category:Action adventure


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    They had been there for a whole fortnight, and there was still no talk of their moving on, when something happened which cut their stay through as with a knife. The smallest details of that July afternoon — it started with one of Cuffy’s outbreaks — were burnt into Mary’s brain.


    1.Mary was shocked by the change the past six months had worked in her friend; and disagreeably impressed by the common-featured house in which she found her: it had no garden, but stood right on the dusty St. Kilda Parade. Agnes was growing very stout; her fine skin looked as creased as her robe, her cheek was netted with veins, her hair thin, under a cap set awry. Mary knew the rumours that were current; and her heart swelled with pity.
    3.The afternoon before, an odd thing happened. Mary and Emmy were alone with him, he lying drugged and comatose, and Mary had been fanning him, for it was very warm. Outside, beneath a copper-coloured sky, a scorching north wind blew; the windows of the room were shut against swirling clouds of dust. There was no sound but John’s laboured breathing, and, exhausted, Mary thought she must have dropped into a doze. For when, warned by a kind of instinct she started up, she saw that John’s eyes were open: he was gazing with a glassy stare at the foot-end of the bed. And as she watched, an extraordinary change came over the shrunken, jaundiced face. The eyes widened, the pin-hole pupils dilated; while the poor, burst lips, on which were black sores that would not heal, parted and drew back, disclosing the pallid flesh of the gums. John was trying to smile.
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