part of the table in
front of Mr. Gillespie, Mr. Short, and Mr. Keipp was free of
anything save their current brandies.

But Sam was craftily delighted.  Could anything better show Elsa
that he was a worthier lover than the sharp-nosed Mr. Keipp?

He was talking, now, exclusively to Elsa, ignoring the young men.
He was almost beginning to be honest with her, in his desire to
have sympathy from this rosy child.  He decided that her eyes
weren't hard, really, but intelligent.

He finally dared to grope under the table, and her hand flew to
his, so warm, so young, so living, and answered his touch with a
pressure which stirred him intolerably.  He became very gay, joyous
with the thought of the secret they were sharing.  But a slight
check occurred to the flow of his confidences.

Elsa cooed, "Oh, excuse me just a moment, dear.  There's Van Nuys
Rodney over there.  Something I have to ask him.  'Scuse me a

She flitted to a table at which sat a particularly hairy and blue-
shirted man and he saw her drop all her preening in an absorbed

He sat neglected by his guests at his own table.

In three minutes, Mr. Jack Keipp lounged to his feet, muttered,
"Pardon me a moment" and Sam saw him join Elsa and Van Nuys Rodney
and plunge into talk.  Then Mr. Gillespie yawned, "Well, I think
I'll turn in," Mr. Short suggested, "Glad met you, Mr. Oh," and
they were gone.  Sam watched them stroll down the boulevard.  He
wished that he had been pleasanter to them--even Shorts and
Gillespies would be worth having in this city of gaiety and

When he looked back, he saw that Elsa, Mr. Keipp, and Mr. Rodney
had vanished, complete.

He waited for Elsa to come back.  He waited an hour, with the
monstrous pile of saucers before him as his only companion.  She
did not come.  He paid the waiter, he rose slowly, unsmilingly
beckoned to a taxicab, and sat in it cold and alone.

Some time in the night--and he was never quite sure whether he had
been dreaming or half-awake--he heard Fran saying coldly, "My dear
Samuel, don't you see at last--isn't it exactly what I told you?--
that you have less knowledge of women than a European like Kurt
would have at eighteen?  You American men!  Fussing and fuming and
fretting over the obvious question of whether or not you'll seduce
that little harlot!  And then unable to accomplish it!  What a
spectacle!  But Kurt--in the first place, of course, Kurt would
have taken Elsa away from there, away from her little parasite

It was Fran's very voice, and he had nothing to answer.

He awoke again to hear not Fran but himself jeering, "And the
rottenest part of the whole thing was the cheap superiority you
felt to those three little rats of would-be artists.  Poor kids!
Of COURSE they have to be conceited and supercilious, to keep their
courage up, because they're failures."

And again, "Yes, that's all true, but I'll find Elsa again, and
this time--"


He slept badly; he rose at six and rang for breakfast.  But at
breakfast everything was gratefully clear to him.

He was so thankful that he had not gone astray with Elsa that he
did not think of it for more than a second.  All his thoughts
blazed about Fran.

Why had he let the dissensions, the blame and impatience, all the
nothings, grow into a barrier unreal but thwarting as a wall seen
in a nightmare?  All that was needed was a really frank talk with
her!  And this trip to Paris, confessing to Matey, being idiotic
with Elsa, just being alone and away from Fran, had made it
possible for him to be frank.

He'd been stupid.  Fran was a child.  Why not treat her as one, a
lovely and much beloved child; be more patient, not be infuriated
by her passing tantrums?  A child.  A lake mirroring sunny clouds
and thunder squalls.

Just go back and say, "Look here, dear--"

He wasn't sure what he was to say after "Look here, dear," but he
would be ever so affectionate and convincing.  He did love her!
Fran, with her eager eyes--

But what about Kurt von Obersdorf?

Well--belligerently--what ABOUT it!  Either she was still innocent,
and did not understand her danger, or she had fallen, and would
regret it.  In either case, when he had paternally explained the
danger of free-lance lovers like Kurt, she would come to her senses
and laugh with him at this make-believe enmity between them--yes!
that was it--all a make-believe, an exciting game, like so many
things in her secret and dramatic life!  And they would go home

He would hasten to her.  Now!  If possible he would fly!  He would
see her late this very afternoon!

He had never been in an aeroplane, for all his professional
interest in aviation engines.  Like most sound people, he had
always been slightly afraid of flying, but in his ardor now he
despised his fear.

Then there rose such a hubbub of efficiency as he had not
experienced since the most critical days of Revelation Motors.  A
demand that the porter find at what time the Berlin 'plane flew--it
went at nine, two hours from now.  Telephoning to demand a ticket.
The room-waiter rushing down for Sam's bill.  The valet de chambre
packing.  A motor ordered to take him to the flying-field.

Driving out, he felt a slight agitation.  His much motoring had not
hardened him to flying.  But his apprehension was overcome by the
prospect of seeing Fran in a few hours, and when he dismounted at
the flying field, when he saw the great 'plane, its metal body and
thick crimped metal wings as solid-looking as a steamer, when he
saw how casually the pilot took his place in front and the
attendants loaded luggage, all nervousness vanished in exultation.
He climbed up a tiny stepladder, walked across the left-hand wing,
and entered the little door like a child taken on a boat ride.

The cabin was like that of a very large limousine or a rather small
omnibus.  The seats were of leather, deep and easy as chairs in a
club; the cabin walls were covered with stamped leather; the pilot
was to be seen, with his intricacy of instruments before him, only
through a tiny window forward.  Save when he glanced out of the
window beside him, Sam had no sense of being in anything so
fantastic and fragile as an aeroplane.  His half-dozen fellow
passengers seemed casual about the whole thing.  One of them, as
soon as he was seated, opened a book and did not look up for an

Sam was vastly ashamed that he had been diffident.  He almost hoped
for a little danger.

They started with no ceremonies--just at a gesture from the
official in charge.  They trundled along the ground for so long a
time that Sam wondered whether they were overloaded, unable to
rise.  Suddenly a little qualm came--oh, it would be all right of
course when they were high in air, going a steady course, but
wouldn't it be rather nasty to leave the ground, to spin and toss
as they climbed?

Actually, he never did know when they left the ground.  They were
bumping along the turf, very noisily, the propeller draft blowing
the grass stalks backward; then, magically, they were ten feet up
in the air, they were above the hangar roofs, they were as high up
as the distant Eiffel Tower, and as for sensations, there were none
save the lively inquiry as to why he didn't have any sensations.

He noted that the country below him was like a map; he told himself
that he was thrilled when they passed over something like a fog
bank--and rather more like a wash of soap suds--and he realized
that it was a cloud and that they must be nearly a mile high in
air.  But he had read of the country looking like a map, of passing
over clouds.  In fact he experienced nothing of which he had not
read many times--until he noted, and this was something he had
never read, that aeroplane travel, in calm weather, is the most
monotonous and tedious form of journeying known to mankind, save
possibly riding on a canal boat through flat country.  How tired he
got of looking at maps, hour on hour!  He had less relationship to
the country than in the swiftest motor, the most violent train.

It was so monotonous and safe-seeming that he laughed to remember
his nervousness; laughed the more when a French business man took
out his portable typewriter, set it on a suitcase on his knees and,
a mile up in the air, began placidly to type a letter.

He forgot, then, all about aviating and, just glancing out
occasionally at distant green hills, he gave himself up to the
thought of Fran.  Oh, he would do anything for her . . . he would
make her understand it . . . surely such devotion would bring her
to his arms!

They had left Paris at nine; they were due to alight in Germany, at
Dortmund, at twenty minutes to three.  Before one they ran into a
thunder-shower, and all the commonplace dullness of their flight
was instantly snatched away.

Their little cabin seemed gruesomely insecure as the lightning
glared past them, as they quivered in a blast of wind, as they ran
into a dark cloud and for two minutes seemed lost in midnight, as
they came out of the cloud into rain which crashed against the
windows.  Sam, who had cheerfully enough driven with motor racers
at a hundred and ten miles an hour, was distinctly bothered.  He
was helpless!  There was no ground to step out on, not even a sea
to swim in, only the treacherous and darkened air.

The man across the little aisle from Sam--and Sam never did find
out what was the snarly language he spoke--looked over, laughed
deprecatingly, took out a bottle of cognac, drank long and
gurglingly and, without a word, handed it over.  Without hesitation
Sam drank from the bottle and bowed his gratitude.

He tried to think of Fran again, and she remained a floating pale
young face that outside his window kept pace in mid-air with the
'plane.  But for a time she was only that.

They ran through the thunder-shower into rough air.  They swooped
upward, they fell a hundred feet--the sensation was precisely as in
a dropping express elevator, which leaves one's stomach two floors
above--they rocked and quivered like a dory in high seas.

The business man, who had uninterestedly kept up his typing all
through the storm, quietly rose and was very sick in a little paper
bag.  At the sight, the agreeable philanthropist with the cognac
was sicker, much sicker.  And Sam Dodsworth wanted to be sick, and
was distressed because he couldn't be.

For an hour and more they were shaken thus, helpless as dice in a
box, and when with ineffable gratitude they circled down toward the
flying field at Dortmund, Sam saw that there was another thunder-
shower coming.

Had Fran or Tub Pearson been there to observe him, he might not
have had the courage to admit that he hadn't the courage to go on
to Berlin by 'plane, and it was hard enough in the presence of that
rather demanding censor, Sam Dodsworth, but as they delicately
touched the ground and taxied along--the aeroplane as innocent and
demure as though it had never thought of such insane capering a
mile in air--Sam determined, "Well, we'll call that enough for a
starter, and go on by train!"

Though he reeled a little with land-sickness when he stepped out,
he beamed with idiotic bliss on the recovered earth, the
beautifully safe and solid earth.

There were taxicabs waiting at the flying-field, but it came to Sam
that he did not know the German for even "station" or "train."  In
Berlin, he had depended on Fran.  He looked disconsolately at the
driver of the taxi in which a porter had set his bag, and grunted,
"Berlin?  Vagon?  Berlin?"

"Surest t'ing you know, boss," said the taxi-driver.  "Train for
Berlin.  Well, how's the folks back in the States?"

Sam said the inevitable.

"Was I THERE?  Say, don't make me laugh!  I was born in Prussia but
I was twenty-six years in Philly and K.C., and then I come back
here, like a boob, and I got caught by the army, and don't let
nobody tell you that was any nice, well-behaved war, either!  Jump
in, boss."

On the Berlin train, Sam forgot Fran for three minutes, in anger at
himself for having failed to go on by aeroplane.  It betrayed him
as irresolute and growing old.  Was he soft?  He determined that
the coming autumn, with Fran or without, he would make another
canoe trip in Canada; he would live sparsely, sleep on the ground,
carry on the portage, paddle all day long, and make himself shoot
the worst rapids.  Yes!  With Fran or without--

But it must be WITH!  Surely Fran could not withstand the new
passion he was bringing to her from his Paris venture.

His train reached Berlin just before midnight.

At the hotel he seized his suit-case without waiting for the
doorman, and pounded into the lobby.

"My wife in?--Mr. Dodsworth, suite B7," he demanded, at the desk.

"I think the lady must be out, sir.  The key is here," said the

Dismally, Sam followed the boy with his bag to the elevator.

He sent the key back to the desk.  He told himself that he did so
because he was tired and might be asleep before she returned.

She was not in the suite.  It smelled of her, shouted of her.  She
had spilled a little pink powder on the glass cover of her toilet-
table; on the turned-back bed was her nightgown with the Irish
lace; a half-finished letter to Emily was on the desk in the
sitting-room; and these shadows of her made her absence the more
glaring.  From midnight till half-past two he sat waiting for her,
reading magazines, and all his furious and simple-minded excitement
grew cold minute by minute.

At half-past two he heard laughter in the corridor.  Hating himself
for it, yet quite unable to resist, he sprang up, turned off the
lights in the sitting-room, and stood in the dark bedroom, just
beyond the door.

He heard the door opening; heard Fran bubbling, "Yes, you can come
in for a moment.  But not long.  Poo' lil Fran, she is all in!
What an orchestra that was!  I could have danced till dawn!"

And Kurt:  "Oh, you darling--DARLING!"

"Good evening," said Sam, from the bedroom door, and Fran sobbed,
once, quickly.

"Just got back from Paris."  Sam strode into the sitting-room,
turned on the lights, stood there feeling clumsy and thick, wishing
he had not been melodramatic.

"Oh, Sam, I am so glad you got back safe!" cried Kurt.  "Fran and I
have been dancing.  Now I vill go home, and tomorrow I ring you up
about luncheon."

He glanced at Fran, hesitated as though he wanted to say something,
bowed, and was gone.  Fran glared at Sam with lip-biting hatred.
Sam begged:

"Dear, I came back so quickly--listen, dear, I flew--because I
couldn't live without you!  I'm not angry that Kurt and you were
out so late--"

"Why should you be!"  She tossed her gold and crimson evening wrap
on the couch.

"Dear!  Listen!  This is serious!  I've come back to you, willing
to do everything I can to make you happy.  I adore you.  You know
that.  You're everything I have.  Only we've got to cut out this
nonsense of being homeless adventurers and go home--"

"And that's your idea of 'making me happy'!  And now YOU listen--to
repeat your favorite phrase!  I love Kurt, and Kurt loves me, and
I'm going to marry him!  No matter what it costs me!  We decided it
tonight.  And all I can say is I'm glad Kurt was too much of a
gentleman to punch your head, as he probably wanted to, when you
played that sweet, provincial trick of hiding in the bedroom to
listen to us--"

"Fran, Fran!"

"Now don't play the injured and astonished small boy!  You have no
complaint.  You've never known me.  You've never known anything
about me.  You've never known what I wore, what flowers I put in
your study, what sacrifices I made to cover up your awkwardnesses
and help you keep your dull friends and your dull work and your
dull reputation!"


"Oh, I know!  I'm being beastly.  But I was so happy with Kurt--
till two minutes ago.  And then I find you here, a prowling
elephant--oh yes, the great Mr. Dodsworth, the motor magnate, who
has a right to commandeer my soul and my dreams and my body!  I
can't STAND it!  Poor--yes, Kurt and I will be poor.  Only, thank
God, we'll have my twenty thousand a year!  But that will be
poverty among the sort of people he knows--"

She was altogether hysterical; she was tearing at her evening
frock; and he was as appalled as a man witnessing a murder.  He
said timidly, "All right, dear.  Just one thing.  Does he want to
marry you?"


"Then I'll go away."  He had a vision of such loneliness as he had
known in Paris at the Select.  "Can you get a divorce here in

"Yes.  I believe so.  Kurt says so."

"You'll stay in Berlin?"

"I think so.  A friend of the Biedners has a nice flat to let,
overlooking the Tiergarten."

"All right.  Then I'll go away.  Tomorrow.  'Fraid it's too late
tonight.  I'll sleep on the couch here in the parlor, if you don't

"Very well. . . .  Oh, you WOULD play the role of the patient,
suffering martyr at a time like this!  You have just enough native
instinct to guess that's the one way you can put me hopelessly in
the wrong, and make me feel as if I'd been a dirty dog in not
appreciating you--as if I must go back and be the dutiful dull
consort.  Well, I won't!  Understand that!"  He felt as though he
were being driven into a corner.  "Kurt has everything I've always
wanted--real culture, learning, manners, even his dear, idiotic,
babyish clownishness.  Yes--I'll hurry and get it in before you
graciously throw it up at me--yes and position.  I ADMIT I'd like
to be a countess.  Though how unimportant that part is, a man like
you could never understand.  Yes, and physically Kurt has--oh, he
hasn't your lumbering bull strength, but he rides, he fences, he
dances, he swims, he plays tennis--oh, perfectly.  And he has a
sense of romance.  But you'll go around telling all the dear dull
people in Zenith that I didn't appreciate your sterling--"

"Stop it!  I warn you!"

"--virtues, and that I'm a silly tuft-hunting American woman, and
you'll enjoy sneering that for all his rank, the Count Obersdorf is
only a clerk and probably a fortune-hunter, and that will make you
feel so justified for all your dullness!  Oh, I can see what a
sweet time you'll have spreading scandal about me--"

"God!"  Fran shrank at something in his face.  He was standing by
the center table.  He had cooled his huge right hand by grasping a
vase of roses.  That hand slowly closed now, his shoulder strained,
and the vase smashed, the water dripped through his fingers.  He
threw the mess, glass fragments and crushed flowers, into a corner,
and wiped his bleeding fingers.  The hysterical gesture relieved

She looked frightened, but she quavered gallantly, "Don't be mel--"

He broke in with a very hard, business-like:  "We'll have no more
melodrama on either side.  I warned you that I'd fly off the
handle.  If you enjoy your little game of picking at me any more,
it won't be a vase next time.  Now there's just a couple of things
to settle.  That I go is decided.  But--You're quite sure that Kurt
wants to marry you?"


"Been anything more than--"

"No, not yet--I'm sorry to say!  There might have been if you
hadn't come tonight.  Oh, I'm sorry!  Please!  I don't mean to be
quite as nasty as I sound!  But I'm a little hysterical, too.
Don't you suppose I know what people will think about me--what even
Brent and Emily will think!  Oh, I'll pay--"

"You will.  Now will you promise me: see as much as you want to of
Kurt, but promise me that you'll wait a month before you decide to
sue for divorce.  To be sure."

