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ideologue. his thunderous contempt and one-man war against everybody\u8212?Freud. in a succession of jobs. a mad Oliver Hardy. But T oole's greatest achievement is Ignatius Reilly himself. its back streets. worst of all. There was no getting out of it. In this case I read on. transported to New Orleans whence he makes a wi ld foray through the swamps to LSU at Baton Rouge. The tragedy of t he book is the tragedy of the author\u8212?his suicide in 1969 at the age of thi rty-two.it astounds me even more than the first\u8212?is to tell of my first encounter w ith it. Over the years I have become very good at getting out of things I don't want to do. glutton. so that I would have to keep read ing. Here at any rate is Ignatius Reilly. a big novel. Protestants. she said. One never quite knows where the sadness co mes from\u8212?from the tragedy at the heart of Ignatius's great gaseous rages a nd lunatic adventures or the tragedy attending the book itself. had written an entire novel during the early si xties. its own eerie logic. Another tragedy is the body of work we have been denied. who was dead. It was that her son. He does. heterosexuals. laugh out lo ud. shake my head in wonderment. in good conscience. hom osexuals. and that. Myrna Minkoff of the Bronx. In deed the first paragraph often suffices. B ut the lady was persistent. then with a prickle of interest. Why would I want to do that? I asked her. only one ho pe remained\u8212?that I could read a few pages and that they would be bad enoug h for me. Imagine an Aquinas gone to pot. a full-blown disaster. intellectual. By no means a lesser virtue of Toole's novel i s his rendering of the particularities of New Orleans. While I was teaching at Loyola in 1976 I began to get telephone calls fr om a lady unknown to me. a nd there is nothing we can do about it but make sure that this gargantuan tumult . its out -of-the-way neighborhoods. a superb comic character of imm ense wit and resourcefulness without the least trace of Rastus minstrelsy. its odd speech. Because it is a great novel. in a back bedroom on Constan tinople Street in New Orleans. its ethnic whites\u8212?and one black in whom Toole has achieved the near-impossible. like Don Quixote's. Each job rapidly e scalates into a lunatic adventure. overcome by mammoth gastroint estinal problems. His girlfriend. Better let the reader make the discovery on his own. thi nks he needs sex. scarcely readable carbon. this was surely it: to deal with the mother of a dea d novelist and. First with the sinking feeling that it was not bad enough to quit. yet each has. goof-off. deadbeat. and finally an incredulity: surely it was not possible that it was so good. and this novel is a great deal more than that. And if ever there was som ething I didn't want to do. who should repel the reader with his gargantuan bl oats. His mother thi nks he needs to go to work. a fat Don Quixote. Usually I can do just that. without progenitor in any literature I know of\u8212?slob extraordinary. where his lumber jacket is st olen in the faculty men's room where he is seated. And on. It was not that she had written a couple of chapters of a novel and wanted to get into my class. and she wanted me to read it.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar} {\line } { {\ql I hesitate to use the word comedy\u8212?though comedy it is\u8212?because that i mplies simply a funny book. I shall resist the temptation to say what first made me gape. A gre at rumbling farce of Falstaffian dimensions would better describe it. then a growing exciteme nt. It is a great pity that John Kennedy Toole is not alive and well and writing. to have to read a manuscript that she said was gre at. and it somehow came to pass that she stood in my off ice handing me the hefty manuscript. and the assorted excesses of modern times. lying in his flannel nightshirt. or might be just good enough. as it turned out. What she proposed was preposterous. grin. My only fear was that this one might no t be bad enough. who between gigantic seizures of flatulence and e ructations is filling dozens of Big Chief tablets with invective. a per verse Thomas Aquinas rolled into one\u8212?who is in violent revolt against the entire modern age. cammedia w ould be closer to it. was a badly smeared. But he is not. His pyloric valve periodically closes in response to the lack of a "proper geometry and theology" in the modern world. What happens between Myrna and Ignatius is like no other boy-m eets-girl story in my experience. It is also sad. to read no farther.

elephantine fashion. has taken refuge. at least. Ignatius had bought some sheet music at Werlein's for his tr umpet and a new string for his lute. Principally he considered the discomfort he was beginning to feel. after some argument. The voluminous tweed trousers were durable and permitte d unusually free locomotion. but I'm sure I'd be at home there as soon as I landed. A. though interrupted. Jersey City. particularly with the German and Irish Third Ward."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql He would. Full.uous human tragicomedy is at least made available to a world of readers. he saw the sun beginning to descend over the Mississippi at the foot of Canal Street. studying th e crowd of people for signs of bad taste in dress. The last time that he had played it the batter would not work and. as yo u might expect. at their corners. We're Mediterranean. Concentrating upon the fate of the m . Ignat ius noticed. Liebling. New Orleans resembles Genoa or Marseilles. the management had returned his nickel. and while she was at the doctor's seeing a bout her arthritis. The plaid flannel shirt made a jacket unnecessar y while the muffler guarded exposed Reilly skin between earflap and collar. Perhaps it was on ly being repaired. sank into little folds filled with disap proval and potato chip crumbs. extinct in Manhattan. as if to verify this. Possession of anything new or expensive only ref lected a person's lack of theology and geometry. associated with downtown New Orle ans. Ignatius turned his singu lar eyes toward his feet. He had been dis appointed to find the miniature mechanical baseball game gone. pursed lips protruded beneath the bushy black moustache and. it could even cast doubts upon one's soul. I've never been to Greece or Italy. I thought. In the shadow under the green visor of the cap Ig natius J. The Holmes clock said almost five. Caribbean and Gulf of M exico form a homogeneous. Then he had wandered into the Penny Arcade on Royal Street to see whether any new games had been installed. however abst ruse. Looking up. The green earflaps. or Beirut o r the Egyptian Alexandria more than it does New York. . He often had to keep her in her place. THE EARL OF L OUISIANA One A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a hea d. . The outfit was acceptable by any theological and geometrical standards.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ {\ql Shifting from one hip to the other in his lumbering. The Mediterranean. and. She had dri ven him downtown in the old Plymouth. Reilly's supercilious blue and yellow eyes looked down upon the other people waiting under the clock at the D. J. Thus rearranged. is that the same stocks that brought the accent to Manhattan imp osed it on New Orleans. The reason. H. sea. that is hard to distingu ish from the accent of Hobo-ken. s tale air that soothed Ignatius. Several of the outfits. where th e Al Smith inflection. confusion. Like Hav ana and Port-au-Prince. full of large ears and uncut hair and the fine bristles t hat grew in the ears themselves. he contemplated the long while that he had been waiting for his mother. WALKER PERCY There is a New Orleans city accent .\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You're right on that. Ignatius himself was dressed comfortably and sensibly. Their pleats and nooks contained pockets of warm. although all seaports rese mble one another more than they can resemble any place in the interior. He was prepared to o ffer the sight of those bulging boots to his mother as evidence of her thoughtle ssness. The hunting c ap prevented head colds. New Orleans is within the orbit of a Hellenistic world t hat never touched the North Atlantic. and suggested a rich inner life. waves that broke upon buttons and seams. It seemed as if his whole being was ready to burst from his swollen suede desert boots. stuck out on either side like turn sig-:| nals indicating two directions at once. The feet did indeed look swollen. Already he was poli shing a few carefully worded accusations designed to reduce his mother to repent ance or. were new enough and expensive enough to be properly considered offe nses against taste and decency. Long Island. Ignati us sent waves of flesh rippling beneath the tweed and flannel. and Astoria. even though t he Penny Arcade people had been base enough to suggest that Ignatius had himself broken the baseball machine by kicking it. Holmes department store. too.

sodomites." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hey. mister?" the policeman asked in a voice that hoped that Ignatius was officially unidentified. H. all of whom are only too well protected by graft. it might have to be sent to some place lik e Milwaukee or Chicago or some other city whose name Ignatius associated with ef ficient repair shops and permanently smoking factories. prostitutes. Reilly called in that accent that occurs south of New Jers ey only in New Orleans. noticing that a circle of interested shoppers was b eginning to form. The dangling lute string whipped him on the ear."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I don't drive. how you making?" Miss Inez asked.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. "How you feeling. Jitterbugs. that Hoboken near the Gulf of Mexico. fetishists. exhibitioni sts. yellowed drawers . I shall endeavor to discuss the c rime problem with you.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What?" Ignatius looked down upon the badge on the blue cap. that none of its little p layers was being chipped or maimed by brutal railrc ad employees determined to r uin the railroad forever with damage claims from shippers. Was it possible to repair the machine in New Orleans? Probably so. Reilly was in the bakery department pressing her maternal breast against a glass case of macaroons. t wo sad eyes shining with hope and desire. The policeman plucked at Ignatius's bag of sh eet music. H. With one of her fingers.iniature baseball machine. "This city is famous for its gamblers. anti-Christs. darling?"\par\pard\pla . chafed from many years of scrubbing her son's mammoth. babe. Holmes' pillars." the policeman said. frauds. "Are you local?"\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Is it the part of the police department to harass me when this city is a flagra nt vice capital of the civilized world?" Ignatius bellowed over the crowd in fro nt of the store. Holmes. stupid? It's a string for my lute." Mrs. and lesbians."\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What's this hanging out your bag?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ {\ql "What do you think it is. Ignatius hoped that the baseball game was being carefully handled in shipment. jades. Miss Inez. but don't make the mistake of bothering me. drug addicts. Ignatius detached his being from the physical reality of Canal Street and the people around him and therefore did not notice the two eyes that were hungrily watching him from behind one of D. "Hey."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The policeman grabbed Ignatius by the arm and was struck on his cap with the she et music. Will you kindly go away? I am waiting for my mother. railroad employees wh o would subsequently go on strike and destroy the Illinois Central. However.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Take that!" Ignatius cried."\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What's that?" The policeman drew back a little. "Who are you?" "Let me see your driver's license. onanists.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You got any identification. alcoholics. po rnogra-phers. "Over here. th e two sad and covetous eyes moved toward him through the crowd like torpedoes ze roing in on a great woolly tanker. Mrs. As Ignatius was considering the delight which the little baseball game afforded humanity. she tapped on the glass case to attract the saleslady. Inside D. If you have a moment.

" Mrs. "I'll take you in." Mrs. It's the communiss."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql "You can't arress me. "I don't feel so hot myself. "I'm telling you."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Lord." Ignatius said haughtily. "We're going to the'precinct. you wanna gimme half a do zen wine cakes." Miss Inez leaned over the glass case and forgot about her cakes." an old man added. "I'm a member of the Golden Age Club s ponsored by the New Orleans Recreation Department." It was the old man a gain."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I guess so. I got arthuritis in my elbow. I can't hardly get in my own bathroom no more. You better wat ch out who you calling a communiss. "Let the boy alone. I wisht I was that lucky. my elbcfw's killing me. Reilly answered. too. "He's a good boy. "My poor old poppa's got that."\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Are you calling me a communiss?" the policeman asked the old man while he tried to avoid the lashing of the lute string. Reilly said disinterestedly. "Sweetheart."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius? Eh. Reilly answered truthfully." a voice said from the crowd. The crowd was turning into something of a mob. you wanna gimme two dozen of them fancy mix?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "But I thought you told me he was married." Miss Inez said while she was putting the cakes in a box. H. In the center of the c rowd that had formed before the department store the hunting cap. He 's waiting for his momma. the city was never like this." Mrs. too? Ignatius gets nasty if we run outta cake. It's my feet. "I hope that all of you will bear witness to this outrage."\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "My boy's floating around in our tub all day long." "Well.\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Go get the strippers on Bourbon Street." the policeman said to Ignatius with waning self-confidence. he's got time.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ain't that a shame. Holmes. "Look. The little girl friend h e had flew the coop."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Aw." the old man cried."\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "A good boy can't even wait for his momma by D." Mrs.in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Not so hot."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql ." "I thought he was married. Reilly said sadly. "He ain't even got him a prospect. the green radi us of the circle of people. precious. la la." Ignatius was shouting." "You come with me. huh?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh." "Your boy likes his cake. no!" Miss Inez said with genuine sympathy. W e make him go set himself in a hot tub fulla berling water. Lord. "I shall contact the ma yor. was bobbing about violently. and there was n o traffic patrolman in sight."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Thank you.

When my brain begins to reel fro m my literary labors. "Ignatius! What's going on here? W hat you done now? Hey. Reilly snatched the whizzing lute string from Ignatius. Mother. "He's prolly somebody 's grampaw. boy?"\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Actually. "I got terrible arthuritis." Mrs. and she began to twist the lute string with the cord on the cake b oxes."\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Get that old man outta here. praying that the news from the doctor would be encouraging."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "I dust a bit."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Why don't you shut up?" the policeman said to the old man. She knows about those things."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'm not touching him. "I was simply standing about." Mrs. lady.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's very nice of him." Mrs." the policeman said." "It's the communiss. "I am thirty." Mrs. take your hands off my boy. "Most boys are out running around a ll the time. Reilly said. "Not a moment too soon. "what you done. "You got a job?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius hasta help me at home. "Can't you see her affection for me?" "She loves her boy." Ignatius told the policeman. Ignatius patted his mother's hennaed hair with one of his huge paws." "This is clearly a c ase for the Civil Liberties Union. I am at the moment wr iting a lengthy indictment against our century. my lost love." Ignatius said condesc endingly. "He's making t ." the old man said. too. Reilly said. waiting for you."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Pushing through the people. Her initial courage was fail ing a little. Reilly." th e old man said.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Mother!" he called. Reilly asked the policeman. Reilly asked in a trembling voice." a woman screamed."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I am. Reilly said." Ignatius observed. squeezing his mother's dr ooping shoulder with the paw. Mrs. "How o ld is he?" the policeman asked Mrs. Waiting for his momma and they try to arrest him. "In addition. "We must contact Myrna Minkoff."Let that old man alone. I believe that it was he who started everything. Smart." the old man said.\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What you trying to do my poor child?" Mrs." Ignatius said."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Over the heads of the people Ignatius saw his mother walking slowly out of the l obby of the department store carrying the bakery products as if they were boxes of cement. "'Is this here your son?" Mrs. you dirty cop. I make an occasional cheese dip." Ignatius po inted to the old man with his bag of sheet music. I've been seized. "Of course I'm her chil d. "I got six granchirren all studying with the sisters. "You got plenty bus iness picking on poor chirren with all the kind of people they got running in th is town."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius makes delicious cheese dips." the old man interrupted. Reilly said to the policeman.

"Do you have my lute string? "\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs." Ignatius said as they pushed through the dispersing crowd and started walking rapidly down Canal Street. "Will you please slow down a bit? I think I'm having a heart murmur.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I would imagine so. just like in Russia. baby. He must have some sort o f quota or something. Reilly asked n ervously. watching the wan little policeman try to control the old man.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ {\ql "How come that policeman was after you.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Say a rosary for the police force. I think maybe he's the communiss." "Wouldn't that be awful! You'd be all over the papers."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "There will be if we don't go a little slower. I'm afraid. It's a shame they got people like him walking the streets. folks. and they started wa lking down into the French Quarter. Reilly said. Ignatius. He looked back a nd saw the old man and the bantam policeman grappling beneath the department sto re clock."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You don't have to overdo it." "That's the truth. "Run.\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I fall on my knees every night to thank my God we got protection. Mother."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Come on. How you think I feel? I shouldn't haveta be running like this at m y age. "Would you say a rosary for a communiss?" "No!" several voices answered ferventl y. Reilly was now addressing her remarks to the crowd." "They's nothing wrong w ith your heart. Pers onally. Reilly pulled him around the comer onto Bourbon Street. The dis ."\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh." She turned to the crowd. Ignatius. I seriously doubt that he will permit me to elude him so e asily." the old man said. They're all communiss." Mrs. "We'd all be dead without the police." the policeman said to the old man. "Now rny nerves are totally frayed. boy?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I shall never know. "It's a takeover." the old man cried. Reilly told the crowd. my God!" Ignatius said.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Didn't I say for you to shut up?" the policeman said angrily. We'd all be laying in our beds with our throats cut open from ear to ear." some woman answered from the crowd. a s soon as he has subdued that aged fascist." "You think so?" Mrs. "It's true. Ignatius caressed her shoulders wildly. whispering encouragement.rouble. "Oh." The tweed trousers billowed arou nd Ignatius's gargantuan rump as he rolled forward. "He tried t o arrest your boy." Mrs. He seemed determined to arrest me. It's a violation of the Constitution!" "He's crazy. "We better get out ta here."\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Help!" the old man appealed to the crowd. Someone pushed the old man. But he will probably be coming after us in a few moments. He grabbed him roughly by the back of the coat. He might kill us all. lady. shut up."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The police are all communiss." "The heart is important at any age. girl." Mrs.

Reilly looked at her son's reddening face and realized that he woul d very happily collapse at her feet just to prove his point. he was sniffing loudly and making faces. it smells awful."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql She pushed him through the door of the Night of Joy bar with one of the cake box es. too. I suspect that the police will raid this place moment arily anyway." Ignatius said coldly. "Please."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'll take a Dixie 45. I think I'm going to have a hemorrhage. get a beer." the bartender said." He snorted loudly and cleared his throat. I know y ou. My olfactories are already beginning to send ou t distress signals." Ignatius said as the bartender went off to open the beers.grace! You musta done something while you was waiting for me. "It's an abomination. We must stop." "Well. w ho had been observing the two." "Only instant. The last time that she had forced him to accompany her to mass on Sunday he had collapsed twice on the way to the church and had collapsed once again during the sermon about sloth." Mrs. Reilly said to the bartender. Ignatius. the bartender appeared again and se t the beers before them. "Yes?"\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I shall have a coffee. "Let's go in here and sit down. "We might ha ve stopped somewhere else. pretending to knock Ignatius's beer into his lap." "They got strippers in here at night. "Chicory coffee with boiled milk . boy. It won't kill you. reeling out of the pew and creating an embarrassing dis turbance." Ignatius said grandly. Ignatius spr ead his expansive nostrils and said." Mrs. assumed voice. Ignatius. Reilly nudged her son. He had done it befo re."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You wanna go back on the street? You want that policeman to take you in?"\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius did not answer. it was I.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ {\ql "I can't possibly drink that." Ignatius told his mother. He looked quite pained. We're the only customers. They should be glad to have us." Ignatius breathed. "We can't sit in here for free. "What is his pleasure?" "Give him a Dixie."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I don't see why not.\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "And the gentleman?" the bartender asked in a rich."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "If anyone was ever minding his business. huh?" Mrs. "My God. The R ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ {\ql "I may not drink it. "Thank God my moustache filters out some of the stench."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql After what seemed a long time during which there was much tinkling of glass and closing of coolers somewhere in the shadows. My stomac h is beginning to churn. While Mrs. In the darkness that smelled of bourbon and cigarette butts they climbed ont o two stools. A bartender."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Okay.\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I would imagine so. Reilly arranged her cake boxes on the bar. Mother." "I may bloat. asked quizzically from the shadows. Ignatius.

\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. I wouldn't!" Ignatius thundered. Nut. Outside of the city limits the heart of darkness."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "My son loves Dr. "Like to take t hat cap off?" the bartender asked. Ignatius raised the earflap on the side next to hi s mother. Ignatius." "If I could drive . The worst moment was my arrival in Baton Rouge. I would be able to help you more. So high up. Reilly's attention wavered between her son and the beer."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I remember that." Mrs. On th e third time that they stopped him they took away his chauffeur's license. What did th e doctor tell you about your elbow or whatever it is?" "It's gotta be massaged." Mrs. I will lift this so that you won't have to strain your voice."\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Actually.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql . honey. they had been watching us on the radar all along. do you?" Ignatius asked. "No. the worst thing is riding on top in one of those Greyhound Scenicruisers. You know how I feel about touching other p eople.\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No." "You told m e that. Of course." "He told me to stay out the cold as much as possible. I made the driver go very slowly. The state police stopped him twice for being below the minimum highway speed limit." Ignatius said. "You was really sick when you got back home. Reilly explained. but at least I wasn't viole ntly ill during the taxi ride. babe. The other passengers were rather angry. They must have h ad stomachs of iron to ride in that awful machine. which was unfortunate for him. Nuts at one time."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs. Nut.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You don't by any chance have a cold Dr.eillys were getting the Night of Joy's worst service. drinking her beer in gul ps." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I hope you don't want me to do that. three Dr. Some times he sits himself down and drinks two. I imagine." "I am su re that this man is not particularly interested."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I felt better then. You s ee. The driver had to stop the bus somewhere in the swamps to let me get off and w alk around for a while. the tr ue wasteland begins. "There' s a chill in here." the bartender said and drifted off into the shadows at the othe r end of the bar." "Aw."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The taxi back to New Orleans cost me forty dollars."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Suit yourself.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Really!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Calm down." his mother said. I realized that I had a round-trip ticket and would have to return on the bus. although I felt myself beginning to gag several t imes. Do you remem ber the time that I went to Baton Rouge in one of those? I vomited several times . even riding in a car affects me enough. Reilly said absently. the treatment given unwant ed customers. "I gotta buy it by the case. She had been liste ning to the story for three years. that's okay. Leaving New Orleans also frig htened me considerably.

They love to attack vehicles. It turned out to be a member of the campus security force . I was almost frozen standing on that desolate campus trying to hail a taxi." Ignatius continued. The n the door of the restroom closed. Shame on you. "I couldn't possibly take the job. "that was the only time that I had ever been out of New Orleans in my life. I heard footsteps. will y ou?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs. I'm glad you didn't take the job. my hands began breaking out in small white bum ps. coffee-stained lumber jacket that she had al ways secretly wanted to give to the Volunteers of America along with several oth er pieces of Ignatius's favorite clothing. get me a'brandy. Someone entered the bathroom and knocked at the door of the booth. or so he said. I was appalled that so meaningless a person would dare such effrontery. so I began to scream. we were on the highway for almost two hours. By the time w e had left the swamps and reached those rolling hills near Baton Rouge. Reilly saw again the horrible." "Mother! In this forsaken place?" "Just one. Reilly signaled to the bartender. Reilly said automatically. I th ink that perhaps it was the lack of a center of orientation that might have upse t me. Through the door I explained what had just happened." Mrs." "The man's just trying to be nice. judging by the frequency of his sneez es. "It is your du ty to silently serve when we call upon you. No one could possibly be nice in a . After all. eager only to get away from that horrible place. who came out of the shadows and asked." "I think I could dr ink me another beer. which are a symbol of progress. When I saw the chairman of the Medieval Culture Department. I was ge tting afraid that some rural red-necks might toss bombs at the bus. which turned out to be the one for 'Faculty Men. bab y. Suddenly I saw the jacket being whisked over the door. I have always suspected that he and the 'chairman' were the same person. At the moment."Of course. I finally got one that agreed to take me to New Orleans for forty dollars. Actually. however. However. I want another. I was so overwhelmed by the complete grossness of that spurious 'chairman' that I ran from his office in th e middle of one of his cretinous ram-blings and rushed to the nearest bathroom. As a matter of fact."\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Will you kindly tend the bar properly? Ignatius asked furiously. he was quite depressed about losing his license and had grown rather surly. I gnatius. Of course. I was seated in o ne of the booths. I shall report him to the proper authorities. "You see. bud? I didn't get the end of the story. we are discussing rather urgent personal matters. By-the time we arrived here. Then he made a comment about my not wearing a tie and made some smirky remark about the lumber jacket. "N ow what happened to you on that bus."\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. Ignatius."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "You sure can't trust nobody nowadays. That lumber jacket was one of the few creature comforts to which I've ever been really attached. I was unable to pursue the sha meless thief. He was a totally soulless man. mistaking his mother's rapt look for interest. I guess. honey."\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs. If we had wished to include you in o ur conversation. He also appeared to be developing a bad cold. Their voices sounded somewhat similar. and the driver was selfless enough to lend me his jacket.' At any rate. He promise d to find the jacket and went away." "As soon as I could." "We're probably catching something from these glass es. Speeding along in that bus was like hurtling into the abyss. and if I ever find the lunatic who stole it. having rested the lumber jacket on top of the door of the boot h. Come on. we would have indicated it by now. if you're quite determined about the thing."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That in itself is a contradiction in terms. as I have mentioned to you before. taking guess as her cue. I fled from the bathroom.

Mean moth erfucker." The old man rearranged his cards meticulously and said nothing. you gotta be here for someth in. they probly gimma a little t alk think it scare me. They probly buy a bag. They probly try to prove I got them nuts." The old man cleared his throat and played with his cards. He had neatly arranged along his thigh his Social Security card."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You don know? Whoa! That crazy."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I really don't know. a flo'wa lk grabbin me. I called a police man a name. "How come you here. Odo of Cluny Holy Name Society." the sunglasses said. wha this mean. though. Then he said to himself." the bartender said. "No more clean glasses. Reilly said.den like this. studied the little dossier on th e thigh next to his.\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "They probly let you go."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par . "Sure. mister. A man ain got a chance . "Me." "We want two more beers. You better think up somethin else." The bartender shrugged and went off into the shadows." A dark hand reached for one of the cards." Mrs."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql The Negro seemed quite resigned and blew out a new cloud of blue smoke that enve loped him and the old man and the little cards. "Well.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ain't that a shame. H. who composed the late afternoo n haul. They throw everbody in jail. You gotta be here for somethin. "Say. "Hey. "I wond er who lif them nuts." "No."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Cawmniss! Ooo-woo. "Well. I like to call one of them mother a cawmniss. I think that flo'walk a cawmniss.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Them little card not gonna do you no good. even though they know I ain got them cashews. his mem bership card in the St. and a slip of paper identifying him as a member of the American Legion."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You think so?" the old man asked the cloud of smoke. Like this aft ernoon I standin aroun in Woolsworth and some cat steal a bag of cashew nuts out the 'Nut House' star screaming like she been stab. Probly that flo'walk hisself. but." the old man said with sudde n anger. grinning. they not gonna believe that." "And you lif somebody wallet. Holmes. Wool sworth probly try to send me up for life. A young black man. slip it in my pocket." the old man said glumly. Hey! The nex thing." Ignatius co rrected." A new cloud floate d up. mostly shoplifters. bu t that po-lice still draggin me off. a Golden Age Club badge. man?" "I don't know. my ass be in Angola right n ow for sure. we can use the ones we got." "Like wha you callin him?" "Communiss. In the precinct the old man sa t on a bench with the others.\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "How come they draggin in somebody like you?" The sunglasses blew smoke all over the old man's cards. you mus belong to everthin ." Them po-lice mus be gettin desperate. "I was just standing in a crowd in front of D. "Nobody findin them cashews on me. Whoa!" His lips sucked at the cigarette." "One beer and one brandy."\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'm here in violation of my constitutional rights. 'Colder Age?" Th e old man snatched the card and put it back on his thigh. If I call a po-lice a cawm-niss. They throw you in jail anyway. eyeless behind spaceage sunglasses. Plenty time the y pickin up color peoples for nothing. and then a po-lice mother drag-gin me off. "Whoa!" he said.

noticing how fiercely the sergeant w as handling the little cards.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Claude Robichaux." the old man interrupted. "I'll get to you next. two Quarter characters.\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I didn't mean anything I said. The patrolman who had arrested him was standing there.\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql A policeman summoned the old man up to the desk in the center of the room where a sergeant was seated." "Shut your mouth up. This woman came out the store and got everything mixed up. Jones?" the serg eant called out." "Oo-wee." Mr." Mancuso said. "You're the only guy on the force who'd try to arrest somebody away from his mother."\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Okay. "Mancuso says you says all policemen are communiss . I got carried away. This policeman frightened her. huh?" the sergeant asked greedily. he lo oked like a big prevert." the sergeant said."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. A nice.\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No. I seen them downtown before." Jones said brightly and blew a great thundercloud of smoke." "A pervert. Mancuso."\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Say. This policeman was trying to arress a poor boy waitin g for his momma by Holmes."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I didn't mean it." "How big?"\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The biggest I ever saw in my whole life. "A great big prevert. And why did you bring in gram paw here? Ring up his family and tell them to come get him." "What?" the sergeant turned to the wan little police man. listen. "The first thi ng I spotted was this green hunting cap he was wearing. "Okay. "Will you shut up. "Patrolman Mancuso here s ays you resisted arrest and called him a communiss." the Negro said across the room. "W hat's your name?" the sergeant asked the old man. "She was really his momma. The sergeant's eyes shone. pretty la dy."\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh." Mancuso said with new confidence. "What were you trying to do?" "He wasn't a boy." Jones answered. stretching his arms as if he were describing a fishing catch. "I just got ne rvous." he answered and put his little cards on the desk before the sergeant. Robichaux told the sergeant."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Jones listened in attentive detachment somewhere within his cloud. He looked like a suspicious character."\par\pard\plain\hyph . The sergeant looked over the cards and said. suddenly enlightened. sir." Mancuso said. "Yes. I was just tryin g to make a routine check and he started to resist.\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. To tell you the truth. I didn call nobody no cawmniss." the old man said sadly. "He was a bi g fat man dressed funny." Jones said. what happened. I don even like cashews. "I been frame by that flo'wal k in Woolsworth." the sergeant screamed. and she and him run around the corner into the Quarter. Mancuso? How come he's not standing here before me?"\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He got away.

" The elegant young man spilled his daiquiri on his bottle-gr een velvet jacket. "Trying to arrest a kid with his momma. He arched an eyebrow at Ignatius and his mother."\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Okay. Mancuso. and an elegantly dressed young man who chainsmoked Salems and dran k frozen daiquiris in gulps. Reilly smiled at the young man. Neon signs flashed off and on."\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Jesus Christ!" the sergeant said. "Let me buy you another drink. you two. Reilly said through foamy lips. bring ing in somebody's gram-paw. One of the customers just spilled they drink." Mancuso said weakly. The taxis bringing the evening's first customers ." "That's quite all right. A few other customers were in the Night of Joy. Robichaux was in tears. and take grampaw w ith you. My daughter's busy with her kid s."\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Get his daughter's number. I doubt whether you'd understand what it is." the young man snapped. Why don't you stay and see the show?" The young man rolled his eyes hea ." Mrs. Reilly called. hush. "What's that you drinking? It l ooks like a pineapple snowball." Mr."\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I really must run.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What?" Ignatius bellowed. "My granchirren respect me. Reilly asked."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "And your son seems to delight in dropping them. Bourbon Street was beginning to light up. What are my gr anchirren gonna think? They're all studying with the sisters." Mrs. sir. Reilly said and belc hed. "Aw."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "Even if I described it to you. we better go. Robichaux pleaded." Mrs. Outside. You wanna arrest suspicious characters? We'll fix you up. I never been arrested in my whole life. ba be. don't pay no mind to what Ignati us says. She can't come get me. "Get a rag. now." "It's totally grotesque. "Ignatius. That'll teach him to call us communiss!" "P lease!" Mr. Let's be friends. And I think I'll take me another Dixie. "I think I'm in the wrong bar anyway. It's already b eginning to set in. This is the kinda place where everybody oughta have themselves s ome fun. made slight splashing sounds in the co ld dusk. you big thing . "We got enou gh bombs and things already." "H ow dare you talk to my dear." the young man said angrily. Twilight was settling around the Night o f Joy bar." Mrs."\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "On a night like this?" Mrs. "We must stay to watch the corruption. "Thanks anyway." the young man sighed. reflecting in the streets dampened by the light mist that had been falling steadily for some time. leading the weeping old man away. for the one you spilled. "Ooo-wee!" Jo nes said from the secrecy of his cloud." Mrs."\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Okay. Reilly counseled. "Hey. bartender. a man who ran his finge r along a racing form.par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Please."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't get upset. I must say. Mancuso."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yes. "Just look at my jacket. beloved mother like that!" "Oh. honey. darling. "Don't do that. Get the hell outta here. a depressed blonde who seemed connected with the bar in s ome capacity. midwestern tourists and conventioneers.

feeling the velvet on the sleeve. where did you eve r get that hat? It's truly fantastic." Mrs. " My name's Darlene. Hey. Policemen are always so adamant." "What in the world was he doing?"\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Nothing."\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Mother. and Ignatius got him a master's degree and all."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yes." The blonde broke her silence."\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "His outfit is a little bizarre.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I hardly suspected that I was boring you. aren't they?" "Yeah. Ignatius. I had this since Ignatius made his First Communion." Ignatius looked h urt." "Oh. "See some ass and tits. Just standing waiting for his poor. sweetie. I can't listen to that story about that bus no mo re tonight. I am not especially anxious to mingle.venward. I did want to stay as an observer." "Aw."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh." "Well.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ {\ql "Here. that jacket you got. you're the one wanted to stay. Reilly. As a mother. "Yeah." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Honey. "That's sure pretty." But her son was too preoccupied wi th his arrival in Baton Rouge to hear her. I like good stories. sweetheart. Reilly said to the young man. to tell you the truth." the young man sighed and lit a Salem with a great click of his lighter . have a clean glass. "I meant Greenwich Village in New York. moving to the stool next to Ignatius. my. After all." Ignatius said coldly. that bus ride was one of t he more formative experiences of my life. this?" the young ma n asked. dear momma. "I don't mind telling you it cost a f ortune. You got a spicy one?"\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The bartender slammed the beer and the daiquiri down just as the bus was startin g off on its journey in the vortex. Lord. I found it in a dear little shop in the Village. "Ain't that ni ce.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You know." the bartender snarled at Mrs. Reilly look ed at the back of her son's flannel shirt and at the hair curling down the back of his neck." "Would you consider selling it?" "How come?"\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql ." Mrs. although I tried not to imagine the nature of his act. but he won't listen. you should be interested in the traumas that have created my world-view."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What's with the bus?" the blonde asked."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. "me and my boy was in trouble today. I thought he was a performer of some sort when I first came in. my dear. By the way." "You don't look like y ou from the country. I just got a clean glass. "I do believe that you are encouraging these pre posterous people. You already told it four times since we got here. Ignatius. The police tried to arress him."\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I keep on telling him about his clothes.

"She burns. too. Reilly spread the box out on the bar. Reilly said. "I su spect that it is ultimately very damaging to the soul. too. Re illy reached in her boxes and ate a brownie." "Over by Holmes. "Just t hink of that. Reilly said." "Take care out in the cold and wet ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql He picked around in the box purposefully.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "Mother." Mrs. Dr aining his daiquiri glass." Ignatius conceded. lady?" Darlene asked Mrs. "Have one. "Sure." "You was on radar." "Lord. "Where you bought these nice w ine cakes. jagged glass." "So so on?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It's been perfectly delightful meeting you. I would have imagined that you w ould be enjoying your night on the town." Ignatius said dogmatically. "Can't you see that Miss Darlene and I are speaking? You have some cakes with you. sending out his flabby pink tongue o ver his moustache to hunt for crumbs. It seems that the cab driver and I were making small dots on their s creen all the way from Baton Rouge. They got a good selection. are you making a scene?" Ignatius asked irritably. honey." Ignatius was telling Darlene." Ignatius said. I have always found coconut to be good roughage. "They nice. You're always complaining that you never go anywhere. "I sort of used a lo t of that canned stuff. sugar. "is obviously rather foolproof. looking past Ignatius. "Like one?" she asked the bartender ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The young man smiled. he stood up and said."\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "They are rather tasty. placed the hat carefully beneath his trench coat." The bartender pretended to be lo oking for something on his shelves." Darlene yawned. honey." Mrs." "Canned food is a perversion. "The radar patrol."I'm a dealer in used clothing. so Mrs. come on. my elbow's starti . I like that Spanish rice they got and that spagh etti with the tomato gravy." Ignatius was back on radar."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The young man opened his wallet and gave Mrs. Eat those. "Now I really must run. Reilly removed the hat." Ignatius said. "Mother doesn't cook. we gotta go now.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "I bet you cook good. huh?" Darlene asked. Reilly told the b artender.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I think that I shall have one." Darlene told them." Mrs. "I'm hungry." "Aw. I got some nice wine cakes." "Ignatius.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql "Me." Mrs. and left the bar. "I smell wine cakes. "I think that I shall have a macaroon or t wo. I'll give you ten dollars for it. Plenty variety. who turned his back on her. For this?" "Fifteen?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Really?" Mrs. though."\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql She turned toward him and knocked her beer bottle to the floor where it broke in to a spray of brown. "They're nice and juicy. Reilly three five dollar bills. "I imagine that they taste rather good with brandy. Even the ma n with the racing form agreed to take a macaroon."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I used to cook too when I was married." Darlene cried. Reilly. I always like some good cake after I finish eating.

"\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Just two drunks."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You oughta be ashamed. "I never eat canned food." "Get up. to watch out you people don't ruin my investment. Just look how that poor woman's crying." Mrs. "This is ridiculous. Ignatius graduated smart. Darlene. Mother."\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "But you." the bartender said." Darlene said. but they've been sticking like flies. her fine body cover ed with a black leather overcoat that glistened with mist." "You got a good education." Darlene said."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "If I knew you was so crool.ng up again. he treats me bad sometimes." the woman said. When I think of all I done for that boy . I gotta be here every minut e. and since then all he's done is lay around the house watchin g television. huh? Playing games on the stools with these two characters?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard . I guess. I wouldna listened to your crazy story abou t that Greyhound bus. I'm afraid that you've had too much beer." Mrs. Then he stuck around there for four more years to get him a master's degree." Mrs.' " Ignatius repeated with some pique. "Please define your te rms. Exactly what do you mean by 'graduated smart. Reilly had collapsed sobbing. "I spent all his poor Grammaw Reilly's insurance money to keep him in colle ge for eight years.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "Please. "My elbow!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What's going on here?" a woman asked from the padded chartreuse leatherette doo r of the bar. on the bar. and I could feel my intestines starting to atrophy. She turned to Darl ene. Mother. "You're big friends with them. Reilly sobbed. "You just don't know. one hand clenc hed around her beer glass. I am speaking." Darlene said to Ig-natius.' "\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't talk to your momma like that. "A big man like you."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\ql "You look like a big crazyman anyway. I did once. Reilly said loudly and began to cry."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Darlene tried to push Ignatius from his stool but sent him crashing into his mot her." Mrs. Look at your poor momma. what a re you saying?" "You don't appreciate me." "Mother. "I've been giving them the cold shoulder since they come in. . mister. " Darlene said. She was a statuesque woman nearing middle age. Reilly sighed.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius graduated from college. "I'leave this place f or a few hours to go shopping and look what happens.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Stop that right now. "I shoulda known. . I been good. stop that. who suddenly stopped crying and gasped." her son told her."\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You treat me like garbage."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql " 'Graduated smart.

"I never lik ed mothers. "We know when we not wanted. We can take our trad e elsewheres. "By the way. Reilly said.\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "This guy's been mistreating his momma. "Somebody's been having a picnic in here. She may strike us. Ann. leaving his mothe r behind to climb off her stool." the bartender said. "My mother i s present. The woman ignored him and looked at the broken and empty cake box on the bar. "Hurry along. honey." "I had an unspoken attachment to it. sa ying. not looking up from his paper. grabbing Ignatius 's sleeve. Mrs." Miss Lee answered." The woman looked at the bartender." Miss Lee observed and took off her leathe r coat. "Beat it. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "This is highway robbery!" Ignatius thundered. Reilly paid with two of the bills the young man had given her and. Just a few blocks." "Yes. Mi ss Lee. It was a co ntact with my childhood. Trade from people like you is the kiss of d eath. but."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You sold it? Why? Did you ask me whether I wanted it to be sold? I was very att ached to that hat. pause."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Good. "Now let's you and me have a little talk."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla ." Mrs. as much as they tried. Not even my own. Ignatius. Do you have the fifteen dollars on you?" "I still got seven left. Reilly said." Mrs. pause." Ignatius added. as she s wayed past Miss Lee." "On St. how far is the car? I'm very tired.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "A negation of all human qualities. "You will hear from our attorneys . Miss Lee said."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "We certainly are." Ignatius said. This woman looks like a N azi commandant. Don't talk about it anymore." Ignatius added. "We're leaving." "Wait!" Miss Lee screamed. "Mothers are full of shit. Reilly took her son's arm for support. although they seemed to move sideward more easi ly."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Please." "I beg your pardon." "I'm sorry. "Get these two out." "I beg your pardon. they moved forward very slowly. Darlene. Goodne ss knows what degenerate uses he will find for that hat. three quick steps to the right. a link with the past. I already told you peo ple about ants and rats. I sold it to that young man." "But he gave me fifteen dollars." Ignatius said again. Yo u never said nothing about it. "That was a terrible woman. "How much these characters owe?" "Eight dollars. Their walking had developed a pattern: three quick steps to the left. "Mothers? We got mot hers in here now? Business already stinks. she said."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "My mother was a whore." the man with the racing form said."\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Outside."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql After the padded door had closed behind the Reillys."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't you worry."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs." "You left your ha t in the bar. Ignatius. lumbering toward the door." Darlene explained. Mother. Goddamit. I didn't know you liked it so much. The whole business is sacrilegious."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It's just my luck to have this crap broken all over here just when I'm looking for a janitor." "Oh.

You had better succeed in getting out of this spot before its owner happens along. I wouldn't eat nothing outta one of them dirty wagons anyway. I certainly wouldn't blame them. looking like the tip of a prom ising watermelon. You making me nervous.in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Then why don't we stop and eat something?" Ignatius pointed to the cart at the corner."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "If you insist. you have just mined my stoma ch for the next few days. Mother. Ignatius got up on the seat and looked out of t he rear window. They all operated by a bunch of bums. Reilly climbed the curb twice trying to force the car out of the parking place and left the impression of a 1946 Plymouth bumper in the hood of the Volkswagen in the rear." Ignatius said. having read somewhere that the seat next to the driver was the most dangerous. in all this rain and cold we gonna stand outside and eat weeni es?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It's a thought. The post fell away to one side. "Let's get home." his mother said as the car jerked back again. "We shall need a new headlight . he watched his mother's wil d and inexpert shifting with disapproval. Reilly said with somewhat beery courage. just sold a memento of my childhood for thirty pieces of silver. "I believe that they vend foot-l ong hot dogs."\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Lay down there and take a nap. Mrs. where he always sat." Mrs. Reilly said. On St. However. He was slumped down in the seat so that just the top of his green hunting cap appeared in the window."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No. looking at the hun ting cap in the rearview mirror.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "My nerves!" Ignatius said. and the Plymouth crunched against the building. Ignatius. if you do indeed have one. It was shaped like a hot dog on wheels. Are you sure that you're turning the wheel the right way?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\ql Suddenly the car leaped out of the parking spot and skidded across the wet stree t into a post supporting a wrought-iron balcony. my God!" Ignatius screamed from the rear. "Oh. "What have you done now?" "Call a priest!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I don't think that we're injured. "Although I am rather hungry. so to speak." Mrs. pouting."\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Shut up."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql They continued their little pattern of steps along the wet flagstones of Bourbon Street. its best feature. Ann they found the old Plymouth easily. "I suspect that you have effectively d emolished the small car that someone innocently parked behind this bus."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hot dogs? Honey.\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Do you think that I could sleep now? I'm afraid for my life. Its high roof stood abov e all the other cars." Ignatius rolled down one of the rear windows and stud ied the fender that was pressed against the wall. Your driver's license. From the rear. after all.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That car is a total wreck. The Plymouth was always easy to find in supermarket parking lots. and you h ave. wi ll doubtlessly be revoked.

The luminous years of Ab elard." He belched. Hoping that a suspicious character had just thrown a bomb or shot himself." The day of the locust was at hand. Someone will certainly press charges. and a piece of wrought-iron decoration shattered a rear window. and Everyman dimmed into dross. sorrowing its soul. The people who own this wreck of a building have been waiting for an opportunity like this for years. heavy thud of gre nades." Ignatius said to himself and continued his hurried wr iting. there appeared winds of change which spelled evil days ahead. but th e man had threatened to have him arrested. like a stoned human. Ignatius. An ill wind blows no one good. Twice things had looked hopeful. that police headquarters had a costume wardrobe that wo uld permit Mancuso to be a new character every day. but from the as .\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql "Honey. "My digestion has been destroyed." "What we gonna do?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "If I were driving. I would put the auto in reverse and back gracefully away fro m the scene." his mother pleaded. What had once been dedicated to the soul was now dedicated to the sa le. Having once been so high. Ignatius made a gagging sound. and Bad T aste gained ascendancy. Reilly shifted the worn gears and inched slowly backward. a splintering that changed in to splitting of boards and scraping of metal. Merchants and charlatans gained control of Europe. Patrolman Mancuso was walking slowly down Chartres Street dressed in ballet tights and a yellow sweater. Then the balcony was falling in la rge sections. he ran around the corner onto St. Reilly asked wildly after what seemed to be the fina l bombardment. stopped moving. crushing its collarbone. which still smarted from the slap.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Say something. A fter a period in which the western world had enjoyed order. Lunacy. turning round just in time to see Ignatius stick his head out of a window and vomit down the side of the dented c ar. thundering on the roof of the car with the dull. He h ad told Mancuso that from now on he would be strictly responsible for bringing i n suspicious characters. Fortuna's wheel had turn ed on humanity. bona fide suspicious characters instead of grandfathers and boys waiting for their mothers. and oneness with its True God and Trinity. In the two hours that he had b een cruising the French Quarter. Patrolman Mancuso had put on the tights before the sergeant. the gods of Chaos. Then he accosted a young man in a tre nch coat who was wearing a lady's hat. As the car moved. he heard what seemed to be an explosio n. As Patrolman Mancuso walked down Chartres rubbing his cheek. I think that I am beginning to bloat!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql Mrs. the splintering of wood sounded over their heads. unity. he had captured no one. He had stopped a man wearing a beret and asked for a cigarette. puncturing its pelvis. are you okay?" Mrs." Ignatius was writing in one of his Big Chief tablets. humanity f ell so low.on this side. tranquility. smashing its skull. They pr obably spread grease on the street after nightfall hoping that motorists like yo u will spin toward their hovel. The costume was the sergeant's punishment. Ann and saw the green hunting cap emitting vomit among the ruins. who had pushed him out of the precin ct and told him to shape up or get off the force. The car. "That is rather fine. but the young man had slapped him across the face and dashed away. calling their insidiou s gospel "The Enlightenment. a costume which the sergeant said would enable him to bring in genuine. Forlornly. The blue and yellow eyes were wate ring.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} {\line } { {\ql Two\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "With the breakdown of the Medieval system. twisting its torso. I imagine. Thomas a Becket.

Ignatius thought calmly. In the five years that he had dedicated to this work. Ignatius J.. For all his philos ophy. As a mediev alist Ignatius believed in the rota Fortunae. Ign atius thought smugly that on their yellowed pages and wide-ruled lines were the seeds of a magnificent study in comparative history. "I am praying. Note: I mailed this singular monograph to the library as a gift. he had been bloating for almost no reason at all. blind. And a vicious fate it was to be: now he was faced with the perversion of having to GO TO WORK. created an even more rapid expansion of his central region. that our luck comes in cycles. and he rolled over on his left side to press the valve open. He wondered whether his\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} {\line } { {\ql pyloric valve might be trying.hes of humanity there arose no Phoenix.\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. boy?" his mother asked through the closed doo r.) The gyre had widened. Fortuna. (See Reilly. Ignatius sketched a noose at the bottom of the page. heedless goddess. gas which had character and be ing and resented its confinement. of course. 2 pages. the late Roman who had written the Co nsolatione while unjustly imprisoned by the emperor. Piers Plow man. His vision of history tempor arily fading. Blood on Thei r Hands: The Crime of It All. However. I am not really certain that it was ever accepted. had said that a blind godde ss spins us on a wheel. He scratched the side of the pencil back and forth across the paper and labeled this APOCALY PSE. Raise me on high. Looking at the dozen s of Big Chief tablets that made a rug of Indian headdresses around the bed. destruction. his pyloric valve snapping shut indiscrim inately and filling his stomach with trapped gas. death. "Do not crush me beneath your spokes. A study of some selected abuses in sixteenth centu ry Europe. But since the attempted arrest and the accident. Tulane University. I am strapped to your wheel. Doris Day and Greyhound Sce nicruisers. Then Ignatius's valve closed again. the philosophical work which had laid the foundation for medieval thought." Ignatius answered angrily. or wheel of fortune. New Orleans 18. But one day he would assume the task of editing these fragments of his mentalit y into a jigsaw puzzle of a very grand design. went to town to sell his children to the lords of the New Order for purpose s that we may call questionable at best. He often bloated while lying in bed in the morning contemplating the unfortuna te turn that events had taken since the Reformation. This had been a very productive mor ning. Boethius. He had not accomplished so much in weeks. When he had finished decorating the page. He could not even remember what he ha d written in some of the tablets. he threw the tablet to the floor among many others that were scattered about. It may well have been thrown out b ecause it was only written in pencil on tablet paper. a central con cept in De Consolatione Philosophiae." Ignatius be lched. Was the ludicrous attempt to arrest him the beginning of a bad cycle? Was his wheel rapidly spinning down ward? The accident was also a bad sign. Rare Book Room. whenever they came to mind. Then he drew a revolver and a little box on which he neatly printed GAS CHAMBER. ambition. The humble and pious peasant. to tell him something. The Great Chain of Being had snapped like so many paper clips strung together by so me drooling idiot. Cassandralike. the completed puzzle would show l iterate men the disaster course that history had been taking for the past four c enturies. a Monograph. Howard-Tilton Memorial Library. Rome was not built in a day."\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What you mumbling about in there. however. 1950. and self-imp rovement were to be Piers' new fate. Ignatius was worried. Very disordered. Left Corridor. he thought. Louisiana. he had produced an average of only six paragraphs monthly. Ignatius pulled his flannel nightshirt up and looked at his bloated stomach . anarchy. Boethius had still been tortured and killed.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ . and he realized that several were filled princ ipally with doodling. divinity. Third Floo r. progress.

my God." Lana Lee said. and closed.t nig ger shit?" "Watch your mouth.. I got a clean business. the familiar figure of the large and devoted collie that had been his pe t when he was in high school. He panted. with the red flannel nightshirt aroun d his chest and his massive stomach sagging into the mattress. This was really a deal. As the tan and white fur grew closer. hoping tha t he had some Kleenex in his room." "I ain exactly a character yet.\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Sorry. Putting them away again after it was all over had eventually grown too depressing. At one time he had almost developed it into an art fo rm. a rubber glove. Ignatius's eyes dilate d." "Hell. a jar of Noxema. She would have a captive porter whom she could work for al . babe."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I've been looking. At last a vision ap peared. help keep a poor color boy outta jail. a scholar and gentleman.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "I think it's wonderful you praying. crossed. honey." Ignatius muttered. give the Night of Joy a good civil right ratin. "Woof! Woof! Arf!" Rex looked so lifelike." Jones withdrew into a forming cloud. anybody do th at.but I can tell they gonna star that va gran no visible means of support stuff on me. he thought somewh at sadly that after eighteen years with his hobby it had become merely a mechani cal physical act stripped of the flights of fancy and invention that he had once been able to bring to it. becoming a grave personnel manager. the bouncing had some physiological effect. Ignatius sensed a belch rising in t his throat." "Hey! Whoa!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "You got any experience as a porter?" "Wha? Sweepin and moppin and all tha. One ear drooped. I keep the pi cket off. "for the right boy for this job for several days. I been wondering what you do locked u p in there all the time. "Woof!" Ignatius almost heard Rex say once again." Jones said and shot a jet of smoke out into the empty bar. He tell me I better get my ass gainfully employ. like a present left on her doorstep. and lay still tryi ng to decide what to do." She put her hands in the pockets of h er leather overcoat and looked into the sunglasses. The appar ition jumped over a fence and chased a stick that somehow landed in the middle o f Ignatius's quilt. held it. Still. "I thought maybe the Night of Joy like to help somebody become a member of the community. a piece of fabric from a silk umbrella ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Cut out the crap."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Bouncing up and down on his side vigorously.{\ql "Patrolman Mancuso's coming today to see me about the accident. but when he expectantly opened his mouth he emitted only a small bur p. Not in a business like this. You better say a little Hail Mary for me. especially color peoples. Ignatius touched the small erection that was pointing downward into the sheet." "Yeah?" Lana Lee looked at the sunglasses. They told me. practicing the hobby with the skill and fervor of an artist and philosopher. There were still hidden in his room several accessorie s which he had once used." "Please go away!" Ignatius screamed. In this position. Ignatius manipulated and concentrated. I got an investment t o watch. "You're shatterin g my religious ecstasy."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "Oh. A colored guy who would get arrested for vagran cy if he didn't work. and he lay wanly back among his four pillows. No police characters. "I come about that porter job you got adverti se in the paper. boy. "You got any refere nces?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "A po-lice gimme a reference.

right? I need a porter. Business stinks. ma'm. who knows? You might get a little raise "\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don worry. You oughta heard the story he told me about a Greyhound bus . And all the time that sweet old lady sitting there paying for his drinks. Lana. Ooo-wee. see a combination like that. Darlene. ma'm. She put her huge hat on the bar and climbed on a stool up into a cloud that Jones had blown. I come in regular. Lana. anything keep my ass away from a po-lice for a fe w hour."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yes. "The pay is twenty dollars we ek. It was awful. every day." Jones said. I try to explain to you the kind of clientele w e want in here. it's true."\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You work six days a week from ten to three. If you come in regular."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql "Where do you think up excuses like that?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. Is that clear?"\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yes. It was beautiful. Darlene? How does a human being get through to a mind like yours?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I already told you I felt sorry for that poor woman. Whoa!" The door opened and Darlene came in wearing a satin cocktail dre ss and a flowered hat. "Where you keep them muther fuckin broom?" "One thing we gotta understand is keeping our mouth clean around here."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hey! No wonder the right man ain show up."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You sure you got what I said?" "Yes. whatever happen to the minimal wage?" "You need a job. The whole nig ht he was up coughing right in my ear. flouncing her skirt gracefully as she walked."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. Take it from there!" "The las person workin in here musta starve to death."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ . blowing some smoke on Lana Lee."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "My cockatoo come down with a cold last night. Lana felt good for the first time since she had come upon those two characters messing up her bar. "I told you to be here at one t oday."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "What got into your head that made you encourage those two characters last night ? Every day. You oughta seen how her son treated her. I ha d to take one of her cakes to make her feel good. the next time I find you encouraging people like that and ruining my inve stment.\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "How come you're so late?" Lana screamed at her." Darlene answered in an injured voice. What I have to d o to make you understand.most nothing. I'm gonna kick you out on your behind. mam. I sure don wanna make a bad im-pressia in a fine place like the Night of Joy. I don't want that poor bird coughing all over my furniture. You trying to close down my business? People look in the d oor. "I hadda t ake him to the vet's this morning to get a vitamin shot. they walk off to another bar. Then I walk in and find you eating crap off my bar with some old lady and a fat turd. Say.

making a mental association. he'd pull the earfla p down. "I don't want nobody fooling with that cabinet under the bar. "I sure hope they don't ever dec ide to hang around here again. That fat man and his momma wasn't m uch worse than plenty we get in here. To hear Lana talk. I swear." Jon es shot out a fresh cloud. Water don't cost nothin. And it's so dark in here all the time. was enough to make suspicious characters within a half-mile radius def ecate in panic and rush for cover. Charles Avenue a rched over the avenue like a canopy shielding him from the mild winter sun that splashed and sparkled on the chrome of the motorcycle. we better do something about this place before Lana comes back ." "Wha she go shoppin for? A whip?"\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't ask me. Lana never tells me nothin. he'd stick it up again. By the time Lana got here.m ore than one of the kinda drinks they serve in here. Business is business. But listen." Darlene sounde d worried. surprising warmth that ma kes New Orleans winters gentle. you'd think this hole was the Ritz. it's a tough job. I'm going shopping. You know. Now show this boy where we keep our brooms and crap and get that bottle t hat old lady broke cleaned up. nobody can tell the difference. so he had both flaps stuck out like wings. Charles Avenue. for he was wearing only a T-shirt and Bermuda shorts. You're in charge of getting this whole goddam pla ce as clean as a pin for what you did me last night. I don't see what Lana's got to complain about. "this pl ace is worse than the army." Darlene folded her handkerchief and slipped it into her bosom. If I can get Lana to let me dance in here at night." "At least you gonna get a salary. Lana even pumps water in the champagne. They gotta spend ten. Patrolman Mancuso appreciated the mildness. a cacophony of twelve crazed bobcats. though. and at the touch of a switch it could become a pinball machine of flashing.{\ql "Okay. At th e precinct he had borrowed a large and loud one that was all chromium and baby b lue. The ancient oaks of St. it looked sorta funny. When he was talking. I been practicing in my apartment on a routine. Don't knock yourself out cleaning up this dump. everybody was hollering at him. I oughta get me some commission for what them people drank up in her e last night." Jones answered. Now that I t hink of it. The siren. All water. the afternoon had that sudden. Patrolman Mancuso enjoyed riding the motorcycle up St. "Uh huh.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ . That old lady sure drank up a lotta beer. She just hire you today?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yeah."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I swear. The long red beard that hooked over his ears by means of wires d id manage to warm his chest a little. I think the thing got Lana was that funny green cap he had stock up on his head." Darlene said to Jones after Lana had swung through the door. You oughta taste that. I never seen it re ally clean since I been here." Darlene ble w her nose daintily. I only work on commission for how much I get people to drink. Jesus. Even when she's got only about five people drinking in here she's maki ng a fortune. Then she's all the tim e complaining about how business stinks. She kinda buying me off a auct ion block. and when he was listening. blinking red and white lights. The forces of evil generated by the hideous\u8212?and a pparently impossible to uncover\u8212?underground of suspicious characters seeme d remote to him this afternoon. Through his glasses he could hardly see anything at a ll. winking. he had snatched the beard from the locker while the sergeant wasn't looking. That Lana's a funny one. fifteen dollars to get any effect at all. I can get me a regular salary and quit hustling water on commission. Patrolman Mancuso's love for the motorcycle w as platonically intense. "She ain exactly hire me. the sergeant's costume selecti on for the day." "And you say this fat cat travlin around with his momma?" Jones asked. She oughta buy a drink at this bar and find out. "What I really wanna be is an exotic. You think that's easy? Try to get some guy to buy. "Look. I'll really be in trouble." Lana g ot to the door and turned around. Although the days had lat ely been cold and damp.

yi. Big girls. especially if its driver wore shorts and a red beard. he read REX in faded letters on the cross. While he was waiting for someone to answer the bell. the boy or the mothe r?" "The mother. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "They home. . Big girls. Big girls don't cry. they don't cry . a few were not even especially curious. Charles Avenue must be the loveliest place in the world. Boss Tweed suburban stereotypes separated by alleys so narrow that a yardstick could almost bridge them and fenced in by iron pikes and low walls of crumbling brick. its tai llights blocking the brick sidewalk. its bumper pressed against the porch. Big girls don't cry. but unimpressed. "Miss Reilly's prolly in the kitchen. Undercover. following their route through the old mans ions on either side of the avenue. The 1946 Plym outh was parked in the front yard. and bright aluminum awnings had been insta lled on one or two of the buildings. Stopping by the grave. "A slip of the lip can sink a ship. in a romantic aside. Patrolman Man cuso knocked savagely at the shutters." he answered sternly. And no birds sang. It was a neighborhood that had degenerated from Victorian to nothing in particular. The least he could do was try to help her. their porches converted into additional rooms. There was no grass. Near the dead tree there was a slight mound of earth and a leaning Celtic cross cut from plywood. a Lilliput of the eighties. Along the block some people we re out on their porches looking at him and the motorcycle. Big girls don't cry. "Which one you want. the few who had expected some such vision to visit that min iature house eventually. filled wit h concave circles." Below a WAVE held her finger to lips that had turned tan. for a police motorcycle in the bloc k was an event. Ther e were no shrubs. but the audience saw only a small an d sallow figure whose shorts hung clumsily in the crotch. What are you. Patrolman Mancuso looke d at the Plymouth and saw the deep crease in its roof and the fender. They don't cry. so prosperous. Big girls don't cr y. . official posture. they don't cry-yi-yi. except for the Plymouth and the weathe red cross and the mummified banana tree. languished against the front of the porch." a woman screamed through the shutters of the house next door. br own and stricken. The audience remained curious. but honest.{\ql Patrolman Mancuso inhaled the moldy scent of the oaks and thought. At Constantinople Street he turned toward the river. A frozen banana tree. The shutters across t he street that slowly flipped up and down to get the proper focus indicated that he also had a considerable unseen audience. From t ime to time he passed the slowly rocking streetcars that seemed to be leisurely moving toward no special destination. Big girls don't cry. He g ave his audience his Mediterranean profile. Go around the back. whose spindly legs loo ked too naked in comparison to the formal garters and nylon socks that hung near the ankles. The addr ess that Patrolman Mancuso was looking for was the tiniest structure on the bloc k. a block that had moved into the twentie th century carelessly and uncaringly\u8212?and with very limited funds. VAN CAMP'S PORK AND BEANS was printed on the piece of cardboard taped acro ss the hole that had been the rear window. sputt ering and growling through a declining neighborhood until he reached a block of houses built in the 1880s and 90s."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . Big girls don't cry. certainly. an ar chitect's vision of Jay Gould domestic. the tiny yard was completely bare. Suddenly self-conscious. On his own time he was going up to see that poor Widow Reilly. The block was poor. She had looked so pitiful crying in the middle of that wreck. he read the faded s ticker on the crystal of the door. so unsuspicious. Then he climbed the worn brick steps and heard thro ugh the closed shutters a booming chant. Patrolman Mancuso rang the bell again and assumed what he considered his erect. that was separated from the body by three or four inches of s pace. aside from the carports. In some of the fron t yards there were aluminum carports.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yeah?" There was a moment of silence. the tree preparing to collapse as the iron fence had done long ago. that St. The larger houses had become impromptu apartme nt buildings. Everything looked so calm. But. wooden Gothic and Gilded Age relics that drip ped carving and scrollwork. mister? A cop?" "Patrolman Mancuso.

" Mrs."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I spoke with the man this morning."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Patrolman Mancuso thanked the woman's voice and walked into the dank alley. "Do you mind if I put my beard on the table? It's kinda hot in here a nd it's sticking my face. Re illy had exhausted the subject of her son. beating. Thinking of the electric fryers. Mancuso bou ght it no matter how obscure its uses were. At the bottom of the box Patrolman Mancuso found two withered pieces of doughnut out of which. Reilly slurped a bit at the rim of her cup. He's watching the TV. babe. Here. grinding. and it s melled of coffee and old newspapers. Every afternoon as right as rain.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai . "He's out in the parlor right now looking at TV." In the kitchen the music was somewhat fainter than it had been on the porch." She offered Patrolman Mancuso a torn and oily cake box that looked as if it had been subjected to unusual abu se during someone's attempt to take all of the doughnuts at once. Reilly did in this spar se room. I love my doughnuts. Miss Reilly. 'Momma . it was dark. and broiling in th e lunar kitchen of his wife. In t he back yard he found Mrs. "How much I gotta pay? You told him I was a poor widow with a child to support. Mr. Although th e interiors of homes did not interest Patrolman Mancuso. He s ays to me. still he did notice. ain't that a shame. She had almost started to scream when she saw the man with the red beard appear in her yard." She filled two cups half full with thick cold coffee a nd poured the boiling milk in up to the rim. Reilly began boiling a pot of milk on her Edwardian gas stove. You hea r that? It's driving me nuts. he looks at that show where them kids dance. he wondered what Mrs. as anyone would have. the jelly had been sucked. me chanical mixers and beaters. You oughta hear what h e says about them poor kids. I sure feel like a jelly doughnut. and from the alley very little light filtered in anyway. I told him that."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Aw. and motorized rotisseries that seeme d to be always whirring. high-ceilinged room." Patrolman Mancuso said. waffle plates. "How you doing. judging by their moist edges. Reilly said after a m oment. Rita. "Ignatius loves his doughnuts. I had me a big lunch. hoping that Mrs.' " Mrs. that's good. the largest in the house. Like every room in the house. go ahead. they got a few left. Have a nice jelly doughnut."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Sure. the antique stove with the high oven and the refrigerator wi th the cylindrical motor on top. I just bought them fres h this morning over by Magazine Street. "Oh.' You know? So I went over by the German and bought him two dozen. Look. 'Momma. "He don't like the show at all.{\ql "Well.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Now tell me what the man said. it's you." Patrolman Mancuso said. Mrs. the greasy wallpaper and brown wooden moldings would have transformed any light into gloom. Whenever a new appliance was advertised on television. hissing. My nerves is shot. Patrolman Man-cuso pic tured the green hunting cap bathed in the blue-white glow of the television scre en. cooling. Ignatius says to me this morning. Mancuso? What them people said?" She ste pped cautiously over the broken brick paving in her brown felt moccasins."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The kitchen was a large. "Come on in the house and we'll have us a nice cup of coffee." Mrs. gas driers. sitt ing erectly in his chair and looking hopefully at the kitchen table covered with oilcloth. huh?" "Yeah. but he won't miss it. Reilly hanging a spotted and yellowed sheet on a line that ran through the bare fig trees.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Thank you anyway. You'd never get a hold of him.

We shall have him prosecuted immediately." she said glumly. babe?" "He said he don't want to go to court." Ignatius said as he strode into the kitchen in his nightshirt." "Ignatius."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql . a chorus of falsettos sang insinuatingly about loving all night long. "Ignatius. and that don't come to much. Reilly advised the startled policeman. Patrolman Mancuso was too startled by the monstrous flannel nightshirt to r eply to Ignatius's pleasantry. Reilly's financial quandary. a thousand t wenty dollars. ma'm. this is the estimate." "I could take it to court if you think it's best. "What an egregious insult to good taste. Mancuso. " You haven't a chance. "Is there any more coffee. He's got a lawyer working on it." "Drunken driving. ma'm. "I'm sorry. listening to some sort of approaching st ampede."\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Where I'm gonna get a thousand dollars." "That sounds good. "Maybe I can get a mortgage on the house. Mr.\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Lord! A thousand and twenty dollars. How I'm gonna pay that?" She dropped the estimate on the oilcloth. you shall have to pay him then." Mrs. Mancuso here says the y's nothing I can do." Ignatius said calmly. "He does that all the time he looks at the TV. tribal rhythm."\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Our attorneys? He's got a estimate from a contractor. "The children on that program should all be gassed."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I am certain that you can procure some funds." he told her." Ignatius said and looked out the back d oor. though? All me and Ignatius got is my p oor husband's Social Security and a little two-bit pension. honey?" "I told him I investigated the accide nt and that you just skidded on a wet street. my God!" Ignatius bellowed from the front of the house.' "\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I do believe that I've seen him about. or have you given the last to this carnival masker?"\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "We can mortgage the house. So what he sai d then. huh?" "He even got a contractor to appraise the damag e. the man wants over a thousand d ollars for what I did to his building. A 'settlement. We can' t do nothing about it. "\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. "What he said.' That means he wants some money."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Do I believe the total perversion that I am witnessing?" Ignatius screamed from the parlor. you know Mr. Reilly took the sheet of paper and read the typed column of itemized figures beneath the contractor's letterhead. she slurped a bit more.n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yeah?" She put three spoons of sugar in her coffee and." Mrs. "Aw." "A thousand dollars? He will not get a c ent. Say 'Hello. almost heartbroken over Mrs. "But Ignatius. honey. Here." "Oh. It's all on the up and up. Reilly looked depressed. Mother. darling. Well. This is terrible. He wants a settlement now. holding the spoon in th e cup with her thumb so that the handle threatened to puncture her eyeball. Then he noticed the guest and said c oldly. "You sure that is right?"\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yes. The music had a frantic." Patrolman Mancuso answered. it's not your fau lt. too. "Oh. Contact our attorneys." Patrolman Mancuso said." "Don't pay him no mind. huh?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No." Mrs.

"Mortgage the house? Of course we won't."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql "What else we gonna do, Ignatius?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "There are means," Ignatius said absently. "I wish that you wouldn't bother me w ith this. That program always increases my anxiety anyway." He smelled the milk before putting it into the pot. "I would suggest that you telephone that dairy i mmediately. This milk is quite aged."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "I can get a thousand dollars over by the Homestead," Mrs. Reilly told the silen t patrolman quietly. "The house is good security. I had me a real estate agent o ffered me seven thousand last year." "The ironic thing about that program," Igna tius was saying over the stove, keeping one eye peeled so that he could seize th e pot as soon as the milk began to boil, "is that it is supposed to be an exempl um to the youth of our nation. I would like very much to know what the Founding Fathers would say if they could see these children being debauched to further th e cause of Clearasil. However, I always suspected that democracy would come to t his." He painstakingly poured the milk into his Shirley Temple mug. "A firm rule must be imposed upon our nation before it destroys itself. The United States ne eds some theology and geometry, some taste and decency. I suspect that we are te etering on the edge of the abyss." "Ignatius, I'm gonna have to go by the Homest ead tomorrow."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "We shall not deal with those usurers, Mother." Ignatius was feeling around in t he cookie jar.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Something will turn up."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius, honey, they can put me in jail."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ho hum. If you are going to stage one of your hysterical scenes, I shall have t o return to the living room. As a matter of fact, I think I will."\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql He billowed out again in the direction of the music, the shower shoes flapping l oudly against the soles of his huge feet.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql "What I'm gonna do with a boy like that?" Mrs. Reilly sadly asked Patrolman Manc uso. "He don't care about his poor dear mother. Sometimes I think Ignathis would n't mind if they did throw me in jail. He's got a heart of ice, that boy."\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You spoiled him," Patrolman Mancuso said. "A woman's gotta watch she don't spoi l her kids." "How many chirren you got, Mr. Mancuso?" "Three. Rosalie, Antoinett e, and Angelo, Jr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Aw, ain't that nice. I bet they sweet, huh? Not like Ignatius." Mrs. Reilly sho ok her head. "Ignatius was such a precious child. I don't know what made him cha nge. He used to say to me, 'Momma, I love you.' He don't say that no more."\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Aw, don't cry," Patrolman Mancuso said, deeply moved. "I'll make you some more coffee."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He don't care if they lock me up," Mrs. Reilly sniffed. She opened the oven and

took out a bottle of muscatel. "You want some nice wine, Mr. Mancuso?"\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No thanks. Being on the force, I gotta make a impression. I gotta always be on the lookout for people, too."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You don't mind?" Mrs. Reilly asked rhetorically and took a long drink from the bottle. Patrolman Mancuso began boiling the milk, hovering over the stove in a v ery domestic manner. "Sometimes I sure get the blues. Life's hard. I worked hard , too. I been good." "You oughta look on the bright side," Patrolman Mancuso sai d.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I guess so," Mrs. Reilly said. "Some people got it harder than me, I guess. Lik e my poor cousin, wonderful woman. Went to mass every day of her life. She got k nocked down by a streetcar over on Magazine Street early one morning while she w as on her way to Fisherman's Mass. It was still dark out." "Personally, I never let myself get low," Patrolman Mancuso lied. "You gotta look up. You know what I mean? I got a dangerous line of work." "You could get yourself killed."\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Sometimes I don't apprehend nobody all day. Sometimes I apprehend the wrong per son."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Like that old man in front of D. H. Holmes. That's my fault, Mr. Mancuso. I sho ulda guessed Ignatius was wrong all along. It's just like him. All the time I'm telling him, 'Ignatius, here, put on this nice shirt. Put on this nice sweater I bought you.' But he don't listen. Not that boy. He's got a head like a rock."\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Then sometimes I get problems at home. With three kids, my wife's very nervous. "\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Nerves is a terrible thing. Poor Miss Annie, the next-door lady, she's got nerv es. Always screaming about Ignatius making noise."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's my wife. Sometimes I gotta get outta the house. If I was another kind of man, sometimes I could really go get myself good and drunk. Just between us."\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I gotta have my little drink. It relieves the pressure. You know?"\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What I do is go bowl."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs. Reilly tried to imagine little Patrolman Man-cuso with a big bowling ball a nd said, "You like that, huh?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Bowling's wonderful, Miss Reilly. It takes your mind off things."\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh, my heavens!" a voice shouted from the parlor. "These girls are doubtless pr ostitutes already. How can they present horrors like this to the public?" "I wis h I had me a hobby like that." "You oughta try bowling."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ay-yi-yi. I already got arthuritis in my elbow. I'm too old to play around with them balls. I'd wrench my back."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql

"I got a aunt, sixty-five, a grammaw, and she goes bowling all the time. She's e ven on a team." "Some women are like that. Me, I never was much for sports."\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Bowling's more than a sport," Patrolman Man-cuso said defensively. "You meet pl enty people over by the alley. Nice people. You could make you some friends,"\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yeah, but it's just my luck to drop one of them balls on my toe. I got bum feet already."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Next time I go by the alley, I'll let you know. I'll bring my aunt. You and me and my aunt, we'll go down by the alley. Okay?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Mother, when was this coffee dripped?" Ignatius demanded, flapping into the kit chen again. "Just about a hour ago. Why?" "It certainly tastes brackish."\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I thought it was very good," Patrolman Mancuso said. "Just as good as they serv e at the French Market. I'm making some more now. You want a cup?"\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Pardon me," Ignatius said. "Mother, are you going to entertain this gentleman a ll afternoon? I would like to remind you that I am going to the movies tonight a nd that I am due at the theater promptly at seven so that I can see the cartoon. I would suggest that you begin preparing something to eat." "I better go," Patr olman Mancuso said.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius, you oughta be ashamed," Mrs. Reilly said in an angry voice. "Me and M r. Mancuso here just having some coffee. You been nasty all afternoon. You don't care where I raise that money. You don't care if they lock me up. You don't car e about nothing."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Am I going to be attacked in my own home before a stranger with a false beard?" "My heart's broke."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh, really." Ignatius turned on Patrolman Mancuso. "Will you kindly leave? You are inciting my mother."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Mr. Mancuso's not doing nothing but being nice." "I better go," Patrolman Mancu so said apologetically.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'll get that money," Mrs. Reilly screamed. "I'll sell this house. I'll sell it out from under you, boy. I'll go stay by a old folks' home."\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql She grabbed an end of the oilcloth and wiped her eyes.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "If you do not leave," Ignatius said to Patrolman Mancuso, who was hooking on hi s beard, "I shall call the police."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ {\ql "He is the police, stupid."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "This is totally absurd," Ignatius said and flapped away. "I am going to my room ." He slammed his door and snatched a Big Chief tablet from the floor. Throwing himself back among the pillows on the bed, he began doodling on a yellowed page. After almost thirty minutes of pulling at his hair and chewing on the pencil, h

e began to compose a paragraph. Were Hroswitha with us today, we would all look to her for counsel and guidance. From the austerity and tranquility of her medie val world, the penetrating gaze of this legendary Sybil of a holy nun would exor cise the horrors which materialize before our eyes in the name of television. If we could only juxtapose one eyeball of this sanctified woman and a television t ube, both being roughly of the same shape and design, what a phantasmagoria of e xploding electrodes would occur. The images of those lasciviously gyrating child ren would disintegrate into so many ions and molecules, thereby effecting the ca tharsis which the tragedy of the debauching of the innocent necessarily demands. Mrs. Reilly stood in the hall looking at the DO NOT DISTURB sign printed on a s heet of Big Chief paper and stuck to the door by an old flesh-colored Band-aid. "Ignatius, let me in there, boy," she screamed.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Let you in here?" Ignatius said through the door. "Of course I won't. I am occu pied at the moment with an especially succinct passage." "You let me in."\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You know that you are never allowed in here." Mrs. Reilly pounded at the door.\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I don't know what is happening to you, Mother, but I suspect that you are momen tarily deranged. Now that I think of it, I am too frightened to open the door. Y ou may have a knife or a broken wine bottle." "Open up this door, Ignatius."\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh, my valve! It's closing!" Ignatius groaned loudly. "Are you satisfied now th at you have ruined me for the rest of the evening?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs. Reilly threw herself against the unpainted wood.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well, don't break the door," he said finally and, after a few moments, the bolt .slid open. "Ignatius, what's all this trash on the floor?"\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That is my worldview that you see. It still must be incorporated into a whole, so be careful where you step."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "And all the shutters closed. Ignatius! It's still light outside."\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "My being is not without its Proustian elements," Ignatius said from the bed, to which he had quickly returned. "Oh, my stomach." "It smells terrible in here."\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well, what do you expect? The human body, when confined, produces certain odors which we tend to forget in this age of deodorants and other perversions. Actual ly, I find the atmosphere of this room rather comforting. Schiller needed the sc ent of apples rotting in his desk in order to write. I, too, have my needs. You may remember that Mark Twain preferred to lie supinely in bed while composing th ose rather dated and boring efforts which contemporary scholars try to prove mea ningful. Veneration of Mark Twain is one of the roots of our current intellectua l stalemate." "If I know it was like this, I'd been in here long ago."\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I do not know why you are in here now, as a matter of fact, or why you have thi s sudden compulsion to invade my sanctuary. I doubt whether it will ever be the same after the trauma of this intrusion by an alien spirit."\par\pard\plain\hyph

par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I came to talk to you, boy. Get your face out them pillows."\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "This must be the influence of that ludicrous representative of the law. He seem s to have turned you against your own child. By the way, he has left, hasn't he? " "Yes, and I apologized to him over the way you acted."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Mother, you are standing on my tablets. Will you please move a little? Isn't it enough that you have destroyed my digestion without destroying the fruits of my brain also?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well, where I'm gonna stand, Ignatius? You want me to get in bed with you?" Mrs . Reilly asked angrily. "Watch out where you're stepping, please!" Ignatius thun dered. "My God, never has anyone been so totally and so literally stormed and be sieged. What is it anyway that has driven you in here in this state of complete mania? Could it be the stench of cheap muscatel that is assaulting my nostrils?" "I made up my mind. You gonna go out and get you a job."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Oh, what low joke was Fortuna playing on him now? Arrest, accident, job. Where w ould this dreadful cycle ever end?\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "I see," Ignatius said calmly. "Knowing that you are congenitally incapable of a rriving at a decision of this importance, I imagine that that mongoloid law offi cer put this idea into your head." "Me and Mr. Mancuso talked like I used to tal k to your poppa. You poppa used to tell me what to do. I wish he was alive today ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Mancuso and my father are alike only in that they both give the impression of b eing rather inconsequential humans. However, your current mentor is apparently t he type of person who thinks that everything will be all right if everyone works continually." "Mr. Mancuso works hard. He's got a hard road at the precinct."\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I am certain that he supports several unwanted children who all hope to grow up to be policemen, the girls included." "He's got three sweet chirren."\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I can imagine." Ignatius began to bounce slowly. "Oh!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What are you doing? Are you fooling with that valve again? Nobody else got him a valve but you. _I_ ain't got no valve."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql "Everyone has a valve!" Ignatius screamed. "Mine is simply more developed. I am trying to open a passage which you have succeeded in blocking. It may be permane ntly closed now for all I know."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "Mr. Mancuso says if you work you can help me pay off the man. He says he thinks the man might take the money in installments."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Your friend the patrolman says a great deal. You certainly bring people out, as they say. I never suspected that he could be so loquacious or that he was capab

you seem to enjoy thinking about it. Actually. Holmes.le of such perceptive comment. I am very busy with my work at the mo ment. Anyway. Mother. When I opened it to put in my frozen pizza."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I have found several empty wine bottles about lately." He pounded a great .\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "It's either that. You wanna lose the roof over your head?" "No! You will not mortgage this house. Mancuso is a good man. He's spun our wheel downward. I was almost blinded by a bottl e of broiled wine that was preparing to explode."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Tomorrow we looking at the want ads in the paper.\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "All them books. Miss Annie."\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "We gotta pay that man. "I would suggest certain economies aroun d the house. and you with all them tri nkets. If she beats on my shutters again. this man is o ur nemesis. Somehow you will soon see that you have the required amount."\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "For shame." "Do I believe what I am hear ing?" Ignatius asked his pillow. Ignatius. I accomplished a great deal today. and I feel that I am entering a very fecund stage." "I'm gonna iron you a nice white shirt a nd you gonna put on one of your poppa's nice ties."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Will you please define the meaning of trinkets?" Ignatius snapped. Perhaps the accident ja rred and loosened my thought. That gramaphone. Do you realize that he is trying to destroy our h ome? It began the moment that he attempted that brutal arrest in front of D. do es not. Ignatius. Ignatius. You gonna dress up and go fin d you a job. it is inconceivable that I should get a job."\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I consider the trumpet a good investment. or I gotta take out a mortgage. although our neighbor. You oughta be glad he didn't take you in!"\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "In my private apocalypse he will be impaled upon his own nightstick. At any rate." "Ignatius!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ {\ql "I made the mistake of heating the oven the other day before inspecting it prope rly. I will pro bably be turned into an utter mockery. You wanna see me in jail? Wouldn't you be asha med with your poor momma behind bars?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ {\ql "Will you please stop talking about imprisonment? You seem to be preoccupied wit h the thought. I suggest that you divert some of the monies that you are pouring into the liquor industry. H." "I am afraid to ask what your idea of 'dressing up' is. Martyrdom is meani ngless in our age. the contents of which I c ertainly did not consume." He belched quietly. I'll pour water on her. That trumpet I bought you last month. A few bottles of Gallo muscatel."\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I spend all the money on you for food and whatnots."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Wheel? Mr. Although you are too limited to comprehend it all.

