But, of course, I had not met the girl and my opinion of her was based upon the merest guesses as to her habits and character. She seemed to be, according to Ballard, essentially feminine (whatever he meant by that) and in spite of her protestations to Jerry as to her self-sufficiency and soundness, to have a faculty for ingratiating herself into the fullest confidence of the young men who came into her net.
In looking over the above, it occurs to me that I may be accused of prejudice against or unfairness to this girl of whom I really knew so little, for if I do not tell the truth, this work has no value. But upon consideration I have decided to let my opinions stand, leaving my own personal point of view to weigh as little or as much as it may in the mind of my reader. To say that I was jealous of Jerry’s attentions to any young woman would be as far from the truth as to say that I was not jealous for his happiness. But as several weeks went by and Jerry did not appear at the Manor, his notes meanwhile becoming more and more fragmentary, I found a conviction slowly growing in my mind that my importance in Jerry’s scheme of things was diminishing with the days. One afternoon just before the dinner hour I was reading Heminge and Condell’s remarkable preface to the “Instauratio Magna” of Bacon, which advances the theory that the state of knowledge is not greatly advancing and that a way must be opened for the human understanding entirely different from any known. In the midst of my studies Jerry rushed in, flushed with his long drive in the open air, and threw his great arms around my neck, almost smothering me.
“Good old Dry-as-dust! Thought I’d surprise you. Glad to see me? Anything to eat? By George! You’re as yellow as a kite’s foot. Been reading yourself into a mummy, haven’t you?”
It was good to see him. He seemed to bring the whole of outdoors in with him.
I took him by the shoulders and held him off from me, laughing in pure happiness.
“Well. What are you looking at? Expect to see my spots all changed?”
“I think you’ve actually grown.”
“In four weeks? Rubbish! I think I’ve contracted. If there’s anything to make a fellow feel small it’s rubbing elbows with four million people. Good old Roger! Seems as if I’d been away for a lifetime. Then again it seems as if I’d never been away at all, as if New York was all a dream. Well, here I am, like Shadrach, past the fiery furnace and not