Once Enoch Bentley, the older one of the boys, struck his father, old Tom Bentley, with the butt of a teamsters whip, and the old man seemed likely to die. Naturally, I now have some changes of response: a few of the stories no longer haunt me as once they did, but the long story Godliness, which years ago I considered a failure, I now see as a quaintly effective account of the way religious fanaticism and material acquisitiveness can become intertwined in American experience. Concerning the old carpenter who fixed the bed for the writer, I only mentioned him because he, like many of what are called very common people, became the nearest thing to what is understandable and lovable of all the grotesques in the writers book. Walking home, he told himself that he would never find love. All about in the world were the truths and they were all beautiful. There had been some negligence, some carelessness, you see, when father was ill. The night was warm and cloudy and although it was not yet eight oclock, the alleyway back of the Eagle office was pitch dark.
George Willard had set forth upon an adventure. How awkward and foolish I am, he thought. In imagination he saw himself putting his arm about her waist and feeling her arms clasped tightly about his neck. You have not seen him and yet I have made you feel that. A carpenter came to fix the bed so that it would be on a level with the window.
He did not want to bring the meeting to an end but could not think of anything more to say. Ironically Seth does not even know that he holds life inside. Seth imagined himself lying on a summer evening, buried deep among the weeds beneath the tree. The baker had an empty milk bottle in his hand and an angry sullen look in his eyes. He imagined the young indescribable thing within himself was driving a long procession of figures before his eyes. Beneath his talk of virginity she began to think there was a lust greater than in all the others.
It made him more alive, there in bed, than at any other time. In George Willards room, which had a window looking down into an alleyway and one that looked across railroad tracks to Biff Carters Lunch Room facing the railroad station, Seth Richmond sat in a chair and looked at the floor. On the bench in the garden Seth stirred uneasily. And then, looking down, Seth had seen the bees everywhere all about him in the long grass. It would be something new and altogether delightful to remain and walk often through the streets with Helen White, he thought.
I'm going to some city and go to work. There is something threatening my boy and I will ward it off. Seth and Helen walked through the streets beneath the trees. The communion between George Willard and his mother was outwardly a formal thing without meaning. He thought her infinitely more sensible and straightforward than George Willard, and was glad he had come away from his friend. Most of its stories are composed in a minor key, a tone of subdued pathos pathos marking both the nature and limit of Andersons talent. Reefys truths may be we never know; Anderson simply persuades us that to this lonely old man they are utterly precious and thereby incommunicable, forming a kind of blurred moral signature.
By the caress that was in his fingers he expressed himself. In the end he wrote a book which he called The Book of the Grotesque. Library of Congress All of the men and women the writer had ever known had become grotesques. When he was released he rented a room above a shoe-repairing shop at the lower end of Main Street and put out the sign that announced himself as a doctor. The truth was that the son thought with remarkable clearness and the mother did not. Seth had not answered them, although he had been moved and flattered by some of the sen- tences scrawled in pencil upon the stationery of the banker's wife.
Curtis believed that he had been delivered. Had you come into the room you might have supposed the old man had unpleasant dreams or perhaps indigestion. Let Thy grace alight upon me. He wanted me to tell you and see what you said. One afternoon a man of the town, Henry Bradford, who kept a saloon, came to the schoolhouse door.
During the winter he read to her all of the odds and ends of thoughts he had scribbled on the bits of paper. He had a wife and loved her very much, only to discover that she was cheating on him with a number of men. He stood in a mass of weeds that grew waist-high in the field that ran away from the hillside. After the severest repri- mand, he did not tremble and look at the floor but instead looked steadily at her, causing uneasy doubts to invade her mind. In the dense blotch of light beneath the table, the kneeling figure looked like a priest engaged in some service of his church.
. It was his notion that the moment one of the people took one of the truths to himself, called it his truth, and tried to live his life by it, he became a grotesque and the truth he embraced became a falsehood. That's how everything'll turn out. The feeling of loneli- ness that had visited him earlier in the evening re- turned and colored his thoughts of the adventure through which he had just passed. A Man of Ideas, concerning Joe Welling 11. The newspapers and the magazines have pumped him full. In the end he de- cided that he was simply old beyond his years and not at all a subject for self-pity.