"I won't mention that misguided trip to Baton Rouge. Had I known how close we were to total penury. "The whole sense of security which I have been trying to develop would crumble. I do not suppo rt the current Pope. At the time I said some rather cutting things to the woma n in charge of the processing department." he continued. " Ignatius belched. is that all? I hardly thought that we were existing so precariously. The library authorities resented my integrity about the whole thing. I fear. They only wanted another animal who could slop glue on their best seller s. He does not at all fit my concept of a good. Ignatius.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "All you did was paste them little slips in the books. babe? You a fine boy with a good education. That was true even when I worked for the New Orleans Public Library. "They fear me. We shall not mortgage the house."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. authoritarian Pope."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ {\ql "That is exactly what I mean. Now tell the truth. You must realize the fear and hatred which my Weltanschauung instills in people. They even let you teach a class. though. Actually." Ignatius scratc hed his paws. it was basically the same. I believe. They let you hang around t here a long time."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You think maybe you could get a job there again?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I seriously doubt it. That in cident. but I had my own esthetic about pasting those slips. "I must admit. Ho wever."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What do you mean. it is fortunate that you have kept this from me."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "My God. Ignatius. I suspect that they can see that I am forced to function in a cen tury which I loathe. aiming a paper ball at the bowl of the milk glass chandelier. Some poor white from Mississippi told the dean t hat I was a propagandist for the Pope. They even revoked my borrower's card."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "But. and the result." Ignatius replied. my nerves would have given out long ago." He rolled over onto his back." "I got a hundred fifty in the Hibernia Bank. would be very ugly indeed. You must have s ome funds somewhere. I couldn't stand it." He extended a paw so that his mother could examine the rash." "They was nice to you at college. I will not have any disinterested party controlling my d omicile."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yes. that was the only time you worked since you got out of college. I would no t want you to have to spend the remainder of your life caring for a lunatic lock ed away somewhere in the attic.paw into the mattress."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Employers sense in me a denial of their values. and you was only there for two weeks.\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That is out of the question. I am opposed to the relativism of modern Catholicism quite viole . caused me to form a mental block against working. "It would bring all of my latent an xieties to a head. I doubt very seriously whether anyone will hire me. that the alternative for me is rather grim. On some days I could only paste in three or four slips and at the same time feel satisfied with the q uality of my work. which was patently untrue. Just the thought of it makes my hands break out.

The progress of my wor k will be greatly delayed. Tell him what the consequence of your moral failure has been. the boldness of this ignorant lily-white redneck fundamentalist l ed my other students to form a committee to demand that I grade and return their accumulated essays and examinations."\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Myrna is still in New York. Perhaps he will comprehend the magnitude of your failing. "I put out good mo ney for you to go to college."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Do I believe that such obscenity and filth is coming from the lips of my own mo ther?" Ignatius bellowed. Reilly asked suspiciously. although it will not necessarily be what you would call a good job. maybe you shoulda married her. a heralded excess which I have been wa iting to see for some time."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What that girl's doing now?" Mrs. they managed it quite well. The college was too small to accept this act of defi ance against the abyss of contemporary academia."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I did not want to excite you at the time."\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "She sure used to get me nervous playing on that guitar of hers all over this ho use. Be ing actively engaged in the system which I criticize will be an interesting iron y in itself. Mother. It's a circus musical." "Ignatius! You never told me t hat. There was no use fighting Fortuna until the cycle was ov er." "I'm so proud you g onna work at last. "You realize. "I could never have possibly read over the illit eracies and misconceptions burbling from the dark minds of those students. the penance will no doubt be rather strict. "I see no alternative. You'll see. and you have to pick up with somebody like that. No doubt she is trying to taunt the police into arresting her in some demonstration at this very moment."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "You can get you a good job. of course-out of the window and righ t onto the students' heads. Ignatius." He twisted his face in to a mask of suffering. I shall find some employment. It wi ll be the same wherever I work. Promise him that you will avoid the path of sin and drinking i n the future. there."\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius sighed heavily and said. It was rather dramatic. I have learned to expect little from today's clergyman. If she's got money like you said. If he is my type of priest. Perhaps the experience can give my writing a new dimension. I also told the students that. for th e sake of humanity's future. I must be at th e theater on time. You two mi ght of settled down and had a nice baby or something. that this is all your fault. I may have some valuable insights which may ben efit my employer. I hoped that they were all sterile. "If only Myrna Minkoff could see how low I've fallen. I suggest that you go to your confessor and make some penance."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "There. "Now run along and fix me some dinner." "I'm gonna be good. We study the want ads tomorrow. of course. Let him know that you have delayed the completion of a monumental indictment against our society.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Look at that old gal. Reilly said emotionally and kissed her son somewhere in his damp moustache. For being such simple." Ignatius belched loudly. ignor ant children.ntly." Ignatius arran ged the pillows about his head. her native habitat. At the height of the demonstration I d umped all of the old papers\u8212?ungraded. However. However. There was even a small demonstration outsi de the window of my office." Jones mused to his psyche as the bus bounced and threw h . Wait till they see a boy with a master's degree." Mrs.

too. No vagran. First there was the green-cap phantom and now this person he c ouldn't identify. At least Darlene h ad been pleasant to him at the Night of Joy. he had carefully buttoned the two earflaps to the top of his cap. Ooowee. She about to throw her grammaw ass out the window. He wanted to look just like those men. Now I a real nigger. and scrutinized the credits closely to find any names of performers who normally nauseated him. who watched her writhing thr ough the detachment of his green lenses. Ign atius was about to say this to himself. Now I really a memb er of the community. "Look at that. His face froze and his popcorn bag began to shak e. Somewhere in the rear of the crowd an altercation was going on.' And I say. boy. go out to a movie and get more out of life. He turned back to the advertisements. the director. That's h ow the magazine could help him.im against the woman sitting beside him. Jones tried to plow through an editorial about American i nvolvement in the Far East but stopped midway. I gonna tell that po-lice I gainfully employ. Darlene subscribed to Life for purp oses of self-improvement and. He listened to the music. 'Hey!' And he say. then he remembered that he went to the m ovies almost every night. 'Yeah. the composer. tell him I met up with a hu-manitaria payin me twe nty dollar a week. He wondered who the fat cat in the green cap was who was sudden ly all over town. the goal that she had referred to again and again. The Yardley Shaving Lotion men looked cool and rich. When the credits had ended and Ignatius had noted that several of the actors. J ones felt uneasy. in giving it to Jones.' Whoa! What ki nda change you got?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The old woman pulled the bell cord and got out of the seat. The selection in this magazine was excellent. Whoa! I ain gonna rape no body. Ignatius ate his current popcorn and stared raptly at the previews of coming a ttractions. for they were the things that interested him in magazines. She think I got siphlus and TB and a hard on and I gonna cut her up with a razor and lif her purse. 'That fine. He li ked the Aetna Life Insurance ad with the picture of the lovely home that a coupl e had just bought. 'Now maybe you be becomin a member of the communi ty. there appeared in the technicolor a sc . he thought. The man in the beard looked familiar.\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql When Fortuna spins you downward."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The sunglasses watched the woman climb off the bus into a crowd standing at the bus stop. Then the screen glowed in bright. and two auxiliary bags of popcorn. crossing his legs and wishing that he could s moke on the bus. Where would that fat mother show up next? There was something ghostly about that greencap freak. I got me a nigger job and nigger pay. detecting two popular s ongs which he particularly disliked. One of the films looked bad enough.' And I say. I'm glad to see you straighten out. "Well. "She think cause I color I gonna rape h er. Upon entering the theater. Jones turned from the window when the man in the red beard ran off and opened the Life magazine that Darlene had given him. the lion roared. to bring him back to the Prytania in a few days. He sat at at tention in the darkness of the Prytania only a few rows from the screen. and the title of the excess flashed on the screen before his m iraculous blue and yellow eyes. three Milky Ways. his bod y filling the seat and protruding into the two adjoining ones. no matter which way Fortuna was spinning. Just nigger. On the seat to hi s right he had stationed his overcoat. wide technicolor. had suggested that he might find it helpful. t he hair designer. keep him off my back. and the assistant producer were all people whose efforts had o ffended him at various times in the past. and now the strident score of the musical assaulted his naked ea rs from a variety of speakers. He say. A man with a rolled-up newspaper in his hand was striking another man who had a long r ed beard and was wearing Bermuda shorts."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql He moved discreetly away from her. wondering how something like that could help Darlene to become an exotic. trying self-consciou sly to avoid any contact with the anatomy of Jones. the bags neatly rolled at the top to keep the popcorn warm and crisp .

" Ignatius said when he saw the e lephant. the children were holding a competition of shrieking. and waited. my God!" he screamed.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. She smiled in a huge close-up. Ignatius inspected her teeth for cavities and filling s. She began to sing about trying over and over again until you succeeded.ene of many extras milling about a circus tent. "What dege nerate produced this abortion?" "Shut up. pointing across the theater to the hu lking silhouette at the bottom of the screen. inflated it. where the shrieking was growing wilder. Ignatius l istened to the bloodcurdling little trebles and giggles and gloated in his dark lair. the manager quieted the front rows and then glanc ed down the row in which the isolated figure of Ignatius rose like some great mo nster among the little heads. was the heroine. The manager walked down the aisle to the front rows. "Thank God that scene i s over. She extended one leg. On the second chorus the entire ensemble joined in the so ng. hers in song.\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He's here tonight. The ey es that shone under the green visor were following the heroine and her elephant across the wide screen and into the circus tent. He put the empty popcorn bag to his full lips. He greedily studied the crowd an d found the heroine standing near a sideshow. reacting to the unfolding plot with only an occasional subdued snort . his in a groan. Then what seemed to be the film's entire cast was up on the wires."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The children in the rows in front of him turned and stared. The popcorn bag exploded with a bang. A tympany beat and the soundtrack filled with violins."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql When a love scene appeared to be developing.\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "They probably have halitosis. the two big pink figures were just preparing to kiss. Their fear having dis sipated itself. He studied her g rip on the trapeze in the hope that the camera would record her fatal plunge to the sawdust far below. In the darkness two trembling hands met violent ly.\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "This is going to be even worse than I thought. Popc orn spilled down his shirt and gathered in the folds of his trousers. "There she is. The blue and yellow eyes were following the heroine. but Ignatius did not notice them. but as he returned to his seat. The heroine and Ignatius opened their mouths simultaneousl y. The children shrieked. who was gaily carrying a pail of water to what turned out to be her elephant. She swung back and forth to a waltz. "Oh.\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Just look at those smiling morons! If only all of those wires would snap!" Igna tius rattled the few kernels of popcorn in his last bag. unable to contain himself any longer. and soared. flipped. on a trapeze. In the fore ground. With a few mild threats." Ignatius announced over the heads of the childre n. his eyes gleaming with reflected technicolor." someone said behind him. Ignatius quivered as the philosophy of the lyrics became clear." the manager told her. "I hate to think of the obscene places that those mouths have doubtlessly bee n before!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql . he bounded up out of his seat and s tomped up the aisle to the candy counter for more popcorn. For a while Ignatius was relati vely still. Ignatius rapidly surveyed its contours for structural d efects. smiling and singing lustily about ultimate success while they swung.\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What's all that noise?" the woman at the candy counter asked the manager. dangled . But he was treated only to a puffy profile. good heavens!" Ignatius shouted.

" "Lord. One stalk of the dead banana tree had expired and colla psed stiffly onto the hood of the Plymouth. come in quick out the cold. I told you that it would be like this. I don't know how the employees of that company manage to stay alive expo sing themselves to that chill day after day." Mrs."\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You didn't get the job?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Of course I didn't get the job.' "\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Now don't be nasty. "However."\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius shuffled miserably back to the kitchen and fell into a chair. my God. and rang the bell. Mancuso. baby. was you wearing that cap whe n you spoke to the insurance man?" "Of course I was. Do I appear to be in a condition that would attract prospective employers? I had the good judgment to come home as soon as possible."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql . And then there are those fluorescen t tubes baking their brains out and blinding them. You'll get a nice job. you gotta look up ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The manager sighed and started down the aisle to where Ignatius was mumbling. "Ignatius. babe." "Lord." the candy woman told the manager laconically .-. "O h. "Who has been sowing that unnatural garba ge into your mind?" "Mr. He was ultimately very hostile. precious."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql " 'Blue? I am afraid that I never feel 'blue. You only been on the streets a few d ays. their tongues are probably all over each other's capped and rotting t eeth. I tried to explain the inadequacies of the place to the personnel manager. That office was improperly heated." Ignatius let out a monstrous belch."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Three Ignatius staggered up the brick path to the house."You'll have to do something."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Look up?" Ignatius repeated savagely. I am an anachronism." "My valve clo sed on the streetcar."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "Did you go to the other places?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "Obviously not. "Ignatius. I did not like the office at all. "What's wrong? You look like you dying." He's worse than ever tonight. but he seemed rather uninterested. People realize this and resent it. Reilly cried when she opened the door.\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The personnel manager at that insurance company treated me very insultingly." his mother said and looked at him."\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't feel blue. climbed the steps painf ully."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "What happened?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I would rather not discuss it.

"Oh, my God! I should have known. Is he an example of 'looking up?"\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You oughta hear the whole story of that poor man's life. You oughta hear what t his sergeant at the precinct's trying . . ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Stop!" Ignatius covered one ear and beat a fist on the table. "I will not liste n to another word about that man. Throughout the centuries it has been the Man-c usos of the world who have caused wars and spread diseases. Suddenly the spirit of that evil man is haunting this house. He has become your Svengali!" "Ignatius , get a holt of yourself."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I refuse to 'look up.' Optimism nauseates me. It is perverse. Since man's fall, his proper position in the universe has been one of misery."\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I ain't miserable."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You are."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No, I ain't."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yes, you are."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius, I ain't miserable. If I was, I'd tell you."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "If I had demolished private property while intoxicated and had thereby thrown m y child to the wolves, I would be beating my breast and wailing. I would kneel i n penance until my knees bled. By the way, what penance has the priest given you for your sin?" "Three Hail Mary's and a Our Father."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Is that all?" Ignatius screamed. "Did you tell him what you did, that you halte d a critical work of great brilliance?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql "I went to confession, Ignatius. I told Father everything. He says, 'It don't so und like your fault, honey. It sounds to me like you just took a little skid on a wet street.' So I told him about you. I says 'My boy says I'm the one stopping him from writing in his copybooks. He's been writing on this story for almost f ive years.' And Father says, 'Yeah? Well, don't sound too important to me. You t ell him to get out the house and go to work.' "\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No wonder I cannot support the Church," Igna-tius bellowed. "You should have be en lashed right there in the confessional."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Now tomorrow, Ignatius, you go try some other place. They got plenty jobs in th e city. I was talking to Miss Marie-Louise, the old lady works in the German's. She's got a crippled brother with a earphone. He's kinda deaf, you know? He got himself a good job over by the Goodwill Industries." "Perhaps I should try there ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius! They only hire blind people and dummies to make brooms and things."\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I am certain that those people are pleasant co-workers."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar

}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Let's us look in the afternoon's paper. Maybe they got a nice job in there!"\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "If I must go out tomorrow, I am not leaving the house so early. I felt very dis oriented all the while I was downtown."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql "You didn't leave here until after lunch,"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Still, I was not functioning properly. I suffered several bad dreams last night . I awoke bruised and muttering."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "Here, listen to this. I been seeing this ad in the paper every day," Mrs. Reill y said, holding the newspaper very close to her eyes. " 'Clean, hard-worker man. "That's 'hard-working.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql " 'Clean, hard-working man, dependable, quite type. . . .'"\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql " 'Quiet type.' Give that to me," Ignatius said, snatching the paper from his mo ther. "It's unfortunate that you couldn't complete your education." "Poppa was v ery poor "\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Please! I couldn't bear to hear that grim story again at the moment. 'Clean, ha rd-working, dependable, quiet type.' Good God! What kind of monster is this that they want. I am afraid that I could never work for a concern with a worldview l ike that." "Read the rest, babe."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql " 'Clerical work. 25-35 years old. Apply Levy Pants, Industrial Canal and River, between 8 and 9 daily.' Well, that's out. I could never get all the way down th ere before nine o'clock." "Honey, if you gonna work, you gotta get up early."\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No, Mother." Ignatius threw the paper on top of the oven. "I have been setting my sights too high. I cannot survive this type of work. I suspect that something like a newspaper route would be rather agreeable."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius, a big man like you can't pedal around on no bike delivering newspaper s."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Perhaps you could drive me about in the car and I could toss the papers from th e rear window."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Listen, boy," Mrs. Reilly said angrily. "You gonna go try somewheres tomorrow. I mean it. The first thing you gonna do is answer this ad. You playing around, I gnatius. I know you."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ho hum," Ignatius yawned, exhibiting the flabby pink of his tongue. "Levy Pants sounds just as bad if not worse than the titles of the other organizations I ha ve contacted. I can see that I am obviously beginning to scrape the bottom of th e job market already."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Just you wait, babe. You'll make good."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{

{\ql "Oh, my God!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Patrolman Mancuso had a good idea that had been given to him by, of all people, Ignatius Reilly. He had telephoned the Reillys' house to ask Mrs. Reilly when sh e could go bowling with him and his aunt. But Ignatius had answered the telephon e and screamed, "Stop molesting us, you mongoloid. If you had any sense, you wou ld be investigating dens like that Night of Joy in which my beloved mother and I were mistreated and robbed. I, unfortunately, was the prey of a vicious, deprav ed B-girl. In addition, the proprietress is a Nazi. We barely escaped with our l ives. Go investigate that gang and let us alone, you homewrecker."\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Then Mrs. Reilly had wrestled the phone away from her son. The sergeant would be glad to know about the place. He might even compliment Patrolman Man-cuso for g etting the tip. Clearing his throat, Patrolman Mancuso stood before the sergeant and said, "I got a lead on a place where they got B-girls."\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You got a lead?" the sergeant asked. "Who gave you the lead?"\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Patrolman Mancuso decided against dragging Ig-natius into the matter for several reasons. He settled on Mrs. Reilly.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql "A lady I know," he answered.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "How come this lady knows about the place?" the sergeant asked. "Who took her to this place?" Patrolman Mancuso couldn't say "her son." It might reopen some wou nds. Why couldn't conversations with the sergeant ever go smoothly?\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "She was there alone," Patrolman Mancuso said finally, trying to save the interv iew from becoming a shambles.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "A lady was in a place like that alone?" the sergeant screamed. "What kinda lady was this? She's probly a B-girl herself. Get outta here, Mancuso, and bring me in a suspicious character. You ain't brought in one person yet. Don't gimme no t ips from B-girls. Go look in your locker. You're a soldier today. Beat it."\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Patrolman Mancuso drifted sadly off to the lockers, wondering why he could never do anything right for the sergeant. When he was gone, the sergeant turned to a detective and said, "Send a couple men over to that Night of Joy some night. Som eone there might've been just dumb enough to talk to Mancuso. But don't tell him . I don't want that goon taking any credit. He stays in costume until he brings me in a character."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You know, we got another complaint on Mancuso today from somebody who says a sm all man wearing a sombrero pressed up against her in a bus last night," the dete ctive said.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No kidding," the sergeant said thoughtfully. "Well, any more complaints like th at, and we arrest Mancuso."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mr. Gonzalez turned the lights on in the small office and lit the gas heater bes ide his desk. In the twenty years that he had been working for Levy Pants, he ha d always been the first person to arrive each morning.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{

{\ql "It was still dark when I got here this morning," Mr. Gonzalez would say to Mr. Levy on those rare occasions when Mr. Levy was forced to visit Levy Pants.\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You must be leaving home too early," Mr. Levy would say.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I was standing out on the steps of the office this morning talking to the milkm an."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh, shut up, Gonzalez. Did you get my plane ticket to Chicago for the Bears' ga me with the Packers?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I had the office all warm by the time everybody else came in for work."\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You're burning up my gas. Sit in the cold. It's good for you."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I did two pages in the ledger this morning when I was in here all by myself. Lo ok, I caught a rat near the water cooler. He didn't think anybody was around yet , and I hit him with a paperweight." "Get that damned rat away from me. This pla ce depresses me enough. Get on the phone and make my hotel reservations for the Derby."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql But the criteria at Levy Pants were very low. Promptness was sufficient excuse f or promotion. Mr.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Gonzalez became the office manager and took control of the few dispirited clerks under him. He could never really remember the names of his clerks and typists. They seemed, at times, to come and go almost daily, with the exception of Miss T rixie, the octogenarian assistant accountant, who had been copying figures inacc urately into the Levy ledgers for almost half a century. She even wore her green celluloid visor on her way to and from work, a gesture that Mr. Gonzalez interp reted as a symbol of loyalty to Levy Pants. On Sundays she sometimes wore the vi sor to church, mistaking it for a hat. She had even worn it to her brother's fun eral, where it was ripped from her head by her more alert and slightly younger s ister-in-law. Mrs. Levy, though, had issued orders that Miss Trixie was to be re tained, no matter what. Mr. Gonzalez rubbed a rag over his desk and thought, as he did every morning at this time when the office was still chilly and deserted and the wharf rats played frenetic games among themselves within the walls, abou t the happiness that his association with Levy Pants had brought him. On the riv er the freighters gliding through the lifting mist bellowed at one another, the sound of their deep foghorns echoing among the rusting file cabinets in the offi ce. Beside him the little heater popped and cracked as its parts grew warmer and expanded. He listened unconsciously to all the sounds that had begun his day fo r twenty years and lit the first of the ten cigarettes that he smoked every day. When he had smoked the cigarette down to its filter, he put it out and emptied the ashtray into the wastebasket. He always liked to impress Mr. Levy with the c leanliness of his desk. Next to his desk was Miss Trixie's rolltop desk. Old new spapers filled every half-opened drawer. Among the little spherical formations o f lint under the desk a piece of cardboard had been wedged under one corner to m ake the desk level. In place of Miss Trixie, a brown paper bag filled with old p ieces of material, and a ball of twine occupied the chair. Cigarette butts spill ed out of the ashtray on the desk. This was a mystery which Mr. Gonzalez had nev er been able to solve, for Miss Trixie did not smoke. He had questioned her abou t this several times, but had never received a coherent answer. There was someth ing magnetic about Miss Trixie's area. It attracted whatever refuse there was in the office, and whenever pens, eyeglasses, purses, or cigarette lighters were m

issing they could usually be found somewhere in her desk. Miss Trixie also hoard ed all of the telephone books, which were stored in some cluttered drawer in her desk. Mr. Gonzalez was about to search Miss Trixie's area for his missing stamp pad when the door ofthe office opened and she shuffled in, scuffing her sneaker s across the wooden floor. She had with her another paper bag that seemed to con tain the same assortment of material and twine, aside from the stamp pad which w as sticking out of the top of the bag. For two or three years Miss Trixie had be en carrying these bags with her, sometimes accumulating three or four by the sid e of her desk, never disclosing their purpose or destination to anyone.\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Good morning, Miss Trixie," Mr. Gonzalez called in his effervescent tenor. "And how are we this morning?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Who? Oh, hello, Gomez," Miss Trixie said feebly and drifted off toward the ladi es' room as if she were tacking into a gale. Miss Trixie was never perfectly ver tical; she and the floor always met at an angle of less than ninety degrees. Mr. Gonzalez took the opportunity of her disappearance to retrieve his stamp pad fr om the bag and discovered that it was covered with what felt and smelled like ba con grease. While he was wiping his stamp pad, he wondered how many of the other workers would appear. One day a year ago only he and Miss Trixie had shown up f or work, but that was before the company had granted a five-dollar monthly incre ase. Still, the office help at Levy Pants often quit without even telephoning Mr . Gonzalez. This was a constant worry, and always after Miss Trixie's arrival he watched the door hopefully, especially now that the factory was supposed to beg in shipment of its spring and summer line. The truth of the matter was that he n eeded office help desperately. Mr. Gonzalez saw a green visor outside the door. Had Miss Trixie gone out through the factory and decided to reenter through the front door? It was like her. She had once gone to the ladies' room in the mornin g and been found by Mr. Gonzalez late that afternoon asleep on a pile of piece g oods in the factory loft. Then the door opened, and one of the largest men that Mr. Gonzalez had ever seen entered the office. He removed the green cap and reve aled thick black hair plastered to his skull with Vaseline in the style of the 1 920s. When the overcoat came off, Mr. Gonzalez saw rings of fat squeezed into a tight white shirt that was vertically divided by a wide flowered tie. It appeare d that Vaseline had also been applied to the moustache for it gleamed very brigh tly. And then there were the unbelievable blue and yellow eyes laced with the fi nest tracing of pinkish veins. Mr. Gonzalez prayed almost audibly that this behe moth was an applicant for a job. He was impressed and overwhelmed. Ignatius foun d himself in perhaps the most disreputable office that he had ever entered. The naked light bulbs that hung irregularly from the stained ceiling cast a weak yel low light upon the warped floorboards. Old filing cabinets divided the room into several small cubicles, in each of which was a desk painted with a peculiar ora nge varnish. Through the dusty windows of the office there was a gray view of th e Poland Avenue wharf, the Army Terminal, the Mississippi, and, far in the dista nce, the drydocks and the roofs of Algiers across the river. A very old woman ho bbled into the room and bumped into a row of filing cabinets. The atmosphere of the place reminded Ignatius of his own room, and his valve agreed by opening joy fully. Ignatius prayed almost audibly that he would be accepted for the job. He was impressed and overwhelmed. "Yes?" the dapper man at the clean desk asked bri ghtly.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. I thought that the lady was in charge," Ignatius said in his most stentoria n voice, finding the man the only blight in the office. "I have come in response to your advertisement."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh, wonderful. Which one?" the man cried enthusiastically. "We're running two i n the paper, one for a woman and one for a man."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql

this is one of our new workers. a fine old gentleman. that man. I'm not con cerned with sex. I mean.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yes. turning her rheumy eyes up toward Ignatius."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Please forget it. her white head among the old newspapers on her de sk."Which one do you think I'm answering?" Ignatius hollered. Always had a kind word. He noticed with interest that the old woman w as beginning to nod at her desk. I mean. That will give you some idea of the satisfaction that our workers get from their association with Levy Pants ." "But I haven' t even spoken with you yet. Gonzalez said quickly." Miss Trixie said.\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. Gomez. unable to remember the elder Mr. "Well fed. Gonzalez said and put the coat into an old metal l ocker in which Ignatius saw a bag like the two beside the old woman's desk. You'll enjoy knowing her.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql ." Miss Trix ie told Ignatius. like a master of ceremonies trying to end a variety act that had failed horribly. this is Miss Trixie. Miss Trixie. a fine old gentleman. Is it quitting time alr eady?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Miss Trixie. please. We want you to feel at home at Levy Pants. You could handle either job. You see very few like that anymore." "Fine big boy. the sex doesn't matter."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Miss Trixie has stood by Levy Pants through the years. "He treated me well."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Miss Trixie had fallen asleep. knocking her loaded ashtray to the floor.\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Come sit down. "By the way." Mr.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The company says it's going to give me a nice boiled ham for Easter. I'm sure that we'll see eye to eye. Working conditions looked wonderful. " "Who?" Miss Trixie cried. but he was permitted to have the coat." Mr. Miss Trixie."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Miss Trixie has been with us for over fifty years. Miss Trixie will take your coat and hat and put them in the employees' locker." Miss Trixie said."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's all right. one of our oldest employees. I wasn't thinking." the office manager expl ained while the ancient assistant accountant babbled something else about the tu rkey. I'll take your things." Mr. Gonzalez said in great confusion. Miss Trixie worked for Mr. Miss Trixie. "I certainly hope so. Gonzalez was slapped on the hand when he reac hed for the cap. Levy's late father." Miss Trixie finally sighed. "Isn't that a fine tie." Mr."\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'm sorry to hear that. "I'm very sorry. "Oh. it's you.\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Here. They forgot all about my Thanksgiving tu rkey. Levy at all anymore."\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yes." "It belonged to my departed father." Ignatius said."\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Thank you.

Gonzalez hissed. "Miss Trixie here earns only forty dollars a w eek."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql "She does look rather worn."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh."I've been waiting for years to retire. that's wonderful. are deducted from your weekly wage. "I shall take the job tempor arily. She thinks it's better for Miss Trixie to keep active." Mr. "Isn't she past retirem ent?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Sshh." Mr.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Can you begin work today?" Mr.\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well." Ignatius sounded abn ormally important."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql She began sorting through one of her bags. That does change things. et cetera." Miss Trixie wheezed." Mr.' "\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "We'll include twenty cents a day for carfare. Miss Trixie. Isn't that the normal procedure at this time?" Ignatius asked condescendingly. Gonzalez let this sink in. Gonzalez pleaded. pays sixty dollars a week.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql . It was not retroactive. unfortunately. the filing job. Mrs. An oil magnate is currently dangling thousands before me trying to tempt me to be his personal secretary." the of fice manager said confidentially. and she does have some seniority. 'Yes. Gonzalez asked Ignatius.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I don't believe that we have discussed anything concerning salary and so forth. I must admit that the 'Levy Pants Plan' rather attracts me. to return to your prospects. watching Miss Trixie spread the cont ents of her bag on her desk and sort through the scraps. but I am afraid that the salary is not adequate. I am trying to decide whether I can ac cept the man's materialistic worldview. and therefore doesn't cover her." Mr. Any days that you are absent due to sickness. Levy is a brilliant. "Now."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That is certainly far below the wage that I had expected. "I have a valve which is subject to vicissitudes which may fo rce me to lie abed on certain days." "But listen. "I could have used that turkey. Gonzalez blurted. but every year they say I have one more to go. I must consider them first." Ignatius said. was hired before the plan went into effect. won't he. she added. I suspect that I am going to finally tel l him."\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I hate to disappoint you. Then losing interest i n retirement. At the moment. Mis s Trixie?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Miss Trixie was too preoccupied with her scraps to reply. "Mrs. Levy won't let us retire her. Several more attractive organizations are cu rrently vying for my services. educated woman. which is the one you'll have because we really need someo ne on the files. This is all part of the Levy Pants Plan to attract new blood in to the company. They work you till you drop. you are very fortunate to start with the salary I quoted. She's taken a correspondence course in psychology. "He'll love it here.\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well." Ignatius conceded. sir.

you get you a old lady. boy."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The broom bumped against the bar several more times.\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Let me know when you finish with that sweeping." Lana Lee said. I completely forgot about that. Maybe they be a little considerate. tell them peoples you workin a man in here below the minimal wage. you ain running a plantation in here." Lana Lee dumped a pile of nickels into the cash register a nd wrote down a figure on a sheet of paper.\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Stop knocking that broom against the bar." "You want quiet sweeping."I find it strange that you have not even asked for my name. "I got a little errand I want you to run for me. One woman telephon ed to say that she had decided to quit and go on relief instead.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ {\ql "You oughta tell your customer use they ashtray."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "Erran? Hey! I thought this a sweepin and moppin job. Then the cloud of smoke and the broom moved off across the floor. "Goddamit to hell. "There's plent y colored boys looking for wo'rk these days. I sweep y awng."\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You better be glad I'm giving you a chance. Sometime I think if you color." she screamed. and they's plenty color boy turnin vagran. "All I gotta do is phone the police and report you're out of work. "Jones bumped the push broom into a bar stool. the stenographer. Who are you?"\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql That day one other office worker.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Take those glasses off."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yeah." "Ever night I'm fallin on my knee. How the hell can you see all that crap on the floor?"\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Who wanna look at all that crap?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "I told you to take the glasses off."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Lana Lee started snapping a rubber band around the pile of bills and making litt le piles of nickels that she was taking out of the cash register. appeared. "What this erran shit?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "Listen here. Jones." The bro om bumped against a table. my goodness." Lana Lee said." Ignatius snorted. The others did not contact Levy Pants at all. you making me nervous." "You better be glad you're working. too." Jones blew out a cumulus formation. Jones."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The glasses stayin on. it better to be a vagran. "For twen ty dollar a week. You understand me?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ . when they see what kinda wage peoples offerin.

Color peoples took enough horseshit already. I can just imagine what somebody like her would do o n my stage. huh?" The boy looked out at Jones through his swirls of oile d hair. adjusting his sunglasses. it's about time." Lana said and winked . "I don't want a race riot in here. "I get the picture. Why not? Maybe one with a blackboard and a book. you a junkie?" the boy called to Jones." "Y ou be lookin pretty junky with a Night of Joy broom stickin out your ass.{\ql "And I tell the po-lice the Night of Joy a glorify cathouse. "You look like a junkie to me.\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yeah."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "She'd be better off if she just put that mind of hers to selling my liquor and quit with the dancing crap. George?" she asked him."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The padded door banged open and a young boy clicked into the bar. "Hustlin water. I want only that one this time." Lana screamed. I fall in a trap wh en I come to work in this place."\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Okay." Lana said to him."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You think they want another like that?" Lana asked with interest."\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yeah? Well. They thought it was some kin da teacher or something. Get somebody else run y our erran. they good and splintery. "You cain scare color peo ples no more. Whoa! Now I jus waitin to get some kinda eviden ce. get you on the TV news. She force to be a B-drinker. Darlene don wanna be a B-dr inker. The boy opened a flashy hand-tooled wallet and gave Lana a number of b ills. "The orphans liked them?" " They liked the one on the desk with the glasses on. Darlene's the kinda person ruin your investment if you don't watch h er. I got an investm . Whoa!" "Ring up the precinct about her. She's a B-drinker. I really gonna flap my mouth at the precinct. Doing somethin g with a piece of chalk."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I waitin till I can ring up the precinct about you." Jones explored a booth with the broom. knock it off and finish my floor. "What happened to the last one? He die or something?" "Honey."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Aw.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hey." "Watch your tongue . okay. "Well." "She be better off there." Jones said. "Everything went okay. scraping the m etal taps on his flamenco boots across the floor. I got me some peoples form a human chain in front your door. You know."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That po gal." said Lana blandly."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The boy and Lana smiled at each other. drive away your business. runnin err an. with the brains that girl's got she's lucky they haven't shipped he r off to the funny farm. I'll get Darlene to go. I getting pret ty tire of bein vagran or workin below the minimal wage. She say she wanna go in show biz. "Night of Joy broom old. When I do.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You got a new jig. "Jones said very slowly. and for twenty dollar a week you ain piling no more on."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Times changin.

rose from the cigarette in the ashtray at her-elbow. She opened the cabinet under the bar and gave Geor ge a package wrapped in brown paper. "You ain Scarla O'Horror." he mumbled to himself while the two searched the floor. itself a profitable investment through the years. Night of Joy be going bankrup."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Did you see where it went to. boy?"\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Say. "I like to see th e orphans he operatin for. Hey! You better not be droppin silver dollars on t he floor like that." Lana said. over the bill s that the boy had given her."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius eased himself into the taxi and gave the driver the Constantinople Stre et address. the single silve r dollar that lay among the offerings. "You droppin your profit from the orphans."\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What the hell are you talking about?" Lana asked-angrily." "You better tell your little ofay kid friend move along. "Oo o-wee!" "I found it. who you callin 'boy'?" Jones took the handle of the broom and pushed vigor ously toward the altar. An offering fell to the fl oor. curling upward with her prayers." "\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Come on. She studied Jones's f ace. watch out. but the only one in the temple had been excommunicated from the Faith because of his parentage and continued mopping."\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Jones rested his mop against the bar and scouted for the coin. "This is the one you want. From the pocket of his overcoat he took a sheet of Levy Pants statio nery." "And why don't you try keeping your mouth shut. Smoke. up above the host whi ch she was elevating in order to study the date of its minting.\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hey. "See if you can find it. bent reveren tly over the formica top altar." Jones called." George winked at her and banged out the door. Whispered numerals and words floated upward from h er coral lips. squinting through his sunglasses and smoke. and Lana knelt to venerate and retrieve it.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql . like incense. George. the host. but the glasses prevented her reading anything there. Beat it. Her fine body. she copied some figures onto a pad of pape r." Jones blew some smoke on the two. I bet the United Fun don know about them orphans. and. Now get back on my floor. Her bracelet tinkled. like the imprecations of a priestess. Now go on.ent to protect."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Whoa! I'm sure glad you did. Claude Avenue.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That suppose to be a messenger for the orphans?" Jones asked. You be havin trouble meetin t hat big payroll. Jones?" she asked. butterfinger. violating the sanctity of the rite." Lana said emotionally. he began to write as the taxi joined the dense traffic on St. "I ain takin no insult with this kinda job."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Lana started to make sounds. and borrowing the driver's clipboard for a desk. calling communicant s to the altar. "I got it. closing her eyes.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ain this the shit. "There's nothing wron g with a little charity.

For th e first time in my life I have met the system face to face. though. sma ller circles within this circle are also possible. hoXvever. G onzalez was quite tolerant of this gaffe when one considers that the company of late has been receiving fewer and fewer orders and that the orders were a demand from Kansas City for some five hundred dollars ($500!) worth of our product. By the time they had reached Constantinople Street the re was a hostile silence in the taxi. there was all of that mascara and lip stick and other vulgarities which I would rather not catalogue. Mr. Gonzalez provided a pleasant counterpoint to my reflections. Her mind was reeling with misconceptions and abysmal value judgments. almost. that Mr. Gonzalez aside to tell him that Gloria was planning to quit without notice at the end of the day. I suspect that this Medusa of capitalism has many valuable insights and more than one pithy observation to offer. incidentally. my "boss. so to speak. inadvertent ly set flame to some important orders in the process of lighting a heater. direction. it was the awful sound of Gloria's stake-like heels that led me to do what I did. which was only broken by the driver's requ est for the fare. Were there more firms like Levy Pants. too many people in tha t office will probably prove distracting) in the office can revitalize the busin ess and restore the faith of Mr. Miss Trixie. a young and braz en tart. The haggling that ensued was a blot upon an otherwise pleasant day. the wheel som etimes halts for a moment and we find ourselves in a good. and I know that I. to treat Miss Trixie we ll and to make her feel active and wanted. I am given to understand that he visits the busin ess rarely. he . but is nonethele ss quite pleasant. and shifting. The only sour note\u8212 ?and here I degenerate into slang to more properly set the mood for the creature whom I am about to discuss\u8212?was Gloria. Gonzalez. that he is actually. small cycle within th e larger bad cycle. I drew. that I am disheartened or depressed or defeated. and is therefore appealingly democratic in his retarded way.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius gave the driver the clipboard and a variety of instructions upon speed. I do believe that America's working force s would be better adjusted to their tasks. he will accept anything. I am in an inner circle. At the moment." is rather a cretin. affording himself an opportunity at authority whic h. made a very shrewd barg ain with Mr. thereupon. but I fina lly won my point by explaining to the man the dangers of my valve and of my heal th in general. Actually. Another day of that clatter would have sealed my valve for good. Levy The Younger. I have many plan s for my filing department and have taken\u8212?from among the many empty ones\u 8212?a desk near a window. is based upon the principle of the circle within the circle. So we see that even when Fortuna spins us downward. I do not wi sh to suggest. Mr. he could respond by transporting me to and fro by taxi . Gonzalez is under orders from that mysterious t ycooness. the stenographer. will eventually make Mr. Mr. Gonzalez: I convinced him that because I had helped him save the ex pense of Gloria's salary. of course.I am really quite fatigued as my first working day draws to a close. A fter she had made one or two bold and unsolicited comments about my person and b earing. Gonzalez. As Ignatius pulled himself angrily up and out of the taxi. I intend to draw Miss Trixi e out rather shortly. He seems eternally apprehensive. fully determined to function within its context as an observer and critic in disguise. our Earth Mother of the world of commerce. Miss Trixie's light snore and the fur ious typing of Mr. I have several excellent idea s already. Levy decide to p ut his heart and soul in the firm. Gonzalez puts it. too. dark waters of the harbor. Then. I could see. watching the ships from many an exotic port steaming th rough the cold. permitting me to have my will among the files. Actually. Levy. The obviously reliable worker is comp letely unmolested. As an exam ple of this. I have. the reputedly brilliant and learned Mrs. he rarely enjoyed. The universe. Mr. Mr. as Mr. There I sat with my little gas heater at full force t hroughout the afternoon. We must remember. But he has also been most courteous t o me. Levy did not appear today. Of course. certainly too apprehensive t o criticize any worker's performance of duty. for one." Perhaps the three of us (for I shall endeavor to make Mr. grew quite manic and fired Gloria immediately. "trying to sell out as soon as possible. Go nzalez dismiss the other workers if they arrive tomorrow.

Now perhaps I can play my l ute without her rasping denunciations assailing me from across the alley. honey. There was a localized explosion on the top of the stove."\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No doubt that was better than conversing with you." Ignatius climbed the steps ahead of his mothe r. Ignatius.saw his mother coming down the street. boy. as she walked redly a nd pinkly along the broken brick sidewalk. There was the old aunt who had been robbed of fifty cents by some hoodlums. Even though he had been seeing her ou tfits for years."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "In the confusion of Miss Annie's collapse. thank God Miss Annie has left for a while. Her brown wedgies squeaked with discount price defiance. what happened?" Mrs. the cousin who had been struck by the Magazine streetcar." Ignatius thundered."\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I stopped off at Lenny's and bought her a nice little pair of beads filled with Lourdes water. "Does she think that I'm one of these perverse Mark Twain characters?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql "I just come from seeing her. "Well. putting a match to a burner th at she had turned on several seconds before. Nerves."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. I suspect that that jewelry shop is going to be the scene of a miracle before long. Mary Street. a group of people who tended to suffer violence and pain. Ignatius noticed hopelessly that she had added a dash of color by pinning a wilted poinsettia to the lapel of her topper . Right away she started saying a rosary." Mrs. What is it now?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius imagined it was something in his mother's family. the sight of his mother in full regalia always slightly appalle d his valve.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It's poor Miss Annie next door. and I'll fix you something to eat. Lenny's. I almost got myself burnt. that offensive boy. Reilly asked. you seem to have forgotten that you shipped me off to Levy Pants this morning. my God." "Oh. Reilly said breathlessly when they met by the rear bumper of t he Plymouth." "Oh. the godfather who had touch ed a live wire knocked loose in a hurricane. babe. She's staying over by her son's house on St. which blocked all sidewalk traffic."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That is a lute."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Miss Annie loved them beads. "Lord. She says you woke her up this morning playing on your banjo. the uncle who had eaten a bad cream puff. babe.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh.'\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Have a chair. "A terrible thing's happened. This morning she took a little fainting spell i n the alley. Lenny himself may ascend. Never in my life have I seen a shop filled with so much re ligious hexerei."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Good grief. She was wearing her short pink topper and the small red hat that tilted over one eye so that she looked like a refugee st arlet from the Golddiggers film series. not a banjo.

they gonna pick me up in a few minutes. "Yes."\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "There are wonderful opportunities for advancement. Open you a can of peas. Reilly winked at Ignatius and threw his overcoat on top of the cupboard. And his aunt's a gr ammaw. so I guess she needs her sleep. Mancuso I can't stay out late. Take a look around the kitchen. "You can't bowl. " Oh. honey. Reilly opened a can of Libby's stew and tossed it in the pot."\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'm quite exhausted. I told Mr. wonderful plans for the aler t young man. How come that Myrna's gotta send out mail looking like that? . The atmosphere in that office is hypertense."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I knew you'd make good. Reilly was already going to her room to change clothes.\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Look."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What?" Ignatius screamed. darling?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Sixty American dollars a week."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql "This is certainly a fine reception that I am given after my first day of work. "I'm so proud of my boy. Mancuso and his aunt. babe."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs. honey."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius!" his mother cried. This is ridiculous.soon change. I got a cake from the German's." "Where are you going now?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Mr." Mrs. Tears welled in her eyes. circling his oily head in a clumsy pink woolen emb race that crushed his nose."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Thank you for your confidence. Take off your overcoat. "Is that true?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'll be in early. Where are you going to eat?" "I can get me some chili down by th e bowling alley. The salary may ." "Single?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "She appears to be. It looks like it came from that Myrna girl because the envelope's all dirt y" and smudged up."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "Aw. I'm still proud. You have arthritis or something. and they's b read in the icebox. a letter come for you today from New York." Ignatius said furiously. I gotta go."I am now an employee of Levy Pants. that's all? Maybe you should of looked around some more. but I can't remember ri ght off where I put it. too."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "How much Levy Pants is gonna pay you. I put it behind the coffee can. there is one. "They got any cute girls working there?" Ignatius thought of Miss Trixie and said." Mrs. I put a fire under this stew."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You think so? Well. We going down by Fazzio's to bowl.

I'm afraid\u8212?from what I know about clinical cases like yours\u8212? that you may end up a psychosomatic invalid li ke Elizabeth B.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Subconsciously you feel that you must attempt to explain away your failure. you must commit yourself to the crucial problems of the times.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} {\line } { {\ql "How unspeakably offensive. There is a si . You stay in y our room all the time. Ignatius. how could yo u write me a letter?\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Let us be honest with each other. drawing her out even when she doesn't feel like discussing them\u8212?and I can tell how fervently she appreciates these dialogues with me. On th e reverse side of the rumpled schedule there was a letter written in the uneven and angular hand that constituted Minkoffian penmanship. This "automobile accident" is a new crutch to help you make excuses for your meaningless. Ignatius? How can I contact the Civil Liberties Union with the little evidence that you have given me? I can't imagine why a policeman would try to arrest you. I gnatius. frightening letter that you have written me. impotent existence. we won't go into that aspect of the fantasy because I know how dedicate d you are in your opposition to sex of any sort. Reilly's doo r slammed. Browning. Ignatius found the envelope and tore it to shreds in opening it. as a n intellectual and soldier of ideas." Ignatius yawned. You need the therapy of sex desperately.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql I don't feel much sympathy for you.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Filth!" Ignatius shouted. Still your emotional problem is very apparent. Since you flunked that interview for the teaching job in Baton R ouge (meanwhile blaming it on the bus and things\u8212? a transferral of guilt). you must identify with something. You have closed your mind to both love and s ociety. I do not believe a word of what I re ad. Although it will be a low-budget number. Shmuel will also play the husband in the movie.\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ho hum." "You can't go bowling. a satisfying sexual encounter would purify your mind and body. We have found a girl from th e streets of Harlem to play the wife. I discuss her racial problems with her const antly. She is such a real. The fantasy about the arrest has all the classic paranoid qualities. to actively participate in critical social movements. a boy I've known since Taft High da ys. you have probably suffered feelings of failure. Myrna's habit of writin g to editors rather than friends was always reflected in her salutation:\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Sirs:\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql What is this strange." If both of your wrists were broken. of course. that Freud linked paranoi a with homosexual tendencies. He p ulled out some art theater's year-old schedule for a summer film festival. I might have believed the arrest if you hadn't written ab out that "automobile accident.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql However. At the moment my every waking hour is spent in helping some dedicated fr iends raise money for a bold and shattering movie that they are planning to film about an interracial marriage. vital person that I ha ve made her my very closest friend. "This is the most absurd thing that you have ever done. As I've told you time and again. It was written by Shmuel. Also. You are aware." Mrs. But I am frightened\u8212? for you. the scr ipt itself is chock full of disturbing truths and has the most fascinating tonal ities and ironies." Ignatius bell owed." Ignatius spluttered.I thought you said her poppa's got money.

an antenna that received no hopeful electronic signal from the outside worl d but instead discharged occasional smoke of a very sickly shade.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Four Levy Pants was two structures fused into one macabre unit. In other words. is beginni ng to bug us about salary. and over it he painted a dramatic and stylized version of a fleur-de -lis. Alongside the neat gray wharf sheds that lined the river and canal across the railroad tracks.J. standing directly beneath the sign an d examining it frantically. Ignatius." Mr. a barnlike prototyp e of an airplane hangar. you could be up here having opportunities like this. Don't write to me again until you've taken part. Ignatius found the tiny imprint offensive. the panes of which were mostly cracked.\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'll show this offensive trollop." was the factory."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What does it mean?" Miss Trixie demanded. an Irish landlord who refuses to rent to the couple.000 from my father. the audience will ha ve no trouble reading him as soon as they get one glimpse at that room. of course." Ignatius mumbled. Gonzalez referred to as "the brain center. I hate cowards. Ignati us was tacking to a post near his files a wide cardboard sign that said in bold blue Gothic lettering:\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql DEPARTMENT OF RESEARCH AND REFERENCE I. who by this time have been married in this subdued Ethical Culture c eremony. Miss Trixie had stepped on the sign during one of her occasiona l pointless tours of the office. The landlord lives in this little womb-room whose walls are covered wit h pictures of the Pope and stuff like that. a stor age area the second. We have not cast the landlord yet. Also write if you'd like to play the landlord. You see. and that bed. but the damage was limited to only a small snea ker print on one corner of the cardboard. REILLY. CUSTODIAN\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql He had neglected the morning filing to make the sign. M. I've humored you long enough in our correspondence. Already I've bled about $1. which Mr. Gonzalez said when Ignatius had stopped hammering. Levy Pants huddled. throwing the art theater s chedule into the fire beneath the stew. a silent and smoky plea for urban renewal. and refuse the first. Attached to this building. Minkoff P. The front of the plant was a brick commercial building of the nineteenth century with a mansard roof that bulged out into several rococo dormer windows.ck. "It gi ves the office a certain tone. Are you interested in the part? We can't pay mu ch. the unbelievable girl from Harlem. would be fantastic for the part. spreading himself upon the floor with the cardboard and blue poster paint and painting meticulously for mo re than an hour.S.\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} {\line } { {\ql Within the brain center there was more than the usual amount of activity. who is suspicious (as usual) of the whole enterprise. Still. that mother of yours. The two smokestacks that rose from the factory's tin ro of leaned apart at an angle that formed an outsized rabbit-eared television ante nna. reactionary villain in the script.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . if you would just decide to cut the umbilical cord that binds you to that stagnant city. I hope that we can finally get this magnificent p roject on film soon because Leola. Within this section the office occupied the third floor. You. but you can stay with me.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Isn't that nice. I may play a little mood music or protest music on my guitar for the soundtrack. Ignatius.

trip. some type of medicine. we must send that statement.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Mr." Ignatius observed. Gonzalez said cautiously "but I do notice that you have quite a pile of material on your desk that hasn't been f iled yet." Mr. I thought it politic to wait until he was sated."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I don't believe that my particular body structure is easily adaptable to that t ype of device. Well. when I opened the first drawer this morning." Miss Trixie said. But he returned with one of the smallest metal stools that Ignatius had ever seen. I shall try. Gonzalez said brightly. he looked like an eggplant balanced atop a thumb tack."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I have just the thing for that. he had suffered a tendency to fall. I would hate to contract th e bubonic plague and lay the blame upon Levy Pants. I don't want to pressure you." Mr. dumping Ignatius heavily to the fl oor. his dapper person quivering at the p rospect of an on-the-job accident. Reilly. Yes. I feel quite uncomfortable. Ignatius imagined. "What's going on around here?" She turned to Ignatius. yes. "We have to send that statement to the bank before noon. he had been a mass of bruises and hickeys." "Give it a try. and stumble." Mr. "However. He's been working with us for a week now. The pe rson who used to work on the files used to wheel back and forth on this along th e lower drawers." Mr. "Gomez." Mr." Ignatius said proudly. Gonzalez said anxiously. for the sake of Levy Pants. who is this person?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Miss Trixie. Th e stool tipped slightly and then turned over. I was greeted by a rather large rat which seemed to be devouring the Abelman's Dry Goods fold er. that. Gonzalez said and went into the little off ice storeroom to get.\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "This will never do. my valve has been misbehaving and has prevented me from bending ov er to reach the lower drawers. Ignatius traveled anxiously alo ng the side of the files until one of the miniature wheels lodged in a crack.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . "Here." Miss Trixie agreed and shuffled off to t he ladies' room."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "Go back and work on your figures.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I don't understand all this."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql "Oh. Reilly.{\ql "It is simply a guidepost."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Quite right. hi s knees reaching almost to his shoulders. Gonzalez told her. Until he was five year s old and had finally managed to walk in an almost normal manner. Propelling himself with his feet. Ig natius had always had a poor sense of balance. When he was at last nestled upon his p erch. you know Mr. Try it. a gimlet eye fixed upon the rusting stool. and ever since his obese childhoo d." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius squatted lower and lower until his great buttocks touched the stool.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "In addition." "R eilly? I thought it was Gloria."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh.

His heart sank."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Has she ever stepped on you."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No! You must never move a person with a broken back unless you have a stretcher . I had better go ho me immediately and bathe it.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I suspect that I won't be able to use this hand again today. withered lips."\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius watched passively while Mr. Gloria."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "But the filing has to be done." Mr. "You fool. Reilly."\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Let me alone. and squatted like a Balinese dancer. Get down on that side. She spread her sneakers far apart. Gonzalez snapped at her. Gonzalez squatted on his other side. I don't think you're badly injured." Mr." the office manager told Ignatius. "I'll help you up." Miss Trixie assumed what was apparently a hoisting position. Gomez."\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "We'll help you up. "I'm going to help Gloria." she answered through tight. toes pointing outward. We'll just grab Gloria by the elbows. dear. I'll never be able to use it a gain." she said feebly. you idiot? How would you know?" Ignatius sat at th e feet of his co-workers and studied his hand."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Miss Trixie is very light." Mr.\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . "Is Gloria dying. stepping onto one of Ignat ius's outstretched hands."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mr. "You're going to fall over.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "Oh."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Please try to get up." Mr. "Good grief!" Ignatius thundered and sprang into a sit ting position. Gonzalez c ried in his terrorized tenor. The thud of Ignatius's fall had a ttracted Miss Trixie from the ladies' room." "Here. I refuse to spend the remainder of my life in a wheel chair. she came around the files and trippe d on the mountain of supine flesh. "I think I've broken my back. "I don't think sh e could have hurt you much. I'm certainly glad of that. "Get up. "The bones in my hand are crushed."\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Are you talking about filing at a time like this? I am prepared to contact my a ttorneys and have them sue you for making me get on that obscene stool. Look how behind you are already. Gonzalez felt his feet turn cold and numb. Gonzalez looked at the mound at his feet ." Ignatius screamed. I won't be paralyzed through your incompetence. Mr. Gonzalez said sharply.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "Well. Gomez?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No. "I'll help you." Miss Trixie said.{\ql "Oh. my God!" he bellowed.

"Gomez." Mr. and he squeaked. A whiz.{\ql "You are distributing your weight incorrectly. Transg lobal Airlines sent you a certificate making you an honorary pilot for flying on e hundred hours with them." Ignatius said to Mr. I suggest that you try a standing pos ition. yes sir. He could not see the man over the row of filing cabinets. throwing him on his back once again. Levy studied Ignatius with ceuain curiosity. I have been w anting to meet him. "Hello there."\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Gloria!" Miss Trixie wheezed. What's this big sign over here for? Somebody's going to get his eye knocked out on that thing. the name on this sign. Gonzalez's chipper face hardened into a mask of horror. Mr. call a doctor. You received your new credit cards. We're so glad to see you." "Don't be nervous." Mr. I gave you my itiner ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I just came in to see if I had any personal mail." Miss Trixie said. rocking back and forth on her haunches. Mark my word." he told them didactically." gurgled from somewhere in the depths of Ignatius's throat. "What about th e mail. The edge of her cellu loid visor hit him in. Levy gave Ignatius a strange look. Levy said casually. Then she fell f orward onto Ignatius. Levy the m ail. I sus pect that the three of us will be injured."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You'd better start making my spring practice reservations."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Braah. that position offers you no leverage. Gonzalez opened his desk and gave Mr. who slumped to the floor. Levy.\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I have taken an unusual interest in your firm. he's made it possible for us to do away with several other workers . "There's also a brochure from a hotel in Miami. Reilly. Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Shedding Miss Trixie."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. Levy?" Ignatius called from the floor."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Miss Trixie. As a ma tter of fact. Ignatius struggled to his feet a nd saw a sportily dressed middle-aged man holding the handle of the office door so that he could flee as rapidly as he had entered. Mr. She looked into the full face directly beneath he rs. I will change your mind about this firm. yeah. "New worker. sir. the throat." the office manager hissed from where he squat ted beside his two underlings.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "Oof. "The sign which you noticed upon entering is only the first of several innovations w hich I plan. "Braah. He's very efficient. "Braah. "If y ou are going to attempt to raise me. this is Mr." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You don't say?" Mr. Gonzalez?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "Oh. "Go od morning." Mr. Braah. Reilly. Levy. Gonzalez?" "There's not much. Gl oria. Levy." "Is that Mr. In that way you can easily bend over and hoist me. get off Mr. I'm driving back to the coast right away."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What are you people doing down there on the floor?" a man asked from the door.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Braah.

didn't I?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "Yes. Levy said qui ckly. I have some letters for you to sign." Ignatius said when he found himself staring out the window at only an empty street. The office was already beginning to depress him. From a window the two watched Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yeah? Well. "Bette r check with that foreman in the factory. If Levy Pants was to succeed. sir. "Mr. "Don' t work these kids too hard. I have to go. Reilly." Mr."\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I know." Ignatius spied while Mr. So long." Ignatius said." "Who?" Miss Trixie snarled.ary of practice camps. "Will you please sign that corresponden ce so that I can file the carbon copies.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Mr. "We are going to revitalize. I had to write a let ter to Abelman's Dry Goods." Ignatius said and smiled.S. Gonzalez's high black typewriter. It should now be safe to approach what that rodent has left of the Abelman folder." Miss Trixie was sitting on the floor relacing one of her sneakers. What do those crooks want now?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\ql "Abelman claims that the last lot of trousers we shipped him were only two feet long in the leg. Ignatius imagined that Mr.A. Please keep an eye on things. Mr. Abelman." Mr."\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Okay. painstaking. Levy spe d away within a few seconds. the first step would be imposing a heavy hand upon its detracto rs. "Miss T rixie. Gonzalez meant Miss Trixie. who was snorin g loudly on the floor in front of the file cabinet." Mr. "I am going into the factory to speak with the foreman. . Gonzalez. Mongoloid. Gonzalez said." Mr.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He's a wonderful man. "A little Spanish in honor of your noble her itage.\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Perhaps I shall get to the filing. and Mr. stranger things have happened around this place. We always have trouble with them. carefully screwing the top onto his two-dollar pen." Mr. forged Gus Levy to the letters." As soon as the office manager went through the door. Levy pulled the door open. My wife asked about you." Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I hope that you will see some vast changes the next time that you drop in on us . Levy get into his sports car. Gonzalez screamed. suppose you sig n those letters like always. Esq. He had to get out. Gonzalez. Levy is talking to you. Take it easy. "I thought you said he was dead. Gonzalez told Ignatius fervently. Ignatius rolled a s heet of Levy stationery into Mr. What's his name? Look. Miss Trixie. By the way. Missouri U. leaving a settling cloud of blue exhaust. Levy said and slammed the door.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Seguro. as it were. Ignatius began to type the first step:\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Abelman's Dry Goods Kansas City. Levy Pants must become more militant and authoritarian in order to survive i n the jungle of modern commercialism. I'm trying to straighten out the matter. your business."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql By things. The motor roared. I.

you been over to the precinct lately?" Lana asked cautiously. and threw it into the wastebasket.) We do not wish to be bothered in the future by such tedious complaints. wonde ring whether there was an outside chance that Jones might be leading the cops to the place. y ou may feel the sting of the lash across your pitiful shoulders. It ma kes you feel good. This Jones was turning out to be a headache. you would know or realize by now that the offending trousers were dispatch ed to you with our full knowledge that they were inadequate so far as length was concerned. You want a raise. wide-aw ake business concern should be able to make three-quarter length trousers a bywo rd of masculine fashion. Yours in anger. thank God. We are a busy and dynamic organization whose mission ne edless effrontery and harassment can only hinder. Pres." "Yeah. unable to assimilate stimul ating concepts of commerce into your retarded and blighted worldview."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I told you I send the orphans things. I bet they be the firs orphan the po-lice be in-teres in ever. Were you more a ware. Darlene wants to dance. "I waitin for a break in the orphan ca se. I got enough problems already. tore up Mr. If you molest us again. as they did." Jones shot out a nimbus formation. You are apparently a faithless people." Lana thought of the plainclothesmen who had suddenly star ted to appear in the club late at night."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql "Say. Miss Lee. Gus Levy. I ain been visitin all my po-lice frien. I waitin till I get some good evid ence. Your advertising and merchandising programs are obvious ly faulty.:\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql We have received via post your absurd comments about our trousers.) and (2) as a means of testing your ability to meet the standards req uisite in a distributor of our quality product.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Happily pondering the thought that the world understood only strength and force. Jones.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No. your total lack of contact with reality.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hey. sir. picked up the stack of still unfiled material. that fat mother got him the green cap. 100\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Why? Why?" you are in your incomprehensible babble. I can tell th at. The trouse rs were sent to you (1) as a means of testing your initiative (A clever. in spite of the low sal ary. And I got worse pro blems on top of that. and slipped his own into the corres pondence Outgoing box. It's characters like that ruin your investment. Ooo-wee!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . I starvin to death in this cathouse. (Our loyal and dependable outlet s can vend any trouser bearing the Levy label no matter how abominable their des ign and construction."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That really soun like Night of Joy chariddy when them orphan payin in a lotta m oney for whatever they gettin. returned to the filing department. A little charity never hurt nobody. he comin in here anymore? " "No. "Business stinks. the comments revealing. Ignatius copied the Levy signature onto the letter with the office manager's pe n. Then he tiptoed carefully around the little inert figure of Miss Trixie."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Stop worrying about the orphans and start worrying about my floor. Gonzalez's letter to Abelman."\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "When your little orphan frien comin here again? Whoa! I like to fin out what go in on with them orphan. Please confine your corres pondence to orders only.

" "Wasn't that awful. There I was just a little thing breaking them ersters open. believe me. Reilly said ho nestly. I was right there with them ersters banging away on the banquette.{\ql Lana twisted up her coral lips and tried to imagine who had tipped off the polic e." she said into the telephone. Poppa was very poor. Reilly corked her bottle and put it in the cold oven. Reilly remembered the hor rible night that she and Mr. The police arresting one of they very own." "Red beans give s me gas." She poured another inch of wine." Mrs.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs. Suddenly Mrs. The bathroom was empty. which always reminded her of the scent of old tea bags. In the heat and confusion that had followed their r eturn home. Reilly. honey?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "I'm beat. "That's hard work. Mrs. Reilly sighed and looked at the floor to see whether the baby ro ach was still around and functioning." San ta said in her rocky baritone.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hey. "Hello. Many's the week we lived on red beans and rice. and Mrs. Mrs. "What you doing. You remember when we was out bowling the other night ?" "Tuesday?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No. S he had her a little seafood stand outside the Lautenschlaeger Market. Couldn't speak a word of English hardly. Irene?" a woman's hoarse voice asked. I didn't go to no school. She lifted her glass and wondered whether Levy Pants was b eginning to reek a little of used pekoe. kid. I just finished opening four dozen ers-ters out in the backyard. I think. but then the automobiles come in. bab e." Mrs. Reilly agreed. She sat at the kitchen table sipping a little mus catel and blew away the one baby roach that was starting to cross the table. It smelled as close as it ever did. Irene. d arling. why you called. Right off the boat. "So long. Reilly had tried one of his indirect approaches. The tiny body flew off the table and disappeared. Anyway. Poor momma . He had never gone to another movie as long as he lived.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I don't mind. "We sure had us some hard times down on Dauphine Street. and he gets his hand caugh t in a fanbelt. realizing for the first time that the house smelled different. the telephone rang in the narrow hal l. sugar?"\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. Standing there in the rain and cold with her old sunbonnet on not kn owing what nobody was saying half the time. Not me. She was in too pleasant a mood to harm any thing. There was no t elevision. It was hard in them days. s eemed to have lifted. Poor Mr. yeah. Reilly said. banging that erste r knife on them bricks. I almost forgot. Thi ngs was tough. He had him a jo b by a wagon works. Even the roaches se emed to have pulled up stakes. and Ignati us was conceived. When I was a little girl I use to open ersters up for my momma." "Me. huh?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "Poor girl."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Your momma was very excitable. babe? It's Santa Ba ttaglia. it was the night Angelo got arrested and couldn't come. We always had a lotta com motion around our stand. There were no complaints. While she was studying the linoleum. Reilly could not believe that it had really happened to her. Every now and then momma start banging away on me for something." "How you making." "You can say that again. nice Mr. Reilly had gone to the Prytania to see Clark Gable and Jean Harlow in Red Dust. too. Listen. us. too. but her son's curious personal odor." "I wouldn't try nothing like that. Santa. it was Wednesday." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql .

go on. Reilly said de fensively. kid. Irene. too. He's so sweet."Yeah. mister. sounding a little hurt. .' That' s all." Santa coughed hoarsely into the telephone. Somebody's got they eye on you. I was there with my daughter and her husband a nd I seen you with a lady got sorta red hair." Santa said."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ain't that strange? Who'd be asking about me?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I don't know. "Anyway." "Bring him along." Mrs. me and Angelo coming by for you about seven tonight. I seen him around the neighborhood before taking some litt le kids to Mass."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He ain't that old."\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I wonder who that could be. "I think the exercise is helping my elbow out. 'W asn't you by the bowling alley the other night?' So I says. Reilly said with great interest."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I don't know.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You come along anyways." "Aw."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Sure. "I don't wanna get mixed up with no old man. I seen plenty men giving you the eye in t he bowling alley. 'Well." "Why you gotta stay home. kid. 'Yeah. I'll tell Ignatius he can lock himself up in his room.' I says."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "We ain't got nothing worth stealing anyways. He sure got trouble at that precinct. " "Whoo! Ignatius ain't what you'd call the sporting type."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Fine. 'You mean the lady got th e henna hair? That's my friend Miss Reilly. I don't know where Ignatius gets t hem ideas of his." "Ignatius says he's making good at Levy Pants. Reilly said finally. girl. Reilly said qui ckly. You still cute. babe?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "Nice man. Irene. and Angelo can learn him how to bowl. "Nobody's gonna hurt him. try and ask by the fish market who that old man is. "Listen. kinda old. precious. Irene." Mrs. Poor Angelo."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius says he's afraid when I leave him alone here at night. I go there a lot. He says he's sc ared of burgulars." Mrs." " Aw."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's the truth. but you better watch out. and listen. it was the night you come for me i n that car of yours and we went to the alley alone. I think they his granchirren. huh?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Okay. darling." Mrs. girl? Angelo says he's a big man. Santa! I'm too old." "Me and Angelo be by at seven." Santa said. Ignatius been telling me I oughta stay home more. I ain't lying."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Listen to you. What he looks like. I'm learning her how to bowl. and this old man comes up to me and says. "That's sure funny. You been stuck away with that son of your s too long. This morning I was over by t he fish market buying them ersters.' And he says. He just tips his hat and walks out the market.

"In comes the good air. "Go play with your exercising board. The central machinery of the great life-giving unit throbbe d somewhere in the acoustically tiled bowels of the home."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "He does not look all right. Levy. I'm not going to go blind looking at a broken TV. Mr. blowing on t he black hairs of his chest that he could see though the V of his terry cloth ro be. Look how green his lips are. Xanadu of the senses. make the lighting"throughout the house as mellow or a s bright as the mood demanded. The tufts of the acrylic nylon carpets tickled the ankles of anyone kind enough to walk on them. the interior was a successful attempt at keeping the rustic out entirely. foam and down surrendering abjectl y to any pressure. You'd better take this set back to the shop. Levy said.\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . like a Red Cross instr uctor giving cadence in an artificial respiration class. He had just taken a steam bath and wanted to dry himself completely. and Mrs. Located throughout the house within easy walking distance of one another were contour chairs. turning her aquamarine-lidded eyes toward her husband." he said. Beside the bar what looked like a radio dial would. a massage table. He looks all right. who considered each other the only ungratifying objects in the home. sat before their television se t watching the colors merge together on the screen."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Of course you don't."\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql She touched the high plasticized curls of her platinum hair. out goes the bad air. a permanently seve nty-five-degree womb connected to the year-round air-conditioning unit by an umb ilicus of vents and pipes that silently filled the rooms with filtered and recon stituted Gulf of Mexico breezes and exhaled the Levys' carbon dioxide and cigare tte smoke and ennui."\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I just brought it back from New Orleans this week. "He looks like a corpse. who was submerged somewhere among the pillows of a yellow nylon co uch. Every cha ir sank several inches at the lightest touch. in comes the good air. within its insulated walls there w as something that could gratify anything. My hair was done today.\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The home was as sensually comfortable as the human womb supposedly is. Levy said. Levy said with great hostility."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The Levy home stood among the pines on a small rise overlooking the gray waters of Bay St. and a motorized ex ercising board whose many sections prodded the body with a motion that was at on ce gentle yet suggestive." Mrs. Louis."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I can't get on that thing tonight. Even wi th year-round air conditioning and central heating one could never be sure. shut up.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Perry Como's face is all green. upon being turned. She saw some terry cloth and a rubber shower clog at the end of a hairy leg . The exterior was an example of elegant rusticity. take it back again."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You mean to tell me they put green makeup on Como's lips?" "I don't know what t hey do. Levy's Lodge\u8212?that was what the sign at the coast road said\u8212?was a." "O h. "Don't bother me." Mr." "It's the makeup thos e people use." Mrs.

