re known as Social Obligation had forged his links and fetters about my movements. More than ever, I saw, I had my end to keep up. What should have been a recreation had become almost a treadmill. I was a pretender, and had my pretense to sustain. I couldn't afford to be "dropped." I had my frontiers to protect, and my powers to placate. I couldn't ask Mary to throw herself away on a nobody. So instead of trying to keep up one end, I tried to keep up two. I continued to bob about the fringes of the Four Hundred. And I continued to cling hungrily to Mary's hint about doing work, gloriously big work.
But gloriously big work, I discovered, was usually done by lonely men, living simply and quietly, and dwelling aloof from the frivolous side-issues of life, divorced from the distractions of a city which seemed organized for only the idler and the lotos-eater. And I could see that the pay-dirt coming out of Alaska was running thinner and thinner.
It was to remedy this, I suppose, that I dined with my