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11.

I can't hardly buy bread for us any more.

" 'Scuse me, Miss, I've got to get me a match," Fred said
as he limped from the room. He is a restless person and seems to be
a little deaf. Every so often he puts his hand to his ear as he
listens. Fred's hair and mustache are black. His straight hair
grows high on his forehead and he is getting bald in a wide streak
over the top of his head. He wore brown trousers, a blue shirt, and
gray cotton socks. A strap of his suspender, removed from one
shoulder, dangled at his hip. He returned to the room, lit another
cigarette, and rocked to and fro. The newspaper fluttering on his
lap as he rocked attracted a white kitten. Fred stopped rocking.
"Go 'way, little kitten," he said. "Don't you tear my paper." The
kitten moved on to another piece of the same issue of the paper that
was on the floor. "Now, little kitten, you just let all of my paper
alone," Fred urged in an indulgent tone. "It's about all I can do to
buy a paper, and here you come tearing it up." As he stooped down to
assemble his paper, a large police dog came bounding through the
gaping hole in the screen door and the cat suddenly had business
elsewhere. In the street the voice of the iceman sounded and the
huge dog catapulted himself through the hole in the screen with a
series of vicious barks, as though the call of "I-C-E-M-A-N, I-C-E-
M-A-N, here's your I-C-E-M-A-N," indicated danger.

Fred went to the door and addressed the vendor of ice. "Say,
fellow, I can hear you without all that noise. Bring me a nickel's
worth of ice, and don't wait too long about it. This is a pretty
time of the day to be delivering ice.

1869

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