'Synthe tics over my dead body. too. So far as I'm concerned.{\ql "The hairdresser told me that I should get a wig. Look."\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The nation is lucky."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. That way I can change my personality. Absolutely nothing."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Good. Now you should see what Gonzalez calls 'the new summe r line. Period. Levy Pants is his company. Levy sighed."\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I want a brunette wig. That always makes me depressed. he started ma king trousers with pleats. she opened her purse to get cigarettes and a pac k of rubbers falls on the floor right at my feet. That's the tragedy of your life. Como's lips are turning pink. I had some interest i n that company when I was young. He was the Henry Ford of the gar ment industry. 'No ple ats! Never!' If I said. stop all that crap. I idolized you. Let it go down the drain. a little tyrant. I 'm tired of listening to you talk."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Christ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p . 'Let's try some of the new synthetics. you're already a brunette anyway. I wouldn't use it for a dishrag myself. Look what he b uilt that into. "You've thrown your'father's business down the drain. If I said. Well."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "My father was a very mean and cheap man.\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What do you want with a wig? Look at all the hair you've got already. It was handed all to you and you threw it away." "What's happ ening there?" "Nothing. Let's keep quiet. 'Pleats. he destroyed all t hat with his tyranny." "Your father had character. "You've never been a father figure to Susan and Sandra. Then when the plain front came back in the fifties. That's all my father's fault. You're comfortable. I spent my childhood in those pants. When I went into to wn today I stopped at the company.' he said."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "The last time Sandra was home."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "When we were married. With your start you could have made Levy Pants nationwide. I had plenty interest. I respected him. who wants that old factory? Nobody's buying the kind of pants they make anymore. he wouldn't change over from plain-front trousers. I'm tired."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's what I thought. He blocked every good idea I had for that firm just to prove that he was the father and I was the son. believe me." Mrs." "Oh. And the fabric. I thought you had drive.' They look like those balloon pants the clowns wear in circuses. You could h ave made Levy Pants really big. Anyway."\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Look. Maybe even an office in New York.' he said. think about it for a while and keep quiet. When pleats came in in the thirties. Gus.' " "He started peddling pants in a wagon. right? So why don't you let your hair g row out naturally and buy a blonde wig?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\ql "I hadn't thought of that." she said.

" Mr." "She's still alive. I'm enjoying this show."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't try to make a big Arthur Miller play out of Levy Pants." "Let's not start that again." "The woman should have been retired long ago. as usual. Go get on your exercising board. She must be made to feel wanted and loved."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Thank goodness I'm around to watch over you." "Then what kind of a grandfather are you goi ng to be?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I don't know. Levy gave the shower shoe a tragic glance. _I_ tried with them.ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's what I'm trying to say to you. I'd like to really get to work on her. Thank goodness _I_ have an interes t in that company." Mrs. When I went there this mor ning everybody was on the floor. You never gave your daughters an image. They're away at college. believe me." "But the com pany. You would have thrown her out in the snow l ong ago. Levy sighed. "Now I guess you'll spend all y our time at the World Series or the Derby or Day-tona. You wouldn't believe your eyes. get in the whirlpo ol bath. let's not discuss Susan and Sandra. " "And give up everything we have?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ {\ql "Give up what? They can fit your exercising board in a moving van. Maybe we could settle there."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The company has made all the money it's ever going to make. I want you to bring her out here someday. Now is the time to sell. where I know she must drive that Gonzalez nuts all day long. She'll wet all over your couch."\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "At least I have an interest in her."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Listen. That woman's a real prospect for psychic rejuvenation. Don't ask me what they were doing." Mrs. Let me alone. Levy whistled through his teeth. It's a wonder nothing's happened already." "Are we going to Miami next month?" "Maybe. A real tragedy. He should have lived to see this. but you should see this other character working in there." "It's a good thing your father's dead. You can play with her by long d istance." "I've already let you keep Trixie at the office. and that's saying a lot for her."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql . N o wonder they're so mixed up."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "How can you enjoy it when the faces are all discolored. "How I've stood this heartlessness through the years I'll never know."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I told you retirement will kill her. It could hav e been anything. I don't kno w where they got him from."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Bring that old bag here? Are you nuts? I don't want a reminder of Levy Pants sn oring in my den. I'm afrai d to guess what those three clowns do in that office all day long. It's a real tragedy. How's Miss Trixie? I hope she's still relating and functionin g pretty well."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "How typical. "Gonzalez is on the moon. Gus. We're luck y we don't know what's going on. When they get tired they'll marry some poor guy and everything will be all right.

dear reader. When he had finished that. I foun d him rather casual and unconcerned. He would have to speak with the man ager of the theater about booking such dull fare. For the journals of opinion there were "Boethius Observed" an d "In Defense of Hroswitha: To Those Who Say She Did Not Exist. but who are we to question the motives of these giants of commerce whose whims rule the course of our nati on." "The Danger of Eight-Cylinder Automobiles. it is true that in m y brief career at Levy Pants." and "New Orleans. Therefore. and I avoid that bleak first hour of the working day during which my still sluggish senses a nd body make every chore a penance. A more special aspect that may not apply in all cases is t hat my files apparently are a tenement for assorted vermin. However. an adjustment which I doubted I could make." "Abstinence. I find that in arriving later. He placed a new looseleaf folder befor e him and printed slowly on its rough cover with a red crayon THE JOURNAL OF A W ORKING BOY. But Ignatius had other considerations at the moment. he began writing on the first sheet of new Blue Horse pape r:\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Dear Reader. I do believe. His stay was brief and not at all businesslike. thereby proving herself even wiser than I had thought. I will say that the brittle and yellowing papers in the files cons titute a fire hazard. In theory the innovation is magnific ent. Levy. Mr. With a pencil he punched holes in the sheets of Levy stationery which already held some notes and inserted them in the front section of the folder. it has finally been painted and posted." In an attempt to crack the Sunday supplement market he had done "The Challeng e of Water Safety. Suddenly she was going out almost every night. Of course. may lead him to once again believe in Levy Pants. To be quite honest. that her apathy is a fa9ade for her se eming resentment against Levy Pants.). Books are immortal sons defying their sires. that contracting the plague in th is dreadful century would be only ludicrous. The bubonic plague i s a valid Medieval fate. the Safest Method of Birth Control. a rather imperial fleur-de-lis no w gives it added significance. for each was excellent in its own way. of my dedication. that I have grown accustomed to the hectic pace of office l ife. I have succeeded in initiating several wo rk-saving methods. Those of you who are fellow office workers and find yourselve s reading this incisive journal during a coffee break or such might take note of one or two of my innovations. he wondered why he had failed to sen d any of them off. in turn. Taking up his Levy Pants ball-point pen. -Plato\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql I find. the Hope of the World . though. I have taken to arriving at the office one hour later than I am expect ed. Today our office was at last graced by the presence of our lord and master. r eader. elicited little interest on his part. I direct these observations to officers and tycoo ns.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql There was a new. he looked at a pile of articles he had once written with an eye on th e magazine market." For the family magazines he had written "The Death of Rex" and "Children. I am far more rested and refreshed when I do arrive. and Ignatius w as not particularly interested in seeing it. too. for it is rather revolutionary . The movie being shown was a widely praised Swedish drama about a man who was losing his soul. In time he will leam of my devotion to his firm. he tore the Blue Horse bands from the stacks of new lined paper and placed them in the folder. City of Romance and Culture. and I shall have to see how it works out. I brought to his attention the sign (Yes. She grows more coherent when she speaks of . Opening his desk. " As he looked through the old manuscripts. though. Limited. I su spect that this woman knows a great deal. Ignatius quickly cleared the desk by brushing the magazine articles and Big Chief tablets smartly to the floor with one sweep of his paws. He checked the bolt on his doo r and wondered when his mother would be coming home. the work whic h I do perform is of a much higher quality. UP FROM SLOTH.Ignatius had decided against going to the Prytania. also. extremely commercial project at hand. OR. My exampl e. G. La Trixie still ke eps her own counsel. My innovation in connection with the filing system must remain secret for the moment. but that.

When I am once again whole. listening to his mother speaking to someone. "It looks safe to me. Such boldness had to be handled properly. my system is still in a state of flux. Your Working Boy\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius read what he had just written with pleasure. suffering as I do from these distractions at home. Just as he was about to throw the water on Miss Annie's still unopened sh utters. Gonzalez asked me to add a column of figures for h im. for she has taken t o wearing it rather than her celluloid visor on occasion. real document of a young ma n's problems. 1 have deep and abiding convic tions concerning social action. filmed ab ortions that were offenses against any criteria of taste and decency. "Tarye no longer. I have heard more than a little his sing and roaring through the factory door. this gesture may affect her and lead her to conversation. Until later. develop into something of a nuisance. depraved specimens of mankind who regularly bowl their way to oblivion. The Journal had all sorts of possibilities."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql He ran furiously to the kitchen. His massive tongue rolled up over his moustache in preparation and. strummi ng. That office manager could. pulled by the attractions of some technicolored horrors. I cannot abide those who would act cowardly in the face of a social injustice. I am certain that I can perhaps do something to aid these factory folk. I have noticed that she needs a new pair of white socks. At time s I find carrying on my blossoming business career rather painful. He had to prove his superiority t o the offensive minx. he might be able to do something with the factory workers which would make Myrna look lik e a reactionary in the field of social action. How dare you hide behind those shutte rs. Social note: I have sought escape in the Prytania on more than one occasion. It would be bet ter to wait until he had visited the factory and seen what possibilities for soc ial action there were there. I am still in the process of adapting myself to the tension of the working world.retirement. he thoughtfull y added the figures himself. reels and reels of perversion and blasphemy that stunned my disbelieving eyes. I shall visit those factory people. toward thyn heritage. Patrolman Mancuso said something as they passed under his window. a slashing. I tried not to make a scene. cold alley. I believe in bold and shattering commitment to the proble ms of our times. Perhaps I shall gift her with a pair of absorben t white athletic socks in the near future. vicious attack upon her being and worldview. . When he saw the state into which I was thrown by the request. he heard a car door slam out on the street. but my valve got the b etter of me. and sealed my valve. I was emulating the poet Milton by spending my youth in se clusion. the bustling heart of Levy Pants. and be of ryght good chere. Picking up his lute. and rushed back to his room. Irene. My mother is currently associating with some undesirables who are attempting to transform her into an athlete of sorts. and a woman's hoarse voice said. Ignatius closed his shutters and turned off the light. and study in order to perfect my craft of writing as he did . vital." "Shut up!" Miss Annie hollered through her closed s hutters. She seems to have grown fond of my cap. Some people were coming down the alley. It could be a contemporary. filled a pot with water.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "How dare you!" Ignatius replied. but my presently somewhat enervated c ondition precludes a descent into that particular inferno at the moment. incidentally. my mother's cataclysmic intemperance has thrust me into the world in the most cavalier manner. Hast on thy weye. "Open up there. Health note: My valve did close quite viol ently this afternoon when Mr. As soon as my system becomes used to the office. meditation. As I have told you in earlier installments. Therefore. he began to sing. Darryl. a chronic tosspot). ripping open his own shutters and looking out into the dark. At last he closed the looseleaf folder and contemplated a reply to Myrna. that shocke d my virginal mind. he decided to relax in song for a mom ent. I shall take the giant step of visiting th e factory. her current pair having grown rather gray. Now and then some factory worker straggles into the office to illiterately plead some c ause (usually the drunkenness of the foreman.

"Y ou people cut it out. my G od!" Ignatius said to the wind. Reilly gasped. "Pleas e stop.There ain't no lights on."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius slipped his overcoat on and ran down the hall to the front door as they were opening the kitchen door. slightly pleased. which was just wide enough for his bulk. A stocky woman with kinky gray hair was dancing alone on the linoleum. which were slung in a white bowling blouse." "Maybe you better stop." Lana Lee commanded. Reilly said and guffawed. Ignatius stuck a finger into the valve of one of the tires until the hissing sto pped and the tire's bottom pancaked across the brick gutter. carrying the swinging breasts and rotating hips back and forth between the table and the stove. B right lights were burning in the kitchen. Reilly was tapping one fo ot on the linoleum and laughing shyly at what she was watching in the center of the room. tipping the whiskey bottle to her glass. He must of gone to the show. Reilly laughed. Ignatius snorted to himself.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ {\ql "Whoo!" Mrs. Reilly.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You gonna bust a gut.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ {\ql \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Five Darlene was pouring water into the half-filled liquor bottles behind the ba r. Betty Bumper. Then he walked down the alley.\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hell. the woman bumped across the linoleum runway. So this was Patrol man Mancuso's aunt.\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Lord!" Mrs. Darlene." the gray-haired woman screamed back like a prizefight refere e and began shaking lower and lower until she was almost on the floor. but Mrs. and he could hear his mother's cheap r adio through the closed window. shaking her pendulous breasts." Miss Annie screamed through her shutters. rising rhythm ically." Miss Annie's muffled voice cried." the woman answered. Ignatius climbed the back steps silently and loo ked in through the greasy glass of the back door.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Cut it out before I ring up the cops. "Oh." Patrolman Mancuso pleaded nervously. and Liz Ste . Reilly screamed gaily. Her bowling shoes pounded the floor purposefully. folding the newspaper a nd weighting it down with her ashtray. "Santa!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Watch this. shocked but." Patrolman Mancuso said morosely. "Who's that?" S anta asked Mrs. I ain't stopping now. Only Patrolman Mancuso could have something like that for an aunt. Patrolm an Mancuso looked more downtrodden than ever." "Fuck Ignatius!"\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Santa!" Mrs. Bending over with great effort.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hey. I just got here. "What if Ignatius comes home and sees this. "You gonna go through my good floor. girl. Aunt Santa. kids. He went down the front steps and saw Patrolman M ancuso's white Rambler parked before the house." Mrs. His mother and Patrolman Mancu so were sitting at the table around an almost full fifth of Early Times. "Who says a grammaw can't dance no more?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Holding her arms outward. Ignatius noticed. " 'Frieda Club. listen to this shit. to the rear of the house.

" "Well. Half the time I gotta watch you. "A lotta empty space and few cops throwing signals at each other."\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh." "A what? Jesus Christ. Once upon a time it was nice and straight around here. I got a socko routine." Lana hollered. Now it's all dykes and fa iries. bumping his mop noisily against the legs of the bar-stools. "How I'm supposed to know who's a cop? Everybody looks the same to me. the phony clo thes. little Darlene's on the ball. If Jones knew about the police in the place at nig ht."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Then let me get on the stage and dance. were arrested from El Caballo Lounge. Customers in the lounge said that the man who fled was wearing bow ling shoes. The Steele woman threw a stool at the bartender. Lana."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. "Oh! Whoa! Where I miss a spot? Hey!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Look in the paper." Lana ca lled to him. Lana." Jones said. I don't want you sittin out h ere on my stools. I know every dirty cop angle. then goodbye."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You tell a cop by his eyes.. "Well. The woman's two companions struck the man. last night and booked with disturbing the peace and creating a public nui sance. I been in this business too long.ele. I mean. If you can't tell by the eyes. Some ho nest Joe tries to make off with one of those dykes and they try to beat him up. I guess yo . "But I ain't making no money I'm so afraid the guy on the next stool is the police."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "How I'm supposed to see the money? It's so dark in here I can hardly see the ey es even. "What we need in here is a animal. "How come they don't get a plainclothesman after women like that?"\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "This place is turning into a goddam precinct."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql "Okay. shut up." Darlene said. the incident started when an unidentifie d man made a proposal to one of the women. "Almost every other club on the street' s got them an animal. The marked bills. I can't stand dykes. I tj_ I ft can't!"\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The only people we get in here at night anymore is plainclothesmen." Darl ene said. He might get scared and quit." Darlene sa id. According to arresting officers. who fled from the lounge. Peter St." Darlene said." Lana said disgustedly. all of 796 St. discount porter." Lana turned to the entertainment pages and through Jones' s fog studied the nightclub ads."\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I ain cleanin up after no animal. to see you don't try to sell them a drink. I'm trying to help the bo y out and keep him off the streets. Darlene.. " She blew her nose. No wonder business stinks.' How's about that? People like that are ruining the Quarter. You know what we need in here to make money?" "What?" Lana asked angrily. It's full of pencil marks and crap. "I try to make a living. You're gonna try to sell a double martini to the chief of poli ce one of these nights. we're gonna have to do something about you. and the other two women menaced customers in the lounge with stools and broken beer bottles. "Now look here. then take a look at the money. don't tell that Jone s we suddenly got the whole force in here at night. 570 Burgund y St. All I'm putting on is a benefit s how for the Policemen's Benevolent Association. You know how colored people feel about cops. brain. Darlene. They're very self-assured. "Come on over and check under these stools.

. I mean. They got a snake at Jerry's. George." George was slouching through the door in a bulky red sweater."\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Keep on the floor. like discount price. You oughta hear that thing talk." Jones said and blew some smoke on the daggers. "I wouldn't give him nothing."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I couldn't get a blind Eskimo for the salary I'm paying him. you got any sugges tions?" "I suggest we vote unanimous agains changing over to a zoo. So you come around a bout twelve-forty-five. "I been practicing a smash dance with it. Since it's your idea. And he thinks if he tries to quit." Lana said and ran a finger along the ads. "You gotta keep up with t hings in this business." Lana said to George and led him out onto the street." Darlene said."\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Then get yourself a new jig." Darlene pleaded. remember that. huh?" "No." "What am I supposed to do with them packages all aftern . Chariddy begin at home."\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well." Lana said. nothing for th e orphans today. There's plenty around. If this kid's a orphan. "Watch out. if you ast me. The whole thing's a deal. Your orphan frien just pullin in.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "We could use my cockatoo." "Huh?" George asked.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I can't talk in front of those two jerks. "We having trouble with salary as it is ." "Thanks a lot. a baby tiger. and beige flamenco boots with slim-pointed toes. "Whatsa matter ?" George asked. The bird's very smart."\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Come here. I got cop trouble already." Darlene observe d.u'd like to become the manager of this club. "Look. I can ge t him arrested for vagrancy. Lana. . got them some doves at the 104. I don't trust him."\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "In color bars peoples all the time tryina keep birds out."\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Give the birds a chance. ma'm. "Look at this. white de nims. I got him on somet hing of a deal. He's operating some kinda shakedown racke t. This smartass has been asking me about this orphan crap si nce he first saw you." Darlene said. I'm the queen of England. you gotta keep your eye peeled for a bargain. this new porter's not like the old one." Lana said. a chi mp .\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Whoa!" Jones said. On both his hands there w ere tattoos of daggers drawn with ball-point pen. George."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "And that's where the people are going. in my lin e of business.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "They sure keeping a buncha hoods in the orphanages these days.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql "See that? Well them orphan they better star ap-plyin to the United Fun." Lana said quickly. "Sorry. It's humanitar ia time. Understand?" "But w hat about me?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "This Jones goes out to lunch from twelve to twelve-thirty.

Give me and the bird a chance. the filing seemed to disappear. Reilly on his knees changing Miss Trixie' s socks. You know what's wrong w ith people today? They're sick. There had never been a worker like Mr. a large bag preceding her." Lana lit a cigarette and matched Jones cloud for cloud. Reill y. Re illy. Reilly's handiwo rk in the office. so slipshod. We audition the b ird."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Go check it in the bus station. Reilly's competent ha nds. Mr. for him."\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It used to be the old Kiwanis types liked to come in and watch a cute girl shak e it a little. Mr. The d oor opened slowly as Miss Trixie made her day's entrance. his peaceful soul suspended in a Nirvana somewhere far above the two antennae o f Levy Pants. so interested in the business. Tacked to Miss Trixie's desk was a large sign that said MISS T RIXIE with an old-fashioned nosegay drawn in crayon in one corner. I don't want to be carrying that stuff around. The reason was Mr. Reilly had said would be brown paint with some black streaks to suggest the grain of the w ood. She looked down at her tattered nightgown a nd flannel robe. Bring in the goddam bird. my goodness. the L IBBY'S TOMATO JUICE and KRAFT JELLY on two sections awaiting what Mr." Lana went back into the bar.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I sure hope you told that kid off. He was even planning t o visit the factory when his valve was better to see how he could improve condit ions there. What fairy godmother had dropped Mr. He exhaled a thin stream of filtered smoke and aimed the cigarette 's ashes like a marksman directly at the center of his ashtray. GONZALEZ and was decorated with the crest o f King Alfonso. It's probably safer for you to be on my stage with a bird than on my stools with a cop. It was the only drawback. The other workers had always been so unconcerned. ther e was hardly any friction in the office.oon? I can't do nothing till after three. Tacked to his desk was another sign that said SR. It's hard for a person to earn an honest buck. In Mr. He was also quite kind to Miss Trixie. Now it's gotta be with some kinda animal. Gonzalez said in what was.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. Looking happily about." Darlene said. a very sharp tone. Of course. The purple monkscloth drapes that hung from the window next to Mr. Ignatius J. too. "I thought I felt a little chilly outside."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql Mr. The impossible h ad happened: life at Levy Pants had become even better. Reilly's desk created a meditative area in the office. "Somebody oughta report him t o the Better Business Bureau. We're boffo. His senses subconsciously savored the clatter of rats and the smel l of old paper and wood and the possessed feeling that his pair of baggy Levy Pa nts gave him. Gonzalez noticed the results of Mr."\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql . Mr. In several empty ice cream cartons on top of the filing cabinets beans were already sprouting little vines. Reilly on the worn and rotti ng steps of Levy Pants? He was four workers in one. I'll s ee you tomorrow. Gonzalez was touched by what he had seen the previous afternoon\u8212?Mr. Just be sure they're safe. He was so dedicated. A multisectioned cross was nafled to a post in the office. There the sun cast a claret-colored glow over the three-foot plaster statue of St. Gonzalez sat next to his little heater listening to the sounds of the river. Reilly was all heart. " Who?" Miss Trixie cried frantically. "Okay. he was part valve." she wheezed. "Miss Trixie!" Mr. Lana. An thony that stood near the wastebasket. I don't care. But the co nstant conversation about the valve could be accepted."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Whoa!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Come on.

Then. removing two quarts of paint from the pouchlike pockets of his overcoat. one end of it stuffed down into his coat. "Did you have a nice ride here?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Only fair. it m ay seal up for several weeks." Mr." "Am I retired?" Miss Trixie asked hopefully. Gonzalez squeaked. Gonzalez said with delight.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No!" Mr. I only hope that you have n ot damaged her morale. Gonzalez l istened to Mr-Reilly's heavy. She came to work this morning in her nightgown. Mr. Miss Trixie and I can only take so much."\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius frowned and said. "I do not understand why she was sent away. "I should hope not. Gonzalez sa id anxiously. "I just want you to go home and change. I may be able to aid them. Hurry up. slow tread on the stairs. By the t ime Ignatius arrived an hour later. Actually. Don't let me tell you what to do. If I wait. I fin d it rather comfortable. You only li ve around the block." he said majestically. sir.\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Good morning. After all ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I certainly don't mean to dictate what you people should wear."\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mr. Gomez. Gonzalez pretended to look for something in his desk to avoid the terrible e yes that Ignatius had turned on him. and banged out again. which she had left on the floor. when I finish the cross. I must not pass up this opportunity. I had to caution him continually. alphabetizing\u8212?all of tha t must wait until I have completed this project. I suspect that those people are screami ng for a compassionate ear."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The cross is top priority at the moment. Miss Trixie had not returned. Reilly appeared. "You may not be surprised to see me appear one morning in my nightshirt. we parted company with a degree of hostility on both sides. "That's wonderful." Mr. The door was thrust open ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It's cold outside. I am going to have to visit the factory. Then she came in again to get the bag.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql "I shall finish the cross."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql "I won't." Ignatius stared at the office manager." He filled a glass at the water cooler to water his beans ." "Of c ourse. and the marvelous Ignatius J. we are quite informal here.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Good morning. I suspect that the driver was a latent speed racer. Filing. "At last my valve seems to per mit a visit to the factory. a plaid scarf as large as a sha wl wound around his neck. banging it closed."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You can't stay at Levy Pants like that. We are one big family. Where is our little distaff member this morning?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I had to send her home."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Miss Trixie shuffled through the door."Go home right now. I'm sorry. a dedicated guide." Ignatius said finally.

He was dabbing a t the rough edges of the cardboard with the brush. "My valve will not tolerate luncheon me at. Gonzalez produced a wan smile and watched Ignatius open his greasy brown paper bag." Ignatius said to the office manager through the big leaf of limp lettuce that was hanging from his mouth."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql Ignatius bit into his first sandwich. and cap in one of the file drawers and began worki ng on the cross. n oting bitterly that her new ensemble was only a little more presentable than the robe and nightgown. takin g the sandwich in her claws and going to her desk. yes. her green celluloid visor facing the rear. you'd better. but I am afraid that there are only enough f or Miss Trixie and me."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql While he was tearing the filling of the second sandwich from the bread with his teeth." Mr. I would offer you a sandwich."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I imagined that the luncheon meat would activate her faculties.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Who?" Miss Trixie asked. tearing it in half.\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Here she is. Gloria. metic ulously applying the paint with a small watercolor brush."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's quite all right.\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I knew I had something on my mind all morning." the office manager said to Miss Trixie. "I'm going to have to work straight through lu nch anyway to finish these statements and billings. and lips that every piece of sandwic h set into motion. I'm afraid." Mr. "I wonder where Miss Trixie can be. Miss Trixie was still AWOL.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh." Ignatius replied coldly."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You have probably broken her spirit. she may appear for lunch. "I do hope that Miss Trixie does appear. "However. Over here. and chewed contentedly for a while." Miss Trixie said." Miss Trixie bumped into the statue of St. Gonzalez said weakly. but he received no reply. By eleven o'clock he was giving the cross its first coat. tongue.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You took a very long time to change. scarf. Anthony. sticking out a tongueful of masticated luncheon meat a nd bread. Ignati us filed his overcoat. Moth er Commerce.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . "Miss Trixie." he said after he had fin ished the first sandwich and emitted a series of belches which sounded as if the y had disintegrated his digestive tract. I have discovered that Miss Trixie considers luncheon meat a rather toothsome deli cacy. We must not allow Levy Pants to fall behind in the struggle for the survival of the fittest.{\ql "Then you must go to the factory today. I told her yesterday that I was bringing her a luncheon meat sandwich. Miss Trixie came in. Gonzalez looked over the stack of papers on which he was working and said. Ignatius watched with fascina tion the elaborate process of gums." the office manager agreed enthusiastica lly. Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yes.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql At noon Mr. Gonzalez looked at Ignatius hopefully.

"It is complete." "It took over an hour to prepare that statement. who had returned and was kneeling directly beneath it and praying in the spot where Ignatius had been standing to paint. Otherwise. Miss Trix ie hovered about him. Gonzalez. thank you. he had to lift Miss Trixie."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql "Why don't you go wash your hands?" Mr. Now I guess I'll die in this office. both of which Ignat ius found slightly distracting."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Will you please stop harassing her?" Ignatius demanded angrily. "Damn Mrs. to v isit the bathroom several times." Miss Trixie said. "Where's my Thanksgiving turkey? I quit a wonderful job as cashier in a nickelodeon to come to work for this comp any. Levy. Ignatius stood back and said to Miss Trixie. After the motto was app lied. Ignatius felt cheated. The office manager made the only noise in the office with his typewriter and adding machine. Gonzalez screamed.\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's a good idea. Gomez. Gonzalez. you old idiot!" Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Mr. Gloria."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql "How dare you attack the spirit of the noble Mrs.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Now look what you've done. But when she had at last eaten half.{\ql "I said you took a long time to change. sir. She only lives down by the wharves somewhere. He had hoped for a scene. Look at what she's done. dropping the soggy half of uneaten sa ndwich on top of the papers on the office manager's desk. take this." Miss Trixie said and tacked off to the ladies' room .\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "There was no need for the delay. Ignatius returned to the cross. Gomez. While the office manager bega n making a copy of the statement. "I shall report you."\par\pard\pl . That's the statement for the bank. the rats will storm us en masse."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\ql "Me? I just left here. however ."\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yes. Le vy. Gonzalez said to her. leaving only to seal some envelopes for Mr.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Did you enjoy that?" Ignatius asked Miss Trixie when the last grimace of her li ps had stopped.\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. I must say a worker gets shabby treatm ent around here. she slumped back in her chair. By one-thirty the cross was almost finished."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I want that Easter ham!" Miss Trixie snarled. That was delicious. It lacked only the little gold leaf letters that spelled GOD AND COMMERCE which Ign atius had ready to apply across the bottom of the cross."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I wish that you would take it. I'm retiring right now. Miss Trixie nodded and began industriously on a second sandwich. and to catnap. First. would you care for the bit of sandwich that Miss Trixie cannot ea t?" "No." the office manager said and returned to his papers." Ignatius thundered. I'm full.

"Then off to the factory. that his mother was attempting to accomplish several phases of her toilet at once. Then there were the noises that he had grown accustomed t o over the years whenever his mother was preparing to leave the house: the plop . and threw it in the wastebasket. listening to the sounds of his mother's preparations for an evening at the bow ling alley."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I don't know what whore give you the tip on this Night of Joy. too. N oticing that the office manager was sitting at his desk with his hand over his e yes. sir."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Shut up. that's beautiful. He probed the wax in his ears with the pencil and began to concentrate ." "Yes. Gloria. You know what we do to people give us a phon y lead?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No. pi cked up the accumulated and unfiled material. Ignatius pulled out the first drawer of the files. What had t urned up was these three terrifying girls who had struck him. If you knew anything about your job." Mr."\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Okay. The point of the Levy Pants pen did not catch on the first snap and slipped back into the plastic cylinder. Ignatius picked up one of the Venus Medalist pencils lying on t he floor. sir." "Well. you must go to the factory while your valve is o perating. but again the point slid disobediently back out of sight. studying the cross with tired eyes." "Yes. . si r."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't say 'okay. I cannot to lerate social injustice. Then he lumbered off to the factory door. You're a farmer today. but our boys hav e been in there almost every night and they haven't turned up anything. "Look at this." Ignatius said busily. Gomez . "What happened to you. Ignatius snapped more vigorously."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius opened The Journal of a Working Boy to the first unused sheet of Blue H orse looseleaf filler. du mped its alphabetical contents into the waste-basket.' Now get outta here and go look in your locker ." "Isn't that fine. who had summone d him. Ignatius went behind the filing cabinets.' Say 'yes.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Patrolman Mancuso had tried a little moonlighting in his effort to apprehend som eone. I thought . "I fell down. anyone for the sergeant." the office manager said. officiously snapping the point of his ball-point pen forw ard."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That sounds like you. After dropping off his aunt from the bowling alle y. he knew." "Yes. He touched the ban dage on his head as he entered the precinct to see the sergeant. . he had stopped in the bar on his own to see what he could turn up. turning it over. and.\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Now to the filing. you'd be in bars tip ping us off on people like those three girls we brought in last night."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "We put them in the rest room at the bus station." Miss Trixie said sincerely. There were many staccato footfalls back and forth in the bathroom wh ich meant. Mancuso?" the sergeant screamed when he saw the ba ndage. Gonzalez said. Cracking the pen furiously on the e dge of his desk. who had fallen to her knees ag ain before the cross."\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You stay in the booths there eight hours a day until you bring somebody in. thundering past Miss Trixie.ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. You gave us a phony lead.

" Ignatius replied icily.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Are you ruining that pair of absurd shoes that were bought with my hard-earned wages?" "Huh? What's that. Highly commercial. His mother's mar oon hair was fluffed high over her forehead. although that is probably one of Mrs. Ignatius. and a few loose maroon wisps."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\ql "Run off with your friends. Open up. Ignatius found the subdued and solitary din in the bathroom annoying and wished that she would finish. honey. he would have a rrested that 'aunt' right there on the spot. Reilly kicked at the door with her bowling shoes."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Mother. You oughta b e ashamed.Santa's a grammaw. babe."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Must you distract me at every level. Up rather than down . Battaglia's beauty hints. "Ouch!" his mother cried at one point. however. the front of her dress. Reilly's face."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Why you always knocking Santa."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't be like that. I am working on something with wonderful m ovie possibilities. the sudden exclamations of confusion and chaos."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql "Aw. "you have powder all over your dress. my God. the direction will be reversed." "Thank goodness Miss Annie's coarse cries restored peace the other n ight. At last he heard the light click off.of a hairbrush falling into the toilet bowl.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql "Open the door. If that man were any sort of law enforcement officer. If she ever nears me. One wild puff full of powder had whitened Mrs. please. Ignatius. the sound of a box of powder hittin g the floor. her cheekbones were red with rouge that had been spread nervously up to the eyeballs. I'm going.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql Mrs. I am quite busy at the moment. Ignatius?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "She appears to have been knocked a bit in her life already."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "All right. She knocked at his door. and come kiss me goodbye. And right in my very ow n kitchen."\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "She also brings to mind the vulgarism 'knockers. precious?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql Ignatius extracted the pencil from his ear and opened the door.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh." Ignatius said."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\p . Never in my life have I seen so shameless an orgy.

boy. and I almost had to get down on my knees and. "It's just like him to hang around a bus station. Isn't it enough that I am harried all day long at work? I thought that I had adequately described to you the horrors which I must face d aily. boy."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You know I appreciate you." A horn honked out on the street.lain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't knock Angelo. babe. closing the miniature front door. it's just fine. Ignatius. myGod."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql Ignatius bent down and lightly bussed her on the cheek. Santa says he's bee n in the bathroom at the bus station all day. That shows how retarded he is."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh." Ignatius snorted. neither." "Poor? Did I hear poor? When the dollar s are literally flowing into this home from my labors? And flowing out even more rapidly. Doesn't Mrs.\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I shall probably be misused by some intruder!" Ignatius screamed." Mrs. You never cared for nothing. He's got him a hard road. Reilly sniffed. I only got twenty dollars out of you this wee k." he said." "No. I'm feeling better. spitting out powder. you don't care. beg for it. Look at all them th ing-a-ma-jigs you been buying. "G rant me a little peace. Battaglia want you to await her debauched n ephew and her at the curb so that not one invaluable moment of bowling time will be lost?" Ignatius belched the gas of a dozen brownies trapped by his valve." Mrs. honey. That harmonica was rather cheap. He probably likes to watch those Scenicru iser horrors arrive and depart."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql "Don't treat your poor momma like that."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "I'll be in early.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Apparently your friend has escaped the bathroom. Bolting the d oor to his room. my God! Do I believe what I'm hearing? Please run along with your two cohor ts from the Mafia and let me alone.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. he grabbed an empty ink bottle and opened his shutters." "That is hardly my problem. "Now my mouth will feel gritty all ni ght. He stuc . Aren't you an arthritic or something? How in the world can you bowl?" "I think the exercise is helping me out. In his world-view the bus is apparently a good t hing."\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The movie camera will shortly be put to use."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't start that again. I do n't drive. Reilly said." "I got too much powder on?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "No. "Come on and gimme a lit tle goodbye kiss like a good boy."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I should have known that every time I open the door of my room I am literally o pening a Pandora's Box."\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "We never gonna pay off that man at this rate. Look at that movie camera you brung home today.

This afternoon. I set out to visit the clank and whirr and hiss of the factory. ( In this case. responsible for Miss T. With all of his strength.). over the turbulence and mania of ou r office. however. he h eaved the bottle and heard it hit the roof of the car with greater sound effects than he had expected it to. At the moment I am busily decorating our throbbing hive of white-collared bees (three). There are a lso three b's which describe most aptly the actions of our buffoon of an office manager: bait. Even the fish are dying. I may be wrong. I believe.) I have come to the conclusion that our office manager serves no purpose other than one of ob fuscation and hindrance. by that dreary fraud. I would imagine. I would imagine that today peo ple grasp for the cotton with one hand while the other hand presses a transistor radio to the sides of their heads so that it can spew bulletins about used cars and Sofstyle Hair Relaxer and Royal Crown Hair Dressing and Callo wine about th eir eardrums. This failure to ma ke contact with reality is. the visitors to that questionable mus eum would defecate into their garish tourist outfits. The analogy of the three bees brings to mind three b's which describe m ost aptly my actions as an office worker: banish. supposed to do when in groups al fresco]. I ha ve succeeded in laying a patina." Any connection between American art and American nature is purely coincide ntal. lest some professional civil rights organization be offended. (In connection with the watermelons. but this is only because the nation as a whole has no contact with reality . that grab-bag of our nation's refuse. Gloati ng. it represents the progress which the Negro has made from picking cotton to tailoring it. I am afraid that the list gets somewhat out of hand. the Mississippi as Father-God-Moses-Daddy-Phallus-Pops is an altogether false mo tif begun. Were it not for him.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hey!" he heard Santa Battaglia shout as he silently closed the shutters. a filtered menthol cigarette dangling from their lips and threaten ing to set the entire cotton field ablaze. All non-essential activities in the office are slowly being curtailed.\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Dear Reader. blunder. blight. Actually . that I have never been an o bserver of American folk customs. A great writer is the friend and benefactor of his readers. If only the Smithsonian Instit ution.'s desire to retire. I am certain that his dictatorial me thods are. That is only one of the reasons why I have always been forced to exist on the fringes of its society. they would at least be in the healthful outdoors singing and eating watermelons [as they are. feeling fulfilled after having comple ted the cross (Yes! It is completed and gives our office a needed spiritual dime nsion. which seethe with sewage. e ach worker frozen in an attitude of labor. I have never known anyone who would even venture to stick his toe in its polluted brown waters. attending to our dutie s in an atmosphere of mutual consideration.) My intense and d eeply felt convictions concerning social injustice were aroused.k his head out of the window and looked down the alley to where the little white Rambler was visible in the darkness at the curb. The sce ne which met my eyes was at once compelling and repelling. boss. I can at last de scribe to you our factory. the Mississippi River is a treacherous and sinister body of water whose eddies and currents yearly claim many lives. the other clerical worker (La Oama del Comercio) and I would be quite peaceful and content. it is mechanized Negro slavery. As I told you before. industrial waste. The original sweatsho p has been preserved for posterity at Levy Pants. and deadly insecticides. My valve threw in a hearty response. Mark Twain. Therefore. he opened his looseleaf folder again and picked up his Venus Med-alist. beg. \u8212? Macaulay Another working day is ended. beautify. bungle. I must say. bother. Although residing along the Mississip pi River [This river is famed in atrocious song and verse. in part. It is a scene which combin es the worst of Uncle Tom's Cabin and Fritz Lang's Metropolis. gentle reader. characteristic of almost all of America's " art. buzz. consigned to the Limbo reserved for those who do know re . burden. benefit. could somehow vacuum-seal the Levy Pants factory and transport it to the capital of the United States of America. (Were they in the picking stage of their evolution. as it were. bore. the most prevalent mo tif is one which attempts to make of the river an ersatz father figure.

This action on m y part led to a rather loud and defiantly boorish roar of protest from the colle ctive workers. massive sewing machines. h owever. At least its climate is mil d. on the other hand. I looked for Mr. Those things really must be removed. I must say that I admired the efficiency with which she whipped the material back and forth unde r the massive electric needle. al though the factory workers were shambling about clutching all sorts of scraps of cloth. The voyage by boat. burning coal and what looked like one of the cutting tables. There was obviously a morale problem in the factory. it is here in the Crescent City that I am assured of having a roof over my head and a Dr. Perhaps o ne of you. cutting tables. (Their huge white eyes were already labeling me a "Mister Charlie. She appeared to be fa shioning a rather colorful but nonetheless rakish evening gown. my face enigmatic behind a veil of mosqu ito netting. a flashback. I suspected that the obscene jazz issu ing forth from the loudspeakers on the walls of the factory was at the root of t he apathy which I was witnessing among the workers. with a legal turn of mind can dredge the appropriate cl ause from memory.ality when they see it. he was faced with the ultimate horror. especially when one sees Les Africains moving abo ut attending to their tasks in this mechanized setting. The t otal effect is rather surreal. I have never seen cotton growing and have no desire to do so. inci dentally. with no success. an indication that salaries in the area are abysmally low. althou gh I cannot seem to remember what it was at the time. a journey into the desert from which I returned broken physically. mentally. as the many contusions that he has sustained from falling down among the cutting tables and sewing machines can testify. and I am certainly not perverse enough to at tempt air travel even if I were able to afford it. He was probably quaffing a liquid lunch in one of the many taverns in the vicinity of our organization. the foreman of the factory. etc. . I noticed. On particularly desperate blocks there are three or four bar s at every intersection. and spiritua lly. The irony involved caugh t my fancy. I understand that the factory is not working at capacity currently. Palermo. Simply knowing that they are hurtling somewhere on this dark night makes me most apprehensive. a comfortable metropolis which has a cer tain apathy and stagnation which I find inoffensive. Also. it would seem to me that their height violates some i nterstate highway statute regarding clearance in tunnels and so forth. but in the summer I suspect that the workers once again enjoy the climate o f their forebears. barn-like structure that houses bolts of fabric. too. One woman. The only excursion in my life outside of New Orleans took me through the vortex to the whirlpool of despair: Baton Rouge. The psyche can be bombarded only so much by these rhythms before it begins to crumble and atrophy. normally only a few steps from the bottle. I wish that those Scenicruis ers would be discontinued. far from the trading company offices in E urope. there is a bar on every c orner in the neighborhood of Levy Pants. I found and turned off the switch which controlled the music. and I thought it doubly unfortunate that she was not lending her talents to the creat ion of a pair of Levy Pants . and I did observe that only one of these devices was operati ng. Perhaps I likened myself t o Kurtz in The Heart of Darkness when. I must admit. New Orleans is. I saw onl y one pair of trousers actually completed during the time that I spent there. smiling broadly and waving amiably in an attempt to acknowledge my poor judgment and to win the workers' confidence. who is." I would have to struggle to show them my almost . Nut in my stomach. . In some future installment. who began to regard me with sullen eyes.] have from time to time excited my interest. Therefore . pants. The furnaces keep the place rather warm and toasty on these chill d ays. The Greyhound Bus Line is suf ficiently menacing to make me accept my status quo. So I turned the music on again. was pressing some baby's clothing and another seem ed to be making remarkable progress with the sections of fuchsia satin which she was joining together on one of the large sewing machines. I do remember imagining myself in a pith helmet and white linen jodhpurs. dear readers.]. This woman was apparently a skilled worker. although certain sections of North Africa [ Tangier. and furnaces that provide the steam for pressing. I shall perhaps recount that pilgrimage through the swamps. In my innocence. Something from Joseph Conrad sprang to my mind.) The facto ry is a large. the tropic heat somewhat magnified by those great coal-burnin g steam-producing contrivances. would probably enervate me.

I must a dmit that my body moved with surprising agility. a worn old Negress.) Obviously continual response to the musi c had developed within them an almost Pavlovian response to the noise. Then. my ancestors must have been rather outstanding at jigging on the he ath." "The Middle Class Must Go . however. I do not wish to wi tness the awful spectacle of the Negroes moving upward into a middle class. at last rebelled. Negr oes are nonetheless a rather pleasant folk for the most part. She and I could live most pleasantly in some mold y shack in the slums in a state of ambitionless peace. too. I do admire the terror which Negroes are able to inspire in the hearts of some members of the white pr oletariat and only wish (This is a rather personal confession. I imagine tha t I would beat him soundly about the head and shoulders with one great hand. and since I have n o peers. I cannot imagine why. My considerable system. The agitation would take the form of many protest marches complete with the traditional banners and posters. I suspect that I would have been a rather large and ter rifying one. "Go! Go! Do it. Having spent countless hours of my life watc hing those blighted children on television dancing to this sort of music. Upon speaking with several of the workers. However. The Negro terrorizes simply by being himsel f. I mingle with no one. weakened by the gyrations (especially in the region of the knees). quite deftly. Whether my siege were to last a month or a year. for no good jobs would be available. that is. but these would say. tos sing. and I plummeted to the floor in a senseless attempt at one of the more egregiously per verse steps which I had witnessed on the television so many times. The workers s eemed rather concerned and helped me up most politely. do it! Hear me talkin' to ya. De Casibus Virorum Illustrium! Of the Fall of Great Men! My downfall occurred. Ignoring the eyes of the workers. was meaningless. all of whom seemed eager to speak with me. I am not without an innate sens e of rhythm. I. I would not be pressured by my mo ther to find a good job. Perhaps I s hould have been a Negro.) that I possessed the ability to similarly terrorize. But I am beg . I knew the physical spasm which it was supposed to elicit. for I mingle with my peers or no one. continually pressing my ample thigh against the withered thighs of old white ladies in public conveyances a great deal and eliciting more than one shriek of panic. baby. In spite of all to which they have been subjected. shared their high spirits. In a sense I have always felt something of a kinship with t he colored race because its position is the same as mine: we both exist outside the inner realm of American society. a respons e which they believed was pleasure. mumbling insanely. maintaining the intrinsic honesty and grandeur of my bein g. I discovered that they received even less p ay than Miss Trixie. Personally.psychotic dedication to helping them. I would studiously avoid sitting near the middle class in lunch counters and on public transportation. I laughed back to demonstrate that I. that striving. I co nsider this movement a great insult to their integrity as a people. Literally. I realized then that I had no more to fear concerning my faux pas in turning off their music. realizing contentedly tha t we were unwanted. would be too broken by years of underpaid labor as a domest ic to go out bowling at night. one of my Molotov cocktails into a passing bus jammed with m iddle-class whites with the other hand. In addition. smiling in the friendlies t fashion. However. twisting and shouting. They may seal their own doom. I really have had little to do with them. My mother herself. I would agitate against the b emused person who was attempting to help me upward. I shuffled about beneath one of the louds peakers. I must admit that this desire on their part leads me to question their value judgments. I would agitate quite adamantly if I suspected that anyone were att empting to help me upward toward the middle class. too. Wow!" I knew that I had recovered my ground with them whe n several began pointing to me and laughing. Of course. if they wish to join the bourgeoisie." I am not above tossing a small Molotov cocktail or two. I am certain that ultimately everyone would let me alone after the tota l carnage and destruction of property had been evaluated. must browbeat a bit in order to achieve the same end. However. it is apparent that many of the Negroes wish to become active members of the Ame rican middle class. "End the Middle Class. either. my exile is voluntary. if I were a Negro. it is really none of my business. and I attempted my own cons ervative version of the same on the spot to further pacify the workers. If a middle-class white were suicidal enough to sit next to me.

the Minkof f minx began attacking me on all levels. even kicking me under the table rather vigorously at one point. offensive maiden from the Bronx. Here I must make a note. who prompted my rather lengthy digression. cruelty. Our nation demands the scrutiny of a completely disengaged observer like your Working Boy. they had just lifted me from the floor. Some of them who had from time to time straggled into the office asked pointed questions about the cross and the attendant decorations. I discovered that their average weekly pay envelope contained less than thirty ($30) dollars . No wonder there was such apathy in the factory. believed that all humans living south and west of the Hudson River were illiterate cowboys or\u8212?even worse\u8212?White Protestants. a young undergraduate.inning to sound like the Beards and Parringtons and will soon totally forget Lev y Pants. for this was the purpose behind my visit. of course. A project for the futur e could be a social history of the United States from my vantage point. was granted) to gather some of her confreres about the cross occasionally to sing sp irituals. I shall perha ps etch a likeness of our nation with my pen. She dug into her larg e black valise and assaulted me (almost literally) with greasy copies of Men and Masses and _NOW!_ and Broken Barricades and Surge and Revulsion and various man . I thanked the m cordially. if The J ournal of a Working Boy meets with any success at the book stalls. Actually. and since pride is a D eadly Sin which I feel I generally eschew. The parochialism of the ghettoes of Gotham had not prepared her f or the uniqueness of Your Working Boy. We re I one of the factory workers (and I would probably be a large and particularl y terrifying one. A s I was telling you. esp ecially when the factory is one like the Levy Pants factory in which the leaking roof threatens to collapse at any moment. I then q uestioned them about the factory. although the workers were generally non-committal ab out their work. I met in the coffee shop one day a Miss Myma Minkoff. It is my considered opinion that someone deserves more than that in the way of a wage for simply staying in a place like the factory for five days a week.) Soon Myrna's brutal social manner had d riven my courtiers from the table and we were left alone. I was too much for her. They were rather eager to speak with me and seemed even most interested in me as a p erson. she told me that 1 was obviously anti-Semitic. We must hasten back on the wings of prose to the factory and its folk. and torture. they seemed more interested in me than-in anything els e. We chatted freely. Myrna.) When I questioned them about wages. And who knows? Those people might hav e much better things to do than to loiter about Levy Pants. a loud. Still it was incre dible that the disparity between the doldrums of the production line and the fev ered hustle of the office could be housed within the same (Levy Pants) bosom. as I said earlier). you see. I both fascinated and confused her. (I don't wish to especially defend White Protest ants. (I abhor spirituals and those deadly nineteenth-century Calvinist hymn s. I am not too fond of them myself. While I was desultorily a ttending graduate school. but I was willing to suffer having my eardrums assaulted if a chorus or two w ould make these workers happy. I was not bothered by their attentions and parried all of their questions bli thely until they at last grew rather personal. her worldview a compound of misconceptions deriving from a history of our nation as written from the perspective of a subway tunnel. Her logic was a combination of half-truths and cli ches. This expert from the universe of the Grand Concourse was attracted to the table at which I was h olding court by the singularity and magnetism of my being. such as composing ja zz or creating new dances or doing whatever those things are that they do with s uch facility. one intense lady asked permission (which. I was uninjured. the commercial muse for this particular effort. absolutely nothing was hurt. and I already have in m y files a rather formidable collection of notes and jottings that evaluate and l end a perspective to the contemporary scene. all cold coffee and ho t words. my performance and subsequent pratfall the sources of a great feeling of camaraderie. I would long before have stormed the offic e and demanded a decent wage. a class of humans who as a group specialized in i gnorance. As the magnificence a nd originality' of my worldview became explicit through conversation. When I failed to agree with her braying and babbling. in short. Apparently the dull hours among the cutting tables make a visitor doubly welcome. they meanwhile inquiring in their seventeenth-century English accen ts about my condition most solicitously.

My blood. Myrna's explanation was that the girls had been too reactionary to begin with. the other attempted unsuccessfully to slash her wrists with a broken CocaCola bottle. I might add. She had been hunted by bl oodhounds. Incarceration will finally make her life meaningful and end her f rustration. I understand. the usual theme of Myma's correspondence tending to urge me to participate in l ie-ins and wade-ins and sit-ins and such. however. The White Citizens' Councils. Since Myrna and I confused most of the other students when we were apart. succeed in thwarting her every attempt to assail the castle of my b ody and mind. she preached sex in every classroom and pizz a parlor. the monstrous valise were all gone. and with renewed vigor. Children for Miscegenation. She must be dealt with on her own level. it seems. Myrna was. I have seen that liberated doxy a few times since then. A recent communication from her was bolder and more offensive than u sual. Someday the authorities of our society will no doubt apprehend her for simply being herself. shocked by cattle prods. It is clearly time for me to step boldly . She had stopped throughout the r ural South to teach Negroes folk. I d id.ifestos and pamphlets pertaining to organizations of which she was a most active member: Students for Liberty. Campus rumor. she found me . When I saw her after her la st "inspection tour" she was rather bedraggled. however. on the other hand. (Myrna was decidedly masochistic. older and wiser. Bands of crackers and rednecks had chased her from villages . as a couple we were doubly confusing to the smiling Southern birdbrains who. and thus I thought of her as I su rveyed the substandard conditions in the factory. I have ignored her advice. She was only happy when a police dog was sinking its fangs into her black leotards or when she was bein g dragged feet first down stone steps from a Senate hearing. failed to rise. She had chiseled quite a bit of money from her father to go away to college to see what it was like "out there. Meanwhile. Heeding Myrna's counsel with the eager assi stance of various young men. I may make the trip. made up the student body. She had loved every minute of it. unfortunately. saying in her offensive manner." The black leotards. the palmlined campus returned to i ts traditional lethargy and necking. terribly engaged in her society. She promulgated this philosophy wi th disastrous effects to two Southern belles whom she took under her wing in ord er to renovate their backward minds. Since. At the moment that little musky Minkoff minx is probably in some tunnel far beneath the streets of the Bronx speeding in a s ubway train from a meeting on social protest to an orgy of folk singing or worse . was te rribly dis-engaged. The Negroes.) I must admit that I always suspected Myrna of being interested in me sensually. preferred more contemporary music and turned up their transistor radios loudly and defiantly whenever Myrna began one of her lugubrio us dirges. If I am eve r really well. whipped her a bit about the arms. Friends of Latv ia. I. I do not eat at lunch counters and do not swim. songs she had learned at the Library of Congre ss. showing me quite proudly (an d. you see . the whites had shown gr eat interest in her. stopping eventually in New Orleans to harangue me and to attempt to seduce me with the grim prison and chain-gang songs she strums on her guitar. Although the Negroes had tried to ignore her. chewed by police dogs. After several seme sters Myrna disappeared from the college. suggestively) a fang mark on her upper thigh. My stunned and dis believing eyes noted that on that occasion she was wearing dark stockings and no t leotards. "This place can't teach me anything I don't know. for. The trauma of our first meeting fed each other's masochism and led to an affai r (platonic) of sorts. The subsidiary theme in the correspondence is one urging me to come to Manhattan so that she and I may rais e our banner of twin confusion in that center of mechanized horrors. in a sense. I became another project of sorts. The Black Muslims. I tried to guide her toward the path of truth. for the most part. peppered lightly with shotgun pellets. one of the simple lovelies suffered a nervous break down. Too long have I confined mysel f in Miltonic isolation and meditation. from time to time she embarks on an "inspection tour" of the S outh. Youth for Sex. li nked us in the most unspeakably depraved intrigues. slashed her tires. she is also offensive. Myrna's cure-all for everyth ing from fallen arches to depression was sex." Unfortunately. Myrna is very sincere. We do correspond quite regularly. my stringent attit ude toward sex intrigued her. the matted mane of hair. almost getting herself raped by a janitor in the Social Studies buildi ng. however.

made him a patron saint of teachers. and bathe my cri ppled hands in some warm water. topple (all too literally) Mr. yello wed sheet of Big Chief tablet paper on which was printed with a red crayon:\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Your total ignorance of that which you profess to teach merits the death penalty . I must lay down my pencil. One of the mor e powerful civil rights organizations will no doubt cover me with laurels. Mother gone again. not in the boring. you "anyone for tenni s?" golf-playing. but with great style and zest. too. for our cause in the factory . lookin g like a courtesan. looking out of the window of his office in the Social Studies Building. valve temporarily open (halfway) Social note: Nothing today.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. He put his cigarette in the ashtray and began on the bottom drawer again. Across the dark campus he saw some lights from the nig ht classes in other buildings. incidentally. The lecture wa s to be given tomorrow. has revealed his hopelessness by revealing a fetish for Greyhound buses." Talc said aloud. Martin de Torres. Until later. Tomorrow I will describe in detail my answer to the Myrna Minkoffs of the world. his eye fell upon a rough. he will perhaps aid us in the office. you will not die as a martyr \u821 2?for you further no holy cause\u8212?but as the total ass which you really are. Pray to him. daring. I doubt whether you would know that St. depth. Zorro\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql A sword was drawn on the last line of the page. Because he is also invoked against rats. my engine of truth. Gary. The result may. for you do indeed need a heav enly patron. I wonder whatever happened to him. and I feel that my Levy circle-within-a-circle is zooming upward to new successes and heights.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Six Mattie's Ramble Inn was on a corner in the Carrollton section of the city wh . Talc lit a Benson and Hedges. he thumbed through them one by one and found that they were. His death. You will be witnesses to a cer tain courageous. one of her cohorts. Although your days are numbered.into our society. you might like to know. Gonz alez as a power within Levy Pants. you deluded fool. principally un-returned essays that had accumulated over a period of mor e than five years. There is an almost unbearable pain needling my fingers as a result of these overabund ant scribblings. Ta lc was renowned for the facile and sarcastic wit and easily disgested generaliza tions that made him popular among the girl students and helped to conceal his la ck of knowledge about almost everything in general and British history in partic ular. and it was now almost eight-thirty. Your Militant Working Boy\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Dr. I am going to pray to S t. notes hurriedly copied from a hundred-p age survey of British history that he had once read in paperback. and aggressive decision on the part of the author. In th e rear of the drawer there was a stack of old papers that he had not examined ve ry thoroughly during his first search through the desk. a de cision which reveals a militancy. a martyr's honorable one. All night he had been ransacking his desk for his notes on the British monarch of legend. My intense devotion to the cause of justice has led to this lengthy diatribe. passive manner of the Myrna Minkoff school of social action. As a lecturer Dr. Cassian of Imola was stabbed to death by his students with their styli. Health note: Hands crippled. That fiend must be dealt with. the patron saint of mulattoes. But even Talc realized that his reputation for sophistication and glibness would not save him in the face of his being unable to remember absolutely anyth ing about Lear and Arthur aside from the fact that the former had some children. As he turned over one essay. cocktail-quaffing pseudo-pedant. as he had im agined. Placing the papers in hi s lap. and strength quite unexpected in so gen tle a nature.

Hey! I think that Lee got some connection with the po-lice. soft drinks. She been workin for that Lee mother a long tim e. 'Chariddy. it was low. 'Hey boy. Mattie's was a combination bar and grocery. You don understan at all. In the air there is always the heavy. you so sweet. "Be well behave with the lady.' She say. you the kinda fool oldtimey nigger I been lookin for all my life. you really been brainwash. Charles Avenue and th e Mississippi River meet and the avenue ends. How come? Tell me that. "\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hey! You soun just like the Lee mother. yes. Jones was perched on a wooden stool." Jones said. his legs bent under him like ice tongs ready to pick up the stool and boldly carry it away before Mr. cloying odor of the alcohol distillery on the riv er. 'Hey. I' m glad that girl gettin a chance. Charles Avenue and enter this neighborhood.' And you be bustin your ass f allin off a chandelier you been dustin and some other whore frien of her comin i n so they can compare they price. they gradually change from asphalt to gravel. boy. Here an angle is formed. after having run parallel for six or seven miles. Even the screen on the door advertised a brand of bread. cafe au la. But I bet that bird be makin more money than me. imperfectly vertical. the quiet. She say she got such a h igh class place a po-lice never stick a foot in her door. that sure a lousy show you puttin on. Its facade was al most invulnerable. Mattie's rambled slightly t o the right. It i s an old rural town that has even a few bams. Too bad you two ain met. though . I got a job workin with a bird. I'm well behave. Wat son. the river and levee and railroad tracks on the other. bread.\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The problem come from not havin no vocation skill. "You ain got nobody to come in and mop your flo. man. unpainted."\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Be good. Shit! I like to fin out what goin on. ma'm. Watson's old eye s." "Don't get yourself in no trouble. And I know they somethin wron cause all of a sudden the Head Orphan s top showin up cause I'm axing plenty question." Jones formed a thunde rcloud over the little bar. Mr." Jones was saying to Mr. Beside the bar there was an ice chest that cooled a few pounds of pickled meat and sausage. St. As the city's streets cross St. As soon as somebody like Lee say. Within this angle there is a separate little neighborhood. an alienated and microcosmic villa ge within a large city. She need a break. 'Yes. "If I had me some trainin I wouldn be moppin no old whore flo. I tire of bein caught in a trap payin me twenny dollar a week."\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Wha? Ooo-wee. S he all the time tellin me about her frien on the force.' you know they somethin crooker i n the air. She say. how's about scrubbin my tawlet and polishin my shoe?' And you be sayin. "She operatin somethin with that orphan crap. The neighborhood grew haphazardly a century or so ago and today looks hardly urban at all. Ho w you like workin with a bird?" Jones aimed some smoke over the bar. workin with ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Whoa! Hey. She love you. tilting toward the railroad tracks and the river.' Ooo-wee. Mattie's Ramble Inn looked like all the buildings on its block. Watson. an odor that becomes suffocating on hot summer afternoons when the breeze bl ows in from the river. tan . And there was no Mattie.ere. the avenu e and its streetcar tracks on one side. how's about waxin my floor and paintin my wa ll? You so darlin. "I mean.it owner." Mr." "Didn that lady say she call a po-lice if you give her trouble?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "She got me there. 'Hey. Watson answered vaguely. Han us back them nickel before we call a po-lice. the grocery aspect limited to a sparse selection of goods. and canned foods fo r the most part. Whoa!" "Be nice. and Lee star throwin some nickel at your feet and say. ma'm. had sole authority over the restricted merchandise. covered as it was with tin advertising posters for a variety of beers and cigarettes and soft drinks. Jones.

"You tryina sell me another beer. The man chuckled until his eyes filled with tears and he said." Mr."\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Wha you mean 'sabotage'?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You know. Watson whispered."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "We really plannin big sabotage."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It sound like you peoples having more than sabotage." Jones said."\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Whoa!" Jones said. "Like the boy workin in the supermarket suddenly get slipper y fingers and drop a dozen aigs on the floor cause he ain been pay overtime. "We havin a big demonstration where I work. Watson said proudly. if conditions really bad . You sen you boy to college with the money you been makin in here." the other man at the bar said."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Rats? Whoa! You peoples got a one-hunner-percen freak on your hand. some color TV. leaning over the b ar and handing Jones the beer. "He very religious.a bird as big as a eagle. man. I wanna get someplace. breaking his si lence. If I quit. Whoa! I never go to school more than two year in my life. He built him . I'm rollin. If I stay." "Well.\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ain that fine. a poor color boy bustin his ass for twenny dollar a week? I think i' about time you gimme a free beer with all the money you make sellin pickle m eat and sof drink to po color peoples. Like the parkin lot attendant takin too much crap skid on some oil and crash a car into the fence. he had been silently following their conversation for several minutes." Mr." "Be nice. Watson said confidentially. got a boss probly sellin Spanish fly to orphan." "Yeah?" Jones asked." "You want a nother beer?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Jones looked at the old man through his sunglasses and said. "Where? "\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "At Levy Pant. I get report for be in vagran." Mr. The other man at the bar bent toward them to list en."\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He very smart. too. I spen all my time rollin tire aroun the street."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I tell you what you can do. sit around drinkin somethin better than beer. Whoa! I want me a air cond ition. . man. momma washin. Hey !" "Now you got it. "It sound lik e you havin a war. opening a beer. That's the only way you fight that kinda trap. "You try you a little sabotage. Ooowee. Watson told the stranger. be respectful." Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ {\ql " 'Really bad? Hey! I'm workin in modren slavery."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He a schoolteacher now. "This man say he pray in for the mulattas and the rats all over the world. nobody learnin n othin. ain nobody talkin about school. We got this big old white man comin in the factory tellin us he l ike to drop a atom bum on top the company. I'm gainfully employ on a salary ain even startin to be a minimal wage. "Like the maid ain bein paid enough to th row too much pepper in the soup by accident. My mom ma out washing other people clothin. Shit! Who lookin for a tire roller to give them a job? I end up gainfully employ workin with a bird. ." the man said defensively.

" the man said. streamers of mauve. He tell us he got permissio n from Mr. tell us Mr. He even let him come back in the factory any time this guy want to. Gonzala. He always interes tin to listen to when he flappin his big moustache. That Mr."\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Jones's eyes widened behind his glasses. got him a huntin cap he wearin all the time. "You peoples in plenty trouble. "I sure don wanna get led on no demonstration by a convic. You peoples gotta get yo u a cannon and some arrows. and the manager in there. Levy hisself to have a demonstration."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mr. He wanted by a po-lice."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Tell me. tell us he go ridin into the har of darkness on a bus one time. Stay away from that freak. "We ain't got nothin better to do in that factory. A po-lice already lookin for that freak. How you know that?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Whoa!" Jones said." the man admitted. "He tell us about a bus. He let him do wh atever he want. and it sound like he gonna lead you peoples right into jail. Whoa!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. Levy want us to dem onstrate and get rid of Gonzala. he noticed that the bean vines we re growing so healthily that they had even begun to twine downward through the h . Looking happily into Mr. what this white savior cat look like?" Jones asked with interest. He symbolically lit his little h eater and a filtered cigarette with the same match. too."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well."\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He kinda strange." Jones said . gray." the man said. He come in the Night of Joy one night. Reilly's area. and tan crepe paper looped from light bulb to light bulb across the ceiling."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "Whoa!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He say.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\ql "This huntin cap green? He got him a green cap?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yeah. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He big and fat. as usual." "Yeah. he think this guy pretty sharp. Who know? Maybe they raise our wage. "He sound like a crazy white mother. lighting two torches that si gnaled the start of another working day. He gonna lead us in a big de monstration he say make all the other demonstration look like a ladies' social."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He the same one. Reilly had added a new touch to the office the day befor e.a big cross right in the office. 'You peoples all be happier in the middle age.' " The man lau ghed again. Then he applied his mind to his early m orning meditations. Mr. man. I gotta ax him about that. "But he work right in that office. Gonzalez was at Levy Pants early. Mr. The cross and signs and streamers in the office remind ed the office manager of Christmas decorations and made him feel slightly sentim ental. You po colo r peoples all get your ass throwed in jail. covering the bar with some more smoke. G onzala afred of him already. star tellin this Darlene gal about a bus. whaddya know. Plenty peoples ready to do demonstrate with him. drop a nucular bum on top this place.

. driving him perhaps like a stake through the unpredictab le flooring of the office. Please! I am deteriorating into a state of total anxiety .\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Good morning. he thought. Reilly. Mr. he was willing to extend the same courtesy to them. Reilly?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You heard what I said. there!" he shouted down. Gonzalez dreaded the thought of a battle with him. were lifting him onto one of the cutting tables. Mr.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It feels rather loose."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Do you believe that I am here early for some purpose?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No. Four of the male factory workers were embracing Ignat ius around the Smitnfield hams that were his thighs and. When he did find the proper courage. "Up." Mr. he was surprised to see Mr." Ignatius called nervously. Above the shoulders of his c arriers Ignatius barked directions as if he were supervising the loading of the rarest and most precious of cargoes." a lifter panted. His feet grew numb when he thought of one of those bear's paws landing squarely on the top of his head." "Don't you worry. However." They were not his to worry about.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. Palermo." The workers watched with interest as the lifters tottered back and forth unde r their burden. Reilly had lately become somewhat distant and unapproachable. his scarf-shawl flying horizontall y in his wake like the flag of some mobilized Scottish clan. ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What do you mean? I always arrive at this time. sir. R. up. of course. with considerable effor t. Gonzalez said meekly. Gonzalez wondered how the file clerk managed to do his filing without disturbing the tender shoots."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Apparently you are not. Mr. sir. "Oh. "Backward until the t able is directly beneath me. Reilly himself burst like a torpedo through the door. the office manager intended to approach Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What." Ignatius said brusquely. Mr. one of the workers ha d become a father or won something in a raffle.andles of the file drawers." Ignatius answered and lumbered through the door to the factory. "Now backward. Gonzalez tried to compose himself again but was disturbed by what s ounded like a cheer from the factory. Be careful.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql "Up and to the right. Slowly. To him they we re simply part of the physical plant of Levy Pants not connected with "the brain center.. I ." one of the lifters answered. his body slamming into a post. Is y our grip tight?" "Yeah. Why are you so strangely suspicious? Your eyes are literally fli ckering with paranoia.. Pondering this clerical ridd le. you certainly are early today. Perhaps." Ignatius replied. "We ai min you right at that table. they were under the drunken control of Mr. Reilly in a most politic manner about the amount of time he was spending in the factory. Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Speak up. A cheap movie camer a was slung over his shoulder and under his arm he had a bundle which appeared t o be a rolled-up bed sheet. and Mr. So long as the factory workers l et him alone. Mr.

Ignatius wondered how that worker had learned of the mongoloid Mancuso's attempted arrest. "Somebody tell me you in trouble with a police. pardon me. "the table r ight behine us now.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What?" Ignatius screamed. confi rms my faith in the ultimate success of our crusade today. the moment seemed to have been saved. R." "What he say?" one worker asked another. "My God! You ha ve really assembled a rather formidable and diffuse armory."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ {\ql A cry arose from the other workers. R.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "We shall storm the office very shortly. holding the bundled bed she et over his pelvis to hide from his audience the fact that during the process of being lifted."\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Slowly. "You men gonna bust his haid wid e open. All right. we must fight fire with fire. Mr.\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Now this we will carry with us in the vanguard!" Ignatius shouted over the last sprinkled applause. "Someone help! In another moment I shall prob ably be a broken heap. "At last the day is ours.my God! My shoulder is dislocated.. Among the yellow stains the word FORWARD was printed in high block let . watch out with Mr. "Friends!" Ignatius said grand ly and lifted the arm that was not holding the sheet. In our wake." a man called out from the crowd. he had become somewhat stimulated.. the m ore definitive the results. the more definitive the blow. All of you must realize that our cause has many enemies." "Please!" Ignatius cried." a lifter said breathlessly. extending his big toe downward with great caution.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ {\ql "Hey. the workers waved some fence posts. "Where did you hear such slander? That is totally fal se. bicycle chains. How dare you. perhaps even Gonzalez himself no doubt began that vile rumor. Mr. flapping it open."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql While the workers were applauding him soundly. thereby surprising the foe when his sen ses are still subject to the psychic mists of early morning. I suspect that it would have been much wiser to address the group from floor level. He dramatically whipped from his pelvis the sheet. some upstate red-neck. sir." From the grou p around the cutting table there issued neither confirmation nor denial. therefore. "Wel l. R. When I have steadied myself. broomsticks. we must leave a sacked and pillaged Levy Pants." "Look. The table right under you. and bricks. R. I hope that you have all remembered to bring your engines of war."\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hey. However. Mr." Ignatius said. That patrolman was the fly in e veryone's ointment. Is that right?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql A wave of anxiety and uneasiness broke over the workers." someone screamed.." Giggling in chorus." "Put your feets down. However. My cursory inspection of your arms. "I mean the sticks and chains and clubs and so forth. so it is. Some white supremacist. Perhaps he had been st anding in the crowd before the department store. you may release your hold u pon my body. The violence of our attack may surpass my expectations."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius was at last vertically atop the long table."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I shall probably be dumped into one of the furnaces before this misadventure te rminates.

ters in red crayon. Below this Crusade for Moorish Dignity was written in an int ricate blue script.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I wonder who been sleepin on that old thing," the intense woman with the spirit ual bent, who was to be the leader of the choir, said. "Lord!"\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Several other prospective rioters expressed the same curiosity in more explicitl y physical terminology. "Quiet now," Ignatius said, stomping one foot thunderous ly on the table. "Please! Two of the more statuesque women here will carry this banner between them as we march into the office." "I ain puttin my hand on that, " one woman answered.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Quiet! Everyone!" Ignatius said furiously. "I am beginning to suspect that you people are not actually deserving of this cause. Apparently you are not prepared to make any of the ultimate sacrifices." "How come we gotta take that old sheet with us?" someone asked. "I thought this suppose to be a demonstration dealin w ith wages."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Sheet? What sheet!" Ignatius replied. "I am holding before you the proudest of banners, an identification of our purpose, a visualization of all that we seek." The workers studied the stains more intensely. "If you wish to simply rush into the office like cattle, you will have participated in nothing more than a riot. This banner alone gives form and credence to the agitation. There is a certain geometry involved in these things, a certain ritual which must be observed. Here , you two ladies standing there, take this between you and wave it thus with hon or and pride, hands held high, et cetera."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql The two women whom Ignatius indicated ambled slowly to the cutting table, ginger ly took the banner with their thumbs and index fingers, and held it between them as if it were a leper's shroud.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "That looks even more impressive than I had imagined," Ignatius said.\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don wave that thing around me, gal," someone said to the women, creating anothe r ripple of giggles from the crowd. Ignatius flipped his camera into action and aimed it at the banner and the workers. "Will all of you please wave your sticks and stones again?" The workers complied merrily. Myrna would choke on her espre sso when she saw this. "A bit more violently now. Brandish these weapons fiercel y. Make faces. Scream. Perhaps some of you could jump up and down, if you don't mind." They laughingly followed his directions, everyone, that is, but the two w omen who were sullenly holding the banner. In the office Mr. Gonzalez was watchi ng Miss Trixie bump into the door frame as she made her entrance for the day. At the same time he was wondering what the new and violent outburst from the facto ry meant. Ignatius filmed the scene before him for a minute or two more, then he followed a post upward to the ceiling for what he imagined would be an interest ing and rather recherche bit of cinematography suggesting aspiration. Envy would gnaw at Myrna's musky vitals. At the top of the post the camera focused upon se veral square feet of the rusted interior of the factory's roof. Then Ignatius ha nded the camera down to a worker and asked to be photographed. While the worker aimed the lens at him, Ignatius scowled and shook a fist, entertaining the worke rs greatly.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "All right now," he said benevolently when he had taken the camera back and flip ped it off. "Let us control our riotous impulses for the moment and plan our str atagems. First, the two ladies here will precede us with the banner. Directly be hind the banner comes the choir with some appropriate folk or religious melody.

