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A Perfect Day for Bananafish

"Thankyou,"saidthegirl,andmadetheroomonthenighttablefortheashtray.

Awoman’svoicecamethrough."Muriel?Isthatyou?"

Thegirlturnedthereceiverslightlyawayfromherear."Yes,Mother.Howareyou?"shesaid.

"I’vebeenworriedtodeathaboutyou.Whyhaven’tyouphoned?Areyouallright?"

"Itriedtogetyoulastnightandthenightbefore.Thephonehere’sbeen-"

"Areyouallright,Muriel?"

Thegirlincreasedtheanglebetweenthereceiverandherear."I’mfine.I’mhot.Thisisthehottestdaythey’vehadinFloridain-"

"Whyhaven’tyoucalledme?I’vebeenworriedto-"

"Mother,darling,don’tyellatme.Icanhearyoubeautifully,"saidthegirl."Icalledyoutwicelastnight.Oncejustafter-"

"Itoldyourfatheryou’dprobablycalllastnight.But,no,hehadto-Areyouallright,Muriel?Tellmethetruth."

"I’mfine.Stopaskingmethat,please."

"Whendidyougetthere?"

"Idon’tknow.Wednesdaymorning,early."

"Whodrove?"

"Hedid,"saidthegirl."Anddon’tgetexcited.Hedroveverynicely.Iwasamazed."

"Hedrove?Muriel,yougavemeyourwordof-"

"Mother,"thegirlinterrupted,"Ijusttoldyou.Hedroveverynicely.Underfiftythewholeway,asamatteroffact."

"Didhetryanyofthatfunnybusinesswiththetrees?"

"Isaidhedroveverynicely,Mother.Now,please,Iaskedhimtostayclosetothewhiteline,andall,andheknewwhatImeant,andhedid.Hewaseventryingnottolookatthetrees-youcouldtell.DidDaddygetthecarfixed,incidentally?"

"Notyet."

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