Monty Rosenberg was a sublimely and ruthlessly selfish man, who gave joy to others by accident, pursuing all the while his own luxurious aims. From the day of his birth until this lamentable evening in September he had never wished to benefit anybody but himself. He lived to and for himself, and this beautiful home had been made for his own delight; and yet the inscrutable ways of life had performed a seeming miracle, and Monty was tonight a mere voiceless child obeying the decrees of circumstance. He was preparing to entertain his guests in a mood of solemn and magistral calm. He thought nothing at all of their pleasure or their envy. He was as much above snobbery as he was below compassion. But he had created an atmosphere of gorgeous appropriateness to the marvels of the human heart, and the gloomy night furnished a contrast as violent as the most emotional person in the world could have desired. He had prepared a stir of color which must affect all those who were to be present upon this occasion.