"It was. But there was some problem, when
he got it running. It was too complicated and all the eggs smashed.
It was quite a mess. Then the chickens got out, they were running
all over, crowing and flapping their wings. Jim and I tried to catch
them and everyone laughed. I think Jim was pretty embarrassed."
"I guess so," Glad said. "That's too bad."
I loved her more, for chasing the runaway
"I always felt tender toward him." Beulah
looked up with her hurt, slanted smile. "He had obvious talent but
a bad home life."
She shook her head, so her auburn hair waved
and caught the gold light. Viv Stone had been right, about Beulah.
"No encouragement. Once I loaned him Moby
Dick and he returned it the next day. He stayed up all night to
did he make of it?" I asked.
"He wanted to know if the whale were God or
"What'd you tell him?"
"Both and neither. He said, 'That's what I
thought.' The next week he read 'Bartleby the Scrivener,' about the
man who refuses to live in the world, by its rules, who won't help
himself or let himself be helped and starves to death. He was sure
the main character was Melville, that the story was autobiographical."
"Did he read the story of the Trojan Horse?"
"I don't know if we did the Aeneid
that year or not," Beulah said. She raised her brows. "I know he was
interested in Greek myths. I remember a paper he wrote on PasiphaŽ
and the Minotaur."
"Who're they?" Glad asked.