When the girl reached headquarters and counted the contribution she found it amounted to just fifty-five dollars.
CLAY TAKES A TRANSFER
From the top of a bus Clay Lindsay looked down a canon which angled across the great city like a river of light.
He had come from one land of gorges to another. In the walls of this one, thousands and tens of thousands of cliff-dwellers hid themselves during the day like animals of some queer breed and poured out into the canon at sunset.
Now the river in its bed was alive with a throbbing tide. Cross-currents of humanity flowed into it from side streets and ebbed out of it into others. Streams of people were swept down, caught here and there in swirling eddies. Taxis, private motors, and trolley-cars struggled in the raceway.
Electric sky-signs flashed and changed. From the foyer of theaters and moving-picture palaces thousands of bulbs flung their glow to the gorge. A mist of light hung like an atmosphere above the Great White Way.
All this Clay saw in a flash while his bus crossed Broadway on its way to the Avenue. His eyes had become accustomed to this brilliance in the weeks that had passed since his descent upon New York, but familiarity had not yet dulled the wonder of it.
The Avenue offered a more subdued picture. This facet showed a glimpse of the city lovelier and more leisurely, though not one so feverishly gay. It carried his mind to Beatrice Whitford. Some touch of the quality of Fifth Avenue was in her soul. It expressed itself in the simple elegance of her dress and in the fineness of the graceful, vital body. Her gayety was not at all the high spirits of Broadway, but there were times when her kinship to Fifth Avenue knifed the foolish hopes in his heart.
He had become a fast friend of Miss Whitford. Together they had tramped through Central Park and motored up the Hudson in one of her father’s cars. They had explored each other’s minds along with the country and each had known the surprise and delight of discoveries, of finding in the other a quality of freshness and candor.
Clay sensed in this young woman a spirit that had a way of sweeping up on gay young wings to sudden joys stirred by the simplest causes. Her outlook on life was as gallant as that of a fine-tempered schoolboy. A gallop in the Park could whip the flag of happiness into her cheeks. A wild flower nestling in a bed of moss could bring the quick light to her eyes. Her responsiveness was a continual delight to him just as her culture was his despair. Of books, pictures, and music she knew much more than he.
The bus jerked down Fifth Avenue like a boat in heavy seas, pausing here and there at the curb to take on a passenger. While it was getting under way after one such stop, another downtown bus rolled past.