Book 3, Chapter 2 Summary
During the year Gloria and Anthony are apart, Gloria has trouble adjusting to life alone. All the men she knew are in the army, and most of her female friends are involved in the war effort or involved in lives of their own. She meets Rachael Barnes, whom she has not seen since that party in Marietta. She instantly likes her this time, and the two women become good friends. Rachael introduces her to two officers, one of whom (Captain Collins) is especially attentive to her and says he wishes she were not married. When Rachael invites her to stay the night when Captain Collins will also stay the night, Gloria rejects the opportunity of an affair and leaves. When she meets another old friend, she allows him to kiss her. She is glad that she did, for he is killed the following day.
As Gloria waits for the trial in the autumn, she seriously considers becoming an actress. She calls Bloeckman, but she learns that he is in Europe. When she receives Anthony’s letters, she can tell that he does not want her to come South. She then receives the telegram telling about his illness and his imminent arrival in New York. After they meet, Anthony returns to Mississippi to be discharged from the army. He fears that he will find Dot there, but does not. After two days he returns to New York.
Anthony has nothing to do until the trial, but he avoids going to see Mr. Haight, his attorney. He and Gloria continually argue about money. The costs of living have increased following the war. He tries to get a news correspondent’s position but is turned town at every place. Gloria suggests he try for a job in sales. He shows up at the appointed place to learn that the job is to sell a book called Heart Talk. That night, as he explains his experience to Gloria, he ridicules it but she takes it seriously. He goes back with the intention of being a salesman. He fails utterly, however, especially because he reinforces himself with drinks. When Prohibition comes, Anthony is faced with the struggle of becoming sober. The appeal of his grandfather’s will is dragged out again for at least another six months.
Gloria becomes more concerned about their decreasing income. She is faced with the fact that soon she will be twenty-nine. She admits to herself that she never really wanted children. She is glad that at least her beauty will never fade. Gloria falls ill with influenza. In February, she calls up Bloeckman and learns that he has changed his name to Black. He is glad she has decided to take his advice and arranges a part for her in a movie. Without telling Anthony, she goes to the studio and auditions for the part. The next day she learns that the part calls for a younger woman. Gloria realizes that her beauty has not lasted.