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Sample text

RUSSELL EDSON 41 stumbling under the weight of financial burden, dazed, as it were, calculating, mind you, to avert the impediment, not only for the sentimental implication, but the danger implied therein of falling; not to mention the male neighbor, who must take this as a call to arms; and then the piteous choice of falling into his hands, or quickening my gait at the risk of injuring my heart . . m o t h e r . But what has this to do with us? f a t h e r . . Did anyone say, it’s not Father’s fault, that Father has become a victim of a crime that dates from the prime motion, owed to the Prime Mover .

F a t h e r . What does it mean? 40 RUSSELL EDSON Why do you ask for meaning at a time like this? Because it may make the difference . . m o t h e r . Of what? f a t h e r . Between alternatives. m o t h e r . Father, stop it, stop it, I can’t stand any more . . f a t h e r . Perhaps it’s a list of reparations, which would make right the breach in our relations; which was caused by an unfortu­ nate accident, leading to a rather dangerous situation having de­ veloped between ourselves and the neighbors.

38 RUSSELL EDSON f a t h e r . Meanwhile the telephone was invented, and their poor humble father became the victim of cruel threats over it . . m o t h e r . Why do you insist on stealing their glory by interjecting yourself . . f a t h e r . But, you a r e m a k i n g it a l l up . . m o t h e r . Your highness, your holinesses, what do you attribute your unparalleled success to? A keen interest in anti-Communism, and an undying loyalty to personal ambition . . And then the applause . .

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