Then one Tuesday, she phoned and said she couldn't come. It didn't matter really. But when it happened again the following Friday, I was disturbed. I couldn't understand it. I felt betrayed and yet I knew Laura wouldn't betray anyone. I walked for a long time. Then, I found myself before her apartment building. The lights were on. It pleased me to know she was home 'til I saw she was not alone. Well, I waited. I wanted to see who he was. It was Jacoby who had recently painted her portrait. I never liked the man. He was so obviously conscious of looking more like an athlete than an artist. I spent the rest of the night writing a column about him. I demolished his affectations, exposed his camouflaged imitations of better painters, ridiculed his theories. I did it for her, knowing Jacoby was unworthy of her. It was a masterpiece because it was a labor of love. Naturally, she could never regard him seriously again. There were others, of course. But her own discrimination ruled them out before it became necessary for me to intercede.
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