"Very well."

"I'll instruct my bank to send you ten thousand a year, on top of
your own money.  That seems to end everything."

"Oh, Sam, if I could only make you see that it was your ignorance,
your impotence, and not my fault--"

Suddenly he had seized an astonished and ruffled Fran, thrust her
into the bedroom, growled, "We've talked enough tonight," locked
the door on her infuriated protests . . . berated himself for that
ruffianism . . . sighed that he would lie awake all night . . .
and, with no bedtime preparations save removing his coat and shoes,
dropped on the couch and gone instantly and blindly asleep.


In the morning he was cool, determined to clear off as soon as
possible.  She was no less cool.  When he unlocked the bedroom
door, at eight, she was already dressed, in crisp blue coat and
skirt and plain blouse, and she looked at him as though he were a
servant whom she had resolved to discharge for insolence.  She said

"Good morning.  You know, of course, that your mauling me and
threatening me last evening made finally impossible any rapprochement
between us."

"Eh?  That's fine."

"Oh.  Oh, I see.  Very well, that makes everything so MUCH easier.
At last we know where we are.  Now I suppose you'll return to
Paris, at least for a while."

"I suppose so.  I'll take the evening train."

"Then you'll have a lot to do.  I'm sorry to trouble you, but I'm
afraid we'll have to make a number of agreements--about our house
in Zenith, about finances, and so on--it's very generous of you to
go on sending money, though I certainly should not take it unless I
felt that, after all, running your house, entertaining your
business acquaintances and all, perhaps I've earned it.  And you'll
have to pack--be something of a job to divide up the luggage, of
course, now our things are all mixed up together in the trunks.  So
we must get busy.  If you'll be so good as to order breakfast for
us--and to shave!--which you decidedly need, if you'll permit me to
say so!--I'll go down and have the concierge get your wagon lit and
ticket.  And I'll telephone to Kurt.  I assume you will want to
abuse him for a while--oh, he won't mind!  And I think it might be
good for my reputation here, so long as I'm in an anomalous
position, which I can't expect you to understand or appreciate, if
Kurt and I saw you off together on the train tonight."

"Fran, I'm not planning to get out any shotgun, but I most
certainly will not see Von Obersdorf again, any time, under any
considerations.  For both my sake and his, I'm afraid you'll have
to give up your idea of having your cake and eating it--of kicking
me out and yet of having every one suppose you're a devoted and
deserted wife.  That's flat.  UNDERSTAND?"

"Quite.  Very well.  And I should be glad if you'd find it possible
not to yell at me any more, just this last day, so that I'll have a
little pleasanter memory of you!  Please order some orange juice
for me.  I'll be back by the time breakfast is here.  You'll find
your blue suit freshly pressed in the closet--I had it done while
you were away."

At eleven, while Sam was packing and Fran was out buying another
suit-case, into the sitting-room, into the bedroom, without
knocking, came Kurt von Obersdorf, and Sam looked up to see him
standing in the door, his fingers nervous on his palms.

"I know you did not want to see me.  Fran telephoned me so.  But
you do not understand, Sam.  I am not a gigolo or a Don Juan.  I do
love Fran; I would beg her to marry me if she were free.  But if I
told you how much I like and admire you, you would think I was a
sentimental fool.  I have kep' telling her she does not appreciate
you.  If I could bring you two together--oh, DON'T run off and
desert her; she needs your steadiness!  If I could bring you two
together again, and keep you both for my ver' dear friends, _I_
would go away, instead--yes, I would go today!"

Sam rose from the wardrobe trunk, dusted his hands, stood gravely
in his shirt-sleeves:

"Suppose I just called your bluff, Von Obersdorf?  Suppose I said,
'All right, you leave Berlin today, for good, and I'll stay.'"

"I would do it!  I will!  If in turn you promise me to be always
more tender with Fran!  Oh, I do not mean I can go forever, and
hide myself.  I am a poor man.  I support partly my mother.  But I
can be called for business to Budapest, for three weeks.  We
organize now a new branch there.  Shall I go?"

He looked the zealot, he said it like a crusader.

But Sam realized hastily, dismayingly, that he wanted to go; that
he wanted to be free of Fran's play-acting; he realized that he was
afraid to be left alone with her fury if Kurt should desert them.

"No," he said.  "And I apologize.  I believe you.  Here's what
we've got to do.  Of course I have no way of knowing just how fond
you are of Fran.  But it certainly doesn't look as if Fran and I
could ever get together again.  Don't even know it would be a good
thing, for either of us.  What we have to do is to do nothing; let
things take their course.  I'm going.  She stays.  You stay.  You
see how you feel, and I'll see how I feel, and if you do love the
girl--as I by God have and as I suppose I still do!--don't let any
consideration for me stand in your way.  I wouldn't, I guess, if
the shoe was on the other foot.  Not that I'm going to say any
'Bless you my children.'  I feel more like saying, 'Damn you both!'
But I can't see where you're to blame.  No.  Now I've got to finish
packing.  Good-bye, Obersdorf.  Don't see me off tonight--
definitely don't want it.  And I guess I ought to tell you that I'm
afraid she's right.  Guess you can make the girl happier than I

"But YOU--going alone--"

"Now hell's big bells on a mountain!  Don't worry about me!  I'm
free, white, and twenty-one!  Everybody's had too much considerateness
for everybody else in this business!  I figure that maybe it would
have been a lot clearer-cut if one of us had been out-and-out
hoggish and known what he wanted and just grabbed it.  No.  I'll be
all right.  Good-bye."

Kurt shook the proffered hand hesitatingly.  Sam turned his back.
When he looked up, Kurt was gone.

If Fran knew that Kurt had called, she gave no sign.  All day she
was courteous, brisk, and harder than enamel.

To pack for his journey--the journey to nowhere which might last
forever--it was necessary to unpack the rather large number of
trunks and bags which these spoiled children of new wealth had
found necessary.  Their baggage had for months been their only
home.  To divide it was like the division of property after a

But she was efficient about it, and horribly kind.

When she came to the shawl he had bought as a surprise for her that
exciting day in Seville, she looked at it slowly, stroked it,
started to speak, then firmly put it away in a drawer of the
bureau.  But it was harder when she came to the silly shell-box.

It brought back a day on the Roman Campagna, a windy radiant day of
fast walking.  They had found a tomb old as the Caesars, forgotten
amid long grass, and had lunched in a palm-thatched outdoor booth
at a peasant trattoria.  A pedler came whining to their table with
a tray of preposterous shell-boxes, and Fran seized one, crying,
"Oh, DARLING, will you look at this adorably awful thing?"  It was
a masterpiece; a wooden box with cheap red velvet glued round the
sides, and on top a scurf of tiny gilded sea-shells about a small
streaky mirror.  "Look!  All my life--When I was a little girl, we
had a maid (only I think we called her a hired girl!) that had a
box EXACTLY like this, and I thought it was the most beautiful
thing in the world.  I used to sneak up to her little room, under
the eaves, to worship, it.  And I've always wanted one like it.
And here it is!  But of course one couldn't buy the horrible

"Why not?"

"Oh, could we?  It would make me remember--Oh, of course not!
Perfectly silly, with us traveling--"

But he rose to her fancy; he demanded of the old pedler, "How much
liras?  Eh?" and interrogatively held up five fingers.

After much conversation which neither Sam nor the pedler understood,
and at which Fran giggled helplessly, Sam bought the object for
seven lire, and that night Fran surrounded it with a pearl necklace
and burned a candle in front of it.  Then she had forgotten it--but
not quite thrown it away.  It had made its way into one of those
neglected drawers of a wardrobe trunk, one of those old attics of
traveling, which contain bathing suits, walking shoes, solid
histories intended to make journeying educational, and all the other
useful staples which one surely will use, and never will.

Fran dove into this attic drawer busily; she drew out the shell-
box, and stood holding it.  Her eyes were deep, pitiful, regretful,
and all their defense was gone.  He looked back at her, helpless.
And neither of them found anything to say, and suddenly she had
snatched out of the attic drawer a never-used thermos bottle and
their moment was gone.

A minute later when, after desperate groping for speech, he felt
that it would be an ingratiating thing to say, "If I happen to go
to Spain, would you like me to get you any lace or embroidery or
anything?" she answered suavely, "Oh, thanks, thanks no.  I fancy I
may run down to the Balkans before long, and I believe there's some
very decent embroidery there.  I say, will you please notice that
I'm putting these dress collars not with your day collars but with
your evening shirts?  Heavens, we must hurry!"

When a man straggles on the short death-walk from his cell through
the little green door, into the room where stands the supreme
throne, does he, along with his incredulous apprehension, along
with trying to believe that this so-living and eternal-seeming
center and purpose of the universe, himself--this solid body with
its hard biceps, its curiously throbbing heart that ever since his
mother's first worry has in its agonies been so absorbing, this
red-brown skin that has glowed after the salt sea at Coney Island
and has turned a sullen brick after wild drinking--the astonishment
that this image of God and Eternity will in five minutes be still
and stiff and muck--is he at that long slow moment nonetheless
conscious of a mosquito bite, of a toothache, of the smugness of
the messages from Almighty God which the chaplain gives him, of the
dampness of the slimy stone corridor and the echo of their solemn
march?  Is he more conscious of these little abrasions than of the
great mystery?

So busy were Sam and Fran at the station--buying magazines, looking
over the new Tauchnitzes, seeing that his extra trunks were
registered through to Paris--that they had no time to question
whether this might be their last parting.  They had dined in the
crowded bar of the Adlon, too close to others to have the luxury of
mourning; she had said nothing more emotional than "If you should
decide to go to America, when you see Emily and the boy tell them
that I'll come back and see them in a few months now. . . no matter
what happens . . . unless they'd like to come over to Europe.  Of
course I'd like that . . . I put some new tooth-powder in the
bottle in your fitted case."

She was as attentive as a courier at the station; it was she who
with her quick inaccurate German persuaded the conductor to change
Sam to a one-berth compartment, who prevented his giving the hotel
porter, who met them with their band luggage and registered the
trunks through, more than four marks as tip.

By general, it had been he, these months, who had borne the duties
of tickets, luggage, reservations, while she sat back in cool
elegance and was not shy about criticizing him for his errors.  But
tonight she led the expedition, she thought of everything, and he
felt helpless as a maiden aunt.  He had a new respect for her. . . .
Perhaps, with Kurt, she wouldn't be a child any longer, but
grasp reality.  That made him the more disconsolate, the more
hopeless of some future miraculous reconciliation.  He saw her a
woman reborn.  It seemed to him that she was grasping the
intricacies of daily life in Europe as deftly as she managed
everything from the cook's salary to the women's club program in
America.  He could not imagine her, just now, going back to Zenith.
Kurt von Obersdorf and the Princess Drachenthal and Europe had
utterly defeated and put in their place Sam Dodsworth and Tub and
Matey Pearson and Ross Ireland and the Midwest.

Thus his thoughts blundered and writhed while he ambled after her
through the station--to the news-stand, to the cigar-stand, to the
train-gate--feeling himself no closer to her polished and metallic
briskness than he was to the bundle-lugging third-class passengers
who plodded through the echoing immensity of the train-shed; and
thus, with everything necessary and unnecessary accomplished and
overaccomplished, they stood together beside his sleeper, his
luggage stored, his ticket taken by the guard, and suddenly they
tumbled like the falling Lucifer from the paradise of keeping busy
to the inferno of feeling.  She put it off a moment.  She sighted
the boy trundling his little platform wagon of wine and sandwiches
and fruit; she cried, "Oh, you might want something to drink," and
darted off to bring him back a flask of cognac.

There was nothing else.

The train took another diabolic three minutes to start.  They
walked up and down--a tail, well-tailored pair, obviously
complacent and not much interested, not very emotional.

He took her arm, as he had so many times at so many railroad
stations, but dropped it with hot guiltiness.

"No, PLEASE," she said, tucking her arm into his.  "It is going to
be a little hard to realize, isn't it, old thing!  Oh, Sam darling,
you and I can't get along together.  And I do love Kurt.  I stand
by that!  But we have been partners, good partners, in this funny
business of life. . . .  We've had so many happy times, just you
and I together!"  Her voice lost its confidence.  "Shall I ever see
you again?  And--oh, my blessings, my dear--"

"Eeeeeein-steigen--bitte einsteigen!" cried the mourning voice of
the guard.

"That means 'all aboard'?" croaked Sam.

"Yes.  Quick!"

The train was starting as he climbed up to the vestibule.  Fran
stood alone.  He saw her with a strange, impersonal pity.  She
seemed so slim and young and defenseless, so alone in the gray
city.  He realized that she was crying.

His heavy mature voice became young and shaky as he cried, "Dear,
did I remember to tell you today that I adore you?"

The guard slammed the vestibule door, and as through an open window
he craned to look back at her, he saw Kurt von Obersdorf running
down the platform, he saw Fran droop into Kurt's arms, and he
walked slowly into the roaring loneliness of his compartment.


Kaleidoscope.  Scarlet triangles and azure squares, crystalline
zigzags and sullen black lines.  Meaningless beauty and distortions
that were the essence of pain.  Such were the travels of Samuel
Dodsworth, those summer months.

He longed to go home to Zenith, to have the solace of Tub and
Matey, of Emily and Brent, of streets and corners and offices that
respected him and did not sneer at him as an ignorant tourist.  But
to face the derision that would be his if he came back without
Fran, to hear in every corner the delighted whispering which was
the vicarious vengeance of men who wanted to be free of their own
wives and took out their timorous hatred in snickering and twilight
gossiping about the marital troubles of others--that he could not
endure.  And to face a gloating, damp, pawing pity, to face the
morons who would suppose that he was so little that he would be
gratified by their libeling Fran, his Fran, and by cumbersomely
congratulating him on losing her, who was his very soul--that was
not to be borne.

If he had had a job at home, he would probably have plunged back
into it, and in a fury of papers and secretaries and telephone-
calls have concealed himself from the scandal.  But he hadn't.
Just now the Sans Souci Gardens plan seemed to him as preposterous
as his lifelong belief that he was man enough to hold his wife.

Yet twice, in Paris, he reserved passage to America, and twice he
frugally went to the Cunard office and got back his passage money.

He crept over to London to hear the one language he knew, and fled
from it because he did know the language, because some one might
recognize him and pity him.  He went on a German tour to the North
Cape and the Baltic, got off at Riga, and fled from it because he
did not know the language.

He returned to England, rented a motor, and toured along the old
Roman road through Kent, stopping in villages of half-timbered
houses and cottages covered with red tile shingles; into Sussex
villages secret in still wooded valleys beneath the shining downs.
He might have been seen, a very large man alone in a rather small
car; a lone figure sitting on the sky-cut rim of a hill, hour on
hour, clasping his knees, apparently brooding; a man alone in a
public bar, listening to everything that was said--surprised and
pleasant when some one spoke to him.

He felt the peace and security of the English valleys and
farmsteads--and it made him the more restless because he was so
definitely an outsider.  He returned to Paris, and night after
night he sat in American bars, and was put down as one of the
beachcombers who have been something once but who have gone
bankrupt--financially or nervously or alcoholically--and of whom
one must pityingly beware.

He understood.  So it came to pass that he spent most of his time
alone, in his room in the Grand Universel.  (It gave him a curious
mean pleasure, now, to have a cheap single bedroom instead of a
suite.)  He drank a good deal.  Sometimes he had a cognac instead
of breakfast.  But between blurred drowsinesses, he saw with
clarity that he was utterly a man alone, that his work, his
children, his friends, his habitual routine of life, and at last
his wife, all the props and crutches with which he had been enabled
to hobble through life as a Good Fellow, were gone, and that he had
nothing upon which to depend except such solaces as he might find
in his own brain.  No one really needed him, and he was a man who
had never been able to depend on any one to whom he could not give.

In childish, absurd ways he managed to kill time, day on day, in a
fog which now and then mercifully concealed from him the needs of
Samuel Dodsworth.  Till noon he loafed in his room at the Grand
Universel, frowsy in dressing-gown, taking an hour to read the
Paris Tribune and Herald, taking half an hour to shave.  He
managed, once a fortnight, to spend an hour in having his hair cut,
and though he tried to give the appearance of being a busy and
important man, he was glad when he had to wait at the barber's;
when he could, without looking ridiculous, spend that time in
turning over Sketch and the Graphic.  He took to having manicures--
he had despised the practise.  He never admitted it to himself, but
he neglected giving a hotel address to the Guaranty Trust, so that
he might have a reason to plod to the bank for his mail every day.

He was grateful to the doormen and the mail clerks at the Guaranty
Trust for treating him like some one who still mattered; and when
he had a letter--they were few now, and most of them were from
Fran, who seemed to desire to keep up a sisterly friendship with
him--he took it with fatuous dignity and retired to a table in
front of a cafe on the Boulevard des Italiens to read it, to re-
read it, though the most that he gathered was that she had found a
charming new restaurant in Berlin.

Once a man who was asking for his mail at the Guaranty Trust said,
"Aren't you Mr. Dodsworth of the Revelation Company?  Met you, sir,
at the motor show in New York."

