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bricolage

"how about the day after to-morrow?" he considered for a moment. then, with reluctance:

"i want to get the grass cut," he said.

we both looked at the grass--there was a sharp line where my ragged lawn ended and the darker, well-kept expanse of his began. i suspected that he meant my grass.

"there's another little thing," he said uncertainly, and hesitated.

"would you rather put it off for a few days?" i asked.

"oh, it isn't about that. at least----" he fumbled with a series of beginnings.

poor mimmy is now in a worse plight than ever; for he has long ago found that the sword utterly defies his skill: the steel will yield neither to his hammer nor to his furnace. just then there walks into his cave a wanderer, in a blue mantle, spear in hand, with one eye concealed by the brim of his wide hat. mimmy, not by nature hospitable, tries to drive him away; but the wanderer announces himself as a wise man, who can tell his host, in emergency, what it most concerns him to know. mimmy, taking
this offer in high dudgeon, because it implies that his visitor's wits are better than his own, offers to tell the wise one something that he does not know: to wit, the way to the door. the imperturbable wanderer's reply is to sit down and challenge the dwarf to a trial of wit. he wagers his head against mimmy's that he will answer any three questions the dwarf can put to him.

the scene now changes. life is nothing but such changes. no sooner do we alight on one branch, and begin to sip the honey from it, but we are taken up and carried elsewhere, perhaps to the mountains or to the sea-shore, and there left to make new friends and find new methods of enjoyment.

the flight--or journey--was in itself an anxious time. for on my otherwise clear conscience rested the weight of that strange suitcase. fortunately hannah was so busy that i was left to pack my belongings myself, and thus for a time my guilty secret was safe. i put my things in on top of the masculine articles, not daring to leave any of them in the closet, owing to house-cleaning, which is always done before our return in the fall.

on the train i had a very unpleasant experience, due to sis opening my suitcase to look for a magazine, and drawing out a soiled gentleman's collar. she gave me a very piercing glance, but said nothing and at the next opportunity i threw it out of a window, concealed in a newspaper.

we now approach the catastrofe. my book on playwriting divides plays into introduction, development, crisis, denouement and catastrofe. and so one may divide life. in my case the cinder proved the introduction, as there was none other. i consider that the suitcase was the development, my showing it to jane raleigh was the crisis, and the denouement or catastrofe occured later on.


saturday cclxxxvii

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