The lady in charge of the choir may choose the tune. Knowing nothing of your mus ical folkways, I shall leave the selection to you, although I wish that there ha d been time enough to teach all of you the beauties of some madrigal. I will onl y suggest that you choose a somewhat forceful melody. The remainder of you will compose the warriors' battalion. I shall follow the entire ensemble with my came ra in order to record this memorable occasion. At some future date all of us may realize some additional revenues from the rental of this film to student organi zations and other similarly appalling societies.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Please remember this. Our first approach will be a peaceful and rational one. A s we enter the office, the two ladies will carry the banner to the office manage r. The choir will then form about the cross. The battalion will remain in the ba ckground until needed. Because we are dealing with Gonzalez himself, I suspect t hat the battalion will be called upon in short order. If Gonzalez fails to respo nd to the emotion of this spectacle, I shall call, 'Attack!' That will be the si gnal for your onslaught. Are there any questions?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Someone said, "This a lotta shit," but Ignatius ignored the voice. There was a h appy hush in the factory, most of the workers eager for the change of pace. Mr. Palermo, the foreman, appeared drunkenly between two of the furnaces for a momen t and then disappeared.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Apparently the battle plan is clear," Ignatius said when no questions were fort hcoming. "Will the two ladies with the banner please take their positions over t here by the door? Now the choir please form behind them and then the battalion." The workers formed rapidly, smiling and sticking one another with their engines of war. "Fine! The choir may now begin singing."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The lady with the spiritual bent blew a pitchpipe and the choir members began si nging lustily, "Oh, Jesus, walk by my side, Then I always, always be satisfied." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That really sounds rather stirring," Ignatius observed. Then he shouted, "Forwa rd!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The formation obeyed so rapidly that before Ignatius could call anything else, t he banner had already passed through the factory and was rising up the stairs to the office.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Halt!" Ignatius screamed. "Someone come help me off this table."\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Oh, Jesus, you be my friend Right, oh, yeah, right up till the end. You take my hand And I feel grand Knowing you walking Hearing me talking I ain't complaining Though maybe it's raining When I'm with Jesus.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Stop!" Ignatius called frantically, watching the last of the battalion file thr ough the door. "Come back in here immediately."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The door swung closed. He got down on his hands and knees and crawled to the edg e of the table. Then he swung around and, after a long while spent in maneuverin g his extremities, managed to sit on the edge of the table. Noticing that his fe et were swinging only a few inches from the floor, he decided to risk the jump. As he pushed himself free of the table and landed on the floor, the camera slid from his shoulder and hit the cement with a hollow, cracking sound. Disemboweled

, its film entrails spilled onto the floor. Ignatius picked it up and flipped th e switch that was supposed to set it in motion, but nothing happened. Oh, Jesus, you pay my bail When they put me in that old jail. Oh, oh, you always giving A reason for living.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What are those maniacs singing?" Ignatius asked the empty factory while he trie d to stuff foot upon foot of film into his pocket.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql You never hurt me, You never, never, never desert me. I never sinning I always w inning Now I got Jesus.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius, trailing unwound film, hustled to the door and entered the office. The two women were stonily displaying the back of the stained sheet to a confused M r. Conzalez. Their eyes closed, the choir members were chanting compulsively, lo st in their melody. Ignatius pushed through the battalion loitering benignly on the fringes of the scene toward the desk of the office manager. Miss Trixie saw him and asked, "What's happening, Gloria? What are all the factory people doing in here?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Run while you're able, Miss Trixie," he told her with great seriousness. Oh, Je sus, you give me peace When you keeping away them po-lice.\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I can't hear you," Miss Trixie cried, grabbing his arm. "Is this a minstrel sho w?" "Go dangle your withered parts over the toilet!" Ignatius screamed savagely. Miss Trixie shuffled away.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well?" Ignatius asked Mr. Gonzalez, rearranging the two ladies so that the offi ce manager could see the lettering on the other side of the sheet.\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What does this mean?" Mr. Gonzalez asked, reading the banner. "Do you refuse to help these people?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Help them?" the office manager asked in a frightened voice. "What are you talki ng about, Mr. Reilly?" "I am talking about the sin against society of which you are guilty." "What?" Mr. Gonzalez's lower lip quivered.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Attack!" Ignatius cried to the battalion. "This man is totally without charity. "\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You ain give him a chance to say nothin," observed one of the discontented wome n holding the sheet. "You let Mr. Gonzalez talk."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Attack! Attack!" Ignatius cried again, even more furiously. His blue and yellow eyes protruded and flashed. Someone halfheartedly whizzed a bicycle chain over the top of the file cabinets and knocked the bean plants to the floor.\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Now look what you've done," Ignatius said. "Who told you to knock those plants over?" "You say, '_Attagg_ " the owner of the bicycle chain answered.\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Stop that at once," Ignatius bellowed at a man who was apathetically making a v ertical slash in the DEPARTMENT OF RESEARCH AND REFERENCE\u8212?I. REILLY, CUSTO DIAN sign with a pen knife. "What do you people think you're doing?" "Hey, you s ay, 'Attagg,' " several voices answered.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\

hyphpar}{ {\ql In this lonesome place You give me grace Giving your light Through the long nigh t. Oh, Jesus, you hearing my woe And I never, I never, never gonna let you go.\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Stop that awful song," Ignatius shouted at the choir. "Never has such egregious blasphemy fallen upon my ears."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql The choir ceased its singing and looked hurt.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I don't understand what you're doing," the office manager said to Ignatius. "Oh , shut up your little pussymouth, you mon-goloid."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "We goin back to the factory," the spokesman for the choir, the intense lady, sa id angrily to Ignatius. "You a bad man. I believe a po-lice looking for you."\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yeah," several voices agreed.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Now wait a moment," Ignatius begged. "Someone must attack Gonzalez." He surveye d the warriors' battalion. "The man with the brick, come over here at once and k nock him a bit about the head." "I ain't hittin nobody with this," the man with the brick said. "You probly got a po-lice record a mile long."\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The two women dropped the sheet disgustedly on the floor and followed the choir, which was already beginning to file through the door.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Where do you people think you're going?" Ignatius cried, his voice choked with saliva and fury. The warriors said nothing and began to follow the choir and the two standard bearers out of the office. Ignatius waddled swiftly behind the war riors straggling in the rear and grabbed one of them by the arm, but the man swa tted at him as if he were a mosquito and said, "We got enough trouble without ge ttin throwed in jail."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Come back in here! We're not finished. You can get Miss Trixie if you want," Ig natius cried frantically to the disappearing battalion, but the procession conti nued to move silently and determinedly farther down the stairs into the factory. Finally, the door swung closed on the last of the crusaders for Moorish dignity .\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Patrolman Mancuso looked at his watch. He had been in the rest room a full eight hours. It was time to check his costume in at the precinct and go home. He had arrested no one all day and, in addition, he seemed to be catching a cold. It wa s chilly and damp in that booth. He sneezed and tried to open the door, but it w ouldn't give. He shook it, fumbled with the lock, which appeared to be stuck. Af ter a minute or so of rattling and pushing, he called, "Help!"\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius! So you got yourself fired."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ {\ql "Please, Mother, I am near the breaking point." Ignatius stuck the bottle of Dr. Nut under his moustache and drank noisily, making great sounds of sucking and g urgling. "If you are planning now to be a harpy, I shall certainly be pushed ove

r the brink."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "A little job in a office and you can't hold it down. With all your education."\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I was hated and resented," Ignatius said, casting a hurt expression at the brow n walls of the kitchen. He pulled his tongue from the mouth of the bottle with a thump and belched some Dr. Nut. "Ultimately it was all Myrna Minkoff's fault. Y ou know how she makes trouble."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Myrna Minkoff? Don't gimme that foolishness, Ignatius. That girl's in New York. I know you, boy. You musta really pulled some boo-boos at that Levy Pants." "My excellence confused them."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Gimme that paper, Ignatius. We gonna take a look at them want ads."\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Is that true?" Ignatius thundered. "Am I going to be thrown out again into the abyss? Apparently you have bowled all the charity out of your soul. I must have at least a week in bed, with service, before I shall again be whole."\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Speaking of bed, what happened to your sheet, boy?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I certainly wouldn't know. Perhaps it was stolen. I have warned you about intru ders."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You mean somebody broke into this house just to take one of your dirty sheets?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "If you were a bit more conscientious about doing the laundry, the description o f that sheet would be somewhat different."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Okay, hand over that paper, Ignatius."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql "Are you really going to attempt to read aloud? I doubt whether my system could bear that trauma at the moment. Anyway, I am looking at a very interesting artic le in the science column about mollusks." Mrs. Reilly snatched the paper from he r son, leaving two little scraps of it in his hands. "Mother! Is this offensive display of ill manners one of the results of your association with those bowling Sicilians?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Shut up, Ignatius," his mother said, leafing compulsively toward the classified section of the newspaper. "Tomorrow morning you getting on that St. Charles tro lley with the birds." "Huh?" Ignatius asked absently. He was wondering what he c ould write to Myrna now. The film seemed to have been ruined, too. Explaining th e disaster of the Crusade in a letter would be impossible. "What was that you sa id, mother of mine?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I said you gettin on that trolley with the birds," Mrs. Reilly screamed. "That sounds appropriate."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "When you come home again, you gonna have you a job." "Apparently Fortuna has de cided upon another downward spin."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "What?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{

That's all I said. white flesh like a lo ving baker."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql "Pardon me. I have a headache from trying to save that business today. You know how you've thrown your life away."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ {\ql "Ugh."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "A growing concern failing." "Oh." After having fought with his father for almost thirtyfive years. I'm sorry I tore you away from the board. Gus? Sign a few letters?" "I fired somebody. " Turn that thing off." "Let's leave the board ou t of this. Don't take all your guilt feelings o ut on me. I'm going to take a shower. It would all be simpler and l ess bothersome if he really operated Levy Pants and put in an eight-hour day as manager. Don't let me tell you what to do . if you don't mind."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Sure.\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh."\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You see? You're very excited over nothing.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What did you do. And in staying away from Levy Pants. I'm sorry if I insulted it."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ {\ql "Turn the damn thing on again and shut up. A whole bu siness down the drain." her husband's voice said somewhere behind her. its several sections prod ding her ample body gently. she held it tightly. it's okay with me. Levy raised her head and looked dreamily around. That's why I didn't go to the races. i f it's okay with you."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Listen. He associated it wit h his father."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql . I'm trying to be nice. Do whatever you want. Gus.{\ql "Nothing. But just the name "Levy Pants" gave him heartburn. Levy lay prone on the motorized exercising board."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs."\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Just leave my board out of it." she moaned softly and happily. Mr. Winding her arms under the table. A chance to go nationwide. Have yourself a ball. Your father's sweat and blood handed to you on a silver platter." "I changed my mind. Levy had decided that he would spend the rest of his life trying not to be bothered. nudging and kneading her soft. I don' t start the arguments around here.\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What?" Mrs."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What guilt feelings? What have I done?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\ql "You know what it is. nibbling on the section beneath her face. he was bothered even more by the compa ny because something was always going wrong there. See if I care. But he was bothered every day that he was at Levy's Lodge b y his wife simply because she resented his not wanting to be bothered by Levy Pa nts. "What are you doin g here? I thought you were staying in town for the races.

Mrs. Paper streamers hanging from the ceil ing."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'm sorry. emotional. Him." Mrs. You see what I mean? That's why I can't r espect you either. flipping the board on again."\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I think he's right. believe me." "Who do those two think they are?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "They think they're your daughters. The girls were very excited. Levy said. A big cross tacked up in the office. Levy had seen his wife's letters to the gi rls. He wants me to fire the one who knocked ov er his plants and this other guy he says cut up his sign. He says the factory wo rkers are a bunch of rowdies who have no respect for him." Mr." Mrs. he sounded like a plantation owner living on slave labor. Levy said. made them bring all that crap so they could attack the office and beat up Gonzalez. I'll hardly be able to bring mysel f to write the girls about this. They're all very emotionally worked up. but I had so much trouble with that new hair designer that it slipped my mind." "Bean plants? He thought Levy Pants was a truck garden?"\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Who knows what went on in that head. As soon as I walk in today. and what do I find? All those workers have bricks and chains lying all over t he place. They said you have to improve conditions at Levy Pants if you want to s ee them again. L evy could really write a flaming broadside."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He'd been telling them they were underpaid and overworked. you couldn't do enough for them. He says they're out to get him. who of course is not ther e. Who? One of the furnace stokers?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You remember I told you about that big kook. that's the big slob. in case you forgot. we'd be better off. With him cast as a Klansman firing a young crusader. They want you to raise the salaries of those poor people or they won't come hom e again."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What's their big interest in colored people all of a sudden? The young men gave out already?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Now you're attacking the girls again. If one of your daughters was a horse and the other a baseball player. he comes u p to me and starts complaining that somebody from the factory knocked his bean p lants to the floor. So I go back in the factory to find Palermo. "I can't listen to any more of this. and they tell me this guy Reil ly. Their little friends at college told them tha t. All they want is to resp ect you.\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You should see what he did to that place. the one that ass Gonzalez hired?" "Oh. They could turn in a profit. The material at hand was too good. Levy rolled about on the exercising board."Really? Big deal. from what they'd said about their father. I'm too disillusioned already. that brought the girls home on holidays bristling with h ostility against their father for the thousands of injustices he had committed a gainst their mother. "Just yesterday Susan and Sandra wrote som ething about that in their letter. I meant to mention it to you . irrational brainwashing editorials that could have made Patrick Henry out to be a Tory.\p ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "If one of them was a horse and the other a baseball player." Mrs.

Levy said. "Bring me Miss Trixie and I won't write that letter. Use me when you wish. I've been debased through my association with you. If you were proud of yourself and of the way you treat other people. It's too typical."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't give me that. I feel a guilt complex myself." Mrs. What am I doing ? Where is my project? I am a woman of interests. I've heard it all befo re."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "So I ruined you too. But than ks for telling me. She needs personal help." Mrs. I'm just another old sports car."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Since Susan and Sandra are gone." "Oh. Levy gestured warningly from her board."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Please. s hut up. I've become very h ardened." "Look. It's insecurity. I'm disillusioned. Levy said. I probably wouldn't have fired him if one of the factory workers had n't told me he heard this kook is wanted by the police. It will break the girls' hearts. Now it's just a little run-down concern with a few o utlets. I've just existed for your pleasu re. Whatever happened to your bridge c lub? The last time you didn't write a letter you got a new dress. I'm a woman of great character and integrity and ref inement. crusaders and ideal ists are always beatniks and criminals. She's alone. It will add to the realism of the letter. just as it's breaking mine. Your daughters are disillusioned."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You've already used her as a guinea pig for that correspondence course you took . That really made up my m ind fast. You've made everything seem so cheap." Mr." Mrs. I thought you'd make Levy Pants nationwide. "Look. Integrity is a complex." Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What? I don't want that senile bag out here." "I've never done anything to that woman. afraid. I'll buy you a ball gown."\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I've never fired anybody in my life." "That's just it. you'd be pleasant. To somebody like you." "It's not enough that I've kept that woman active."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You see that? You're always attacking. Just take Miss Trixie as another example. You always have.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "To you character is a psychosis. huh?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I was a very warm and loving girl at one time with high hopes." "She's almost dead. me included. I have enough trouble with that company without having a kooky police character working in there. "But I can't keep somebody the police are looking for. It's your defense against them. "That young idealist must be floundering somewhere at this very moment. The girls knew t hat. Look at what you've done to her. ideals.ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "This guy was a real psycho. guilt complexes. Levy sighed. That young man you fired is disillusioned. We might get in trouble. Nobody wants to use you for anything. You've caged me in with hundreds of material objects that don't satisfy the real me. "I feel so useless. up and down." "You want me to kill myself?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You make your own decisions." Her bouncing eyes looked coldly at her husband. Settle for tha t. I don't care. Levy's head bounced up an d down. hostil ity. You've never appreciated that.

" "I bet h e's happy. Let Gonzalez retire her."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "When I think of my own mother. You'll have a de ath on your hands. Some doctor at the college helped her out. "It really doe sn't matter to me very much anymore. Lenny swears by that doctor." "I'm sure you don't. Take my advice. The money's rolling in. Sandra. boy. swimming. Not another word of sarcasm." Mrs. He cured Lenny of that complex he had about selling ro saries. Now he's got some kind of exclusive agreeme nt with a bunch of nuns who peddle the rosaries in about forty Catholic schools all over the city."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He is. Your hostility's getting the upper hand. I should have married a doctor. "Leave the board out of this."\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "How much would you suffer if somebody pulled the wires out of that goddam exerc ising board?" "I told you already." Mr."\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You're a very mixed-up person."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Lenny's put in a beautiful line of statues and religious accessories. "You'll probably try to bounce her on that board and break her hip."\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You don't like my mother because she's on to you. A tan. I know the girls will at last turn against you completely. Then she'll really feel unwanted. Go see that doctor before it's too late. I don't care. She was right. Go see t hat analyst in the Medical Arts building. The sisters are happy. Gus. the one that helped Lenny pull his jew elry shop out of the red. just like I was before I was brutalized. the dark ground floor of an otherwise unoccupied commercia . You should be the same."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Do that and you'll kill her." Mrs. Incorporated. Dancing. Why not let her alone. Boyfriends. They're warm and co mpassionate. Gus. laughing. was housed in what had formerly been an au tomobile repair shop." An aquamarine-nailed gesture warned from the bouncing and undulating board. personally. Levy said angrily. "Do I get Miss Trixie or do the girls get the letter?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You get Miss Trixie. Fo r the girls' sake you should be helped." "That sounds great. a bikini. The kids are happy. is much happier since she wa s psychoanalyzed. What she doesn't lose in the casinos she spends on the house doctor at the Caribe Hilton. Levy bounced sadly." "I'm sure he did. Lenny's happy."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "She has heart failure every time a wave knocks her down." "Oh. On the beach in San Juan every winter." "Brutalized?"\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Please."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "Leave the board out of this!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Seven Paradise Vendors. somebody with ideals. Levy said finally. Suffering has only strengthened me." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Sandra may have a setback when she hears of what you did to that young activist ..

He looked at the white-gloved hands of his Mickey M ouse wristwatch and noticed that he had eaten lunch only an hour before. I was wonder ing if I could buy just one." Ignatius said to the old man after having taken his first bite. "I thought I was wh istling Turkey in the Straw. "I shall pretend that I am in a smart restaurant and that this is the lobster p ond. The garage doors were usually open. handing Ignatius a bent and corroded sembl ance of a spear. What are the ingredients in these. "These are rather strong. "I thought th at the vibrissae about my nostrils detected something unique while I was outside . "Do you retail here?" The man's watering eyes turned to ward the large visitor. and classifying the distinct odors of hot dog. the protruding hairs in his nostrils analyzing. he sniffed the fumes from Paradise with great sensory pleasure. categorizi ng. he wondered whether he also detected the more delicate odor. In the boiling water the frankfurters swished and lashed like artificially colored and magnified paramecia. cataloging. He was the last o f the musicians. Incorporated. sour aroma.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Do I hear a strain from Scarlatti?" Ignatius asked finally. It was Ignatius. cereal. One crumpl ed frankfurter lay on its side."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Rubber."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "My. tripe. It's like acid. He stepped into the gara ge and looked around. "Pardon me . Breat hing deeply. Still t he intriguing aromas were making him salivate actively. sir. Who knows? I wouldn't touch one of them myself."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql ft o I'\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Sure. Stopping before the narrow garage. The powerful stench of Paradise Vendors. They smell rather tasty. Several of the mobile hot dogs were badly dented. its one wheel horizontally above it. giving the pas serby an acrid nos-trilful of boiling hot dogs and mustard and also of cement so aked over many years by automobile lubricants and motor oils that had dripped an d drained from Harmons and Hupmobiles. sometimes led the overwhelmed and perplexed stroller to glance thr ough the open door into the darkness of the garage. "Try to keep your hands out of the water."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "May I select my own?" Ignatius asked. mustard. In a corner an old man was boiling hot dogs in a large ins titutional pot whose size dwarfed the gas range upon which it rested.l building on Poydras Street. peering down over the top of the pot. Inco rporated. take this fork." the man said. one formidable figure waddled slowly along." Ignatius said. and lubricant. studying the scar on the man's nose an d listening to his whistling. Among the afternoon pedestrians who hurried past Paradise Vendors."\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "They're curiously appealing."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Here. There his eye fell upon a fl eet of large tin hot dogs mounted on bicycle tires. a traffic f atality. "What do you want?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I would like to buy one of your hot dogs. the fr agile scent of hot dog buns."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius chewed with a blissful savagery. clearing his throat. It was hardly an imposing ve hicular collection. Ignatius filled his lungs with the pungent. Look what it's done to the fork." Ignatius called." Ignatius observed and resumed his furious attack upon the long .' "\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I had hoped that you might be familiar with Scarlatti's work.

I have answered only two ads. and since they are all offensive enough to be h eld over indefinitely. during the week. He said. "I can hire you right here. "Out in the rain and snow all day long?" "It don't snow here." Ignatius said condescendingly." "What?" Ignatius bellowed."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql After his fourth hot dog. I was fortunate to find this place. This garage is particularly dank. Well. thank you. it is not. alley cats pawing over me to draw the warmth from my l ast breath. and t he crumpled carts. I might as well have had the Grail set as my goal. Apparently I lack some particular perversion which today's employer is seeking. and I'm susceptible to respiratory ailm ents among a variety of others. I have seen ever y film that is playing downtown.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Everyone! Especially folk singers and third-grade teachers. "I cannot recently remembe r having been so totally satisfied. I must go." "No luck. Before m e lies a day fraught with God knows what horrors. Grimy undergraduate s and grammar-school children are always chanting it like sorcerers."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I can't see that it matters much. However." "Where the h ell do you come from? Whadda you want?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql "What is your opinion of a society that considers 'Turkey in the Straw' to be on e of the pillars. Then he said."\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The old man looked at Ignatius and then at the massive pot. the gas range."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Thank you very much."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It has on rare occasions. "I do believe that I shall have another of these savories. "With your apparent musical bent. sir!" Ignatius screamed. On some days I am complete ly enervated by the time I reach Canal Street. No.hot dog. son. I am at the moment unemployed and have been launched upon a quest for work."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius chewed while the man began his tuneless whistling again. Ignatius ran his magnificent pink tongue around his li ps and up over his moustache and said to the old man."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql . I mean a s a vendor."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ {\ql "It matters a great deal. you might apply yourself to somethin g worthwhile. I suspect that I have an appointment of some sort. as it were. of its culture?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Who thinks that?" the old man asked worriedly. huh?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. Actually. "I suspect that you imagine 'Turkey in the Straw' to be a valuable bit of Americ ana. I could not work here. icicles dangling from all of my orifices. "Veneration of such things as 'Turkey in the Straw' is at the very root of our current dilemma." "You wouldn't be working in here. It probably would again as soon as I trudged out with one of these wagons. I would probably be found in some gutter. sir." Ignatius b elched. next week looks particularly bleak. "However. It is a discordant abomination. On these days I am doing well if I have enough spirit to straggle into a movie palace. I have been rocketing about the business district for a week now.

I have places to go and people to see. How's about it ? I need vendors bad."\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Do you seriously think that my mother will believe me if I tell her that an old man held me up with a fork and took my two nickels?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'm not gonna be robbed again. "Gimme your carfare. I feel as if I've been shanghaie d. They perform one of our society's few worthwhile services. I would rather face death by rusty fork."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql The old man picked up the long fork and deftly placed its two rotting tongs at I gnatius's throat. Nobody respects a hot dog v endor." the old man begged. buddy."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Okay.Ignatius looked absently at his little watch and saw that it had stopped again." "A day?" Ignatius repeated disbelievingly."\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't I need clearance from the Health." the old man said firmly. "Just for a little while. Incidentally." "Just d on't ever try to rob a hot dog man again. There are ho more of its kind. spraying Ignatius with saliva . You go out and pus h one of these wagons for an hour." "Shut your goddam fat lip and pay me. Hot dog vendors and gas station attendants always get it." the old man said." "Oh. do you get all of your vendors this way? Your hiring practic es are hardly in step with contemporary policy. Holdups."\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You are quite adamant for being so aged. "A day? I can' t waste a valuable day."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That is patently untrue. Or on the garage or whatever it is. sir. and we'll call it quits. It was made in a small factory in England that was destroyed by the Luftwaffe. I hope that you are prepared to compensate for the muffle r. I might have something beneath my fingernails that is very debilitating to the human sy stem." Igna-tius screamed. literally in my throat and muffler. Somebody at your house can pay the driver when you get there. "You are puncturing my imported muffler. "Try it for a day. I am too apprehensive to ask how you go about firing your employees."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Okay. "That's all that happens to you in the hot dog trade. No one respects hot dog vendors more than I. At the time it was rumored that the Luftwaffe w ." "I'll cal l in the police. I am not walking fifty blocks to my home."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You've just made your point. The robbing of a hot dog vendor is a symbolic act. now listen to me. However."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I can't walk all the way to Constantinople Street. The theft is not prompted by avarice but rather by a d esire to belittle the vendor. my God!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Pay me! Pay me or I'll get the law." "I am afraid that they will all have to be on the house."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Get a taxi. Actually. muggings. you have made two of them.Department or something? I mean. My Miss Marple of a mother discovered a number of theater ticke t stubs in my pockets last night and has given me only carfare today. I'll make a bargain with you. "Then pay me the dollar you owe for them weenie s.

I sp ent ten years trying to make Paradise Vendors a reputable organization." the old man said finally. but that ain't easy."\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. and a pair of kilts. an d a kerchief. I ain't a bad guy. On top of his overcoat.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What is this?" Ignatius asked happily."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. a cloak. he goes out and gets himself mugged by hoodlums. opening a metal locker near the stove. It can also be worn as a shawl. I shall happily push on e of your carts. Are you sure that you don't ha ve one in a larger size?\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Upon close scrutiny."\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql He took what looked like a white smock out of the locker and handed it to Ignati us. The last wear . People look down on hot dog vendors."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I read Father Keller and Billy Graham in the paper every single day. my God!" Ignatius spluttered. a sash. I notice that this gown is rather yellow about the cuffs.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Maybe not."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql "Of course not." Ignatius said. These things are supposed to freely flow about the human form. "It looks like an academic gown. Look." the old man said. "you ain't gonna do too much damage to Paradise Vendors in one hou r. Today their value is somewhere in the thousa nds.as directed to strike directly at the factory in order to destroy British morale .\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ {\ql "Tie it at the waist with the belt. a lthough this one seems to provide little leeSvay. I got trouble finding decent vendors."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ {\ql "The writings of Boethius may give you some insight. this may be the same one that Churchill was we aring in that particular Movietone. For all I know. Though I can't predict how far I'll go. How come God had to make it s o tough for you?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "We must not question His ways."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Here. They think I operate a busines s for bums."\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius slipped it over his head. I hope these stains about the chest are ketchup rather than blood. after watching Ignatius employ the muffler as a cummerbund. "No wonder you are so lost. but you can only take so much. for the Germans had seen Churchill wrapped in a muffler of this sort in a conf iscated newsreel. a sling for a broken arm. son. Then when I find some nice guy . "Put this on. but I still don't get it. the smock made him lo ok like a dinosaur egg about to hatch."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't get me wrong."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "If the alternatives are jail or a pierced Adam's apple.

" the old man sighed."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Here.er of this might have been stabbed by hoodlums. put on this cap. I will not wear that cap." He opened anot her lid in the top of the metal bun. awright. The one that I have is perfectly good a nd far more healthful. He opened the lid on the little we ll in the cart and with a fork slowly began transferring hot dogs from the pot t o the little well in the cart. "Come on and take this cart here."\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Okay. go ahead."\par\pard\plain\hyphpa ." Ignatius replied and wheeled the big tin hot dog out onto t he sidewalk. if you wish."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql "I hope that you don't think I am going out into traffic. "These carts are like Chinese puzzles . Got that?" He closed that lid and pulled upon a little side door cut in the shining red tin dog. Death before dishonor and disease. smoothing the vendor's smock over his body. although I may sell someone the can of liq uid heat before I get too far. buddy."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Get off the sidewalk with that thing." Ignatius said with some respect. "I will be back promptly in an hour. "I'm putting a package of buns in here."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "My God.\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What's in there? A machine gun?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "The mustard and ketchup's in here."\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I will not wear that paper cap! I am not going to die of pneumonia while playin g this little game for you." the old man said testily. This is the Paradise vendor's uniform. I suspect that I will continually be pulling at the wrong opening. Plunge the fork into my vital organs." The man gave Ignatius a little rectangle of white paper . drop it."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The old man rolled the cart to the door of the garage and said.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I am certainly not wearing a paper cap. I shall give this a brave try. "G ive me that shiny one with the white sidewall tires. "Okay."\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The old man opened still another lid cut in the rear of the hot dog. "Now I give you a dozen hot dogs. "In here they got a little can of liquid heat keeps the hot dogs w arm."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Awright."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql "Well."\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Do you think that I am going to be seen on the streets with that damaged abomin ation?" Ignatius asked furiously."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Thank you so much."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You can't wear a hunting cap.

T o pacify his mother and to improve conditions at home. The people on the street looked at Ignati us. I have no change. Ignatius prepared and consumed another. Reilly had asked. This was a better way of passing time than seeing personnel managers. the cigarette behind the ear. contemplating other kin dnesses that might postpone his having to go to work again." the old man cried somewhe re behind him. who was wandering up Carondelet with an armload of packages wrapped in p lain brown paper. "If the police follow me. the aquamarin e jacket. She described to Ignatius the courage o f Patrolman Mancuso."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ . was fighting to retain his job. Ignatius turned the corner and parked the wagon against a buildin g. he prepared a hot dog for himself and ravenously at e it. "Yea h?" Mrs. It describes the plight of a just man in an un just society. he would have had to drift. wh o wanted to work.the cry and went up to the gargantuan vendor. Poor Angelo'll be glad t o get this." Ignatius said. the delicate boots. they might prevent a robbery. Fifteen minutes late r. the surly face that seemed to hang from the long well-lubricated hair. the tight trousers that bulged offensively in the crotch in violation of all rules of theology and geometry. the present to Patrolman Mancuso had bro ught a temporary peace to life on Constantinople Street. threatening to sell the house and move into an old folks' home. who. pal." For about a day. Ignatius thought. but no one bought."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ {\ql "Save them? Who for?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That is none of your business. at least. who was making the best of his torture and exile in the bathro om at the bus station. heard. that's sweet. Gimme one of these. "Hot dogs!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql George.\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I am sorry. against heavy odds. several of whom. Anyway. No doubt it will aid yo ur patrolman during his moments of crisis. When he had finished th e first hot dog. pounding on his door when he was trying to write. He began to push slowly do wn the street. After he had gone half a block. stop . bored and aimless. "I have only a few frankfurters left. around the business distric t until it seemed safe to return home. Please get out of my way. Opening the various lids. His mother had been in a violent mood all week. "Hot do gs! Hog dogs from Paradise!" "Get in the street. you waif. "Aw. refusing to buy him any Dr . and had told her to give it to Patrolman Mancuso so that he might peruse it while sealed in his booth. had treated him rather viciously i n the last few days. he decided in favor of abstinence for the moment. and I must save them." Ignatius had said benevolently. His valve protested against the pimples. he had given her The Cons olation of Philosophy. "Hey. Nut. "The book teaches us to ac cept that which we cannot change.r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You can get yourself arrested for pushing one of them things on the sidewalk. Ignatius." Ignatius snorted. an English translation of the work that Boethius had writ ten while unjustly imprisoned." "Good. It is the very basis for medieval thought."\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius pushed slowly away from the headquarters of Paradise Vendors through th e heavy pedestrian traffic that moved to either side of the big hot dog like wav es on a ship's prow. Patrolman Mancuso's situation reminded Ignatius of the si tuation of Boethius when he was imprisoned by the emperor before being killed. Since the movie houses were now off limits due to lack of f unds."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius looked sternly at the young boy who had placed himself in the wagon's p ath. noticing that the supply of hot dogs in the little well was visibly diminishi ng. Why aren't you in school? Kindly stop molesting me. calling again. he began calling.

You are a growing boy whose system needs to be surfeited with vegetables and orange juice and whole wheat br ead and spinach and such." George snarled more loudly and slouched away. "Someone is stealing my buns! Police!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius backed up the cart and rammed it into George's crotch."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "Help!" Ignatius screamed. "Ouch! Watch out there. "Hey."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ {\ql George pulled open the lid of the bun compartment and said. for one. "Ain't that awful? Where th ey get them hot dog vendors from?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "Bums. I." someone answered her."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Help! Thief!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Shut up. you big fruit. you nut. "Who wants to eat anything your fruity hands t ouched?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "How dare you scream obscenities at me."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ . "Now get away f rom me before I run over you with this cart. "Someone with some decency grab that juvenile delinquent. "I cannot sell you a frank.hyphpar}{ {\ql "I got a quarter. They shouldn't let people like him out on the street. Someone grab that boy. for Christ's sake. you got plenty stuff in here. That filthy little minor."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No!" Ignatius screamed so furiously that the pas-sersby stared. will not contribute to the debauchery of a minor. I'm hungry. They all crazy from wine if you ast me. Is that clear?" "Whatsa matter with you. Just look at your loathsome complexion.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Wine is what it is." George said and slammed the door. They all bums. suddenly remembering the old man's warnings about rob beries. Where is his respect? That little guttersnipe must be lashed until he col lapses!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql A woman in the group around the mobile hot dog said. I ain't had no lunch. sir. friend?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What's the matter with me? What's the matter with you? Are you unnatural enough to want a hot dog this early in the afternoon? My conscience will not let me se ll you one." Ignatius said wi ldly as George disappeared into the crowds of pedestrians farther down the stree t. "What impertinence was that?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You big crazy fruit."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Whadda you talking about? Sell me one of them hot dogs. "You oughta be l ocked up. You know -that?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql "What?" Ignatius screamed. Fix me a weenie. the taps on his heels scraping the sidewalk." the thin white lips sneered.

"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Please do. adenoids. Pimples. the standard adolescent equipment.{\ql "Is my paranoia getting completely out of hand." "Wh at did he look like?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "A thousand other youths. pal? I thought you was supposed to stay out a whole hour. True to his promise to make it around the block." Ignatius shoved two paws in to the man's face." "What the hell happened?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "A member of the vast teen-age underground besieged me on Carondelet Street." Ignatius replied.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Brutally. "or a re you mongoloids really talking about me?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Let him alone. After the pistol had been thrust against my head. INC. "Let's get outta here. pompadour." Ignatius asked the group. People encourage this sort of thing. There might have been something else like a birthmark or trick knee.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Help!" Ignatius breathed pitifully.. "My entire nervous system is on the brink of revolt against m e for subjecting it to such trauma. he shoved off up C ar-ondelet Street.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What happened. When Ignatius turned the final corn er and saw again the PARADISE VENDORS. and prepared another hot dog to quiet his trembling nervous system. causing the blood to stop circulating on the left side of my head for quite a while." "What's wrong with my eyes?" Ignatius asked viciously. The ac tive chewing massaged his throbbing head. he broke into a relatively brisk trot that brough t him panting through the doors of the garage. With shaking hands. bumping the tin hot dog over the low cement sill of the garage. he held the foot of r ed plastic and dough to his mouth and slipped it in two inches at a time. waddling slowly behind the cart. he turned again at the next corner and stopped by the worn granite walls of Gallier Hall to consume two more of the Paradise hot dogs befor e continuing on the last leg of his journey." someone said. was pres sed directly upon a pressure point."\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You was robbed?" the old man asked excitedly. A large and rusty pistol was placed at my temples. he felt much calmer. I really can't recall. sign hanging out over the sidewalk of Poydras Street at an angle. While I was lying in a . I am afraid that they have st ruck again."\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "We're both fortunate that I have returned at all. They probably respected the boy's initiative. Look at my hands. his lips quivering. I faint ed from lack of circulation in the brain and from fright."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Who?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The syndicate. "Look at them eyes." "On Carondelet Street at this time of day? Nobody stopped it?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Of course no one stopped it. Whoever they are. When he had shoved in the last millime ter of crumb. Ignore me if I suddenly go into a state of s hock. They probably derive some sort of pleasure from the spectacle of a poor and struggling vendor 's being publicly humiliated. Actually. Grabbing the handle again.

I shall perhaps return. I might have been raped right there on the spot. I check ed the wagon. an untouchable.heap on the sidewalk. "That son of a bitch."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Perhaps he was very hungry. he apparently ransacked the wagon." "How much money did h e get?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Money? No money was stolen. His unfulfilled physica l desires therefore sought sublimation in food." "I never heard of nothi ng like this. Clyde. why should there not be armed hot dog thefts? I see nothing unusual in the matter. That should satisf y his mother. I imagine that you can expect to see me. Mr." "That's fine. Ending his med itations with a clearing of the throat. he apparently didn't take them all. crazed by suggestive television programs and lascivious periodicals had a pparently been consorting with some rather conventional adolescent females who r efused to participate in his imaginative sexual program. peering down into the well in the hot dog. Then he added indignantly. "If I am functioning in the morning. and trying it again?" the old man ask ed hopefully. My white smoc k stamped me as a vendor. I shall be wearing this smock home t o prove to my mother that I am employed. he belched. The blame rests upon our society. I. more or less. I cannot predict the hour at which I will arriv e. We may thank God that this boy has turned to food for an outlet . The youth. When I had recovered. "I really need vendors. and she needs reassurance that money from my labors will be forthcoming in order th . Had he not. unfortunately. "Incidentally." "You're full of bullshit. pal. Of course no one would help me up. for I had n ot been able to vend even one of these delicacies." the old man said. she drinks rather heavily." the old man said."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He took all but four." Ignatius said. If there are armed rapes."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ {\ql Ignatius pondered the proposal for some time."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I shall. You see. I wonder how he could carry all them hot dogs away. After all. so n. was the victim of all of this. "I awakened to find the lid of the ca"rt open. He stole the hot dogs." Ignatius said and licked at a crumb that he had discovered in the cor ner of his mouth. At least he would be working. do you seriously expect me to take to the street s again and hustle? My ten cents is going to be deposited in the hands of a St. The work offered little supervision and harassment. However."\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I really don't know." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Then how about coming back tomorrow. Clyde. There are still one or two left. Perhaps some vitamin deficiency in his growing body was screaming for appeasement.\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yes. Charles streetcar conductor. The remainder of the day\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql I intend to spend in a hot tub trying to recapture some semblance of normality. there was no money to steal. I think. The human desire for food and sex is relatively equal." "How about making another try?"\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What? In my present condition. scrutinizing the scar on the old m an's nose and belching gassily. but."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I? The incident is sociologically valid. "Call me Mr.

"\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I already finish on your flo. this was Jones's attempt at some subtle sabotage. Everthin in the Night of Joy firs rate. however. The best reading light in the Night of Joy was the small one on the cash register. I gettin pretty tire of bein vagran or tryina keep my ass alive on this kinda wag . The crap star disappea rin when the wage going up around fifty or sigsty. and tried to look at the latest L ife Darlene had given him. My life is a rather grim one." Lana said angrily. advertisement when Lana Lee pushed into the bar. and linear streaks of dust.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hey."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I want performance when I put out money. Take a look at my goddam floor.\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Listen." she said. He lit a cigarette.\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Whoa! You got a fine flo. you gotta expec a little crap. her first one in a long time. For the moment. I ain foolin. it come natural. He was just beginning a study in-depth of a cocktail party scene in a Seagram's V."\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You see all that crap?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "For twenny dollar a week. I turnin into a expert on flos. so Jones went over to the bar and flipped it on. It sorta like eatin and breathin now to color peoples. After he had wet the bar a little.O. Jones tossed the sponge back into the bucket. took a seat in a booth. I bet you give some little color baby one-year-o ld a broom in he han. but the cloud of smoke made the m agazine even more invisible."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Jones reluctantly looked through his sunglasses and saw nothingness. Whoa!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Jones returned to the advertisement while Lana locked the cabinet again. Ooo-wee. Lana Lee had gone on a shoppin g trip.at her supply of spirits won't be cut off. locking the cash register loudly and warningly before leaving. He had some larger plans f or the future. you know how peoples bu y cigarette? Them peoples cain affor a whole pack.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I thought I shouldn't leave you in here alone. Then sh e looked at the long tracks of dust on the floor that made it look as if Jones h ad plowed rather than mopped it. the hillocks. you must know a thing or two about my valve. you there. There were linear streaks of clean floor for th e furrows. you ever try living on my kinda wage? You think color peoples get gross ries and clothin at a specia price? What you thinkin about half the time you sit ting up here playin with your penny? Whoa! Where I live. You think a color mother got it easy? Shit."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "Valve?" "Yes. they buy they cigarette separ ate two cent apiece. Although Lana did not know it. I think color cat s got sweepin and moppin in they blood. opening a bag and tak ing out a box of classroom chalk which she put in the cabinet under the bar. One day I shall perhaps describe it to you in detail. "Wh at the hell are you doing with my cash register? Get back on my floor. he star sweeping his ass off."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Jones was blindly running a sponge along the bar.

as if it had passed through the hand s of many owners. he could get it for her himself. it should be done with a certain finesse a nd quality. The other was getting Darlene ba ck on the stools now that the plainclothesmen were gone." Darlene called happily from the door. for the moment. They somebody in here sweepin and moppin up all the sh it your po. the Night o f Joy might do better if it decided not to cater to the animal trade."\par\pa .e. Having someone like Dar lene on commission was better than having her on salary. But a person who could spot a cop could also avoi d a lot of trouble. But now. and the book." "She telephone and say she be in sometime this afternoon to do some more re hearsin. The bird's crest dipped. and it cried horribly. too. and with Darlene safely off th e stools and practicing with her bird. was stored in the cabinet. Since you cut out the char-iddy. She clipped the receipt for the box of chalk to her ledger bo ok so that she could list it in the column of itemized deductions that always ac companied her income tax returns." Lana answered." Darlene put the cage on the bar and uncovered a huge. There had been the major problem of Darlene. It took experi ence to be able to spot a cop. Whoa! And talkin abou t puttin out money it seem to me maybe you be puttin out a little more now that your orphan frien stop coming aroun. "She say she takin her bird to the veternaria firs.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. Lana had seen to it that they were actively ignored by everyone. even a used one. After all. Lan a had spotted each one as soon as he had entered. carrying a covered birdcage. "Awwk. the plainclothesmen had gone away as suddenly as they had appeared. One was getting th e book. Goofin off ain cleanin up this mother-fucking cathouse. There was no need to be too raw. If George wanted her to have a book. scrofulous rose cockatoo that looked. She had already bought a used globe of the wor ld. she would ask him to bring her one. There were only two things to be settled. Lana had taken some time to assemble the little collection of props.\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Where's Darlene?" Lana asked Jones. And what Lana had seen Darlene do on the stage with the bird told her that. She tripped into the bar i n slacks and a pea jacket. she was appealing to kids. She envisioned several arrangements that would combine grace and obs cenity. don't plan to stay too long. the plainclothesmen had nothing to go on. the chalk.\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Here we come. He must have some kind of book left over from the days before he had dropped out of high school. "I got some news for you and your friend. That. catching the clap off the ice cube. the vulnerable point in Lana's wall of protection against undercover policemen. like a used car."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Who took you off the streets and gave you a job when the cops was about to lock you up for vagrancy? You might think about that sometime when you're goofing of f behind them goddam glasses. probly gettin knocko ut drop in they drink. stupor customer drippin on the flo. All she needed now was a book. If th e thing had commercial possibilities. When sh e saw George next. she had been too worried and preoccupied to attend to this project for George." Jones said to the advertisement he was researching. I feel sorry for them po peoples comin in here thinkin they gonna have their-self some fun." "Goofin off? Shit."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ {\ql Lana said nothing."\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yeah?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Lana started to plan the ensemble with the globe. she think it losin some of its feather. La na wasn't about to buy a book. maybe you slip me some of the United Fun money. "I got a little message for her and that bi rd. While the plainclot hesmen had been coming in at night.

I cain read."\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No. Darlene. Lana. He grabs at those rings with his beak and rips my clothes off. some more slippin and slidin." "You see that?" Darlene said to Lana. get it out. Whoa. a littl e twistin and rockin."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Look. Or mayb e this bird gets it in his head to fly out in the audience and pull out somebody 's eyes. No. Lana."\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Aw.. the rings are gonna be sewed on top of a hook and eye so when he grabs. It's a new angle. It's gonna be a smash hit sensation . Jus t wait'll we iron out the kinks. Beat it."\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I think maybe I'll tell you-know-who about the you-know-whats and make you-know -who scared and quit. I'm telling you. Darlene. All I need in this place is a goddam acc ident and a ambulance to drive away my customers and ruin my investment. Take that thing off my bar before it takes a shit. I don't trust you and a bird. Colored . "Shit." Darlene was heartbroken. "Whatsa matter? We been doing good in rehearsal." Jones said from h is cloud. "Maybe it need a little polishin here and there. He had never seen a worse performance. these rings is just for rehearsal. it was safer when you just had that goddam thing flying around your head or whatever it did."\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Aw. I mean.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Since we cuttin off the orphan chariddy and we not extendin it to the porter he lp.rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Okay. t he costume pops open. Darlene and the bird qualified as legitimate sabotage. This act is gonna be a boffo smash.. Hey!" Jones had seen the bird flap around on the stage while Darlene tried to dance. When I get my costume made. "\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yeah. I been practicing with it in my apartment. jailbait. "If you peoples be talkin all th is double-talk. Who the 'you-know-whats' and who 'you-know-wh o?' " "Get off that stool. "Give us a chance." Darlene took off her pea jacket and showed the manager the tiny ri ngs attached to the side of her slacks and blouse with safety pins. and it might pull your tits off." "That's right. It's gonna pull. You gotta give it a chance. Darlene." Darlene moaned.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The you-know-whats are gone and you can go back to your stool."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Jones looked up from an advertisement and said." "To tell y ou the truth. Ooo-wee. strugglin gal gotta hustle on commiss ion. smiling. but I think that ack very go od. cain treat it like it's co lor peoples. Darlene. I'm afraid of you and that bird. Lana."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "But now it's gonna be a real part of the turn. and get on my floor. "You see the se things? That's what's gonna make the act smooth." Darlene agreed sincerely."\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That bird been travelin to Night of Joy practicin and tryin. "Jones oughta know."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Listen. We just getting good. You go back to your stool starting tonight." Lana threw the cover over the birdcage. Safety first. maybe we oughta give a little to a po. to be frank. Lana.

"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "What's wrong. Irene babe?" Mrs. "Okay."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Wait a minute. Santa. "A hot dog vendor? You mean out on the streets?" "Out on the streets." "Good. "He's a hot dog vendor." Santa croaked.people got plenty rhythm." Lana said. You be havin a doorman in front this place. I need a break." Mrs." Mrs. I can't lie to you. Shit. He's still in there. I hadda call you. Dar lene. You think you can get that bird to strip you?"\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yes. Let me see if he's still in that tub. come on. What other club got them a ball eagle on the stage?"\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You jerks think there's really a bird trade we could tap?" Lana asked."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Aw. ma'm. like a bum.rings. shut up. let's see what it can do. Whoa!" Jones created a dangerous-looking nimbus that seemed ready to burs t. that big fat bum. Reilly said." "Aw." "Whoa! Now yo u talkin." "Oh. "Suddenly it come to me.\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hey! I sure they a bird trade. Jones covered the two with some smoke and said. " "Shut up." Darlene said. All kinda mother be showin up to see this act."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Santa. Battaglia's froggy baritone asked feelingly. One whalelik e snort floated out into the hall through the peeling bathroom door. stupid." Lana screamed."\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql . "I'm just startin out in show biz. sweetheart? Tell Santa. honey. "Darlene and that bird just gotta eye-rom out a few rough spot. White peoples always got parrakeets and canayrie s they smoochin. her voice heavy with grief . She need a break. Wait till them peoples fin out what kinda bird the Night of Joy offerin. Whoa! I think you be attractin plenny n ew peoples in this place." Darlene said enthusiastically. "I t's Ignatius. "I think D arlene and that there bird very unusual. honey. 'Darlen e." 182\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's right. and I said to myself."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "But not in a butcher shop."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Whoa!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I don't wanna scare somebody with a story about some people. You be gettin the society trade. Reilly listened appr ehensively to the great liquid thrashings coming from the bathroom."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What he's done now. My heart's broke. honey. "It's okay. how come you don't stick some rings on your clothes?' "\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Shut your moron up. The gal just startin in show biz."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius comes home about a hour ago dressed up like a butcher. He's go t him another job. I was sitti ng in my apartment watching it play on its .

'butcher."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "When he first comes in. considera te man today. I tell you true. girl?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I didn't tell him nothing. Charmaine. girl. Then he finally says. Irene."Bum is right. By the time I got my mouth open. That's how come Angelo's such a sweet. mind you." Santa continued calmly to Mrs." Mrs. Even worst. Reilly said. I got one of my little grandchirren over here for the day. Reilly. I wish them sisters at her school would beat up on her a little."\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hold on a minute.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "Lord.' I almost passed out. 'Guess again. Read the police notices in the paper sometimes."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql A child's voice made some reply. Hold the line. Irene. I guess. that child won't listen to nobody! I'm trying t o cook her some spaghettis and daube. He's still locked up in there splashing water all over the floor."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql . I got me a job selling weenies. right on the kitchen floor. You shoulda seen how them sisters beat up on him when he was a kid. Selling weenies out on the street in the broad daylight."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql "Never in a million years. Santa."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ain't that awful!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Somebody oughta punch that boy in the nose. Reilly heard Santa put the telephone down.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ {\ql "Christ. and she keeps on playing in my pot. but sometime s I just don't know. very insolent. not that one. You ain't even close. "Them kids is sweet. he runs off to the bathroom." Santa said and screamed at someone at her end of the line: "Get the hell a way from that stove." "So what yo u told him. Santa."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs.' you know?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "Of course. They all a bunch of vagrants. He was such a darling child. and Santa was back on the line. Charmaine! Get the hell outside and go play on your bike be fore I come slap your face off. Then a child screamed."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The sisters loved Ignatius. 'Wrong every time. He used to win all the m little holy pictures for knowing his catechism. a door sl ammed. "With all his education. he makes me guess what kinda job he's got. Wouldn't thata been fine.' I keep guessing for about five minutes until I can't think of no more jobs where you'd be weari ng one of them white uniforms." "Not him. me with my head broke open on the linoleum?" "He woul dn't care. Irene. First . You know Angelo."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He don't care about his poor momma. and go play out on the banquette before I bust y ou right in the mouth. One sister throw ed him right into a blackboard."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "So he says.

I'll find out his name."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You can't worry about people. . believe me."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yeah? I wouldn't trust no 'inspirational literature' I got from that Ignatius. "What you need is a man in that house. I think I'm gonna write her husband a little anonymous letter to straighten out that gi rl."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "That old man don't care for me. I always . Santa. I mean I didn't get a chance to talk to him."\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't talk like that. Odo of Cluny Parish." Mrs. Ferdinand Street the other day. " Mrs. Reilly agreed. I think I seen him walking down St. sugar. I'll hang around Sunday mass. that bo y. about me." Sant a grunted. The anonymous letters my poppa useta get . Irene.' But don't you worry. I'm gonna find that nice old man ast about you. you woulda thought he just made it outta the Ivory League. I'm gonna get her go od. Reilly sniffe d. Well. . "The people on my block go t dirty mouths. to set that boy straight ." "He ast about me?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. The man runs the fish market says he don't know the man's name. sweetheart." Santa advised. the next door lady. The cops sure don't treat th at boy right. But I'll find out."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "When he useta come home with all them little holy pictures. that Angelo's getting as pale as a ghost. "I sure never thought then he'd end up selling weenies in the broad daylight. Reilly coughed nervously and violently into the telephone." "Irene. Just leave it to Santa. maybe he'll feel a little better after he reads that thing Ignatius giv e me to give him. If you can live down here in St."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't be ashamed. It's the disgrace. I think she's running with some man works at the shipyards. Ignatius says it's inspirational literature. "But tell me. how Angelo's making out?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "His wife Rita rings me up a little while ago to tell me she thinks he's coming down with pneumonia from being stuck in that toilet all the time."\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I got enough problems with Ignatius. they's no harm in meeting him. It's prolly fulla dirty stories. anyways. you can li ve anyplace. When he graduated from the cops' academy." "I don't want a nice old man." "You see that? That old man don't care neither. I'll fix you up. Remember I lived down there on Dauphine when I was a girl. It ain't your fault you got a brat on your hands. I tell you tru e." "Suppose somebody I know sees him with one of them wagons. He loves the force. I'll ask over by the beer parlor. I got one woman on my block's gonn a get a brick right in her face if she don't shut up about me. Vicious. She's awready about to get us put under a peace bond." "Yeah . All I want is a nice child. She's all the time spying in that alley behind h er shutters. Irene."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I know what it is."Them sisters shoulda knocked his head in." Mrs. Suppose Miss Ann ie. babe. Irene. As a matter of fac t. Somebody told me she's been calling me a 'merry widow. I don't even know if it was the same man. poor Angelo looks bad. "He's got him a bad cough. sees him with one of them wagons. girl. He was sure proud. girl."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't you worry. Vicious is the word.

postmark on the thick tan paper. studying the little circle of a Planetarium Station. picke d up the envelope.thought my cousin.H. His blue and yellow eyes reste d on an unopened ma-nila envelope on the top of the toilet."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Which cousin was that?" Santa asked with interest. Irene Reilly's relatives alw ays had gory biographies that were worth hearing. I'll invite him over too.Sig . the 28th Y. Minkoff speaks boldly about\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Sex in Politics: Erotic Liberty as a Weapon Against Reactionaries"\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql 8 p. the old man. You and him can dance. "I'll have a litt le party with you and Angelo and his wife. Then he would feel for it on th e bottom of the tub.M. Clyde had a certain p aternal quality that Ignatius liked. and pulled out a folded poster tha t said in large letters:\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql LECTURE! LECTURE! M. Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql He tore the envelope open."\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. She was very jealous when Mr." Santa said. . wetting the paper. would be a welcome new character in the Journal."\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Aw. was writing them. The trauma of having found employment had affected his value negatively. if she'll come.00 .Grand Concourse Admission: $1. and he was waiting until the warm water in which he wallowed like a pink hippopotamus had a calming effect upon his system. At last Ign atius felt relaxed enough and. A scalded relative was a dull figure in Ir ene's dramatic gallery. For quite a while Ig natius had been trying to decide whether or not he would open the envelope.OR . "The contents are probably written in marking pencilor worse.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That was the one knocked a pot of berling water on her arm when she was a child . You know what I mean? I always seen her writing away at the kitchen table at her momma's house. that's sweet. If I can find out about tha t old man. 'Hello. and sail it again. New York. girl. She was prolly writing about me . tell him Miss Reilly said. Then he would attack the envelope. empty it. Occasionally he held the soa p dish down until it filled with water and sank."\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It'll do you good to shake yourself a little. raising his dripping hulk out of the water.' "\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Behind the bathroom door Ignatius was lying passively in the tepid water pushing the plastic soap dish back and forth across the surface with one finger and lis tening now and then to his mother on the telephone. She was kinda scalded looking.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Why must she use this sort of envelope?" he asked angrily.A. Thursday.m."\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's the way it goes. Paradise Ven dors should prove to be a pleasant employer. Then she said hoarsely and cheerfully. He would spend his time parked some where by the river accumulating notes for the Journal. the scarred and wizened mogul of the frankfurter. but I don't feel much like a party these days. that poor spinster girl. Reilly started seeing me. babe. Santa. if you see the old man.

but the allego ry. "Are they letting her speak in public now? What in the world does the title of this ludicrous lec ture mean?" Ignatius read the poster again. the Harlem find. really significant songs that proved my theory that music should basically be an instr ument of social protest and expression. natural orgasm. First. got very hostile about salary (or lack of it) and finally dropped a remark or two that s ounded a little anti-Semitic to me. "Ho. He was unbelievable. He is fantastic. Who needs a girl who isn't dedicated enough to work gratis in a project that would benefit her race? Samuel has decided to b ecome a forest ranger in Montana because he is planning a dramatic allegory set in a dark woods (Ignorance and Custom) and he wants to get the feel of the fores t. My other desire was to aid you in finding your true self-expression and co ntentment through satisfying. I know. I will explain this poster a little later in this letter because I imagine you are interested in knowing how this bold. we had trouble with funds. Are you comm itted enough to help in this bold and crucial movement?\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. will be challenging and controversial. and in a perverse way I wish that I could hear that litt le minx babbling before an audience. so Leola. I respect your mind and I have alw ays accepted your eccentric tendencies and that is why I want to see you reach t he plateau of perfect mental-sexual balance. where Myrna had writt en something:\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Sirs:\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql What is wrong. rooted as it possibly was i n your unhealthy attitude toward sex.) S ign now and save America from sexual ignorance.\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius emitted a little Paradise gas. hum . but it was only because your paranoid fantasy disturbed me. Basically. full of unpleasant truths. (A good. I mean that. dedicated lecture came ab out. "At any rate. Wi sh him well.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . Well. A few weeks ago I was at a party that some friends were giving for this very r eal boy who had just returned from Israel. my God!" Ignatius spurted through his dripping moustache. I coul d not milk another drachma out of my father. so if you were planni ng to play the landlord. I must tell you that the movie is off. and fear.n M. I guess I came on a little strong in my last letter. forget it. chastity." Ignatius yawned violently. explosive orgasm would cle anse your being and bring you out of the shadows. Minkoffs Petition Which Aggressively Demands More and Better Sex for All an d a Crash Program for Minorities! (The petition will be mailed to Washington. At last it seems that I am finding a platform for my philosophy. etc. It all happened in a strange way . Later we all started talking\u8212?\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} {\line } { {\ql on many levels\u8212?and I let him know what was on my mind in general. though. You know that ever since I first met you I have directed pointed questions at you in order to clarify your sexual inclinat ions. Ign atius complied and looked at the other side of the poster.) Just don't be angry at me abo ut the letter. To get back to the lecture. This time she has outdone herself in offend ing taste and decency. he will be a big flop as a ranger. I know that she will speak boldly.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql For hours and hours he sang these folk songs he had picked up over there."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Following a handwritten arrow at the bottom of the poster and the word over. Ignatius? I have not heard from you. He kept us all in that apartment for hou rs and hours listening and asking for more. viciously. From what I know of Samuel. I don't really blame y ou for not writing.

Reilly asked suspiciously. You breaking your poor momma's heart. Clean the house. that's rather literate."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Myrna's psyche is only capable of dealing with water in an oral context." Mrs. I also told him about these letters of mine to the ed itor that have been printed in The New Democracy and Man and Masses and Now!\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Get out of that tub." "You been in there too long."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Then please go away. whatever it was."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ain't that awful. I would i magine that it is rather difficult to comprehend her assaults upon the Mother to ngue. you better not get fired by the weenie man. "Why?" he asked. Miss Minko ff. she did." "Coming from her. boy. Reilly said sadly." "A letter? Who wrote you a letter?" "My dear friend. you feel compe lled to do at the moment? I noticed this morning that the lint in the hallway is forming into spheres almost as large as baseballs. Do something. "Are you going to use it?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No."\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well." "She said somebody oughta punch you right in the nose. Isn't there something that." "What ?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Will you please stop shrieking like a fishmonger and run along? Don't you have a bottle of muscatel baking in the oven? Now let me alone. as a housekeeper. it might have been a favor in disguise."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The last thing you said was she got you fired outta Levy Pants."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It's hardly hot anymore. My new work may prove rather agreeable. Myrna? Why haven't you le t the world in on this?" I told him that I often spoke in discussion groups and in my group therapy group." Ignatius heard his mother scream outside the door of the bathroom. You know what Santa said?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'm sure that it was rather perceptive and incisive. Well. I'll tell yo u one thing. that girl. I'm very nervous."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Why is it so important to you that I leave this tub? Mother. Lie down and take a nap. "You get fired outta a two-bit clerk job in a factory and now you selling weenies in the streets. boy. You're looking rathe r peaked these days. However.{\ql He said."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Then get out the tub. "Why are you keeping all of this to yourself. I really don't und erstand you at all."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Of course I am. Ignatius. Telephone f or the correct time."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What that Myrna's doing now?" Mrs. "How come she's w riting so much? She needed a good bath. I am not going to participate in this idiotic conversat ."\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Nervous? You been in that hot water over an hour. What would you do if I dropped dead?" "Well." "Please! I am attempting to read a letter.

The incide nt reminded me of the time in Poe Park when this squirrel I was feeding turned o ut to really be a rat which at first glance could have passed for a squirrel any day. sometimes slashing the canvas to shreds with a kn ife. You gonna be all alone in the worl d. "Ho hum. boy. Now I have had to humiliate myself by writing to the editor of The New Democracy to tell him that the pamphlet. what a fraud he was. Reilly waited for at least a spl ash of water or a rustle of paper.. Then you gonna fall on your knees and pray to God for the way you treated you r poor dear mother. they said o. Like he hated them. I must concentrate upo n the new of-fenses that M. I had learned the hard way that the lecture circuit is somethin g like show business: the casting couch and that routine. After a while. Well. The next day I got a telephone call from him. but if I make good in the lectur . you should be appearing before the pe ople in prison.. Get what I mean?\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Do I believe this egregious offense against good taste that I am reading?" Igna tius asked the floating soap dish. he was a real mensch. (Especially after dealing with Samuel. this fellow was sharp. it is rare to find a friend .\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\ql Personally. who is dedicated and unafraid but all a little too loud and something of a clod. He was so gentlemanly and thoughtful I could hardly believe i t. He handed me this brilliant pamphlet that showed in detail how the Pope is trying to assemble a nuclear armory. was written b y the wrong people. So live and learn. Quietly. This phony gave me an idea."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql From the bathroom there came only silence." Ignatius sighed. or so I thought. Well.k." This guy was really amazing. I decided to ask up here at the Y if I could get the auditorium one night. the WASPS struck back and got me this time. So then I checked on this pamphlet he had given me and discovered that it was printed by the Klan. Of course.ion. But this guy also had this big thing against WASPS. When Ignatius heard the oven door creak open he r eturned to the letter. she walked off down the hall toward the oven."\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} {\line } { {\ql "I can't take it no more. a really sincere friend . although challenging. Would I l ecture to this social action group he was going to form somewhere in Brooklyn He ights? I was overcome.) I never met anybody so dedicated to fighting reactionary ideas and prejudice as this folk singer. Just watch. in addition to his tough mind. His very best frie nd was a Negro abstractionist. You gonna find me laying in the kitchen one of these days with a stroke. it really opened my mind. I feel like exposing this phony "folk singer" who I guess is preying on some other dedicated young girl liberal at this moment. Carry on a monologue out there if you wish. It sounded like a good liberal pam phlet to me. Minkoff has conceived in this letter.. who made magnificent smears of protest a nd defiance across the canvas. "This girl is without shame entirely!"\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Again I have been awakened to the fact that my body appeals to some people more than my mind. "With that voice and personality. but the bathroom door might as well have been the door of a tomb. and I forwarded i t to the editor of The New Democracy to aid him in his battle against the Church . This will give you some idea of the ideological subtleties which we have to deal with today. Mrs.. Ignatius.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql He said. to make my point as brie fly as possible. After a minute or two of fruitless waiting. he said. I mean . the audience up here at the Bronx 'Y' will probably be a little parochial. Boy. You can always learn someth ing from crumbs. In this world of dog eat dog. Somebody I know said she heard this "folk singer" guy is really a Baptist from Alabama.

Have you abandoned your project to form a political party or nominate a candidate for pr esident by divine right? I remember that when I finally met you and challenged y our political apathy. As it is. We need a th ree-party system in this country. there he found the yo-yo that he had bought from the Fili pino who had been selling them in the neighborhood a few months ago. Minko ff\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Later. especially. I did think. Ignatius spun the yo-yo downward. On one side of the yo-yo there was a palm tree which the Filipino had carved at Ignatius' r equest. would benefit from its message. and I think that day by day the fascists are g rowing in strength. Do you seriously think that I am i nterested in your tawdry encounters with such sub-humans as folk singers? In eve ry letter of yours I seem to find some reference to the sleaziness of your perso nal life. you ha ve a brain that could really grow and flower here in N. but the string snapped and it rattled across the floor and under the bed where it landed on a pile of Big Chief tablet s and old magazines. is the fa ct that you're always sealed up in that room and have become suspicious of the o utside world.cent of the insurance money his poor old Grammaw Reill y left just to keep him in college. M.Y.e. Ain't that awful? All that money down the dr ain. his stooped figure sitt . In the hall his mother was speaking to someone else on the telephone saying . Ignatius. Ignatius. you are thwa rting yourself and your mentality.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Beloved Myrna:\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql I have received your offensive communication. let me stop. when I was passing t hrough from Mississippi. I knew that it was a reactiona ry project. I know it would. In spite of the complete overhaul that your mind is crying for. There in the hall. his puckered pink skin wrapped in the old flannel robe that a safety pin held around his hips. that the symbolism of the rat and squirrel or rat-squirrel or squirrel-rat was evocative and rathe r excellent. You. Well. Ignatius sat at the desk in his room filling his fountain pen. The last time I saw you. if you ever do activate the Divine Right movement. a nd enter into the world around you. I don't know why you insisted on living way down there with the al ligators. but it at least showed that you were developing some political consc iousness. I hope that you are working on your personality problems. I am very concerned. Please get out of the house. 'Y' where great thinker s like Norman Mailer and Seymour Krim are always airing their views. you came up with this idea. I s the paranoia getting any worse? The basis for the paranoia. You've probably regressed completely by now living in that substandard old house with only your mother fo r company. I might one day end up speaking down at the Lex. however. "And I used every last . I am worried about your future. It won't hu rt to try. thereby you wil l at least avoid obscenity and offense. Please confine yourself to discussing issues and such. the sole member of your audience will probably be some desperately lonely old male librarian who saw a l ight in the window of the lecture hall and hopefully came in to escape the cold and the horrors of his personal hell. I don't imagine that your s ociological or political ideas are getting any more progressive either. On the dark night of that dubious lecture. This Divine Right Party is the sort of fringe-group scheme t hat would syphon off a large part of the fascist support. Please write to me about the matter. Ave. Great Oedipus bonds are encircling your brain and destroying you. You have alw ays been one of my most important projects and I am interested in hearing of you r current mental condition. Aren't your natural impulses crying for release? A beautiful and mean ingful love affair would transform you. I h ope the lecture is a success. so please get out of the pillows and write. I think. Removing the piece of string that hung from his finger. Ignatius." Ignatius belched and opened a drawer to search for the stationery that he believed he still had. you were in pretty bad shape. I can give you som e help in organizing a chapter up here. B y the way. he dug into the drawer again and found a sheet of paper with a Levy Pants letterhea d.

gourmet foods." Miss Trixie opened her eyes and wheezed. Levy propped up Miss Trixie on the yellow nylon couch. Levy said. "Look. She's alw ays been alone. my personal life has undergone a metamorphos is: I am currently connected in a most vital manner with the food merchandising industry. Levy said angrily. Freud?" Mr. The comments upon my personal life were uncalled for and revealed a shocking l ack of taste and decency."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What?" Miss Trixie snarled. But now that Mrs. Dr. hairdressers. golf. She had always had to settl e for Miss Trixie at a distance. sneakers. 'I am sti ll attractive. Susan and Sandra. You're still a very attractive woman. "I thought I was retired!" 196\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Miss Trixie. I am. that this is the tragedy of this poor woman's life. and all. "Wake up. especially if they have had a chance to see that ta steless poster which is now no doubt tacked to every telephone pole in the Bronx . she had Miss Trixie in th e wrinkled flesh. African violets. I would cancel the lecture immediately."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ugh. in recent years. confounded to the point of hysteria. You have this age psyc hosis. "Do you realize. The correspondence school had even ref used to give her an F. correspondence courses.' " Miss Trixie exhaled a grunting s nore into Mrs. Gonzalez had gladly given the as sistant accountant an indefinite vacation. She needs someone. you think that you're old and tired. Fannie Hur st and Hemingway. I am certain that the 'Y' management would be only too gla d to accept your withdrawal. She needs love. your nasal voice echoing among the empty chairs and hammering boredom. an unsatisfactory arrangement for carrying out the program outlined in the psychology correspondence course."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. Miss Trixie. ballroom dancing. Levy's lacquered hair. Over the years she had given hers elf freely to bridge. and. Ignatius\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Eight\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Let her alone. looking up fr . darli ng. "Miss Trixie. You must say to yourself. she's trying to sleep. Levy had played her card correctly in t he game dealing with the firing of the young idealist. "It's all in your mind. he will doubtlessl y exhibit himself. Mr. Gus. the sun."\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Let her alone?" Mrs. Levy said sweetly . I am a very attractive woman. visor. waving his crabbed organ like a club in despair against the g rim sound that drones on and on over his head. Actually. and therefore I doubt quite seriously whether I shall have much time i n the future to correspond with you." Mrs. confusion. and sexual reference deeper and deeper into the p oor wretch's bald skull."\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Who?" "You.ing alone before the podium.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "Will you please let her alone. Miami. If I were you. I am very tired. "Am I retired?" "No."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't you see?" Mrs. Levy asked. Levy was a woman of interests and ideals. Busily. the final examinat ion of which she had failed resoundingly." Mr. This is very bad."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs.

"A motheaten playboy looking for k ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'll buy that." "I may be old."\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's right. How can I play canasta when there's a psycho in distress?" "Psycho? The woman's senile. you're going to ruin whatever's left in that head of hers. "Not another word. And get that senile bag out of my rumpus room. Go ride your exer-cycle. The law of averages."\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Isn't Lawrence Welk on?" Miss Trixie asked suddenly. you failure."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't tell me any more. Levy cautioned.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "We must talk pleasantly in front of her."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Try. you're exciting her. will only make her more insecure. please!" Miss Trixie croaked and rubbed her eyes. She must be made to feel wanted and needed and loved . Don't do the same to hers. dear. Whatever happened to your canasta circle?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't talk to me."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You've already wrecked your life. Permitting this anal compulsive to flounder like that. Levy's aqua lids rose in horror. I worked out a system. "With all you know about psychoanalysis. but I'm not crippled. ar guing. Levy whispered. Finally I got tired of getting out of the car and show ing her which was the Men's and which was the Women's so I let her pick them her self. Levy said. Think about yourself as usual. making some sort of note on her date book with a rhinesto ned automatic pencil."\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Turn on your goddam exercising board and let her take a nap!"\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I thought we agreed to let the board out of this. what do you dream about?" "I can't remem ber at the moment." Mr." Mrs. If your father could only see you today. your mind is warped." Mrs. This case can't be retired.om a Sports Illustrated." Miss Trixie said w ildly." Mrs. AH she wants is to retire and sleep. You're like a cripple. I laid money on her and she ca me out about fifty-fifty."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He'll be on."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Let her alone. "I almost wish Susan and Sandra were home so you could play with them. Don't worry. . Relax. . Miss Trixie. "You must try. "Loud voices. Levy said. Darling. Let her alone." Mrs."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Quiet.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Look. Keep quiet. Florence Nightingale.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No. We had to stop at about thirty gas stati ons on the way over here. Now tell me. It's too typic al."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It is Saturday.

"\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's right."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh." Mr. And you want to crush her by retiring her. Levy through rheumy eyes."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Miss Trixie was reaching for the bag of scraps that she had brought as luggage. "I must say it was a dark day when I was brought out here. You walk in from the track one day and kick Gloria out." "Let her up."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You see that?" Mrs." "Are you threatening me?"\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Now quiet!" Miss Trixie snarled more loudly. Levy said as if he were summoning a pet cat." Miss Trixie warned."\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Please. You need help. and swimming and dancing. Then she turned on her husband. "So you only fired o ne person."\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Socks and luncheon meat?" Mr. plump and ringed.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I haven't even gotten up from my chair. I don't think it's funny. "I didn't fire any Gloria!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yes. Levy shoved Miss Trixie down on the couch again and said. "An y more of this foolishness and you'll be down on the beach in San Juan with your mother. "You hear that desire to work. is that right? What about this Gloria? One person treats Miss Trixie like a human being.icks. If this is some sort of an April Fool. "Now stay there.\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Okay. no!" Mrs. Levy whistled through his teeth. They're t oo innocent. Nice and quiet. Gus. Poor Gloria was the soul of kindness. Levy held up a warning hand." Mr." "Not from you people."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Thank goodness. boy. Miss Trixie. Levy sighed." Mrs. I couldn't bear it. Get help." "Gloria?" Mr." She looked at Mr. Levy Pants might as well be on Mars for all you care. Just do n't tell me whatever else you did at Levy Pants. I remember Gloria gave me socks and luncheon meat. no. "Let's go get in the car. It was much nicer in there with Gomez. Levy asked. you'd better not try to tell them about Gloria. Levy said angrily. Levy asked her husband. "Let me up." her husband answered. please. Do you know this? Do you care? Oh. You're going to en d badly. One person is her friend. Levy screamed. "I want to go back to Levy Pants r ight this very minute. The kindest person ever worked in that office. They wouldn't understand a heart like yours." Miss Trixie sighed. I won't tel l the girls about Gloria." Mrs.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "Take your hands off her!" Mrs. you did!" Miss Trixie piped. Mrs. "I saw it with my very own eyes." Miss Trixie wheezed. Poor Gloria. Levy shouted. "Oh."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Kicks?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Now you people shut up. laughing. "You're the bird that fired my friend Gloria."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No. "Don't worry about . "Make fun of this neglected creature.

Levy had pinned her to the y ellow nylon. k ookie. I don't want no trouble with the cops. "Look. he tried to say pleasantly. The preface had said so. i t seemed. You can see the sails from the picture window I had insta lled with your father's hard-earned money. which he always left open an inch or two so that he could see who was using the urinals. "Don't w orry. So far he had covered only about twenty pages and was beginning to wonder whether this Boethius was something of a gambler. move it. but Mrs. he was going to end up with something driven down into his head. and the paper-towel box. The boy leaned against a lavatory and began drawin g on the back of his hands with a ball-point pen. The book was making him more depressed. Anyway. They were out of focus. What would his children say to their friends at school? Patrolman Mancuso looked at the tiles on the floor. He had always hoped to win honor on the force. Red and blue clouds floated acros s his eyelids. Patrolman Mancuso wiped his mouth clean of saliva and tried to clear the phl egm from his throat. it wasn't the kind of b ook that exactly made you look up to the brighter side. One afternoon he had had such a bad case of claustrophobia that he almost fainted in the booth. "Get the hell away from me before I lack your nuts in."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'll get even with you people." "You dote?" Patrolman Ma ncuso asked happily. He looked again at The Consolation of Philosophy.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql His cold was getting worse and worse. He opened the booth and went up to the boy. He was as bad as that hot dog vendor. Now it seemed that he was ready to faint fr om the dizziness that the cold had induced." She tried to rise. Cough ing.this neglected creature I've taken under my wing." George answered. He was always talki ng about fate and odds and the wheel of fortune."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You afred udda police?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql George wondered who this nut was. the lavatories. I ain't making trouble. Forget your little daughters. Patrolman Mancuso felt sorry for the guy and felt obliged to read what he had written. Then h e stared at them more closely and saw that the haze was only the moisture that f ormed a gray film over almost every surface in the rest room. and turned a limp. Get in your sports car and ride.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . After a few sentences Pa trolman Mancuso's mind began to wander." Patrolman Mancuso taunted. He felt panic. He had to capture some character and get out of that rest room be fore his ague got so bad that the sergeant had to carry him to and from the boot h every day. which was opened on his lap. Don't worry about me either. and each cough caused a vague pain in his lungs that lingered on for moments after the cough had seared his throat and che st. There's a regatta this afternoon. You'll find out."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql "Gawd the police. He looked out through the crack in the d oor of the booth. Patrolman Mancuso thought. "What's that you're writing on your hand. There might be something in th is. but what honor was t here in dying of pneumonia in a bus station rest room? Even his relatives would laugh. He leaned his head against the side of the booth for a moment and closed his eyes.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No. There at the lavatories was the same boy that Patrolman Mancuso had been seeing every day. Look. Now all this time the guy was writing this thing. pal?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql George looked at the monocle and the beard at his elbow and said. The guy who wrote it was goin g to be tortured by the king. "Just get away. He watched the delicate boots moving back and forth from the lavatory to the paper-towel dispenser. damp page." Miss Trixie was snarling on the couch.

she had a book now. and neither does a screwball like you. it was off-limits." A badge flashed in front of George's pimples. What could he tell Mrs. Without closing the locker door. which had fallen from his eye."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql He reached out to grab George by the arm and handcuff him. She could h ave fired the jig. Where did you put stuff like that? You could get tired of carrying that stuff around all afternoon. he saw the boy scraping rapidly out of the door of the rest room with the b ook in his hand. he had almost been arrested. This was really bad luck. but George snatched T he Consolation of Philosophy from under Patrolman Mancuso's arm and slammed it i nto the side of his head. still walking as fas t as he could. George looked at the title. and he could have kept on picking up his packages at the old time. The phonog . "I ain't done nothing. "Damn Miss Lee. On top of the old console radio there were two fifths of Early Times and a six-bottle. And it was all becaus e he had to go check the stuff in the bus station." George protest ed nervously. The Consolation of Philosophy. He tucked the packages higher up under his arm and realized that he was also carrying the book he had taken from the undercover agent. two o'clock. Miss Lee had asked him to bring her the book she needed."\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Patrodeman Madcuso. carton of Seven-Up. "Cubb alogg wid me. Uddercover. limited edition of the English translation. looking over his shoul der for the beard and monocle. Nobody mak es a good potatis salad like Santa. cleaned the spoon with he r tongue. looking at the waterin g eye behind the monocle and the moistness at the mouth of the beard." Patrolman Mancuso coughed. she said to the picture of her mother on the mantelpiece. all because he was stuck with the stuff now for two hours every afternoon."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql The parlor was almost ready for the party. He wanted to run after him. this wouldn't have happened. Reilly about the book? George opened the locker in the waiting room of the bus terminal as quickly as he could and took out the brown-paper packages h e had stored. What is this?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You udder suspiciudd. "You rilly afred. Stealing from a c op. Well. Mother was hom e all the time. elegant.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Aha!" Patrolman Mancuso slobbered. Ignatius had bought a large. and all fifteen dollars of its price hit Patrolman M ancuso in the head with the force of a dictionary. If she weren't so tight. too. so you couldn't go around there with it. Sucking some pieces of parsley and onion from between her teeth."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Suspicion of what?" George asked in panic.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Santa Battaglia tasted a spoonful of the potato salad. are you out of it. but his head was throbbing too badl y. and placed the spoon neatly on a paper napkin next to the plate of sal ad. That undercover agent would be prowling the bus station all aft ernoon looking for him. As it was. he ran out onto Canal Street and jogged metallically toward the central business district. There was no beard anywhere behind him. "Tight bitch. Patrolman Mancuso bent over t o pick up the monocle. That was good." George said aloud.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What the hell are you arresting me for? I'm just standing here. "You udder arrest. And what about tomorrow? The bus station was no longer s afe." George said." George m umbled. "What? Boy.{\ql "No. When he straightened up ag ain. He returned to his booth to rest and grew even more depressed. "They gonna love that.

kid. You sure looking cute." Mrs." The little black coals of Sicilian eyes gla red almost animatedly at Santa from the snapshot. "Poor momma." Someone knocked at the front shutters." Santa told the snapshot incoherently. almost tearing Mrs .\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Listen to that cold. balancing the ice cube on her tongue. momma. Ain't that a shame. "Aw. "You sure had it hard. she arranged her best jelly g lasses on the mantelpiece before her mother's picture." Mrs. and you standing in a alley. Angelo. "Well. Reilly put her finger to her lips to indicate that the book must forever be a secret. but don't never tell Ignatius about it." Angelo answered sadly. no wonder." Patrolman Mancuso offered. Where's Rita?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "She diddit feel like cubbig. We'll really have us a fight on our han ds. Angelo. " Santa said feelingly. a photograph of an ancient and hostile-looking woman in a black dress and black stockings standing in a dark alley paved with oyster shells. "She's got ner-bous trouble. "Come on in. Reill y on the front steps and her nephew. the cord rising to the chandelier where it was plugged in. girl. She's got her a headache. she oughta get out."\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Nerves is terrible. locked up in that house with them kids all day long. After she had returned with the chair and a little picnic cooler of ice cubes. Santa grabbed the picture on the mantel piece. Santa tipped it over on its face. Patrolman Mancuso. Reilly said. honey. sweetheart darling. standing down on the ban quette. "The only picture of you I got . giving the picture a loud. Then she went back to the kitchen t o get some ice cubes and one of the kitchen chairs. The proximity of the pict ure made her grab it and kiss it again. You better tell them men at the precinct to take you out that toilet. A fork stuck out of the open bottle of olives that she had placed on a tin tray on top of the covered and folded rollaway bed. gimme your coat."\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Thanks." Santa sa id. Me and Angelo been in that car almost a hour.raph she had borrowed from her niece sat on the mopped linoleum in the center of the room. the ice cube in her mouth cracking again st the glass. "You know what happened. Reilly said. "You better believe they's a candle burnin g for you over in St.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I say a prayer for you every day. In putting the picture down hurriedly. Santa? Angelo l ost the book Ignatius give him. The grease on the g lass that covered the photograph showed the frequency of these affectionate onsl aughts."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well." Santa said eagerly."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs." Santa said. "Whoo! I forgot how long it takes to drive do wn here." Santa sighed at the u nfairness of it all and slammed the picture down on the mantelpiece among the bo wl of wax fruit and the bouquet of paper zinnias and the statue of the Virgin Ma ry and the figurine of the Infant of Prague. Two giantsized bags of potato chips rested in either corner of the red plush sofa. "Aw. wet kiss."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Id's the traffig is whad id is. Ain't that a shame? I don't mind about the book.\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Irene!" Santa screamed when she opened the door and saw the hesitant Mrs. babe. What's wrong with that girl?"\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Nerbs. Odo's.

fix Irene here a nice drink." "He wante d to come. you and the old man can da nce right in front the phonograph. I seen some nice ones up by Mai son Blanche. my feet swole up this afternoon while I was ironing them uniform s." Santa observed quickly. Santa."\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Look at Angelo. He says they an abortion. We gonna have us a nice time. Reilly's old purple woolen topper off. Take a little whiskey yourself."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You got any aspirins. Wait till t he old man comes. I don't know what that boy likes.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You got you a nice place here. I said. honey? They don't look too bad. girl. babe. but I want to get me some new linoleum for the parlor."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "And what you told him. Ignatius acts like he's really made good pushing that wagon around downtown. girl. honey?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. even if he is my own child."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Irene. And all the directi ons I get on how to wash them. He sounds like he's selling soap powder on the TV . He's fixing us a nice drink. Look. I got some cokes in the kitchen. She was determined that the ghost of Ig natius J. huh?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Wanted to come? He ast me should he wear a suit. you can't disappoint him. honey?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Aw."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I bought some nice paper curtains for Ignatius's room once. I bet nobody ast him out.. I told him I was going to a novena."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius don't like novenas neither." Mrs. Besides.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius don't know I come here tonight. Reilly said respectfully. 'Wear whatever you want.' "\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yeah. but he tore them of f the window and crumpled them up. mister. Personal ly. You shoulda seen his face when I invited him out in front the church."\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I fixed us a good potatis salad. Ain't that awful?"\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Everybody to his own taste."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You oughta see them big uniforms he's giving me to launder. "It's cle an. help out t hat cold." "Dance? I don't feel like dancing with no ol d man. Irene! What kinda party pooper I got on my hands? Take a drink."\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Angelo. You ever used them paper curtains. I'm getting kinda fed up on Ignatius. That old man tells me he likes a good po tatis salad. Reilly would not haunt her party as it had haunted so many evenings of bowling. Poor old man.

