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By Charlotte Armstrong

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Sample text

It is impossible for anyone to be healthy in this dreadful place. I have got to get her out of here. She had her hair pulled back today and tied in a hank at the back of her neck with a faded red ribbon. This did not make her look girlish. She looked haggard. She said, as piimly as if she'd memorized it, "I feel so much better. The medicine is doing me good, I'm sure. " She dragged her eyelids up. "Mr. Gibson, I want you to go away . . " he said wih a pang. "Because I am nobody of yours. You shouldn't worry about me.

Violette, and Rosemary would recount to him how many eggs she'd had, how many glasses of milk, what toast. . And he'd say she'd be fat as a pig pretty soon and feel a sting behind his eyes. One afternoon he came walking home, the two blocks from the bus stop, to see her sitting on the ground at the far side of the house, near the roses. He altered his course and stepped softly toward her on the grass. She looked up and her face was dirty where she had swipetl an earthy hand across her nose. She was patting and combing the earth around one rose bush with hef bare fingers.

Not treasure. Nevertheless, Mr. Gibson strung out the task and kept calling. Oh, he knew exactly what he was doing. When he thought about it he did not approve at all. It was weak. He had entangled himself, and every visit wove another Strand into the web. And he knew better. Nobody knew better than he that he ought to withdraw gracefully. She was no burden of his. He could withdraw. In modem days, in the United States of America, no corpse lies on the street slain by destitution. There were charities and public institutions.

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