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He’d never quite seen anyone in that state before, even though he has a mother and all that.

Today Lizzie is, he thinks, irresistibly plaintive.

Then the doorbell jerked the husband to his feet.

Does Lizzie live here?

Who are you?

Where did she go? Where did Lizzie go?

Who wants to know?

Lizzie meant to answer hurriedly and hotly, but nevertheless stayed hidden.

Around here real and imaginary characters are shockingly always crossing paths.

Lizzie clearly identified the lugubrious voice of her first love – a pain in the ass who had become too quarrelsome – who had worked out well in the short run when he could still be funny. Now she should speak to him, say memorable things.

He’ll soon be with me, she thought, for his wail had come again at her through the closed door. Then she heard the racket of paper being fought with in an effort to crush it into a ball – or was that the window blind that was shrieking in the next room while being hoisted against its will – or while it was being let down too swiftly?

That sad sack will find me, she thought.

Why did she cling to that notion? – because the tree leaves this autumn in Hubbard Woods, where they live, are falling down as they ought to? – because the dead leaves have the life spirit to collect themselves and to push themselves to go to the necessary places?

Did Chaddy rattle and scatter himself toward me? Did he die? Lizzie asked herself.

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