Sam was so pleased that he asked the man to lunch, and telephoned
to him often, to the end that the man, who had regarded Sam as one
of his gods, saw that he was merely a solitary and common human
being, and despised him and was uninterested.

And always Fran was with him, scolding at his weakness; always he
saw her face.  At twilight, and at three in the morning, when he
could sleep no longer and rose to smoke a cigarette, he heard her
saying, "Oh, Sam, I couldn't have BELIEVED that you could ever
become a dirty drunk like this!"  He nestled his head on her
shoulder and weepingly confessed his failure as a human being and
thereafter was racked with pity for her mad and gallant effort to
be more than herself, so that he would gladly have done what he
could to help Kurt to win her. . . .  Samuel Dodsworth, so
abnormally flushed that no friend of his hearty triumphant days
would have recognized him, sitting on the edge of his bed, his hair
wild and his pajamas wrinkled, smoking cigarettes, longing to
telephone from Paris to Berlin and tell Fran that he hoped she
would be the Countess Obersdorf, and kept from it chiefly by the
thought that she wouldn't like it at all and would be very tart
about it if he awoke her at three in the morning.

He had known unhappiness often enough, but never complete suffering
like this--a suffering so vague and directionless and unreasonable
that he raged at himself for his moody weakness--a suffering so
confusing that he would have preferred any definite pain of the
body.  Fran was to him a madness.  Now he cursed her for disloyalty
and in long unmoving silences reviewed her superciliousnesses, but
the result was no stout resolution to be free, but sudden pity for
her--a fear that she would be slighted by Kurt's family--a picture
of her alone and friendless, crying at twilight.  He remembered in
jagged reminiscences the most grotesquely assorted things--a white
fur evening cape she had once had, and how she had prepared a lunch
of coffee and salad and cold partridge on the roadside, when they
had motored to Detroit; her way of saying "I am a very sleepy young
woman," and a funny slatternly pair of pink wool bedroom slippers
which she had loved.  He glowed in these relivings and came bolt
out of them to ache the more, till she was to him a spiritual virus
from which he had to be free.

He found Nande Azeredo; and he was rather completely untrue to
Fran, and while he liked Nande, he could not persuade himself to
like being untrue.

He had gone back to the Cafe Select, hoping to see Elsa and by some
magic to take her away from the sharp-nosed Mr. Keipp.  There was
no question now of willingness to be what he still called
"disloyal," there was only a question of keeping from going insane.
The moralities with which comfortably married clergymen concern
themselves did not exist for him now.

He did not see Elsa, and as he sat alone a tall, rather handsome
girl, with a face as broad between the cheek bones as a Tartar
ambled up, sat down uninvited, and demanded, in an English that
sounded as though it were played on a flute, "Vot's the trouble?
You look down in the mout'."

"I am.  What would you like to drink?"

"Grand Marnier. . . .  Did she die, or run away from you?"

"I'd rather not talk about it."

"So bad as that?  Good.  I talk about this place here.  I will give
imitations of the people here."

And she did, merrily, not badly.  She seemed to him quite the
brightest light he had found since Berlin.  His guess was that she
was an artists' model; there were few professional prostitutes to
be found at the Dome or the Select, no matter how competent were
some of the amateurs.

She told him that she was Nande Azeredo, as though he ought to know
who she was.

Fernande Azeredo (he discovered presently) was half Portuguese,
half Russian, and altogether French.  She was twenty-five and she
had lived in nine countries, been married three times, and once
shot a Siberian wolf.  She had been a chorus girl, a dress
mannequin, a masseuse, and now she scratched out a thin living by
making wax models for show-window dummies and called herself a
sculptress.  She boasted that though she had had fifty-seven lovers
("And, my dear, one was a real Prince--well, pretty real"), she had
never let one of them give her anything save a few frocks.

And he believed her.

This alley-kitten--or alley-tigress--read him as such geniuses as
Elsa and Keipp and Gillespie and Short had never done.  She knew by
divination that he was an American, a business man, graduate of a
university; she knew that he had lost at love; she knew that
essentially he was kindly and solid and not to be diverted by the
obscenities with which she had amused other traveling Americans.

"You are a nize man.  Maybe you buy me a dinner.  Or I don't care a
damn--you come to my little flat and I cook you a shop.  I have not
got no man, now.  The last--oh, the dirty hound--I threw him out
because he stole my fur coat and pawned it!"

And he believed her.

Her flushed vitality pleased him.  Though she said nothing of
importance, she uttered her little, profane, sage comments on the
warfare between men and women with such vigor, she so assured him
that he was large and powerful and real and that she preferred him
to all of the limp poetasters about the place, that he was warmed
by her companionship.  And without mentioning Berlin or Kurt,
without making it quite clear whether Fran had been sweetheart or
wife, he forgot his "I'd rather not talk about it," and told her
rather frankly of his illness.

Then he returned to his hotel, packed a bag, and spent three nights
and days in the flat of Nande Azeredo.

She astonished him by the casual, happy, utterly proud way in which
she served her Man.  He had not known that any women save spinster
secretaries could be happy in serving.  She darned his socks and
made him drink less cognac, she cooked snails for him so that he
actually liked them, she taught him new ways of love, and when she
found that he did not know them, she laughed at him, but
affectionately.  For the first time in his life he began to learn
that he need not be ashamed of the body which God had presumably
given him but which Fran had considered rather an error.  He found
in himself a power of intense passion such as, all his life, he had
guiltily believed himself to lack; and sometimes Nande's flat
seemed to him the Bower of Eden.

It was an insane little flat: three rooms, just under the roof,
looking on a paved courtyard which smelled of slops and worse, and
was all day clamorous with quarreling, children playing, delivery
of charcoal, and the banging of garbage cans.  Her dishes were
cracked, her cups were chipped; the plaster walls were rain-
streaked and Sam's roses she set out in a tin can; but on a couch
covered with gold brocade lolled horribly a number of powdery-faced
dolls, very elongated and expensive.  Her clothes were in heaps and
there was no concealment of sanitary appliances.  And everywhere
were instruments for the making of noise: a phonograph which by
preference she turned on at three in the morning, rattles and horns
left over from the last carnival, a very cheap radio--fortunately
out of order--and seven canaries.

He could not, for a time, believe that Nande, whatever her virtues,
was not calculating on what she would get out of him.  When they
were ambling the Rue de la Paix together (that street which Fran
had seemed to know so well, but which Nande made living by telling
the most scandalous tales about the shop-keepers and their
favorites among the women clerks) he buzzed, "What'd you like me to
buy you, Nan?  Some pearls or--"

She stopped before him, planted her arms akimbo, and spoke
furiously.  "I am not vot you call a gold-digger!  I am not lady
enough!  If when you get tired of me, you vant to give me a hundred
dollars--or fifty--fine.  But you must, by God, understand, when
Nande Azeredo takes a man, it iss because she likes him!  Pearls?
What would I do with pearls?  Can I eat pearls?"

She worked daily--though not for very many hours daily--at her
atrocious modeling, and somehow she managed to bring him in
precisely the sorts of English books he wanted: Shelley, for the
vanity of remembering that he had been a University Man before he
became a beachcomber, and detective stories, which he really read.

"Lord!" he reflected, "what a wife she'd make for a pioneer!  She'd
chuck this Parisian show like a shot, if she loved somebody.  She'd
hoe the corn, she'd shoot the Indians, she'd nurse the babies--and
if she couldn't get Paris lingerie, she'd probably spin it."

But it was just her admirable vigor which after three days wearied

It was amusing, the first time, to see Nande, arms akimbo, in a
shawl or a chemise, denouncing the grocer's boy for an overcharge
of thirty centimes, denouncing him with so many applications of the
epithet "Camel" that he blanched and fled.  But it was much less
amusing, the twentieth time she quarreled with tradesmen, waiters,
taxi-drivers, and motorists--who, she believed, were in a
conspiracy to run her down--and with Sam himself, for not eating
more.  She was so shrill: her conversations started with a shriek
and ended with a howl.  He longed for a decent quiet.  And always
he saw Fran watching Nande and himself in mockery.

Whenever he stoutly convinced himself that Nande was beautiful as a
young tigress and a miracle of loyal kindness, the cool wraith of
Fran appeared, and Nande seemed then a blowsy gutter-looper.  To
his angry defense of Nande, Fran answered with the look she gave
rude servants.  She watched while Nande scrubbed the floor, bawling
indecent lyrics; she slipped through the room just as Nande cheered
Sam by slapping his rear; and he was turned into a schoolboy caught
with the kitchen maid.

So he told Nande that business called him to Italy.  She pretended
to believe him; she begged him to be careful of cognac and women;
she casually accepted a present of a hundred dollars; she saw him

As the train was starting, she slipped into his hand a little

He looked at it an hour or two afterward.  It contained a gold
cigarette case which must have cost her all of his hundred dollars.

Nande Azeredo!

He never wrote to Nande.  He wanted to, but she was not one to whom
you could say anything on paper.

She seemed to him a character in a play; a rather fantastic and
overacted character; but she had definitely done something to him.
She had, along with the glances of Minna von Escher, broken down
all the celibacy which had plagued him, and however much he still
fretted over Fran, imagined her loneliness in Berlin, let himself
be wrung by pity for her self-dramatizing play at romance which was
bound to turn into tragedy, he no longer felt himself her prisoner,
and he began to see that this world might be a very green and
pleasant place.

He was more conscious of the wagon lit than he had ever been, for
he was wondering if he might not spend much of his life, now, in
those homes for people who flee from life. . . .  Blue upholstered
seat, rather hard, with hard cylindrical cushions.  Above the blue
velvet, yellow and brown florid stamped leather, rough to a
speculative touch.  The Alarm Signal to stop the train, all labeled
nicely in four languages for the linguistic instruction of
tourists, which he always longed to pull, even if it cost him five
hundred lire.  The tricky little cabinet in the corner which turned
into a wash-stand when one let down the folding shelf.  And the
detached loneliness of which he rid himself now and then by poking
out into the corridor, to lean against the brass rail across the
broad low windows, or to sit on the tiny folding seat.  And
outside, mountains; stations with vacant-faced staring loungers;
plains which seemed to him altogether like the American Middlewest
till suddenly the sun, revealing a high and distant castle on an
abrupt cliff, restored to him the magic of foreignness.

Till now, Sam Dodsworth had never greatly heeded fellow passengers,
except Americans who looked as though they might be good fellows
with whom to gossip and have a drink.  Of most of them, had you
demanded a description from him after the journey, he would have
said, "Oh, they looked about like anybody else, I guess--why?"  He
saw them not as trees walking but as clothes sitting.

But the incredible jar of being dismissed by Fran, the opening of
his eyes to the possibilities of misery in the world, made him feel
the universal pathos of things more sensitively than he had even on
the exalted night when he had first beheld the lights of England.
He felt--no doubt sentimentally--akin to everything that was human;
he saw--no doubt often without reason--a drama, tragic or comic,
behind all the face-masks of travelers, behind surly faces, stupid
faces, mean faces, common faces.  He a little forgot himself--and
Fran and Kurt and Nande Azeredo--as he wondered whether that tight-
mouthed woman had recently been burying her husband, whether that
overdressed young salesman had a nagging wife at home, whether that
petulant and snarling old man had lost his fortune.  He studied the
railroad workmen who stood back to let the train pass, and
speculated as to which of them was about to be married, which was
an ecstatically religious communist, which was longing to murder
his wife.

Thus brooding, hour-long, not having to hasten back to the
compartment and entertain Fran.  Thus slowly and painfully
perceiving a world vaster than he had known.  Thus considering
whether he was so badly beaten, so enfeebled by Fran's scorn, that
he could never find the Not Impossible She and, with her,
experience the not impossible self-confidence and peace.

He poked about Rome for a week, trying to persuade himself that he
was studying architecture.  It was hot, and he fled to Montreux,
with a notion of swimming and cool mountains.  Daily he examined
schedules of sailings for New York and surmised that one of these
days would find him fleeing aboard a steamer.  He drifted to
Geneva, solemnly viewed the League of Nations building, and in his
hotel wondered which of the not very exciting-looking gentlemen
with top hats were famous ministers of state.  Then, in a small
restaurant, he heard, like an angelic trump, the voice of Ross
Ireland, the correspondent:  "Well, Sam, you old devil, where did
you come from!"

They had many drinks.

With Ross he tramped for a week, rucksack on shoulders, through the
Bernese Oberland.  He felt rather foolish, at first, to be carrying
a sack and walking dustily past large hotels, for he had been
trained to feel that it was undignified for him to walk, except on
a duck pass or a golf course.  But he enjoyed seeing a view without
the need, as a rich, busy, and motorized tourist, of having to
hustle past it; he found himself breathing deeper, sleeping better,
brooding less, and drinking beer instead of cognac.  In fact he
believed that he had discovered walking, and wrote enthusiastic
recommendations of it on post cards to Fran, Tub, and Dr. Hazzard.
He came to feel superior to large, plushy hotels.  Ross and he ate
dumplings and pig's knuckle; they rested at tiny tables in front of
inns when they had panted into a village, sweaty and shoulders

Ross insisted that whenever they "saw church-steeples and heard the
bright prattle of children," those were the signs certain and
indivisible of the proximity of beer, and however much they enjoyed
the mountain-side lanes, they cheered up and hastened their step
and began to listen for the bright prattle as soon as they saw a
church steeple.

And Sam decided what he would do with the wreckage of his life.

He had not known that wandering could be so satisfying as it was
with Ross Ireland, who never complained and became superior like
Fran, or felt bound to be funny like Tub, or noisy like Nande; who
was interested in everything from pig-pens to cloisters; and who
enjoyed erecting theories of life more than anything save tearing
them down.

Ross was going to the Orient again, after summer in Europe.  He
invited Sam to come along and Sam accepted, with more tingling
anticipation than he had known since he had first sailed for
England. . . .  Turkestan, Borneo, Siam, Pekin, Penang and the
sight of Java Head!

Ross was called to Paris, but that city meant for Sam, now, only
too much loneliness and too much Nande, and he squatted in Gstaad,
trying to be very healthy and full of fresh air.  And before Ross
had been gone forty-eight hours, Sam was thrown back into as much
fidgety fretting as he had ever known.

He cursed himself for his weakness; he sought to sink himself in an
enormous volume on English Gardens and Domestic Architecture of the
Eighteenth Century; he sought to recapture a longing for the
Orient; and it was in vain.

Bluntly, he could not go off to the Far East and leave Fran

Oh, he told himself she did not need protection.  His presence
irritated her more than it soothed her, and he was a fool, and a
puerile and whining fool, not to be able to cut loose from his
mother's apron strings, now inconveniently worn by a wife.  But--If
anything went wrong there in Berlin--If Fran wanted to run to him
for help, and he should be ten thousand miles away--

He couldn't do it.

He wondered, occasionally, if he wasn't confusing the need to serve
Fran with the need of women in general, that basic need which he
had just consciously discovered; he wondered whether, if it were a
woman with some of Ross Ireland's sportsmanship and inquiring mind
who had invited him to come along, he would not have found it
possible to go, armored with a good, round, satisfying cliche like
"Fran made her bed; let her lie in it."

No!  He swore to himself that his care for Fran was authentic; was
to him what prayer was to a hermit, and honor to a soldier; and
always he wound up his fretful meditations with, "Oh, hell, I can't
analyse it, but I'm not going to desert her!  Only wish I could!"

He wrote Ross not to count on his company this coming autumn, and
again fled from himself, but with himself, to Venice, because the
current news photographs from the Lido, the pictures of gay
companies on the beach, made it seem a place to divert a solitary
man.  And perhaps one of these exquisite gold and ivory

No!  He didn't want that sort.  He wanted some one with Fran's
fineness but with Nande's sturdiness, Ross Ireland's brains.

He was able to laugh at himself:  "If there were such a woman
anywhere, what would she want with you?"

But as, in the too-familiar blue-velvet and stamped leather wagon
lit compartment, he clanked on toward Venice, he was not quite free
of the pictures of lovely ladies on Lido beach; not quite sure that
he had in life any purpose beyond the quest of the Not Impossible


Sam was not particularly enlivened by the Lido in season.  The
hotels seemed to him to smack of the Chicago World's Fair of 1893
with the added flavor of a Turkish bath; and the intimacy with
which two-thirds of this basking, bathing, lunching, dancing
society knew one another, whether they were Italian, English,
American, or Austrian, made him feel utterly the outsider.  He
moved back into Venice, to the Bauer-Grunwald which, despite a
German atmosphere which too readily reminded him of his Berlin
debacle, was more welcoming than the Royal Danieli.

Venice is the friendliest city in the world.  There are other
cities in which friendlier people may be found, but in Venice it is
the city itself, the spectacle of the Piazza San Marco, the cozy
little streets, the open-fronted shops of the coppersmiths, the
innumerable churches that are always open, the alternately effusive
and quarrelsome gondoliers, the greedy but amiable pigeons, the
soft sky, the rustling water of the Grand Canal, the cafes
thrusting their tables halfway across the Piazza, the palaces so
proud in their carved balconies and so cheerfully poverty-stricken
in their present inhabitants, the crowd with nothing to do save
stroll and wait for the band concerts, which are so amiable that
here less than anywhere else in the world does the stranger miss
the warm gossip of people whom he knows.

