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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