17 Pages

Roger Cutter (1)

ByLouis Auchincloss

Nothing is more shocking about old age than the speed with which even the most famous persons are isolated and forgotten. Felix Leitner had been a friend of presidents, of chiefs of state; his books and columns had been read by millions and taught in schools and colleges; his name had been mentioned in cartoon captions, in plays and even musicals, as the very symbol of the intellectual commentator, the detached political philosopher. Most of his old friends were dead or in similar condition. His daughter, Felicia, came dutifully, if rather noisily, once a month to call; the thinness of their relationship was as much his fault as hers. He had no wife, but then he had been twice divorced. And younger friends were put off by his sudden irrationalities. Some were secretly repelled; others wondered if it was worth their while to call, if he would even remember that they had.