The Place of Honeymoons (Chapter 4, page 1 of 11)

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Chapter 4

With the same inward bitterness that attends the mental processes of a
performing tiger on being sent back to its cage, Courtlandt returned to
his taxicab. He wanted to roar and lash and devour something. Instead, he
could only twist the ends of his mustache savagely. So she was a grand
duchess, or at least the morganatic wife of a grand duke! It did not seem
possible that any woman could be so full of malice. He simply could not
understand. It was essentially the Italian spirit; doubtless, till she
heard his voice, she had forgotten all about the episode that had
foundered his ship of happiness.

Her statement as to the primal cause was purely inventive. There was not a
grain of truth in it. He could not possibly have been so rude. He had been
too indifferent. Too indifferent! The repetition of the phrase made him
sit straighter. Pshaw! It could not be that. He possessed a little vanity;
if he had not, his history would not have been worth a scrawl. But he
denied the possession vehemently, as men are wont to do. Strange, a man
will admit smashing those ten articles of advisement known as the
decalogue and yet deny the inherent quality which surrenders the
admission--vanity. However you may look at it, man's vanity is a complex
thing. The vanity of a woman has a definite and commendable purpose: the
conquest of man, his purse, and half of his time. Too indifferent! Was it
possible that he had roused her enmity simply because he had made it
evident that her charms did not interest him? Beyond lifting his hat to
her, perhaps exchanging a comment on the weather, his courtesies had not
been extended. Courtlandt was peculiar in some respects. A woman attracted
him, or she did not. In the one case he was affable, winning, pleasant,
full of those agreeable little surprises that in turn attract a woman. In
the other case, he passed on, for his impressions were instant and did not
require the usual skirmishing.

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