Sam found the waiting into which all his life had turned now more
tolerable than it had been at any time save when he had been
drugged with fatigue on his walking tour with Ross, or save when
that rather soiled Salvationist, Nande Azeredo, had stooped to save
him.  He lay abed till nine, content with the sound of the Grand
Canal outside his windows, the squabbles of gondoliers.  He rose to
lean placidly on the sill and look at the wonders of Santa Maria
della Salute and San Giorgio Maggiore, seeming, on their tiny
islands, to be floating out to sea; to watch the panorama of
vegetable scows, brick scows, cement scows, wangling their way into
side canals, while the bargees quarreled magnificently with the
more aristocratic gondoliers and with the uniformed drivers of
motor boats belonging to officials.  He had a meager cup of coffee,
and, buying the latest Paris Daily Mail, Chicago Tribune, and New
York Herald on the way, ambled to the Piazza for his real

In the afternoon, Florian's and the Aurora were the accepted
haunts, shaded then from the biting sun, but in the morning it was
the Quadri and Lavena's which were sheltered, and at one of these
cafes he drank his coffee, nibbled at croissants smeared with
clouded honey from Monte Rosa, and read the papers, excited at the
news from Washington and New York, excited when he saw that some
one he knew, Ross Ireland or Endicott Everett Atkins, had dined
with a Celebrity at Ciro's. . . .  And once, in the Berlin news, he
saw that Mrs. Samuel Dodsworth had been the guest of honor at a
dinner given by the Princess Drachenthal and that among those
present had been the Count of Obersdorf, the Baroness de Jeune, Sir
Thomas Jenkins of the Allied Commission, and the newly made
Geheimrat, Dr. Biedner.  He sat for a long time, looking vacantly
across the Piazza, at the spate of tourists whose wives were
kodaking them in the act of feeding the pigeons of St. Mark.

He worked at his new game of architecture.  With Ruskin's "Stones
of Venice" under his arm, he saw daily a new church, a new palace,
and now and then he made sketches, not very bad, and was not
displeased when loudly commenting tourists mistook him for an
authentic artist.  He lunched simply; he slept for an hour
afterward, and betook himself then to the one real duty of a wise
visitor in Venice--to spend most of the afternoon and evening
sitting in the Piazza and doing nothing whatever save watch the

It had been agreeable in Paris or on Unter den Linden to watch the
parade, but there the motors, the horses, the brisk policemen had
made it a hard and somewhat nervous spectacle.  Here, where there
was no traffic, where the marble-walled piazza was like a stage
with the chorus of an incredibly elaborate comic opera, there was
only a lazy and unharassed contentment.  The crowd changed, every
second.  Now two Fascist officers paced by, trim in black shirts,
olive-green uniforms, and gold-badged and tasseled service caps.
Now it was two carbinieri with the cocked hats of Napoleon and the
solemn manner of judges.  Now a tourist steamer vomited a rush of
excited novices--inquiring Germans or stolid English, golden-haired
Scandinavians, or Americans of whom the women were thrilled and the
males cocked up their cigars and announced, very publicly, that if
THIS was Venice, they didn't think it was so doggone much!

The guides, slightly less numerous but much more insistent than the
cloud of pigeons, attacked every one who was not entirely engaged
in the sacred act of being photographed, and yammered, "Me gide
spik fine English, show you San Marco."  The children fell under
everybody's feet.  The gatherers of cigarettes swooped on each butt
as it fell.  The English couples went by amiably contemptuous.  And
at last the sunset turned the dark leaded glass behind the horses
of San Marco into gold.

He was content, by comparison with his active agonizing in Paris.
But he was also lonely, despite the show of the Piazza.  He had to
have some one to talk to, and never did he meet any one whom he

It was not easy for him to pick up acquaintances.  Once he sat at a
table next to a party of Americans.  They did not seem very complex
and difficult; they looked like small town merchants and professional
men with their wives; and Sam took the chance.  He leaned toward the
nearest, a spectacled little man, and drawled, "On a tour?"

The little man looked scornfully cautious.  HE'D read the papers!
HE wasn't going to be taken in by any of your slick international

He sniffed "Yes," and he did not embroider it.

"Uh--enjoying Italy?"

"Yes, thanks!"

The little man turned his back, and Sam was flushed and shamed and
much lonelier than before.

He was grateful when he was picked up by a large and lugubrious and
green-hatted Bavarian who was apparently even more desolate than
himself, and though they had in common only a hundred words of
English, twenty of German, and ten of Italian, they were both
strong men who could endure a lot of gesturing.  They gave each
other confidence in battling with gondoliers, and together they
lumbered to the Colleoni and SS. Giovanni e Paolo, gaped at the
glass-makers at Murano, and visited the Armenian monastery on the
peaceful isle of San Lazzaro.  Sam saw the Bavarian friend off at
the station as regretfully as he had seen Ross Ireland off at
Interlaken, and all that evening he clung to his favorite table at
Florian's as though it was his only home.

He heard regularly from Fran, but where once her letters had been
festal, now he hesitated to open them.

She complained a good deal.  It had been rainy--it had been hot.
She had gone to the Tyrol for a week (she did not say that Kurt had
come along but he guessed it) and the hotels had been crowded.  She
had suffered unparalleled misfortune in having to stay at a small
hotel where the food was heavy and the guests heavier.  She had met
a cousin of Kurt, an Austrian ambassador, and though she had
showered blessings of wit and courtesy on the fellow, he had not
appreciated her.

As to whether Sam himself was any happier, she never inquired.

Her letters left him always a little blue.  And they did not
suggest that she would like to see him.

He was in the Piazza, meditating on one of these letters, a little
after four of a blazing afternoon.  He saw a familiar-looking woman
pass his table.  She was perhaps forty; she was slim, rather pale.
She wore black crepe, without ornament, and a wide black hat with a
tiny brooch of brilliants.  Her hands were as fine as lace.

He remembered.  It was Mrs. Cecil R. A. Cortright, Edith Cortright,
American-born widow of the British minister to Roumania (or was it
Bulgaria?) who, on a hint from Tub's nephew, had asked them to tea
at her flat in the Palace Ascagni in Venice, months ago.  He darted
up, to welcome the first recognizable face he had seen in weeks; he
hesitated--Mrs. Cortright was not the sort of woman one greeted
carelessly.  He ventured again.  He tossed a ten lira note on the
table for the waiter, and, circling the square with his long
stride, so arranged it that he met her as she was passing through
the Piazzetta dei Leoni and entering the Calle di Canonica.

"Oh, how d'you do," he observed.  "Do you remember having my wife
and me to tea last spring--friends of Jack Starling--"

"Oh, but of course!  Mr.--?"

"Samuel Dodsworth."

"You and Mrs. Dodsworth HAVE come back here soon."

"Oh, she's, uh, she had to stay in Berlin."

"Really?  You're here alone?  You must come to tea again."

"Be awfully glad to.  You walking this way?"  Quite fatuously,
rather eagerly.

"Just a bit of shopping.  There's a rabbit-warren of a pastry shop
down here--Perhaps you'd like to come along, and come home for a
cup of tea this afternoon, if you haven't friends waiting for you."

"I don't know a soul in town."

"In that case, you must come, surely."

He rolled beside her, bumbling, "Must be an awful lot of people you
know at the Lido now, with the season on."

"Yes.  Unfortunately!"

"Don't you like the rotogravure set?"

"Oh, that is a nice thing to call them!" she said.  "I've been
looking for a phrase.  Some of them are extremely agreeable, of
course; nice simple people who really like to dance and swim and
don't go to the Lido just to be seen and photographed.  But there's
an international, Anglo-American-French set--smart women, just a
little ambiguous, and men with titles and tailors and nothing much
else, and sharp couples that play bridge too well, and three-necked
millionaires that--well, they seem to me like a menagerie.  There's
a dreadful woman named Renee de Penable--"

"Oh, you know her?"

"How can any one help it!  The woman contrives to be simultaneously
in Paris, the Lido, Deauville, Cannes, New York, and on all known
trains and steamers!  You know her?  Do you like her?"

"Hate her," remarked Sam.  "Oh, I don't know's I ought to say that.
She's always been awfully decent to us.  But I feel she's a

"No, she's subtler than that.  She is quite generous to ninety nine
out of a hundred of her group--tramps in goldfoil!--so that she can
get the dazzled hundredth to set her up in a gown shop or a charity
society or something else that mysteriously collapses in two
months.  She's--oh, she's very amusing, of course."

"Neither do I!" roared Sam.

They smiled at each other, to the approval of seven youthful
Venetians engaged in doing nothing and choosing the dimmest and
smelliest Sottoportico to do it in.

Sam rejoiced that Edith Cortright might prove to be human, patient
with large lost men.  He was surer of it as he heard her bartering
with the owner of the minute pastry shop for a dozen cakes.  The
proprietor demanded five lire, Mrs. Cortright offered two, and they
compromised on three, which were their probable value.

Often enough Sam had seen Fran chaffering, but she was likely to
lose her temper, more likely to make the shop-keeper lose his.
With Mrs. Cortright, the baker shook his fingers, agonized over the
insult to his masterpieces, asserted that his nine children and
grand-mother would starve, but she only laughed, and all the while
he laughed back.  He took the three lire with the greatest
cheerfulness, and cried after them, "Addio!" as though it were a

"The good soul!" said Mrs. Cortright as they returned to the
Piazza.  "We do that every week.  That's really the reason why I go
to him myself, instead of sending a maid, who gets them for twenty
centesimi less than I do, probably, and pockets ten.  But this
patissier is an artist, and like all artists, a conservative.  He
tries to keep up the good old days when buying and selling in Italy
really was an adventure, because everybody made a game of
bargaining--the days that Baedeker wrote of when he tells you to
'keep a calm and pleasant demeanor, when haggling.'  But that's all
passing, I'm afraid.  Between the regulations of the Fascists, and
the efficient business of impressing tourists, the shops are
becoming as dependable as Swan and Edgar's or a Woolworth's, and
about as appealing.  I think I'll go back and end my few declining
years on Mulberry Street, in New York.  That's about the only part
of Italy, now, that hasn't been toured and described and painted
and guided to death; the only part that hasn't been made safe for
the vicar's aunt."

In the presence of Fran and her aggressive smartness, Edith
Cortright had been abrupt, hiding her heart behind dutiful courtesy
as she hid her taut frailness of body beneath frocks of soft, non-
committal black.  But now, as they tramped to the Palazzo Ascagni,
avoiding the sun in arcades and under vast walls above tiny
streets, as they climbed the sepulchral marble stairs to her flat,
and sighingly relaxed in the coolness of the vast rooms behind
blinds streaked with poisonous sun, she was easy; in a subdued
silvery manner, she was gay.  It was as though she found everything
in life amusing and liked to think about it aloud.  And she seemed
younger.  He had thought her forty-five; now she seemed forty.

The stone floor of her drawing-room, laid in squares waxed to ivory
smoothness, the old walnut of a Sixteenth Century armoire,
suggested quietness, a feeling of civilization grown secure and
placid through generations.  The formal monastic chairs which had
dignified the room when Sam had seen it in the spring--as well as
the shameless over-stuffed Americanized arm-chairs with which Mrs.
Cortright had eased the rigor of Venetian stateliness--had been
replaced by wicker with chintz cushions.

Sam's spirit was refreshed here, his hot body was refreshed, and
when Mrs. Cortright showed herself so superior to Expatriate
Americanism that she dared to be American and to offer iced tea, he
rejoiced in her more than in the mosaics of St. Mark's, which he
had taught himself to admire with a quite surprising amount of
sincerity.  Mrs. Cortright and the room which illustrated her
seemed to him quite as traditional as the faded splendors of the
Princess Drachenthal at Potsdam; but he could reach Mrs. Cortright,
understand her, not feel with her like an inanely smirking boy
invited to tea by the schoolmaster's wife.  He was a little afraid
of her, a little afraid that behind her pallid restraint there
might be comment on such a stumbling tourist as himself.  But it
was a fear that he could understand and answer, not a bewildering
midnight strangeness.

He saw that in an age of universal bobbing, when no Fran would have
dared be so eccentric, Mrs. Cortright kept her hair long, parted
simply and not too neatly.  And he saw again the lovely hands
moving like white cats among the cups of taffy-colored majolica.

She did not talk, this time, of diplomats and Riviera villas and
painting.  She said:

"Tell me--Really, I'm not impertinent; I ask myself the same thing,
and perhaps I'm looking for an answer for myself.  What do you find
in Europe?  Why do you stay on?"

"Well, it's kind of hard to say."  He sipped his iced tea,
appreciative of the thin tart taste against his tongue.  "Oh, I
guess--Well, to be absolutely frank, it's because of my wife.  I've
enjoyed coming abroad.  I've learned a lot of things--not only
about pictures and all that, but in my own line--I'm a motor
manufacturer, if you remember.  For instance, I went to the Rolls-
Royce works in England, and it was a perfect revelation to me, the
way they were willing to lose money by going on having things like
polishing done by hand instead of by machinery, as we'd do them,
because they felt they were better done by hand.  But--oh, I can
understand how the artists that hang around places like Florence,
and that don't care whether the government is monarchial or
communist as long as the tea and the sunsets are good, can be
perfectly content to stay there for years.  But me--I'm getting
restless at being so much of an outsider.  I feel like the small
boy that's never consulted about where the picnic will be held.  I
suppose I'm awfully lowbrow not to care for any more galleries and
ruins but--oh, I want to go home and MAKE something!  Even if it's
only a hen-coop!"

"But couldn't you make that here?  In England, for example?"

"No.  I'd feel the English chickens wouldn't understand my speaking
American, and probably go and die on me."

"Then you don't want to stay?  Why do you?"

"Oh, well, my wife still feels--"

Swiftly, as though she were covering a blunder, Mrs. Cortright
murmured, "And of course she is lovely.  I remember her with such
pleasure.  She must be an enchanting person to wander with. . . .
And please don't feel that I'm one of those idiots who regard
painting as superior to manufacturing--I neither regard it as
inferior, as do your Chambers of Commerce who think that all
artists are useless unless they're doing pictures for stocking
advertisements, nor do I regard it as superior, as do all the
supercilious lady yearners who suppose that a business man with
clean nails invariably prefers golf to Beethoven."

It was not brilliant talk, nor did it dazzle Sam by novelty.  In
both Europe and America he had encountered all the theories about
modern business men: that they were the kings and only creators in
the industrial age: that they were dull and hideous despots.  He
had hacked out his own conclusion: that they were about like other
people, as assorted as cobblers, labor leaders, Javanese dancers,
throat specialists, whalers, minor canons, or asparagus-growers.
Yet in the talk of Edith Cortright there was a sympathy, an
apparent respect for him, a suggestion that she had seen many
curious lands and known many curious people, which inspirited him.
Incredulously, he found himself trying to outline his philosophy of
life for her; more incredulously, found himself willing to admit
that he hadn't any.  She nodded, as in like confession.

He urged:  "I've enjoyed talking with you.  Look here:  Would I be
rude if I asked you to go for a gondola ride, now it's getting
cooler, and possibly dine with me on the Lido this evening, if
you're free?  I've been, uh--kind of lonely."

"I should be glad to, but I can't.  You see my friends here are
mostly the rather stuffy, frightfully proper, very sweet old
Italian family sort who haven't yet got over being shocked by
Colleoni.  I'm afraid I couldn't go out in a gondola with you
unless I were chaperoned--bedragoned--which would be a frightful
bore.  But won't you come here to dinner tomorrow evening--eight-
thirty, black tie?"

"Be pleased to.  Eight-thirty. . . .  But why do you stay in

"Oh . . . I suppose America terrifies me.  I feel insecure there.
I feel everybody watching me, and criticizing me unless I'm buzzing
about Doing Something Important--uplifting the cinema or studying
Einstein or winning bridge championships or breeding Schnauzers or
something.  And there's no privacy, and I'm an extravagant woman
when it comes to the luxury of privacy."

"But look here!  In America you could certainly go gondoling--well,
motoring--as you liked.  Here you have to be chaperoned to avoid

"Only with one class--the formal people that I've chosen (wisely or
foolishly) to live with.  My grocer and my dentist and my neighbor
on the floor below (amiable-looking person--I rather fancy he's a
gambler)--they don't feel privileged to help me conduct my affairs,
or rather, they wouldn't if I were so adventurous as to be
conducting any!  At home, they would.  It's only in Europe that you
can have the joy of anonymity, of being lost in the crowd, of being
yourself, of having the dignity of privacy!"

"You try New York!  Get lost enough there!"

"Oh, but NEW YORK--Self-conscious playing at internationalism!
Russian Jews in London clothes going to Italian restaurants with
Greek waiters and African music!  One hundred per cent. mongrels!
No wonder Americans flee back home to Sussex or Somerset!  And
never, day or night or dawn, any escape from the sound of the
Elevated!  New York--no.  But I am sure that there is still a
sturdy, native America--and not Puritanical, either, any more than
Lincoln or Franklin were Puritanical--that you know.  But tell me
(to get away from my lost, expatriate, awfully unoriented and
unimportant self), tell me frankly: what have you seen in Europe--
I mean that you'll remember ten years from now?"