Reilly finished her drink. "I bet she's making better than Igna tius. if you don't mind. Angelo fixed us a nice hi-ball. Angelo."\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Go ahead." Mrs. tasted the potato salad. Mrs. "I'm gonna make me another one." Mrs. I sure got two happy people at my party so far. Reilly looked down at her green taffeta cocktail dress ." Mrs. He's si tting in his room right now writing some foolishness. I says."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Lord. Mrs. Go lay down in the back and res t up till the old man comes." Santa said. boy?' And he say."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Poor Angelo. "He sure a sweet boy. Just graduated outta St. Reilly took a jelly glass from Angelo and drank half of it in two gulps. "Ignatius ast me why I was wearing a cocktail dress to go to a novena. cleaning the spoon with her lips. She picked up the spoon. babe. The family in the othe r half of Santa's double house was beginning to stage what sounded like a riot. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You sure got you good walls in this building."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs. sugar."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's my little niece's. Miss Annie wouldn't have nothing to complain about." Santa said as she returned to the parlor. that's nice. 'What's that you w riting now. And to think we all met when he tried to arrest Ignatius. Reilly filled her glass with bourbon and added a jigg er of Seven-Up. "Stop that coughing. Sipping her drink."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql After Santa had left."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Maybe he's not coming.' Ain't t hat terrible? Who want to read a story like that? You know how much he brought h ome from that weenie place today? Four dollars. darling?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What you mean?" Santa asked. put it back on the paper napkin. and. Santa. I got problems. Reilly put her ear to the wall and tried to filter some meaning out of the loud shouting." Mrs. unable t o comprehend the gist of the argument on the other side of the wall. She's precious."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You see that?" Mrs. I hope that old m an don't fall down and break his leg on the way over."\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql . 'I'm writing about being a weenie vendor. Reilly said. You two sure been good friends to me. babe. How I'm gonna pay off that man?" "Look." "I wonder how come that old man ain't showed up ye t. Reilly said after the patrolman had left the room. I'm gonna take your coat back in the kitchen and see how Angelo 's making out.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "Angelo's taking some cough medicine.\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Where you got that nice high-fly from."Well. Odo High and she's awready got her a good saleslady job. Reilly said excitedly. "I wish me and Ignatius lived here.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That gramaphone you got in the middle of the floor.

it's too late now. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Aw. they all crumbs now.\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Aw." Santa said eagerly. Reilly in the eye. c rushing one of the bags of potato chips. He knows you from somewhere." Santa said a little angrily. Santa. "You think I'm trying fix my friend up wi th a bum?" Someone knocked lightly at the shutters on the front door. that ain't too old. "Tell him I hadda go." Santa looked Mrs. I'm sorry I axt you over. You don't wanna end up all alone with that Ignatius on your hands. but what me and this old man gonna do?" Mrs." " Oh. Lord. pulling the bag from beneath her. Santa. Irene."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . honey. The bowling's helping that out."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Irene! You gonna be on the floor. Reilly hadn't thought of this before. Santa."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yeah. Reilly slopped a great deal of whiskey into her glass and sat down again." Santa pulle d Mrs. I ain't gonna introduce no drunk to thi s nice old man. He dresses neat. take it easy."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's the way it is with old folks."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. Right? You was stuck home with that crazy boy every night until Santa come along."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs. "Listen. relax." Mrs. I don't think I want to meet this old man."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'll make me a small one.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. You making me nervous. "Maybe he went to see a nice picture show or somet hing."Where's that old man?" Santa asked the front shutters. "Now listen to me.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He's clean?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Sure he's clean." Santa said angrily. precious. Reilly finished her drink. "This ol d man can pay off your debt!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yeah?" Mrs."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "To tell you the truth. I bet that's him. I guess." Mr s. the one I told you them kids beat up on to get fifty cents out her coin purse. You just got here. He likes you. you mind if I make me another drink. Right? Now listen to San ta. I got nerves tonight. My poor old Tante Marguerite. Reilly said. honey. "Maybe he ain't gonna co me. girl. what I done now?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You just smashed them potato chips." "He ain't that old. The old man suddenly became a little more attractive." "Well . Irene." "How o ld is he?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Someplace in his late sixties. You ha d arthritus very bad. S he studied the flattened cellophane. Irene. "Oh. Reillyrs drink down from her lips for a moment. Reilly asked apprehensively. what time you got? Ignatius says he's sure the burgulars is striking tonight and for me to get in early. she going on eighty. This old man looks like he's got him a little money." "Maybe he forgot.

Robichaux told Santa.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hey. la la. Holmes. Robichaux."\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You remember." she said into the night to someone whom Mrs."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql "I know. hu h?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You ladies was all alone. yeah." Santa's eyes opened wide. "I bought a chance from a little kid just the other day." Santa turned to Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Santa opened the door and pushed the shutters outward." Mrs. "Irene!" Santa cried.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Maybe Miss Reilly don't remember. maybe you oughta go tell Angelo to run along.{\ql "Go? Where you goint to. A lady I know won the outboard motor the sisters was raf fling last year. honey. Lord ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs. A little. You know?"\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I see whatcha mean. Reilly looked up and recognized the old man whom Patrolman Mancuso had arre sted in front of D." "Yeah. Miss Battaglia." Mrs. her voice choked with misery."\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It wasn't your fault though. H. That poli ceman tried to take in your boy and he took me in instead."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs. Robichaux. "They got thin walls in this building." Santa said." Mrs. Reilly cautioned. They all a bunch of communiss. It's easier for him. "Oh. huh?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Lemme go take a look. Miss Reilly." Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ ." Mr. who was beaming ha ppily. "Listen. Reilly said to her drink. girl? Say 'hello' to Mr.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. Tell him he can run out the back way. you didn't see no man with us. Robichaux. "We been waiting for you. "I think I remember now."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Not so loud. "It was downtown by Holmes. T hey beautiful rosaries. "Eh." Sh e moved her elbow and knocked her empty glass off the arm of the sofa."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He is. I can get me a taxi. It's them police. I'm sorry I'm a li ttle late. "What you doing."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "To think you two are old friends. My friend Miss Reilly here's been wondering wh ere you was. when you se en my friend and me down by the bowling alley. "It's sure a small world . Come on in out the cold. Reilly sat frozen on the sofa staring into her drink as if she had just dis covered a roach floating in it. Santa." "Ay-yi-yi. "but we met before." Santa said happily. They raffling some rosaries for the sisters. Robichaux said to her. Reilly said. Reilly couldn 't see. Reilly said. Irene? The man's right by the front door. but I had to take my little granchirren around the neighborhood. Mr.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Glad to meet you." Mrs.

"I wouldn't feel bad about getting arres ted."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql "Aw. one of them's on the force. "He's a dirty communiss. but just supposing." Mrs. I better go." "I always been a decent citizen. Reilly said. yeah." Mr ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs." Santa said. go sit down. Lemme talk t o Mr. Reilly whispered to Santa."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It was the disgrace. "Santa." "I think I hear Ignatius calling me." Mr." Santa pause d to give the snaoshot a moist kiss. as I was saying. Irene. darling."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yeah. You remember the fend er came loose entirely right in front the bowling alley. You know what I mean? That's the Christian way." "Oh." Santa continued. Reilly went over to the old console radio and poured herself a glass of Ear ly Times. he's here now."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "If somebody does me dirt. "She had it hard." "That's you r momma?" Mrs."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I know. believe me. h e got me so nervous from the backseat. Robichaux." Mr. Mr. "My poor dear momma." Mr.{\ql "Wasn't that the night A. "Whadda you mean.\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Mancuso?" Santa asked with great surprise. sweet. You come by for me in that car of yours."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql "Aw. Wouldn't you forgive and forget?"\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Santa. Them people want to set up a police state. "I wanna go wrench out my glass in the zink. Ain't that right." "I hope I never see him again. You see her?" Santa picked up the photograph lying face down on the mantel piece and showed it to her two guests. "Everybody gets took in some time in they life." Santa continued." Mrs. Robichaux. They only human. "I try to turn the other cheek. "You know. Reilly agreed halfheartedly. no. huh? Mothers got a h ard road to travel. that ain't nothing. no w suppose you saw that cop that took you in. Policeman got them a hard line of work. got himself arrested?" Mrs." Mrs."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "So. Ignatius is the one made me wreck that car. Robichaux said with emotion. "I got plenty relatives with that ve ry same name. As a matter of fact. Irene. The police took her out the Lautenschlaeger Market four times for disturbing the peace. "My whole family heard about it. Robichaux said to Santa. Sometimes they make a mistake. Reilly interrupted. "I think I'm gonna run in the kitchen and see if you got some nice aspirins."\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Calling you?" Santa asked. Robichaux said. "The one thing I can't stand is a poor loser or a bad sport. Robichaux was saying. As a matter of fa ct. Irene?"\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's right. you go t some nice aspirins?" "Irene!" Santa said angrily. I got it in the backseat. after all. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. "I'll never forget that Patrolman Mancuso. "You think she cared? Not her. Reilly asked interestedly. The police called up my daughter. Irene? Ignatius is six miles away .

He's okay. kid.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Who?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Your son. It pays to be careful. Rei lly made on the rim of her glass. Look. wh ile I go get Angelo.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You two make friends while I'm gone. Robichaux asked to end the silenc e that had fallen."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'm all the time giving Ignatius advice. Reilly studied her drink furiously in the hope of tur ning up a roach or at least a fly."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I bet you a good momma. He kinda stands out. Me. you know?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql . "Maybe Santa needs some help. Fix him a drink. Reilly had heard Ignatius saying to himself. And that there's Irene.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "You want some nice potato chips?" Mrs. Reilly's mind flew back to Constantinople Street wher e she had left Ignatius writing in his room and mumbling something about Myrna M inkoff." Mrs. Reilly lied. Irene. don't it?' And I says to him . and I al ways thought what a fine-looking big boy he was.' " "That's good advice. Take care. "That's right. Mr. Mrs."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "It sure does. Maybe she went and fell down. I seen you and that boy downtown plenty times. "Gimme that coat. Robichaux open the cellophane package. Reilly observed."\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "They right in the bag next to you." Mrs."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ain't that the truth. Reilly watched Mr.uptown. 'Momma." Mrs. I'm Santa. "How's that fine big boy of yours?" Mr. too."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You gotta be careful in life. I think I would. R eilly said automatically. for she found that the silence made her even more ill at ease. Reilly finally asked. "You could slip down and crack your skull wide open." Mrs. son.'" "Hello. him. it sure pays to be careful. Robichaux. "Yeah. "She must be lashed until she drops."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "These floors are dangerous. Robichaux a drink. You know? I'm always trying to help hi m out. Through the door. " "She just left the room a minute ago." Santa said and disappeared into the other room. we ain't even give Mr. Whatcha frie nds call you?" "Claude. studying the shiny linoleum intently. His face and his gray gabardine suit both seemed to be neat and freshly pressed. say 'hello." Mrs."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql There was a long silence broken only by the violent sipping noises that Mrs."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Me." Mrs. "He says to me."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Claude. She'll be back. That's what Ignatius said just the other day. I'm always careful.

\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "I gotta do something. though. son."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ain't he writing something?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Some foolishness nobody never gonna feel like reading."\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's good training. Mrs. Take care when you cross the street. Robichaux could find no comment for that enigmatic statement. I gotta call the authorities to come take that boy away. Reilly sniffed.' " Mrs." "What weenie wagon?"\par\pard\plain\hyphp . I-don't know where that boy gets his ideas from. Ain't that awful? Poor Myrna. Reilly sobbed. You don't mind if I call you by your fir st name." Mrs. Now him and that Myrna w riting insults to each other." Mr. completely confused by the tragic turn t he evening was apparently taking. You wanna nice drink?" "Yeah . "W hen I think of all I take."I try with him." With th at. Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql Mr. 'Be careful. I say. Robichaux. Watch you don't slip down and crack yo ur skull open or fracture a arm." "Call me Claude."\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. Irene." Mrs."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "As God is my witness. Reilly crossed herself and finished her drink. filling two glasses to the rim with whiskey. I say."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Irene's a pretty name. believe me. Sometimes I could really have me a good cry. "Why don't you get a p riest to talk to your boy?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "A priest?" Mrs. Reilly wept. Robichaux. It's a good thing his poor poppa's dead. Ignatius is telling me he's gonna get that girl go od. Reilly burst intb loud. "I sure got a hard road. thanks. They had a big fight when Ignatius's dog died. She paused to take a mouthful of Early Times." Mr.\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius learned safety at my knee. huh?" "Feel free. unable to think of anything to say. He calls the priest in our parish a heretic." Mrs. I got a awful cross to bear. "It was awful. son.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Aw. "Maybe they p ut him in a detention home or something. He's always been grateful for that. wild tears. I don't mind telling you. asked."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ {\ql "I tell Ignatius. Robichaux pleaded.' "\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You gotta watch out in traffic."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ain't he thirty years old?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "My heart's broke. Not too strong. I thought I'd get throwed out the Church. don't cry. Lord."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You think so? Ignatius says he don't like it. Reilly sucked at the ice cubes a bit. "Ignatius won't listen to no priest. He'd be breaking his poor f ather's heart with that weenie wagon. I'm not a drinking man.

"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "A job?" Mrs. Reilly asked in panic. Claude?" "Something about Ang elo. jumping to his feet. "Maybe I can scare him. I knew this was gonna happen ." "She woulda screamed if she was burnt. Reilly asked with interest. You know. you know." "He mint me. "Aw. lemme go see if Santa's okay. She don't take care around th e fire. Robichaux was screaming at Angelo. Robichaux advised. Santa." Santa said calmly. I'd punch you right in the nose. "Angelo here didn't mean no harm."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I sure will.ar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He's out on the streets pushing a weenie wagon all over. Maybe she burnt herself on the stove. and. "Maybe that's what's wrong with Ignatius . Claude. "It's all over my neighborhood. When I reconnized you down by the bowling alley with Miss Bat taglia. unaware that she was showing Mr. That takes courage. Poor thing." "Who's Angelo?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "There! I hadda go open my big mouth."\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "If you wasn't a dirty cop. What I said. You got a very fine character. take it easy. standing up for that boy in front that dirty cop. "They got plent y communiss in them colleges. "That's him!"\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What?" Mrs. Reilly sobbed."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yeah?" Mrs. All Constantinople Street's talking about him. Ignatius was just the type to be a comm unist."\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Not Santa. I says to myself. It's that strong Italian blood. that communiss. I admi re that in a lady. looking around. Santa's all the time getting herself burnt. Reilly said happily. that girl. He even looked like one a little." I wisht I wou lda let Angelo take him away. She's got plenty courage. The lady next door' s been asking me a million questions. Lord. I thought chirren was supposed to comfort you in your old age. Robichaux the wide runs in her stockings at the knee. Ignatius woulda been locked up safe in jail."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "Christ Awmight!" Mr."\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That boy shouldn't be giving you trouble."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par ." Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Lord. saw Santa and Angelo st anding in the doorway of the room. Robichaux screamed. 'I hope I can meet her sometime. I shoulda stayed home. "You see." "Oh." "Ax that boy what he think s of democracy some time. He's got him a j ob now.'"\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You said that?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I admired your integrity. It's just like a communiss to treat his momma bad." Mr." Mrs. my nerves is shot already. None of this other stuff woulda happened. What kinda comfort Ignatius is giving me?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Maybe your boy went to school too long. esp ecially if you got troubles with him at home. You won't hear a word outta her . When I think of all the money I spent on that boy's education. dabbing at her eyes with the skirt of h er green taffeta cocktail dress.

Angelo. It's too late to feel sorry."\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql . "Listen at what Irene's telling you. you wanna call me a nice taxi?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Aw. "Mr." Santa said. And wa tch out you don't step on my poor little niece's phonograph. Robichaux." Mrs. Reilly added. Reilly pleade d. He's go t him a hard road. He makes troubl e everyplace he goes." Mrs." Santa said eagerly." Mrs. "What is this? " "Santa. "for trying to protect that Ignatius. Next thing they gonna kick him off the force.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Somebody oughta beat up on that Ignatius." Mrs. shut up.\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Patrolman Mancuso coughed violently and Ic oked depressed. Everybody make friends. Reilly said. I should of let you lock him away. Robichaux." "Okay."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It was all my fault. Robichaux conceded. Ignatius'H really be happy then. Robichaux a little accusingly.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "Maybe I got a little excited."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You tell him." Santa said. Claude. "Just look at the cold poor Angelo's got."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Somebody oughta punch that Ignatius in the nose. "Now listen. powdery face to Mr. "Ain't that nice. and Santa can play her precious little niece's high-fly." "That don't mean nothing.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It was all Ignatius's fault." Santa answered. "Come sit on the sofa." Angelo breathed." Mr. Cla ude. He's my own flesh and blood. "The last thing I need i s a fight. but he sure does look funny when he goes out. Robichaux said. none of this woulda happened."\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Patrolman Mancuso coughed sadly. Claude." Santa waved a stubby finger at Mr.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql "Oh. Angelo shoulda locked him up. Claude. We'll be all over the newspaper." Mrs. "Now he's stuck in a toilet. you don't know Ignatius. I was disgraced in front my granchirren. honey. Reilly said despairingly." "Don't be mad at Angelo. Rei lly explained to her audience." Mrs. "Somebody oughta punch him in the mouth."\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "How come you brought me here?" Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's right. Lord. Claude. Reilly turned her white. He wondered what terr ible thing would happen to him next. girl." Santa added. "Now come on.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I shouldn't of toog you id." Mr. Robichaux asked Santa wildly. Reilly said. He took Angelo's blue-white hand and shook it limply. "I got nerbous." Mrs. Irene. I better go."\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "If Ignatius woulda been nice to Angelo. "Angelo got that cold on account of he took yo u in. Angelo says he's sorr y he took you in.

you big slob. He looked like an arm of the bureaucracy."\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. you wanna turn that down a little?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The thumping rhythm decreased slightly in volume. you fat bum. You can always t ell employees of the government by the total vacancy which occupies the space wh ere most other people have faces. sat down on the kitchen chair across from Mrs. Did you pay for that weenie you eating?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. Irene and Claude. bumping his wagon into the garage. "So that's who that obvious appendag e of officialdom was. "Santa. Thrice-blessed Seven! I'm guilty on that count. drown ed in the pounding beat of the phonograph. Hey. Then. and I bet he forgot to turn it off. "Now everybody make friends while I go get us some plates for my good potatis salad. Carrying no social diseases. "I am afraid to guess what the complaint could be or how it could have originated." "They got this man was checking on you. sniffling and lo oking a little confused. . silently studied the rosecolored wall s and the floral patterns on the linoleum. I got guys working for me for years never been in trouble with the Board. come on. Look at these fingernails. Reilly. I ." Santa shouted at her guests. "Tell me." Ignatius said to Mr. I assure you that I have been the very soul of cleanliness. You may subtract it from my miserable wage. that's you .While Santa put a Fats Domino record on the phonograph." The two little coal-black eyes scowled down at her fr om the mantelpiece as she stomped gaily out of the room. . indirectly.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Now ain't this nice. "Mothers got a hard road. "You know what? Ignatius was running the water in the tub when I left." "Shut up. Mrs. she adde d." Ignatius said calmly and paused to chew on the tip of the hot dog that was sticking from his mouth like a cigar butt. Let's see you kids shake a leg. . Reilly a nd Mr. I don't see what I could possibly transmit to your hot dogs that they do not already have.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Okay." "No dou bt they're more foxy than I. My intimate habits are above reproach. what archaic sanitary tabo o have I violated? I suspect that it's some falsification on the part of the ins pector. "You only been on the job a few days. The three guests. Angelo. Reilly screamed to the two gentlemen."\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. I thought that you were havi ng some sort of epileptic seizure. suddenly. Reilly screamed brightly over the deafening piano an d bass. I imagined that Seven would ironically be an unlucky cart."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Nine\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "We got a complaint on you from the Board of Health. is that all? From the expression on your face. honey." Mr. Clyde jotted some numbers on a pad." When no one answered. ." Mrs. Robichaux. Clyde ignored the paws tha t Ignatius had extended for inspection. Clyde through his mouth ful of hot dog and bun." Ignatius watched as Mr. They've already pinne d something on me."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The Board says they seen the vendor with Number Seven ."\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't gimme none of your bullshit."\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "So it is.

"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql "We not talking about this cat!" Mr. Incorporated. to pay the psychiatrist's fees. Joseph Stree t." "They seen you picking a cat out the gutter on St. This cat hasn't been given a chance.\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What was you doing on St. I should perhaps warn you that I am about to faint from anxiety and general depression. Sir. you big ape?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\ql "No." "Will you listen to me?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql "Well. I am certain that I can do better with some other wagon. In addition. I didn't know that."\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. Unfortunately for us."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Now that you mention it. Apparently I am pushing a jinx about the streets. They's no people on St. you would no doubt bec ome frightened. am I going to be endlessly harassed? My ne rves are nearing total decay already. Actually. on e involving a Scenicruiser bus. "It has apparently been taken for granted that the cat was unclean."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Is that the best that they can do? What an absurd lie. I almost collapsed during the singing sequ ence on surfboard. Joseph. I am growing quite dissatisfied with conditions at this disrepu table firm. We've already discussed that. I only picked it up to fondle it a bit. A new cart. That inspector must have some prejudice against ca ts. is too paleolithic to consider offering its workers such benefits . I certainly am clean. It was rather brutal and obscene. if I really must. I suffered through two nightmares last night. Joseph Street? That's all warehouses and wharfs out t here. The other involved a girl of my acquaintance. If I described it to you." "So you was playing with the cat. I t was a rather appealing calico. Perhaps y ou do not know that I am not covered by any hospitalization plan. continuously licking at themselves when they suspect that there is the slightest cause for offense." Ignatius said and with a flip of his tongue pulled in the last visible portion of the hot dog."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "So you was there? No wonder you not selling nothing. I was not 'playing' with the cat. That's not even on our routes. And I guess you was playin g with that goddam cat. though. I offered it a hot dog. I just wanted to see that the cat got a fair hearing. they did not se em to be in hot dog moods. Clyde said with such vehemence that Ignatiu s was able to see the purple veins swelling around the whitened scar on his nose ." "You realize what a serious violation that is.want another cart as soon as possible. sir." Ignatius said angrily. However. When you checked my fingernails a moment a go. The film I saw last night was especiall y grueling. I hope that you noticed the frightening vibration of my hands."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql . I would hate to sue Paradise Vendors."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No. I had only feebly shambled out there to rest a while. Paradise Vendo rs. of course. the cat refuse d to eat it. I am afraid I don't. a teen-age beach musical. "We talking about you. I do seem to remember a domesticated animal or two in the vicinity."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. How do we know that? Cats are notoriously sanitary. Occasionally a pedestrian happened along. It was an animal with some taste and decency. a new start.

"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's even worse." "I can't promise you th at many hot dogs will be sold in the Quarter. I will probably be kept busy every moment protecting my honor against those fiends who live down there. stunned feet. "Do you think that I am going to perambulate about in that sinkhole of vice? No.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It is? Well." "Okay. too bad for you. The solicitous nuns and psychiatrists there can help me decipher it between shock tr eatments."\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You know. My mother is becoming increasingly abusive and vicious." "Take it or le ave it. "I'm gonna fix you up with a new route and give you another chanc e." "Not completely as of yet. Clyde to illustrate. That's the last chance you get. I'm afraid. You might have gained some valuable insights from the tr .\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "Everything. at least you show up every day. the mother's lasci vious friends."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You may send a map of my new route to the mental ward at Charity Hospital. we'll fix you up with some gimmicks. When I rose this morning. I do hope that you have selected a scenic route. have I ever told you about that particular pilgr image to Baton Rouge? Outside the city limits there are many horrors." "You see that? You've destroyed my initiative already. please don't have another seizure. pref erably something in a park area where there are ample seating accommodations for sufferers from tired."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. I a m afraid that the Quarter is out of the question." "No. what's wrong?" Mr." "Now shut up. Personally. various small bones and ligaments are beginning to wave a wh ite flag of surrender. you big slob."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That is only because I would be beaten senseless with a baked wine bottle if I dared stay at home. However. Clyde's scar was b eginning to whiten again. the damages that had to be paid. Then it's settled. "Well. You may tumble into that vat of franks and scald yourself. Clyde said in a paternal tone." "You get mostly the tourist trade in the Quarter. I do n't wanna hear about it. My digestive system has almost ceased functioning altogether. Some tissue has perhaps grown over my pyloric valve. I would have landed on the floor in a broken heap. Fortunately I grabbed for the bedpost in time. Only degenerates go touring."Why. Opening the door of my home is like intruding into the den o f a lioness." Mr. sealing it forever. My tarsi are apparently about to throw in the to wel completely." "What?" Ignatius thundered. I have been out of the city only once. I imagine that I shall have to trundl e my franks down into Sodom and Gomorrah. Reilly. I got some merchandising gimmicks maybe help you out. You come in tomorrow morning. I don't feel at all appreciated."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius limped around Mr. my ankles gave wa y. I could e asily be struck down in traffic or be wedged against a building. By the way. My psyche would crumble in the atmosphere. I'll give you that. " Ignatius belched." "Well ."\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'm gonna put you down in the French Quarter. his desert boots scuffing along the oily cement. H e had heard the sad tale of vendor Reilly: the drunken mother." Mr. Besides. you fat bastard. Otherwise. My physical apparati seem to be preparing to announce a t ruce of some sort. On top of that. I don't wanna fire you. "Stop that. You ain't crippled. the streets are very narrow and dangerous there. Clyde asked. If you insist. the threat of penury for both son and mother.

The psychological and symbolic subtleties of the journey probably wouldn't be comprehended by a Paradise Vendors mentality. "After all. "Let's go over yo ur receipts for today. Reilly cried tragically. When he walked into the kitchen. The aft ernoon had been wasted on the cat. no one would sit next to him. he had contemplated means of destroying Myrna Minkoff but had reached no satisfactory conclusion. "It seems to me tha t you would be generous enough to give some sort of discount to your own employe es. tell me how come you sent me th is terrible cross to bear? What I done. I been go od. Finall y she limped away from the fray." "Now listen here. Clyde stuck the fork in Vendor Reilly's muffler and ordered him out of the g arage. Ignatius had actually spen t the morning sitting at Eads Plaza watching the harbor traffic and jotting some notes about the history of shipping and Marco Polo in a Big Chief tablet. although the car was crowded. she would have sacked my wagon."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "In the account I struck upon an especially suitable simile in comparing the Sce nicruiser bus to a loop-the-loop in a surrealistic amusement park."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Now shut up!" Mr. and mailing it in plain pa per to Myrna. upon subtracting the cost of the hot dogs he had eaten. What's happening to you?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph . Mrs. Reilly. his take-home pay for the day was exactly a dollar and twenty-five cents. Reilly was questionin g the ceiling with her eyes. constructing a bomb. I am becoming yo ur best customer. I am glad that you do not want to hear of it . my God." Ignatius screamed.aumatic tale of that trip. waving his fork menacingly. his mother greete d him by falling to her knees and saying. "Lord. Then he remembered that his library card had been revoked. How much did you sell?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "O." "What's them bo-bos on your hand?"\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius looked at the scratches he had received in trying to persuade the cat t o remain in the bun compartment. Ignatius flapped off to the trolley in a dark mood and rod e uptown belching Paradise gas so violently that. "Wha t a greeting I receive after a discouraging day battling for my very existence o n the streets of this savage town. and at some time in the future. her glad rags askew." Ignatius said importantly after -an audit of the day's receipts showed that . Send me a sign. Betwe en notes. seeking an answer among the grease and cracks." Ignatius belched . "Every day it seems you getting worst and worst. However.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "I had a rather apocalyptic battle with a starving prostitute. Lord? Tell me. the more alert among the reading public wil l benefit from my account of that abysmal sojourn into the swamps to the inner s tation of the ultimate horror. I've written it all d own. But it had escaped."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Stop that blasphemy this moment."\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The two haggled over the profits for several minutes. His most promising scheme had involved getting a boo k on munitions from the library." Ignatius sighed. threatening him with dismissal if he didn't show up early to begin workin g the French Quarter."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius!" Mrs. "Had it not been for my superior brawn. Clyde screamed. "I knew that we'd get to that sooner or later. Fortunately. Ignatius had tried to trap the cat in the bun compartment and take it home for a pet.

Reilly said sadly. This come f or you today." "What you mean. And right in front a weenie wagon. they would have been beaten to within an inch of their lives. swe eping streets and breaking up rocks or whatever it is people are always doing in those blighted countries? What I want is a good. Had they crossed my path. Let me alone! I am in a very bad cycle. "Ignatius. I told her off quit e viciously. you sure you not a com muniss?" "Oh. fortunately I didn't meet them. call the Battaglia bawd." Mrs." "I never heard of nobody wanted a king. "Ain't tha t awful. visit Miss Annie. Reilly rose from the floor and p ulled a small manila envelope out of a pocket in her sweater." Ignatius said angrily. my God!" Ignatius bellowed. strong monarchy with a tastefu l and decent king who has some knowledge of theology and geometry and to cultiva te a Rich Inner Life. 'cycle'?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "If you do not stop molesting me."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You better stick your hands in the sink and wrench out them scratches. swinging her white socks and old blac k patent leather pumps sadly while her son's blue and yellow eyes scanned the un folded Macy's bag on which the letter was written. What in the world has put that into your head?"\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I read someplace in the paper where they got plenty communiss at college. practice with your bowling ball out in the alley."\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "They can wait." "Wait a minute." Mrs.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Sirs:\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql . "Here. I am going to watch television. I shall christen the prow of your broken Plymo uth with the bottle of wine in the oven. boy. Minkoff has appar ently responded to my missive with a rather frantic urgency. It must be done by now. Ignatius. Reilly sat down and crossed her legs. "Sweep the porch. Reilly looked at her son slyly and asked." "A king? You want a king?" "Oh. I am not a fel low traveler."\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh?" Ignatius asked with interest. "The Yogi Bear pr ogram is coming on." Ignatius said. stop babbling at me. seizing the little tan envelope." Ignatius snorted. Do you think that I want to live in a communal society with people like that Battaglia acquaintance of yours. He ripped at the envelope. "M.par}{ {\ql "Get your bottle out of the oven."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs. No! I told you before. "Every day I am subjected to a McCarth yite witchhunt in this crumbling building.\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Fighting with some poor girl in the street."\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs."\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "Please!" Ignatius pounded a paw into the oilcloth on the kitchen table. I think you need help. "I imagine that you have memorized its contents by now.

\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "What? What's that. He is virile and aggressive. that didn't get to me either because my father and I hav e been at ideological odds' for years.U. I understand y our condition. \u171?\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "This liberal doxy must be impaled upon the member of a particularly large stall ion. Your hostility to my lecture is a manifestation of your feelings of failure. What Ongah says is meaningful.Y. I never thought that you would stoop so low. Look at the trees and birds. nonac-complishment . Live and learn.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. If you are having any sex fantasies. Of course. and you will open your valve . a very bad crack-up is on the way. Let's face it. Even volunte er work at a hospital would snap you out of your apathy. sick letter it was. Ongah is real and vital. The members of my group therapy group are all following your case with interest (I have told it to them chapter by chapter beginning wi th the paranoid fantasy. adding certain background commentaries). One person who has promised to come (and b ring several sharp friends. as you can imagine." Ignatius said absently and retur ned to his furious reading of the letter. on the French symbolists of t he 19th cent. The valve closes because it thinks it is li ving in a dead organism. Your comments a bout the lecture showed a very petty jealousy I didn't expect from someone who c laims to be so broad and non-committed. Ignatius. Already the lecture is beginning to inte rest several dedicated people I know. I could listen to him talk for hours. describe them in detail in your next lett er. I won' t go into the "Levy Pants" letterhead on that stationery." Ignatius mumbled furiously. Ignatius. and he is an exchange student from Kenya who is writing a dissertation at N. When I was at college. and mental(?) impotence. you have done nothing but lie around rotting in your room." "What' s that?" Mrs.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\ql "Go turn on the television set and warm it up. I told you many times that you would undergo a psychotic phase of this sort. It's a good thing that I'm above attack on that lev el. Ignatius. if you can call what you do "living. At least your letter let me know that you are still alive. S. I may be able to interpret their meaning for you and help you through this p sycho-sexual crisis you are having. it is so filled with life a nd being. Realize that life is surging all around you.Well. creating and se nsing. and it would probably b e non-taxing on your valve and other things. I thought you might be i nterested in knowing that I've just read in Social Revulsion that Louisiana has the highest illiteracy rate in the U. and they are a . His name is Ongah. Come out from under the mess before it' s too late. His sculpture almost leaps out and grabs you. too) is a brilliant new contact I made during rush h our on the Jerome Avenue line. Get out of that womb-house for at l east an hour a day. Reilly asked suspiciously.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql He is not a bit like you. Since I saw you last. Ignatius. boy?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius. you would not understand or like a brilliant and dedica ted guy like Ongah. And a sick. my God!" Ignatius slobbered. He is serious and does not come on with all of that pseudo stuff like you always did. "The minx has been raped by a Mau-Mau. at last I heard from you. Open your heart. You must do something. Ignatius. He rips at reality and tears aside concealing veils. Take a walk. It is probably your id ea of an anti-Semitic prank. I really don't mind what you wrote about the lecture. He is also a musician and a sculpt or and spends every minute in some real and meaningful activity." What were all these lies about being connected with t he "food merchandising industry?" Is this some attack on my father's restaurant supply business? If so.

I don't min d the cold."\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ain't that awful. "What that girl wants? What she's doing nowadays?"\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Myrna is preparing to bray at some unfortunate Negro. She had received it fre e of charge.\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You know that poor old colored lady sells them pralines in front the cemetery? Aw. the great muscles of her nether c heeks rippled to life to prevent the stool from leaning and tottering even an in ch. Minkoff\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius folded the letter violently. Now I am being compared to a degenerate old female fraud. She says. "A in't that something." "I see. Mrs. I says. I would take off on a long-overdue inspection tour and come to see you personally. So I says to her. "Well. My own mother daring to malign me so. Ignatius. You sure pick up with fine friends. listen to me. you gonna catch your death of cold wearing that little cloth coat ful l of holes. That lady's pitiful. "I am not in the mood for a dialect story. 'Oh. I am losing in the comparison. honey. you are flinging our money away at frau ds. The strate gy deserved his . 'H ey. . "So that is where our profits are going. lucrative location at that cemetery. sugar. bring me a snack of some sort. boy. yeah. yet she had never bought anything that had helped her as much as th . Them colored pe ople already got it hard. They got a hard road. Ignatius. Long years of practice and usage had made her rump an unusually versat ile and dexterous thing.' Ain't that brave?" Mrs. Ignatius.ll rooting for you.' "\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What?" Ignatius exploded. and it was cold out. Preferably politics. So. She has a wonderful. Reilly looked emotio nally at Ignatius for agreement but was treated only to a sneering moustache. "I wish you was as bra ve as she is. That woman's clothing is all a ruse. I give her a quarter an d I says. I'm used to it. I really feel sorry for her. In public." Ignatius said in a businesslike manner. Between wine breaks.' And she says . Her body had always amazed her. While I am a lmost reduced to begging on the streets. " "Ignatius. There must be other assaults which coul d be launched in the fields of politics and sex. full attention. 'Here. I'm goi ng into the parlor to watch the Yogi Bear program. Hold on until we meet again. The civil rights assault had fa iled because of defections in the ranks."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "Please!" Ignatius shouted furiously. too. The muscles rippled around the cushion of the stool and grabbed it." "Thank you very much. her legs crossed in tan suede trousers." Mrs. her muscular buttocks pinning the stool to the floor and commanding it to support her in per fectly vertical form. When she moved slightly.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql Lana Lee was on a barstool. . If I were not so busy with the lecture. Life's hard. I have had enough of this. holding it erect. M. you know what I done." Ig natius thrust a paw onto the oilcloth."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius! She's all broke down. Reilly said sadly. My valve is screaming for appeasement. Reilly looked at her son's redd ened face and asked." "Shut up over the re. darling. Worse. Ignatius." Miss Annie screamed through her shutters as Ignatius gathered his smock abo ut him and swept into the hall contemplating his most important problem: organiz ing a new assault against the minx's effrontery. Doubtlessly she makes ten times more than I do. then he rolled the folded Macy's bag into a ball and heaved it into the garbage pail. go buy you a trinket for your little granchirren. You'll learn. The other day I seen her wearing a li ttle cloth coat full of holes.

Ooo-wee."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Sorry. a skilled and professional performer who almost made up for the act' s human deficiencies. she thanked God for His goodness in forming a body that was also a friend. She was getting the act cheap.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What was that?" she asked finally. we're ready. She repaid the gift by giving it magnificent care. "Put the record on. "What can you prove to the cops?" Lana aske d Jones." Darlene called offstage. I plannin to call up a po-lice about you. Phones at po-lice headquarters really be hummin. and snake trade. Today was Darlene 's first dress rehearsal. The police already got their eyes on you. Now lemme in peace with my sweepin and moppin. if you ever plannin to call up a po-lice about me. What Lana had seen of the act so far was not promising. "Okay. and Lana's p eculiar knowledge of one aspect of humanity told her that the bird trade might i ndeed be very large. All things considered. but Darlene said that the costuming would transform the perfo rmance into a thing of beauty." Lana studied Jones's face.\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The only thing I been dippin in around here is a mop bucket fulla dirty water. The Night of Joy had the bird trade in the bag. especially when I tell them you been dipping into my cash register. Whoa! Don gimme no shit about no mother-fuckin record player.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ {\ql "The only thing you ever be givin the orphan is siphlus. Whoa!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Put down that broom and get on that phonograph before I call up the precinct. A carpenter had made a stand that looked like a hatrack but instead of hooks there were large rings attached to the top of the stand and three rings on chai ns hung from the top at different heights. Recor playin pretty advance for c olor peoples. Lana couldn't complain." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It's my word against yours." Lana hollered at him. Whoa! I knowed it all alon g." "Hey. A few minutes earlier Darlene had arrived with a large dress box and disappeared backstage. All they . "And you get off your stool and get on that phonograph bef ore I call up the precinc and ax them po-lice mothers make a search for your orp han frien who disappear. Well. Recor plain star at thirty a week. I callin a po-lice myself. The other clubs along the street might get the tiger. who was sweeping out the booths in a cloud of cigarette smok e and dust.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hey! Then they is somethin crooker with the orphans. At these rare moments when Lana Lee grew sentimental or even religi ous. Lana. but his eyes were invisible behind the smoke and dark glasses. sh e was glad that she had let Darlene and Jones talk her into permitting Darlene t o perform. I sick and tire of workin in this cathouse below the minimal wage and getting intimidatia all the time. and said. I probably break your machine. chim p. expert service and maintenanc e that was given with the emotionless precision of a mechanic. and she had to admit that the bird was very good.at body had. Lana lo oked over at Jones. As soon as I crack open this orphan case. Lana looked at Darlene's gadget on the sta ge. kids. Ooo-wee."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'd like to see a jailbait vagrant like you trying to get the cops to believe y ou. where's our mus ic?" Darlene's voice called eagerly."\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What's happening?" Darlene inquired from behind the little curtain.

snapped off the p honograph." "Hey!" Jones aimed his clou d at Lana Lee's." "Right away."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Jones threw his broom into a booth and put on the record of Stranger in Paradise .\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh." Lana stuck a cigarette between her coral lips and lit it. stop it." Lana screamed and. These jer ks wanna see a sweet. "Now get on the phonograph." "But L ana . here we come. "Oh. clean virgin get insulted and stripped. Which one y ou think they'll believe?" Lana looked at Jones and saw that his silence had ans wered her question." "Wait a minute. refined act in my club. goddammit. Stripping's an insult to a woman. "We gotta rethink the whole act. Anybody can insult a tramp. You gotta be pure."\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Whoa!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You look like a whore in that orange dress. I know this business." L ana screamed in the best tradition of the director in a musical movie. Then b e refined on my stage. You look like your motor's broke or som ething."\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The cockatoo was placed in the lowest ring. r efined girl who's surprised when the bird starts grabbing at your clothes." " Shut up. . stupid." Darlene called. "I thought you say nice. She had a . and at the peak of her upswept hair there was a large artificial orchid. She was wearing a low-cut orange satin evening dress. Scarla O'Horror. "Now listen. The kinda creeps come in here don't wanna see a tramp get insulted. And what's all these sounds you're making like a slut? You look like a drunk nympho passing out in a alley. and with beak and claw began to clim b up to the next highest ring. leaping from her stool.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Okay.\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It stinks is what's the matter. You're refined." Darlene sighed. she made a g rotesque pass at the pole with her pelvis and sighed."\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Who says I'm not refined. Holding onto the top of the stand with one hand. I got a decent business.need is to get the word about you from an old pal of theirs like me. "Oh."\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ooo-wee. For one thing. Then she of fered the bird the ring sewed in the side of her gown. That's what gives a turn drama. Darlene bumped and ground around the pole in a so rt of orgiastic frenzy until the bird was on a level with her waist. I want a nice. Darlene. Night of Joy be winnin a Academy Awar with this ack. You stink. ." Lana said. what's the matter?" Darlene asked in an offended voice. Oh. "Hey. bumping on stage with the cocka too on her arm. refine peoples comin here at night. everybody."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The bird's okay. you're dressed up like a streetw alker. bumping down to the edge of the little stage to show the a udience the lingerie that showed through the opening." Darlene asked angrily. Darlene." "Get back on my floor. You gotta use your head for Chrissake. "Okay. She made several clumsily lascivious motions over toward the stand while the cockatoo swayed unst eadily on her arm. I want you to be like a nice. The bird get one. He grabbed at it with his beak and the gown popped open."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Whoa!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Stop it. too.

pretty soon. let's give it a try. "That's it. You're just c oming in from a big ball where a lot of southern gentlemen were trying to feel y ou up over the fried chicken and hog jowls. said."\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Whoa! Now we really back on the plantation. "Good."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's what?" Darlene asked. You think this act is good. 'There was plenty beaux at that ball. bring in a lotta trade. I got a doorman. crinoline. Now listen to me. comp osing tableaux. Well. "Okay. The ball's over. "An idea. You're shocked. Anyway." Darlene said enthusiastically." Jones slid the needle across the f irst few grooves of the record. But you're too refined to stop it. "I got all my hope pin on that bird. "Of course you do. She'd let him go too f ar already. and making a rosebud of her mouth. moron. . I been practicing bein g an exotic. This Jones was really starting to get under her lotioned skin. Why? Becaus e you're a lady.' Then the goddam bird starts grabbing at your dress. "I'm pretty stupor to open my mouth in this mise r cathouse. be snarlin and clawin and fallin off its stan. Jones. "We get you a big plantation dress. Very refined. honey. too."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Darlene minced out on the stage. Music. A parasol. you're innocent. You're gonna be a southern belle type." "Stop !" Lana hollered. "It come from low wage and high intimidatia. Hey!" Jones smiled a yellow crescent that opened the lower part of his face. That bird had star quality. and you say to it. I be gettin a raise. a big sweet virgin from the Old South who's got this pet bird on the old plantation. directing acts." Jones clouded the area in front of the stage. you're surprised . honey. "Now see this act. Jones. You wanna help o ut Darlene here. posing. "There sure was plenty balls at that beau." Lana answered. maestro. holding her cigar ette before her lips and speaking through it as if it were a director's megaphon e."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hey! I ain comin around here at night below the minimal wage. "Now listen to me. sashaying demurely. You sure you wanna see her get a chance on the stag e?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Sure. The bird be gettin it. huh? I remember you said Darlene an d the bird was gonna bring in so much business I'd need a doorman. not a actress."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql .lways enjoyed the theatrical aspects of her profession: performing. But you cooled them all." D arlene said. Whoa! Somebody gotta get ahead in this place. this ack got plenny class." Lana said to him. I like that." Lana said a ngrily." Lana corrected. Got it?" "That's great. You. . lace. dammit. but . "This act is mostly your idea. You got your little pet with you to tell it goodnight. but you still got yo ur honor."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Lana had an idea that would help business and hurt Jones.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Give me a chance. but I still got my honor. A big hat . This act could be her theatrical masterpiece.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's drama." "You can't remember one simple line like that?"\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Darlene got Night of Joy nerves. You come onstage." "Say. huh? I see she's always passing you magazines." Lana 's mind began to whirl. Your hair's on your shoulders in curls." Darlene pleaded. "It's my first time. Whoa!"\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Darlene's your pal.

He did not want to sabot age his discovery by taking anything from the cabinet." Lana said. he said. running his hand down the si de of the stacked packages. Maybe you gettin Scarla O'Horror and her ball eagle on the stage. looking like a small unruly mob. Show him how good you are. Lana. wrote as minutely as possible on the side of each pa ckage the address of the Night of Joy. "There sure was plenty beau x at the bowl. All afternoon she had been preoccu pied with previewing Darlene's dress rehearsal. Finally. Darlene. and there he saw neatly st acked about ten packages wrapped in plain paper. though. He's gonna help you out."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Shit. grabbing Darlene by the shoulders. expensive-looking book." Lana hollered at her." "The pr ecinct is gonna be gettin a certain report. Outside. Lana Lee. At first his eyes had to adjust to the brighter but still dim light that revealed crusted dirt on the flo or behind the bar." Lana said evenly. It was something that shouldn't be there. I bring in some peoples shut down your place for goo d.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\ql "Okay now. took off his sunglasses." "Maybe they be gettin another orpha n repor."You're coming out on opening night. but I still got me honor. Jones knelt down and. The n he placed the pencil on the cash register and finished his water. for the fi rst time in the Night of Joy. Jones saw that Lana Lee had absentmindedly left the d oor open on the little cabinet under the bar.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "Shut up and lemme hear you say your lines." "I don't think so. I bring in some peoples. honey. Piled in the corner were a glob e. He looked into the little cabinet. with her hawk e yes and bloodhound nose. We're gonna rent you a costume. I be here on openin nigh t. and a large. Real Old South doorman. then he took the pencil from the cash register and. perhaps from a legitimate and a professional saboteur. and the bird's few feathers we re ruffled. "Your friend here wants to see you get ahead. He stacked t he packages back carefully. was still well groomed and looked as though some c yclone had miraculously missed only her. but you ain gettin a fiel han out front. You att ract the people in here. He went behind the bar to get a glass of water and contemplated means of sabotage that could finish La na Lee forever. He came from behind the bar and resumed his desultory swee ping just as Lana. the address migh t bring some reply." Darlene said."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql Jones knew that this was true. He studied t he door of the cabinet and decided that it was open at about the same angle at w hich he had found it. too. Lana Lee. burst in from the alley. "What the hel . Darlene's orchid was hanging. Understand? I wanna see a full house for your pal and h er bird. Darlene. "Okay. Jones thought."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Darlene cleared her throat and enunciated carefully."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Lana grabbed Darlene and the bird off the stage and pushed them out into the all ey. straightening the pile to its original symmetry. Darlene. An ad dress on a package wrapped in plain brown paper was as damaging as a fingerprint on a gun. He thought for a moment. Like a note in a bottle. the cockatoo was squawking and Darlene was crying. "You gonna be out front on the sidewalk. too. I be bringin in peoples like that fat mother got him the green cap. i already told you. and the bird. a box of chalk. I quittin this motherfuckin bar. "I a in't no actress. would notice that right away. Jones listened to the loud sounds of argument and pleading coming from the a lley and heard one plop of a slap land on someone's face."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql Looking down for a moment." "I wonde r where he went to.

But his resentment and jealousy of me are increasing daily. you're off the force.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius ignored his mother's pounding on his door and crying in the hall about the fifty cents in wages that he had brought home for the day's work. Then he dri fted off in his novel costume. yo-yo. this time even more unconvincingly than the first. Sweeping t he Big Chief tablets." "Stop leaning over me. I'm giving you two weeks. He didn't want to be responsible for a death. Stand up straight." "I'b gudda brig you subbody. Men on the force are strong." The s ergeant studied the miserable figure that was shaking with the aftereffects of a dangerous cough. What kinda p eople you know. Jesus. at the dry lips through the white goatee. Mancuso?" Patrolman Mancuso nodded. "There sure was plenty bones at that ball. If you don't bring in nobody by the n. I'b gudda die. The grandeur of my physique. Now he has relegated me to working in the French Quarter. Go take so me pills and orange juice.l are you supposed to say?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Whoa! You sure a understandin director. "What's wrong w ith you. It would be bett er to give Mancuso a probationary period and kick him off the force. Mancuso? Why can't you stand up like a man? Getting a cold. "You gotta tag e me oud thad badroom. stupid. "Okay. "Now say it right. sniffling. aunts."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql "Your aunt? A grown man like you's gotta listen to his aunt? Jesus. the mogul of meat. Don' t go back to the bus station. But listen here."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What?" The sergeant looked at the wan figure before him. "I don't wanna catch your cold. Mancuso? Old ladies who go sit in strip joints all alone." "Shut up and get on my floor. Men on the force don't catch cold. no doubt they will ultimately overwhelm him and destroy his mind. half the pe oples in it be dead. honey. the complexity of my wor ldview. I'b gudda brig you subbody." the sergean t screamed." "My at says if I stay iddat badroom." Patrolman Mancuso coughed wetly into the goatee. You understand me. Stand up. and rubber glove from his desk. You probly belong to a ladies' sodality or something."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Take some cold tablets. the grace with which I fu nction in the mire of today's world\u8212?all of these at once confuse and astou nd Clyde. the sergeant's ultimate practical joke on him. If you be makin big movies. he opened the Journ al and began to write:\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Dear Reader." Patrolman Mancu so wheezed again. at the watery pink eye s behind the bifocals. At first I thought that I might have found a surrogate father in the czar of sausage. \u8212?Milton The perverted (and I suspect quite dangerous) mind of Clyde has devised still another means of bel ittling my rather invincible being. but I still got my honor. embalmed and treasured up on purpose for a life beyond. the decency and taste implicit in my carriage. I can breed no more.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You haven't picked up nobody out that bus station. Get outta here and bring me somebody. an area whic ." Lana said to Jones and shoo k Darlene a little." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Patrolman Mancuso leaned against the sergeant's desk and wheezed. He was wearing a baseball cap and a Santa Claus outfit." "I'b getting pneumodia.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'b gudda try. Get outta here." Darlene sighed hopelessly and sa id. A good book is the precious life-blood of a master-spirit. Remember what I told you? Yo u stay there until you bring me somebody. Get out on the streets again and get some sunshine .

blessed with American "Stick-to-it-tiveness" and "Know-how. and Rockefeller have to struggle against such odds? Clyde's fiendish mind has not s topped at so simple an abasement. Oh. However. there will be some person of quality in h er first audience who will wrest her from the podium and lash her a bit about he r erogenous zones. and impressionable young Working Boy. In spite of whatever spiritual qualities it may possess. Therefore. I am apparently tra pped in a limbo of lost souls. following beh ind the. Top. the "tourists" seem to be the same old vagrants I was selling to in the business di strict. To be quite honest. a compromise of sorts w as made. creates only anxiety within the human psyche and channels all of one's better impulses only toward the end of procuri ng something to eat. If need be. had been made to fit the tubercular and underdeveloped fr ame of the former vendor. my passionles s flame. I screwed the one go . I do not believe that one must necessarily s crape bottom. Conditions have deteriorated. the agent of my destruction. Pal. you capricious sprite!] Personally. qualify as "tourists. Clyde forced me to try it on in the garage. Minkoff. Perhaps. Between the other ven dors\u8212?totally beaten and ailing itinerants whose names are something like B uddy. ghastly M. a Pa radise Vendor's nod to New Orleans folklore and history. Even my mother. Rather than moving vertically downward.) But back to the matter at hand: Clyde's vengeance. as it were. downtrodden drifters from wastel ands in Texas and Oklahoma. rather than ennobling the spirit. Therefore. skid row is definitely substandard in the matter of physical comfort. I must have some f ood and comfort also. one may move horizontally outward toward a point of sufficient detachment where a modicum of creature comforts are not necessarily precluded. and no amount of pulling and pushing and inhaling and squeezing would get it onto my muscular body. and I seriousl y doubt whether my substantial and well-formed physique would easily adapt to sl eeping in alleys. several modern variants made possible through the wonder s of science.h houses every vice that man has ever conceived in his wildest aberrations. Clearl y an area like the French Quarter is not the proper environment for a clean-livi ng. The sale of my writings may bring so me profit. has turned upon me. I do hope that in my dotage. in order to clear away the boulders of ignorance and obscenity which she will have strewn among the various lecture halls of the nation. (Judging from the customers I have had on this first day with the new route. I have found that a lack of food and comfort. Fo rtuna. the simple fact that they have been reso unding failures in our century does give them a certain spiritual quality. (Nevertheless. I would definitely tend to hang over park benches. The Quarter is not unlike. Soho and certain secti ons of North Africa. whose offenses against taste and decency have alrea dy been described in detail to you readers. in order to view his society subjectively. I must say that since then things have be en getting worse and worse." I wonder whe ther Clyde has even had an opportunity to see the degenerates and wrecks and dri fters who buy and apparently subsist on Paradise products. to Clyde's senile mind. they may be\u8212?these crushed wretches\u8212?the saints of our age : beautifully broken old Negroes with tan eyes. Minkoff. Sport. The ve ndor who formerly had the Quarter route wore an improbable pirate's outfit. My cycle is dipping lower and lower. they have doubtlessly stumbled down into t he Quarter and thus. I would imagine. I would imagine. T he costume. However. and Ace\u8212?and my customers. incl uding. the residents of the French Quarter. I will not have to rely upon hot dogs for sustenance. I could always turn to the lecture circuit. For a ll we know. Did Edison. [After all. In a stupor induced by Stemo. Because I am allegedly handling what Clyde calls "the tourist trade. Even though I do have a Rich Inner Life." are probably straining themselve s at this moment to equal and surpass in variety and imagination the diversions enjoyed by the residents of those other world areas of human degradation. chaste. however. catapulted me into the fever of conte mporary existence. however. prudent. Buck. has be gun to bite the hand that feeds her." I have been caparisoned in a costume of sorts. I was there\u8212?on the very rim of our age\u8212?when my mother's c ataclysmic intemperance. of course. ruined sharecroppers seeking a haven in rodent-infes ted urban rooming houses. Ford. a Clydian attempt to li nk the hot dog with Creole legend. my size itself is a safeguard against my ever sinking too low within the structu re of our civilization. as you well know. About my cap I tied the red sateen pirate's scarf.

I fin ally surrendered. my red scarf shining in the sun brightly enough to at tract a bull. Strengthened by my inte rlude of worship. I knew that Clyde was real ly trying to kill me. It seemed. Thou hast a terrible swift sword. Unfortunately. I listened to the cutlass slapping against my side. I cried pleasantly fr om the floor. However. Al though I struck my head rather painfully against the cart. also the patron saint of clowns). fork and cutlass clicking against each oth er madly. Along the way. Fortunately for me. to aid Mr. many pedestrians gav e my semi-costume favorable notice. I began to think about my mother. A vagrant petitioned for a hot dog. my earr ing dangling from my lobe. Still Clyde came.lden earring. I sent a humble greeting to St. Brandishing the plastic cutlass at Clyde. who is invoked for epilepsy and madness. At last I crossed Canal Street pretendi ng to ignore the attention paid me by all whom I passed. He would have the perfect excuse: self-defense. Medericus. I strode resolutely across town. and had fallen down. I cried. the inherent tragedy would soon become melodrama. My cutlass slapping against my side. However. Clyde (Mathurin is. Admiral!" This. There would be a certain amount of spectacle in volved in the proceedings. my mother constantly poking her fingers into t he two holes dug in my neck by Mr. the tissues were crying for rest and comfort. I had backed i nto one of the carts. "Take heart. who spent her life as a hou se servant and practiced many austerities. I imagine. some of supplication. in the hope that she would aid my mot her in fighting her alcoholism and nighttime roistering. lost my always precarious balance. I should have known. and sightseers. The balconies of the old buildings hung over my head like dark branches in an allegorical forest of evil. He grew most alarmed and proceeded to attack me with his spear-like f ork. who is invoked against intestin al disorders. We lunged about in the garage like two swashbucklers in an especially inept historical film for several moments. you will say. Snatching the white lily fro m my lifeless hands. so I placed the wagon at t he curb and seated myself. It was then that a light dawned in my intricate mind. For myself. For my mother I sent a prayer flying to St. I quickly rolled my cart ou t of the garage and set out for the Quarter. Clyde's rusty fork." As she threw the lily back into the co ffin. Mathurin. screaming drunkenly. Symbolically. a shoddy. I fell to the floor. "Walk the plank . Insane with grief. was too much for his literal and sausagelike mind. Ignatius. Meditating upon the call from the grave which I had almost receive d. I had play ed right into his hands. I called out pacifying words. she would break it in half and wail to the throng of mourne rs. so was Ignatius . like some weapon of morality. I waved him away and strode forth. each plasti c slap saying. she woul d probably tear my corpse from the coffin. my pirate costume so great a success that it had apparently convinced him that we were back in the golden days of romantic o ld New Orleans when gentlemen decided matters of hot dog honor at twenty paces. Below my ankles. realizing that I was seeing Clyde at his worst. I tried to end our little duel." Then I silently paid homage to dear old Fortuna fo r snatching me from the jaws of death by rusty fork. I was forced to admit that I appeared rather fetching in a dramatic way. I can see her at the funeral. low-cost affair held in the basement of some dubious f uneral parlor. when I studied m yself in the mirror. Many a loud prayer rose from my chaste pink lips. her feeble aim would send it flying directly into my whitened face. "Don't take him! Why do the sweetest flowers wither and fall from the stem?" The funeral would p robably degenerate into a circus. onto my left earlobe. well-wishers. I entreated. sir. a large novelty store hoop of an earring. to be spurring me toward the Quarter. Hardly an impressive pirate. incidentally. with my mother acting as director . armoring myself against the horrors that awaited me in the Quarter. for I have always wondered what her reactio n would be were I to die in the cause of paying for her misdeeds. Now they are both snatched and broken. The narrow streets of t he Quarter awaited me. tears boiling from her reddened eyes. I affixed the black plastic cutlass to the side of my white vendor's smock with a safety pin. "You win." I was b eginning to feel rather like a Crusader. Realizing that my plastic weapon was hardly a match for a long fork wi elded by a maddened Methuselah. some of thanks. my feet could not keep pace with my soul. crying an illiterate Grec ian cry of curses and vengeance. the Hermit. I pr ayed to St. thankful that I was still alive. a Desire bus . Zita of Lucca. "As this lily was. celebrants.

A Working Boy can use every penny t hat he can get his ambitious and striving hands on. As a climax. I must have fallen asleep. that a few cents cast my way would be a vote of confidence for the welfare stat e. I attempted to climb atop the wagon. At last this affable group bade me farewell. Pleased by t heir gracious attentions. I tried not to think about it. an old vagrant approached the wagon and pleaded for a frankfurter. Apparently the others sided with the WCTU drab. I guessed that the residents of the area were still in bed recovering from whatever indece nt acts they had been performing the night before. I acquiesced. For minutes they snapped away as I oblig ed them with several artful poses. staring at the closed shutters for a sign of some sort. I thou ght that a note. Already I was beginning to feel like an especially toothsome ' steak in a meat market. Was this some obscene message? While I was pondering the matter and staring up at th e window from which the can had been hurled. their cameras poised. Grudgingly I sold him one. Wild laugh ter issued from more than one building as I passed. I tried to close my virgin ears to their horrid cackling. I heard one kindly lady say. It began to roll from beneath me. I simply await the day that they drag me to some airconditioned dungeon and leave me there beneath the fluorescent lights and soundproofed ceiling to pa y the price of scorning all that they hold dear within their little latex hearts . for the group continued down the street. The world will someday get me on some ludicrous p retext. its diesel exhaust almost strangling me. might flutter down. there were few people stirring on the streets. they paused and. none of the others (doubtless right-wing conserva tives all) responded to her plea for charity very favorably. advised her friends with n asal wisdom and an abundance of harsh r's. Rising to my full height\u8212?a spectacle in itself\u8212?I looked down upon the offending policeman and crushed him with a comment which. In addition. work was interfering at a crucial moment. I could only imagine how many haggard and depraved eyes were regarding me hun grily from behind the closed shutters. I seem to attract a coterie of polic emen and sanitation officials. For .hurtled past me. but the gentlemen in the g roup were kind enough to grab it and assist me down. A group of tourists wandered along the streets. I brandished my cutlass menacingly for one especially memorable po se. A frozen orange juice can came fl ying out of one of the windows and barely missed me. Some musk which my system generates must be e specially appealing to the authorities of the government. thinking. Who else would be acco sted by a policeman while innocently awaiting his mother before a department sto re? Who else would be spied upon and reported for picking a helpless stray of a kitten from a gutter? Like a bitch in heat. I rolled farther dow n the street. Noticing me. As they wandered down the street madly photographing everythin g in sight. ruefully concluding t hat. of course. a shriveled crone whose face bespoke WCTU affiliation. but the solidity of my physique proved too taxing for t hat flimsy vehicle. I stooped over and picked i t up in order to inspect the empty tin cylinder for a communication of some sort . no doubt." Unfortunately. my other hand holding the prow of the tin hot dog. "He would only go out and spend it on more liquor. Many no doubt required medica l attention: a stitch or two here and there in a torn orifice or a broken genita l. no one called enticingly from the shutters. their glittering eyeglasses shining lik e sparklers. Because i t was early afternoon. as always. in sharp Midwestern accents which ass ailed my delicate eardrums like the sounds of a wheat thresher (however unimagin ably horrible that must sound). for I r emember being rudely awakened by a policeman standing next to me prodding me in the ribs with the toe of his shoe. Standing before the wagon as if it were a pir ate's vessel. those photograp hs could earn those corn-belt clods a fortune in some photographic contest. How ever. Closing my eyes for a moment to meditate and thereby draw strength. he fa iled to understand." one of the other women. I must admit that I would no t have turned down an offering of some sort. Apparently the deluded occup ants therein were indulging in some obscene diversion which amused them. at least. begged me to pose for a photograph. Then I wheeled the wagon farther into the Quarter. "Wasn't that sad? We should have given him something. fortunately. those devious mentalities thro bbing away in their dark apartments were apparently more subtle seducers. the window from which the can had been sent flying was closed. but only a viscous residue of concentrated juice trickled out on my hand. By now.

a wan little figure in Bermuda shorts panting under the w eight of a monstrous apparatus with lenses that certainly must have been a Cinem aScope camera. here it was almost two o'clock. Perhaps the Quarter will prov ide me with some material: a crusade for taste and decency. and the tourists were not apparently coming to colorful and picturesque o ld N. I feel like a hen sitting on one particularly large tin egg."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I know.O. Let's face it." a term which he once applied to me during the course of one of our business conferences. It is a truism of human nature." The girl brushed gracefully against Talc's expensive tweed sleeve in r eaching for her purse. Talc shuddered at the very thought of Miss Minkoff. pedantic. It's very good. Only my wagon s tands in the way. but just then an improbabl e satire on a tourist. to gorge themselves upon Paradise products." "Your approach to history is so vital. In addition."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I know. Dr. "Where is my book?" I demanded terrifyingly. This was the sort of girl who should be attending college. Suspendedl y. that brut al and slovenly girl who had almost been raped by one of the janitors just outsi de of his office. well. . I returned grandly to retrieve it. so refreshingly unorthodox. an evolutionary thing. whose recent circus musical excess stunned and overwhelmed me. That 's why." Talc replied delightedly. "When you have completed it." he answered in terror. neither am I. I noted that it was. Health note: Ast onishing weight increase. not ones like that dreadful Minkoff girl.. Talc tingled at her touch. realizing that I h ad forgotten the wagon.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I only wish to interest my students." "I do believe that w e must cast aside some of the old forms and approaches. I must devise some means of handling M. Then. The average student is not interested in the history of Celtic Britain. Talc and breathed. for theology and geo metry. after all. I considered running behind these tourists. called out a greeting to me. Minkoffs latest effronteries. I feel as if I am stuck with a retarded child who deserves const ant attention. I always sense a sort of rapport in my cla sses. I mean. Lance. I must somehow get to see it. "I just love your cou rse. opening her eyes wide enough so that Talc could lose hi mself in their blue-ness for a moment or two." "Oh. Should he invite this charming creature to have a drink with him? "History is. even if I do admit it myself. In cla . "How you doing?" he persisted illiterately. so contemporary. that peopl e leam to hate those who help them." Talc's voice was import ant. is opening shortly at one of the downtown movie palaces. "I'm still reading i t. (That wagon is a terr ible liability. Social note: A new film featuring my favorite female star. The evil Clyde has in vengeance given me a route that is a "White Elephant." the girl said. Patrolman Mancuso. I shall ask you to submit to me a written critique and analysis of its message to humanity!" With that order still ringing magnific ently in the air. The occupants of the French Quarter obviously did not place frankfurters high on their list of delic acies. "Profit by its lesson. of course. of all people. Clearly I am going to have w hat is known in our commercial terminology as a merchandising problem. Your Besieged Working Boy\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ {\ql The lovely girl smiled hopefully at Dr. it's grand. ignored the Machiavel's faint mongoloid grin by pretending to tighten my earring. due no doubt to the anxiety which my dear mother's inc reasing unpleasantness is causing me. "That's very kin d of you. and I had sold exactly one hot dog. Res entment and jealousy have again struck me down. Her new film is billed as a "sophisticated" comedy in which sh e must certainly reach new heights of perversion and blasphemy. perhaps. I strode proudly off down the street. Your Work ing Boy would have to bustle if success was to be his goal.a moment. For that matter. I'm afraid the course is rather general.) Wel l. my mother has turned on me." I cautioned. Apparently he has bee n released from his imprisonment in the rest room. Upon closer inspection. Thus. I.

and as Talc continued to press his search on top of the bookcase. Now Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Let me see if I can find it then. Levy's Lodge was wh ere he went between seasons. Talc said vaguely. He was also a regular fellow. His hopeful bubble burst. did you?" "I most certainly did. Dr. I decr ee that you be hung by your underdeveloped testicles until dead. Simply keeping track of all of them gave him a headache. Levy always compiled not a gift list but rather a list of the injustices and brutalities she had suffered s ince August. For Christmas. "Some of those historical characters are so dull. seeing that there was writing on the yellowed paper. who had been the scourges of his existence for so many years. the girl picked it up and."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I know."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. who descended upon him from college with demands for additional money coupled with threats to disavow his paternity forever if he con tinued to mistreat their mother. Levy thought. Then her eyes hardened and he r voice grew a little surly. As he was rearranging the stacks. eager to join any campaign against t he figures of English history. "You handed in a report. Perhaps they had both defected to Cuba. At Christmas the only sign of the season at Levy's Lodge. At any arena or stadium or track Gus Levy could count on knowing at least one person connect ed with the place. He even got a Christmas card every year from a peanut vendor who worked the parking lot across from Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. He paused to light a Benson and Hedges and cleared some of the phlegm of English history f rom his throat. "Well. Tal c had not noticed the plane. As it landed. the only barometer of Yuletide spirit was the ap pearance of his daughters. He had no friends there. Levy asked of the girls was that they attack their father. The lovely girl had turned into steely-eyed businesswoman checking.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ten Gus Levy was a nice guy. It was in a yellow binder. Mr. unfolded the glider." "That's very true. Levy loved Christmas ." Dr. Mrs. Talc i dly wondered if they had married each other." Dr. "They all made so many foolish mistakes. an old sheet of wide-lined tablet pa per folded into an. I don't want to waste your time with all thi s historical chatter. I wanted to ask you what happened to that report that I ha nded in about two months ago. adding the profits of her grades. He would never forget those two.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Talc: You have been found guilty of misleading and perverting the young. They were like two Huns sweeping down on Rome. egging the Re illy monster to join in the attack. I'd like to get some idea of what kind of grade I'm going to get in this course. Gonzalez h ad his reservations to Florida and Arizona in order. no one on t he faculty ever would.airplane fell out of one binder and glided to the floor. He had friends among promoters and trainers and coaches and managers across the country. Levy was waiting at the lodge for spring practice to begin. The girls got this list in their stockings. and what was going on in Levy's Lodge could have been postponed until he left for the practice camps. ZORBO" The girl reread the red crayon message. she opened her purse. He was very well liked. and snapped the clasp. yes." Talc agreed. The only gift Mrs. Mrs." The girl looked into her compact mirror. Under their skins st udents were all alike. He knew owners and ticket sellers and players.ss she had insulted and challenged and vilified him at every turn. I mean. Talc got up and began to look through pi les of various antique term papers. reports. Each certainly deserved the other. only one of the many that had come sailing through his transom and window one semester a few years earlier. dropped in the airplane. But at Levy's Lodge it was like Christmas all over again. Mrs. and examinations on the top of the bookcase. Levy .

had stretched Miss Trixie across his favorite couch. She's like a symbol of everything you ha ven't done. All she wants is to retire. I'm beginning to understand why she's so insecure. Does that bother you? The teeth have given her a li ttle self-confidence. Levy cried happily. Levy answered. Let me have some peace while I'm in thi s house." "I am a very attractive woman." Mrs."\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You'd better take those teeth out of her mouth before she bites off her tongue.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Now let's cut this out. This one doesn't even make sense. Then she'll really be stuck. Levy said. If you want to open a funer al parlor." Mrs. Levy ha d just bought her. Levy said. you begrudge the woman even that."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "So she's asserting herself. You're angry all of a sudden. the yellow nylon one. "Gloria was the soul of kindness. "She's really running this p lace. I'll set you up.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Listen to that!" Mrs." Mr. Of course."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Speaking of tongue. Spend all your money on the horses. sad. Let this human flounder. Tha t's unusual for you. "Where's my eyeshade?"\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "This is going to be good. snarling. "I'm getting na useous from watching that. But not in my rumpus room. animal. Levy answered. but Miss Trixi e had fallen asleep on her side. how much have you spent on this little game already? I'm not paying to have that couch re-covered. "Where am I? Take your hands off me. and was rubbing skin cream into the old woman's face."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Who doesn't?" said Miss Trixie. It's lik e torturing a dumb."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's right. Levy said. you should have heard all that she told me about Gloria thi s morning." Mr. Levy began. "I've let you play a lot of ridiculous games around here." Mr. Miss Trixie grunted and some air whi stled through her lips. Fairy Godmother.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "Sad." "Darling. "And you want to throw her out in the snow? I'm just getting through to her." Miss Trixie mumbled in her sleep. Now wipe that goo off her face and let me drive her back to town. "Let her have some enjoyme nt." Mrs. Levy said." Mr." Suddenly Miss Trixie leaped up. Levy made a gesture that indicated acceptance of injustice and tragedy. her creamed face smearing the couch." "Who took my eyeshade?" Miss Trixie demanded fiercely. makes her feel unwanted in about a hundred different ways. Subconsciousl y she hates Levy Pants. "Can't you take her outside? It's a n ice day. I've found out that Gonzalez ignores her a ll day. "Listen to that. Now let her alone."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "So. "Wait till she sinks those five-hundr ed-dollar teeth in you. At least you're having a normal response. the first person in years who took an .\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Look." "She likes this couch. Why don't you go outside and wax your sports car?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Silence!" Miss Trixie snarled with the stupendous false teeth that Mrs." "Are you doing this just to make me angry? You can make me angry without all this. Now and then Miss Trixie's ton gue would flap out and sample a bit of cream from her upper lip." was all that Mr.

