His figure was like that of the wonderful young prize-fighters she had admired at moving picture shows to which Drumley had taken her. He had a singularly handsome face, blond yet remotely suggesting Italian. He smiled at Susan and she thought she had never seen teeth more beautiful pearl-white, regular, even.
One June evening Drumley came to take her to dinner at the Casino in Central Park. She hesitated. She still liked Drumley's mind; but latterly he had fallen into the way of gazing furtively, with a repulsive tremulousness of his loose eyelids, at her form and at her ankles especially at her ankles especially at her ankles. This furtive debauch gave her a shivery sense of intrusion.
There was silence for a long time, then she asked quietly: "What do you think I ought to do?" "Leave him if you love him," replied Drumley. "What else can you do?. . . Stay on and complete his ruin?" "And if I go what?" "Oh, you can do any one of many things. You can " "I mean what about him?" "He will be like a crazy man for a while.
The air was saturated with the fresh odors of spring and early summer flowers. Susan, walking beside the homely Drumley, was a charming and stylish figure of girlish womanhood. The year and three months in New York had wrought the same transformations in her that are so noticeable whenever an intelligent and observant woman with taste for the luxuries is dipped in the magic of city life.
Drumley he would have trusted alone with her on a desert island; for several reasons, all of his personal convenience, it pleased him that Susan liked Drumley and was glad of his company, no matter how often he came or how long he stayed. Drumley was an emaciated Kentucky giant with grotesquely sloping shoulders which not all the ingenious padding of his tailor could appreciably mitigate.
After dinner they walked down through the Park by the way they had come; it did not look like the same scene now, with the moonlight upon it, with soft shadows everywhere and in every shadow a pair of lovers. They had nearly reached the entrance when Drumley said: "Let's sit on this bench here. I want to have a serious talk with you." Susan seated herself and waited.
"Why do you waste time on that stuff?" said Drumley, when he discovered her taste for it. "Oh, a woman never can tell what may happen," replied she. "She'll never learn anything from those fool articles," answered he. "You ought to hear the people who get them up laughing about them. I see now why they are printed. It's good for circulation, catches the women even women like you."
And thence she might have gone on to consider that Drumley's speeches sounded strangely like paraphrases of Spenser's eloquent outbursts when he "got going." But she had not a suspicion. Besides, her whole being was concentrated upon the idea Drumley was trying to put into words. She asked: "Why are you telling me?" "Because I love him," replied Drumley with feeling.
She went into the Hoffman House and at the public telephone got the Herald office. "Is Mr. Drumley there?" "No," was the reply. "He's gone to Europe." "Did Mr. Spenser go with him?" "Mr. Spenser isn't here hasn't been for a long time. He's abroad too. Who is this?" "Thank you," said Susan, hanging up the receiver. She drew a deep breath of relief.
I wish you'd fix up that play the way Drumley suggested." "Maybe I shall. We'll see." "Anything else wrong?" "Only the same old trouble. I love you too much. Too damn much," he added in a tone not intended for her ears. "Weak fool that's what I am. Weak fool. I've got you, anyhow. Haven't I?" "Yes," she said. "I'd do anything for you anything."