He slumped in his chair, he rubbed his chin, and sighed:

"Well, I guess about as much as I'd get out of reading the
steamship and hotel ads in a New York Sunday paper!  I know a
little less than when I started.  Then, I knew that all Englishmen
were icicles, all Frenchmen chattered, and all Italians sat around
in the sun singing.  Now I don't even know that much.  I suspect
that most Englishmen are friendly, most Frenchmen are silent, and
most Italians work like the devil--pardon me!"


"I've learned to doubt everything.  I've learned that even a fairly
successful executive--and I WAS that, no matter how much of a
loafer I seem now--"

"Oh, I know!"

"I've learned that even a fairly good garage boss like myself isn't
much good at deciding between Poiret and Lanvin, or between Early
English and Decorated.  No American business man ought to go
abroad, ever, except to a Rotary convention, or on a conducted tour
where he's well insulated from furriners.  Upsets him.  Spoils his
pleasure in his own greatness and knowledge! . . .  What have I
learned?  Let's see:  The names of maybe fifty hotels, of which
I'll remember five, in a few years.  The schedules of half a dozen
de luxe trains.  The names of a few brands of Burgundy.  How to
tell a Norman doorway from Gothic.  How to order from a French
menu--providing there's nothing unusual on the bill.  And I can say
'How much' and 'TOO much' in English, French, German, Italian, and
Spanish.  And I think that's about all I've learned here.  I guess
they caught me too late!"


With his second drink, at Florian's, after dinner, he recaptured a
rare exhilarating glow at the thought of travel, alone and fast.
He could go as he would:  North, South--the very names had magic:
NORTH and snow-drifts among silent pines; SOUTH and bamboo huts in
the jungle; EAST and a cranky steamer jogging up a purple strait;
WEST and a bench by a log cabin in the Rockies, with a lake two
thousand feet below, and himself, strong and deep-breathing as he
had been at thirty, smelling the new-cut chips, the frosty air.
Yes!  He would see them all!  He wouldn't go back to an office!

He had twenty, perhaps thirty years more.  He would have a second
life; having been Samuel Dodsworth he would go on and miraculously
be some one else, more ruthless, less bound, less sentimental.  He
could be a poet, a governor, an explorer.  He'd learned his faults
of commercial-mindedness, of timidity before women.  Correct 'em!
He'd seen the gaps in his knowledge.  Fill 'em!

Twenty years more!

Start right now.  Tomorrow he would take up Italian.  Tomorrow he
would write to Ross Ireland about that jaunt to the Orient.  Yes!

After the comfort of tea with Edith Cortright, he had been lonelier
than ever.  For five minutes he had planned to flee to Fran.  But
fried scampi and a drink solaced him; a second drink set his
imagination dancing.  Then he wanted another drink--and didn't want

No!  He shook himself.  He hated this flabby, easy escape through
alcohol into a belief in his own power and freedom.  He wasn't
(proudly) one of the weaklings who took refuge from problems in the
beautiful peace of the gutter, where the slime covered one's ears
from the nasal voices of the censors who were always demanding of a
tired man a little more than he could do.

But was that true?  Was anything he had thought true--even this
easy disgust at easy escape?  Was it possible that he was unable to
fall permanently into drunkenness, to disintegrate, to scorn all
decent scorn and be content with a Nande Azeredo in a stinking
garret, not because he was too strong but because he was too weak--
too weakly afraid of what Fran, Tub, Matey, strangers like Mrs.
Cortright, would say?  Was it possible that it took more courage to
be a hobo, deliberate, out and out, than to go on living like a
respectable manufacturer while he ached like a Verlaine?  Was dry
rot really braver than a moist and dripping rage of defiance?

He gave it up.

He was so tired of dragging out his little soul and worrying over
it!  If he could only be laughing, unthinking, with Tub Pearson.
Or if Mrs. Cortright had been willing to dine with him--

Mrs. Cortright.  Now there was a woman!  As proper as Fran and as
worldly, yet as indifferent to titles and luxury as Nande.

"Mighty sweet woman!"

He thought again about that third drink, then vehemently didn't
want it, vehemently retired into the respectability from which for
a moment he had thought he might escape.  For at the next table was
an American party, full of merriment and keeping their brother from
falling by setting an edifyingly bad example.

There were three men, three women.  Apparently some of them were
married to some of the others, but they seemed confused as to who
was married to whom.

They noted Sam, and one of the men staggered over to shout,
"American, ain't you?  Well, say, why the lone fiesta?  Come over
and join a live bunch!"

Rather pleased, Sam went over and joined.

"Just arrived?" he asked, as was proper.

"You bet.  Landed at Naples, yesterday," said his host.  "Came over
on a Wop ship--elegant boat too--and say, boy, that was some trip,
too, I'll tell the cock-eyed world!  Say, I've heard about wet
voyages, but this trip--say, I bet I never went to bed before three
G.M. once, the whole way over!  And the girls--say, they were just
as good as the men.  Dorine here, she drank two bols champagne in
two hours, and the whole bunch were so crazy about the Italian
officers--say, the officers had to brush 'em off the bridge every
time they wanted to do any fancy navigating!  And that gave us boys
a chance to get in a little petting ourselves!  Some trip!  Say, if
you could have seen the nightshirt parade the last night out!  Boy!
Some trip!"

One of the women--and save for her damp eyes a most spinsterish and
unaphrodisiac lady she appeared--cried, "Some trip is right!  And
I've got a date to meet the second officer in Paris.  He's going to
lay off one trip.  And maybe I'll just keep him laid off.  Maybe
I'll decide to buy me a nice little boy friend.  Some baby!  Oh,
those Or-i-ental eyes!  Say, Pete, for the love o' Gawd, ain't you
going to buy our little friend here"--she pointed at Sam with a
thin, chaste, overmanicured, and rather wobbly forefinger--"a lil

But Sam declined.  His vision of the beauties of the gutter had
vanished with haste and a ludicrous squawking.  He was grimly again
the Sam Dodsworth who was proud of keeping in shape.  He accepted,
with irritating signs of pleasure, a lemonade (it was the first he
had tasted in months) and sat wondering about these fellow-

He could not place them.  In age they seemed to run from thirty to
forty.  They were not so vulgar nor so vicious as at first they
seemed.  Once in a while they were betrayed by alcohol into
revealing that they did have vocabularies and had perhaps read a
book.  He suspected that two out of the three men were university
graduates; that all six of these loud-mouthed libertines were, at
home, worthy deacons and pall-bearers.  He had known in Zenith of
"young married couples," theoretically responsible young doctors
and lawyers and salesmen, who turned dances at country clubs into a
combination of brothel and frontier bar.  But he had not gone to
such dances.  These people were none of his!  Then, shocked, he
realized that perhaps they were.  Were these oafs anything but
younger and gayer and slightly more amorous Tub Pearsons?

They were not altogether to blame.  They were the products of
Prohibition, mass production, and an education dominated by the
beliefs that one goes to college to become acquainted with people
who will later be useful in business, and that the greatness of a
university is in ratio to the number of its students and the number
of its athletic victories.

Or so Sam brooded.

He had heard much of the "sexually cold American woman."  Heaven
knows, he raged, he had felt it in Fran!  Yet with these riotous
women, it was the lack of chill which he resented.  The amiable
lady who was going to "buy her" a second officer had, during Sam's
stay at the table, kissed one of the men, held the hand of another,
and was now turning her withered excitement on himself:  "Say,
you're some husk!  Gee, I bet you hurt the lil ole golf ball's
feelings when you slam it one!"

He smiled bleakly.

He thought of seeing Mrs. Cortright next evening.  He had recalled
her only as a pleasant, unexciting, worthy person, but now he saw
her as a Grecian vase, he saw her as a bowl of alabaster within
which a fire could be lighted.

"A finish to her--like a European," he reflected.  "Yet she's
American, thank God!  I couldn't fall for a real European.  Has to
be somebody that could look at an old gray New England barn with
the frost on it, in October, and get a kick out of it, without my
having to explain."

His long, ambling thoughts were interrupted by his original host's

"You been here in Venice some time?"

"Yes.  Several times."

"Well, maybe you can explain--Hope I'm not stepping all over
anybody's feet, but me--Well, this is the first time I've ever been
abroad, and I'd always thought Venice would be kinda like a musical
comedy.  But of all the darn' slow places--Why, there isn't a
first-class cabaret in town!  Nothing but a lot of run-down
tenements with a lot of carvin's on 'em and a bunch of Chicago
Drainage Ditches in between!"

"Well, I like it!"

"But what do you like about it?"

"Oh, lots of things.  Especially the architecture."

But what his mind saw, as he blurted out something about being
tired and took his leave, was no vision of arching bridges, of
secret alleys and the quivering reflection of airy towers; it was
the memory of Edith Cortright serene in her Venetian palace.

"She couldn't possibly go out and grab things, like Fran," he
reflected, as he clumped toward the Bauer-Grunwald.  "She's
definitely a 'great lady.'  Yet I'll bet that at heart she's
lonely.  She wouldn't mind cooking for her man any more than Nande
would.  Oh, damn it, Sam, why are you so simple?  Why do you insist
on thinking everybody else is lonely, merely because you are?"

It was a small and placid dinner at Edith Cortright's, on Thursday
evening.  The only guests besides Sam were an English couple who
were vaguely and politely something important--very politely but
very vaguely.  If Sam did not find them cheery, he was amused by
the pleasant carelessness of Mrs. Cortright's household.

The Fran who liked to quote poems about Gipsies and Villon and the
Brave Days When We Were Twenty-one was, in private life, a sergeant
major.  Theoretically, she was the mother confessor and breezy
confidante of all her servants and of the plumber, the postman, and
the bootlegger.  Practically she was always furious at their
incompetence.  She was chummy with them only when they assured her
of her beauty and power; when the seamstress gurgled that Fran had
the most exquisite figure in Zenith, or when the corner druggist
asked her if his new hat was really correct English style.

Or so Sam brooded.

Edith Cortright seemed to have no discipline, no notion as to her
servants' duties.  They argued with her.  They contradicted her.
The butler said that she HAD ordered broccoli; and the maid came in
with clacking slippers.  They were always chattering.  They seemed
to be sharing some secret joke with her; and when she smiled at
Sam, in her tired way, after a voluble colloquy with the butler, he
wished he could be admitted to their tribal companionship.

A stone floor the dining-room had, and walls of hard plaster, with
strips of Syrian embroidery.  About the walls were chairs, stately,
uncomfortable, inhuman.  The windows, giving on the Grand Canal,
were immensely tall.  It was an apartment for giants to live in.
Sam felt that into this room had strode men in armor who with
gigantic obscene laughter had discussed the torture of pale
protestants against the Doge, and that they; not so unlike Edith
Cortright for all her gentleness, had guffawed here with servants
purple-uniformed, slatternly, and truculent.

The English couple crept away early.  After their flutter of good-
bye's, Sam lumbered to his feet and sighed, "I guess I'd--"

"No.  Stay half an hour."

"If you'd really--And how I have come to hate hotels!"

"You really liked having a home."

"I certainly did!"

"Why do you stay away from it?  Isn't it--"

Then she laughed, lighted a cigarette, held it with arching
fingers.  "I suppose it's rather ludicrous, my trying to give
advice--and my own life such a mess that I endure it only by
getting rid of all ambition, all purpose, and just floating, trying
to get along with as little complication as possible."

They talked slowly, and mostly they talked in silence.  It was
tranquil in that vast cool room above the Grand Canal.  Out on the
harbor, bands of singers in gondolas chanted old Italian ballads.
They were, actually, rather commercialized, these singers; not for
romance and the love of moonlight were they warbling, and between
bursts of ecstasy they passed the hat from listening gondola to
gondola, and were much rewarded by sentimentalists from Essen,
Pittsburgh, and Manchester.  The songs were conscientiously banal--
"Donna e Mobile" and "Santa Lucia" for choice.  Yet the whole
theatric setting and the music across the water lured Sam into a
still excitement.

"I can't imagine you in any complications," he wondered.

"I shouldn't use that word, perhaps.  All the complications are
inside myself.  It's just that certain conditions of life have
rather taken my confidence in myself away from me, and I'm so
afraid of doing the wrong thing that it's easier to do nothing."

"That's how I feel myself!  Though with you, I can't imagine it--
you're sure of yourself."

"Not really.  I'm like a man learning a new language--he can do it
beautifully as long as he can introduce the subjects of conversation
and use the words he knows--he can talk splendidly about Waiter,
bring two more coffees, or What is the next train for Turin, but
he's lost if somebody else asks the questions and insists on
talking about anything beyond page sixty in the Hugo Method!  Here,
in my own flat, with my own people, I'm safely on this side of Page
Sixty, but I'd be horribly fluttered if I stepped out on Page Sixty-
one! . . .  By the way, I shall be very happy if you're bored by
your hotel here and care to come in for tea now and then."

"Awfully good of--"

Without much consciousness of rising, he had strolled to the open
window.  "I do appreciate it. . . .  Feel rather at loose ends."

"Why don't you tell me about it?  If you care to.  I'm a good


He flung out with a suicidal defiance.

"I don't like to whine--I don't think I do, much--and I don't like
admitting I'm licked.  But I am.  And I'm getting a little sick of
not being able to sleep nights, brooding about it.  Too damn much
brooding probably!"  He tramped out to the narrow balcony, above
the canal and the sound of splashing water.  On this balcony once
(though Sam did not know it) Lord Byron had stood, snarling to a
jet-bright lady a more pitiful and angry tale.

Edith Cortright was beside him, murmuring--oh, her words were a
commonplace "Would you like to tell me about it?" but her voice was
kind, and curiously honest, curiously free of the barriers between
a strange man and a strange woman.  And with her Venice murmured,
and the songs of love.

"Oh, I suppose it's a very ordinary story.  My wife is younger than
I am, and livelier, and she's found a man in Berlin, and I guess
I've lost her.  For keeps. . . .  Oh, I know I oughtn't to undress
in public like this.  But I swear I haven't before!  Am I rotten

She said quickly, "Don't!  Of course you're not.  I'd be glad if I
could tell my own story."


"And I haven't told people, either, not even my friends, though I
suppose they guess--Perhaps you and I can be franker with each
other because we are strangers.  I do understand how you feel, Mr.
Dodsworth.  I suppose the people I know here and in England and at
home believe that I lead such a nun-like existence because I had an
idolatrous worship of the late Honorable Cecil R. A. Cortright.
Such a charming man!  Perfect manners, and too perfect a game of
bridge!  Wonderful war record--M.C., D.S.O.  Actually my husband
was--He was a dreadful liar; one of these hand-kissing, smiling,
convincing liars.  He was a secret drunkard.  He humiliated me
constantly as a backwoods American; used to apologize to people,
oh, so prettily, when I said 'I guess' instead of the equally silly
'I fancy.'  And his dear mother used to congratulate me on my luck
in having won her darling.  Oh, I'm sorry!  Beastly of me!  Fatal
Venetian night!"

Her quick breath was not a sob but a sound of anger.  Her hand
gripped the thin fluted railing of the balcony.  He patted it shyly
and said, as he would to his daughter Emily, "Maybe it's good for
both of us to tell our troubles a little.  But--I wish I could HATE
my girl.  I can't.  And I imagine you can't hate Cortright.  Might
be good for us!"

"Yes," dryly.  "It would.  But I'm beautifully beginning to be able
to.  I--Have you ever seen Malapert's etchings?  Let me show you a
book of them I received today."

He dutifully looked at etchings for fifteen minutes, and said
farewell rather pompously.

Trudging home, along dark pavements which hung like shelves above
swarthily glittering rios, through perilous-looking unlighted
archways, he was by turns guilty over having talked of Fran,
impatient with himself for having too touchy a conscience, raging
at the late Cecil Cortright as a scoundrel, and joyous that behind
her fastidious reticence Edith Cortright could be blunt.

It was the guiltiness which persisted when he awoke.  Edith would
be hating him for having blatted about Fran, for having led her to
talk.  When for half an hour he had been trying to compose a note
of apology, a note came from her:

No, you did not say anything you should not have, and I don't
believe I did.  I write this because I think I know how remorseful
all Americans are after we have said something we really think.
Put it down to Santa Lucia who, though I don't really know my
hagiology, is probably the patroness of sentimentalists like you
and me.  Would you like to come in for tea at five today?



Daily, for a fortnight, he saw Edith Cortright--at tea, at dinner,
at lunch on the Lido.  She apparently forgot her discomfort at
being unchaperoned, and went architecture-coursing with him, went
with him to the summer opera, sailed with him to Torcello and
Malamocco--sailing gondola with orange lateen sail, from which they
looked back to Venice floating on the dove-colored water.

He talked, of Zenith and Emily, of motors and the virtues of the
Revelation car, of mechanics and finance.  He had never known
another woman who was not bored when he tried to make clear his
very definite, not unimportant notions on the use of chromium
metal.  And she, she talked of many things.  She was a reader of
thick books, with a curiosity regarding life which drifted all
round its circumference.  She talked of Bertrand Russell and of
insulin; of Stefan Zweig, American skyscrapers, and the Catholic
Church.  But she was neither priggish nor dogmatic.  What
interested her in facts and diagrams was the impetus they gave to
her own imagination.  Essentially she was indifferent whether the
world was laboring toward Fascism or Bolshevism, toward Methodism
or atheism.

