Keeping the Appointment


December 26, 1930. Gibbsville.

"He had a drink. He had another and he got up and took off his coat and vest and tie. He had another and he brought the Scotch over and stood the bottle on the floor, and he got out his favorite records . . . . He got to his feet and went to the stairs. "Anybody in this house?" he called . . . He went out on the porch and down the steps and opened the garage door and closed it behind him . . . . He climbed in the front seat and started the car . . . There was nothing to do now but wait . . . He smoked a little, hummed for a minute or two, and had three quick drinks and was on his fourth when he lay back and slumped down in the seat. At 10:50, by the clock in the rear seat, he tried to get up. He had not the strength to help himself, and at ten minutes past eleven no one could have helped him, no one in the world."

From Appointment in Samarra.

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