Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-9

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction

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pp. ix-xviii

Mary Ward Brown's short stories provide their own introduction to the author's world, but for the reader wishing to test impressions a drive west of Montgomery on US Highway 80 toward Mississippi, prefembly on an ordinary weekday morning, might also seem instructive. Signs of the Old South and this latest of New Souths 100m up. ...

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New Dresses

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pp. 1-16

Mrs. Lovelady, in a morning-fresh white uniform, helped Lisa's mother-in-law, Mrs. Worthy, into the car. Lisa could only stand by and watch. The bucket seat was too low and dangerously tilted for Mrs. Worthy as she was now, and Lisa wished she had listened to David, had come in his car instead of her own as he'd tried to tell her. ...

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The Cure

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pp. 17-32

When Ella Hogue continued to grow worse, her daughters all came home. Bee came first from nearby Vilula, then Andretta from Fort Wayne, and Lucindy from Miami. For two days and two nights they took turns sitting by the bed, waiting for the end. On the third day Ella began to improve. ...

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The Barbecue

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pp. 33-48

When Tom Moore saw Jeff Arrington come into his store and start back to the fireplace where he was, he braced himself. What does he want now? he wondered. ...

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The Disturber of the Peace

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pp. 49-62

In the bathtub of her upstairs World War II apartment, Jeanette soaped herself compulsively. At this moment Frank was at home or somewhere else with his new wife (wife!), while she was here trying to wash off the past half-hour with Dr. Wells. It did not seem possible. ...

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Good-Bye, Cliff

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pp. 63-74

With a small foot in a neat black oxford, Miss Emma pushed the front-porch swing back and forth. She meant to go ahead and decide about the tombstone now, this afternoon, so she could forget it. Cliff's grave had been on her conscience long enough. ...

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Tongues of Flame

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pp. 75-92

The Reverend Zack Benefield, evangelist, had been called in to Rehoboth Church like a doctor to a patient. Rehoboth was more than a hundred years old and, some thought, dying. A country church, surrounded by large farms that had swallowed up the small ones, many of its members had moved away. ...

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The Amaryllis

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pp. 93-112

He would get up and go straight to the parlor for a quick look. More fascinated each day, he would hurry through breakfast, then take his second cup of coffee back to sit and study the newest development. ...

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Fruit of the Season

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pp. 113-120

The Deep South is at its best in early May, when the last cold spell is over and the heat has not yet arrived. Leaves and grass are still the tender green of Easter. Wild flowers liven the countryside and, above all, the magnolia starts to bloom. Days grow long and fireflies light up the slow-falling darkness. ...

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Let Him Live

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pp. 121-132

All he had to do was wake up. The surgeon said the tumor was encapsulated and nonmalignant. They had taken it out without bothering his brain at all, so everything would be fine when he came to. He had already moved the foot and leg that were paralyzed, and sometimes a tear rolled out of his eye as if he knew things. ...

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The Black Dog

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pp. 133-144

My beagle, Little Sister, was in heat when he came, so I thought he was just another male hanging around the dog pen for a few days. I did wonder why my oId pointer, Sam, didn't try to fight him off the way he did all the rest. ...

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Beyond New Forks

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pp. 145-162

I went to pick up Queen Esther at three o'clock. She was waiting in a chair on the porch, a light-brown black woman of seventy-five, maybe more. She did not know the year of her birth. As I drove up, she put the chair back inside her house and closed the door. ...