When Susan and Sandra come ho me for Easter. believe me. he wondered how he m ight somehow be able to dump Levy Pants in the lap of some poor buyer. Even the land's not worth muc h. they'll find you bouncing on that board with a paper bag full of rags in your arms. A skating rink? A gym? A Negro cathedral? Then he wondered what w ould happen if he carried Mrs." Miss Trixie said angrily from among the pillows where Mrs. Levy had her pinioned. The girls would love to kn ow about Gloria. "Thank goodness poor Gloria got out of there in time. He said the only hope was renting it out as a warehouse. Levy shouted at her and pressed her back to the couch."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. Your place is outmoded. "this very aggressive-looking agent. They'd ask you some questions."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Then ask him to take Levy Pants off our hands. Please skip one of your tournaments and go s ee Lenny's doctor. and on and on again. and went back into the rumpus room to get his dope sheet. I talked to three realtors this week. You know. Her face had been cleaned. Levy was adjusting a coiffed black wig o ver the old woman's thin hair. believe me. Fighting. where she promptly dozed off." "A chamberpot? Your father's sw eat and blood is a chamberpot? I see your motive. 'Nobody wants a clothing facto ry today. It' s all going to end very badly." Mr. Levy Pants is still ours. whistling throug h his teeth. If you keep on talking to your little protege there. Her wea k eyes were accentuated by shadow. Mrs. Levy continued calmly. While the water swirled and jetted around him. the neighborhood's living median or something is too low to support a big market. I'll get even. He dried himself carefully. It's got a railroad switch line. and the place is badly located for trucks.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. The whole area is becoming a slum. It must h ave some uses." "Levy Pants is a monument?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Why I ever wanted to work there I'll never know. she's going to take you with her right into the twilight zone.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Quiet!" Miss Trixie snarled. You'll get it. gave me some hope. that sounded good." Mr. The man works miracles. put on his terry-cloth robe." "Pardon me. Levy said. shut up." He got up and went into the whi rlpool bath. I see. Every one of them said it was the most unsalable property they'd ever seen . So don't worry. ladies. Then the hitch came in. Levy's exercising table to the seawall and dumped it into the Gulf. But this one agent said ma ybe he could interest some supermarket chain in buying the factory for a store. There is no Gloria. Wait and see. but again warehouse revenues are not high and the place is badly loc ated for a warehouse. like a chamberpot we inherited. one guy. Something about highways again. Southern garment business folding.interest in Miss Trixie. "You two can discuss Gloria alone."\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I bet they would. Well. Then out of the blue you walk in and kick Gloria out o f her life."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. I think you're really going out of your mind.' And on and on.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . Gus. Thousands for repairs and m odernization. I think it's given her a very bad trauma. The market's dead. oh. did I hear correctly? Did I hear you say something about selling your heri tage?" Mrs. he said. resentment."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Gus. but light goods like clothes are going by truck today. Like all the others. Miss Trixie was sitting up on the couch. Her mouth was an orange smear. There's no parking area around Levy Pants. Mere guilt about this Gloria incident. Destroy the last monument to y our father's accomplishments. "I'll get you people. Levy screamed." Mrs. Across town fro m the highways.

Shit. Lee make me work overtime on the floor the other day.' He say. I ain seen no peoples screamin fo r unskill color cats." "I scare of the po-lice. all traces of hostilit y gone from her voice. Jones. Whoa!" Jo nes sent up what looked like a cloud." "Yeah ." "Hey! I ain walkin in no precinc and flappin my mouth at no po-lice. I tol you I wrote a address on one of her orphan package ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You better go to the po-lice and tell them you quittin at that place but you go nna fin you another job. Especially w hen Lee probly goin roun the whirl with half the po-lice on the force. "That Lee woman ain't treatin you right." "I still s ay you go to the po-lice and tell them you be between job a little while. Ooo-wee. 'Hey. Them po-lice take one look at me. I jus was stupor enough to get my ass snatch up i n a trap at that Night of Joy. Go talk to the po-lice."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Whoa!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. how the sabotage comin along?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "Pretty poor. whatever happen to that dumb mother was in here that day. Coin in jail the bes way you get you somethin to eat regular. Somebody like that Lee bastar know plenny po-lice . boy. but they sure can fin a openin in jail. knockout drop cathouse be close down long ago. Ooo-wee. Levy couldn't believe it."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mr. And maybe I be between job about fifdy year. stupor customer be up to t hey ankle in dus. Otherwise that B-drinker.\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Say. That what she be doin with you fix up like a plantation darky. I make my mistake when I tell that Lee mother a po-lice tell me t o get a job. she see the crap gettin a little thicker so pretty soon her poor. throw my ass in jail. "You'll pay for this. too. Levy's mother ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "Do you believe it?" Mrs. "One thing I don like to see a colored man make fun of hisself for bein colored.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql In Mattie's Ramble Inn. I shoulda tell her them fair employ-men peoples sendin me over. I ain takin no Ochance going to no Lee frien in the po-lice and sayin. so if she still distributin for the United Fun maybe we be gettin some answer on that. Shit. the one workin f ."\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Whoa! Color cats got it har enough without peoples bustin out laughin cause the y color." Mr. I gotta figure this thing out myself. man. sca re that gal a little. Miss Trixie looked exactly like Mrs. You be scare. Watson was telling him. a radioactive one which gradually sent som e fallout down onto the bar and the cooler filled with pickled meat. Watson. I rather mop a whore floor than go to jail and be makin plenny license plate and rug and leather belt and shit. I sure like to see wha that address bringin in. Whoa! Col or peoples cain fin no job. Levy asked her husband proudly. I j us be vagran a little while. man. Maybe it'll be bringin in a po-lice. 'Okay. But I rather starve outside. "Just look at that. you be servin jus a little whi le. if you was jus standin in Woolsworth and some po-lice drag you off. Whoa!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It pretty clear you not gettin nowhere. They under stand your story. Jones poured a glassful of beer ang1 sank his long teeth into the foam. too.{\ql "What in the world are you doing to me now?" Miss Trixie was wheezing at her ben efactress.

she certainly had been carry ing on a witch-hunt in the brown kitchen recently. the cat got him that fat white freak for a leader. seemed to have been respected and well treated by her son. Se em like he the kin make that Lee mother shit in her drawer. Ooo-w ee. James. I like to fin out where that fat freak hidin out." Ignatius-St. Minkoff dreams were getting wor se than the old. Motherless candidates confused her. I like to drop him in the Night of Joy like a nucular bum. I gonna be the mos sabotagin doorman ever guarded a plantation. magnificent o n the upper deck. reincarnated as St.or Levy Pant? You ever seen him aroun again?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The man talking about demonstratin?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "Yeah. clumsy effort to protect the American Way against her son. So his take-home pay wa s getting smaller. Then there was Myrn a. pushed him wit h the placard onto the tracks before the speeding subway train. Reilly had also voted for the Truman woman standing before her Victorian house in Independ ence. was interested in hot dogs. terrifying Scenicruiser dreams in which Ignatius. Great belches ripped out of the gas pock ets of his stomach and tore through his digestive tract. He had awakened just as the train was about to crush him. One chap ter followed the other. in turn. Mrs. The ph ysical cause for this health decline was. Imagining that th e paintings would be offensive enough to interest him for a while. When and how wo uld this vicious cycle end? He had read in the morning paper that a ladies' art guild was having a hanging of its paintings in Pirate's Alley. No one in th e French Quarter. voting only for candidates who seemed to have been k ind to their mothers. he had been standing on a subwa y platform. had ridden doomed buses over the rails of bridges and into col lisions with jets taxiing along airport runways. Perhaps she had joined some fringe group of the far right wing that w as making her belligerent and hostile. skins or not. subtler reasons. His mother was becom ing increasingly bold and overtly antagonistic." "I ain't seen him s ince. asking him all sorts of quest ions concerning his political philosophy. His valve seemed to be glued. Mrs. but because his mother. Some escaped noisily. M yrna appeared through a turnstile carrying a NON-VIOLENT CONGRESS FOR THE SEXUAL LY NEEDY placard and began heckling him."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Shit. His mother had alwa ys been notably apolitical. The M. who had been appearing to him in a series of dreams that was taking the form of the old Batman serials that he had seen at the Pry-tania as a child. he pushed his wagon up onto the flagstones of the Alley toward the variety of artwork danglin . who was martyred by the Jews. But there were other. Mrs. it was becoming impossible to co ntrol her. To Mrs. O thers. and his mother. lodged in his chest and caused massive heartburn. weaning belches. Ignatius could not understand her sudden . At any rate. The cotton fiel be burn to the groun before I'm through. it seemed. the Less. By night he was plagued by drea ms and by day by the impossible route that Mr." "Watch out. Clyde had given him. Which was strange. But Myrna. an d no amount of bouncing was opening it. and in m otherless elections she stayed at home. Reilly. the one tellin them po or color peoples they suppose to drop a nucular bum on top they factory. James prophesied grandly."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql "Whoa!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius was beginning to feel worse and worse. Whoa! If I gonna be a doorman. and not specifically for Harry Truman. sneering. Jones. Reilly had been solidly behind Franklin Roosevelt for four terms not because of the New Deal. was getting surlier. kill th eirselves and get what's left of their ass throwed in jail. the too strenuous consuming o f Paradise products. "Jesus will come to the fore. Maybe I call up Levy Pa nt and ax for him. Missouri. he knew. Nixon and Kennedy had meant Hannah and Rose. In one gruesome chapter. Don be gettin yourself in no trouble. Sara Roose velt.

I would suggest that you all get together and paint someone's ho use for a start." a spokeswoman for the band of large hats said haughtily. The Alley was filled wit h well-dressed ladies in large hats. too. my God!" Ignatius bellowed after he had promenaded up and down along the fe nce.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hot dogs.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Magnolias don't look like that. "So it is you people who slander the reputation of t he hot dog vendor. stood forlorn on the flagstones. too.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I see!" Ignatius screamed.\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yes." "Please move along. "First." Ignatius snort ed. "Savories from the hygieni c Paradise kitchens.g from the iron pickets of the fence behind the Cathedral. in an attempt to attract business among the Quarterites. I gnatius lumbered over to the picket fence. Ignatius taped a s heet of Big Chief paper on which he had printed in crayon: TWELVE INCHES (12") O F PARADISE. The la dies' eyes studied the sign." a shrill voice said. The water in this bowl looks like motor oil. the scarf. it would have ended up looking like a particularly vulgar train terminal. hot dogs. the subjects of the paintin gs were relatively similar: camellias floating in bowls of water. The ladies pretended to study the sky and the little garden behind the Cathedral. magnolias that looked like white windmill s. Although the style of each varied in crudity. A woman read the Big Chief statement and screame d." Ignatius said a little angrily." an offended voice said from the group. Good heavens! Which one of you did this camellia? Speak up. "You ladies need a course in botany. the cutlass. And perhaps geomet ry. "You ladies need a critic with some taste and de cency." Ignatius said. "How dare you present such abortions to the public. you must learn how to handle a brush. But this .\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "We don't intend to be insulted by a coarse vendor. Ignatius scrutinized the offerings furiously for a while all by himself." "Go away." Ignatius thundered. for the ladies had stepped back from the fence and had formed what looked like a pro tective little grouping. and viewed the oil paintings and pastels and watercolors strung there. I do!" Ignatius screamed. On the prow of the wa gon. the earring. the voice of the lady who had drawn the magnolia in question. ladies?" Ignatius asked pleasantly. Ignatius pointed the prow of the wagon into the throng and pushed forward. abandoning the hopeless cause espouse d by the wagon. summoning her companions to draw aside from the ghastly apparition that had a ppeared at their art show."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . thrusting his cutlass at the of fending pastel magnolia." a bold lady said.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql "You women had better stop giving teas and brunches and settle down to the busin ess of learning how to draw. azaleas tortur ed into ambitious flower arrangements. So far no one had responded to its message. severa l feet from the newest member of the art guild."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "Let us alone."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You don't have to look at our work."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Had you 'artists' had a part in the decoration of the Sistine Chapel. and pleaded fo r him to move along." He belched violently during the silence that followed. si r. The wagon. "Hot dogs. Rain for their hanging would have been bad enough.

there were times when a person had to be true to himself and consider his welfare first. "Apparently you are afra id of someone who has some contact with reality."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What in God's name are you doing in that bizarre outfit? You look like Charles . Even thou gh business couldn't be worse." Ignatius grabbed the handle of his cart and pushed off."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He's so common. and what do I find as Exhibit Number One? It's t he ghost of Lafitte.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\ql "I shall. "You women sh ould all be on your knees begging forgiveness for what I have seen here on this fence. tacky art exhibit. Too many martinis that night for little _moi_. Everyone dearly loved it.\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. No."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius looked up and saw the young man who had bought his mother's hat in the Night of Joy. "I'm afraid it was destroyed at a really wild gathering. His feet hurt. he shoved the wagon along the flag stones until he was near the end of the alley. "What am I seeing? I come out to see th is dreadful." a voice said above Ignatius. who can truthfully describe to you the offenses which you have committed to canvas."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "So coarse. Angrily. Much more of this vending and his feet."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "I'm sure that they did." the young man sighed. His recently increased weight and the bloating caused by the inopera tive valve made any position other than standing or lying down somewhat awkward."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The city is certainly going down when that's out on the streets." a woman said as Ignatius waddled off down the Alley. Where is my mother's hat?"\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. my God."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't encourage him.{\ql "He's mad. I won't ask you just how it was desecrated. Or is it Marie Dressi er? Tell me soon or I'll die. he began to inspect his great slabs of feet. "Get away from me.\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I should imagine not!" Ignatius was breathing heavily. you fop. There he parked the wagon in a li ttle passageway so that it would be out of sight. that. It's Fatty Ar-buckle." the spokeswoman said tartly and simply. Ignatius was surprised to feel a small r ock bounce off the back of his head."\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I wouldn't remember anyway. Ignatius squatted uncomfortably on the side steps of the Cathedral."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "We don't want you here.want anyone to bother him by asking for a hot dog. dear." the spokeswoman ordered. would be bloody stumps. and while he wa s resting he didn't."\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. Removing his boots."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Please leave. the pirate.

all right." Ignatius said. childish breaths that made his downy jacket quiver. Mary Marvel? And booking me with assau lt? Let's be a little realistic. putt ing on his suede boots. He caught the shoe and threw it back at Ignatius. I'd stay as far away from the police as possible." "Shut up. I just hope that she doesn't know that you're flouncing around the streets like some sort of Hungarian Joan of Arc . aren't you?"\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "How dare you!" Ignatius screamed. "You really are insane. you really are on the moon." "Don't talk to me. I am certain that the Quarter is crawling with t hem. merry."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I can easily have you booked for assault."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "If that's the way you want to be. whom it hit squarely in the face. you degenerate. is she all right? She's so sweet and dear. the gassy eructations echoing betwe en the walls of the Alley." The young man clicked his l ighter open. The women's art guild turned its hats toward the sour ce of the volcanic sound. that wom an."\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. his lithe movements making him a difficult target." "How is that dear mother of yours?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql "I don't want to hear her sainted name cross your decadent lips. "Oh!" the young man shrieked happily. since it already has. Ignatius glared at the young man's tawny velvet jacket and mauve cashmere sweater and the wave of blonde hair that fell over the foreh ead of his sharp. so unspoiled. He unpinned his cutlass and began to strike t he young man's calves with the plastic weapon. glittering face. Finally he danced across the Alley and waved to Ignatius."\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You may be locked away for several years. "That look on your face. my God! I've been disfigured. Go play with your little friends. please. "Oh. The young man giggled and danced about in front of Ignatius to avoid the thrusts."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Move along." "Get with it." the young man squealed. you coxcomb. What do you th ink they'd say when they saw that outfit." the young man laughed in short."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "I will not discuss her with you. "Get away from me before I strike you down."\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. and clicked it closed." "Oh."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "If I were you." Ignatius belched. You're very lucky. my goodness. I certainly don't have to sit here listening to you. Like Bette Davis with indigestion. "And with those bare feet and t hat toy sword? Are you kidding?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "The police will believe anything I tell them. What are you supposed to be? I rea lly want to know. lit a Salem." "Oh. I'm surprised that they're permitting you to go cruising at all in that fortune-teller's ensemble.Laughton in drag as the Queen of the Gypsies. Ig natius picked up one of his elephantine desert boots and flung it at the pirouet ting figure.

"Let me alone. isn't this horrible.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Take that. I knew that our society was coming to this."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . "You will rot in a federal prison for the remainder of your life. She has guided my life. A few stragglers were snatching at their magnolias a nd camellias in panic. "Oh." Ignatius dropped the sword onto the flagstones." "Oh. As he sla shed at the sweater with his broken weapon." "Who in the worl d is that?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "A sibyl of a medieval nun. the young man pulled downward. Oh. "And although I didn't t hink it would be possible. I wouldn't." Ignatius was shouting. Their annual outdoor exhibit had been ruined. "Drop that sword. digging the cutlass into the cashmere sw eater. the ladies began to dash out the Roy al Street end of the Alley. "I think that my e ar is broken. The tip of the cutlass broke off and fell to the flagstone walk. you're truly fantastic. " Ignatius said.\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I am the avenging sword of taste and decency." young man said gleefully. scraping the cutlass across the young man's chest."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Now you've done it!" Ignatius slobbered.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Why did I ever stop to talk to you. In a few years."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No. "This is my very finest sweater."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "I suspect that the parties you attend must be true visions of the apocalypse.. Hroswitha could have predicted this long ago. you maniac?" the young man asked in a vicio us and breathless whisper." Down the Alley the women's art guild members were removing their paintings fr om the fence and folding their aluminum lawn chairs like Arabs in preparation fo r stealing away. you've gained weight."\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Whore!" Ignatius cried. breathing to Ignatius. It's so Magyar. we're planning to." the young man shrieked." "If you want a costume like this. Where will you ever end? There' s something so unbelievably tacky about your obesity."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius rose to his feet and stabbed the young man in the chest with his plasti c cutlass.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I know that something like that couldn't be bought anywhere."\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Good grief." the young man sai d with a bright smile."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql He tried to run away. dear. You'd be surp rised. you and your friends will probably take over the country. "We have connections in the highest places. you offal. Slipping a finger through Ignatius's hoop ea rring. "You'll tear my sweater." The young man released the earring. you big crazy thing . but Ignatius had been holding his arm firmly with the hand that was not wielding the cutlass.\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. That earring. but it would b ring the house down at a party." Ignatius cried. then buy one.

You huge thing. fingering his ear. My corps of attorneys wi ll contact you in the morning wherever it is that you carry on your questionable activities. to save you the anxiety of awaiting this phalanx of legal luminaries t o arrive at your spider web of an apartment. He's not a sailor at all. and Throat Hospital having this attended to. "That's only Timmy."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "I will probably spend several years at the Eye. oldest friends. "Are you prepared to pay for it?"\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Of course not." the young man said in a voice heavy with boredom. there's a sailor drifting along Chartres Street. aristocrati c Creole scholars whose knowledge of the more surreptitious forms of living is q uite limited. some junior partner whom they've taken in out of pity. He looks rather lonely." the young man said." "I can e asily sue you. pillars of the community. "You may expect to r eceive some rather staggering medical bills each month.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Look. You mu st have some shame or at least some taste in dress."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Why don't you run along and partake in some dubious recreation that appeals to you. For an event so auspici ous as a courtroom trial. A considerably lesser representat ive may be sent to call upon you. Ear."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You awful creature."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Only the most flamboyant offal would be seen in a miscarriage like that. I shall consent to accepting a sett lement now." Ignatius belched.\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "My sweater cost me forty dollars. They may even refuse to see you. if you wish. him. Nose. Never become involved in an altercation with a pauper.\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The young man glanced down to the Chartres Street end of the Alley. you would probably get completely carried away and app ear in a tiara and evening gown. you disgusting monster. I shall warn them beforehand that they may expect to see and hear a nything. An old judge would grow quite confused." "You revolting beast. Five or six dollars should suffice. "Do you know him?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Of course. He felt the worn portion that had been scraped by the cutlass." Ignatius said. terrible animal.{\ql "Just look at my sweater. They are all brilliant attorneys."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "However."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Perhaps we should both drop the idea of legal recourse."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You awful." he said. "He's one of my d earest. Both of us would doubtlessly be found guilty on some trumped up charge."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\ql "Timmy?" Ignatius asked angrily.

" Ignatius observed. The United States is probably totally defenseless!"\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The young man and the sailor waved at each other familiarly. "this could be a worl dwide deception. for he's close to our hearts. serious voice. Oh. hat. Oh. We love him dearly. How many of the military leaders of th e world may simply be deranged old sodomites acting out some fake fantasy role? Actually. Thank goodness he's back again. I do hope that we haven't gotten h im in too much trouble. This could be the key to lasting peace. Patrolman Mancuso appeared at the end of Pirate's Alley wearing a b eret and goatee. "It's that marvelous policeman.P.\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The power-crazed leaders of the world would certainly be surprised to find that their military leaders and troops were only masquerading sodomites who were onl y too eager to meet the masquerading sodomite armies of other nations in order t . It's really a matter of t aste. We've had him arrested twice for making indecent proposals.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh!" the young man shrieked gaily." the young man said pleasantly. "He could hardly walk in these boots. Perha ps he had found a means of assaulting the effrontery of M. disguised tarts. "Every soldier and sailor that we see could simply be some mad decadent in disguise."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He is thoroughly evil. and he told me that he was a Princeton student down here on a vacation. Some people like him best as the British tourist." "Who knows? I wish they all were. I guess. That' s always wonderfully confusing to the police. Then he said. "The next war could tur n out to be one massive orgy. I simply wa it to see what new disguise they put on him. too?" Ignatius asked guardedly. "Peace at any price. Then he stopped me again on Dumaine and tried to start a conversation. his ankles kept giving way. Don't they know that everyone in the Quarter knows who he is?" "Do you know him.{\ql "What?" Ignatius thundered. We were b eginning to wonder what had happened to him. that accent of his." Ignatius said in a thoughtful." Th e young man exploded in wild laughter."\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Two nerve ends in Ignatius's mind met and formed an immediate association." Ignatius frowned and the red sateen scarf rode down on his hunting cap. Minkoff.A. "Do you mean that he is impersonating a member of th e armed forces of this country?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "That's not all he impersonates. "He's a ver y dangerous man!" "Everyone knows him. Following a few steps behind the sailor. It could mean an end to w ar forever." "This is extremely serious. He's just fabulous." The red sateen scarf rode up and down. Good grief. You should have seen him a few week s ago before he had disappeared. I knew that something like this was going to happen. this might be quite beneficial to the world. and the sailor drif ted out of sight around the front of the Cathedral. That day he was wearing horn-rimmed glasses and a crew sweater. he was just too much in that cowboy outfit. But I've always preferred his southern colonel. watching Patrolman Mancuso stalking the sail or."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It certainly could. That is c hoice. My God! We may all b e trapped in some horrible conspiracy. "I wonder how many of our 'military' are simply people like your friend. I'm so glad the police have returned him to the people who truly appreciate him."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Of course. Once he stopped me on Chartres when I was going truly m ad with your mother's W. I'm sure he was being wasted wherever he was recently.

'And for just a silver quarter. "\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "We may be able to save the world!" Ignatius bellowed in an orator's voice." the young man told Ignati us gaily."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. off we're gonna shuffle.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'll put on some clogs. We would bring an e nd to world strife and renew people's hope and faith." Ignatius ordered angrily. Gypsy Woman?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Have you people considered forming a political party and running a candidate?" "Politics? Oh.' " "Please be s erious for a moment." Ignatius said. I'll go h ome and get my panties. He couldn't permit this opportunity to slip through his swollen fingers. I'm in my Ruby Keeler phase. please. He would show Myrna how to inject sex into politics. and I feel so left out. I think I'll go home and throw something on. "Goo d heavens." the young man sighed. oh-ho-ho. my God!" The blue and yellow eyes flashed wildly. Then he began to sing. dramatically pounding one paw into the other."\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Wait just a moment. "Your method would probab ly be more satisfying and acceptable than the rather stringent birth control tac tics which I have always advocated." The young man sighed. Why haven't I thought of this before?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql . I watch her old movies on television religiously." Ignatius said. These people must b e whipped into line. You're a gypsy. "All this man's talk is making my mind reel." "Moi? Fluttering? What do you want."\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. How dreary." "Wouldn't that be w onderful? The government would pay us to travel. . Eleanor Roosevelt?"\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You must start a party organization. Timmy's a sailor. " 'You go home and get your scanties. Plans must be made. sh uffle off to Buf-falo-ho-ho\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Stop that offensive performance. what do you want to do about it. . Oh-ho-ho. The marvelo us policeman's an artist. you may h old the key to the future. turn the lights d own low."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. we can tip the pullman porter. "Although I had never considered it before. and away we'll go. Maid of Orleans. Off we're gonna shuffle. shuffle off to ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "This is very important!" Ignatius shouted worriedly. The young man did a little soft shoe around Ignatius and sa id. what a fun day this has been."\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. "There certainly doesn't seem to be anything else very p romising on the horizon. This subject deserves the attention of a profound thinker who has a certa in perspective on the world's cultural development."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Perhaps you are the hope for the future. I am certainly glad that you have given me this valuable new insight. "It's just like Mardi Gras. I must dedicate some space to this in my wri tings. How divine. Stop fluttering around here. "Ruby was such a darling.o have dances and balls and learn some foreign dance steps." "We would also help to end the population explosion.

my goodness. What a decorating job lies ahead. Have you read widely in Boethius?" "Who? Oh. "Most fools don't c omprehend my worldview at all. "Oh." Ignatius advised. "You're beginning to remind me of my father." The young man stared at Igna-tius's outfit." "I wouldn't imagine so."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Marvelous. However. what a wild gathering it could be. it would have to ex press your purpose. "\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "There must be a large organizational meeting to kick off the campaign."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql "Yes. drab the parties have been lately. "Now I'll be on pills all night. and what cou ld be more depressing than that?" The young man sighed." the young man shrieked. I must come to lecture to you people so that you will b e set upon the correct path."This kind of conversation depresses me more than you could possibly imagine." t he young man told him. heavens no."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Then it might be sort of fun." "Wouldn 't that be something like a party?" "Yes." Ignatius said excitedly. we'll be very serious. putting his hand to his throat. do that. I can assure you that you' ll get everyone's undivided attention. "Begin organizing at every level. I have a rather extensive knowledge of political or ganization. "\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Good. pleased. I never guessed that you would be such a fun person to know. my dear."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "We must organize immediately." "I can't tell you how much you're depressing me. "To think that they' re letting you run around loose. white.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh." the young man breathed." "No!" Ignatius grabbed the lapel of the y oung man's jacket." "We'll have it next week at my place. And you must wear that fantastic costume. You were so ho stile in that dreadful. I never even read newspapers." "Oh."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ {\ql "My being has many facets. You can't imagine how drab."\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "There is no time to be lost. "I'm afraid I'll have to be running along."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'll have yards and yards of it." "This is not to be a party. I'll have to get some close friends in to help me. in a way."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I suspect that beneath your offensively and vulgarly effeminate fa9ade there ma y be a soul of sorts. In a way."\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Thank you very much. I respect you."\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. covering his mou th with a hand."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You amaze me. It's costume time. and blue bunting. you ass. "Political meetings always have that." Ignatius said sternly."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . Now listen to me. "The apocalypse is near at hand. tacky bar." Ignatius's voice was smooth."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You must have some red.

I'm on St."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. of course. Of course he doesn't realize that he's a sitting duck for the shore patrol. Practice your speech. so they'll be fighting for invitations. "You can't really be named Dorian Greene. vote r registration. We'll start the kickoff rally around eigh tish. there's Timmy again. inclu ding Boethius. You can't imagine how stupid and foolish that boy is. you 'd never speak to me again."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. don't fail us. you should study some selected co mic books. His morality is rather rigid."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Now don't slacken in your preparations. back and forth. "Begin with the late Romans."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ {\ql "Yes. Spirit that clown away before he wrecks the most fiendish political coup in the history of western civilizatio n."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I recommend Batman especially. he'll scream and faint. Now that I think of it. Reilly. I guarantee a large crowd. I am Ignatius J." the young man said. my God! That ludicrous law officer will ruin everything. The artist in the beret a nd goatee passed Chartres. looking at the austere little calling card. busily following the sailor by several feet. Here's my card."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That isn't too dreadful."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh!" the young man shrieked happily. for he tends to transcend the abysmal society in which he's found himself. It's winter and he's st ill wearing his summer whites." Ignatius said solemnly. pamphlets. Then you should dip rather extensively into early Medi eval. isn't that wild?" Dorian asked languidly. Perhaps you should run along and get the deranged Sailor off the stre et."\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. You ca n't miss it. The sailor was passing on C hartres Street in the opposite direction. "Oh.{\ql "Then you must begin a reading program immediately so that you may understand th e crises of our age. Give me a tinkle and we'll iron out the exact date.\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'll work myself to exhaustion."\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Be sure to stress the importance of this historic conclave. the yellow stucco building just off Royal. "Ward meetings. "I'll go back and tell him about it. He's the fly in everyone's ointment. committees. When he hears what he's almost done. look. You may skip the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. you had better skip the Romantics and the Victorians." the young man said gaily."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You're fantastic. "We . I sort of imagined you as a Horace or Humphrey or some thing like that. my God!" Ignatius mumbled. Peter Street. You can take it from there. "If I told you my real name. at any rate." Ignatius warned. everyone is almost dead from ennui and general depression. Well. too. For the contemporary period. also. "Doesn't he ever get tired of the same old route? Back and forth. " "His face did appear rather clouded. and our political strategy will be undone. I wa s born on a wheat farm in Nebraska. If the naval authorities apprehend him." Ignatius said. they will discover that he is an imp oster. It's so common I could die just thinking of it. That is mostly dangero us propaganda." Ignatius said. Look at him. I rather respect Batman.

Really. There in the Alley the crazy hot dog vendor was trying to stab a fairy with a plastic knife. we're lost. No one will dare mistreat him now. He had never imagined that he would one day be praying that people buy hot dogs from him. He was afraid to put the packages down on an adjoining seat. Until it was time to leave he flipped back and forth through the missa l. I don't believe that politicians care to be seen wi th them particularly. We haven't had a good party in months. You don't know the wonderful exp ression that man used to get on his face when the squad car arrived to take him off. I'd telephone the police an d have him arrested immediately for soliciting. The thought of the kickoff rally cheered him greatly. If he gets wind of the plot. I suspect. but even ther e in the dark watching a double bill of two nudist colony films he wasn't comfor table. especially i n a theater like that one. If one of those packages broke open on the street.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql It was all a matter of storage. It was too priceless. He sat in one of the pews next to a bank of vigil lights and d ecorated his hands. You can masquerade and Mardi Gras all year round if you want to. he was reminded of the burde n throughout the three hours of tanned flesh that filled the screen. Louis Cathedral." Ignatius said at last. But by three o'clock he was so tired from the marathon of strolling that he hardly had the enthusiasm to negotiate his day's business." "O h. " They may add the proper international atmosphere to the meeting. One afternoon he had gone to a movie. This time the minx would be totally confounde d. and in two hours of being carried. So long."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "There may be a few costumes. he heard screaming. Then he gathered up his packages and went out onto Chartres Street. h e picked a missal from the rack before him and looked through it. On the othe r days he had carried them around with him during boring wanderings through the business district and the Quarter. George thought. Minkoff. he c ould plan to spend the next few years in a juvenile detention home." "Bewar e of that Machiavel of a policeman. I'll frighten him to death. As he passed Pirate's Alley. his packages stacked beside him. his wheel. refreshing his dim knowledge of the mechanics of the Mass by studying the drawings of the cele brant as he moved through the devotions. George paused for a second to look at the earring and scarf that were h . When his hands were done. Finally George thought of a place that would at least guarantee him some rest and a chance to sit down. They cause resentment among rural voters. I'll tell everyone. Sadly he realized how low Fortuna had spun. Sometimes I can't tell friend from foe. But we'll all be so grate ful to have him back. At least he had a ma gnificent new scheme ready for launching against M. Politicians alw ays seem to want to shake hands with mongoloids in ethnic and native costumes. That vendor was really far out.shall want no fly-by-nights in this core group. the wrapping on the packages got da mp and started to break. if I weren't so glad to see him back on the beat. Ignatius looked toward Royal Street and wondered what had happened to the women's art guild. A sailor leaning against a lamppost winked at him." "Now let me run along and find that silly Timmy. and prayed that some customers would happen along before the day was over. N ow that I think of it. however. That's what's so wonderful about New Orleans. We do not want any fe male impersonators. Holding them in his lap. although their little hearts wi ll snap with disappointment. St. He lumbered over to the passageway where his cart was hidden. And the arresting officers. you may encourage a costume or two. George acknowledged the greeting with an obscene gesture of his tattooed hands and slouched off down the street."\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I would not oppose a few tasteful and decent maskers. Why had that undercover agent tried to arrest him in the rest room? He hadn't done a thing. From almost one to three every afternoon George was stuck with the packages. prepared a hot dog. The Mass was really very simple. But if you oppose costumes. sometimes t he Quarter is like one big costume ball. That agent must have had some sort of detective ESP. Gypsy Mother." Dorian skipped off down the alley to find the decadent mariner.

She w as sweet. Just in time George saw the rest room undercover agent coming down the street behind the sailor. and dashed t hrough the arcade out onto St. Christ. Reilly said. Reilly answered. A guy didn't have a chance. I'm glad I didn't go see that show. holding the newspaper close to her eyes. she was good. He could have kicked himsel f in the shins with the stiletto toes of his flamenco boots. however crafty. They were real ly on the ball. Irene?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ain't that the picture where she went blind?" "No. He saw a nice. girl! You must be thinking o f the wrong show. I was thinking of June Wyman. look. Robichaux asked. "Little Debra Reynolds. would think of opening. George ran behind one of th e arches of the ancient Spanish governmental building. she's s weet. the butt sailed over Miss Lee's h ead with about an inch to spare. George wo uld have to ride into one of their neighborhoods one of these nights and toss a few eggs." Mrs. Where now? He climbed on an outbound Desire bus and pondered the matter while the bus swung around and headed out on Bourbon Street. He and his friends hadn't done that in a long time. You ever seen her in that cute picture where she played Tammy." "Aw. So his mind returned to the matter of storage. Lana Lee was out on the sidewalk giving the jig some direction s about a poster he was putting up in the glass case on the front of the bar. room y."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Lord. Th e jig flipped a cigarette that would have set Miss Lee's hair on fire if it hadn 't been aimed by a master marksman. "I remember that picture where s he played the dummy who got herself raped. There it was.eaving and bobbing while the fairy shrieked. babe."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Aw. Peter Street. "I don't think I c an place her. Robichaux ask ed pleasantly. where he continued running until he reached Royal and headed uptown to the bus lines. "So petite. "You like her. I don't go to the show much. precious. He must have thought today was Ma rdi Gras. These jigs were really getting smart. That vendor probably didn't know wh at day it was or what month or even what year. a safe vault oper ated by the biggest patsy in the world: the bun compartment in that oddball vend or's wagon." Mrs. the Cabildo. passing by the Night of Joy. "They got a cut e picture show on in the neighborhood with little Debbie Reynolds. I know who I was thinking of. You know? The look on that poor dumm y's face when she got raped. driving along in s omeone's souped-up car and splattering whatever jigs were stupid enough to be st anding out on the sidewalk." Santa said.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ . It had been bef ore him all the time and he just hadn't realized it. Very dramatic. He looked like a beatnik. George had to give it to the cops. I'll never forget it. The bus crossed E lysian Fields before George came up with anything." Santa said. But back to the matter of storage. weather-tight metal compartment. a mobile safety deposit box that no undercov er agent in the world. Now the undercover agent was prowling around the Cathedral.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Eleven\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Aw." "Aw." Santa said. it was wonderful. He was beginning to feel like some escaped convict hiding out from the cops. As it was."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "She's darling."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Anybody want more coffee?" Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. Claude?" "Who's that?" Mr. too.

" Mrs. folding. gimmee some there. "It helps out my daughter sometimes. that's a sweet little Blessed Virgin you got on top that TV."\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I mighta known." "Angelo's got him a hard road to travel. Irene?" Mr. For your own good. now he wants peace. I'm telling you." "I l ike to cook. "I love to fix a big pot of meatballs or jumbalaya with shrimps."\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Lenny's got everything. Everyone looked at the televisi on set next to the refrigerator. That boy's gotta be put away. If they was to kick him out. honey. "I think I put too much garlic in them stuffed eggp lants." Mr. i t'd break his heart. Reilly said to get them off the earring topic." Mrs. Robichaux said. "W hat you think about somebody wants peace. Robichaux said. Reilly said. "I thought th e eggplants was fine. "A man who can cook is a big help around the house. That p oor boy." "You like to cook."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Maybe he just got him a small one. Claude?" "That sounds like a communiss to me. "\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He ain't wearing no earring. Reilly said absently. He's out someplace tonight. "I'm sure sorry Angelo couldn't make it. Miss Annie had immediately started an inquisition abo ut that as soon as it had appeared. Reilly said of the gourmet grandchildren.\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql ." Santa told he r guests." Santa said angrily. believe me." Mr. too. how you kids liked that dinner?" "It was deli cious. He told me he's gonna be working day and night on his own so he can bri ng somebody in. Ain't that ri ght. screaming questions through her shutters. I sure hope he takes in some bum. maw-maw.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Santa. "I ain't had me a good meal in a long ti me. It's got a suction cup base so I don't knoc k it over when I'm banging around in the kitchen." Mrs ." "Aarff." Claude answered Santa." Mrs. Reilly under the table. 'Hey. "Who wants peace?" Santa asked . Claude?" "That's right." Santa said. I guess. It seems Angelo went out an bought a lot of expensive cloth es he can wear so maybe he can attract some character.' "\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ain't that sweet.{\ql "Yeah. Robichaux asked." Mrs. don't break.the newspaper and throwin g it on top of the refrigerator. though? It's a little Our Lady of the Television." "Well. I bought it by Lenny's. Robichaux said." Mr. and Santa said. "Ain't that nice." She kicked Mrs." Santa belched. "Ignatius got a sign up in front the house about peace.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It was wonderful.' " "Angelo don't lie. they say . She was thinking of the PEACE TO ME N OF GOOD WILL sign that Ignatius had tacked to the front of their house after h e had come home from work. That just shows you how much that boy loves the force." "A earring's a earring to me. "A woman's got a man that likes to cook is a lucky girl. momma. "First that boy wants a king. but I got a heavy hand with garlic." Santa said. 'I ain't wearing no earring . Claude. Ain't that a shame. Reilly agreed. you sure got a heavy hand with garlic. Reilly's worst fears were realized. "It looks like it's made outta nice plastic."\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I bet it does." Mrs. Irene. Even my granchirren tell me. I ask him and he says.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'm only happy when I'm scrubbing my floors and cooking my food. You oughta heard what his R ita been telling me.

especially in the summer. They got they own family." Mr. here comes Miss Battaglia again. Me and my big feet." Mrs. girl. Always falling d own. "Come back out the clouds. Santa made a sign for Mrs."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It sure is. "I'd stay where I was."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql "Where you getting all this money from." Mr. Reilly would not describe som e new. "I bought my daughter o ne. "I got me a few little rental properties around my h ouse. You know what I mean?"\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "If I was you. you know. Reilly told the other two. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I just got them squshed up in this little pair of shoes. girl." Mrs. "You made good."\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ain't that nice. Reilly."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Listen. anyways. horrible deficiency." Santa said. "Claude he re was axing you if you like to cook.\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I got me a nice pension from the railroad. Claude?" Mrs. huh. looking under the kitchen table. Property's a good investment." Mrs." Mrs. too. "Why don't we go see that cute little Debbie Reynold . but Mrs. babe. Big feet's always been my problem. But you know sometimes I get tired of living with my da ughter and her husband. They ar e very nice to me. huh?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'm pretty comfortable. Claude?" Santa asked interestedly. 'Lord. I wisht I had me a nice child. That clerk sees me coming. Reilly's ankle. Reilly cried. I think they went bad when Ignatius was little and I useta have to carry him around. Reilly said. Be grateful for what you got. Reilly observed. I was with them for forty-five years . Reilly lied. they're young. but I'd rather have my own home. Y ou don't get no breeze out that alley. He was sure heavy. Lord but he was slow walking." Santa ground the heel of her shoe into Mrs."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You oughta get you a letrit range. and he's satisfi ed. "I like to cook okay. I was always putting a little of my salary aside to invest in properties. They gimme a beautiful gold pin when I retired. If your little daughter don't mind having you around. Robichaux said." "Yeah. I mean. Robichaux said."You talking to me. T hey can hardly fit me down by the shoe store. But sometimes it gets so hot in that kitchen. Rei lly not to discuss her deficiencies. Claude?"\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Then. you got you a nice setup. and he says." Mrs. you two." Santa said quickly so that Mrs."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I got bum feet. It don't get hot like a gas stove. Nut and plenty bakery cakes. Maybe that's how I got my arthuritis. Ignatius likes to eat junk. "Now you well fixed. You give Ignatius a few bottles of Dr. "Ouch!" Mrs. You oughta see them th ings when I'm barefoot. What I'm gonna do?' "\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Your feet ain't so big. Reilly said." Santa ordered. Reilly was not to be silenced. I'm sorry. Reilly had been wondering what Ignatius looked like in an earring. rolling her eyes wildly at Mrs. Claude.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Lord. "So me days I can't hardly walk.

girl. y ou woulda had that boy locked away at Charity Hospital a long time ago. "They probly got communiss and fe llow travelers working in that place." Mrs. "How much that cost?"\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It's all for free." Santa said. Reilly said. Irene. Reilly said. Reilly asked. "Maybe he wouldn't listen to the doctors. Lord." Mrs."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Socialized medicine. They'd beat him in the head."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Irene!" Santa said angrily. Robichaux said."\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I think Ignatius told me this movie ain't no good. Irene. Let's get out the house."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yeah?" Mrs. come on."\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "They'd make him listen."\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Aw.s?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That would be nice. If you had any sense. babe. They'd stick a letrit socket in that boy. they'd maybe get mad and lock him up for good." Mr. "You all the time thinking of that boy. You tell her. They'd show that Ig natius. "That son of yours is gonna put you in your grave. "If it' s free and they lock people away. "We'll give Ignatius a chance."\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Once Ignatius started talking to them people. You better wake up. Maybe he'll make good y et."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ {\ql "They got nuns operating the place. that boy. It smells like garlic in here." Mr." Mrs.\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You gotta think about yourself. They'd make him behave himself. My feet. Ignatius oughta be there. Operating for a buncha communiss. but she was thinking that even that alternative wasn't too unattractive. they'd pump some water on him. They'd t urn a hose on him." "I don't care who's operating the place."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql ." Santa said a little too eagerly."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "Well. "Them poor sisters. they'd lock him up in a st raitjacket. Claude."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "That's it. "I don't know." Mr. Robichaux observed. Robichaux said. "I never go to the show.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ain't that awful. Reilly said sadly. He sees every picture that c omes out."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You wanna go see a show?" Mrs. and with al l the trouble he's giving you." Mr. Claude. Robichaux said. Reilly asked with interest. where you all the time getting this communiss stuff from?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Maybe them sisters been fooled.

Reilly said as she hobbled dramatically between her friends. Each resident seemed to be making some contribution. let's go see that precious Debbie Reynolds. "St. And the th ings the people down here say! Lord. We useta put the kitchen chairs out on the banquette and set there till midnight sometimes waiting for the house to cool off. Reilly said emotionally. Reilly the many sadnesses and trib . "Poor girl. Santa stopped to talk to one of the mourners standing out on the s idewalk." She shook her head." "Don't tell me." Santa said. She was burning a candle for her poor departed hu sband and it fall off the night table and sets her mattress on fire. Eighty years old. precious. Mister. The anonymous letters we got about that. "It's even worst in the summertime."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Poor poppa." San ta commented thoughtfully as the three slowly strolled down the narrow sidewalk between the curb and the steps of the double houses built in solid. however small. Now the evening was still warm." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql A few minutes later. arguing voices. I think people innocent until they prove guilty. "Just the other day I sa ys to Ignatius. Claude." Mrs." the man answered. "Well." "I believe people innocent until they proven "\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's the same way I feel. to the ge neral cacophony of dropping pots. And my poor old Ta nte Boo-boo.' "\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Irene!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql They crossed St." Santa agreed. Reilly said. "I'd go in and pay my respects. Come on. 'Ignatius. "Lord. if I was dressed. "He was so poor.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "You don't say. "They waking o ld lady Lopez. Heavy odors of Mediterranean cooking floated across the congested neighbor hood from the opened kitchen windows in every apartment building and double hous e. "Remember I' m from Dauphine Street."\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. after Santa had stopped in the parlor to kiss her mother go odbye. Reilly said. "What she died from?" "Heart trouble. a south wind had been blowing steadily from the Gulf. Claude Avenue during a lull in the heavy traffic and walked alo ng the other side of the avenue under the neon lights. lemme go dump these dishes in the zink. the three of them set out for the theater. She the wife of that Lopez ran the little market over on Frenchm an Street?" "That's the one. The people said she was smoking in bed. Then when he went and got his h and caught in that fanbelt." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ain't that a shame. straight row s down each block. "Di rty mouths." Mrs. who they got laid out in there?" she asked the man. Odo Parish is really at it tonight.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Say."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Aw. booming television sets. The streetlights shone on the treeless stretches of asphalt a nd cement and continuous old slate roofs. and slamming doors." Mrs. screa ming children. " Mrs. As they were passing a fu neral parlor. Ev erybody's out on the streets till ten-eleven o'clock."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql As they walked along. the people in the neighborhood had the nerve to say he musta been drunk. I'm sorry to hear that." Santa told the man. Thank you." "Vicious is what it is. Santa described to Mrs. Me and my friends here just on our way to a picture show. The day had been a balmy day."Selling weenies?" Santa asked.

\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Dear Reader. there was some dis cussion between Santa and Mr. alternately. I betcha little Debbie's gonna have her a baby!" "A what?" Mrs. whispered to me a scheme so magni ficent and daring that I shrank from the very thought of what I was hearing. bursting into crazy. the world will enjoy not war but global orgies cond ucted with the utmost protocol and the most truly international spirit. perverts around the world will also band together to capture the military in their respective countries. Mrs. Reilly said that she would if she didn't have to meet a payment on Ignatius' s trumpet before the week was out. I was hailed by a cherished old acquaintance (deviate). etc. that's true. but a coxcomb is always of man's own making. . Robichaux over who was going to buy the tickets. I found myself pondering once more the crises of our times. as the desire strikes him. Reilly and Mr. "This is madness. Robichaux\u8212?amorous? She stared blindly at the screen. Finally Santa sa id. Irene. and Santa at last let him have his way. Why did movies always seem to make the men she had known\u8212?Mr. When they arrived at the theater.." "Well. "I think I'll send a Mass. we will send aid to them as rebels to help them in toppling their governments. and the sign. On ly Santa's happy exclamations of "Ain't she precious!" and "Just take a look at that cute dress she's got." But still I lis tened to the counsel of my brain. tailoring their uniforms to f it like sausage skins. As soldiers. During most of the movi e Mrs. Reilly screamed wildly. Nature has sometimes made a fool. Reilly agreed weakly. the payment on the trumpet." "Lord.ulations that had comprised old lady Lopez 's dismal existence. "Just watch it . the payment on the wrecked building. There on the worn stones of the Quarter I enlisted th e aid of this wilted flower of a human in gathering his associates in foppery to gether behind a banner of brotherhood. Reilly back to what was happenin g on the screen. In those reactionary countries in which the deviates seem to be having some trouble in gaining control. \u8212?Addison As I was wearing the soles of my desert boots down to a mere sliver of crepe rubber on the old flagstone banquettes of the French Qua rter in my fevered attempt to wrest a living from an unthinking and uncaring soc iety." She winked at Mrs. It was offering me the opportunity to Save the World Through Degeneracy." Mrs. "you the one's got all the money. on which she saw not Debbie Reynolds cavorting in color but rather Jean Harlow taking a bath in black and white. whose mind had wandered aga in to that sign that Ignatius refused to explain to her. After a few minute s of conversation in which I established most easily my moral superiority over t his degenerate. though. Mrs. Then something else drew her from her meditations about her son and her problems. Robichaux took her maroon head and placed it carefully on his shou lder. Our first step will be to elect one of th eir number to some very high office\u8212?the presidency. overcome by old lady Lopez's biography. uncontrollable and wanton as always. Robichaux was adamant. both of which were really the same thing. Robichaux's and bolt from the theater when Santa cried. "You don't even know them people. Mr. Reilly said. "I think I'll send her family a Mass. Reilly was too afraid to mov e. too.Then they will infiltrate the military. M rs. Reilly. Mr. Reilly thought about Ignatius's rapidly decreasing salary.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "After all. for the repose of t hat poor woman's soul." Mrs. In seeing the success of their unified fellows her e." Santa said to him as he handed tickets to the two ladies. Irene!" brought Mrs. they will all be so continually busy in fraternizing with one another. Robichaux's han d had gently covered and was now holding hers. will permit him to be either Chief of Staff or debutant e. "St op!" I cried imploringly to my god-like mind. a ward robe which."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Irene!" Santa screamed. that they will never have time for battle. When we have at last overthro wn all existing governments. The one whom we finally make Chief of Staff will want only to attend to his fashionable wardrobe. for thes . loud tears that didn't subside until the f rightened Mr. inventing new and varied battle dress. Reilly was wondering if she could easily wrench her hand o ut of Mr. if Fortuna spins us ki ndly. the earring. My m entality. giving cocktail pa rties.

The Crusade for Moorish Dignity. precisely becau se.) Sorry. my not inconsiderable knowledge of world history. Pragmatism and Morality spar in the boxing ring of my brain. and so on. liberal minx mind mired in a claustrophobic clutch of cliches. Such effrontery canno t go unchecked. practicing transvestite in the Senate? No! The se people have been without representation long enough.) Degeneracy. I cannot await the outcome of their furious debate: I am too obsessed with Peace. The scheme is too breathtaking for the literal.e people do transcend simple national differences. I shall be working with people who eschew the i nsipid philosophy of the middle class. Ce rtainly some attractive new discovery could be found in a drugstore or a motel o r in whatever den people are "discovered" to play the Working Boy. and the hero's eyeball may be superimposed upon the debate scene in a most symbolic manner. A musical saw would provide excellent background accompaniment. as it were. Those of you who are interested in the la test bleak frankfurter news will find none. I shall act as a sort of mentor and guide for the m ovement. of all the other countries at balls and p arties. The "sophisticated comedy" featuring my number one female film favorite is opening at a downtown palace momentarily. Her vigorous assaults and blister ing attacks against my being are negatively affecting my valve. and friend to many Christians. can you name one good. to follow their cause. Social note: My truant mother is gone again. will be practical enough to know about such devices as bombs. We must have ne w solutions to new problems. my brilliant first attack upon the problems of our times. only a pa rt of the global movement toward opportunity.) A debate between Pragmatism and Morality rages in my brain. or some other interesting land which the cast may wish to see. My mind is too preoccupied with the magnificence of this design. philosopher. will ente rtain the leaders. people who are willing to assume controve rsial positions. the perverts. (Fo r example. (If any perceptive film producers are interested in buying the movi e rights to this Journal. Minkoff and make som e jottings for my lecture at the kickoff rally. As Chesterton has said of Boethius. Does M. (That girl must be attended to. Is the glorious end. of cou rse. would have been a rather grand and decisive coup had it not been for the basically bourgeois worldview of the rather simple people who were members of t he vanguard. while his own times were corrupt. Now I must communicate with M. religion. these nuclear weapons would lie rotting in their vaults somewhere.. they think as one. which is really rather fortunate. from which these peopl e can draw rules of operational procedure. but since it isn't May. and equality for all. she will seethe with envy. I tend to doubt her veracity. will now signal peace for a troubled world. None of the pederasts in power. a global disgrace. i. they are truly united. I cannot se e why these people should not be given their chance. and political strategy acting as a reservoir. the President. Peace. fascistic pronouncements of their former le aders. in a sense. such as North America. dressed in sequins and feathers. Their movement into power will be. his own culture was complete. Almost everyone else has had an opportunity to run the world. worth the awesome means. rather than signaling the downfall of a soci ety. Quarrels of any sort could easily be straightened out in the men's room of the redecorated United Nations. however.e. Boethius himself played a somewhat si milar role in degenerate Rome. economics. Their minds are on one goal. as it once did. "Thus he trul y served as a guide. however it may threaten the smugness of the middle class. They have certainly been th e underdog long enough. The film may be made in Spain. Minkoff want sex in polit ics? I shall give her sex in politics\u8212?and plenty of it! No doubt she will be too overcome to respond to the originality of my project. Italy. Their plight is a nation al. She said that sh e was going out to attend a Crowning of the May Queen at some church. however unpopular it may be. This time. I can only imagine the film's latest ho . Ballets and Broadway musicals and entertainme nts of that sort will flourish everywhere and will probably make the common folk happier than did the grim. Somehow I must be there on opening day. From time to time the Chie f of Staff. justice. At the very least. hostile. Degeneracy? Like two figures i n the medieval Morality play."\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql This time I shall really confound Myrna minx. I might here make a note on the filming of this debate .

"Have you bo ught me that Easter ham yet? Answer me that. Gomez. "And how you've been missed. Near the earrings a f ew gray wisps of hair escaped from beneath the black wig. it al most seems as if movies are "in my blood. which was slightly awr y. Ridicule she doesn't need." "Listen to the fire in her voice. It's unbelieva ble. You've had your fun. Give her more author ity." "Who?" Miss Trixie snarled. "Part of this woman's trouble is that kind of attitude. His voice was false and he smiled a broken smile. Levy.\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I want you to make her feel wanted. Haven't I. Levy's hand. and she only wobbled. "I've said that myself all along. Gonzalez. Mr. Levy said." Mr. but her pumps did not give her the traction that she was used to with sneakers." Miss Trixie's teeth clattered like castanets. Isn't it wonderful to know that you'r e so vital to a business?" "I thought I was retired." Miss Trixie tried to break away from Mrs." Mrs. its flaunting of vulgarity in the face of theology and geometry." "I am a very a ttractive woman. "Come on. Let's go." Miss Trixie babbled. Whole days of napping under a sunlamp had baked Miss Tr ixie to a golden brown. "Can you believe your eyes?" Mrs." The massive teeth snapped like a bear trap." Mr. Her lips had been ex tended in an orange line that almost reached her nostrils. . Gonza lez has been on the phone begging for you.") Health note: My stomach is getting o ut of bounds. "So vigorous. Until later . Give her work that will exercise those faculties of hers. This woman still has a sharp mind ." Mrs."\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Definitely. Tab. Gonzalez laughed nervously. Gonzalez cried heartbrokenly. Gonzalez said. darling. Gonzalez was forced to look at Miss Trixie.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "She certainly looks fit.rrors. "If she had a knife on her." Mr. Levy as they entered the office. "Th is is Levy Pants!" Miss Trixie snarled. The short skirt revealed withered. He was walking behind them carrying one of Miss Trixie's bags of s craps. Levy helped the renovated Miss Trixie up the steps and opened the door. whose eyes were weak pools edged with blue shadow. She desperately needs an active role in this business. "She's back?" Mr. Levy said to him. shut up.\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Now listen here. Every day Mr. (I do not understand this compulsion of mine for seeing movies." Mrs. "Isn't that correct?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. Gonzalez tried unsuccessfully to kiss Mrs." the office manager screamed. taste an d decency. Levy as ked his wife. Miss Trixie. Levy said to his wife."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "All right.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql "I've always wanted you to assume more responsibility and authority. the seams of my vendor's smock are creaking ominously. "You've done her a wonderful service. Mrs. Mr. Your pacifist Working Boy\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql Mrs. "You people have tricked me!" "Now are you happy?" Mr. bowed legs and small feet that made the pu mps look like snowshoes. Gonzalez agreed."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mr. Levy asked him. Levy spoke as if she were comforting a child.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql "You're back again where you're wanted and needed. I'd be taking you to the hospital right now.

a blank draft . "These are mostly confirmations on your hotel reservations for spring practice. He stuffed the filing roughly back into the drawer and slammed the drawe r into its slot in the files. Manager. It was incredible. I. It's been around for a few days. Abelman must be kissing the original right now and smacking his l ips." Mr. Gonzalez? I never see people like this anywhere else. This may do a little to compensate for our hurt feelings. It's addressed to you and not the company. Read it. After many nights without sleep." the office manager whispered. He opened it and found a letter on which some attachment ha d been stapled. Maybe this Abelman h as some words of advice to a playboy. turned around and looked in the filing department. Very best wishes. Esq." Mr. the "Gus Levy" signature looked fai rly authentic.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Dear Gus Levy. Levy said angrily. Abelman. "your blighted worldview". Levy turned cold as he flipped the page and read the Thermofaxed copy of the letter to Abelman's." Mrs. on which "personal" had been written three time s in red ball-point. "your total lack of contact with reality".\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's Mr. we have given t he original letter to our lawyer. To somebody like Abelman that letter was like a savings bond." He handed Mr. Levy looked at the envelope. We have been a faithful outlet for your merchandise for thirty years and h ave heretofore always had the warmest affectionate feelings for your firm. A belman." Mr. Maybe you remember the wreath we sent when your father died for which we spared no ex pense. Gonzalez said. aside from Miss Trixie who had begun napping on h er desk.000."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mr." Mrs."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql As the office manager went to his desk to get the mail. do you?" "I think Mr. "He's only been with us for a few days. "He only has trouble alphabetizing. "Maybe he wonders what happened since Leon Levy died. "I have some mail f or you. Then he opened another drawer and fumbled through its contents with one hand while the other scratched at his armpit through his threadbare knitted shirt. Levy a sheaf of mail." "What does that crack want now?" Mr. please. "Where do you find the people that work in this plac e. I. Gus.\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Maybe he wonders what happened to a brilliant.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No thanks. there was a crash in the rear of the office. "you may feel the sting of the lash a cross your pitiful shoulders." Worst of all. and it's marked personal. Get a lawyer. Zalatimo. We will see you in court like gentlemen. "You don't keep any cash aroun d here. Mongoloid. Levy obse rved. I don't think we'll want to inc lude him in the Levy Pants plan. We were shocked and grievously injured to receive the attached le tter. Abelman's Dry Goods\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql Mr.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Would you care to meet him?" the office manager asked. Gonzalez whispered. No more threats. This will be very short. Levy said. who is instigating a libel suit for $500. Who would go to the trouble of writing things like that? "Mr. Zalatimo looked confusedly at the filing c abinets and scratched himself. Levy said. It will be your work for Lev y Pants for the week. There's a letter in there from Abel-man. Everyone."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He looks like a gangster to me. so I thought you'd better open it. There an extremely t all man with long black hair was picking up a file drawer that had fallen to the floor. and I don't think he's going to work out. growing concern." "Just a moment. Zalatimo's honest.I'm getting depressed." Mr.".

"\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Susan and Sandra will have to quit college."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql "Huh?" Mr. "Now you've done it. sobbing something about going out to sell Av on products. Gonzalez. Gonzalez?" Mr. Anything t o get back at your father. "You're sick. following the fleet. giving the letter to Mr. "This is horrible. I know you wouldn't. Levy asked the office manager whose lips had turned white. Wha t a way to begin fighting a libel suit." "You write the correspondence around here. Zalatimo asked. I never write the letters around here."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I didn't write that. "I wouldn't do something like th at to Levy Pants!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No. Zalatimo aside. Gonzalez squeaked."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs. Gonzal ez. He opened several other drawers. Levy had collapsed in a chair.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql "I don't know a thing. but half of them were empty. I knew it was going to end like this." Mr.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What is it. "Who wrote this?" Mr. this time much more fiercely. Gonzalez piped. "What do you know about this. Levy shouted at her husband. They'll be selling themselves to sa ilors and gangsters like that one there." His lips were quivering. It's a problem that means we could lose the shirts off our backs. Levy's aquamarine lids were trembling. The drawer was complete ly empty." "Oh." Mr. too.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "Quiet!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "And will I be any better off?" Mrs. "What do you people do with the filing?" \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . to ruin his business. "You people are the noisiest I've ever met. "Wha t will become of me? Already my life has been wrecked. Gus? A problem? Are you having a problem? That's one of your proble ms.on a bank." M rs."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Quiet!" Miss Trixie demanded. shut up."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mr. You never tell me your problems. Levy demanded. My mother was right. Gus? Something you didn't handle correctly? Some authority you dele gated to somebody else?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yes."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What?" Mrs. and o pened the files in the A's. "It's the first time I've seen that letter. "Somebody really had it in f or us. What happens to me now? P rowling in garbage cans. Her lacquered curls turned into snakes. Levy grabbed the letters from Mr." "Silence!" Miss Tr ixie snapped. my goodness!" Mr. She read them and becam e a hag."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "Oh. Levy tried to think. it's a problem. There was no Abelman folder. sensing that he was being discussed.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What is it. Levy went over to the files. pushed the scratching Mr.

" Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well." Mrs. I had high hopes for him until he tried to get that worker to brain me . what was the name of that big kook you had working in here. "I do n't know. that was . ."\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Reilly?" Miss Trixie said. "That wasn't Reilly. I don't know. "The one who tried to make the factory workers kill me. "you people still got a fat mother with a green cap workin there at Levy Pant? A big white guy got him a moustache ?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No. . Levy said angrily. "It sounded like a Negro voice to m e. Gus.{\ql "I was wondering about that myself. Reilly. he goes to jail for forgery. He handled the letter to go out."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It was?" Miss Trixie said with interest. Ignatius Reilly." Mrs. It's encouraging to know that his idealism is still intact. Gonzalez answered in a shrill voice and slammed the phone do wn. Levy had been thinking of something. "Do you think tha t that Reilly would write a letter like that?" "Maybe."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's right. Levy sobbed." Mr."\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The young idealist?" Mrs. You're about to frame him. and he asked the office manager."\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mr. I guess so. Levy said." Jones's voice said over the telephone. Someone for Mr. the big f at one with the green cap?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Mr. "He's out trying to help some other unfortun ates right now." Mr." Who had composed that aw ful thing?\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hey.\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Gonzalez. Levy moaned." Mr.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ {\ql "Oh. I always thought it .. Reilly." Mrs. I can't!" "Then do you want me to say I wrote that?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Of course not!" Mrs. I can't take much more of this. People like the young idealist don't d eal in underhanded things like that. Zalatimo said vaguely. "What was the name of that kook?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Reilly. . please. Gonzalez said." The office manager wiped his forehea d with a handkerchief. "Try to pin it on the young idealist. "Negroes are calling here to get his counsel. Wait until Susan and Sandra hear about this . "Who was that?" Mr. Levy made a gesture that indicated that the girls would clearly go into a state of shock. "I'm supposed to end in the poorhouse? If the young idealist wrote it. "That's strange. Levy asked." the office manager answered."\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . "Who wanted him?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I don't know. we don't. Put him away where his idealism won't bother you. Ignatius J."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Miss Trixie. That Reilly blimp was working for the company at the time that that letter to Abelman was dated. Levy screamed at her husband. I can't.

I'd like to know."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\ql "When he came to apply. he's not at home. What would this one do? His feet tingled with fear."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Shut up. "Hey. "And no one is going to use them." "Then lo ok up a Reilly on Constantinople Street for us. Levy said to his wife. Levy answered wildly." Mr. The factory d oor banged open and one of the workers screamed. Mr. "Get me this Reilly's phone number." She took the three hoarded office telephone books out of some recess in her desk. Gonzalez watched Mr."\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Huh?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Will you keep quiet? You're getting everything confused. Levy got depressed and thanke d her and hung up." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mr." "Give me one of those phone b ooks." "For on e thing because he had a police record. A man was cursing. "Let's get out of here."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mr. I'll find the right n umber. Reilly always seemed to have the best interests of Levy Pants at heart. studyi ng the pages with a magnifying glass. "Hold your horses. Zalatimo asked." Miss Trixie snapped.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Mr. Levy told the audience in the office. Levy said to his wife. I must say you people are very impatient and excitable. Why can't you let poor Reilly alone? You alread y kicked him out over nothing." Miss Trixie snarled. Gonzalez awakened Miss Trixie and asked her for a phone book. "before we pin it on you. gangster. Then he turned to the office manager. "Is this dump gonna close down or wh at? I mean. Gonzalez cried. all right. Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Come on.{\ql "Say."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql . Regal Cleaners. A woman who sounded slightl y intoxicated answered and told him that Mr. Levy dialed the second number that she gave him." Mr. Gomez. "You'll only lose it.\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh." Mrs. Then she started crying. and.p "Well."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql There were sounds of disorder in the factory. Gonzalez." Miss Trixie rasped." Mr. Reilly wouldn't be home until late in the afternoon."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mr. Levy hollered.."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. I certainly didn't think he was a police character. "He seemed so refined. Levy dialed it and a voice answered. Staying at your h ouse took ten years off my life." th e office manager said sadly. and Mr." Mr. "Why he started that riot I'll never know. Mr. what's going on?" Mr. "Quiet the workers. I'm getting heartb urn." Mr. guarding them with her newly enameled nails. keep all of th e phone books. slapping her hand down on the stack of books. Palerma just bum his hand on one of them furnace door. my goodness. I'll be there in a mi nute. Zalatimo probing his long index finger high into one of his nostrils." The office manager shook his head. gave them a number.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No. "Good morning.

"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql "He's not even home. Gonzalez didn't even kn ow what kind of mail was going out of the office. to Mr. Levy said angrily and grabbed his wife through her fur coat. I can just see that lawyer he's g ot." Mr. f urry figure was being hauled through the door. In the past her insecurity probably made her afraid of taking any responsible work. The factory sounded bad. "I've worked a miracle.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Just look at this place. She shook Miss Trixie's shoulder. Levy indicated the loudly snoring Miss Trixie. There's nothing to worry about. Her teeth snapped menacingly. "Aren't you going to get the idealist?" "Some other time. half listening."\par\pard . Basically she has a deep seated hatred of Levy Pants t hat I've analyzed as being rooted in fear.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Listen to the conviction in that voice. Crippled from chasing ambulances. "Sad."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Of course. to the crepe paper streamers still hanging from the days when I. can you?" Mrs. "About Miss Trixie." "Well." The aquamarine lids trembled." Mr. darling. The insecurity and fear have led to h atred." Miss Trixie snarled." Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yes." the office manager said. I've spoken to Mr." Mrs. Gonzalez."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. I want you to give her a welcome every morning. sir. Freud. "I'll get in touch with Rei lly. J." Mr."Just a moment. "Come on. you'll take the bus back to the coast if yo u don't hurry up." A gloved hand gestured to the dingy office furniture. I'm getting indigestion from this office.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Come on before I have to take you to get a rabies shot. You can't spare a minute of your wasted life for this woman. "I'm going. You couldn't leave the place alone for a minute."\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Get out of here. Gonzalez made a deep bow to them and dashed out of the office. A business down the dra in. Levy didn't feel like speaking with the crying woman a gain. slapping her palm on the des k. The y can't sue me for a half million for a letter I didn't write. unhappy young idealists stooping to forgery to get even. Levy said. Dr." Mrs. no? I'm sure somebody like Abelman could. Levy was holding the door open. Gonzale z and he's delighted to see you again. Everything is going to be fine.\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Okay. sad." "Meanwhile Abelma n has Scotland Yard at our throats.\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Go see about the factory. Levy said proudly as her round. I t hink she's over that now. "\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Look how calm you are. Zalatimo who was kicking at the wastebasket in alphabetical frustration. Gonzalez." Mr. to the warped floors. Mutilated from being caught in fires he's started for insurance money. you people. "I'll call him tonight from the coast. I've had enough for one day. all rig ht." "Quiet!" Miss Trixie ordered. Give her meaningful work to do. It doesn't matter to you that Abelman is about to sue ou r lives away if he can. Just come near Levy Pants and you we re subjected to all sorts of annoyances and depressing influences. Let's go." "All right. Anyone who wanted to take it easy and not be bothered had better not have a company like Levy Pants. Reilly was custodian of the files. Levy gestured to Mr.

Mrs." Mrs. I've been composing the rules and regulations. where the workers had begun dancing with one another under the loudspeak ers. Zalatimo came over to Miss Trixie."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql "Susan and Sandra will hate to know that your bum's attitude toward the world al most ruined them."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. "I'm establishing a Foundation. Not another word. I n the factory Mr. I won't frighten them if you don't want me to. Mrs." "Please. "This Abelman business is the most dangerous of all your mistakes an d errors and evasions through the years. The girls will really r esent that."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. "Say. The awards will commemorate the memory of that great man. that because you won't even take the time to supervise your ow n company. The girls' hair will curl when they rea d of it."\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He obviously was all alone. I have to do something to honor your father's name for all that you haven't done to honor it. As it is.\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The door closed and Mr. S usan and Sandra will hate to know that they could have ended up as prostitutes o r worse. Of course. Wttlis or Williams?"\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Miss Trixie glared at him for a moment. Levy."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's right. Zalatimo's screaming. they're all for free."\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ ." "They might at least have made some money at it. The least that you've always given them has been material comfort. Even my brutalized spirit has some s ensitivity left. maybe you can help me out with this. Palermo and see what had happened or to stay in the f actory. Gonzalez heard Mr. His character references will stink. I can't let you slander my girls like that. He tapped her on the shoulder and asked. Levy Pants demanded a lot of a person. He didn't know whethe r to desert the seared Mr. lady. Then she sank her teeth into his hand. there will be no Foundation." "I see."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "How much do you want for this Foundation?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I haven't decided yet. Suddenly you agree that your young idealist is a criminal. Levy sighed c ontentedly. pulling her blowing fur up closer around her neck said. Gus. we have somebody suing us for half a million. Su ppose Abelman's lawyer gets the money out of us. "A police record. In the sports car. Guggenheim? The Susa n and Sandra slush fund?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It will be called the Leon Levy Foundation. The young idealist is trapped."\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "May I ask what this Foundation is going to be called. in honor of your father."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He won't. What would you say comes first."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "But you wanted to get your hands on Miss Trixie. absently scratching h imself. as they drove thr ough the salt marshes that led back to the coast. in citing a riot." she said calmly.

they must be part of his sales gimmick. At noon George had left his outpost and gone down to the Quarter to ge t the packages from Miss Lee. I know you. Gus. Levy held up a gloved hand. Susan and Sandra are proud that I've tried to keep her active so long. George had decided to try to be nice to him. Gus. stop. sometime after one o'clock. scarf."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Please. you'll be tossing laurels at old men outstanding only fo r their unequaled meanness."\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I've done all I can for that woman. You could tell by the way that he talked. and tape a piece of tablet paper to the fron t of his wagon. Hot dog vendors must be poor. "The girls have been thrilled by my reports on the Miss Trixie project. Fo rget it. though. George noticed. He had a good education. Can't y ou go play golf at Lakewood anymore? Take some more dancing lessons. That doctor in the Medical Arts building." Mrs. wh o had never shown up. Their hearts would break if they knew how carelessly their own father handled their welfare.{\ql "I see. Whatever happened to bridge? Other people are still playing it. There's host ility. He didn't want to end up like that guy. Lenny's savior. At last. Incorporated. libel suits from the recipients. That and the money should make him rent out his bun compartment. He had remembered the name on the wagon and looked up t he address of the vending firm. there will be no Leon Levy Foundation. The Foundation will really give them fai th in their name. If he put them on in the ga rage. though. Now I'll have to watch over you every minute to s ee to it that you get in touch with that idealist criminal as soon as possible. Miss Trixie was beginning to bore me the last few days."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql George had set up his stakeout on Poydras Street across from the Paradise Vendor s. This vendor was a perfect front man. he'd play up to the vendor's education. "Now get to that Reilly psycho before Abelman comes d own here and starts taking the hub caps off this sports car. Your ha nds will be really full of libel suits then. A few minutes lat er the oddball vendor wheeled his wagon out onto the sidewalk. With somebody like that." "So that's why the rejuvenation course ended all of a sudden."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "To be quite honest with you. You'll put it off. and the state will put him away someplace where he can't try to wreck people. Now he was back on Poydras wondering whether the v endor was going to show. and cutlass. Before it's too late. The . He would never know what was coming off. Thank goodness Susan and Sandra won't know that they almost ended up selling roach tablets from door to door. George would use psychology on him. He was still wear ing the earring. to hand hi m a few dollars right away. and Abelman will have a van out in front of Levy' s Lodge taking everything away. I can hear it. garage. that he had gone to school a long time. George watched him push the wag on a few feet down the block."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I've already told you!" Mrs. I must do all I can to make up for your complete failure as a parent. All morning he had waited for the big vendor. a whi te smock billowed off the trolley and whipped into the garage." "Well."\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Do you resent it? There's resentment in your voice. Levy screamed. George had been wise enough to get out of school as soon as p ossible. Abelman has no case. "Leave the board out of this!" She adjusted her ruffled furs. Take Miss T rixie with you." "Including your exercising board. In other words. Perhaps he had been fired for stabbing the fairy in Pirate 's Alley. That was probably what w as wrong with him. Lenny's doctor can analyze Reilly. He'd appreciate a few bucks. for your own sake."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Getting an award from the Leon Levy Foundation will be a public insult.

Ignatius pushed his ca rt against the traffic down St."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql With a push from the old man. he saw that one of the bicycle ti res had lodged in the groove of a streetcar track. It's already a fternoon. spherical. Lost in speculation about means for raising the money. "Come on. you ape. "If you will wait a moment. He bent and tried to lift the cart on one side. you big baboon. I am apparently to be run over by a streetcar and robbed simul taneously. As he slipped his hands beneath the big tin bun.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql "Get moving. and then it had only been his mother's violent pounding and screaming that had awakened him. "You're already late. he heard through the light mist the grinding of an approaching streetcar. Today the sophisticated comed y was opening at the RKO Orpheum. leisurely pitching and rocking. ran up behind the vendor. after wavering for a moment of fra ntic decision. What a promising day th is appears to be. Ignatius lumbered down the tracks toward the streetcar. When he attempted to pull closer to the curb. "I don't care if your mother takes dope. Unaware that he was being trailed.n an old man stuck his head out of the garage. sir. Somehow he h ad to sell five or six hot dogs quickly. I w ant five dollars minimum from you today. my God!" Ignatius thundered. watching the s ilhouette of the streetcar forming a half-block away. "I don't wanna hear no more bullshit about that automobile accident and your dreams and your goddam girl friend. He tried to bump the cart out of the groove. Now get outta here. The motorman. Ignatius did not notice that for quite some time his cart had been traveling in a straigh t and unswerving line. but it lasted a long time. the vendor rolled to the corner and disappeared on to St. He had stayed up so late the night before working on his lecture for the kickoff rally that he hadn' t been able to move from his yellowed sheets until almost noon. the white muu-muu of a uniform swishing around his ankles. s lid the car to a halt and opened one of the front windows. balanced for a second in t he air. Stopping. He had been able to bleed ten cents out of his mother for carfare home. and his valve."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The vendor said something coolly and quietly. you depraved urchin. George slouched off in pursuit of the wagon. and then became horizontal as the cart turned over loudly on its other s ide. "What vicious trick is For tuna playing on me now?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Deserting the wreck." the old man shouted. my God!" Ignatius mumbled to himself." the earring called up to him. let's you and me get this off the street. The olive and copper tro lley car ground slowly toward him. "My pubescent nemesis. Wildly Ignatius pulled upward on the tin bun. the cart wo uld not incline to the right at all. He ran over to Ignatius and said cheerily. Get away. and str uck him across the back with a long fork. park the wagon somewhere. he had a problem."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh." the old man an swered. and get to th at theater so that his disbelieving eyes could drink in every blasphemous techni colored moment. thereby setting a Paradise record. rose upward."\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . Charles toward the Quarter. The hard littl e bumps appeared on his hands. After the old man returned to the garage. The bicycle tire shot up out of the tracks."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql George saw his opportunity. Today you're gonna bring in a profit or else. prof. Now that he was out on the streets. "Pardon me. George couldn't understand it. it was too heavy to be easily bounced. Charles. seeing the huge. white figure panting in the center of the tracks. I shall attempt to right my listing craft. One of the little lids in the tin bun opened and deposited a few steaming h ot dogs on the street. slammed closed. "Oh. although she had even begrudged him that.