He followed her through all her mazed reflections.  He was not
rebuffed by her ideas as so often he had been by Fran's pert little
learnings.  (For Fran wore her knowledge as showily as she wore her

Of themselves they talked rarely, and they believed that they
talked but little of Fran and Cecil Cortright.  Yet, lone sentence
by sentence, they told their married lives so completely that Sam
began to speak of "Cecil" and Edith of "Fran," as though they four
had always been together.  When she realized it, Edith laughed.

"We ought to make an agreement that I shall be allowed to speak of
Cecil for just as many minutes as you do of Fran.  Or we might
compose a sort of litany--

'Oh, Lord, Cecil was irritable before breakfast,
'And Lord, Thou knowest Fran did not appreciate streamline bodies'!"

And once she got below the surface and told him that subconsciously
he had WANTED to lose Fran to Kurt, or to any other available

Yet there was always between them a formality, even when they used
each other's first names as well as those of their eternally
problematic mates.  They did not discuss their souls.  They did not
discuss why it was that they seemed to like each other.  The
nearest they came to intimacy was in planning, almost childishly,
their "futures."

He said abruptly, at coffee after dinner in Edith's flat, "What
shall I do?  Shall I go back to America, without Fran?  And shall I
do the job I've been trained to, or play with some experiments?
Let me tell you of a couple of silly ideas I have."

He outlined his plans for caravan building, and for venturing on
Sans Souci Gardens villages.

"Why not do both?" suggested Edith.  She seemed to take his desired
experiments more seriously than had Fran.  "I like your idea of
trying to make a suburb that would be neither stuffy nor too
dreadfully arty--no grocery clerks coaxed to dance on the green.
And the caravans would be fun.  Cecil and I had one for two months
in England."

"Do you mean to say you did the cooking?"

"Of course I did!  I'm an excellent cook!  I babble of Freud and
Einstein, but I know nothing about psycho-analysis, nothing about
mathematics.  But I do know garlic and taragon vinegar!  I really
love housekeeping.  I should have stayed in Michigan and married a
small-town lawyer."

"Could you like a town like Zenith?  After Venice?"

"Yes if I had a place of my own there.  Here, everything decays--
lovely decay, but I'm tired of being autumnal.  I'd like hot summer
growing and spring budding for a change--even if the corn-stalks
were ugly!"

Then, first, did it occur to him that it was not quite ludicrous to
think that Edith and he might some day return together to Zenith,
to work and to life.  He said little to himself, nothing at all to
her, of what seemed dimly to be growing as a secure and healing
love, yet a day or two after he seized the impulse and showed Edith
the letter from Fran.

Fran's letter revealed more of herself and of her relation to Kurt
than anything she had written:

I haven't heard from you for a week, old man, I admit I haven't
been much on correspondence either but I haven't been feeling any
too merry and bright, I think too much city I really MUST get out
into the country and Kurt and I--you really are an old DARLING and
awfully generous I realize it to let me talk so frankly about him
and still be friends with me--we're going to try to go to the Harz
Mountains for a week.

It's been a funny thing--you always think I have no meekness but
honestly I have shown quite biblical humility in trying to fit
myself to his so-different life.  He's let me fuss over his funny
PATHETIC little flat--oh, Sam, it just breaks my heart the way that
flat reveals how POOR the poor man is, that ought to be a great
nobleman like his ancestors and I suppose would have been if it
hadn't been for the war which after all was not his fault.  At
first I was irritated by the complete sloppiness etc. etc. of his
dear funny old servant then I thought maybe it was because she has
such an ELEMENTARY kitchen equipment, honestly it was about what
you would expect in Kurt's native wilds a FRIGHTFUL old coal stove
that she has to stoke up all the time and the flues do not draw.
I wanted to give him a jolly new electric range and he finally
consented, though not readily, honestly--please, pretty please, I
hope this won't hurt your feelings and as I say I know how GENEROUS
you are, but you can't have any idea how proud he is!  But it was
the cook who balked.  No!  She wouldn't have a nice new electric
range or an electric dish-washing machine!  She PREFERRED their own
familiar things!  She's truly feudal--isn't that almost as hard as
"truly rural" that we used to say in school!--and so is Kurt.  I
think perhaps I realized that with a chauffeur, of course Kurt
can't afford his own chauffeur or even car yet though I do believe
with his real genius for finance he will be a very rich man on his
own inside another ten years but he can't afford one now but
whenever he can get him he uses an Austrian chauffeur at a hire
garage near here that was a private in Kurt's own regiment during
the war and that really is almost practically like Kurt's own

Well, at first do you know I was shocked by their chumminess.  The
chauffeur would tell the Herr Graf that the Herr Graf was wearing
lovely new gloves today, and Kurt would ask him about his
sweetheart and they would joke about it and Kurt would tell him he
ought to make his sweetheart an honest woman and the chauffeur
would waggle his finger in a knowing way that made me angry, and so
one day I jumped on Kurt about it and my dear! the way he turned on

He said, "You are a bourgeoise!  I am feudal!  We who are feudal
can be familiar with our servants because we know they cannot ever
be impertinent!"

Sam laid down the letter, and it was of Edith and her way with
servants that he was thinking.

I find myself settling, dear old man, no matter if we have
apparently busted up for keeps and it IS rather tragic if one
suffers one's self to think about it after the many, many happy
years we DID have together, DIDN'T we, but if we did break up, I do
know you will go on being my FRIEND and be glad to know that I DO
find myself settling down to my job of being a European.  It hasn't
been easy and I can't expect you to understand the pains, the
almost agony I have given to it.  Sometimes I am frankly lonely--
for whatever you may say about me to Tub and your DEAR Matey, oh,
Sam, I suspect you talked about me to her in Paris far more than
you ever admitted--but I mean, whatever you may say about me,
perhaps with a lot of justice, at least you must admit that one of
my probably few virtues has been a rather rare FRANKNESS and
HONESTY, and frankly at times I have been very lonely, have wished
you were here so I could tousle your funny old thick hair.  And
sometimes I have been frightened by the spectacle of one lone femme
Americaine facing all of censorious Europe.  And sometimes--you
know his dear childish enthusiasm without very much discrimination--
I have been a little bored by some of Kurt's Dear Old Friends.
Yet I love and I think I am coming to really understand the
THICKNESS of European life.  Our American life is so thin, so
without tradition.

Sam laid down the letter and thought of the tradition of pioneers
pushing to the westward, across the Alleghenies, through the
forests of Kentucky and Tennessee, on to the bleeding plains of
Kansas, on to Oregon and California, a religious procession,
sleeping always in danger, never resting, and opening a new home
for a hundred million people.  But with no comment he read on:

I have learned, and I must say with some surprise which has
probably been good for my little ego that Kurt thinks much more of
a violinist or a chemist than of the nicest prince with the most
quarteriest quarterings living.  And--for whatever you may think
about me you must admit that I DO understand the Europeans and I
really am European!--and do grasp it--I haven't had too much
difficulty following him.  Oh, my dear, do forgive me if this hurts
you, but he is what the romantic novelists call MY MAN!  I have
some stunning plans for him.  I think I see the way, I can't of
course give away any details even to you, but I think I see a way
of getting a certain great American bank to establish a branch in
Berlin, and making Kurt the head of it.

You would probably be amused you certainly wouldn't know your wild
Fran how meek she is if you saw her letting Kurt boss her in all
sorts of little things yes and I suppose big ones too but still he
IS so dear--he always notices what I wear, honestly he bullies me
really dreadfully about my clothes but at the same time is always
willing to go shopping with me which you must admit, for all your
gorgeous bigness you never were.  Oh my dear I suppose it is
unpardonable to write to YOU about HIM this way and if I stop to
think about it and re-read this letter probably I never shall mail
this letter that I'm writing in my ducky little coloraturo (or is
it coloratura) flat on an evening that if I must confess is a
little lonely and makes me feel like a lost lorn tourist AMERICAN
but we are friends aren't we--phone ringing must answer bless you,


He had the letter at ten in the morning.  At twelve he was ringing
at Edith's flat.  He thrust Fran's letter at her without a word.
When Edith had read it she sighed, and suggested:

"It's so hot here.  I've been thinking of going down to Naples--to
Posilipo, out on the point, where it's cool--and taking a little
house on the estate of the Ercoles.  Baron Ercole has a big place,
but he's frightfully poor.  He's an ex-diplomat; he teaches law in
the University of Naples; and the poor darlings live mostly by
renting villas on their place.  Why don't you come down with me?
I don't think there's much more to be said about your Fran, after
this letter.  It might be good for you to swim and sail at Naples,
instead of sitting here brooding.  Would you like to come?"

"Decidedly!  But what about your friends who are so eager to be

"Oh, not the Ercoles.  They'll believe I'm having an affair with
you, and be delighted--they've lived in too many countries, in the
diplomatic corps, to have many morals.  They'll like you.  Edmondo
Ercole and you will have such a good time being silent together!
Oh, that sounds like Fran, I imagine!  I'm sorry!"

In the sunset an Italian hilltown, battlements and a shaggy tower
on a rock abrupt amid the sloping plain.  The windows of the town
took the low sunlight and blazed one after another as the train
passed.  "As though the houses were full of gay people," said
Edith.  He looked at it with still pleasure.  He felt that her
presence had unlocked his heart; had enabled him, for the first
time, to see Italy.

He had, theoretically, been in Naples before, but as they drove
from the station to the Villa Ercole he realized that all he had
seen--all he had seen anywhere in Europe--had not been the place
itself but Fran's hectic and demanding attitudes; her hysteria of
delight over a moonlight, or her hysteria of annoyance over bad
service.  In Edith's quiet presence he perceived that Naples was
not, as he had remembered it, a rather grim, very modern barricade
of tall apartment houses, but a series of connected villages
extending for miles along the bay, between blue water and hills
into which human beings had burrowed like gophers.

The driver of their taxi, being Neapolitan, was in a rage so long
as any vehicle was on the road ahead of him, and as that was
always, their journey was a series of escapes from death.  Yet even
in this chariot race, Sam expanded and nestled into contentment, as
in the old days of overwork and brief vacations he had relaxed into
delight on his holidays in a canoe.

He patted Edith's hand in an effort to express his happiness, as he
saw Vesuvius roll up, with its trail of smoke--toward Naples, now,
promising good weather; saw Capri with the dots of white houses on
the lofty plateau between the ruin-dotted mountains; saw sun-washed
Sorrento at the foot of its giant promontory; saw the villas of
Posilipo below the cliff up which their taxi was racing.

The taxi passed a yellow plaster gatehouse, with a bobbing
concierge--a smiling, life-loving, plump Italian woman, with
innumerous children about her--and instantly they were free of the
roaring thoroughfare, free of banging traffic, ejaculatory drivers,
shouldering trains, suicidal children, and cluttered little shops
for the sale of charcoal and wine.  The park of the Villa Ercole
dropped from that high-lying thoroughfare down to the bay, with a
roadway twisting and redoubling on itself like a mountain trail.
They sped among enormous pines, between whose framing trunks he
saw, across the suave bay, the bulk of Vesuvius, as absolute in its
loneliness as Fujiyama.  They passed half a dozen plaster villas,
yellow as old gold, very still, remembering glories not quite past.
In a modern stone wall, supporting a stretch of the corkscrew road,
was a patch of thin ancient Roman brick set in a herring-bone
pattern and above it the fragment of a marble bust, the head of a
warrior whose villa may have stood here two thousand years ago.

There was no sound, even of birds, no sound from the street above--
a minute away yet inconceivably far.

"Lord, how quiet it is here!" said Sam.

"That's why I wanted to come here--that and the Ercoles."

On the last sweeping curve of the driveway, just before it came to
an end before the tall chateau in which the Ercoles themselves
still dwelt, Edith bade the driver halt at a tiny wooden bridge
which led across to what seemed to be the top story of a yellow
plaster tower whose lower stages were hidden beneath the cliff
beside them.

"There's our house!" she said.  "It's the funniest house in the
world!  It's on three levels.  The garden is so steep that you can
enter it from any floor.  And there are really only about two rooms
to a floor."

She led him, across the bridge and along a toy-house hallway, to
the simplest of bedrooms.  The floor was of shining stone; on the
walls there were no pictures, but only a majolica Virgin and Child.
The high narrow bed, with neither headboard nor footboard, had four
slender posts at the corners.  It was covered with a gold encrusted
brocade, rather worn.  There was a naked-looking white steel
washstand, a fine oval mirror, two heavy brocade chairs, a heavy
oak table set out with pens and stationery, a brazier for charcoal,
and nothing else whatever--yet there was everything, for outside
the French windows was a terrace, apparently the roof of a room
below, which gave on the bay, so that the room was filled with the
sparkle of southern sun on southern waters and with the image of
Mount Vesuvius and its distant indolence of smoke.

"This is your room, I suppose," said Edith.  "But, good heavens,
there's no wardrobe, no place even for your brushes and razor!
Bianca--Baroness Ercole--probably hasn't been able to afford them
yet--wrote me she was just refurnishing this house, hoping to rent

"I don't mind.  Keep my stuff in wardrobe trunk," said Sam.  He
was glad of the simplicity, glad that the room was free of the
stuffiness of much furniture.  He could see himself rejuvenated
here, in this cool shrine, with the sweet air and the beaming sea
outside, and with Edith's unsentimental friendship to make him
believe in himself.

They went on the balcony-terrace and Sam cried out.  The shore-line
from Posilipo to Naples, which had been below them and hidden from
them on their drive to the villa, was romantic enough for a
Christmas calendar--and no amount of Fran's scolding had kept
Samuel Dodsworth from liking chromo art.  The bay was edged with
cliffs, eaten into vast caves.  Mysterious stairways climbed from
the rocks at the edge of the water, disappearing into holes in the
cliffs.  Sam reflected how excited he would have been as a boy to
find these vanishing stairways, after reading in Stevenson and
Walter Scott of secret passageways, of smugglers and underground

To a tiny beach at the foot of a cliff a fisher-boy, barefoot and
singing, was drawing up his unwieldy boat.  His skin was golden in
the sunlight.

It is true that just then shot into sight a four-oar shell, rowed
by members of a club fostered by the Fascists, but this spectacle,
contemporary as though it were on the Thames, Sam ignored.  It did
not suit his romantic private vision of the Bay of Naples.

The villas along the bay were white and imposing upon the cliff-
tops, at the head of sloping canyons filled with vines and
mulberries, or, set lower, mediaeval palaces of arcaded and
yellowed marble with their foundations in the water.  It was late
in the afternoon, and the mellowed glow lay on distant Naples, vast
tawny pyramid rising to the abrupt bastions of Castel Sant' Elmo, a
city enchanted, asleep these hundreds of years in the lazy light.

He muttered, "This place--this place--"

"Yes.  Isn't it!" she said.

For hours they seemed to have been absorbed in the kindly radiance
but it was probably three minutes since they had entered the house.
No servant had answered her knock on entering, none had disturbed
them since.  They continued exploring; went down the rough stone
staircase of the tower-cottage, found her bedroom, as primitive as
his; and down to the ground floor.  They came into a drawing-room,
floored with waxed and polished tiles of old dark red, a room large
enough to tolerate fifteen-foot windows hung with damask, full-
blooming camellia trees in tall stone wine-jars, and a long table
of rosewood decorated with bronze, a table over-decorated yet
curiously elegant.  Sam scarcely noticed two women, in calico and
dust-caps, who were on their knees finishing the polishing of the
floor.  He gaped when the younger and more slender sprang up, fled
to Edith Cortright, and kissed her.

Edith said, smiling, brisker than he had ever known her, "Bianca,
this is my friend Mr. Dodsworth--Sam, your hostess, Baroness

And, altogether unabashed at being caught in the crimes of poverty
and work, the Baroness Ercole made him welcome with her smile, gave
him her wax-crusted hand to kiss, and invited them to dinner.


He found a new Edith Cortright, a surprisingly vigorous and outdoor
Edith, once she was away from Venetian proprieties.  She gave up
soft black for a linen sailor-blouse and a shocking skirt; she
showed a talent for swimming, sailing, tennis, and managing the
house.  The Ercole estate, with its half a dozen villas, was like a
private village, and a hectic village life it was into which Sam
had come.  The smiling Italian servants walked without warning into
any room, at any time--embarrassed him by bouncing into his bedroom
when he was shaving, cheerfully conducted the fish-pedler into the
drawing-room at tea-time, and at all hours, under all windows,
squabbled and laughed and gabbled and made love and sang.  And
there were so many of them belonging to the various villas.  Sam
was always discovering some new cottage--half-dug in the cliffs, or
atop a coach house, or mysteriously under it with its door opening
on another level--filled with gardeners or gatekeepers or maids,
with their children, their goats, their puppies, their rabbits, and
long-faced Italian cats.

The Baron and Baroness Ercole and their friends--officers who came
out from the barracks, navy officers, young professors from the
university--were as gay and welcoming as any American country club
set priding itself on hospitality.  They played tennis, they
organized dances, they motored (at appalling speed) to festivals in
distant mountain villages, and in everything they made Edith and
Sam a part of their own.  Half of them did not speak English, but
their smiles recognized him as an old friend.

