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Underwood, Walter S. (ed.) / The Wisconsin literary magazine
Vol. IV, No. 1 (October 1906)

Braley, Berton
Not a story--just life,   pp. 22-25


Page 22


THL WISCONSIN LITERARY MAGAZINE.
           NOT A STORY-JUST LIFE.
                     BY BERTON BRALEY.
   Billy grunted.
   Then he looked guiltily around the room to see whether
there was any one to hear.  His eyes fell on no living thing
save his fox terrier, who sat watching him intelligently from
the other side of the chamber.
   Realizing his freedom from human companionship at this
particular time, Billy took his pipe from his mouth, dumped
the surplus ashes from the top of it and groaned.
   The fox terrior looked pained at this unusual sound from
his master and, trotting to him, thrust a cold but sympathetic
nose into Billy's hand. Billy paid no attention and continued
to gaze into the upper left hand corner of the place.
  The terrier sniffed and lay down at the side of the chair.
  Billy started from his reverie and reached to the table for
his Kipling, turning to the "Garden of Eden" chapter in
"The Gadbys," and began to read. He perused half a page,
stopped to light the pipe, and resumed reading, an occupa-
tion which lasted for three minutes.
   'Damn the book," said Billy, "there's a man who got what
he wanted and didn't have to beltt into a game where six
other men already had cards. I'll telephone up to her."
  "703, please. What, out of order?" Billy slammed down
the receiver, and his lips moved. The recording angel wrote
one credit mark on Billy's book because he did not shout
aloud.
  Another ten minutes passed while he tramped up and
down the room muttering words almost unintelligible to him-
self. Then he sat down and lit the scorched briar again. A
moment of quiet ensued, when suddenly Billy spat fulsomely,
22


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