You gonna break your wagon. prof.{\ql "You grab that end and I'll get this one." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "In case you haven't noticed.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Money?" Ignatius asked happily." The streetcar rolled by them slowly so that the conduct or and motorman could study Ignatius's costume more closely. George grabbed one of Ignatius's paws and stuck two dollars in it." Ignatius said as he breathlessly lifted the wagon. prof. the contents of the tin bun ra ttling against its sides."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ {\ql Ignatius kicked the little door closed. Up." He quickly pocketed the two bills. you want me to help you pick up this pile of junk?" "Pile of junk? Are yo u talking about this Paradise vehicle?" The streetcar clanged at them again. there you go.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I hope you realize. shrugging. "I'd rather not ask the obscene motive for this."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "That's it. baring a tan fang or two. you waif. "Thank God.1 IIT T ft Come on. as if he were playing to win in a profes sional football game. "You better close that little door befo re more of them weenies falls out. I didn't ask you to make conversation. you truant."\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "How could you possibly help me?" Ignatius bellowed."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql George took one end of the bun and said. I'm just tryna help you out."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql The streetcar clanged at them." Ignatius said finally."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The cart bounced back onto its two bicycle tires."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql . "I mean." George said. prof. Where did you come from? Why are you following me?"\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Look. George said. I would be perfectly happy to let this ridiculous liability lie here on its side. "that o ur association is only the result of an emergency. ft /~1 ft /"I . all right. "Okay. Glad I could help you out."\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Okay. you are about to be hooked on the cowcat cher of that streetcar. You're a really educated guy."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Shut up. neatly severing a protruding hot dog into two six-inch sec tions. " Some authority of society is probably hot on the scent of your suffocating hair tonic right now. "Actually. You said it better than I ever could.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Take it easy. I'd like to think that you're attempting to make amends in your simple way for slandering me on my dismal firs t day with this ludicrous wagon.

but I can't deliver them to the schools u ntil after school's closed. "There may be some hope for you yet. With the two you already got. "What are these? Visual aids for c ivics or some other equally stultifying high school subject?" "Gimme that. Maybe you can do the same for me. biting into the hot dog. A nude woman was sitting on the edge of a desk next to a globe of the world."\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius happily pocketed the new bills and ripped one of the packages from Geor ge's arms. prof." "Perhap s. thanks. Now I could meet you someplace about one and put them in your bun compartme nt and come get them out sometime before three. Her face was hidden behind a large book. "I must see what it is that I'm storing."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql George opened his wallet and gave Ignatius eight dollars. I don't deal in small sums. "My God." George pleaded. and he had collapsed against a water cooler. Now this is my problem. Ignatius scrutinized the title on the cover of the book: Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius." Ignatius said disinterestedly. "These are school supplies. I gotta pick them up from the distributor at lunchtime. "I can't deliver the stuff if it's opened."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. Whi le George evaded indifferent slaps from the unoccupied paw." "Give that back." "Hey!" George shouted. you n ut. "Well. The Con solation of Philosophy. the hot dogs are quite di sordered. saying. Once in high school someone had sh own him a pornographic photograph. The suggested ona-nism with the piece of chalk intrigued Ignatius." Ignatius belched."Oh?" Ignatius was very pleased.\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You see these?" George indicated the brown paper packages he was carrying under his arms."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You will?" Ignatius asked with interest. He saw a stack of what looked like postcards." Ign atius looked down into the well of his wagon. you will have to pay me a week' s rent in advance. Good grief. that makes ten for the week. my God!" Ignatius stared at what he saw. "Do you seriously expect me to believe you? Deliv ering school supplies after the schools are closed?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'll pay you a couple of bucks every day. This photograph was far superior. "Now I helped you out."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Then pardon me while I have one. Hot dog?"\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No. Y ou understand? What I'm looking for is a place to put these things in the aftern oon.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Here. injuring his ear." Ignatius fended off the boy and tore off the brown wrapping."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Too bad for you. Geor ge said. So I gotta carry them around for almost two hours."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql While Ignatius was slamming doors and plunging his paws down into the well. You're probably sell ing goof balls to infants."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "How bogus. What ta ste. "Do I believe what I am seeing? What brilliance. My system is petitioning for appeasement.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ .

" Ignatius gloated. "You should be kissing the hem of my unifo rm in gratitude for my not advising Sherlock Mancuso of your evil goods. scurrying here and there in his nev er-ending search for marauders.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's enough from you.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He is small and elusive. Ignatius wondered if h . a seer and philosopher cast into a hostile century by forces beyond h er control.{\ql "This one is mine. Ignatius tossed money at the cashier and literally lunged into the Orpheum. a sly undercover agent." Ignatius's voice was cunning. For a while he chose the covert of a bathroom bu t now is out on the streets where he remains at my beck and call every minute. The big vendor really had him. He would do his own investigating. I have on the police f orce a brilliant friend. The bo y with the magnificent photographs was definitely a find. what is this? How long you gonna be?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "About two hours."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ {\ql Mancuso? Wasn't that the name of the undercover agent who had stopped him in the rest room? George got very nervous."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ {\ql "Well. He is a veritable will-o'-the-wisp." he swallowed. if her reading m aterial were any guide. George put his two packages in the bun compartment and sat down on the curb. I shall make my cart available to you. "He is given to many di sguises. Encouraging the degeneration of some n oble woman scholar. "Where in the world did you get these? Who is this brilliant woman?" "None of your business. Meet me before the RKO Orpheum in two hours!" Ignatius billowed grandly off down Common Street." Ignatius thought of the address on the piece of pap er. Now he wasn't only stuck with the packag es. He is just l ooking for the sort of break a case like yours would offer. "I am already lowering my standards by associating with you and fouling up my bun comp artment. "This is a frame-up. The second feature was just beginning. you must watch the cart this afternoon. His timing had been perfect. pocketing the top card."\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I see. He was stuck with a big hot dog wagon. He handed the torn package back to George and looked at the piece of torn wrapping between his fin gers. waddling down the aisle toward the footli ghts."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I gotta get uptown by three o'clock. in spite of my misgivings. This was really luck meeting a pal of Mancuso's. Howe ver. There was an address on it. I have a rather urgent appointment.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql "What does this undercover pal of yours look like?" George sneered in an attempt at bravery. You should be glad that I haven't turned you in. Some destitute woman intellectual was doi ng anything for a dollar. It could be that she was in the same situation as the Wo rking Boy. "Well. Patrolman Mancuso. She might have some new and valuable insight s. Her worldview must be quite incisive. He pocketed that. A secret operation. too. He looked furiously at the wagon. you shall be a little late this afternoon." Ignatius barked. you guttersnipe. Fall to your knees a nd be grateful for my benevolence. "\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hey." Ignatius said angrily."\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql George's throat filled with something that choked him. Ignatius must meet her.

An old usherette cam e down the aisle and tried to grab the cutlass from him. but Ignatius wrestled w ith her." he splu ttered. My eyes can hardly believe this highly discolored garbage. He needed that boy.e could blackmail him into watching the wagon every afternoon. All of the people involved in the film were equally una cceptable. and she slid to the carpet. Who can imagine how wrinkled and loathsome those two really are? I think I'm getting nauseated. Gasping. He's got on a earring. His emotions were spent. On their first night together she broke out in a rash just as the li bertine was opening her bedroom door. The bed was pulled through the stre ets and floated across a swimming pool at the resort hotel. Ignatius didn't want to ruin a good thing. in particular. b elieving her honor to be in question. W eakly he climbed over the four empty popcorn boxes that had accumulated before h is seat during the movie. A set designer. She is Undermining our civi lization.\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Good grief. If we're all lucky. but he found that he couldn't. George was keeping a surly watch over the wag on." Ignatius sighed. had a series of paranoid fantasies in whic h she was lying on a bed with her libertine. "I thought you was never coming outta there. "Under her All-American fac e she is really Tokyo Rose!" He wanted to stay for another showing. he staggered up the aisle and out onto the sunlit street. He was completely enervated. "Oh. Run along. the Orpheum may have forgotten to pay i ts electric bill. Is this smut supposed to be comedy?" Ignatius demanded in the darkn ess. Look at her degenerate face."\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Then there was a soft-focus love scene." As the film ended Ignatius cried. prof. spewing wet popcorn over several rows. He tried to be silent. my God. had appalled him too many times in the past. "Just take a look at him. In this film she was a bright young secretary whom an aged man of the world was trying to seduce. The heroine. There. Can't someone in the projection booth turn off the electricity? Please!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql He rattled his cutlass loudly against the side of his seat. Please! Some one with some decency get to the fuse box." a lady with a shopping bag said t o her companion." George took his packages and started to slouch away."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Okay. "Keep your mo . The urchin had ce rtainly responded to his mention of a friend on the police force. Hundreds of people in this theater ar e being demoralized.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Jesus. That woman must be lashed until she drops. She is a Chinese Communist agent sent over to destroy us. He c ould feel the hysteria overtaking him. I'll meet you at one sharp tomorrow at Canal and Royal.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "Filth!" Ignatius shouted. Ignatius snort ed at the movie credits. by the cab stand at the Roosevelt Hotel." he sneered.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "They're photographing them through several thicknesses of cheesecloth. and Ignatius began to lose control."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Please. Rape her!"\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "They sure got some funny people at matinees. but he remem bered the waif. The heroine was even more offensive than she had been in the circus music al. She got up and hobbled away. "I've just been through trauma. "How dare she pretend to be virgin. "I have not laughed once. What kinda app ointment you had? You just went to see a movie. He flew her in a private jet to Bermuda and installed her in a suite.

and went to look out of the porthole of glass in the padded door. of solitary sensual and scholarly pleasure th at appealed to him greatly. There was an air of solitude. you. Lana Lee was watching Darlene and the bird. Ignatius thought. was rather lacking in the sensual department." Ignatius would sigh to her. Get off my curb. Now if only Darlene could get that line s traight. "Be kind. Without a doubt you operate the most disma l bar in the city. I am paralyzed. The act was really pretty good in its own way. The undone woman was in the hands of commercia l exploiters. He read:\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql ROBERTA E. How Myrna would gnaw at her espresso c up rim in envy.\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Do I dare?" Ignatius asked himself."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Go get paralyzed down the block. W ith her background and Boethian worldview.uth shut. Too." "Please. my God! The poor woman is in the hands of fiends. You look like a queer with that earring. Go on. Jones seemed to be broken in at last. she would take a very stoic and fatal istic view of whatever sexual gaucheries and blunders he committed. How an guished she would be when Ignatius described his tender pleasures." Ignatius said sternly. That particular work . May I interest you in purchasing a hot dog?"\par\pard\plain\h . He would describe every lush moment with this scholarly woman. huh?" "We shall see. bumping the wagon absentmindedly into a par ked car. Things were looking good. he would discuss Boethius. what kind of pet? Ignatius was intr igued. He ate a hot dog with tre mbling hands and peeked down into his pocket at the photograph."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "People will never make that mistake. It needed a go od injection of lip-smacking innuendo. gave Jones some additional directions about cleaning under the stools. Ignatius rolled down in to the Quarter and. All I need is you hanging around here again to ruin my investment. Afraid of attracting the wrath of the Nazi proprietress. She wandered away from the stage. LEE presents Harlett O'Hara. The handle sank into his stomach and he belched. pondered an affair. She'd seen enough of the act for one afternoon. Get that crappy wagon away from in front my busine ss. My feet have simply ceased to function. for a wild and very fleeting moment. He would not tell the woman how he came across her."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Let me assure you that I did not choose to collapse here before your gas chambe r of a den. of detachment. Myrna probably attacked s ex with the vehemence and seriousness that she brought to social protest. People'11 think th is is a gay bar. They were almost ready to open. Ignatius found the address and said. He looked at the scrap of wrapping paper. the Virgin-ny Belle (and pet!)\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} {\line } { {\ql Who was Harlett O'Hara? Even more important. "Hey. you character. pausing to think of some excuse. Lana pushed the door open and hollered out into the street. Perhaps the confessions of this woman wou ld perk it up a bit. From above the w oman's figure looked even more matronly and reassuring."\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Go rest them someplace else. George was really bringing in the money with the new merchandise. First. She would be ove rwhelmed. tiny address. at the cru de. She would be understanding. Some broken professor of Roman history? A ruined medievalist? If only she had shown her face. he sat down unco mfortably on the curb and decided to wait. Bourbon Street." a rich voice answered from the stree t. I did not return here of my own volition. What a challenging character for the Journal. "Oh." He studied the facade of the Night of Joy and lumbered up to the poster in the glass case. "I am only resting my rather broken feet.

"Were yo u involved in that particularly\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} {\line } { {\ql abortive coup?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "No." Ignatius sighed. My broken feet are the indirect result of my sensitive social conscience. Jones." Lana said to Darlene.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hustle him off." Lana said to Jones." Ignatius observed coolly. "Why did For-tuna lead me to this. I l ost a particularly successful position because of my stand on the racial questio n." the green cap mother said to Lana Lee. She pushed Darlene and said to Jones. "No d oubt they made some mention of my carriage and bearing. who was staring at Ignatius."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I see that you've wisely decided to hire a particularly terrifying Negro to pro tect you against your enraged and cheated customers." Lana said to Darlene. "He's a rucking smartaleck. "Whoa! How you hustle off a elephan?" "Loo k at those dark glasses. I'm getting fed up with smartasses in gen eral. "You can't frighten me. I am recognizable. that it was my in terest in civil rights which led to my becoming a crippled vendor of franks. of course. Perhaps I abandoned that moveme . "T hrow lye in my face. my God. huh?" "How do you know about that?" Ignatius asked guardedly. look who it is. In per son."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Sorry. "Okay. I've already had my trauma for the day."\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Get the hell back in there.\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't talk to him."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You sure treat your poor momma cruel. I hear peoples talkin aroun. No doubt his system is swimming in dope. Stab me. I' ll give you about two seconds to come out here before I get you picked up on a v agrancy rap along with this character. Get him. spot?"\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hey."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Get out your razor and slash me. "Quit knocking that broom and come chase this cha racter away."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ooo-wee!" Jones said when he looked out the door. Live. "Well." "You did?" Ignatius asked interestedly." "W hoa! Levy Pant kick your ass out for tryina get all them po color people throwed in jail."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Goodness knows what storm trooper will descend upon me and beat me senseless." Lana Lee called.\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I don't imagine that either of you ladies has read Boethius. "The green cap mother. How's your poor momma? "\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh." Darlene said out the door.yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Darlene came to the door and said. Jones. I hardly suspected that I have become a legend. Thus." Ignatius bellowed." Ignatius said as Lana and Darlene went in. You wouldn't realize. Bouncer wage star at fifty dollar a week.

" Ignatius was delighted." "Good grief. You oughta get your ass down here. Poor Harlett. This ack a big surp rise. "What a discovery. Paradise Vendors has been a pioneer in the field of public accommodat ions. big Buick. sellin weenies?"\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Please blow your smoke elsewhere." The blue and yellow eyes flashed. . You people have all been brainwashed." Ignatius answered icily." Ignatius mumbled. Whoa!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I can only imagine. man. "Whoa! You wanna see her. too." "Please! Paradise products are of the very highest quality . You oughta have you a good job. She pretty decent. you c ome around some night. What sort "of pet does she have?"\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hey! I cain tell you that. all that shit. T his the very fines ack I ever seen."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hey. Jones thought." Ignatius said angrily." "How come a white cat like you. is belo w par. I wanna get someplace. The only pressure is on the feet. The fat mother dropped out of the sky just when he needed him most. you want to becom e totally bourgeois. now you gettin me. color TV . My respiratory system. "Is there any way that I can meet this paragon?" Jones wondered what this was all about. This ain jus a reglar strip ack. I suspect that I am the result of particularly weak conception on the par t of my father. no supervision. "Anyone employed by that dubiou s bar is not in a position to question another's occupation. His sperm was probably emitted in a rather offhand manner."\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql This was luck. You gotta see for yourself. She Harla O'Horror all right."\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "She be openin in a coupla three days. my God." He belched. I would like some information from you. "Outdoor work. Don't tell me that she is this Harlett O'Hara. unfortunately." "Yeah. talkin so good. make me a livin wage. you think I like the Night of Joy? Ooo-wee. Whoa!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I really don't have the time to discuss the errors of your value judgments. Whoa! Air condition." "Shit. This was developing into a bright day a fter many bleak ones. "You mus be outa your min man. ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "If I go to college I wouldn be draggin no meat wagon aroun sellin peoples a lot ta garbage and shit."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I have a very pleasant occupation. "W ould you care for a hot dog? I extend the same courteous service to all colors a nd creeds."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Just as I suspected." Ignatius said respectfully. be gainfully employ. I imagine that you'd like to become a success or something equally vile. Some brilliant satire on the d ecadent Old South being cast before the unaware swine in the Night of Joy audien ce. "In other words. see her dancin with her pet. Harla got somethin to say. "I have probably become a martyr of sorts. man. Do you by any chance have a woman in that den who is given to reading?" "Yeah. "Tell me."\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Boethius plus a pet.nt too hastily. He said." Ignatius rapped his cutlass against the curb." "Oh. I like to get someplace good. Harla tal . How ever. tellin me I be improvin myself. She all the time slippin me somethi n to read.

I myself was a vagrant in happier. She say jus as soon Harla be openin."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ooo-wee." Ignatius said. Live contentedly in some hovel. better days. Ignatius gloated at Jones conspirat orially." Ignatius told her. Ask Miss O'Hara about him.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} . They must communicate."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Listen. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't worry. Your henchman has terrified me c ompletely. tell me somethin."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "Jones. We give you the fines service in the house. she don't havta be comin aroun at night to super vise. I would stir from my room only once a month to fumble for my relief ch eck in the mailbox. You may secretly reserve a ringside table for me. Drag your ass over in a coupla days. Whoa!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What luck. man. "Is the Nazi prop rietress of this cesspool around here every night?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Who? Miss Lee? No." "Who? Read wha?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Boethius will show you that striving is ultimately meaningless. The poor people at Levy Pants were lucky that they hadn't ended up in Angola. Wha you thin k a color cat can do to stop bein vagran or employ below the minimal wage?"\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Please. you'll hav e a nervous breakdown or worse. "She say Harla O 'Horror so perfec." Jones smiled at himself. "I'm leaving. she so fine." Jones said. "Well. "Before you be leavin."\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Good. sir. Read Boethius. Do you know of any Negroes with ulcers? Of cours e not. I must see and hear everythi ng she does. I shall never make the mistake of even passing by this vile pigsty. You be real welcome. Realize your good fortune. are you talking to that character or what?" Lana demanded from the door. When you get to the top or wherever it is that you want to go.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hey. "You can't possibly realize how confused you are. listen.kin. she leavin for a vacation in Califoni a. that we must le arn to accept."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The fat mother was really a freak."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Good heavens." Lana said and swung the door closed. Your value judgments are all wrong. The sabotage was working too perfe ctly." Ignatius fumbled through his smock to find the curb and raise himself. He must see Harlett." Ignatius slobbered. Some incisive commentary which no one in her audiences could fully comprehend.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "There is one thing I would like to know. If only I were in yo ur shoes. Thank Fortuna that you have no Caucasian parent hounding you. 7 shall be here to see Miss O'Hara's act . The fat mother really wanted to come to the Night of Joy. How you like bein vagran half the time?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Wonderful.

Reilly was whispering into the phone . He entered the house and found his mother talking quietly on the teleph one. You know what I mean?"\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Of course it ain't.' Whoee." "He likes me. Clyde received cheery greetings and ten dollars from vendor Reilly.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Whoa!" Jones walked around to the front of the wagon and studied the sheet of B ig Chief paper. sweetheart."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql "Ooo-wee. his smock filled with bills f rom the waif and the mogul of frankfurters. "Harla be doin her stuff. Reilly breathed into the mouthpiece. huh?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Likes you? He called up this morning to ax me if I thought you was ever gonna r emarry. and Ignatius. At last he had a reason for earning money: Harlett O'Hara. Calling. What a brilliant day." Santa answered." Mrs. You better check it again. entreat ing."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That is only a merchandising gimmick. be sure you come aroun in a coupla nights." Mrs.{ {\ql "Well. "Them people at Charity can let Ignatius t ake him a little rest. "Have I been pushing this about?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ {\ql "I be out front lookin for you. The signs from F ortuna were more than promising." Ignatius said happily. billowed onto the trolley with a gla d heart. babe. Lord. You two having a worldwin courtship if I ever seen one. He aimed the denuded prow of the wagon toward the Algiers ferry ramp."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "I shall be there with bells on." Jones said. How Myrna would gnash h er teeth. "Hey!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius waved a happy paw and waddled off. you gotta pop the question." Jones blew a cloud at the ear ring. I says. 'Well."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He's sure considerate. my God!" Ignatius ripped off the sheet covered with the ball-point graffiti ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql Ignatius lumbered around to the prow and saw that the waif had decorated the TWE LVE INCHES (12") OF PARADISE sign with a variety of genitals. where the longshoremen gathered in the afternoons. That poor man's desperate from loneliness. Claude."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What in the world are you babbling about?" Ignatius thundered in the hall.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I been thinking about what you said. he guided the wagon into the crowd of men and succeeded in selling all of h is hot dogs. "Maybe it ain't such a bad idea after all. courteously and effusively squirting ketchup and mustard on his sol d goods with all the energy of a fireman. Claude ain't gonna want no Ignatius around. A surprised Mr. "Look like somebody been playin tricks on you.\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. "But sometime s he makes me nervous with all them communiss. "Chr .

"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Santa guffawed in a voice huskier than usual and hung up." Mrs. You better ring up the Charity. Claude says he's gonna come over here. He's sure trying hard. Reilly said into the phone. Once Claude gets married."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You better knock that Ignatius in the head. Whoo! You kids sure lucky you got me for a chaperone."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs." Santa said."\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "How much money you brought in today? A quarter?" Mrs. "What Angelo's gonna do if he gets h imself kicked off the force? And him with three chirren to support." "We gonna give him another chance. "It sound like that Ignatius come in. "Ignatius!" "Give that to me. Angelo come around this morning for a c up of coffee. He looked like Mrs. Poor Angelo. girl. Reilly answered.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well." Mrs." Mrs. Reilly peeked at the photograph again and then closed her eyes." Ignatius said. Now he's go ing to all the high-class bars. Astor's horse.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "Listen at that nut." Ignatius thundered." Santa said.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What in the world do you and that old bawd babble about?" Ignatius asked. ho ney." Santa sighed hoarsely." "Santa!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Good grief. espec ially with that Claude around. sweetheart.\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Shut up!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Thank you."\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ain't that awful. A tear crep t out from beneath her closed eyelids. "How d are you besmirch that magnificent image with your vintner's hands. he'll stop thinking about t hem communiss. "Are you speaking with that Battaglia strumpe t?" "Shut up. I almost forgot to tell you. Maybe he'll hit the jackpot."\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql . I see that things about here are as cheerful as ever. His mind isn't occupied is what's wrong with him. listen. sweetheart. boy. Reilly said sadly. You give him so me loving. Irene. Reilly screamed."\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "There are a few challenging openings at Paradise Vendors for men with initiativ e and good taste. he says. You oughta seen him in that wool suit. "Aw. Irene. He better get him some character. She leap ed up and stuck her hand into one of the pockets of the smock and pulled out the brilliant photograph. Come pic k us up and we'll take us a nice ride out to the lake for some of them good crab s. I hardly reconnized him. "I wisht I was strong enough.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. "I'll s ee you tonight then about seven."\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I don't know why I bother talking to you." "Ssh. You two need one.ist." Santa said. "I knew when you started selling them wee nies you was gonna be hanging around with people like this." Ignatius spluttered.

The first time that he went to Mandeville. Another chance down the drain. "This is a brilliant."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Can he have visitors at Mandeville?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "Of course. he had to be transported in an armored car. a psycho escaped. his mother's ex cited screaming. misused woman. You may yet receive his psychiatrists' bills. The wild blowing of the postman's whistle. Reilly asked in the hall. Reilly was called out of town th is afternoon on rather crucial business."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Mr. As you know. He picked up the telephone. Reilly sniffed. Reilly?" a man asked. Ignatius looked at the AIR MAIL SPECIAL DELIVERY stamping on the rnanila envelope and at the little hand-w ritten pleas. and waddled to his room. He already rang up here twice today. "Yus?" "Mr. my goodness. locking his do or. H e signed the postal delivery receipt and rushed back to his room."What do you mean. Since being so viciously dismissed by your concern. the chugging postal truck out on Constantinople Street. and in an assumed voice rich with Mayfair accents said." he said happily. 'people like this?" Ignatius asked angrily." The telephone rang. Miss Annie's calling to the postman that his whistle had fright ened her\u8212?all had interrupted Ig-natius's dressing for the kickoff rally. This afternoon. I certainly don't want to speak with him. his wheel was revolving skywa rd."\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius slammed the telephone down. pressed a quarter into the palm of his stil l sniffling. Actually." Ignatius enunciated. blinded mother. Drive out to see him. Ans wer that. Pick up that phone. "Th at must be that Mr. Reilly is not here. "Let's see wh at you're going to say. Before opening the door. "The Minkoff minx must be beside herself. "Urgent" and "Rush. however. "Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well." Mrs. he is at the state mental hos pital in Mandeville. Levy.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Twelve There had been a flurry of excitement. "Mr. Go on. crazy."\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'm terribly sorry. his physique is rather grand. "What is it."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I don't wanna speak at all. pocketing the pho tograph. her lids still sealed. h e stopped to straighten the PEACE TO MEN OF GOOD WILL sign that he had tacked to the peeling wood. Bring him some cookies. We had something of a time with him here." Ignatius thundered. he has had to commute back and forth regularly from Mandeville. His ego is badly bruise d. Levy? What does that monster want?" "He wouldn't tell me. "Go si t in your room and write some more of your foolishness. he left in a state patrol ambulance. They are rather staggering. a woman's voice was saying. All signs were pointing upward." "H e cracked up?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Violently and totally." In the background."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "Oh. boy?" Mrs."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "This is Gus Levy." H e tore open the envelope and pulled out the letter. Speak of her with respect and reve rence.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ .

but a couple of my friends from the grou p therapy group challenged them hostility for hostility and finally drove those reactionaries out of the auditorium."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "What that girl wants?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "She's threatening -suicide unless I swear that my heart is hers alone. He promised me he would be there. I don't know if they'll go for this Sodomite business. There were two or three middle aged people in the audience who tried to hec kle me with these very hostile remarks. My group therapy group will really be depressed when they hear that your case has taken . As far a s I'm concerned. We will be accused of being prejudiced.\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "How dare she?" Ignatius bellowed. which was the beginning of it all. The group has been really pulling for you all along. If you go. Still I don't think this is a good idea at all. this Sodomite plan does not sound very practical at all. you you have been undergoing a pe riod of crisis which is culminating in overt sexual aberration."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius. I am very. Now the whole thing is out in the open. It went over all right-right over the people's he ads. what's that you got?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "A communication from Myrna minx. Ignatius? MYRNA FORM PEACE PARTY CENTRAL C OMMITTEE NORTHEASTERN ZONE AT ONCE STOP ORGANIZE AT EVERY LEVEL STOP RECRUIT SOD OMITES ONLY STOP SEX IN POLITICS STOP DETAILS WILL FOLLOW STOP IGNATIUS NATIONAL CHAIRMAN STOP What does this mean. Minkoff\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "She's totally confounded. that schmuck. Are you hanging around with some queers? I could have guessed that this would happen. Just as I suspected. and the whole thing will flop. Ongah did not show up.a turn f or the worse. In addition. I was a little too adv anced for the neighborhood audience. I really thought that guy had something on the ball. Now it has happened. that crumb. M. Ignatius? Do you really want me to recruit f ags? Who wants to be a registered Sodomite? Ignatius. although I can see that we might use this Sodomite party to drain off the fringe-group fasc ists. You must have therapy soon or you will become a screaming queen. T he paranoid fantasy of the arrest and accident was the first clue. I need immediate communication from you. I am very worried. Your normal sexual outlets have been blocked for so l ong that now the sexual overflow is seeping out into the wrong channels. they can send him back to Africa. Please call collect anytime after 6 P. Call me collect if you want to and we can talk over this problem of sexual orientation that you ar e having. too. I'm afraid.M.{\ql Sirs:\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Did you really send me this telegram. I don't know how I can tell my group therapy g roup about this weird development\u8212?however predictable it might have been. "Wait until she hears of my a pocalyptic meeting with Miss O'Hara.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql Whatever happened to the Divine Right party? I had several people who were all r eady to join. Suppose non-Sodomites want to join and we refuse. Some are even identifying w ith you."\par\par ." Ignatius said happily. Please leave that decaying city and come north. Ignatius. they might go. very worried. I think it is only a dangerous manifestation of your declining mental health. Maybe we could split the right wing in half. Since t he fantasy. Apparently he's very apathetic politically. I could tell tha t you were going to flip sooner or later. The lecture was not exactly a success.

and I must organize my thoughts. "I'm rather rushed. I saw one of those pamphlets in the hall this afternoon."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ {\ql "A political meeting? Ignatius! Ain't that wonderful." "Ignatius. Ignatius." Mrs. boy. I'm afraid. You got you a fine voice. Ignatius. Stop both ering me." "They would try to make me into a moron who liked television and new cars and frozen food. Don't try to fool me. I been reading all about t he communiss. It's almost completely illiterate. I won't be a robot!" "But."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Somebody gimme some pamphlets on the communiss." "Wha t kinda political party's secret?" Mrs. That' s why they are put away. Eve ry asylum in this nation is filled with poor souls who simply cannot stand lanol in. "How I'm gonna meet the no te I gotta pay that man?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I wish that you would let me alone. that ain't true. please."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Do you think that I have a problem?" Ignatius bellowed. television. Reilly screamed at the door. Reilly asked the peeling paint. What club.\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Please. Probably from the old woman who sells pralines at the cemetery."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yes. Reilly asked suspiciously. "Do you think tha t I am insane? Do you suppose that some stupid psychiatrist could even attempt t o fathom the workings of my psyche?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql "You could just rest."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius. boy. Maybe you'll make good in politics. I know you . I am not a communist. You remember old Mr. cellophane. plastic. I am addressing a political meeting tonight . Goodness knows where you get such garb age." "You might as well stay at home all day long for all the mone y you bringing in. Don't you understand? Psychiatry is worse than communism. Mother. Well. "The only problem that those people have anyway is that they don't like new cars and hair sprays. I refuse to be brainwashed. honey." a basso profundo voice answered. so let me alone. You either droppe d it there on purpose so that I could benefit from its message or you tossed it there accidentally during your regular afternoon wine orgy in the belief that it was a particularly elephantine bit of confetti. something that sounded like a pie ce of metal fell to the floor. and subdivisions."\par\pard . don't you think maybe you'd be hap py if you went and took you a little rest at Charity?" "Are you referring to the psychiatric ward by any chance?" Ignatius demanded in a rage. honey? The Crescent City Dem ocrats? The Old Regulars?" "The party is secret at the moment. Well.d\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ain't that awful. I imagine that your eyes have s ome trouble focusing at about two in the afternoon. Bjecnel used to live down the b lock? They locked him up because he was running down the street naked.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Where you going to?" Mrs."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Behind the door there were sounds of dressing. Ignatius. I read through the pam phlet. they help out a lot of people got problems. They make the other members of the society fearful. I bet you been telling that poor girl a lota lies. "Are you gonn a talk with a buncha communiss?" "Ho hum. You could write some stuff in your little copybooks .

\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Of course he was running down the street naked. Reilly cried. He had blackma iled another ten dollars out of the urchin. Reilly began beating Ignatius on the arms."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql A slap struck Ignatius in the nose: another landed on his right eye." "Good heavens! Mother. That's all." Mrs. boy. Becnel one of the martyrs of our age."\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Get back in that room. "Get back in here. I'll be in no condition for my s peech." Ignatius answered. stop that. His skin could not bear any mor e of that dacron and nylon clothing that was clogging his pores. You can't disgrace m e like that. boy?" Mrs. "You been out on the streets dressed up l ike a Mardi Gras all this time. "G et back in there. boy."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You can't go out like that. Therefore I have kept all of this par aphernalia stashed at Paradise Vendors. I hope that you'v e noticed that scimitar dangling from my uniform. Ignatius? Tell me. "Ignatius!"\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I thought that you might react like that. and ran out into the yard. my God." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . are you going mad? Get away from me this instant."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What kinda speech you gonna make? Where you going to. "You ain't going nowhere. Incorporated. The poor man was badly victimi zed.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Please. One or two deft and tasteful suggestions."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. Ignatius. The guttersnipe was definitely a discovery. c razy. also forcing the waif to watch the w agon while he spent the afternoon at Loew's State watching a film about drag-rac ing teenagers. Reilly slapped her son flatly in the face."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Angelo was right. Reilly hollered. The total effect is rather fetching. Now run along to the front door and see if my taxi has arrived. "You ain't leaving this house. "Go peek through the shutters."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I dare you to come out in that shredded nightgown and get me!" Ignatius answere d defiantly and stuck out his massive pink tongue. a gift sent by Fortun a to make amends for all of her bad spins." Mrs. He waddled down the hall. Not another hysterical scene. I ain't fooling this time. Ignatius. I've always con sidered Mr. Ignatius. A cutlass there.\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Come back in this house." Mrs." "Where you getting money for a taxi?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I keep a few pennies stuffed in my mattress. You'll dislodge all of the thoughts which are developing in my mind in connection with the lecture."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "A scarf here. pushed the long shutters open. Reilly screamed from the front door."\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The door creaked open and Ignatius appeared in his pirate finery." Mrs.

But the hand of the professional decorat or had exorcised whatever ghosts of the French bourgeoisie might still haunt the thick brick walls of the building. Testily clearing his throat. A taxi was cruising down t he block. and giggling that was going o n behind the closed black patent leather shutters. The taxi sped off. needlework. Reilly called to her. "My nerves is shot to hell. His blue and yellow eyes denounced the resplendent fa\u 163?ade. Ignatius slammed the rear door r ight in his mother's maroon hair and barked an address at the driver. She watched the red taillights fo r a moment. come in here like a good boy. He stabbed at his mother's hands with the cutlass and ordered the driver to move along imm ediately. then she ran back into the house to telephone Santa. On the flagstone paving beneath both la nterns there were old plantation pots in which Spanish daggers grew and extended their sharply pointed stilettos." Mrs. A 320 \u8226?\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ {\ql door opened somewhere down the carriageway. children. ran down to the curb. At St. His nose rebelled against the very noticeable odor of fresh enamel.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius. Ignatius flagged it down just as his mother."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Take a look at Ignatius." shouted Mrs. "Watch where you're going and speak when you're spoken to. Some prosperous Frenchman had built the house in the late 1700s to house a menage of wife. His ears shrank from the bedlam of singing. and Dorian Greene came walking towar d the gate.\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I awready got me a headache from the goddam postman's whistle. Reilly's legs through the torn rayon gown. and cyclical recitations of the rosary." Miss Annie shouted from behind her front shutters."\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius." Miss Annie thre atened loudly. "Ain't that awful?"\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius was waving to his mother from the brick sidewalk. churning up some pebbles in the gutter that stung M rs. pal?" the driver asked Ignatius as they turned onto St. dear. but it was too late. you two." he said when he saw who was out on the sidewalk." Ignatius thunder ed. cackling. Reilly.{\ql "Hey. their amber flames rippling in reflection on th e black enamel of the gate and shutters. The tantes had been stored up in the attic along with the other excess and unattractive furniture. rapping his cutlass against the front seat to empha size certain key points. his earring catching the rays of the streetlight. he looked at the three brass doorbells and at the little white cards above each: \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Billy Truehard Raoul Frayle -3A Frieda Club Betty Bumper Liz Steele -2A Dorian G reene -1A\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql He jabbed a-finger into the bottom bell and waited. Reilly pleaded. During the ride the driver said nothing else. and spinster tantes. Peter Street he got out and first heard the nois e." Mrs. but Ignatius practiced his spe ech loudly in the back seat. knock it off. dim yet frenetic singing and laughing coming from the three-story stucco buil ding. forgetting the disgrace o f the shredded-nightgown. Ignatius stood before the building regarding i t with extreme distaste. the gas jets in the reproduction brass lanterns mounted on either side of t he carriageway flickered softly. "Where . and from the two little dormer windows in the roof they had seen what little of the world the y believed existed outside of their own mande of slanderous gossip. "Oh. The exterior was painted a bright canary yel low. "Going to a cos tume party. "I'm gonna ring up the cops in about one minute. Charles Aven ue. The frenzy behind the shutte rs abated very slightly.

"Everyone is simply l etting his hair down. "This building is repellingl y flamboyant." Dorian did a rapid and uncoordinated pantomime to illustr ate this. I went East for college and then came here. of course. Grant Wood romanti cized it. New Orlea ns is such freedom. There's going to b e a mass exodus for Mexico City in the morning.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "If you had any sense." "Just a moment. no. "They send me large checks every month." "I certainly hope that no one has tried to inflict any warmongerin g resolutions upon the gathering. tapp ing his cutlass impatiently on the iron gate. We may have some 'enemy within. Magyar Maiden." "Do you know that a nationa l home decorating magazine wants to do a four-page color spread on this building ?" Dorian asked. "Stop thaf appalling obscenity. you see. this was not what he had expec ted." Ignatius said gravely.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp . however. I can't tell you how depressing it all was."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. May I ask where the money comes from to support this decad ent whimsy of yours?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "From my dear family out there in the wheat. Ignatius said. I would have preferred your renting an American Legion hall or so mething equally appropriate. He noticed somewhat angrily that D orian was walking toward him a little unsteadily. Gypsy Queen. Now that I've seen the p lace. the world."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I hope you've done nothing to dampen their morale. let's get inside. Look."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I should have known. you are driving me out of my mi nd."\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Several people will be completely ruined after this evening. "Oh." Igna tius snorted."\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql They stood in the pastel light of the carriageway listening." "Well. "Oh.in the world have you been? I'm afraid that the kickoff rally is fast getting ou t of hand. here's the door." He looked at the pastel lamps concealed behind the palms along th e walls.' Word may have leaked out to th e whole military combine of the nation and. Oh.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. I own the building. But then Mexico City is so wonde rfully wild. This place looks more like the setting for some per verted activity like a tea dance or a garden party. what a gathering. goodness." Dorian said as he opened the gate." "Oh. I left there under something of a cloud. Heaven knows what opposition we may have to face eve n at the outset. "Who's responsible for this abortion?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'm relieved to hear that. "What is that awful noise? It sounds as if someone's being sacrificed. you would realize that that is the ultimate insult."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql As they walked down the carriageway. All that wheat and thos e endless plains. Somewhere in the pa tio a human was crying in distress. I have tried unsuccessfully once or twice to call the group to order. come along. but apparently feelings are running rather high. In return I simply guarantee them that I'll stay out of Neb raska. at least we have a gathering place for our coup." Ignatius said cautiously." Dorian sighed. for that matter. Girl with the Golden Earring. my God!" Ignatius said. if anything.

"If you're goin g to get this excited about a door. They brought me out here to show me how you're redecorating the slave quarters." Dorian spat at the sailor. dear. get me out of here." "Please get me out. unpinning his cutlass and waving it about. "Do you see what you've done to my door?" Dorian was asking behind Ignatius." "You little fool." Dorian hissed at the deranged marine r. slapping Timmy across his pink cheeks. what are they doing now?" Dorian's voice was impatient. my door. It was Timmy."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Are you two deviates talking about me?" Ignatius asked angrily. I'm going to scream if I stay in these tacky chains muc h longer. but Ignatius threw hims elf against it anyway." the little sailor pleaded."\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Where are those agents?" Ignatius demanded. what fun!" Dorian shrieked.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ {\ql "I've just had this place redone. "Who tattled? Tell me. shut up. get me out of here. "We must apprehend them before they leave this building. "Playing games with those two tramps from upstairs." "Oh. "It's awfully d ark."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . There someone was crying for help in the slave qua rters. "Some obsessed military officer may have slipped into the meeting inco gnito and may be trying to extricate our secrets from some faithful party member by means of torture. "G et out of my house and go back on the streets where you belong. He and Ignatius trip ped and waddled to the patio. "What a terrible thing to say. shattering several panes of glass."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It's your fault that this door is broken. his voice a conspiratorial whisper." Dorian said to Ignatius."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh."\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What can you expect from him? Just look at him." "He broke the door. and the next thing I knew they locked me in these dirty chains and ran back into the party. The dedicated military will stoop to anything.ar}{ {\ql "Oh." The little sailor rattled his chains." Ignatius said. Nellie.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. my God!" he screamed when he saw what was before him. I can't stand the dark."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I would suggest that we investigate."\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh!" the sailor cried." "Oh. They're so awful.\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The enemy is among us. I seriously doubt whether you'll survive for long in the vicious arena of politics." Dorian snapped. "They've struck!" He looked at the little sailor shackled and chained to the wall. They never can behave themselves." Ignatius said wildly. "Who chained you in here?"\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It was that terrible Billy and Raoul. It could ev en be some foreign agent. The door of the slave quarters was slightly ajar. "Those little fools. "Oh. those two. Someone is on to us.

When the suburbanites grew tired of television and Ping-Pong or whatever t hey do in their little homes. I'd rath er not look." "I doubt whether any hack." the sailor said to Dorian. When father came in from work. "Just wait till I get my hands on that Bill y and Raoul. "I know you're dying to do it. could pen such atrocious melodrama. I would attach at least one set to the walls of every new yellow brick ranch style and Cape Cod split l evel. You'd love to hur t me." Timmy said." Ignatius told Dorian." Ignat ius said of the mad noises issuing from Dorian's apartment." Ignatius cautioned." "Well. "My sailor suit' s getting all rusty. you two degenerates. Troublesome old rel atives would be chained in the carport. "Apparently feeling about the issues is striking more than one nerve center." Dorian said. singing." the sailor pleaded."\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Slap me!" the sailor shrieked. he appears rather d runk. It would help the children to cultivate the imagination denied them by televisi on and would appreciably cut down on the incidence of juvenile delinquency. "I see I was wrong. "Goodness knows what debased fantasy he's having. Every one would love it. "Oh. and laughing. In addition." Dorian sighed."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. It was wonderful." "Our little convention seems to be getting rather unwieldy. we must do something t o silence him. pushing the glass-paneled wisp of a French provincial door open." Dorian chirped happily. "Now stop all of this. Exercise at least a little taste and decency. Ign atius tapped Timmy soundly on the head with his cutlass. under pre ssure." "I wouldn't even touch you." While Dorian was unlocking the shackles with a key he took from over the door. Their hands would be released only once a month so they could sign over their Social Security checks. Slap me again if it gives you so much pleasure. From the bowels of a huge stereophonic phonogra . "You know. "The movement must not be sabotaged by internal st rife. you little tramp. 'My husband put me in chains last night. "What fun!"\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Please lejt me out of these awful chains. Cigarettes and cockta il glasses held like batons flew in the air directing the symphony of chatter. I must give this some space in my notes and jottings. Has your husband done that to you lately?' And children would hur ry eagerly home from school to their mothers who would be waiting to chain them. Ignatius said. If I were a suburban developer." the sailor screamed at Ignatius. my dear. Inside Ignatius saw a seething mass of people. He simply does not meas ure up. It's stin king up the slave quarters at this very moment. My valve can take only so much of this deranged mariner's neurose s.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I wouldn't put a finger on his stupid slut body. heavens. "Don't you ever shut up?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "My arms are all rusty.{\ql "Please." "Oh. you big monster." "You hate me. the whole family could grab him and chain him for bei ng stupid enough to be working all day long to support them. hit him again. We shall have to politely drop him from the movement. too. Go ahead. wouldn't you?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Apparently he won't settle down until you've agreed to inflict at least a littl e physical injury upon him. s hrieking. Anyone can smell that heavy musk of masochism which he exudes."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I did think that I had at least one friend left. Wives would say." Ignatius observed. manacles and chains have function s in modern life which their fevered inventors must never have considered in an earlier and simpler age. Manacles and chain s could build a better life for all." Ignatius com mented. they could chain one another up for a while. and the seafarer emitte d a little moan.

one white. do teach me that."\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. "Oh. His blue and yellow eyes traveled from this rite to the rest of the room. obscene also."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql . the only stationary ones in the room." He snorted loudly. I did buy some crepe paper."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't worry about them. "The only functional item in here is that phonograph.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Good gracious." someone near the wrestler screamed after an elegant guest had been twisted into an obscene position and then thrown to the floor to land with a crash of cuff links and other. talk.ph the voice of Judy Garland was fighting its way through the din. I feel rather like an observer at a catfight. and the room itself was sparsely furnish ed with a few pieces of antique furniture. You must see the decoration that I've made. A hum an in such a room was expected not to rest or sit or even relax. "Isn't that wild? It's better than all of that tacky crepe paper. for they were delicate suggestions. to the great delight of his epicene stude nts. producing a response of exaggerated screaming a nd pleased giggling. "How fun. The only voluptuous element in the la rge room was the champagne-colored velvet drapes tied back with white ribbons. "Divine!" "Fantastic!" "So human!" they were saying of t he voice from their electric tabernacle." The room itself was what decorators would probably call severe. thereby transforming himself into a human furnishing that would complement the decor as well as possible. The part icipants in the kickoff rally seemed much more concerned about their own private fates this evening than they were about the fate of the world. where the other guests were attacking one ano ther with conversation. but rather pose . who was watching the black leather lout twist and dump eager partners sig hed. in part over th e room and in part over the fact that no one in the room had even noticed him. The walls and high ceilings were white. eyes\u8212?all glittered. I want y ou to meet the ladies' auxiliary. and one blu e rose." Dorian said to Ignatius. stood before the phonograph as if it were an altar. Herringbones and madras and lamb's wool and cashmere fla shed past in a blur as hands and arms rent the air in a variety of graceful gest ures. In the center of another knot stood a lout in a black leath er jacket who was teaching judo holds. In the center of one knot of elegant guests a cowboy with a little riding crop flic ked the crop at one of his fans." Ignatius commented irritably and tapped the vase with his cutlass. he said to Dor ian. talk. They've been simply dying for a good party for months. cuff links. We a re going to have to rebuild our image along lines other than those I see here. and that is obviously being misused. Come. e ven though he complemented the decor as well as a neon sign would have. I can see that I am going to have my hands full with you people. "I can see that we're going to have a grea t deal of trouble capturing the conservative rural red-neck Calvinist vote." Ignatius spluttered. hints at furniture with cushions barely capable of accommodating a child. This is a room with no soul. Fingernails. pinky rings. talk. A small band of young men." He took Ignatius over to the mantelpiece and showed him a bud vase containing one red. "Then let's go into the kitchen. After Ignatius had studied the decor." Dorian moaned. but nothing that I could do with it satisfied me. assorted jewelry. "Dyed Bowers are unnatural and perverse and." "This i s a floral abortion. I suspect. teeth. whose liquor they are consuming and whose y ear-round air conditioning they are taxing with all of those overpowering cologn es. "I notice that n o one in this whitened sepulcher of a room has so much as even looked at us."\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Timmy. "I only invited th e better people. T he two or three antique chairs had apparently been chosen for their bizarre desi gn and not for their ability to seat anyone. The y haven't even nodded to their host.

please. who d ucked. Seated at a table were three women dr inking from beer cans. mashing each other against the wall and sink." Liz said."\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Girls!" Dorian was screaming at the wrestling Frieda and Betty. "Good heavens!" Ignatius said. "This i s Ignatius Reilly. They were huffing and heaving around the room with the chair." Dorian said."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql They entered the kitchen where." the girl who had been crushing the can said. "You're using up all the air in here." Ignatius replied. She grabbed a rung of the chair that Frieda was holding over her head." Betty screamed. "I'm sure that you'll be o f invaluable help to our cause." Ignatius answered grandly for Dorian. Betty here could open you one with her teeth. The one who was crushing a beer can in her hand stopped and tossed the can into a potted plant next to t he sink.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "Mr. "I think I shall return to the other room. "And they're Betty and Liz. " "Beat it. "And one of t hese days she's going to get them all knocked down her fucking throat."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yeah.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql "Now stop it." Frieda said. "Well. She heaved an unopened beer can at Ignatius. slipping his hands into the poc kets of his smock to prevent any further handshaking."\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Betty hit Frieda on the head with an empty can. whose T-shirts were growing damp. my God!" Ignatius screamed." "Like you. raising one of the kitchen chairs. "Well." Ignatius said."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Put it there. He had retreated to a corner. She's got teeth like an iron claw. "You're asking for it." "How do you do. bigass. "How come we have to sit out he re?" "Put that chair down this minute. The three beer girls raised a raucous Bronx cheer. all was quiet." "Har dly. Tubby.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yes. "That's Frieda. except for two young men who were having an emot ional argument in a corner."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "Where did you pick him up?" Frieda asked Dorian while her two companions studie d Ignatius and nudged each other. "No kidding." Ignatius added. They regarded Ignatius squarely. She grabbed I gnatius's paw and worked it over as if it. "If you three can't behave." Liz said to him." "Personally. were a prospect for crushing. too."Is that true? An auxiliary?" Ignatius asked greedily. you can just leave right now.\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. grab yourself a beer." Dorian said. "Your mother must be a very interesting person." Dorian explained. and she 328 \u8226?\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql and Frieda began wrestling for possession of it. a new face." Frieda said. "I wis h we had it in bottles.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ ." Dorian spat. Greene and I met through my mother. "Someone will be in jured. "we're getting very bored just sitting here in th e kitchen. I must compliment you upon your fore-sightedness." Betty made an obscene gesture at Frieda.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Girls. Fats." Liz said." Frieda s aid.

cut it out.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Please. the one that tried to bitch u s on Chartres Street the other day." Liz said . You must clo se ranks and present a unified front. stumbling over the chairs. "I'm sure he didn't see you girls. Thi s is the nicest party we've had in months. I've had enough of this. A spray of foam shot out and wet Ignatius on his distended Paradise product stoma ch." "The kitchen is our territory tonight. "Shove off." "He's a very fine and friendly person. The two chairs rattled and clattered to the floor."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I had to. snapping." Frieda said. Then they're even worse. Then ther e was an incident about assaulting a bodybuilder at Muscle Beach." "He saw us all right." Frieda growled. You know it. Go in there and be nice to that phony co wboy." Dorian sighed. They had been . grabbing her by her cropped h air. but they had some trouble with the police recently. we're only paying tenants." Betty said. "I myself feel a little sorry for th e girls. Then she slammed her chair down onto the one that Frieda and Betty were wrestl ing over."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ {\ql "What's with him?" Liz asked. and they're taking it out on everyone."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "This party stinks."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "They shall be dropped from the movement immediately!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Anything you say. Dorian. I thought it would be a neigh borly thing to do to ask you down out of courtesy. the one that sounds like Jeanette MacDonald. "Well. "Now sit down there and be decent.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Who told you to butt in?" Frieda demanded of Liz.plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Okay." Ignatius snorted and lumbered to the door. they break i n anyway. "We copped him on the head. "After all." Ignatius said angrily. Dorian followed him out and close d the door." "Okay. opening the beer can she had thrown at Ignatius." Betty said. "All I see about me is strife. knocking the girls aside. "These people are going to thin k you're crude." "I'd like to kick his superior balls in.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "You'll only start brawling in there. They used to live in California." Ignatius said importantly." Liz screamed at her friends.\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Good. an empty be er can struck the door frame near his earring. where they had a grand time."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I certainly am interested in seeing the first sherry party that the auxiliary g ives. "We decide who uses it. "Where's the action?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "How come you invited us down here if all we're gonna do is sit here in this fri gging kitchen?" Frieda demanded. Magyara. I don't want any trouble. "We'll sit o ut here like ladies." Betty said. "If you don't invite them to a party." Dorian explained. tried to push the girls back to the tabl e. They're really fun girls when they're in a go od mood." The girls punched one another about the arms in agreement." She picked up another chair and got between the two contestants . "I can't imagine how you decided to besmirch the movement by invitin g those rowdies here." Dor ian said. As he was exiting.

"Clever. a b old and forward minx of a trollop. You are serious about this." "The o utfit\u8212?grotesque. They literally had to flee southern California and dash across the desert in that magnificent German automobile of theirs. my."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The cowboy." He looked over the seething mass of guests. The black leather lout was pinning an ecstatic guest to the floor." "Where in the world did he come fro m?" "Not even vaguely attractive. Now turn off that offensive music and quiet t hese sodomites."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Silence!" Ignatius bellowed over their enraged babbling. don't be so drab." the group around the phonograph was say ing reverently." "That was my very favorite son g."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Really?" Ignatius asked with interest. and unplugge d the phonograph." "How unbelievably gross. who was winking at the cowboy." "Madman. And that earring. The cowboy broke away from his aroused fans and began to synchro nize his lips to the lyrics on the record." "Crisp. leaving the black leather lout with no one to torture." "Oh. slinking around the floor like a chan teuse in boots and Stetson.\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You must stop all of this. the phony bitch. Lena Home was now singing within the phonogra ph. the guests gathered aroun d him. Peace! Peace! Peace!"\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh." "I thought you were going to b e fun. In many respects they're wonderful tenants. shrieks. or so they say. If you're just going to be tacky and dreary. a charm which their blue jeans and boots obscure. They guard my buildi ng better than any watchdog could. The gi rls have. There is a girl who must be attended to. We must bri ng -them to order. what a bad joke.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Beast. was tickling an elegant guest with his riding crop." "I shall not leave! No one can deter me. "is placed before you."\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I am very sorry. Everywhere t here were screams. Oh. "Perhaps I was hasty about dropping them . and then it seems that 330 \u 8226?\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql things got out of hand. aren't you?" Ignatius broke away from Dor ian and rushed across the room. "Aside from the fact that I am witnessing a most egregious offense again st taste and decency." "Dorian." "Someone turn on that delicious record again." "So monstrously huge. I am also beginning to smother from the stench of glandula r emissions and cologne. no doubt. then you'd better leave." "Filthy.-"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The challenge. Political movements must get their money from whatever source they can." Ignatius said in a businesslike tone. With a barrage of squeals. dear. sighs. he was greeted by the guests' emasculated version of an Apache war cry. We must get down to brass tacks. I have given them sanctuary. They're just having fun." "Is this what Dorian promised?" "That fantastic Lena.Indian arm wrestling with the boy. "I am here tonight my friends." "A bad. There is crucial business at hand." "Terribly cosmo. or will you simply turn your . "You must get these people quiet." Ignatius shouted to Dorian. pushing through the elegant guests. They have loads of money that they get from s ome aging movie queen."\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He's truly mad." "Depressing." Ignatius continued at full volume. Will you turn your singular talents to saving the world. "I am here tonight on a mission of the utmost seriousness." "Horrible. bad dre am. to show you how you may save the world and bring peace. As he turned around.

The dancing spread like a forest fire." "Look. I mean. Several guests saw it and shrieked. Let him talk later if he really has to. We were h aving such fun. " "Play Gypsy next. who hated him sincerely for." "Th ose eyes. Those special lyrics. and no one in the laboratory would notice him. I never even watch the news on television." He lo oked at Ignatius." "Oh. I thought it might be fun. Ignatius. "We must prevent the apocalypse. feeling just as invisi ble standing there in Dorian's living room."\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Dorian. "I'm afraid." "Let's go to San Fran cisco. similar explosions in the past. I turn to you. such a grand." "Let's go to a smart bar. began feinting at some imaginary opp onent with his cutlass to relieve his self-consciousness. Frieda. my dears. waving his cigarette as if it were a magic wand which would make Ignatius disappear. terrible bomb. For the remainder of that day.backs on your fellow man?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. Just as he was about to evanesce completely. actively ignoring Ignatius.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql . Ignatius. I've spilled my m artini on my most priceless jacket. "Turn on the record. Dorian fled to speak with a group of his guests." an extremely elegant guest. everyone had pretended that he was invisible."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That's right. he's not even amusing. Dorian? You know that we dearly love parties with a motif. Dear." "Let's go to a smart bar." "The re's the plug. "Is this a trick of s ome kind." "I'll have to leave if this tacky charade continues. and Betty bu rst in from the kitchen. Therefore. Instead he pulled out the torn and dogeared photograph of Miss O'Hara." "So inappropriate."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql There Ignatius stood like the boy on the burning deck. Liz. The shock a nd terror had made him wet his pants. that it turned out to be a terrible. Two began dancing near the phonograph. As Dorian swept past in the arms of the cowboy. Ignatius felt as alone as h e had felt on that dark day in high school when in a chemistry laboratory his ex periment had exploded. good. and soon the floor was filled with couples who swayed and dipped around the Gibraltar of a wallflower. gay time. Many were now singing with the record. as he walked soggily around the school . I've been working all day in t hat shop." "I truly think that this is her very best recordi ng. Oh." the black leather lout sighed. but this. said. So depressing.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "All right." Ignatius screamed against the mewing and hissin g. they're frightening." "Oh. Ignatius tried futilely to attract his attention. I adore Ethel." "I love Lena. you perverts!" Ignatius cried." "Wonderful." "The world today is in a state of grave unrest." "Where is my coat?" "Let's go to a smart bar." "In such poor taste. Magnificent. not even the instructor." Dorian said." the cowboy pleaded in a lyric soprano. The music rose from the t abernacle once again. We must fight fire with fire." "I saw her in New York once. turning suddenly f ey. whose taut face was brown with sunta n makeup. as was everyone else in the room. how awful!" "Not at all amusing. "He's truly awful. dea r Lena. His remarks are in such terrib le taste." "Dorian's magnificent." "Someone turn on that record again."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Must we listen to all of this?" another guest asked. He paused for a moment to glance down in his pocket at some notes he had scri bbled on a piece of Big Chief paper. "Make him keep quiet. and I don't want to come to a party and have to hear all of this sort of thing. He attempted e ven to stick the cowboy with his cutlass. but the two were a wily and elusive da nce team. burning his eyebrows off and frightening him. who was snorting loudly. it's coming on. "Listen to me. w hat in heaven's name is he talking about?" "This is making me so depressed." "Silence." "So smart.

"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. This deranged mariner will be crip pled or worse. I came here to speak. not dance. I'l l get a broom we can use for the pole." "Tubby looks like a troublemaker. the needle jumped from the record and the music stopped." Timmy sighed. They're just trying to bitch you. One wrapped a square leg around his. Don't give up the ship. the third pushed him backward onto the cowboy. They'd bitch their own mother." Timmy said. I never dance."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh.\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I want to see this. you're going to dance now." Frieda told him. appeare d in the living room. who had slipped out to the slave quarters again to look f or his missing charm bracelet and. As the cowboy landed. You see?" Frieda said to Ignatius. don't be so straight. Someone would be injured."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "Hey. " We will plunge to the floor in a broken heap. and cuff links as some of the gues ." Frieda said to her friends." Betty said. Timmy. Dorian. I love to dance. "I have never danced." Frieda said to Ignatius. he hoped. It would be impossible." Betty threatened. who broke from Dorian's horrified grasp and to ppled to the floor. more games with the chains. I don't dance."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Just what do you mean?" Ignatius asked haughtily. bigass.\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Pardon me. "Do you want to dance?" "There. the smock. don't go. "Oh. But in its place there began a chorus of shrieking and scream ing from the guests. I have never dance d in my life."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql She gave Ignatius a light punch to the stomach. Ignatius steadie d himself by grabbing the cowboy. and I certainly am not going to begin with some drunken deviate." Liz observed. we 're human beings." Ignatius explained.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Looks like your costume's not going over too well.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "No. I'll lead. "I can teach you. "Let's see you two do the limbo."We couldn't take that kitchen anymore. bracelets. "Please.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I have always had a rather substandard sense of balance. The cutlass."\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Go ahead. get him out!" an elegant shrieked in panic. the three girls attacked Ignatius. "Looks like you're left out. Th ere was a metallic crash of rings."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. Tubby. Fat s. " Right?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql With a wink from Frieda. Come on. ladies. I must leave. who was whirling in the vicinity." "I am not dancing!" Ignatius barked. come on. "After all. I don't dance. my God!" Ignatius said. "You don't want to hurt this sailor's feelings. "Somebody'11 ask you."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql At that moment. the other kicked him in the back of the knee." Liz shouted." "Oh. too. He wandered over to Ignatius and asked wistfully.

You won't even carry the Quarter!" The door slammed an d the girls were back in the party.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Shove off. Dorian." Frieda screamed ad miringly at Ignatius. . "All right." Frieda said. "Ni ce work." "We better not find your fat ass."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "Awful.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Let's aim him at somebody else. The girls had knocked the scarf down over one eye and he was having trouble seei ng where he was going. He wanted to dance with you. I have been viciously attacked within the walls of yo ur cobweb of a home. From the moment that you broke the door." "So monstrous. I should have realized that it would end like this. "As it is. Dorian." Betty said. "You have made your choice."\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I had thought you might be different and funny. Then we start combing the Quarter. You will not carry a s ingle ward in the nation." Betty said to her companions. "What have you d one. I shall be in my shelter!" "Can it." I gnatius said grandly as the three girls sank their stubby hands into his smock a nd started propelling him toward the door. you knocked that bitch of a cowboy over like a tenpin." Betty added." "Total loss. "We'll handle him." Liz said." "Ruining the party." "Dangerous.ts pressed together in a corner." Dorian hissed at Ignatius." Ignatius slobbered after the girl s. Fats.\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Okay. If not." Liz said. "We're giving y ou a ten minutes head-start." "Your movement is doomed." the cowboy shrieked." Frieda called through the gate as she closed it. He was jealous."\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql They pushed him through the gate and onto the sidewalk. "Do you hear me? D-o-o-m-e -d. "You distempered people hardly have voter appeal. who were pushing one another down the carriageway. you have proved to be the most awful thing that has ever been in my hous e. "He almost killed me. What did you do to this dear boy?" "My trousers are filthy. do not come to me. fanning fhe cowboy. you may well lose this flamboyant property once my legal advisors have attended to you. You know nothing about politics and voter persuasion." the cowboy sobbed. which seemed to have regained its momentum. who was still flailing his arms to regain his balance. buster.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "Thank Fortuna I'm dissociating myself from this movement. Live in a world of war and bloodshed. "\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't try to lie." Ignatius was shouting. "Make him leave. "We haven't had a good fight in a long time." Frieda said. Fats." Ignatius thundered. I hope that you carry liability insurance. Tubby. whose lids were beginning to f lutter." "Get out!" Dorian cried. The Spanish dagger plant s at the gate pricked his calves painfully and he stumbled forward. When the bomb drops. "We saw the whole thing. The three girls hustled Ignatius through t he door and down the carriageway. "I was savagely attacked and pushed onto that coxcomb cowpoke. you huge beastly thing?" Dorian cried at Ignatius." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Dorian was down on his knees." "Make him go. We 're ready for one.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "Hey.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "This is an outrage. "I have not only been ignored and v ilified at this gathering.

among wh om he did not look particularly strange." he started again. his hips swinging each way free and slamming people aside. He was wearing tails and a stovepipe hat that rested at an angle above his dark glasses. Ig na-tius looked at the photograph once more. At Bourbon. he coul dn't return to Constantinople Street and a variety of assaults from his mother. Wh at a lance Miss O'Hara could be to hurl right between Myrna's offensive eyes. he wondered what time it was. When Myr na read of Miss O'Hara.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oo-wee!" The fat mother had arrived. I'm afraid. "Whoa! Come in. In person. The evening had hardly begun. Ignatius's valve responded to his emotions by plopping clo sed. I have no success pointers for you tonight. he decided that safety at least dictated his moving along. The barker himself had 'paus ed in his calling to emit a nimbus formation of smoke. "You will lose!" The tap and slide of many dancing feet answered his cry. Perhaps Miss O'Hara had opened. You better get your ass in there and get you a . He billowed off down St. He knocked on the black shutters with his cutlass. Whoa! Guarantee plantation atmosphere. He shoved through the crowd on the narr ow sidewalk. "Hey. who was waddling back and forth before th e building furiously. not now that his emotions had been stimulated toward a climax that had been snat ched from his grasp.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hey! All you peoples draggin along here. If he and Myrna were not destined to joust on the field of political action. and Ignatius heard the squealing and shrieking grow ing louder than before. Hey!" "Is Miss O'Hara on yet?" Ignatius slobber ed at the barker's elbow. smiling through the smoke at the people who resisted his appeals.The music had started again. he heard the doped Negro call ing. watching Ignatius. he stoo d frustrated and furious on the damp flagstones of St. Guarantee one hunner percent real plantation dancin. Scratching one paw with the other. The man in the silk suit and homburg came out of the shadow of the doorway and followed him. maybe this be your one and only chance to catch this act. "I haven't time to chat. like the abortive Crusade for Moorish Dignity. then it would have to be the field of sex. got a civil right worker gett in his ass beat up between show. His hands sympathized by sprouting a rich growth of tiny white bumps that i tched maddeningly. moribund. he had another debacle on his itching hands. man. Open ing night tonight. Apparently no one was heeding the barker's plea. Ever motherfuckin drink got a guarantee k nockout drop. For almost a week he had been preoccupied with the kickoff rally. salivating slightly. as usual. got cotton grow in right on the stage right in front your eyeball. What could he tell Myrna about the movement for peace now? No w. see Miss Harla O'Horror dancin with her pet. Then the man slipped back into the darkness." Ignatius rattled his cutlass a bit. As he crossed onto the Night of Joy's block. Ooo -wee. ejected from the political arena by three dubious girls. how come you still w arin that earrin and scarve? What you suppose to be anyway?"\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Please. she would spew espresso all over the letter in consterna tion." Ignatius saw him through the crowd that was hurrying past the Night of Jo y. A man wearing a silk suit and a homburg came out of the shadow of an adjoining d oorway for a moment to see whether the girls had gone. Perhaps it was still early enough to see the first show at the Night of Joy. screa ming. that vicious slut. Whoa! Everybody guarantee to catch them some clap off they glass. P eter toward Bourbon. Peter Street. Has Miss O'Hara begun?"\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "She be startin in a few minute. Hey! Nobody never see nothin like Miss Harla O'Horror Old South pet dancin. Stop and come stick your ass on a Nigh t of Joy stool. "Night of Joy got genuine color peoples worki n below the minimal wage. Fortuna. Looking at his Mickey Mouse wristwatch which was. What kind of pe t? The evening could still be wrenched from the jaws of failure. and now. Ignatius turned and began walking up toward Canal through the night's parade of tourists and Quarterlies. T hose three savage girls might make good their threat.

yes. go get yourself right down by that motherfuckin stage. Nut. w hich itself looked a bit dirty. a fortyish Latin who lee red a terrifying response with a gold tooth or two. but he saw no cotton. That must have been o ne of the Night of Joy's vicious come-ons. No nawtheen."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Is that true?" Ignatius asked eagerly."\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Jones propelled Ignatius rapidly through the padded door. hawny.\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "We no have Dr. get inside before the show start. Open the champagne."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I see what we have. most of which were directed at Ignatius. At leas t. you are owe twenty-four dollar for these champagne. Ignatius stumbled into the Night of Joy with such momentum that his smock swirled around his ankles. Whoa! You don wanna miss one mi nute." The woman took a seat at the table. Shit. His ca p looked like a solitary green footlight.ringside seat."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Come on. if you please. I talk to the head waiter. he would be safe in this den if the sinewy girls were out p rowling the Quarter. She pried herself loose from the bar before the bartender could stop her and came over to Ignatius." she said and slammed the tray on the table. who looked like the type of vague. "The Nazi proprietress is gone. "Mira. At the moment the stage. Ignatius watched her speak to the bartender in pantomime."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "This is an outrage!" He directed a few swipes of the cutlass at the woman. Only champagne. was empty of orgiasts. And be certain that it's frosty cold. wonderful. "You wanna dreenk. "Bri ng me a coke. "A Dr. The n Ignatius winked wildly at a woman leaning on the bar. he say he have a table all reserve for you. T hey made a variety of gestures. E ven in the darkness he noticed that the Night of Joy was somewhat dirtier than i t had been on his previous visit. The bartender pretended not to see him. At this close range he could perhaps m ake some gesture to Miss O'Hara or whisper something about Boethius that would a ttract her attention." "No coke. There was certainly enough dirt on the floor t o permit a very limited cotton crop. Ignatius glanced about at the handful of empty -eyed men seated in the place. Miss O'Hara certainly had to cast her pearls befo re a dismal lot of swine. who was huddled against the stage as if it were a warm stove. chico?" Some halitosis filtered through his moustache. She would be overwhelmed when she realized that there was a kindred spirit in the audience. The bartender and the woman made some more signs. A three-piece band in the wings of the tiny stage was beginning to thump through You Are My Lucky Star." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "She jet away to Califonia this afternoon." "Wonderful . "Come on. so he lumbered through the few old men scattered about at tables in the gloom and seated himself at a small table directly beneath the stage." the woman said enigmatically and clopped back to the bar i n her straw sandals. drawn old men who m olested children at matinees. Ignatius thought. "Thank you. I am very thirsty. then she clopped back to Ignatius with two bottles of champagne and two glasses. He looked about for the headwaiter an d saw none. man. He ripped the scarf from his cap and shielded his nostrils with it. I hope. Nut. say Harla O'Horror so good she gonna go dip her ass in the ocean a while and stop worryin about her club. see ever goosebump on Miss O'Horror bum. Harla comin on in a few seconds. Ignatius looked over at t he bar to try to attract some sort of service and caught the eye of the bartende r who had served his mother and him." he said in a muffled voice .

We throw you out on your big culo. When Ignatius bellowed."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "There sure was plenty balls at that ball. "And take your champagne with you. W hat avian menace had depraved Fortuna spun his way? The champagne bottles and th e glasses shattered on the floor as he sprang and began staggering to the door. and Ignatius peered over the rim of the stage and saw that the proprietress was gone. you slut. which emitted a debilitated fanfar e of sorts. "Is this cretin Harlett O'Hara?" The cockatoo noticed him before Darlene did. Miss O'Hara's Bo ethian detachment must be rather lofty. Misused Miss O 'Hara."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Such grace. for its beads of eyes had been focusing on Ignatius's hoop of a nov elty earring ever since it had come onstage.." "Oye.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Good heavens!" Ignatius leaped up and beat at the bird with his itching paws. I did not come here to drink with you.. sticking her head under the table to find the face of her customer. "It's the crazyman." Ignatius mumbled. you are pay me now or else." the woman was demanding. he was crouched down against the side of the stage. The band stumbled into a four-count versio n of Sophisticated Lady. No w get away from my table. What was Miss O'Hara up to? Then Darlene swept onstage in a ball gown that trailed yards of nylon net.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. The doped Negro had tricked him. la dies and genitals. O n her head was a monstrous picture hat and on her arm a monstrous bird. "\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The woman's threat was submerged by the band. my God!" Ignatius bellowed. He wanted to bolt from the club.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You are pay me now. my God!" Ignatius spluttered. He would catch some germ from this woman that would speed to his brain and transform him into a mongoloid. unable to remain sile nt any longer. It sank its claws into his smock and snagged his earring with its b eak. The Latin woman dropped the check in Ign a-tius's lap. dashed for Ignatius's he ad. "Hey. hopping." Ignatius hissed. Trapped with subhuman women as co-workers. but realized that it would be wiser to wait until the woman had finished and left the stage.Again the breath wafted toward Ignatius. The Nazi woman was screaming." An old man at one of the tables clapped feebly." It was so dreadful a beginning that Ignatius almost knocked over the table. the Nazi proprietress was saying.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "Shut up. it flapped from Darlene's arm to the stage and squawking."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql As Ignatius was about to dash from the club. you are pay now. Lana Lee appeared on the stage in what looked like gold lame overall s. "Welcome. who pressed the scarf to his nose so ti ghtly that he felt he would suffocate. maricon. Miss Harlett O'Hara. Then she said. you are . In a moment.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ave Maria! Que pato!" the woman said to herself. "Oh. the bird hopped from the stage to h is shoulder." Darlene sa id carefully to the bird.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't you dare touch me!" he bellowed through the scarf. but I still got my honor. cabron. "Mira. "Mira. "And now that pure Virgin -ny Belle. "Well. Someone else clapped. . Of necessity. loco." Darlene cried." He breathed deeply through the mouth. Over his head. In her place stood a stand decorated with rings.

Ignatius continued forward onto the street and into the path of an oncoming Desire bus. A kettledrum of a thump told him that life still breat hed within the yards of white smock."Come back here with my cockatoo. who was waving the check with great determination. The headlights swam and faded from his sight as he fainted." The man cleared his throat a nd ordered weakly. and the cockatoo. "Where's Jones? Somebody get me that Jones.\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Whoa! Hey!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius stumbled past Jones. where he had hidden hi mself when he saw Ignatius enter the Night of Joy. studying the mound of white material lyi ng in the street. You are pay right now. The Mickey Mouse watch was smashed. The few old male patrons moved out of the way of Ignatius." Ignatius gasped. Then he heard the pounding tires and the crying brakes. rumbled past an inch or two from his desert boots."\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hey." Jones said. and when he glanced up he was blinded by headlights a few fee t from his eyes. man. Then he felt the earring loosening."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The street was filled with people and the bus had stopped a few yards down the s . who had never expected the sabotage to assume such dramatic proportions. He first h eard the people on the sidewalk screaming. and the bus. Ignatius instead fell b ackward. clutching his cemented valve. the earring firmly in its beak . "On opening night. "He's okay. "How dare you fiends inflict a rabid bird upon your u nsuspecting customers? You may expect to be sued in the morning. you big crazyman. blowing some smoke over the inert figure. He just passed out. Ignatius's departure from the club had been so violent and rapid that the man had been too startled to act un til now." Darlene hollered. exhaling diesel exhaust.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Let me take a look at him.\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "How in the hell did that character get in here?" Lana Lee asked the confused se ptuagenarians in the audience. The band had stopped."\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Come here. He is owe twenty-four dollar. the maricon.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I am hope not. bending over and liste ning to Ignatius's heart."\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Come! You are owe twenty-four dollar to me. He would have fallen directly before the bus if Jones hadn't leaped into the street and pulled at the white smock with his two large hands. Lana Lee was on the stage now."\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius knocked over another table as he and the cockatoo lurched forward.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Is he dead?" Lana Lee asked hopefully. "Everybody back. who was floundering around among the little tables making moose cal ls and beating at the mass of rose feathers welded to his ear and shoulder. In his wake he had left a t rail of overturned tables. The m an in the silk suit and homburg stepped from an alleyway. Gasping. wake up. Give him air. fell from his shoulder. screaming. Terrorized." the man in the homburg said. He held Ignatius's wrist. Why you hadd a come here on opening night?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Good grief. feeling for the door." Darlene cried. Ignatius bounced out of the door just ahea d of the Latin woman.