Alone, Edith and Sam explored Capri and Sorrento and Pompeii; were
drawn up to the terror and fumes of Vesuvius; crept through the
back alleys of old Naples, where one street is given up to fish,
one to vegetables, one to the most cheerfully lugubrious artificial
funeral wreaths and to votive pictures depicting the escape of
pious persons from shipwreck, runaway horses, and falling bricks
through the intervention of the saints.

Fran, who insisted that she "despised sight-seeing," had yet been
so ejaculatory, so insistent that he should realize to the full
whatever most struck her, that he had had to work hard at travel,
and had been conscious only of collecting unrelated impressions.
Edith was lazily indifferent to his liking things.  With her, he
let his mind loaf, and slowly some sense of the real Italy came to
him, some feeling that it was not a picturesque show but a normal
and eager life.

They came home, dusty from Naples, for tea in the dim huge room
looking on the bay.  The late-afternoon glow over the piled hill of
Naples faded to misty blue.  The last high light in the scene was
the smoke of Vesuvius, a fabulous flamingo hue in the vanishing
sunlight.  As the bay turned to a blue fabric woven with silver
threads, the lights of braziers came out cheerfully in the little
fishing boats.  And in the twilight hush, Edith's voice was quiet,
not pricking him with demands for admiration of her cleverness, her
singular charms, but assuring him (though actually she talked only
of the Ercoles, perhaps, or politics, or antipasto) that she was
happy to be with him, that she took strength from him by giving him

He assumed that he was strong and primitive as the west wind, that
she was sophisticated and fragile, utterly a creature of indoors,
and he was the more startled on the day when they rested on the
stone wall by the orange grove.  It was an ancient, crumbly,
slatternly stone wall, lizards darting from the crevices, moss and
tiny weeds like a velvet cushion along the top.  Below, in the
hollow, was a tile and plaster house of three irregular flat-roofed
and terraced stories, apparently not connected, entered by doorways
above crazy stone flights of steps, all curiously like a New
Mexican pueblo.  The grove climbed from the hollow to the highway
above--orange trees, lemons, a palmetto or two, with vines
stretched upon the elongated branches of mulberry trees.  Where a
group of boulders intruded on the slope, the earth between rocks
had been painfully turned into tiny vineyards, a yard or two
square, protected by little stone walls.  The grove suggested
centuries of minute and patient labor, yet it was disorderly, the
ground rough and littered, the trees a tangle, with no straight

"You wondered," said Edith, perched on the wall, "whether I could
stand a canoe trip, sleeping on the ground.  What do you think of
this orchard?"

"Don't quite see the connection."

"What do you think of it?  How does it strike you--as an efficient

"Well, the fruit looks all right, but it seems kind of higgledy-
piggledy.  And it's darned hot, here on this wall!"

"Exactly!  Well, the Italian peasant loves the heat, and he loves
just the bare ridged ground--the earth, earthy earth!  He loves
earth and sun and wind and rain.  He's a mystic, in the highest
sense of that badly escorted word.  The European is the same
everywhere, in that.  The Tyrolese love the sharp smell of the
glaciers, the ragged mountain-slopes that almost frighten me, so
that they die of homesickness abroad.  The Prussian loves that
thick sandy waste and the bleak little pines.  The French villager
doesn't mind the reality of manure piles and mud puddles in front
of his house.  The English farmer loves his bare downs with their
sharp little furze bushes.  They love earth and wind and rain and
sun.  And I've learned it from them.  You wonder if I could 'stand'
sleeping on the ground!  I'd love it so much more than you!  I'm so
much more elementary.  Here, we may have ruins and painting, but
behind them we're so much closer to the eternal elements than you
Americans.  You don't love earth, you don't love the wind--"

"Oh, look here now!  What about our millions of acres of plowed
fields?  Nothing LIKE it, outside of maybe Russia!  What about our
most important men, that get out in the fresh air and motor and

"No.  Your farmers want to get away from their wash of acres to the
city.  Your business men drive out to the golf club in closed
sedans, and they don't want just bare earth--they want the earth of
the golf course all neatly concealed by lawn.  And I--you think of
me as sitting in drawing-rooms, but here you've seen me reveling in
sea water and running on the beach.  And often and often when you
think I'm napping in my room, I sneak out to that little bit of
walled-off garden just above the house and lie there in the hot
sun, in the wind, smelling of the reeking earth, finding life!
That's the strength of Europe--not its so-called 'culture,' its
galleries and neat voices and knowledge of languages, but its
nearness to earth.  And that's the weakness of America--not its
noisiness and its cruelty and its cinema vulgarity but the way in
which it erects steel-and-glass skyscrapers and miraculous cement-
and-glass factories and tiled kitchens and wireless antennae and
popular magazines to insulate it from the good vulgarity of earth!"

He wondered about it.  He admitted that he had seen only an indoor
Europe.  With hotel lounges, restaurants, bedrooms, train coupes,
even galleries and cathedrals and a few authentic homes, he was
familiar enough.  But he realized that he had but little sense of
the smell of earth in the changing countries.  He could remember
St. Stefan's Kirche in Vienna, but he could not remember the colors
of the Austrian Alps, the sound of mountain streams, the changing
smell of the crowded and musty pines at dawn, at noon, and in the
dusk.  He had talked with Spanish waiters but he had not been
silent with Spanish peasants.

Perhaps, as she said, it was he who was the decadent and ephemeral
flower of an imperiled civilization and she who was the root, not
to be killed; he saw that she had more essential lustiness than he,
more endurance than the lively but glass-encased Fran, vigorous
enough in joy but wilting and whimpering under trials.  The
Ercoles, Kurt von Obersdorf, Lord Herndon, they were not to be
crushed.  In humility he turned to the eternal earth, and in the
earth he found contentment.  He had daily less need to "buzz out
and look at things," as Fran put it.  He sat for hours with Edith,
or alone by the bay, staring at the miraculously involved branches
of a cypress, discovering the myriad minute skyscrapers in a patch
of moss.  And he began to desire to have--with Edith--a farm at
home, and not a gentleman's showplace, to increase social credit,
but an authentic farm, smelling of horses and cattle and chickens,
with cornfields baking at noon, mysterious in their jungle-like
alleys.  This simple-hearted ambition stirred him more, gave him
more feeling that he had something secret and exciting to live for,
than any of the business plans which were rousing him again to
self-respect. . . .  But it must be with Edith. . . .  He smiled a
little to think of himself, this bucolic lump, drawn back to earth
by her thin unearthen hands.  Edith!  He understood better the slim
starry Virgins before whom sun-black peasants bowed in Italian

He asked himself, then, "Am I in love with Edith--whatever this
'being in love' means?"

He had never so much as kissed her; only three or four times had he
even patted her hand.  He felt, sometimes, that behind her
reticence there could be an honest passion, uncramped by the desire
to make an impression, but he drifted on in a curious contented
languor, willing to wait for exaltation.  He found that when she
was away, he missed her--had every moment some idea or observation
he desired to share with her.  But that was to him a lesser hint of
what Edith Cortright had done to him than his increase in self-

It took him a time to perceive that perhaps he really was accepted
by Edith, by the Ercoles and the various Captain Counts and
Professores Dottores whom the Ercoles knew, as something more than
the provincial, insensitive, Midwestern manufacturer whom Fran had
pitied.  Baron Ercole did not explain with bored patience when Sam
asked elementary questions about Fascismo.  Edith was not tart with
him when he grumbled that he did not like the Narcissus in the
Naples Museum.

They did not expect him to be an authority on sculpture, Chianti,
Roman history, or the ranks of Italian nobility.  Apparently they
not only expected him to be precisely what he was, but admired him
for it.  He was at first embarrassed, made rather suspicious, by
the Baroness Ercole's admiration of him as a strong oarsman, a
kindly companion, a frank talker, a sound financier, but day by day
he saw that she meant it.  In this most Italian Italy he might
without apology still be a most American American.  Light seemed to
be woven into the very texture of his face that these months past
had been heavy and lifeless and unhealthily flushed; and his eyes
flickered as of old they had in talk with his daughter Emily.

"You are real," they all said, in one way or another, and "I AM
real!" he began to gloat.

He slept tranquilly, conscious in his sleep of the security of
Edith's presence on the floor below, shielding him against terror.
He did not awake now at three, for a cigarette and brooding about

But once, late at night, he thought that he heard Fran calling, a
sharp, beseeching "Sam--oh, SAM!" and he sprang up, stood swaying,
bewildered as he realized that she was not with him, probably never
would be again.

And the time, which he forgot as soon as possible, when Edith came
into the room when he was writing and he raised his head, smiling,
with "my Fran!"

Edith's only effort to correct his provincial ways was in a gentle
urging, "Let yourself enjoy life, Sam!  You're typically American
in being burdened with a sense of guilt, no matter what you do or
you don't do."

This may conceivably have had some connection with the fact that
when he appeared with Edith, when they went to dinner with one of
the Ercoles' friends or to the Excelsior for tea, more people
looked interestedly at him, standing casually beside her, than in
the days when he had been anxious to make an impression for Fran's
sake.  He no longer minded meeting strangers or having to listen to
their foreign accents.  He took them as they came.

He awoke one morning to lie looking at the bay and to realize that
he was definitely and positively happy.

He had written to Fran a good deal about Edith.  Fran was polite in
her comments; she sent her greetings to "Mrs. Cortright"; and she
was still politer, almost effusively jolly, when she wrote to him
from Berlin that she was at last suing for divorce.  With the term
of residence she already had, the process would take three months.
She was very pleasant about the fact that the grounds would be
desertion, and the affair free of scandal.

He remembered how excited they had been when they had gone to
Chicago together and he had bought her first little string of
pearls; how proud she had been of them, and how grateful. . . .
Then he felt curiously free.

When he reluctantly brought this decisive letter to Edith, she read
it slowly, and ventured, "Do you mind awfully?"

"Oh yes, a little."

"But it does clear things up, doesn't it!  And--I hope it won't
break your beautiful new calm!"

"I won't let it!"

"But I've seen you so badgered by her letters!"

"Yes, but--I say!  Could you ever possibly consider going to a
place like Zenith to live?"

"Of course.  Do places differ so much?"

"Would it amuse you to work on a plan like these garden suburbs?"

"I don't know.  It might."

It was an hour afterward, when they had pretended to keep placidly
busy with books and writing letters, that Edith burst out:

"Sam!  About your suburbs.  Something could be done--not just
Italian villas and Swiss chalets--for a town with a tradition of
Vermont Yankees and Virginians in buckskin.  Why shouldn't one help
to create an authentic and unique American domestic architecture?
Our skyscrapers are the first really new thing in architecture
since the Gothic cathedral, and perhaps just as beautiful!  Create
something native--and not be afraid to keep in all the plumbing and
vacuum-cleaners and electric dish-washers!  Dismiss the imitation
chateaux.  The trouble with the rich American is that he feels
uncouth and untraditional, and so he meekly trots to Europe to buy
sun-dials and Fifteenth Century mantelpieces and refectory tables--
to try to buy aristocracy by buying the aristocrats' worn-out
coats.  I like my Europe in Europe; at home I'd like to watch
people make something new.  For example, your motor cars."

"Then you would like a place like Zenith, that's growing?"

"How can I tell?  I'd certainly like the adventure of trying it."

He felt that her hesitation was more promising than the enthusiasms
of Fran.  Suddenly a horde of Ercoles were trouping in, planning a
swim, and no more that day, nor the next, did they speak of Fran,
of Zenith, of themselves.  But when they said good night, he kissed
her hands, and her eyes dwelt upon him.

They were dining at Bertolini's, high above Naples, looking out
toward Capri, and he was talking of possible schemes: a two-story
caravan with a canvas-sided collapsible upper floor, so that the
caravan could pass under arches en route; a caravan that could turn
into a house boat, carrying its own hull along, collapsed; a summer
resort entirely for children whose parents were going abroad; a
dozen fantastic, probably practical plans.  She was amused by them,
suggested improvements, and Sam was lustily content.

But after his second cognac the orchestra played selections from
the Viennese operettas which Fran loved, and he remembered how
happy he had been with Fran in Berlin, at first.  It came to him
that if Kurt failed to marry her, she would be a bewildered and
lonely exile; and through the music, through the darkness beyond
the music, he saw her fleeing, a desolate wraith; and while Edith
gossiped most amiably, Sam's heart was heavy with pity for the
frightened and bewildered child Fran, who once had laughed so
eagerly with him.

But, back at the Villa Ercole, he stood with Edith on the terrace
and across the whispering darkness of the bay, he saw the cone of
Vesuvius with a thin line of fire.

"Don't worry it too much!" said Edith suddenly, and he was grateful
that she understood his cloudy thoughts without making him wrap
them in cloudier words.


For days they drifted in perfect calm, and he was proud that the
enervating thought of Fran was gone from him.

All one morning they explored the ridge above Posilipo, found
fragments of a Roman emperor's villa and the carp-pond in which he
used to drown his slaves as the best fish-food, and discovered the
mausoleum which, history asserts, was the tomb of Vergil, or of
some one else.  They straggled home, up the long street which was a
wilderness of children and carts, and sank down sighing in the cool

"Collatzione, Teresa," he ordered, then:  "Curious, Edith, but this
house that you've rented, and that belongs to an Italian I never
saw till the other day, is the first that I ever felt was really
mine.  I actually dare give an order!"

"But I'm sure your Fran never MEANT to be a domestic dictator. . . ."

The gardener had left the mail on the table, but Sam did not pick
it up till after lunch, and then but carelessly.  On top was a
letter from Fran.  He pretended, not very skillfully, that he had
to go to his room, and he read Fran's letter alone:

I haven't much excuse, probably I've been a fool and not appreciated
you but anyway, maybe with no right to, I am turning to you rather
desperately.  Kurt's mother finally came up from Austria.  She was
pretty rude to me.  She indicated, oh quite clearly that for the
Catholic and Highly Noble Kurtrl to marry a female who was (or soon
would be) heinously divorced, who was an American, and who was too
old to bear him heirs, would be disastrous.  And she didn't spare me
very much in putting it that way, either.  Not a pretty scene--me
sitting there smoking in Kurt's flat and trying to look agreeable
while she wailed at Kurt and ignored me.  And Kurt stood by her.
Oh, his nice little sentimental heart bled for me, and since then
he's such a good time being devastated and trying to take both sides
at once.  But he "thought ve had better put off the marriage for
maybe a couple of years till ve von her over."  God!  Is he a man or
a son?  There ain't going to be no vinning over, and no marriage!
I'm sick of his cowardice, when I risked so much, but why go into

If you still care to bend your Olympian head and forgive the
probably wicked and unforgivable Magdalene or however it's spelled,
I should be glad to join you again, anyway I've stopped divorce
proceedings.  Of course I realize that in saying this so honestly,
without efforts to protect myself as most women would, I risk
another humiliation at your hands such as I had from Kurt.  Of
course I don't know how far you have committed yourself in the
rather strange relations with this Mrs. Cortwright in which you
have apparently had so much pleasure and relief from my aggravating
self, though how you could be willing to take snubs from the highly
proper Italians by thus living with her openly instead of
concealing things is beyond--

Oh forgive me, forgive me, dear Sambo darling, forgive me, your bad
child Fran!  I sound so beastly and snotty when in my heart I'm
desolated and scared and lost and I turn to you as the Rock of
Ages!  I wrote so abominably and unjustly because I'm so wretched,
so desperate, and I won't even tear it up--I want you to know that
if you do let your bad Fran come back, she probably hasn't learned
as much as she should in her mediocre little tragedy, she'll
probably be just as snobbish and demanding as ever, though God
knows I don't want to be, I am so tired of thread-bare grandeurs
now and want so much to be simple and honest.

I think you will credit me with not trying to come back just
because you are rich and strong, and Kurt poor and honest.  It's
just--Oh, you know what it is!  I venture to turn to you because I
do know that once, anyway, you loved me a great deal.  And if we
could manage to stick together, it will be so much better for Brent
and Emily--oh, I know, probably it's shameless of me to speak of
that so late, but it is true.

I find there is a boat leaving Hamburg September 19, Cherbourg the
next day, the Deutschland and if you CARE to join me on it, or meet
me in Paris, I should be--Oh Sam, if you still do love me, you
mustn't be proud, you mustn't take this chance to punish me, but
come, because otherwise--Oh, I don't know what I WILL do!  I've
been so proud!  Now I feel the world is jeering at me!  I don't
dare leave my flat, don't dare answer the phone and hear their
pitying laughter, I have my maid answer it for me, and usually it
is still Kurt, but I'll never see him again, never, he talks of
killing himself but he won't--his Mamma wouldn't let him!

As soon as you get this, won't you please telephone me here, from

If you feel like coming, I hope this will not inconvenience your
hostess, Mrs. Cortright, whom I remember so agreeably in Venice,
kindly give her my regards.  But I hope that my appeal may be
somewhat more important to you than even your social duty to that
doubtless most charming lady who is I am sure much less irritating
than I.

Her whole handwriting changed then; he felt that the rest of the
letter had been written hours later:

Oh, Sam, I do need you so, did I ever tell you that I adore you?

Your shamed and wretched little Fran.

