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""No,»he said wanly. Well, he's gone, Paul thought. Not to make myself look better (although I probably would) and not to make Annie look worse (she couldn't). He tried to draw them up, make them less vulnerable less of a target, and his knee screamed. "And suddenly, for just a moment, he thought of saying: All right, Annie — go ahead. Paul wanted Tony to get away with the murder — for awhile, anyway — because there could be no third act with Tony sitting in the cooler. "The climate inside her, he had come to discover, was like springtime in the Midwest.Don't you DARE, you cockadoodie brats! "I'll deal with you later,»she said, and pulled — his door closed. The tumbler! His legs flared and he cried out. I'll stay up here and spit in their eye!
In the case of the Andean vulture, the kid would almost surely have been invited to leave the circle. Annie stuffed the cuffs absently into her skirt pocket, as if police restraints were found in most decent houses, like Kleenex or coathangers. Although her pet writer was now less than thirty-five feet away, Annie's voice remained composed. "she screamed, her mouth yawning wide, and he was suddenly looking into the dank red-lined pit of the goddess. That prescient part of his mind saw her before he knew he was seeing her, and must surely have understood her before he knew he was understanding her — why else did he associate such dour, ominous images with her? In practical terms, what had happened following the thumbectomy and ensuing bout of fever was obvious. He was surprised at how calm he felt — the strongest emotion in him right now was mild annoyance at being interrupted just when it was starting to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. Paul suddenly remembered other examples of this odd mania: the way people had mobbed the Baltimore docks each month when the packet bearing the new installment of Mr Dickens's Little Dorrit or Oliver Twist was due (some had drowned, but this did not discourage the others); the old woman of a hundred and five who had declared she would five until Mr Galsworthy finished The Forsyte Saga — and who had died less than an hour after having the final page of the final volume read to her; the young mountain climber hospitalized with a supposedly fatal case of hypothermia whose friends had read The Lord of the Rings to him nonstop, around the clock, until he came out of his coma; hundred s of other such incidents. Getting into the chair didn't hurt as much as he had feared, and that was good, because previous experience had shown him that he would hurt plenty afterward. The man getting out of the car was as old and well preserved as the car itself — a Colorado Type if ever Paul had seen one. As her boot-heels approached his door, as the key slid into the lock again, he thought: She's come to kill me. "A storm had been on the way, she said, but until noon that day the weather forecasters had been confidently claiming it would veer south, toward New Mexico and the Sangre di Cristos. "I dreamed that people remembered me after all this time and started coming out here again,»Annie said. Annie stood watching them go, the rifle held in one hand, and then she came slowly back into the house. A large hard growth, half callus and half blister, had risen on the inside of his index finger, where the pencil pressed most firmly. He had looked tired, not very well himself; nor was this surprising in a man who claimed to have shaken hands with Wellington — the Iron Duke himself — when he (Shinebone, not Wellington) had been a boy. As the humming, vibrating blade sank into the softweb of flesh between the soon-to-be-defunct thumb and his first finger, she assured him again in her this-hurts-Mother-more-than-it-hurts Paulie voice that she loved him. Her eyes began to dart aimlessly around as they had when it seemed that the fire of his burning book might get out of control. After a moment's consideration, Paul rolled the wheelchair across to his door and leaned his ear against the wood. Paul made a mental bet with himself that Bossie would tear in half before Annie got her to the grave, but that one he lost. He got out of his well-kept Chevrolet Bel Air, holding part of the Camaro's bumper in one hand and its steering wheel in the other. ""Aye, never fear me,»she said, and grasped the bottle of gin with a hand that trembled only slightly.
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