By Mary Heath
Chosen tales from the Massachusetts evaluate.
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Additional info for A Good deal: selected short stories from The Massachusetts review
The door to the card room was open and I could see him from the hall, seated next to the cage in which the bingo pieces flopped and fluttered like lottery tickets, so that he could hear the caller with his better ear. Which one was Frieda, then? On one side of him sat a dishevelled woman with hair twice as red as Jane's but slightly purple at the roots, as if it were emerging from a wound. She had the look of someone on loan from a back ward. On his other side sat a ketselah, a little cat, smaller, under what looked like a real lace shawl: my mother would have called her quality.
The next morning he was a flurry of indecision, totally ambivalent about the choice between Horace and the Wright woman. He told everything to Tilda over his third cup of coffee, even about his nighttime list of women murderers. She sniffed like a horse. Even though she was not coarse, but in fact, fine-looking for a tall middle-aged woman, Tilda carried the womanly traits of the community: she cursed, suffered from sinus and burned holes in everything with her cigarettes. "You're right," she said, sitting down across from him at the breakfast table and crossing her legs smoothly, but with some difficulty, rocking on her round bottom to give momentum to the act of hoisting her right leg over her left.
Yeah. That's right. Class. I guess. Give me a call when you get someone. " Billy hung up and loosened his tie; although it was a chilly day, he felt hot, and he walked over to the radiator by the window, turning the valve to shut off the steam. He threw up the window and looked over the grassy grounds of the office compound to a stand of gray Page 20 hardwoods, huge pin oaks about two hundred yards distant. One oak, inside the wire fence, twice as large as the rest, stood out from the ranks, its empty branches soaring into a milky sky.
A Good deal: selected short stories from The Massachusetts review by Mary Heath