He blundered down to the drawing-room, snorting, "Got to run into
Naples.  May be late for tea.  Don't wait."

"What is it?"

"Oh, it's nothing."

He fled from her.

All the way down, on the tram, he asked himself whether he wanted
to have Fran again, and whether he was really going to join her,
and to both he answered with perfect blankness.  But when he asked
whether he wanted to leave Edith, he denied it, sharply, with fury,
reflecting wretchedly how good she had been, how honest, how
understanding, and perceiving there was rising in him a passion for
her greater than the mystic vexation with which Fran had fascinated

And he was going to desert Edith, going to be weak enough to betray

"Oh, probably," he sighed, when for an hour, at the American
Express Company, he had been waiting for the telephone call to

He seemed to wait forever.

He was as conscious of the scene in the express office as though
he had sat there for years.  A picture of a big New York Central
locomotive.  Racks of pamphlets about spicy places--Burma and
Bangkok and Sao Paulo--he would never see them now, because Fran
would find them crude and unfashionable.  A tourist lady writing
letters and between sentences boasting to her mother of the
WON-DERFUL corals she had found on the Piazza dei Martiri--

Then startlingly, "Your Berlin call!"

He heard Fran's voice, quicksilver voice, eagerness of the wildly
playing child in its lifting mutations:

"Oh, Sam, it really is you?  You really are coming, dearest?  You
do forgive poor Fran?"

"Sure.  Be on the boat.  ON THE BOAT.  Yes, the nineteenth, yes,
sure, we'll talk over everything, good-bye, honey, you better get
the tickets as you're there in Germany.  GET THE STEAMER TICKETS,
good-bye, honey, I'll wire you a confirmation."

He walked back most of the way, looking old and slow and sweaty,
laboring over the coming scene with Edith.  She would be very
polite but surprised, contemptuous of him for returning to the
servitude of Fran's witchery.

He slunk in a few minutes after six.

She was reading by the great window in the drawing-room.  She
glanced up, then, wondering, "What is it?  What's happened?"


He stood by the window, making much of clipping and lighting a
cigar, and he did not look at her as he grumbled, "Fran's lover,
this Count Obersdorf, has turned her down.  His mother thought she
was kind of declasse--divorce and all that.  Poor kid, that must've
been hard on her.  She's given up the idea of divorce, and she's
sailing for home.  She'll be kind of--Oh, people'hl talk a lot, I
guess.  I'm afraid I'll have to go with her.  Fact, I'll have to
catch the midnight for Rome, tonight. . . .  I wish there were some
way of telling you all that you've--"


She had sprung up.  He was astonished by the fury in her quiet

"I won't let you go back to that woman!  And I won't see you
killed--yes, killed!--by her sweet, gay, well-mannered, utter
damned selfishness!  Her only thought about anybody is what they
give her!  The world offers you sun and wind, and Fran offers you
death, fear and death!  Oh, I'd seen how you've aged five years in
five minutes, after one of her complaining letters!  And you won't
be helping her--you'll just make her feel all the more that she can
do any selfish, cruel thing she wants to and come out of it
unscathed!  Think of Peking and Cairo!  No!  Think of the farm you
could have in Michigan, among the pines!  Think of how natural and
contented you'd be--yes, WE'D be--back there--"

"I know, Edith; I know every bit of it.  I just can't help it.
She's my child.  I've got to take care of her."

"Yes.  Well."  The passion did not fade from her eyes, but snapped
out, as though one should turn off a light, and she said dully,
"Sorry.  I was impertinent.  At least let me help you pack."

Throughout the packing, dinner, and the rather dreadful waiting
afterward, when he could not find two civil words to put together,
she was a little abrupt of speech, very courteous.  She asked
questions about Zenith.  She politely hoped that she might see him
"and Mrs. Dodsworth" some distant day.  Only once was she near to
intimacy, when, after a torturing pause, she blurted, "There really
isn't much to say, is there!  But I do want you to know that
because you've seemed to like me, you've given me a new assurance."

When he tried to counter with florid compliments, she bustled out
to the kitchen.

The sound of the coming taxicab released him from the eternity of
sitting dead in a tomb.  While the servants straggled out with his
luggage, he held her hand, patting it.

"It is all ready, Signore," said the maid.  She received the highly
expected tip, and with a "Com' beck soon!" which sounded sincere,
she vanished.

In the twilight outside the tree-shadowed door, he awkwardly shook
hands with Edith, but while he was trying to say something
agreeable, she cried:

"It's too late now.  But I thought that some day--I thought it
would be easy for me to talk, and I would tell you all sorts of
things about how I feel and think.  That it's been pleasant to be
with you.  That you're bigger than you know, not smaller, like
celebrities.  That you've made me willing to stop being afraid of
the world, and to attack it again.  I've felt--"  She seized his
rough sleeve.  "That curious feeling, always a surprise every time
I was with you, of 'Why, it's you!'  That feeling that you were
different from any other living person--not necessarily one bit
finer but--oh, different!  I shouldn't say any of this, but before
it's quite too late--too late!--I want to try to be reckless.  But
I can't say any of the things I thought.  Bless you, my dear!  And
God keep you through the wickedness of this Happy Ending!"

He kissed her, a terrible clinging kiss, and lumbered over to the
roadway and his taxicab.  He looked back.  She seemed to start
toward him, then closed the door quickly.  Through a window he
heard her voice, weary and spiritless:  "Only one for breakfast,

He was alone with a yawning taxi-driver, as a breeze came up from
the bay in the Southern darkness.


Fran was lovely, very young, in a gray-squirrel mantle.

"I got it for almost NOTHING, at the summer sales in Berlin," she
said.  "Why is it most women never can seem to economize?  I'll bet
your wonderful flame, Mrs. Cost--Cortright? funny, I never CAN seem
to remember her name--she's frightfully clever, I'm sure, but I'll
bet she'd have paid twice as much for it."

The late September was cold even for mid-Atlantic.  Fran smoothed
the fur, draped it closer in her steamer-chair.  She seemed to him
like a leopard with its taut limbs hidden by a robe.

Now, after tea hour on the S.S. Deutschland, a raging sunset
smeared the waves with a frightening crimson.  They smelled a
storm.  The ship ducked before the attacking waves.  But Fran was
full of liveliness and well-being.  As she talked, she nodded every
instant to people they had met aboard, the men who were always in a
knot about her at the dances, the matrons who talked of "that
charming Mrs. Dodsworth--she told me she was much younger than her
husband--he's a little slow, don't you think--but she's so fond of
him--looks after him like a daughter."

Fran cuddled down in her richness of fur.

"Oh, it's nice to be GOING somewhere!" she said.  "I bet we'll both
be crazy to start off somewhere, maybe back to Paris, when we've
been home a few months.  (What an ATROCIOUS hat that woman has on
and my DEAR, will you regard her shoes!  Why they ALLOW people like
that in the first cabin?)  And you can't know how tired I got of
sticking around Berlin forever 'n' ever!  Oh, you were so right
about Kurt, Sam dear.  I don't know how you guessed it!  You'd be
the first to admit you aren't usually so AWFULLY good at judging
character, except in the case of business men, but you were right
with--Oh, he was so BOSSY!  He was furious if I so much as
suggested I'd like to run down to Baden-Baden by myself.  And where
he got the idea that he was so important--Oh, his family may be as
old as the Coliseum--the Coliseo--but when I saw his mother, my
DEAR, the most awful old country frump--"

"Don't!" said Sam.  "Don't know why, but I kind of hate to hear you
riding Kurt and his mother that way.  They were probably hurt,

Most graciously, quite forgivingly, "Yes, you're right.  Sorry,
M'sieu!  I'll be a good girl.  And of course everything is all
right now.  After all, it's such a wonderful Happy Ending to our
wild little escapades!  We've both learned lots, don't you think?
and now I won't be so flighty and you won't be so irritable, I'm
sure you won't."

There was dancing in the verandah cafe.  Young Tom Allen, the polo
player--young Tom, all black and ivory and grin--came to ask her to
dance.  She smiled up at him, airily patted Sam's arm, and
scampered away, while Tom seemed to be holding her hand under
shelter of her squirrel robe.

The sunset was angry now, the color of port wine.

Sam staggered around and around the slanting deck, alone, and alone
he stood aft, looking back in the direction of Europe.  But there
was only foggy gray.

He awoke, bewildered, at two in the morning.  The storm had come;
the steamer was pitching abominably.  In his half sleep he heard
Edith whimpering in her sleep in the twin bed beside him.  Smiling,
glad to comfort her who had been all comfort to him here in sun-
bright Naples, he stretched out his arm, sleepily stroked her thin

He startled, he sat up and gasped, at the astonishment of hearing
the voice of Fran.

"Oh, thank you!  Nice of you to wake me up.  Having a kind of
nightmare.  My, it's rough!"

In his agitation he tightened his fingers on her wrist.

"Oh, Sam, DON'T--Oh, don't be ARDENT!  Not yet.  I must get used--
And I'm so sleepy!"  Very brightly:  "You don't mind, do you?

He lay awake.  In the watery light from the transom he saw the
sheen of her silver toilet things on the dresser.  He thought of
this tremendous steamer, pounding the waves.  He thought of the
modern miracle of the radio, up above, of the automatic electric
steering apparatus.  Yet on the bridge were sailors, unautomatic,
human, eternal.  The ship, too, was eternal, as a vehicle of man's
old voyaging.  Its creaking seemed to him like the creaking of an
ancient Greek trireme.

But while his thoughts reached out thus for things heroic, he heard
her placid breathing and he smelled not the sea gale but perfume
that came from little crystal vials among her silver toilet-things
that were vaster than the hull of the steamer, stronger than the

He felt that he would never sleep again.

He closed his great fist, tight.  Then it relaxed, and he was

He roused to hear her bubbling, in a stormy dawn:

"Are you awake?  Don't let me disturb you.  Horrid morning!  Let's
get up some bridge.  We'll get Mr. Ballard and Tom Allen.  He's a
dear boy, isn't he!  Though I feel like a mother toward him.  Oh,
Sam, if you aren't too sleepy--Oh.  While we're in New York, I
think I'll see if I can't pick up a really nice Chinese evening
wrap.  Tom told me about a shop.  Of course I have those others,
but they're getting so shabby, and after all, you don't expect me
to look a fright, like Matey Pearson, do you!  I'll make her eyes
start out of her head with the Marcel Rochas frock I got in Paris,
and think, I only had two days to get it in!  Zenith will simply
foam at the mouth!  Oh, after all, it IS kind of nice to be going
home--for a while--after all we've gone through--and Sam, I wonder
if you understand that _I_ understand probably you were just as
brave and honest as I was, even with the hideous suffering I had to
face in Berlin! And--Oh, I don't know what reminded me of it, but
you must be careful with the Ballards.  I'm afraid you bored them
last evening, talking about Italian motors.  You must remember that
they have a villa in Florence, and they're used to the real Italy,
and artists and the nobility and so on.  But of course it doesn't
matter.  And--Do you mind ringing for coffee?  That's an old dear!"

The scent of her perfumes seemed stronger than by night, in the
sleep-thickened air of the stateroom.

He slowly raised himself to ring for the steward.  He had said
nothing whatever.

She blissfully dropped off to sleep again, and he bathed, dressed,
swayed out on deck.  The open portion of the promenade dock was
protected by canvas against which the water crashed, sending
streams between the lashings to trickle along the deck.  He labored
forward, stood solemnly at a window looking ahead at the bow
plunging into the waves, at the foam hurled over the forepeak, at a
desolate immigrant in a tattered old raincoat trying to keep a
footing on the forward deck.

It was black ahead.  To a landsman it was menacing.  Yet there was
strength in the stormy air and, after a long breath, stretching out
his great arms, Sam began to plow around the deck.

His eyes seemed turned inward; his lips moved a little in his

After half an hour, breakfastless, he suddenly climbed the stairs
from A Deck to the Boat Deck and, down a narrow corridor, past the
tiny florist-shop, came to the wireless bureau--a narrow desk
across a small room, like a telegraph office in a minor hotel.

Emotionlessly, he wrote and handed in a message to Edith Cortright:
"Will you be Naples three weeks from now?"

He went down to breakfast.  All morning and half the afternoon he
played bridge, watching Fran flirt with the ebullient Tom Allen.

The answer to his radio came just before tea-time:  "No but shall
be venice for couple months bless you edith."

For an hour, while Fran made much of tea with half a dozen men, Sam
sat alone in the smoking-room, pretending to read whenever any lone
and necessitous drinker came in to look for a drinking companion.

At the dressing-hour, he said mildly to Fran, "I wonder if we
mightn't have dinner here in our stateroom tonight?  I want to talk
about things.  We've sort of avoided it."

"Good Heavens, Sambo, what's come over you?  Do you regard it as
particularly cheerful to dine in this beastly little hole of a room
on a rough night like this?  Besides!  I promised the Ballards we'd
join them in the grill for dinner--such a common, stupid commercial
crowd in the salon."

"But we must talk."

"My dear man, I think we'll manage it, with four full days ahead of
us on this steamer!  I'm really not going off to the Riviera or any
place, you know!"

It was not till late in the evening that he had his chance.  As
they came down to the stateroom at bedtime, Fran very lively after
a session in the smoking-room, he said, without prelude:

"Not much use trying to do it tactfully.  Wanted to, but Fran,
we can't make a go of it, and I'm going back and join Edith

"I don't quite understand.  What have I done now?  Oh, my God, if
you haven't learned--You haven't learned anything, not one single
thing, out of all our sorrows!  Still criticizing me, and such a
kind sweet way of springing something beastly cruel on me just when
I've been happy, as I have tonight!"  She faced him, hands
clenched.  "Will you KINDLY, Mr. Dodsworth, be a little less
mysterious and tell me just what it is I've done to hurt your
tender little feelings THIS time?"

"Nothing.  We just can't make a go of it.  You don't get me.  I'm
not making a scene.  I'm not trying to bully you.  I meant just
what I said.  I'm going back to Italy, from New York, on the first
ship.  I'm not blaming or criticizing--"

She sat abruptly on the chair before her dressing-table.  She said
quietly, with fear edging her voice, "And what is to become of me?"

"I don't know.  If I did, I wouldn't have met you on the ship."

She moaned.  "Oh!  You do manage to hurt!  I congratulate you!  You
see, I've been flattering myself you really wanted to come back to

He started to say something comforting, then held it back in panic,
as if in danger.  "I'm not going to be polite, Fran.  You know how
awfully I've loved you, a good many years.  You tampered with
it. . . .  What's going to become of you?  I don't know.  But I
guess it'll be just the same thing that's been becoming of you this
past couple of years.  You haven't needed me.  You've found people
to play with, and plenty of beaux.  I suppose you'll go on finding

"And this is the man that 'loved me awfully'--"

"Wait!  For the first time in all our arguments, I'm going to think
of what would become of ME!  I can't help you.  I'm just your
attendant.  But me--you can kill me.  I didn't used to mind your
embarrassing me and continually putting me in my place.  Didn't
even know you were doing it.  But I do now, and I won't stand it!"

"Was it your dear Mrs. Cortright who taught you that lovely theory?
about embarrassing you?  After the years when I've never allowed
one single soul to criticize you--"

"Understand?  I'm FINISHED!"

He did not, unfortunately, leave her in any heroic and dignified
way.  He flounced out of the stateroom like a child in a tantrum.
And that was because he knew that only by childish violence could
he escape from her logic, and because he knew that he must escape,
even over the side of the lurching ship.  For she was indeed
perfectly logical and sound.  She knew what she wanted!

It was misery for him to look out at her from the taxicab which he
was taking to the Italian Line dock, after three days in New York;
to see her standing in front of the hotel, alone, deserted, her
eyes pitiful, and to realize that he might never see her again.
The look in her eyes had been the meaning of life for him, and he
was deserting it.

They were dining at the Ritz in Paris, Edith and Sam, feeling
superior to its pretentiousness, because that evening they had
determined to return to America, when his divorce should be
complete, and to experiment with caravans.  They were gay, well
dined and well content.

But after his second cognac the orchestra played selections from
Viennese operettas, and he remembered how happy Fran and he had
been in Berlin.  He remembered the wretchedness of the letter he
had received from her that day.  She was staying with Emily in
Zenith; she said that she was seeing no one; that his "DEAR friends
Tub and Matey" were a little too polite; and that she was thinking
of going, in a few days, to Italy--

Through the darkness beyond the music, he saw her fleeing, a
desolate wraith, and his heart was heavy with pity for the
frightened and bewildered child who once had laughed so eagerly
with him.

He came out of his silence with a consciousness that Edith was
watching him.  She said lightly, "You enjoy being sad about her!
But hereafter, every time there is a music, I shall also think of
Cecil Cortright.  How handsome he was!  He spoke five languages!
How impatient I was with him!  How I failed him!  How virtuous it
makes me feel to flay myself!  What a splendid, uncommon grief I
have!  Dear Sam! . . .  What a job it is to give up the superiority
of being miserable and self-sacrificing!"

He stared, he pondered, he suddenly laughed, and in that laughter
found a youthfulness he had never known in his solemn youth.

He was, indeed, so confidently happy that he completely forgot Fran
and he did not again yearn over her, for almost two days.


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