Chapter 1

“TOM!”

Noanswer.

“TOM!”

Noanswer.

“What’sgonewiththatboy,Iwonder?YouTOM!”

Noanswer.

Theoldladypulledherspectaclesdownandlookedoverthemabouttheroom;thensheputthemupandlookedoutunderthem.SheseldomorneverlookedTHROUGHthemforsosmallathingasaboy;theywereherstatepair,theprideofherheart,andwerebuiltfor“style,”notserviceshecouldhaveseenthroughapairofstove-lidsjustaswell.Shelookedperplexedforamoment,andthensaid,notfiercely,butstillloudenoughforthefurnituretohear:

“Well,IlayifIgetholdofyouI’ll

Shedidnotfinish,forbythistimeshewasbendingdownandpunchingunderthebedwiththebroom,andsosheneededbreathtopunctuatethepuncheswith.Sheresurrectednothingbutthecat.

“Ineverdidseethebeatofthatboy!”

Shewenttotheopendoorandstoodinitandlookedoutamongthetomatovinesand“jimpson”weedsthatconstitutedthegarden.NoTom.Soshelifteduphervoiceatananglecalculatedfordistanceandshouted:

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