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coat of paint; most of them are settled and warped with the
discomfitures of old age. Though in time all have had little
porches, these do not now exist; the Negroes have burned them
for wood. I watch an old woman rip off a board from an old
stable; no one else sees her; she hurries into the house; I say
nothing.

I enter the yard expecting to find it cluttered with debris;
I am mistaken. The only object to detract from its otherwise
unusually clean appearance is an old warped garbage can. I look
in it; for much can be learned of the habits, and welfare of a
family by a look into its garbage can. It is half full of pumpkin
peeling. Each peel lies loose and open on its supporting peels;
I can see the bottom of the can. From bottom to top are three
distinct colors of pumpkin peel; that means Greorge has had pumpkin
for three days. Today is Tuesday, and garbage is emptied in this
section on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

To reach George's house I must climb a long rickety
stair that seems to be attached to a sheer brick wall; it leads
to an unusually high second story. I am a little afraid.

I climb. I am halfway up; I look at the crack between the
staircase and wall; it seems to be giving way; my breath stops;
I dash, taking the remaining steps four at a time. When I reach
the ramshackle landing at the head of the steps I see several
boards missing; I am more frightened; I jump right into the middle
of George's kitchen. I think of a thousand excuses for not knocking;
none seems to fit. I say simply, "Morning George."

George is already busy. He is peeling pumpkin for dinner.
The peelings will make the fourth layer in the can, "Good mornin',

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