"Her great tragedy happened just three years ago," said the child; "that would be since your sister's time."
"Her tragedy?" asked Framton; somehow in this restful country spot tragedies seemed out of place.
"You may wonder why we keep that window wide open on an October afternoon," said the niece, indicating a large French window that opened on to a lawn.
25 February 2007
Vol. 6, No. 4
I don't know what was harder to believe, that Pam's mother threw her out of the house or that Gail Tate turned Born Again! I thought most people who get suckered into those kinds of religious cults are sheepish and anti-social…losers. But Gail joins sports and has yearbooks filled with sentiments like, thank you for being you and a girl above the crowd. Don't get me wrong. I don't have anything against Born Agains.
One-bedroom apartments feel unnecessarily large with just one person in them. Who knows, I may be renting my own studio soon, or staying in this big apartment by myself 'til the lease runs out. But I doubt, despite what Sue may want, that I'll be getting a new job anytime soon.
The furniture was wonderfully unpretending, old, and snug. No new shining mahogany, sticky with undried varnish; no uncomfortably luxurious ottomans, and sofas too fine to use, vexed you in this sedate apartment. It is a thing which every sensible American should learn from every sensible Englishman, that glare and glitter, gimcracks and gewgaws, are not indispensable to domestic solacement. The American Benedick snatches, down-town, a tough chop in a gilded show-box; the English bachelor leisurely dines at home on that incomparable South Down of his, off a plain deal board.
Immediately I found myself standing in a spacious place intolerably lighted by long rows of windows, focusing inward the snowy scene without.
At rows of blank-looking counters sat rows of blank-looking girls, with blank, white folders in their blank hands, all blankly folding blank paper.
His sunken pitfalls of eyes were ringed by indigo halos, and played with an innocuous sort of lightning: the gleam without the bolt. The whole man was dripping. He stood in a puddle on the bare oak floor: his strange walking-stick vertically resting at his side.
Once upon a time there was little girl, pretty and dainty. But in summer time she was obliged to go barefooted because she was poor, and in winter she had to wear large wooden shoes, so that her little instep grew quite red.
Yes, they called him Little Tuk, but it was not his real name; he had called himself so before he could speak plainly, and he meant it for Charles. It was all very well for those who knew him, but not for strangers.
Each man shouldered his gun, kept his eyes well to the front, and wore the smartest red and blue uniform imaginable. The first thing they heard in their new world, when the lid was taken off the box, was a little boy clapping his hands and crying, "Soldiers, soldiers!"
She hadn't said anything about the cancer, even though Rayna had talked to her every day.
Restless, shifting, fugacious as time itself is a certain vast bulk of the population of the red brick district of the lower West Side. Homeless, they have a hundred homes.
One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one's cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty-seven cents.
In a little district west of Washington Square the streets have run crazy and broken themselves into small strips called "places." These "places" make strange angles and curves. One Street crosses itself a time or two.
And after all the weather was ideal.
Although Bertha Young was thirty she still had moments like this when she wanted to run instead of walk, to take dancing steps on and off the pavement, to bowl a hoop, to throw something up in the air and catch it again, or to stand still and laugh at—nothing—at nothing, simply.
And then, after six years, she saw him again.
He was scarcely ten years old when he was arrested for the first time for vagabondage.
What his wife mentioned of his being a tale-teller as well as a musician now occurred to me; and as, you know, I like tales of superstition, I begged to have a specimen of his talent as we went along.
The antiques on the wall were real, not reproductions like you see in chain joints these days. In fact, even the seating was antique: scarred tables from long-demolished hotels and diners, railcar berths, an old-timey elevator.
When Alethea came over after school she wanted to know if my grandmother was a witch.
1 November 2005
Vol. 5, No. 3
She is already experimenting with the accent as she draws herself up to me. She collects her body like a sharecropper and lays out her insane demands.
During the long holiday of 1978, a man named Petrovesky came to live in our neighbourhood. Petrovesky was a giant who always wore a long black coat and carried a short black cane with a gold tip. He had a long nose, big blue eyes and a red beard that reached all the way down to his knees. He also had giant wings…
Lily, the caretaker's daughter, was literally run off her feet.
For several days in succession fragments of a defeated army had passed through the town. They were mere disorganized bands, not disciplined forces.