Chapter 1

“TOM!”  

Noanswer.  

“TOM!”  

Noanswer.  

“What’sgonewiththatboy,Iwonder? YouTOM!”  

Noanswer.  

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

“Well,IlayifIgetholdofyouI’ll  

Shedidnotfinish, forbythistimeshewasbendingdownandpunchingunderthebedwiththebroom, andsosheneededbreathtopunctuatethepuncheswith. Sheresurrectednothingbutthecat.  

“Ineverdidseethebeatofthatboy!”  

Shewenttotheopendoor andstoodinitandlookedoutamongthetomatovinesand“jimpson”weedsthatconstitutedthegarden. NoTom. Soshelifteduphervoiceatananglecalculatedfordistance andshouted: 

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