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By Susan M. Dodd

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Miss Rainey felt sorely distressed by her unintentional sharpness. "I'm sorry," she murmured. " The waitress sauntered off again. " The admission was clearly difficult for her. "Never mind. " "He left me, so he should divorce me . . " Miss Rainey looked severely at Franklin Alfino and did not speak for a full minute. He waited, watching her face with eyes that were alert under half-lowered lids. "I did," she said finally. "But what's important is that I promised myself to him. And John Amos Dudley promised himself to me.

Hey, don't get me wrongI can use the work. But this could take months, and even then, it might be a blind alley. " "Of course . . " "I hate wasting your money, when it'd be so easy to get you a divorce without finding your . . " "Husband," Miss Rainey said firmly. " "Sure. And you don't want to bethat I can understand. " "You don't need to understand," she snapped. The detective's nostrils and lips pinched, drawing together Page 14 as if a swift and shocking blow had been dealt to him. The waitress returned, and Miss Rainey looked away.

These might be regarded as dubious legacies, I suppose, but since great pains were taken to hand them down to me, it is my duty to act as conservator. I am meticulous in my personal habits and inclined to the grotesque in my inner life. My premises are clean, my fantasies dirty. I presume this sort of thing often comes of mixed marriages. I was barely two when Heddy went to Maplecrest. Her absence redesigned the contours of my existence. Suddenly I, accustomed to a bare-boned cage, found myself in a padded embrace.

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