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The Sick-a-bed Lady

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Pages: 152

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/4/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

Excerpt from book: THE VERY TIRED GIRL N one of those wet, warm, slushy February nights when the vapid air sags like sodden wool in your lungs, and your cheek-bones bore through your flesh, and your leaden feet seem strung directly from the roots of your eyes, three girls stampeded their way through the jostling, peevish street crowds with no other object in Heaven or Earth except just to get — HOME. It was supper time, too, somewhere between six and seven, the caved-in hour of the day when the ruddy ghost of Other People's dinners flaunts itself rather grossly in the pallid nostrils of Her Who Lives by the Chafing-Dish. One of the girls was a Medical Masseuse, trained brain and brawn in the German Hospitals. One was a Public School Teacher with a tickle of chalk dust in her lungs. One was a Cartoon Artist with a heart like chiffon and a wit as accidentally malicious as the jab of a pin in a flirt's belt. All three of them were silly with fatigue. The writhing city cavorted before them like a sick clown. A lame cab horse went strutting like a mechanical toy. Crape on a door would have plunged them into hysterics. Were you ever as tired as that? It was, in short, the kind of night that rips out every one according to his stitch. Rhoda Hanlan the Masseuse was ostentatiously sewed with double thread and backstitched at that. Even the little Teacher, Ruth MacLaurin, had a physique that was embroidered if not darned across its raveled places. But Noreen Gaudette, the Cartoon Drawer, with her spangled brain and her tissue-paper body, was merely basted together with a single silken thread. It was the knowledge of being only basted that gave Noreen the droll, puckered terror in her eyes whenever Life tugged at her with any specially inordinate strain. Yet it was Noreen who was popularly su...  

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