Chapter 32

           Promptly,thenextafternoon,MariawasexcitedbyMartin’ssecondvisitor. Butshedidnotloseherheadthistime,forsheseatedBrissendeninherparlor’sgrandeurofrespectability. 

           "Hopeyoudon’tmindmycoming?"Brissendenbegan. 

           "No,no,notatall,"Martinanswered,shakinghandsandwavinghimtothesolitarychair,himselftakingtothebed. "ButhowdidyouknowwhereIlived?" 

           "CalleduptheMorses. MissMorseansweredthe’phone. AndhereIam." Hetuggedathiscoatpocketandflungathinvolumeonthetable. "There’sabook,byapoet. Readitandkeepit." Andthen,inreplytoMartin’sprotest:"WhathaveItodowithbooks? Ihadanotherhemorrhagethismorning. Gotanywhiskey? No,ofcoursenot. Waitaminute." 

           Hewasoffandaway. Martinwatchedhislongfiguregodowntheoutsidesteps,and,onturningtoclosethegate,notedwithapangtheshoulders,whichhadoncebeenbroad,drawninnowover,thecollapsedruinofthechest. Martingottwotumblers,andfelltoreadingthebookofverse,HenryVaughnMarlow’slatestcollection. 

           "NoScotch,"Brissendenannouncedonhisreturn. "ThebeggarsellsnothingbutAmericanwhiskey. Buthere’saquartofit." 

           "I’llsendoneoftheyoungstersforlemons,andwe’llmakeatoddy,"Martinoffered. 

           "IwonderwhatabooklikethatwillearnMarlow?"hewenton,holdingupthevolumeinquestion. 

           "Possiblyfiftydollars,"cametheanswer. "Thoughhe’sluckyifhepullsevenonit,orifhecaninveigleapublishertoriskbringingitout." 

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