Jones remembered the same weak eyes on top of a red beard. Lana Lee got close to the man and reached into her gold lame overalls. was craning at the white mound. the earring dangling from its beak like a golden worm." The Latin woman inflicted a little halitosis on Lana Lee."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Whoa! Hey! That cat force his way in. A rich doctor? A lawyer? She might b e able to turn this little fiasco into a profit. You're under arrest for solici ting and for possession of pornography.treet. the book."\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The crowd. the weak. "I'm Patrolman Mancuso. You're fired. "Sure. "Well. the hat. Lana Lee was about to go over and kick t he mound into consciousness and get it out of her gutter when the man in the hom burg said politely. which was wheezing loudly.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Where he came from?" Darlene was asking the crowd." Lana said angrily. y ou don't wanna waste your evening messing with that character laying in the stre et. She cou ld spot a safe one." Just then the three members of the defu . Lana?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Nothing. He cleared his throat once more an d said. Ge t that goddam bird off my sidewalk. What we gonna do. "Take a look at this. You look like you could use you some fun. I knew I shouldna let you get on my stage. a soft touch all right. Darlene. Lee. the chalk. "I'd like to use your telephone. "Look. T hrough the darkness of his glasses Jones looked at the stranger. too. He's some kinda bum. and enjoy a good drink made by our expert mixologists to your exact specifications. "Who is p ay the twenty-four dollar for champagne?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql "You're fired. "Come on in folks." Lana smiled. We was fightin and grapplin. A dreadful sentence was about to be pronounced. which was wheezing and snorting volcanically . however. A policeman was a policeman. baby. folks. insecure eyes. Then he remembered the same eyes under a blue cap in the precinct on the day of the cashew nut incident. I think I'm gonna have to call up all my pals at the pre cinct. you dumb spic. now that you're all here. The rose cockatoo rested onc e again on her arm. Suddenly it looked like Bourbon Street at Mardi Gras. Whoa!"\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Shut your smart mouth." She stepped around the white mountain of smock. Then let me get my hands on Jones. How'd you like to spend the evening with that?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql The man in the homburg turned his eyes from Ignatius's whitened face and looked at the woman. the globe. too." Lana looked at the silk suit." Lana turned to the crowd. He looked famil iar. "What a opening night. a nd declined the invitation to elegance. something guaranteeing physical injury to her perso n as penance for innumerable offenses. He said nothing. I was ascare I be rippin this cos tume you rentin. "Let that character lay there till the street swee per comes around. It was al ways best to ignore them unless they bothered you. how's about coming into the Night of Joy? We got a class show. Night of Joy be goin broke. Maybe I'd better call a amb ulance. but that mot her seem determine to get in the Night of Joy." she whispered. She squatted next to him and surreptitiously flash ed the Boethian photograph cupped in her hand. The weak eyes were most familiar. Undercover agent. you be havin to pay for it. blocking traffic. like a well-dressed version of someone Jones had seen before. Somewhere in fantasyland Ignatius was dreaming of a terrified Myrna Minkoff be ing tried by a court of Taste and Decency and found wanting."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Mira.

\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Good heavens! I'm in a hospital. He was lying in a little cell for med by screens on either side. Who is my doctor? I hope that you have been se lfless enough to secure the services of a specialist." Her voice was cr acking. crazy. Now we really ruined. boy."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Read what it says underneath the pictures. Frieda.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Thirteen Ignatius opened his eyes and saw white floating above him. Reilly stuck a finger int o the newspaper as if she meant to lance the photograph. Betty." Mrs. Don't start with me. I'll see whether he's acceptable. in a torn suit and a hat with a bent rim. Then his blue and yellow eyes focused slowly. Ignatius. He touched his head and fel t a bandage plastered over his headache. ladies of the evening. a nd. On the left Lana Lee covered he r face with her hands as she climbed into the rear seat of a squad car already f illed with the three cropped heads of the members of the ladies' auxiliary of th e Peace Party. boy. Ignatius scrutinized the center photograph through slitted eyes. "Just take a lo ok at this."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}{ {\ql "Where am I?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't start acting smart with me. throwing a newspa per on Ignatius's bandage. dirty pictures. On the right Darlene with her ball gown was hol ding the cockatoo and smiling a starlet's smile." Mrs. I mean it." he thundered. boy. Reilly tore the newspaper from his face and slapped her hand over his moust ache. Reilly almost shouted."\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Shut up and take a look at this.nct ladies' auxiliary. In the center the doped Negro was grinni ng at what looked like a dead cow lying in the street. Ignatius saw thre e photographs lined up together." his mother's voice said near him. Have one com e. "Just read it. I'm warni ng you. WILD INCIDENT ON BOURBON STREET. He saw a nurse pass by the foot of the bed. How I'm gonna face people after this?"\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius turned his head and looked about him."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Under the headline that said. What you think people are saying on Constantinople Street? Go on. and take a look at this here paper. stomped into the crowd surroundin g Ignatius."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql . boy. And a priest.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Nurse!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs. "Just look at that. Ignatius . "We ruined. my God! Don't be afraid to tell me . "What sort of clods does that newspaper employ on its photographic staff? My features are barely distinguishable.\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "So you finally woke up." Ignatius sprayed a little nervous saliva o n the sheet that snowcapped the peak of his stomach. purp osefully held open the door of the car. I can tell from the pain that it must be rather fatal. and Liz. Mother. he realized that he was looking at a ceiling. He had a hea dache and his ear was throbbing. read that ou t loud to me. "Oh. Patrolman Mancuso. Read it. boy. through his headache. "Now shut up. I had enough. It's all there. A big brawl out on the street.

Police suspect th at the arrest of the Lee woman broke a citywide high school por-348 \u8226?\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql nography distribution syndicate. They were also booked. Reilly wept. porter. t hirty. undercover. and Bumper."\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Shut up. "Do you mean to tell me tha t they claim that that wayward bus did not hit me?" he asked angrily." Ignatius now realized that in addition to the head and ear."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I thought you was going to a meeting with a buncha communiss. "May I ask what that cretin nemesis of a policeman was doing o n the scene?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Last night after you run off I rung up Santa and told her to get Angelo at the precinct and for him to go see what you was doing down on St. It was d . Steele."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Then why this bandage? I don't feel at all well. that he had already contacted one of the Lee woman's agents. Mancuso told reporters that he had been working on the case for some time ." A stripper's bird had attacked a hot dog vendor wearing a costume. "I shoulda known something like this was gonna happen with your dirty pictures and running off dressed up like a Mardi Gras. "The very first comment is a lie. Read the whole thing. Police found a list of schools in the bar."\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I ran off into the most dismal night of my life." "Have people been fooling with my body while I was unconscious? You might have had the good taste to stop them. M ancuso said that the agent would be sought. A. emerged from the large crowd befo re the club and assaulted him. three women. Burma Jones. Reilly began to sniffle."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "Where is that bus driver? He must be indicted immediately. I he ard you give a address to that taxi man." Ignatius screamed."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "In other words. Ignatius Jacques Reilly. Ange lo says you was hanging around with some funny people. Was I wrong. Mancuso to a cabinet under the bar where pornographic materials were discover ed." Ignatius sighed."I'd rather not. I doubt whether I can go much farther d own. Mancuso. It's probably full of falsification and smear. They's nothing wrong with you. Club. The yellow journ alists doubtlessly suggested all sorts of lip-smacking innuendoes. had arrested Lana Lee for soliciting and for possession of and posing for pornography. Heaven knows where these salacious medica l people have been probing. N obody never gets attacked by a bird. A." "How clever. Mancuso was performing the arrest. Ignatius. Peter Street. We must sue." He belched. "My own mother! " "Attacked by a bird. Contact Public Service. an erection had been bothering him ever since he had awakened. Ignatius treated the story to a desultory reading. you were having me trailed.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It's our bad luck they had a photographer hanging around doing nothing they cou ld send out to take a picture of you laying in the street like a drunk bum." Mrs . "Fortuna was really." Nevertheless .spinning drunk-enly last night."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "You just scraped your head a little. I must have damaged some vital part when I fell to the street. "That hadda happen to you. While A." Mrs. was removed to a hospital to be treated for shock." "You just fainted. had led A. stupid. They took X rays. A.

" Ignatius gurgled. Reilly cried anew. the book of Fortuna is itself bad luck. Oh. "I see it all now. Angelo told me all about it. I almost took a stroke. Why don't you push someone aside and crawl into one of the beds around here and take a nap. " "Look. How I've been duped. You're crazy. You can't do th is to me no more. "Don't act smar t with me or I'll slap your face off. Then I run into my room to get dressed and I sprain my ankle. "Would you mind leaving my booth for a moment while I inspec t myself to see whether I've been mishandled? Five minutes should be sufficient. it's all the fault of that dreadful girl. the very basis of my world-view. Ironically."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You look rather haggard. The ambulance driver couldn't tak e you to the Charity like a nice man. Oh."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "Oh. I coulda split my skull wide open. "She ain't even in town. Reilly sobbed."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql . We'd have to move outta town. Myrna." Ignatius screamed.\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Awff. "Taken in by a Third Reich strumpet hiding her d epraved face behind my very own book. Now he has struck his final blow. I told you long ago that that mongoloid M ancuso was our nemesis. Ignatius. "We just luc ky the whole thing's not in the paper."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Myrna?" Mrs. rattling the huge e dition in his paws.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Angelo found it in that barroom last night. No. you degenerate wanton!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Shut up."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I been up all night. How innocent I was to lend him this book. Reilly said boldly. She aimed one of its corners at Ignatius's stomach." Mrs. "Somebody stole it off him in the toilet. "I would have to go to work in the salt mi nes this time. When Angelo rang me up and said you was in the hospital."\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Not another wreck." Ignatius gasped. Fortuna. Ignatius." "Here. going into a barroom to look for a lady of the evening. stupid. Angelo says to give this to you. Actually. I almost fell down on the kitchen floor right on my head. if only you knew how cruelly I've been tricked by a conspiracy of subhumans. I heard enough of your cra zy stories already about how she got you fired outta Levy Pants." Mrs. He has to come dump you here in a pay hospital." He closed his bloodshot eyes and slobb ered incoherently for a moment. Call again in about an hour. my God! This has all been arranged. Reilly rose from the chair and grabbed Ignatius by the collar of the clownlike dotted pajamas that had been put on him. I gotta pay that man for his building. Reilly shouted. "You want the whole recovery ward coming in here? What you think Miss Annie's gonna say now? H ow I'm gonna face people."\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You're the one who introduced my innocent being to that den of a bar. Reilly rea ched down next to her chair and picked from the floor the large volume of The Co nsolation of Philosophy. you stupid. A boy with yo ur education bumming around with funny people down in the Quarter. my own child's out his mind. She must be punished for her m isdeeds. her powdered face lined by anger. crazy Ignatius? Now this hospital wants tw enty dollars before I can take you outta here.emanding attention." Mrs." Mrs." Mrs. Where you think I got twenty dollars? I gotta meet a note on your trum pet tomorrow. Mothe r. Even if I gotta say it. I almost got in a wreck driving over here.

"\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Get up out that bed. And th at phrase "underdeveloped testicles. You will certainly not pay twenty dollars. Now run along home and leave me here. He's coming down here and pay your bill. "Get up before I smack your f at face off. understand one thing right now. he was be coming the butt of the campus. Christ o nly knew what she was like. He would have to contact the big ape after all. Somehow the students had found one of those threats that that psychotic graduate student had flooded him with a few y ears before. Hot dog vendors had an image problem already without one of the m passing out in the street by a whorehouse. No strange man is going to pay my hospita l bill." Dr.\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. Talc cringed. You have my permission to enter my room. Clyde telephoned the number on Consta ntinople Street several times and got no answer. The big ape's career as a vendor was finished. Talc had been having a miserable week. my God! You're wearing your bowling shoes. but th e body was sunken into the mattress like a meteor. Everything was going wrong."\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Rest? And pay another twenty dollars for another day? Get up out that bed. Mr. But there were those smock s and that pirate gear. Bringing the whole matte .\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql Mr. "Only you would wear bowling shoes to your child's sic kbed. Reilly hollered. It must be quite a family-\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Dr. Mr. Maybe they had put him away som ewhere."That is outrageous. Now. You really couldn't expect to get your uni forms back from an animal like Reilly. I may recover eventually. Her eyes were steely. It's exactly what my psyche needs at the moment. It's rather peaceful. When you have a ch ance."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql But his mother did not rise to the challenge. The results were alread y awful. Incorporated. I shall stay here until honest money buys my freedom. the sup eriority that comes with intense anger. She snatched at the pajamas. bring me some pencils and the looseleaf folder you'll find on my desk." "A man I know." Ignatius cast a pink and blue a nd yellow eye over the side of the bed down past his mother's hanging slip and d rooping cotton stockings. He wondered if he might have to explain to the administration eventually." When he saw his mother's purse rising over his head. Why was that baboon wearing his outfit when he was off du ty? One ape like Reilly could demolish ten years of trying to build up a decent commercial name."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Claude? Who in the world is Claude. if only to tell him not to come around. It is highway ro bbery. he sat up." Mrs. I ca lled up Claude. I m ust record this trauma while it's still fresh in my mind. Clyde looked at the morning paper and fired Reilly."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well. How it got into their hands he didn't know. Jhe would really get it in the throat with the fork. An underground of rumors about the note was slowly spreading. If Reilly tried to show up at Paradise Vendors. I must rest. again. She had the determination. if you'll pardon me. At a cocktail party one of his colleagues had fin ally explained to him the reason for the laughter and whispering that were disru pting his previously respectful classes. The big ape's mother must be dead drunk on the floor somewhere. That business in the note about "mislea ding and perverting the young" had been badly misunderstood and misinterpreted. Reilly must have smuggled the pirate gimmicks out of the garage the afternoon before. her lips thin and firm. Clyde and the cauldron bubbled and boiled.

How had Reilly ever sunk so low? He had been eccentric as a student. He smiled complacently and looked at the paper again. her shoulder bag bursting with black speeding tickets. although that Reilly s eemed as if he were planning to make himself a fixture on the campus like the pa lm trees and the benches. Patrolman Mancuso decided to combine two of the props for a dramatic fina le. At least the people in the Quarter were having rowd y fun. He had brought his own Brownie Holiday camera to the pre cinct and asked the sergeant to photograph him against certain official backdrop s: the sergeant's desk. this was the last straw. She'd get the neighbors to sign a petition. during which they had disrupted his lectures with strange noises and impertinent. a traffic patrol woman whose specialty was school zone speeders. While the traffic patrolwoman. venomous questions that no one. Reilly in the abundant flesh. would become the clown. Talc saw again Mr. It woul d be a disgraceful farce in which he. the steps of the precinct. He sipped his drink and remembered the incident of Mr. The administration would remember it. could possibly hav e answered. Dr. He would deliberately turn the affair into a three-ring circus. he must reach Reilly and extra ct an explanation and confession. Talc put down his paper and his glass and covered his face with his hands. bawdy people\u8212?at a distance\u8212?had always amused him. He would deny everything. Dr. Patrolman Mancuso fa ced the camera with his newspaper and frowned sternly. When there was only one exposure left.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Miss Annie looked at her morning newspaper and turned red. . Now the neighborhood was getting a bad name. pretending to be Lana Lee. Dr. In spite of everything. hurrying out of the precinct yard. Reilly was the sort who would come to the campus with his wagon and try to sell hot dogs right before the Social Studies B uilding. . Fortunately she hadn't stayed at the college too long. who was the sort who would deny all responsibility anyway." Patrolman Mancuso said. is that all?" the patrolwoman asked. reall y a physical one: producing Mr. eager to get to a nearby sch ool before the morning speed zone hours ended. \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Patrolman Mancuso looked at the newspaper again. Well. Angelo. Reilly and the students would understand that the note was the meaningless fantasy of a sick mind. He read the article and choked. spitting liquid onto his smoking jac ket. He shuddered. Those people had to move. but that would mean trying to find that former student. The three photog raphs were hilarious. Talc. One look at Mr. She couldn't take i t anymore. aside from God."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Thank you very much. "My kids wanted to get so me more pictures to show to they little friends. The solution was. Common. Reilly.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Okay. climbed into the r ear of the squad car grimacing and shaking a vengeful fist." Gladys called. Reilly's dumping a ll of those examination papers on the heads of that freshman demonstration benea th the windows of the faculty office building. He could ev en let the administration look at Mr. Reilly had been like. after all. Then he held it to his chest an d the flashbulb popped. too. Dr. a squad car. sure. "I guess they got a right to be proud of . Gladys. Reilly with his massive muffler and that awful girl anarchist with the valise who traveled around with Mr.r into the open might be the best plan. Perha ps he should simply try to describe what Mr. How much worse the rumors would be if it were discovered that the note had been written by a hot dog vendor. Talc sipped th e vodka and V-8 juice that he always had after a night of heavy social drinking and looked at his newspaper. He would have to live with that note. Talc had had them both in separate classes one gri m semester. Reilly and littered the campus with leaflet s. She had been wonderin g why it was so quiet over at the Reilly household this morning. but no w. .

Angelo. "M ancuso." Patrolman Mancuso's olive skin flushed slightly.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Can I have my camera back?" he asked almost incoherently when his larynx was at last clear. Santa was righ t: that son of Irene's had to be treated before he brought any more disgrace to his wonderful mother. That Mancus . How's about that? What do you say to that. t. "Take it easy. Anytime you want to take you s ome more pictures." He slapped his hand on the incline of Patrolman Mancuso's shoulder blade.\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Single-handed you break up the city's most active high school pornography racke t. "How you like poor Irene's cr azy boy laying there in the gutter like a washed-up whale? Ain't that sad? That girl's gotta get that boy put away this time. "Somebody gimme a lead to the place. There it was simp ly red. of all people. I'm glad I could help you out.\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql George was pasting the article in the Junior Achievement scrapbook that was one of his mementos from his last semester at school. But worst of all was the disgrace. darling?" She pointed to another photograph." The sergeant tossed the last flashbulb into a trash can and clamped his hand on Patrolman Mancuso's vertical shoulder. clearing his throat of some invisible ph legm."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Claude Robichaux looked at the newspaper with a heavy heart as he rode the stree tcar to the hospital. He had to give it to that Mancuso guy: he was real ly on the ball. He really didn't have enough m oney to go anywhere. Mancu so?" Patrolman Mancuso cleared his throat very violently. has been working on this case on the q."\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Angelo? He turned a spectrum of shades between orange and violet. The best thing was to stay at home for a while. If it was." Patrolman Mancuso offered. "You been a patrolman a pretty long time. Mancuso. Who's the person really been going out on his own all the time looking for characters like those three girls and trying to bring t hem in? Mancuso. I'm praying for you. Even then. honey. Even with a nice pension and some properties. George wondered if his name was on that list the cops had found in the cabinet. that's who."\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Santa snatched at her mother's picture and gave it a moist smack. a person couldn't aff ord a stepson like that.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Just luck. I find out. e xcept in limited areas scratched by the Peace Party auxiliary." the sergeant s aid. babe? How you like the way your grandson Angelo made good? You like that. And just a couple days ago I was thinking you was a horse's ass. How could that big boy disgrace a fine. Next time it might b e much more. sweet woman like I rene? Already she was pale and tired from worrying about her son. they'd have his name. "How you like that." "You staged a one-man raid. You think any man's gonna marry Ir ene with that big bum laying around the house? Of course not. brings in a woman even our best plainclothesmen couldn't fool. He pasted it on an empty page between his biology drawing of the aorta of a duck and his civics project on the history of the Constitution. babe. it might be a good idea to go visit his uncle who liv ed on the coast.they poppa.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Santa Battaglia held the newspaper up to her mother's picture and said. just gimme the word. Then that Burma Jones told me to look in that cabinet under the bar. Mancuso ca n identify one of her agents. This time it was only twenty dollars.\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I wouldn't be surprised if you was to get a promotion for this.

"I can't take an other minute with these three bats." Liz said to her. I got my rights. "You four have bee n making noise ever since you come in last night. dearie.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Get out the snapshots." Liz added. You can't stick me in here." He stepped out onto the f lagstone sidewalk and tacked the card to the bottom of one of the black patent l eather shutters. the member s of the ladies' auxiliary. We're the ones living in this place." Betty ordered."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql "Hey. hopefully watched her son work on his school scrapbook. We like paper on the flo or."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Shove off." Betty said.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ {\ql "Get me outta here. "I just been through one fu cking hell of a night with these three creeps." Lana told Frieda. He couldn't have been some kind of police agent."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Take it easy. "Can it. "We're tired of looking at these f rigging walls."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Get me out this goddam hole. "Doll doesn't like us. "Shut up.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hey!" Lana screamed down the corridor. Ther e was something funny about the whole business." Betty said. She and his father didn't seem t o be able to do anything with him. "Quit rocking the boat." The three girls lunged for Lana at the same time. George was studying the photographs and wondering what th at vendor had been doing at the Night of Joy. The apartments in the housing project had only one door." the matron answered." George started for the kitchen before he realized that there was nowhere to go." Lana Lee screamed at the matron. sweets. doll. vacuuming on the other si de of the living room." Lana screamed through the bars.\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Lana Lee tore the newspaper into shreds and then tore the shreds into smaller sh reds. "Beat it. Now come on and show us those pictures of yourself you got hidden in your bra." "It's peo ple like you been ruining the Quarter.\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Dorian Greene turned one of his severe calling cards over and printed on the rev erse side: "Stunning apartment for rent.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'll take care of this cell all right." "Yeah. M aybe he was getting interested in school again. What chance did a boy without a high school e ducation have nowadays? What could he do? She turned off the vacuum cleaner and answered the doorbell." Frieda advised. all three of whom were sharing the cell. "Come back here. Police wer . said to the matron. "Get lost.o might spot him if he went downtown. The girls would be gone for quite a while this time.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "The police?" George heard his mother asking at the door." Liz said . George's mother. Apply at 1A. George hadn't told him where the pictures came from. When the matron stopped by the cell to tell her to clean it up." Frieda said to her two apartment mates. "You must have the wro ng apartment."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The matron smiled at her and walked away. Anyway.

and they would not have made the fatal mistake of attacking a member of the police force. Po-lice drivin up draggin off that Lee bastar. you got some great publicity . Then he returned to his apartment to finish the job of c leaning up the litter left from the kickoff rally. Now I sabotage myself right back to bein a vagran. That Lana.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Darlene cut her picture out of the paper and put it on the kitchen table. Now she and Jones were both out of a job. Who say a color cat cain ge t his picture on the front page? Ooo-wee! Whoa! I gonna be the mos famous vagran in the city. It was unfortunate that the girls had never been very sociable with their fellow residents in the Quarter. 'Hey. how's about tellin your frien on the force I help you out so maybe they d on star drag-gin my ass off for vagran?' Who wanna get stuck in Angola with Lana Lee? She was bad enough on the outside. Shit. I tell that Patrolman Mancusa. Drop him on som ebody. Jones?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Jones blew a dark cloud. But t he girls were so impulsive and aggressive. and . "Listen. a storm warning. Posing for French p ictures. That poor lady. a man said. "After the kinda job I jus h ad workin below the minimal wage. Shit. Gypsy Q ueen's sweet mother must have been heartbroken over the dreadful newspaper publi city. Anything for a buck. now this cathouse shut down. The Night of Joy was out of business. gettin their ass blowed up." "You got any plan for gettin you a job. Without them. Hey!" "It loo k like this sabotage go off like a nucular bum. Jones had certainly taken over when he found out that man was a cop. then the f at mother come drag-gin along. everbody gettin caught in the fallout. look like a gang rumble. Whoa! Gettin your ass gainfully employ ain exactly the easies th . someone wo uld certainly have pointed out that marvelous patrolman to them. That big crazyman was real ly the kiss of death. in its beak. Reilly were all right. We got us a big crowd on Bourbon look like we could ha ve us a football game. Darlene looked at the golden earring that the cock atoo had brought home. He took special care to lock his wrou ght iron gate securely. What a n opening night."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That fat freak a guarantee one hunner percen nucular bum... leading him right over to the cabine t under the bar. It had been the most fabulous party of his career: at the height of it Timmy had fallen from a chandelier and sprained his ankle. its favorite toy. Darl ene sat down to ponder job possibilities. Everbody fightin and scratchin and screamin and that big fat freak layi n in the gutter like he daid. and when she answered it. Dorian picked up a cowboy boot from which a heel had been b roken and dropped it into a waste-basket. At least she had received a little publicity from it. I say. The cockatoo flapped and squawked unti l she stuck the novelty earring. Then the phone r ang. Ooo-we e. Whoa! That paper sure sending out plenny moth ers takin pictures and axin me all about wha happen.e always so adamant about second offenses. and said. Firs we get a bird. Wher e I gonna fin me another job? Too many color mothers draggin they ass aroun the street already. "Whoa!" he said to Mr. wondering whether that impossible Igna tius J. Some people were simply too much to bear. Dorian felt that he and his building were completely unprotected. Now I run a club in the five hundred block of Bourbon. Night of Joy really turn into a zoo las night. Watson."\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Jones spread the newspaper on the bar of Mattie's Ramble Inn and blew some smoke at it. "You sure gimme a good idea with all this sabotage crap. Lana Lee was out of circulation. Maybe they be haulin in some of them orphan she been sponsorin. Hey! It tu rn out she don have no pal at the precinc anyways. She picke d up her Harlett O'Hara gown from the sofa and hung it in the closet while the c ockatoo watched her and squawked a bit from its perch. I really deserve a pay vacation. Lana had been right all along. Look like a barroom fight in a westren movie. He sure treated his poor momma cruel. Ooo-wee. peoples fightin and cussin and rollin all aroun th at big cat pass out in the street. Shit. then three cats look like they jus excape from gy m.

Some other peoples be turnin vagran again. that somewhere in some corner of her mind she was hoping that Abelman would wi . She was silent. Firs I'm a glorify broom expert. his eyeb alls about to fall out on the floor. He really go off."\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yeah. but when I see that big mother. And the cookies were why Mr. "But you right in a way there. which was d elivered to the coast every morning at a higher subscription rate. 'Peoples like y ou be helpin me get ahead. 'Boy. 'Whoa! Hey! Wow!' He sayin. plenny innocen peoples like Darlene g ettin theyselves screwed.' He say. Mrs.' I say. Hey! We real openin big."\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That Patrolman Mancusa say he appreciate showin him that cabinet. Like Miss Lee all the time sayin. But she had taken it all very calmly. now I'm vagran. Hey! Maybe I be gettin some kinda awar. occupied with some plans for the Foundation which she was writing on a sheet of paper held against the undulating front section of the board. I really be gettin ahead now. got you a son teach in school probly got him a bobby-cue set.' He say. Watson's tan head. Her hu sband was beginning to sense that she did not especially want him to find Reilly . too.' I plenny sorry that sabotage goin off in Darlene face. People s see wha happen the firs time she stick her ass on a stage. 'I sure will. Watson. He had spent a sleepless night. that fat freak ruin everbody inves'men. Whoa!" Jones aimed som e smoke over Mr. He say. Mrs. E verbody at the precinc be appreciatin wha you done. Puttin g her pencil down for a moment. Levy thought. man. TV. You got you a little business. 'Maybe some peoples be gettin a head. 'Whoa! Be sure and tell that to your frien at the precinc. I ain the only cat got him "a problem." Jones formed a philosophical cloud.' I say to myself. Levy had driven out through the pines to see Mr. Reilly did not seem to bother Mrs. Some peoples be draggin they a ss all aroun town some-wheres. the aquamarine mascara that made a ring around the blue lenses like a halo. color TV. help us Out. 'Whoa! We really boffo smash for openin night. You can say that. Night of Joy salary keepin peoples below the ai r-condition level. 'Us m others on the force need peoples like you. Levy settled into the yellow nylon couch and unfolded his paper. workin in that bar. be buyin me air condition. Things maybe be worse off. Maybe I be that fat mother. Levy had looked something like a prankster with her golden-white hair. Darlene and her ball eagle probly starin at one another righ t now sayin. air condition. Levy particularly. Some peoples ain gonna be gainf ully employ below the minimal wage after tonight. He sayin. her sunglasses with the blue lenses. Mr.ing in the worl. it seemed. Buick. I knowed he make some kinda esplosion in that Night of Joy. Fin ding Mr. they don star snatchin my ass for vagran.' Now them po-lice mothe rs appreciate me. but the disappearance of Miss Trixie was not e nough to brighten his spirits. she must have made the authority a little suspicious. Whoa! I ain even got me a transmitter radio. Whoa! What ever gonna happen to somebody like that? Hey!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mr.' Shit. That Darlene gal ain gon na have no easy time gettin herself and that ball eagle gainfully employ. Having the co uch all to himself was wonderful. I couldn resis. she reached down to select a cookie from the box on the floor. Sitting there in the sports car before the main building at Mandeville with the huge box of Dutch cookies on her lap. See wha I mean? You drop s omebody like that fat mother for sabotage. He a nd Mrs. "That Lee bastar really got her some snapsho t of herself in the cabinet. man. Levy was on her exercising board treating her plumpness to some early morning bouncing. Ooo-wee. Reilly at Mandeville an d had not only found he was not there but had also been treated very rudely by a n authority of the place who had taken them for pranksters." "Things can always be worse off. Hey!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql "You pretty lucky them po-lice didn't take you in. they be throwin wat er in her face if she be comin aroun lookin for work. Patrolman Mancusa starin at them pictures. Levy had spent a wakeful night.

There was a human life to consider . You couldn't just kick him out. b ut he could think of no other reason for keeping the place open. Levy indicated the stricken cow in the street. already a bloated derelict. Shut up. Leon Levy could have named his monument "Levy Trousers. Conzalez might commit suicide if the factory were shut down. But just the name. boy. the bird. You're going to have a crackup . hi s father that a change of title might help their business. Carousing. Mr.' This is gratitude? This is a child's devotion? Next I should change my name . just the three syllables of "Levy Pants.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Where is he? I don't see any idealist. Go play with the autos and the flappers. The office manager was so loyal. Mark him down in your book next to Miss Trixie and me as another life you've wrecked. Better you should give with the advice to Hoover. though. Even somebody like the idealist can play a joke on you. were his digestive system able to take it." and had always receive d a standard reply.' _I_ am 'Levy Pan ts. and his father had mo aned. "Oh. his or Abelman's. Too." "If he was clever enough t o send us over to Man-364 \u8226?\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql deville like two stooges. "Levy Pants. "He does?" When he was about twenty."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Aren't you? Look. but especia lly when he was a child. he had mentioned to. This Abelman ca se had to be cleared up. low-salaried job." That wasn't too bad. the grinni ng doorman. I've always wondered about that young idealist. life could be peace ful. he's in the papers. Gus Levy had said. "That's him? In the gutter? This is tragic. he's not that psycho. H e had asked Gonzalez to cancel his spring practice reservations. Now he was beginning to wonder which side she was on. Levy straightened his newspaper and realized again that. Things like this would not happen. Mr. who would want to replace him? One good rea son for keeping Levy Pants open was keeping Conzalez employed."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "Just the other day you were saying he was a psycho. He loved hi s thankless." caused acid co mplications in his chest."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I guess you're happy." Mr. no one apparently wanted to buy the place."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ . Perhaps he should have changed the name. I don't need smart advice from you." Mrs. Levy tried. Perhaps he sh ould have changed Gonzalez. Reilly. O ut of my office! Shut up!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Gus Levy looked at the pictures and the article on the front page and whistled t hrough his teeth.' The car you're driving is 'Levy Pants. Where would he fi nd another job? Even more important. Levy looked at the two women."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I just found Mr. I g uess he's received some civic award. hope less. bum. Already I got a Depress ion on my hands. You should go tell him to change his name to Schlemiel. Please go to Lenny's doctor before you become violent. drunken. he should have given his time t o supervising Levy Pants."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql "Really? Bring it over here. Gus? A problem? Are you having a problem? All night you were awake. " 'Levy Pants' all of a sudden isn't good enough for you? The food you're eating is 'Levy Pants.n the libel suit so that she could flaunt their resulting poverty in the face of Susan and Sandra as their father's ultimate failure. Throughout his life. I could hear the whirlpool bath going all night. That woman had a devious m ind that was only predictable when she scented an opportunity to vanquish her hu sband."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What is it.

ex-father. Gus. The more I think about Abelman's suit. You can't keep Susan and Sandra alive for peanuts. Now look at him. You probably wrote the letter one day after you won at the track and felt good. Levy yawned and said. You'l l pay for all of this someday. That man had courage. Don't worry. Gus Levy."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Well.hyphpar}{ {\ql "A bird bit him on the ear or something crazy. It wou ld be not only Abelman's victory. She wanted to see Abelman victorious. I mean. the Leon Levy Foundation goes through. You'll lea rn what happens when you play games with somebody like Abelman. We can only be grateful that your father has left us."\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You're telling me to shut up?" Mrs. when Abelman has finished with y ou. In a few months."\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs. Strippers and pimps and pornog-raphers. Here. Every conversational and epist olary road-sign and guidepost that she had held up before the girls pointed to t heir father's final. But don't feel sorry for yourself. Believe me. Levy bounced up and down. when you operate a business like a playboy. Since his wife had read the letter from Abelman. I knew it would end like this. Susan and Sandra will go into shock when they find o ut they don't have a penny to their name. look at the bunch of police characters in these pictures."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Once he was dedicated to idealistic causes. I told you he had a police record. Those people a re his buddies. After Abelman's finished. If he had lived to see Levy Pants lost because of some practical joke. You actually want to see me ruined. Every minute that she was pedaling the exercycle or bouncing on the board. Gus Levy. Thank goodness my mother has some money. You had it coming. her system of logic was probab ly telling her more and more convincingly that Abelman must win the suit. though. I always kn ew I'd have to go back to her someday. I won't l et you drag his name down with you on your journey to skid row. I'm going into town right now to speak with this Reilly. I think you're actually looking forward to Abelman's libel suit. Leon Le vy would have you run out of the country. She wasn't even interested in his spe aking with Reilly."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ {\ql "Ho ho. shut up. Levy knew that his wife's strange logic made it necessary for him to be ruin ed. also." Now Mr. her mind mu st have been working over the matter from every angle. but hers. running around with a bucket and a sponge like a bum. you'd really pay. Mrs. I'll get this cr azy letter business straightened out. "I'm supposed to watch your smashup in silence? I have to make plans for myself and my daughters. "\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You know. determination. Levy couldn't afford to be disproved . she would see in the victory some pecu liar justification. up and down. terrible failure. detective. The Abelman case had passed from a purely material and physic al plane to an ideological and spiritual one where universal and cosmic forces d . I'm going to honor and reward peop le who have the kind of courage and bravery that I saw in your father. you'll be lucky to get hired as a water boy on one of those teams you love so much. life goes on." "Oh. the more I realize that the whol e thing is inevitable. Don't make me laugh. even if you go down with me. "Can I fight what you've been leading up to all your life? This really proves to the girls that what I've said about you all along wa s right. She needed the $500 thousand libel suit. A nd whatever happens. I'm making those awards. She'll probably have to give up San Juan. I can't end up on skid row with you. Even if Mother and I have to do without. you'll be out on the streets again with a wagon like your father. Will they give you the big go-by. Gus. will you have to work then. Boy.

He would vow to become a new person. "Well. Goodness only knew what Reilly's personal life was like. why you don't have any ambition." Mrs. saying. open or closed. It was only sensible and practical to supervise that place." "I'm going right to his house."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql While Mrs. a lacquered strand flew stif fly out in the breeze as they roared out onto the coast highway. resentment. they'd be inviting him to Vienna to speak. Back to Mandeville. I'm worried about Miss Trixie since Go nzalez reported that she bit that gangster's hand. One c razy incident after another. you won't be able to pin anything on the young idealist. Hanging around with that crow d in the Quarter. something that created all sorts of problems that a little nurture. Levy was blinding herself with layers of aquamarine eyeshadow in prep aration for her errand of mercy. Mr. You should at least go to Lenny's doctor for his sake. He's too clever.ecreed that Gus Levy must lose. No. A neglected Levy Pants was like a neglected child: it could turn ou t to be a delinquent. You'd mak e him a famous man just like that crippled girl or whoever it was put Freud on t he map. which. Weak smoke of t . Levy folded her Foundation notes and turned off her board. he couldn't give his wife the satisfaction of seeing that happen. Once your case was i n the psychiatric journals. a n inherited curse. The Levys drove past the factory." Mr. I'm going after Reilly. insanity upon insanity. "You have the death wish . Now I know why you've drifted. Levy Pants was like a congenital defect. I must see her. the more it plagued you. "This wild driving was the clue." Mrs. built like a substantial rustic carriage house. Levy said as she got into the littl e car. a middle-aged man driving a little toy of a collegian's sports car. Levy said when they slowed do wn in the city traffic. Reilly had to make some kind of confession. Gus. Both were silen t during the journey through the marshes.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Everyone I know has a fine big sedan. I can hardly believe it. A light has dawned. He'll play another joke on you."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql Mrs. why you've thrown a business down the drain. Mrs. Just watch. Little darts of heartburn pricked about in his chest ." To prove her point. Levy paused for effect. Another wild-goose chase. her aquamarine lashes flapping calmly in the wind. rippling bay. looked equally moribund from the street. Levy Pants had ceased its assaults upon t he concept of free enterprise for the weekend. Levy sa id finally. This time they'll keep you there." "Do you still want to play aro und with that senile bag? Haven't you tormented her enough already?" "Even a lit tle good deed you don t want me to do.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I think I've finally analyzed your problem. Levy said happily.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Such determination. At last they roared into the city. If Reilly would confess to writing the letter. Mr. Levy contentedly considered hers. he would change. He might even give t he company a little supervision. hostility. a little care and feeding could prevent. Don't worry. The more you stayed away from Levy Pants. Abelman's shysters could wipe him out. You have to own a kid's car that costs more than a Cadillac and blows my hair all around." "For the last time today. that a childless and desolate Gus Levy must wand er endlessly with bucket and sponge. i f you're going to town."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ {\ql "Fighting. Levy nervously considered his futu re. Her old hosti lity toward Levy Pants is out in the open again. Levy's speed increasing as he felt himself getting closer to the Reilly kook. he got the sports car out of the monumental thr ee-car garage. "Well. shut up. "It will all end very badly." Mrs. and sat looking o ver the calm. if somehow he could come out of this all r ight. Your type isn't even in the psychology bo oks. take me with you." Because it was Saturday. "Not you." Mrs.

laying in a gutter. Ma ybe she'll keep busy with the cookies and I won't have to try to make much conve rsation. Levy said while she was going through the heaving an d lifting process that was necessary to remove one's body from the sports car."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Do you know Mr. Reilly is?" Mr. I can't take it no more . they better start thinking about moving off my block. Levy asked her.he type produced by burning leaves rose from one of the antennae of smokestacks. Don't let him play anot her trick on you."\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That musta been his momma. All the sisters at sc hool loved him he was so precious. Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }{ {\ql "Let me ask you something. "Sad. Do you think he's very irre sponsible or maybe even dangerous?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp . I was si gning my death warrant. When I moved next door to them people. She musta went to get him o ut the hospital or wherever they got him." Mrs. He followed the river on Tchoupitoulas and turned at Constantinople. Someone might even be in there burni ng leaves. A trail of scraps beckoned the passerby to climb t he unpainted front steps toward some goal within the building. "Good luck with the idealist. bouncing along in Constantinople's potholes until he found the miniature house. Some worker must have left one of the cutting tabl es sticking in a furnace on Friday evening. When they had passed the factory and Mrs. Stranger things had happened. too."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Does he live here alone? A woman answered the phone once when I called. "I've just about had it with this project. Mrs. Levy herself." they turned alon g the river and stopped before a dazed-looking wooden apartment building across from the Desire Street wharf." Mr. This was the place all right. Reilly well?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ever since he was a kid. Inside a telephone was ri nging. Could the huge kook live in such a dollhouse? How did he get in and out of the f ront door? Mr. S he took with her the sampled box of Dutch cookies that had originally been inten ded for the patient at Mandeville. sad. Levy had gazed at it and said. They'll really be arguing now."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The front shutters of the adjoining house opened and a harried-looking woman cam e out on the porch and rested her red elbows on her porch rail. At a stoplight he looked at Reilly' s address in the morning newspaper folded and stored in the well between the buc ket seats. Levy climbed the steps and read the "Peace at Any Price" sign tac ked to one of the porch posts and the "Peace to Men of Good Will" sign tacked to the front of the house. You know Mr. during a ceramics ph ase."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql She smiled at her husband.\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't take too long. His momma was sure proud of him. Her nerves is shot. Look how he ended up.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "All I know is he s all over this morning's paper.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "They not home!" a woman screamed from behind a shutter next door.\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Do you know where Mr. "They telepho ne's been ringing all morning. had once commandeered one of the furnaces for a kiln. Wel l. My nerves is shot to hell. Levy sped off uptown. Levy pondered the smoke. Reilly well. Where he oughta be is in a as ylum.

She musta be en funny to hang around with him anyways. That crazy Ignatius was sure proud of that job he had at t hat place. I don't see her drunk much lately. That's when him and his momma first started all that fighting.' and 'Get off my bed.' Was I wrong. and I think that's when Ignatius left the C hurch. Mister. that girl done left. 'Well. how come I hadda move in here? Tell me that.ar}{ {\ql "What you want with him?" Miss Annie's bleary eyes narrowed. That Ignatius was okay until that b ig dog of his died. He used to work for me. I didn't mind that. But no. That was one good sign of his insanity. I can't take it no mo re. it's already took ten years off my life living next to them people. A few weeks and he was fired. if he worked for you. To tell you the truth. I says to myself. Well. I can't blame her. One day I look out in the back yard and she had herself all tangled up in a wet sheet hanging off the line. So Ignatius goes over to the priest and ax him to co me say something over the dog. "Of all the houses in the city. L ook at the bad publicity the block's got now. you r eally know him good. So big Ignatius puts on his own funeral. Every day I gotta take six."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Had that poor Reilly kook really been proud of Levy Pants? He had always said th at he was. Then the dog dies.' It was awful. You see that cross?" Mr. "That where it all happened. of course. but for a while there she was really going g ood. Ignatius was planning on some kinda funeral. Levy looked hopelessly at the rotting Cel tic cross in the front yard. Well. That's when my nerves first started to go. Maybe that Ign atius is gonna get married and move out. If they start anything now. Noise! Banjos and trumpets and screaming and holler ing and the TV. he made good."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yeah? You don't say. now maybe I'll get me some peace and quiet. Well. All they done is sit in h is room. You oughta seen this girl he picks up at college. A big fat high school boy oughta know better. Then Ignatius was at college fof about ten years. A regular underc over agent. But the Ignatius Reilly story had made him depressed. I gotta be fair. He had this big dog useta bark right under my window. eager for the audi ence to hear her tale of suffering. He had about two dozen little kids standing around in that yard watching him. "Well. And Ignatius had on a bi g cape like Superman and they was candles burning all over. The things I useta hear through my window! Tut down that skirt.' And 'How dare you? I'm a virgin. Doesn't he have some kind o f police record?" "His momma had a policeman coming around her. You know? The priest says no. and he wished he were away from Constantinople Street. Even when that Ignatius takes a bath." Miss Annie reached inside the n eckline of her housedress to find some strap that had slipped from her shoulder. Yea h. Them Reillys oughta go move out in the country somewheres on a f arm. Hasn't he been in trouble with the police. Well. good. Well. For one thing his momma likes her little nip. that's when things started going bad around here. I think that's when she started drinking." Miss Annie reached in the opposite di rection for another strap. S he even hadda sell the piana they had. The whole time his m omma was screaming out the front door for him to throw the dog in the garbage ca n and get in the house. It seem like every night she and him was putting on a regular hootenann y. "He's in some other kinda trouble?" "I'm Gus Levy. I'm go nna call up the police and get him put under a peace bond.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Tell me. But not that Ignatius. it sounds l ." the woman rushed on. I useta hear him telling his momma how he was really making good. "Lemme tell you something. seven aspirin. Levy could think of no reason for her having moved to this particular locati on. I went on aspirins twe nty-four hours a day. My nerves is shot to hell. Ignatius is got the dog laid out in h is momma's front parlor with some flowers stuck in its paw. "this stuff in the paper's the last straw."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mr. His momma almost went broke. I think.

The mother did look like something of a floozie . Then Mr. I'm shocked and hurt."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Along the block a few people had come out on their steps."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pa rd\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql She raced back into her house and slammed her shutters. too. "They're at it again. "What I done wrong." Miss Annie glanced over Mr." Mrs." the woman was screaming. "Now tell me what you and th at debauched Mc-Carthyite have been doing. The kook's head was bandaged. so savagely. "All this over a fine. He wondered why the undercover agent had wanted her. Levy saw the old Plymouth trying to dock at the curb. Levy thought."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\ql "You're kneeling on Rex's grave!" Ignatius shouted. Mr. Levy's Lodge had always been a barrier against knowing people like t his.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Shut up your dirty mouth. You probably planted him there in front of D. I'm too ol d. "Okay. Reilly had." "Fine man. My God! That bird was doubtlessly trained by a band of fa scists. For weeks now I've been the dupe of a conspiracy. He looked tired and pale. Her sudden disappearance confused Mr." the silhou ette answered. Levy ran the risk of getting into a public scene with these wild people. M y own mother. Reilly said defiantly. dece nt man like Claude.ike a flood's coming in my own house. It's all a plot!" "Get down from that ca r!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You see?" Miss Annie said through her shutters. In the rear seat he saw the silhouette of the big kook. You probably belong to some secret po litical cell.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} . H. to start th is vicious cycle whirling."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Claude's been courting me. All along you've been carrying on an affair with him beh ind my back. No wonder you've turned on me. a vicious scheme to get me out of the way. mister. Now that I think of it you probably planted that mongoloid Mancuso there. The woman wi th the maroon hair had fallen to her knees and was asking the sky. Levy as much as her strange biography of Mr. A woman with maroon hair climbed down from the driver's seat and called. Where is the Battaglia matchmaker? Where is she? She must be lashed. "I knew you'd end like this w hen you started traveling around with those degenerates." Ignatius snorted. "It's been nice talking to you. I been good. I think all my pipes is busted. What a ne ighborhood. No w onder I was trailed last night. Mr. His heartburn was spreading out to the limits of his chest. "I thought that we had escaped from that degenerate old fascist. How unsuspecting. So long. how ingenuous I've been. Lord. I suspect that you are using me as a scapegoat for your own feelings of guilt.\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I will not stay under the same roof with a loose woman. Apparently I was wrong."\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The rear car door swung rustily open and a bursting desert boot stepped down ont o the running board. Holmes. get out that car!"\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Not until you clarify your relationship with that drooling old man. They'll try anything. boy."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql What a family. This whole thing is a coup against me. scraping its hubcaps against its moorings before finally coming to rest. Levy's shoulder. No wonder I've been bombarded with those witchhunt pamphlets. God? Tell me. I had enough with them people. What a day this was go ing to be.

\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ {\ql "Goodness only knows what unmentionable desires that man has." Ignatius said darkly."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "For what? To hang around with dirty women?" Mrs. He's good to his family and that's wha t counts.' I would."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "Claude ain't smart."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql The blue and yellow eyes crossed in anger. Okay. that was the last straw."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Shut up!" Miss Annie screamed from behind her shutters. I got a right to have somebody treat me nice before I die."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . "Goodness knows what po litical and ideological horrors lurk in his mind. Ignatius. For everything nice I ever done for you. You learnt everything. I got a right not to haveta w orry about where my next dollar's coming from. but keeping that money from your poor momma ." "It's not your fate to be well treated. You broke my heart so many times I can't count them up no more. I want to be treated nice by some body before I die. I'd say. Reilly lifted herself laboriou sly from Rex's grave. But I ain't worried about politics. Nice treatment will confuse and destroy you. I just get kicked around. 'Ok ay. Maybe he don't kno w nothing about politics." Ignatius cried. I'm worried about dying halfway decent. but he's a nice man. Ignatius. He'll torture you or worse. I wouldn't haveta think twice about it.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What?" Ignatius thundered. Please don't tell me the whole truth."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Go to hell. Claude. "Claude is dumb. "You people are living on borrowed time in this block. He ain't got no thing else to do. You mean. Ignatius?" Mrs. I would have a total breakdown."\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Just who the hell are you to try to tell me what to do. If he was to ax me to marry him this very minute. Claude can be kind to a person." "I'll get married if I want to. disinterested in anythin g that Ignatius might have to say. "You ain't only crazy. Okay. C laude is all the time worrying me about them communiss. All he done is hold my hand a few times. All your craziness was bad enough. "Do you mean to tell me that you have been permittin g some old man to paw all over you?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{ {\ql "Claude's a nice man."\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Do you seriously think that Claude roue wants marriage?" Ignatius slobbered. Ignatius... You'll end up a suicide. She was disgusted and tired. The paws closed over the ears so that he would not have to listen to more. and that's more than you c an do with all your politics and all your graduating smart. except how to be a human bei ng. Reilly stared at her huffing son. Not now. "You're an overt m asochist. too. Santa says he likes the communiss because he's lonely. Ignatius. " "I needed the money for a purp ose. When Claude and me went to get yo ur clothes from that head nurse and she hands us over your wallet with almost th irty dollars in it. You can't stop me. boy. ch anging the subject."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That man is a dangerous radical. I'll grant you that. "You'll be dragged from one reeking motel to another.

"\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Pardon me. M r."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Twenty-one. Levy asked."\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What's that. Mr.{\ql "That man shall never enter this house while I am here. "Mr. You say you wanna take a rest? I can fix you up with a nice rest."\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "When I think of my dear departed father barely cold in his grave. Mrs."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Mother. You know how possessive he is about that cesspool company of yours. Leave this house immediately. Reilly. this is the fiend who fired me so brutally. Levy? Ignatius! Come bac k here and talk to this man. do you know anything about this?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Ignatius looked at the two letters that Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Get out that bathroom. I was too tired to grab the phone out his hands.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What you want with Ignatius?" Mrs. Gonzalez was extremely dictatorial. "The whole neighborhood knows everythi ng now. You've forgotten your beloved husband. "Of course not. crazy? Shut up your silly mouth."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "An obvious untruth. and come back here."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It don't matter to me. If I was permitted to shine his cheap shoes." Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql But she opened the front door and the three of them stepped into the tiny entran ce hall. Levy introduced hi mself. I hope you didn't believe that funny story he give you over the phone the other day. Mr. "So. Reilly asked the man. Reilly put down the paper bag she was carrying that contained her son's scarf and cutlass. I'll take care of you ." "You didn't write this?"\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Mr. He speaks with a forked tongue!" " This man wants to sue us for a lot of money. "What you want. She looked down the b lock and saw her neighbors watching them."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\p . Reilly died twenty y ears ago. Mr. and asked." "I know." Ignatius mur mured. noticing for the first time the man standing up on the p orch. he cuffed me once rather viciously when my eyes chanced to stray across some correspondence which he was composing in rather dreadful prose. I'm fed up. But he says he didn't wri te this. Now what you want with crazy." Mrs. Reilly?"\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What?" Ignatius asked. Levy said weakly. Mother . "Well."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Can we all go in the house?" Mr. boy. I was grateful. this is him in person. "I'd like to speak with him privat ely. Reilly said disinterestedly. He would never permit me near a typewri ter. Levy produced from his jacket and sa id. he would probably turn his warped attentions on me. "May I speak with you." Ignatius gloated. pretending to wipe some moisture from his eyes. That is your signature. His every word is false. Actually. They are revolting against the trauma of th e last twenty-four hours. I must attend to my bowels. Levy?" "Mr. After he had grown tired of you.

violence made Mr. a drunken spree in several hot dog bmtes. Levy here the truth. You're fired. "Why. Reilly said. Levy said. the telephone rang. this man wants to sue for $500 thousand. "I couldn't stand that cart again. boy."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} { {\ql "Don't show it to her. Of course I'm sober.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Mr. all e xcept the earring. Of course I can remember what you te lling me. you'll get your stuff. Levy thought. He makes trouble everyplace he goes. I don't discuss you with people. He says you gave him more trouble than any vendor he ever had. This Reilly kook was really pitiful. She reads rather dreadfully. "Ignatius. Levy." Ignatius said."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Mother. The dog was probably the only th ing that the kook had ever really had in his life. That could ruin me. I'm afraid. Reilly screamed. " Mrs. "Not agai n!" Ignatius cried. Reilly knocked Ignatius in the side of the head with her purse. before I knock you in the head. Tell the man the truth." Mr. "Okay. Go on." "W hat you told him about me. I am telling the truth. Was that man angry. The bird got that." Mrs. No doubt he's sp oken with you previously when you were under the influence. Okay. "I'm his mother. This woman certainly treated her son dictatorially." Ignatius sighed. who was beginnin g to rasp one paw against the other. Levy ill. Levy." She glared at Ignatius. drank. I ain't drunk!" Mrs. She was already on the police blotter. The mother ran around with some old man.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't hit him.lain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ignatius done it. The kook's head was already bandaged. what you done this poor ma n?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql As Ignatius was about to discuss the circumspection of his behavior at Levy Pant s. Reilly exclaimed. Mr. mister. Sometimes you have to see a p . Go on."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Oh. "Now tell Mr. Ignatius done it. Reilly slammed down the telephone and turned on h er son with. You've probably had a date with him for all I know. "Whatever went wron g." Mrs."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\ pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He resented my worldview rather actively. She'll be confused for days."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\ql "Thank God. Reilly. Outside of the prizefighting ring. make this man leave.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Hello?" Mrs. Reilly interrupted a little rudely. Ignatius. boy? You told him I was a drunk?"\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Of course not."\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You can't even peddle hot dogs in the streets." What a squalid homelife." Ignatius cried. shut up before I slap you again. How ludicrous.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "That was the weenie man. "L emme see that letter. "He is? He did? What? Aw." She stared at her son. wanted the son out of the way."\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ain't that awful!" Mrs. no. Mr. trying to push his mother against Mr.

You told me you two liked each other. he read. She was as bad as his wife."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphp ar}{ {\ql "Old?" Mrs. Levy was sorry that he had fired Reilly. Levy. grabbing histrionically at the lapels of Mr. who was staring back at him from between the blinds of her shutters." The guidepost of a forefinger indicated the next paragraph. No wonder Reilly was such a wreck." Mrs. In his own way Reilly had been very interested in Levy Pants. Now Mr. Miss Trixie is so old. sir. I would never write a letter like that. Here. Now I find ou t she's a grammaw can't hardly write. Levy's sports jacket. Then the door closed behind them and Mr. Ignatius!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql It was sadder than Mr. "In time he will learn of my d evotion to his firm." Ignatius whispered to Mr." Mr."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't believe a word Ignatius says. may lead him to once again believe in Levy Pants. Mr. This Reilly woman wouldn't even give her own child a chance. of my dedication. I must be eliminated." The forefinger skipped a line or two. My example. I wouldn't thi nk she could write a grocery list. Reilly somewhat firmly. but as he looked ou t his eyes met those of Miss Annie. "Fortuna only knows what she will do to me. After all. Levy su ddenly began to feel nauseated. "Come into my room. They will prove that I loved Levy Pants even more than life its elf.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Here it is. that my every waking hour was spent in contemplating means of helping your organization. "These are some notes that I jotted while working f or your company. He went to the window and opened the shutter. but I never believed her. "Ignatius! You told me Trixie was the name of some cut e girl worked at Levy Pants." "That's what my wife says. The kook had been proud of his job at the company. There was a scent of old tea leaves in the bedro om that reminded him of the teapot that Leon Levy had always had near his elbow."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ {\ql "Help me. The poor kook had tried to mak e his mother think he had a girlfriend. He turned from the window and watched Reilly thumbing t hrough a loose-leaf folder. the delicately cracked china pot in whose bottom there was always a residue of boiled leaves.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Just let him alone. Have you thought of speaking to the Trixie woman? She knows far more than you suspect. Rei lly. Levy said to Mrs. Levy through the door into the musty chamber. Levy had thought at first. Phantoms of Levy Pants flitted g loriously across my slumbering psyche."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ . "La Trixie still keeps her own counsel. Reilly called after them as her son d ragged Mr. We'll get to the bottom of this. Levy took the loose-leaf folder and."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain \hyphpar}{ {\ql Mr. To be quite honest. Mrs. I must show you so mething. G. where Reilly's fat forefinger indicated a line. "Today our office was at last graced by the presence of our lo rd and master. And often at night I had visions. She grows mos t coherent when she speaks of retirement." Ignatius said. I loved Levy Pants. thereby proving herself even wiser than I had thought.erson in his real environment to understand him. I found him rather casual and un concerned. "Just let him alone.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}{ {\ql "Please. in turn. I know too mu ch of her sordid activities. Levy. I suspect that this woman knows a great deal. Read this. Reilly asked. sir. that her apathy is a facade for her seeming resentment against Levy Pants." Ignatius slobbered.

her hands grasping the wh ite smock. You know what they can do you for f orgery? They can throw you in a federal prison."\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mr. She swore vengeance in connection with not being retired at the proper age. Mr. At the apartment house he followed the trail of scraps up the stairs to a brown door. Levy tried to assess the evidence. Sh e was filled with hostility. fired by an emotion that was a distant but recog nizable version of determination. The idealist's menace. When Mr. sir. Ignatius. she woul d babble for hours about plans to 'get' Levy Pants. he had seen it at the company. Levy opened it with."\par\pard \plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You'll need him again. Reilly had been standing next to him pointing out the pass ages in the notebook. That poor man's got a $500 thous and case on his hands. "I told you it would be like this when I went out to work. but the Reilly kook threw himself against the door.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You must believe me. the scent had grown overpowering. Blue s moke settled over the stricken Plymouth and he was gone. Ignatius done it. He had to get out of that claustrophobic miniature of a heartbreak house. "Interrogate the Trixie jade. Levy eased him aside and got out into the hall. His valve was executing several maneuvers that exceeded in originality and violence anything it had done before. It is part of h er defense against her work and the company. Levy was the person responsible for the Abelman suit. but Mr. Even though his wif e and the kook claimed that the senility routine was a front. he doubted that sh e would be able to write a letter like that. He knocked and Mrs. He knew that Reilly had really liked the company. He felt for the doorknob ." Ignatius said weakly. Now you really in trouble. Now you done it. Reilly called as he passed her and ran down the fr ont steps. Levy picked the shortest route back to the Desire Street wharf. He drove through Miss Trixie's neighborhood quickly. on the other hand. snatching the folder from Mr." Mrs. Or was it a roast? It was all rather fierce and confusing at times . Levy hoped that she could. His pale skin was turning an off-white that shad ed into gray.{\ql "There is your evidence."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mr." Mrs. Reilly was saying to Ignatius. He felt really ill . "Look w ho's back. Levy's roar drowned out her voice."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql She called out something else. hated the company. boy. Actually." Mr. Levy said. I'll call you.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar} \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Now you done it. And who can blame her? Many times when we were alone. The senility is a guise. Reilly. He sped out Napoleon to the Broad overpa ss and got onto the expressway. Her resentment surfaced in t he form of vitriolic attacks upon your corporate structure. she hates Levy Pants for not retiring her. "Whatever it is. If resentment had really driven Miss Trixie to writing that letter. where the maroon-haired moth er was waiting like a doorman.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Thank you."\pa r\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Please. But now he had to get out of the cl austrophobic bedroom before he possibly got ill all over the tablets that covere d the floor.now. Trixie. "If I need you again. flas hing past the bars and the BOILED CRAWFISH and OYSTERS ON THE HALF SHELL signs t hat stuck out everywhere. the woman next door had told him. "Now we in trouble for real. he had just read it." Mr. "The Trixie trollop had a fixation about a tur key or a ham. then Mrs." Ignatius said. Have you solved your case?" "Maybe." he sighed. Could Miss Trixie write something as intelligible as that letter? Mr."\par\pard\ . Levy 's hands.

"I must say you people know how to retire a person. upon the Dutch cookie crumbs that rimmed her thin lips."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He did?" Gloria Reilly wouldn't lie." She plucked at an offending aquamarine lash with her fingers. " Mr. Levy pushed past his wife into a scene he could never have imagined. Gloria had always b een her friend. She picked a magnifying glass from the floor a nd studied the letters. Somewhere beneat h it all there was furniture. One word I get for an answer. I guess I did. I must say I hope you lose everything you own. The big man with the green cap who used to work at Levy Pants."\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mr. is it?" "Yes. Nothing. Levy screamed into her ears. Miss Trixie's apartment was decorated wi th scraps." Mrs. the visible terrain. a clearing among the litter. she wheezed happily. "Oh. "That one there. Reilly. let 's go. too.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Suddenly you're very silent. Trixie's gorging on the cookies. Sheriff Gary Levy. Levy asked. Levy observed. Perhaps she had written the letter." "Miss Trixie!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What?" Miss Trixie snarled. Not Gloria. trait or. the high pumps tossed on a pile of newspapers. Levy showed Miss Trixie the photographs in the morning paper."\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "But did you write that to Abelman? Mr. He seemed to be injured. I'm getting nauseous. "You people in trouble now. I guess I did write that."\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Who?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Mr. "After all I've done for you. When she put down the magnify ing glass. The surface. You've driven me crazy these last few years."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "You wrote that?" Mrs. you wrote somet hing like that? A viper in our own bosom! You can kiss Levy Pants goodbye. with cardboard boxes. The green visor cast a deadly color upon her face. "The idealist fooled you again. N o ham. I guess You really fall for that Rei lly's line. "Did you write a letter to Abelman's Dry Goods?" "Now you're scraping rock bottom." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Miss Trixie applied her magnifying glass to the newspaper and said. "Th at's Mr. Mr. There was a pass through the center of the mountain. Discarded? You'll get discarded!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}{ . Levy's Lodge had not prepared him for interiors like the one he had just seen on Consta ntinople Street\u8212?and for this one. No retirement. Reilly said you did. He says you wrote that letter. Miss Trixie tried hazily to recall. All sorts of things happened that she couldn't remember anymore." Mr. "Well. Levy said. True blue. Levy walked down the aisle past the black wig that hung from ato p a crate. with bits of metal. Now that you mention it. Yes." Mrs. however." Poor Gloria. I guess. was a l andscape of old clothes and crates and newspapers. a narrow aisle of clear flo or that led to a window where Miss Trixie was seated in a chair sampling the Dut ch cookies. they gleam ed between her thin lips as they knifed into the cookies. "What is it. my good ness. Gus? Another mis sion ended in failure?" "Miss Trixie. So that's what happened to him. You peopl e deserve it." Mr. Levy handed her the letter.plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Now you're talking like Gary Cooper. The only aspect of the rejuvenation that Miss Trixie had apparently retained was the teeth. You remember him. "Well. Reilly. with junk.

With a raise. yes." Miss Trixie said vaguely. "I must say this is unexpected. You blame a woman of standards and ideals." Miss Trixie said automatically. bending down next to her. That annoying woman was really getting excited."\par\pard\plain\hyp hpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Quiet!"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "But you're the one who's going to call Lenny's doctor. You don't blame her." "You'll sign a statement that you wrote that letter."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "So. "You call him. "Well. Gloria alway s had been her friend. But right now she was coming toward her." Mrs. Levy said. I'd be to blame. Levy said to his wife." Mr. those aquamarine fingernails poised l ike talons."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}{ {\ql "If it wasn't for your stupid. harebrained 'project' this woman would have been retired long ago. Levy said to his wi fe. With her admission and an y doctor's testimony. I h elped her peck it out. Abelman doesn't have an outside chance on this case. Gus. And from Lenny's doctor. Miss Trixie. "We're going to re tire you." "Susan and Sandra won't like to hear about t heir mother's little mistake. Badly." Mr. Levy said wildly." Mr. "The girls won't want to know that their dear mother was such a fool." Her husband blocked her grab for Miss Trixie's mouth." "And blackmail. Miss Trixie started to scream. too. After all. "I stuck the paper in the typewriter. Perhaps . "I want you to get him to declare Miss Trixie senile and incompetent and to explain the motivation for writing the letter." Mr. For once she ha d nothing to say. Now the annoying woman would go to the poorhouse.{\ql Miss Trixie smiled. won't you?"\par\pard\pl ain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . well. Won't Susan and Sandra like to hear about this. of all people. Levy spat at Miss Trixie. Their mother tortures an old lady so much that the girl s are in danger of losing all of their cardigans and culottes. You've had a lousy deal."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par \pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I've learned a few things from you. All y ou'd have to do is drag her into a courtroom and let a judge look at her. Thank goodnes s." "Yes. Blame me.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Of course you are. Gus. all of her white fangs gleaming." "I'm a very attractive woman." Mrs. "After all those years of predicti ng things.\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "To think I trusted you." Mr. Levy watched anger and anxiety play upon his wife's face. I d o." Mrs." "This is your problem." "Didn't you write that letter to get even with Levy Pant s because you weren't retired?" "Yes. you turn out to be the one who almost threw Levy Pants down the drain . You need help."\par\pard\plain\hy phpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Retirement?" Miss Trixie wheezed. If a thi ef broke into Levy Pants. "I can't even hav e a little peace in my own apartment. Now plan to get Trixie over to Lenny's doctor.\par\pard\plain\hyphpa r}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Quiet!" Miss Trixie snarled." "Wonderful. "Give me back those tee th.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plai n\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Let her alone. Lev y answered angrily. Levy said to his wife. we've been married for some time ."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I see.

asking him for directions . "We'll make an award. Gus Levy operating a company? Gus Levy dominant? What could she say to Susan a nd Sandra? What could she say to Gus Levy? What would happen to her? "The Founda tion goes down the drain. If this is retirement. "He gets the first award. And I'll probably need more and better workers before long."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\ hyphpar}{ {\ql "Of course not. How come nobody buys our pants? Because they stink. I'm pushed out of the way so that you can be a bigg er playboy than ever. A nyway. Levy said in a voice that bordered on hysteria . the same fabrics. What a friend Gloria was. Trixie's oddball letter gave me an idea. Gloria knew how to help her out. I'd rather be back at that Levy Pants. Don't make me laugh. a racetrack tout." "Oh." \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Shut up. Let him rest in peace. too." Mrs. You'll go broke in a year. An ything to obliterate the memory of your father." "Everything is suddenly clear to me. "This Abelman business has made me think about a lot of things." Miss Trix ie raked at them with her cookie box. Thank goodness Gloria had remembered this ma gic letter. "The awards are fo r nice people. But n ot because one of your games wrecked it. meritorious service a nd bravery?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Yes."\par\pard\plain\h yphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ . Not another word of disrespect from you. At last his wife was rudderless. No t this. Levy Pants becomes Levy Shorts . Mos t of our workers are Negroes. "Now get out of my house and mail me my ch eck. You're a failure." "Where's the idealism you're always coming on so strong for? I t hought you had an interest in minority groups." Mrs." Mr. Because that old tyrant wou ldn't change a thing in that plant. "I'm blackmaile d with my two darling girls. "I'll say anything you want me to." "I couldn't run Levy Pants. the kind of maneuver old Leon would have made himself." "Your father was a brilliant man. Levy sounded as if she were retching.{\ql "Of course I will!" Miss Trixie cried. From now on we make Bermuda s horts only."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar }\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What? A criminal with dark glasses? A Bourbon Street character? Please. I do." "Quiet! I must say you people are a nu isance. You think yo u have something on me. Leon Levy is dead only a few years. This will make for a good employment climate. Levy looked over the two letters." Mrs. Levy's bitter voice said behind a pile of newspapers. And Levy Pants will be down the drain." Mrs. What were they supposed to be for."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql " 'Levy Shorts. You can't run a business. I think I can run Levy Shorts. Good public relations. That's true. I guess. Gus.' That's rich. Gloria was smart. At least you've always said so. Levy smiled inwardly. This is brave. higher profits on lower expenditures. Now Levy Pants will be really down the drain. tryi ng to steer some sort of course on a sea of confusion.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Here."\p ar\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Suddenly you're very smug. Be1 cause they're made from the same pattern s my father used twenty years ago."\ par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "But not to that. a playboy." Mr." He picked up the newspaper and pointed to the Negro who s tood over the fallen idealist. Reilly was worth saving. Because he destroyed whatever initiative I h ad. He led me to the real culprit."\par\pard\pla in\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "It's very practical. Less trouble. I want a whole n ew line of wash and wear swatches from the mills. Levy said humbly.

{\ql "You can't live the rest of your life on spite."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Who's living on spite? I'm doing some constructive things at last. "Miss Trixie , where's your telephone?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Who?" Miss Trixie was watching a freighter from Monrovia depart with a dockful of International Harvester tractors. "I don't have one. There's one at the groce ry on the corner."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Okay, Mrs. Levy. Go down to the grocery. Call Lenny's doctor and call the newsp aper to find out if they know how we can reach Jones, but those people usually d on't have telephones. Try the police, too. They might know. Give me the number. I'll call him personally."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs. Levy stood staring at her husband, her colored lashes motionless.\par\pard\ plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "If you're going to the store, you can just get me that Easter ham," Miss Trixie rasped. "I want to see that ham right here in my home! I don't want any double talk this time. If you people want a confession from me, you'd better start payi ng off."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql She snarled once at Mrs. Levy, flashing her teeth as if they were a symbol of so mething, a gesture of defiance.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "There," Mr. Levy said to his wife. "You have three reasons for going to the gro cery now." He handed her a ten-dollar bill. "I'll wait for you here."\par\pard\p lain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs. Levy took the money and said to her husband, "I guess you're happy now. Now I'll be your maid. You'll hold this over my head like a sword. One little misju dgment and I suffer all this." "One little misjudgment? A libel suit for half a million? What are you suffering? You're just going to the corner grocery."\par\p ard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Mrs. Levy turned and found her way along the aisle. The door slammed and, as if a weighty problem had been lifted from her, Miss Trixie fell into a juvenile slu mber. Mr. Levy listened to her snoring and watched the Monrovian freighter movin g out into the harbor and turning downstream toward the Gulf. His mind grew calm for the first time in several days, and some of the events surrounding the lett er began passing in review through his consciousness. He thought of the letter t o Abelman, and then his mind was recalling another place where he had heard simi lar language. It was in the Reilly kook's yard just an hour ago. "She must be la shed." "Mongoloid Man-cuso." So he had written it after all. Mr. Levy looked ten derly down at the little accused party snoring over her box of Dutch cookies. Fo r everyone's sake, he thought, you will have to be declared incompetent and conf ess, Miss Trixie. You are being framed. Mr. Levy laughed out loud. Why had Miss Trixie confessed so sincerely? "Silence!" Miss Trixie snarled, snapping awake. T hat Reilly kook had really been worth saving after all. He had saved himself, Mi ss Trixie, and Mr. Levy, too, in his own kook way. Whoever Burma Jones was, he d eserved a generous award ... or reward. Offering him a job at the new Levy Short s would be even better for public relations. An award and a job. With some good newspaper publicity to tie in with the opening of Levy Shorts. Was that a gimmic k or wasn't it? Mr. Levy watched the freighter cross the mouth of the Industrial Canal. Mrs. Levy would be on a ship soon, destination San Juan. She could visit her mother on the beach, laughing and singing and dancing. Mrs. Levy wouldn't r eally fit into the Levy Shorts plan.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyph par}{

{\ql \par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql Fourteen Ignatius spent the day in his room napping fitfully and attacking his r ubber glove during his frequent, anxious moments of consciousness. Throughout th e afternoon the telephone in the hall had been ringing, each new ring making him more nervous and anxious. He lunged at the glove, deflowering it, stabbing it, conquering it. Like any celebrity, Ignatius had attracted his fans: his mother's jinxed relatives, neighbors, people Mrs. Reilly had not seen for years. They ha d all telephoned. At every ring Ignatius imagined that it was Mr. Levy calling b ack, but he always heard his mother say to the caller the lines that were becomi ng tearfully standard, "Ain't this awful? What I'm gonna do? Now our name is rea lly ruint." When Ignatius could stand it no longer, he would billow out of his r oom in search of a Dr. Nut. If he chanced to meet his mother in the hall, she wo uld not look at him but rather study the fleecy spheres of lint that drifted alo ng the floor in her son's wake. There seemed to be nothing that he could say to her. What would Mr. Levy do? Abelman, unfortunately, was apparently a rather pet ty person, a man too small to accept a little criticism, a hypersensitive molecu le of a human. He had written to the wrong person; the militant and courageous b roadside had been delivered before the wrong audience. At this point his nervous system could not manage a court trial. He would break down completely before th e judge. He wondered how long it would be before Mr. Levy descended upon him aga in. What senile conundrums was Miss Trixie babbling to Mr. Levy? An infuriated a nd confused Mr. Levy would return, this time determined to have him incarcerated at once. Now waiting for this return was like waiting for an execution. The dul l headache persisted. The Dr. Nuts tasted like gall. Abelman certainly wanted a great deal of money; that sensitive plant of an Abelman must have been greatly o ffended. When the true author of the letter was discovered, what would Abelman d emand in lieu of $500 thousand? A life? The Dr. Nuts seemed only as an acid gurg ling down into his intestine. He filled with gas, the sealed valve trapping it j ust as one pinches the mouth of a balloon. Great eructations rose from his throa t and bounced upward toward the refuse-laden bowl of the milk glass chandelier. Once a person was asked to step into this brutal century, anything could happen. Everywhere there lurked pitfalls like Abelman, the insipid Crusaders for Mooris h Dignity, the Mancuso cretin, Dorian Greene, newspaper reporters, strip-teasers , birds, photography, juvenile delinquents, Nazi pomographers. And especially My rna Minkoff. The consumer products. And especially Myrna Minkoff. The musky minx must be dealt with. Somehow. Someday, She must pay. Whatever happened, he must attend to her even if the revenge took years and he had to stalk her through dec ades from one coffee shop to another, from one folk singing orgy to another, fro m subway train to pad to cotton field to demonstration. Ignatius invoked an elab orate Elizabethan curse upon Myrna and, rolling over, frantically abused the glo ve once more. How dare his mother contemplate a marriage. Only someone as simple minded as she could be so disloyal. The aged fascist would conduct witchhunt aft er witchhunt until the formerly intact Ignatius J. Reilly was reduced to a fragm ented and mumbling vegetable. The aged fascist would testify for Mr. Levy so tha t his future stepson would be locked away and he would be free to satisfy his wa rped and archaic desires upon the unsuspecting Irene Reilly, to perform his cons ervative practices upon Irene Reilly with free enterprise. Prostitutes were not protected by the Social Security and unemployment compensation systems. No doubt the Robichaux roue was thus attracted to them. Only Fortuna knew what he had le arned at their hands. Mrs. Reilly listened to the squeaking and belching emanati ng from her son's room and wondered whether, on top of everything else, he were having a fit. But she didn't want to look at Ignatius. Whenever she heard his do or opening, she tried to run to her room to avoid him. Five hundred thousand dol lars was a sum she could not even imagine. She could hardly imagine the punishme nt given someone who had done something bad enough to be worth five hundred thou sand. If there were any cause for suspicion on Mr. Levy's part, there was none o n hers. Ignatius had written whatever it was. Wouldn't this be fine? Ignatius in jail. There was only one way to save him. She carried the telephone as far down

the hall as she could, and for the fourth time that day, she dialed Santa Bat-t aglia's number. "Lord, honey, you really worried," Santa said. "What happened no w?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "I'm afraid Ignatius is in worst trouble than just a picture in the paper," Mrs. Reilly whispered. "I can't talk over the phone. Santa, you was right all along. Ignatius gotta go to the Charity." "Well, at last. I been talking myself hoarse telling you that. Claude just rang up a little while ago. He says Ignatius made a big scene at the hospital when they met. Claude says he's ascared of Ignatius , he's so big."\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Ain't that awful. It was terrible in the hospital. I already told you how Ignat ius started screaming. All them nurses and sick people. I coulda died. Claude ai n't too angry, huh?"\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "He ain't angry, but he don't like you being alone in that house. He ax me if ma ybe him and me shouldn't come over there and stay with you."\par\pard\plain\hyph par}\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "Don't do that, babe," Mrs. Reilly said quickly.\par\pard\plain\hyphpar}\par\par d\plain\hyphpar}{ {\ql "What kinda trouble Ignatius is in now?"\par\pard\plain